Holland America’s 2008 Grand Africa Cruise Circles the Continent in Style

Holland America Line’s 73-day Grand Africa Voyage aboard the elegant 793-passenger ms Prinsendam introduces travelers to the breathtaking scenery, exotic wildlife and legendary safari’s that only an African adventure can conjure.

Three day stays in Cape Town, South Africa and Mombasa, Kenya allow time to explore the wild interior of Africa on safari and other unusual adventures. Late night departures from San Juan, Puerto Rico; Funchal, Madeira; Durban, South Africa; Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles; Safâga and Alexandria (Cairo), Egypt; and Malaga, Spain, allow ample time to shop, dine and enjoy local nightlife in these exciting cities.

“The 2008 Grand Africa Voyage is unrivaled for its striking destinations and active adventure opportunities,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president of marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line.

Cruising to remarkable lands in sophisticated style, this imaginative itinerary weaves together 28 extraordinary ports in 18 countries covering more than 20,500 nautical miles along the way, and offers the only full circumnavigation cruise of the African continent in 2008.

Sailing from Fort Lauderdale on March 11, 2008 the Prinsendam embarks on an Atlantic crossing, and then hugs the Ivory Coast and Gulf of Guinea before rounding the Cape of Good Hope to explore the treasures of the Indian Ocean.  The ship passes next through the legendary Suez Canal en route to North Africa, sailing the Mediterranean before disembarking guests in Lisbon, Portugal on May 23, 2008.

Exciting Escapades Await in Port — Holland America’s expertise in world wide cruising and years of meticulous planning culminate to create the perfect mix of fascinating ports and in-depth excursions, with activities designed to enrich every experience.

Cruise guests will explore modern Africa and all it has to offer in grand style experiencing a flavor of the continents native customs and cultures intertwined with the lasting influence of colonial times. Shore excursions run the gamut and include visits to richly-appointed palaces, vibrant outdoor markets, stilt villages, and newly celebrated wine regions.

The Grand Africa Voyage gives guests ample time in the most dramatic destinations. Savor a taste of the Caribbean on a port call to sun-splashed Grand Turk; and relax on a restful ocean crossing then relish romantic Casablanca, Morocco. Wander amid a kaleidoscope of tapestries in the open-air markets of French-influenced Dakar, Senegal. Watch for pelicans, flamingos, springbok, ostrich and other rare creatures near the pristine natural lagoon of Walvis Bay, Namibia. In picturesque Bavarian Lüderitz, Namibia, learn about diamond mining and desert life at the Lüderitz Museum.

Additional highlights of the itinerary include a day of sailing along the spectacular sea cliffs of the Cape of Good Hope followed by three days in Cape Town, South Africa’s gateway to safari country. Next, the exclusive tropical islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles demand relaxation on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Then the ship arrives in Mombasa, Kenya for a three day stopover full of awe-inspiring scenery, rich culture and amazing wildlife in the famous Masai Mara Reserve.

In Egypt, an all day stay takes cruisers on a journey to Luxor from Safâga that reveals towering pillars, magnificent statues and mysterious hieroglyphics. A daylight transit of the impressive Suez Canal carries cruisers to Africa’s northern coast where guests may travel inland from Alexandria to stand in awe before the Sphinx and the great pyramids at Giza.

The African adventure continues with an exploration of arid, rolling landscapes that hold secrets of historical battles while some may prefer the quest for outstanding bargains on carpets, jewelry and handicrafts in Tunisia. This extraordinary voyage finishes with farewell visits to the ports of Cadiz and Málaga in Spain and Lisbon, Portugal.

Experience the Comforts of Cruising — The Holland America Line experience involves award-winning service, five-star cuisine, spacious accommodations and extensive shore and ship activities and enrichment opportunities to suit the taste of every traveler.

The Grand Africa Voyage — Rates for the 73-day Grand Africa Voyage departing March 11, 2008 to the exotic ports of Africa start at $14,749 per person, double occupancy. This cruise also is offered in two segments: 33 days on the outbound from Fort Lauderdale to Cape Town disembarking April 13, or embarking in Cape Town that same day for the 40-day sail to Lisbon; with fares starting from $7,729.

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