The Essential Cape Verde & Bijagos - with National Geographic
* Subject to availability.
- A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: before your cruise, from Praia, Cidade Velha, the historic centre of Ribeira Grande (island of Santiago), Bijagos UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
- Discovering the Cape Verde archipelago and the cultural mix that exists there due to Portuguese, African and Mediterranean influences.
- The sugar cane plantations and savannah on Fogo, the volcano island.
- The beautiful fine-sand beaches on Boa Vista.
- The diversity of the fauna in the Bijagos.
- Visit of traditional villages and encounters with the Bidyogo people who have ancestral traditions.
- The mangrove swamp, covering more than a third of the emerged part of the Bissagos archipelago.
- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Guest(s) Lecturer(s)
- Important information
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
PraiaEmbarkation 25/03/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 25/03/2020 at 23H59 .
The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, is located on the southern tip of Santiago island. You can dally in the districts planted with Tamarind and Albizia trees. Above the harbour, the statue of Diogo Gomes pays homage to the man who discovered Cape Verde in 1460. A few streets away, in the old centre, the Ethnographic Museum presents the diversity of the archipelago’s cultural origins. Its historical building with transom windows is one of the city’s more unusual curiosities.
26 March 2020 – FogoArrival 26/03/2020. Departure 26/03/2020.
Lying west of Praia, the volcanic island of Fogo is Cape Verde's highest landmark. The foothills of Pico de Fogo are ideal for hiking, with an immense caldera surrounding the active crater. Trails start at the little town of Chã das Caldeiras and you can see recent lava flows and older ones sprouting with new growth. Along the rocky coastline you'll come across picturesque Mosteiros and the historic town of São Filipe, where elegant colonial houses overlook the Atlantic.
27 March 2020 – Boa VistaArrival 27/03/2020. Departure 27/03/2020.
The third largest island in the Cape Verde archipelago, Boa Vista offers visitors stunning white-sand beaches and emerald water. Dubbed “the sand dune island”, it is particularly well-known for its wild, desert landscapes that are windswept all year round. The sand dunes, oases and arid plains are generally explored aboard a 4WD vehicle to discover the lunar aspect of this small tract of land that is barely 30 kilometres in length. The ideal playground for surfers, Boa Vista is also popular with marine wildlife enthusiasts, as it offers excellent opportunities for snorkelling.
28 March 2020 – At seaArrival 28/03/2020. Departure 28/03/2020.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
29 March 2020 – Carache Island, BijagosArrival 29/03/2020. Departure 29/03/2020.
Throughout its unspoilt, wild landscapes, the Bissagos archipelago is an area of extraordinary biodiversity, remarkably well protected by local communities. This constellation of islands, bathed by the Atlantic, is home to extremely varied flora and fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you'll enjoy Caravela and Carache Islands wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.
30 March 2020▸31 March 2020 – Caravela Island, BijagosArrival 30/03/2020. Departure 31/03/2020.
Throughout its unspoilt, wild landscapes, the Bissagos archipelago is an area of extraordinary biodiversity, remarkably well protected by local communities. This constellation of islands, bathed by the Atlantic, is home to extremely varied flora and fauna. In the heart of luxuriant naturemeet its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.
DakarDisembarkation 01/04/2020 at 08H00 .
On the tip of the African continent, the buzzing capital of Senegal stretches along the narrow peninsula of Cape Verde. You may be overwhelmed by its sheer size, but Dakar will win you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene and rich natural surroundings. In the historic centre, you'll enjoy the pell-mell of colours and tasty delights in Kermel market. A visit to the island of Gorée is deeply moving; for several hundred years this island was the largest slave trading centre on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoilt nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands' national park will not disappoint.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
It is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advise relating to travel through these regions.
Guinea Bissau: visa delivered and charged onboard (85 € subject to change).
The yellow fever inoculation is mandatory for this cruise, bring along the original certificate. A copy of your certificate must be sent to PONANT at least 45 days prior to your cruise. However, it is recommended that you contact your health professional for any specific medical advice relating to travel through these regions.
Cabo Verde: Citizens of the European Union and United Kingdom must complete a pre-registration form by following the instructions detailed on www.ease.gov.cv. This formality is mandatory but free of charge and must be completed at least 7 days prior to your cruise. On the same platform you will have to pay the new airport security tax (3,400 Cape Verde Escudos/approximately 31 €). Passengers of other nationalities must proceed with the same formalities, however the pre-registration is not free of charge.
National Geographic Photographer
Award-winning photographer Tyrone Turner has produced stories for National Geographic magazine on a wide range of subjects, including New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and the Gulf Oil Spill; Brazil's maroon people, the quilombos; and energy efficiency and conservation. He has been named a Best of Photojournalism award-winner by the National Press Photographer’s Association and also earned recognition from the Pictures of the Year competition. Turner has joined National Geographic Expeditions for a number of years, including a trip along the Atlantic coast of South America, and lived in Recife and Salvador in northeastern Brazil for two years. Tyrone enjoys sharing his passion for photography and has also taught at National Geographic Photo Camps for youth from underserved regions of the United States and around the world.
Spoken Languages: English (Native); Portuguese (Conversational); Spanish (Conversational/Basic)
Photo credit: All rights reserved
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landings"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. In remote areas, please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
- Cotton comfortable and light-weight shorts/bermuda shorts
- Light weight long trousers
- Long-sleeved breathable SPF50+ shirts
- Cotton short sleeved T-shirt
- Aquatic UV long-sleeved T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming
- Closed, high-cut, slip-resistant water shoes
- Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
- Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap and veil to protect the neck
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Highly protective sunglasses.
- Sunscreen and after-sun with high SPF index & insect repellent
- Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
- Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
- Camelbak (backpack with water pockets)
- Walking poles (highly recommended).
During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.
Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT store:
- Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
- A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
- Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
- Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items