Cruising Africa – Not just about pirates.

A cruise is an ideal way to get acquainted with the vast and diverse continent of Africa. As the ship moves you effortlessly between ports, you’ll learn about some of Africa’s cultures while enjoying all of the comforts found on board.

Africa has long coasts along the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean to the east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It would take a very long cruise to travel all of those coastlines, but even a brief cruise can give you a taste of the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa. The continent’s exotic ports include Tunis, Tunisia; Alexandria, Egypt; Cape Town, South Africa; and Walvis Bay, Namibia.

In Tunis, old and new mix freely, as do Arab and Western influences. You can see a souk (an outdoor market) and a modern shopping mall; men in traditional red skull caps and men in European suits; and street signs in both Arabic and English. The city’s architecture is also a fascinating mix, reflecting the country’s past occupations by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, Spanish and French.

Alexandria, known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean,” is an ancient city, though few ancient structures have survived to the present day. There is Pompey’s Pillar, a red granite column that dates from 293 A.D., as well as Roman-era ruins now being excavated. Excursions from Alexandria include El Alamein, site of one of the most decisive battles of World War II, and the Great Pyramids of Giza, about three hours away.

Table Mountain presides over the city of Cape Town, nestled in a gorgeous natural setting on the shore of Table Bay. A drive or hike up Signal Hill provides beautiful views. Be sure to see the charming Bo-Kaap neighborhood, the historical center of Cape Malay culture. Then, browse the shops at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, built on top of the docks at the Port of Cape Town. The nearby Cape Winelands offer opportunities to combine wine tasting and sightseeing.

Walvis Bay, Namibia, is a former whaling station; the nutrient-rich waters around the bay attract whales, as well as flamingos and other exotic birds. Walvis Bay is a home base for travelers who want to see the imposing dunes of the Namib Desert or the welwitschia, a strange plant that can live more than a thousand years in the moist ocean air of Namib Naukluft National Park. The town itself offers a museum, library and government chambers decorated with massive teak carvings.

  Much more awaits those who cruise Africa – to learn more, talk with your personal cruise expert.

Find out more about Afirca here.

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