This was our first Captains Choice and was really delighted with every aspect.
J & S Sutcliffe, Natural Wonders of Alaska
Please note: on this expedition cruise, all landings will require guests to board the ship’s Zodiacs, subject to weather conditions. Due to the spontaneous nature of a Silversea Expeditions cruise with Captain’s Choice, this itinerary should be considered a guide only. This tour requires a moderate degree of physical fitness.
Surroundings don’t get much stranger than along the Skeleton Coast and on the remote islands of the Atlantic.
We depart Australia aboard an Emirates flight via Dubai to Cape Town.
Under the watchful gaze of Table Mountain, the Cape Grace Hotel welcomes us with open arms for two nights. The cool breeze rolls in from the Atlantic at the city’s landmark property on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
We come together this evening at our hotel’s Signal Restaurant, where seasonal creations celebrate the rich culture of Cape Town.
As the sun rises to a new day in Cape Town we enjoy a gentle trip up Table Mountain. The city’s iconic flat-top peak presents stunning vistas of city and sea. Below, we can see Robben Island on the horizon.
After descending back to the fertile hills below, enjoy a free afternoon along the bustling Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Or, join today’s Your World experience.
Tonight’s dinner takes place amid the hallowed vines of the Constantia Valley - the birthplace of South African viticulture. With a total of just 11 lush vineyards, the country’s oldest wine region is also the smallest. A perfect example of quality over quantity. Here, the Mediterranean climate and cool sea breezes are ideal for whites like sauvignon blanc and sweeter varieties such as muscat.
We hear tales of exile and learn about the imprisonment of Nobel laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela as we explore Robben Island. An insightful yet sobering tour reveals life on the infamous prison island.
Our journey along the fabled west coast of Africa takes place aboard Silver Cloud. We step aboard this afternoon and enjoy the sunset with a drink in hand.
The day is yours to relax. Yield to the leisurely pace of life as our ship edges north.
Tonight we meet our Captain, his senior officers and dutiful crew, during a Welcome Reception.
We make landfall in Namibia amongst the German art nouveau buildings of Luderitz. Wedged between the South Atlantic and the desolate Namib Desert, it all seems
a little out of place.
In 1908, while toiling away in the hopelessly bleak landscape, German railway worker Zacharias Lewala chanced upon an unusual looking rock sitting atop the desert sand. Within weeks, hundreds had flocked to this inhospitable region, where it is said precious diamonds could be found glistening in the moonlight. A haunting relic of this diamond mining boom, the ghost town of Kolmanskop beckons us inland. Devoured by unrelenting sands, it’s hard to imagine this once prosperous town with a glitzy casino and a pool.
Before heading back to our ship, we stop to enjoy an oyster tasting and a glass of sparkling wine.
Head for the town of Swakopmund and spend the day at leisure admiring the German colonial architecture. Or gain a unique perspective of Sossusvlei and its wandering red dunes on today’s Your World experience.
Today begins with a cruise on Walvis Bay. Seeking out a sheltered lagoon, well-known only by local fishermen, we cast off. Flamingos and pelicans compete for our attention. Heavinside’s and bottlenose dolphins follow in our wake. As we enjoy a feast of fresh local oysters and sparkling wine, we look for inquisitive leatherback turtles and shimmering sunfish.
Head to the observation deck with the onboard ornithologist and a pair of binoculars as we sail further north along the African coast. Spotting splendid sea birds as they glide on the ocean breeze becomes the highlight of a gentle day at sea.
From the sheltered harbour on the edge of the Namib Desert, we set out to discover the ‘Lost Oasis’. Sandstone formations sculpted by nature’s hand mark a freshwater haven known as the Arch Lagoon. In the rainy season it becomes a mecca for birdlife. A cacophony of sound and colour.
In the afternoon we have time to see the baroque architecture of Namibe’s old city. Its old stadium and churches stand as remnants of its early Portuguese past.
Out of Lobito we drive along the coast to Benguela. Today we explore this colourful maritime city, discerning the importance the now-abandoned fort of Sao Filipe played in the Portuguese expansion into sub-Saharan Africa. Visit the Nossa Senhora do Populo church and take a stroll to the heart of Benguela City. A certain nostalgia is evoked as we wander through the exquisitely manicured colonial gardens surrounding the courthouse and town hall.
On our way back to the ship, we stop to appreciate the unassuming rail bridge spanning the Catumbela River. Our guide divulges a link to none other than the company that built the Eiffel Tower. We pause to ponder how alien this land and its culture must have appeared to the Parisian engineers working here over a century ago.
Welcome to the world’s third-largest Portuguese speaking city, Luanda. First colonised in 1575 this vibrant settlement has since grown into a bustling metropolis of four million residents.
Here, we visit the fortress of San Miguel which played a pivotal role in the administration of the Portuguese African colonies and slave trade to Brazil.
It takes us three days to reach one of the planet’s truly remote locations. Although rarely visited, the island of St Helena boasts a rich and complex history. We sail some 1,000 nautical miles away from the west African coast into the South Atlantic Ocean, bound for this tiny speck of land. One of the only other ways in which to reach St Helena is aboard the RMS Saint Helena, a run-down Royal Mail ship. The voyage, however, is much slower than our own - around five-and-a-half days.
The second-oldest British overseas territory - which sits between South America and Africa - is a volcanic island of unimaginable beauty, completely unspoiled. The remoteness of St Helena led the British to choose the island as the place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte after he escaped his first penitentiary on the Mediterranean island of Elba. We visit the windswept property of Longwood House, Napoleon’s home on St Helena until his death in 1821.
We also have the choice between two Your World experiences during our time here.
Over the next two days we sail towards the only island that rivals St Helena in its remoteness, Ascension. Very few ships transit these waters, so we consider ourselves fortunate to get the chance.
Adventure on a tiny volcanic outcrop stranded in the middle of the Atlantic. We arrive today at Ascension Island, home to 900 brave souls. The majority of the island’s population reside in Georgetown, and this is where our ship docks for the day.
It’s a rare experience to explore this unique locale on our own schedule. Wander through the town or head out along one of the scenic walking tracks. Green Mountain rises to 860 metres in the centre of the island. Majestic seabirds, seals, land crabs, and nesting green and hawksbill turtles can be seen along the shoreline ringed by black lava flows.
We sail north towards Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. A little over 1,000 nautical miles separates Ascension from the economic capital of the Ivory Coast, Abidjan.
Lodged between lagoons, waterways and unforgiving Atlantic swells, the surprisingly cosmopolitan city of Abidjan awaits. Stepping ashore we are greeted by the chief of the local Ebrie community and are treated to a Zaouli traditional dance. Our newfound friends disclose how the local delicacy Attieke is made from the ubiquitous legume, cassava.
Later we visit the World Heritage-listed French colonial city of Grand-Bassam for a sumptuous feast by the sea. There’s also time to peruse the market for souvenirs.
Today we arrive at Takoradi on Ghana’s Gold Coast where you can pick from two Your World experiences.
Disembark Silver Cloud in Tema and drive through Ghana’s capital, Accra. See the country’s oldest university and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, dedicated to Ghana’s first president.
After lunch, we transfer to Accra’s Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, our home for the night. At tonight’s Farewell Dinner, it’s a joy to reminisce with fellow travellers over our holiday highlights.
After a free morning, we depart Accra on an Emirates flight homeward bound this afternoon. Travel via Dubai on our way to Australia.
Upon landing this morning, goodbyes are said and home awaits. We hope to see you again on your next Captain’s Choice adventure.
Reaching the world’s frontiers is no easy feat. And let’s face it, adventure and roughing it is so last century. That’s why all the legwork has been done for you; everything mundane sits behind the scenes. We’ve searched the seven seas for the finest expedition ships to usher you to the edges of the planet, where you’ll never have to carry a map. Or your luggage. You’ll certainly never have to find small change for tips.
Large picture windows frame panoramic views, the perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed. Vista Suites feature a sitting area and a marbled bathroom with a shower (some with bath/shower combination).
Fares are based on a Vista Suite aboard Silver Cloud. Per Person, Twin Share.
Fares include Emirates flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Prices from other cities available on request.
Land Only Guests join the tour in Cape Town for dinner on Day 2 and depart Accra after breakfast on Day 26.
Suite Upgrades add per person, twin share
Veranda Suite $3,500
Deluxe Veranda Suite $4,400
Solo Suite Supplements add per person
Vista Suite $11,170
Veranda Suite $20,400
Deluxe Veranda Suite $23,430
Includes supplements for single hotel rooms. Solo suites at above prices are limited. Contact our Tour Sales Consultants for details on other suite upgrades.