Travelers will have the opportunity to cruise around the entire continent of Africa on a roundtrip journey from the United States in 2020, thanks to Holland America Line’s 2020 Grand Africa Voyage. The spectacular 79-day cruise encompassing 30 ports is now open for reservations and can be booked with the Grand Voyage experts at Cruise Specialists. Clients of Cruise Specialists will be part of a hosted group program which includes special benefits and amenities that are explained further below.
The cruise departs Boston on October 3, 2020. From Boston, the gracious 1,380-passenger flagship Amsterdam calls on Newport, Rhode Island and New York City before a port call in Ft. Lauderdale on October 8, 2020. Travelers may also board in Ft. Lauderdale, making for a 74-day cruise. The ship returns to the United States via Ft. Lauderdale on December 21, 2020.
Cruising east from Florida, passengers will have seven days to further settle in and acquaint themselves with their home away from home before the ship calls on Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Next up: Arrecife, Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands. The African adventure then truly begins when passengers step ashore in their first African port, Agadir, Morocco – followed by legendary Casablanca, Morocco. Cruising further east through the Mediterranean, the Amsterdam will call on La Goulette (Tunis & Carthage, Tunisia) and Valletta, Malta, before transiting the Suez Canal and bringing guests to Al’Aqabah, Jordan, which is the port of call for the ancient city of Petra. Here, passengers will have two full days and an overnight, perfect for an optional tour to the world wonder with its dramatic Siq (narrow gorge) and soaring Treasury building carved from dazzling red rock.
Heading south from Jordan, the Amsterdam curves around the Arabian peninsula to Muscat, Oman. Cruise Specialists clients have praised this cosmopolitan city for its magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and bustling Muttrah Souk (market).
The next port of call: Victoria, on the Seychelles’ island of Mahé. Barely south of the equator, the Seychelles feature crystal clear water, ideal for diving and relaxing on the beach. Guests have a full day to soak up this jewel of the Indian Ocean and its important nature reserves.
The Amsterdam then returns to the coast of Africa for an overnight in Mombasa, Kenya, where passengers may opt for a spectacular game drive or safari. There is then a series of port calls to:
- Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Mamoudzou, Île de Mayotte, Comoros
- Andoany (Hell-Ville), Nosy-Be, Madagascar
Additional safari options will be available from Maputo, Mozambique (gateway to Kruger National Park) and from Richards Bay, South Africa.
One of the major highlights of the 2020 Grand Africa Voyage will occur when the ship arrives in Cape Town on November 24, where it will stay for an overnight and two full days, making it possible for deeper exploration of South Africa. Cape Town is consistently a favorite Grand Voyage destination among Cruise Specialists clients. Dramatic Table Mountain serves as a beautiful backdrop for photos from the harbor as well as a jumping off point for adventures such as hiking through Table Mountain National Park, scenic drives or a visit to the city’s botanical gardens. Shore tours of nearby wineries and game drives will be available.
From there, the Amsterdam goes to a mix of ports along the west coast of Africa, some of which are rarely visited by cruise ships – providing a unique opportunity for 2020 Grand Voyage guests:
- Lüderitz, Namibia
- Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Luanda, Angola
- Takoradi, Ghana
- Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
- Banjul, The Gambia
- Dakar, Senegal
After the Amsterdam pushes off from her final mainland African port of call in Dakar, she’ll stop for a day in Mindelo, a port city on the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde. São Vicente is a small, dry and mountainous island with a strong Portuguese influence. Cruisers will then enjoy a five-day westbound Transatlantic crossing to San Juan, Puerto Rico, before returning to Ft. Lauderdale.
What Else Makes a Grand Voyage Special?
In addition to the incredible array of ports on this cruise, a Grand Voyage is an altogether indulgent experience. Grand Voyage menus boast an exquisite variety of regional cuisines, local ingredients and fine wines that reflect the ports of call being visited. Many crew members are Grand Voyage veterans, the best in their field. With the length of a Grand Voyage, the crew’s warmly attentive service often creates a special bond with guests. The crew is also eager to share personal insights into the destinations. Enrichment activities are further enhanced on a Grand Voyage. Practice yoga, learn to cook a regional specialty or try your hand at watercolors. Attend onboard lectures to deepen your appreciation of the places being visited. Passengers enjoy special pillow gifts, an elegant Captain’s Grand Voyage Dinner and more special treats along the way.
Exclusively for Cruise Specialists Guests
Longtime voyage host Tom Mullen will escort Cruise Specialists guests on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Tom has hosted cruises for Cruise Specialists for more than 20 years and has been on dozens of World Cruises and Grand Voyages. Tom has a close relationship with the Amsterdam staff, and this is often reflected in a feeling of belonging that Cruise Specialists guests enjoy while on this ship. Tom will escort private shore excursions for Cruise Specialists (excursions yet to be announced), host private onboard events and be easily accessible to offer tips on his favorite places to eat in port or to share a spot of tea on deck.
Entrust Your Grand Voyage to Cruise Specialists
At Cruise Specialists, we have 30-plus years of history rooted in selling Holland America Line Grand Voyages. Our Cruise Consultants specialize in this niche and can often anticipate the questions you may have about Grand Voyages before you even ask. Our services are complimentary, and you’ll receive the one-on-one attention you deserve when booking a cruise of this magnitude.