Considering its proximity to Europe, Africa is a vastly unexplored area in terms of tourism. From the bustling cities that sit on the southern Mediterranean to the mysterious south, there is a hugely diverse continent that sits within a relatively short distance of mainland UK.
For those seeking a spirit of adventure and the opportunity to see something truly special, a trip to Africa should certainly not be discounted.
But, what kind of Africa cruises are available? From epic circumnavigations to historic voyages onboard Royal Mail ships – we’ve done our best to help you out by picking some of our favourite cruises below.
You might be surprised at what you find.
Cruise on a Royal Mail Ship
For years the remote island of St Helena has been served by a Royal Mail Ship – one of only two working mail vessels in the world.
Passengers board in Cape Town and experience slow travel at its best with five relaxing days at sea before reaching the island – which lies 1,500 miles away from the city.
Once there, passengers can enjoy everything the island – which was made famous by being the place of Napoleon’s exile – has to offer, including the Georgian architecture, deep forests and a very British way of life!
Unfortunately (for cruisers) the island recently announced that it was going to be building an airport – due for completion in 2016 – which will mean the end of the Royal Mail Ship.
So time is ticking to enjoy this great experience!
Prices from £2,448 per person
83-night Africa circumnavigation
Carnival Corporation subsidiary Holland America is running an unbelievable itinerary which will see guests visit over 40 ports and transit through the Suez Canal.
The 83-night Africa Explorer starts in Southampton and heads south through Europe and on to Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Dubai before reaching the Seychelles and Reunion before arriving in Durban.
From South Africa the ship will sail up Africa’s West Coast calling at countries including Namibia, Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Cape Verde and Morocco before coming back up through Europe and finishing at Southampton.
Prices from £7,648 per person
32-night Cape Town to Marrakech
Adventure holiday firm G Adventures is offering an expedition onboard the aptly named MS Expedition which takes in the entire breadth of West Africa’s coast.
Across the 32-nights, passengers will call at Angola, Congo, Sao Tome, Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone and a whole host of other destinations – eventually finishing up in Morocco.
The cruise is perfect for curious travellers and those wanting to see as much of the world as they can – with the expedition staff including naturalists, historians, anthropologists and ornithologists.
Prices from £8,559 per person
13-day Kenya to South Africa
One of the few itineraries we could find that is purely based on the East Coast of Africa.
Ultra luxury cruise line will sail from Mombasa in Kenya down to Cape Town in South Africa in 2015 – taking in Tanzania, Mayotte and Madagascar.
This is a great opportunity to see a side of the world that isn’t often visited by cruise lines which don’t want the dangers involved with sailing close to countries like Somalia.
However, it offers ample reward for those who do take the journey.
Prices from £4,850
3-night on Chobe River in Botswana
Sail along the Chobe River in the picturesque Zambezi Queen and take in the ultimate luxury while travelling through the stunning African landscape.
The natural wonders of Africa are virtually untouched and the area surrounding the Chobe River is no exception. The waters split Botswana with neighbouring Namibia and is the source of life to a huge amount of wildlife, which makes this short cruise an absolutely unforgettable experience.
Prices from £6,247 per person for the Stars of South Africa land-cruise package