G Adventures has extended the itinerary for its 2014 voyage up the coast of West Africa onboard its expedition vessel MS Expedition. Passengers will now journey for 32 days to 16 ports in 14 countries, including the new ports of Dakhla in Western Sahara, Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands and Agadir (for Marrakech) in Morocco.
The West Africa itinerary operated for the first time in April this year and its success has led to G Adventures extending the trip and selling it as a single adventure cruising itinerary, whereas previously it had been broken in two sectors.
Rich Heller, marine product manager, G Adventures, says the trip is rich in local cultural experiences and onboard activities that link back to the destinations visited.
“We spend our days visiting local communities, villages and markets, engaging with locals and children as they go about their day-to-days lives. Then back on the ship we have historians, a wine sommelier, natural history experts and painters so the learning experience continues at sea.
“When you consider all that’s included, this trip is extraordinary value. We visit 14 countries and Western Sahara in 32 days, so it appeals to those interested in culture, anthropology and geography, and is also a great way for ‘country-counters’ to check off a few hard to-get-to places,” says Heller.
The 2014 West Africa Cruise visits South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Sao Tome & Principe, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Western Sahara, the Canary Islands and Morocco.
Highlights from last year’s itinerary include visiting some of the most remote communities in Africa in Benin, Togo, Angola and Sierra Leone. Travellers will see the famous coffin-makers of Ghana, as well as Elmira Castle and Cape Coast Castle, where they come face-to-face with the conditions slaves endured awaiting their fate.
While onboard guests also have the opportunity to support a Planeterra - G Adventures’ non-profit organisation - project, a maternal and infant health programme in Sierra Leone.
This year’s MS Expedition passengers raised more than $6,000 to provide 150 new mothers with birthing kits. After years of civil war the country is showing signs of recovery, yet infant mortality rates are still high. Supplies and sanitation packs are needed for recovering mothers to reduce the risk of tetanus, diarrhoea, and fevers, which are the leading causes of death.
Since the beginning of this programme antenatal attendance has gone from 40% to 90% helping to significantly reduce mortality.