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Hurtigruten Expeditions expands its horizons to West Africa

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Hurtigruten Expeditions is adding the West Coast of Africa and its archipelagos — the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde — to its growing list of new destinations.

The 13-day itinerary includes four countries: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, with Hurtigruten's Spitsbergen sailing from Dakar. The first African adventure will depart Nov. 27, 2022.

The line will also introduce a series of Canary Islands and Madeira itineraries for the 2022/23 season.

'2022 will be one of the most adventurous years for Hurtigruten Expeditions,' CEO Asta Lassesen said. 'We will start the year by launching our Galápagos operations in January, and at the end of the year, we will introduce our first African cruises.

' ... We know our guests want to explore many different parts of the globe, and our ambition is to offer the world’s most exciting destinations that can best be explored by our small ships,' she continued. 'With the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, we offer a truly unique and off-the-beaten-track destination that is perfect for an expedition adventure like no other.'

Bissagos Islands

The Bissagos Islands offer a combination of distinctive wildlife and diverse landscapes as passengers spend four days exploring the 88-island archipelago that is home to hippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees and 500 species of birds.

Cape Verde

Passengers will also spend four days exploring Cape Verde. The 10 rugged volcanic islands that make up the country present a blend of African and Portuguese influences. Besides colonial churches, mansions and old forts, the islands are a birdwatcher’s haven with many migratory and endemic species. Other wildlife includes whales, dolphins and sea turtles.

The Gambia

The itinerary also includes a day in Banjul, capital of The Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa.

Exploring Dakar

All cruises from Dakar include land-based adventures as part of the itinerary. Before departure, passengers will explore the island of Gorée, where they will experience the colorful colonial houses, baobabs and palm trees and learn about the dark history of this former slave island. A city tour of Dakar is included on disembarkation day.

Carrying fewer than 200 passengers, Spitsbergen features a Science Center with a program offering citizen science research projects.

The Africa cruises will depart Dakar on Nov. 27, Dec. 9 and Dec. 21, 2022, and Jan. 2 and Jan. 14, 2023.

A new twist on the Canary Islands and Madeira

While the Canary Islands and Madeira are known tourist destinations among European travelers, Hurtigruten said its cruises will show a different side of these islands, focused on hiking, national parks and cultural walking tours. Wildlife includes whales, dolphins and birds.

Madeira is also home to endemic and invasive plant species, with one optional excursion allowing passengers to identify and remove invasive species with a local naturalist. The five 10-days sailings to the Canary Islands and Madeira operate in November 2022 and January through March 2023.

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