The Canary Islands
A very popular cruise destination and in fact it is possible to cruise solely to and around the Canary Islands, rather than them just featuring on a larger itinerary. Renowned for their stunning volcanic interiors, black sand beaches, colonial style architecture and your-round sunshine, it is easy to see why they are so popular. Tenerife is perhaps the most well known of the islands, with Gran Canaria and Lanzarote following close by. The natural attractions and wonderful climate draw visitors in their thousands and with many of the major cruise linea sailing straight from Southampton.
The largest of the Canary Islands, and without doubt, the most popular. This is in part due to one of the world’s most dramatic and varied landscapes, ranging from verdant valleys and lush plantations to glorious beaches, vast pinewoods and the volcanic `moonscape’ of Mount Teide National Park. Tenerife’s cruise port Santa Cruz has grown from a fishing village to a glorious city with classy restaurants and bars, varied shops, fine architecture and interesting museums.
The tranquil harbour, verdant palm groves and excellent climate of Gran Canaria’s lively capital Las Palmas delighted Christopher Columbus when he discovered it on his famous voyage of 1492, and now it's your to discover. Those same attractions now draw modern visitors, keen to explore the atmospheric cobbled streets and leafy courtyards of its old quarter, Vegueta.
Lanzarote’s sunny climate are a big hit with sunbathers and swimmers, who relish its volcanic red, black and white sand beaches. However, if you an tear yourself away from your sunbed, you should explore the island’s spectacular moon-like volcanic landscape, best seen from the Fire Mountain in the Timanfaya National Park and famous for the fantastical shapes created by solidified volcanic lava.
One of the least known and least developed of the Canary Islands, La Gomera's capital city, San Sebastian is a lively town with some excellent festivals throughout the year, from the Fiesta de San Sebastian in January to Fiestas Columbinas which lasts over a week during September. The island has strong links to Christopher Columbus as legend has it that he stopped here en route to the New World.
Cape Verde Islands
Located further away from mainland Africa than the Canary Islands, the Portuguese ruled Cape Verde islands contain a remarkable profusion of landscapes, yet remain almost unknown to all but the adventurous traveller. Cool currents keep the islands cooler than the mainland countries, and the population reflects its Portuguese and African heritage. Made up of 10 exotic isles, they are reminiscent of the Canary Islands 30 years ago! Each island is dramatically different from the rest, from white sand beaches to tropical greenery to lunar landscapes with stunning volcanoes.
Mindelo, Sao Vicente
An old Portugese port, Mindelo, on Sao Vicente island, is fringed by arid mountains and a deep-water port that has long been a stopping-off point for transatlantic ships. The former Capitania is a replica of Lisbon’s Tower of Belem that has now been restored as a museum. There are some fine wide esplanades around the harbour and a stroll through the town is a great way to find interesting little cafes and tiny shops.
The historic capital of the Cape Verde Islands, Praia was visited by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage on board the HMS Beagle and it is sadi that in Praia he experienced his first ever banana. Full of colonial buildings and museums, highlights include the 19th century Presidential Palace and the Igreja Nossa Senhora da Graca church.
THE CANARY ISLANDS
with MSC Cruises on MSC Musica departing 29th Nov 2016
with MSC Cruises on MSC Musica departing 25th Oct 2016
with Norwegian Cruise Line on Norwegian Spirit departing 12th Mar 2017
with MSC Cruises on MSC Preziosa departing 13th Apr 2017
with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on MS Marco Polo departing 12th Oct 2017
with MSC Cruises on MSC Musica departing 24th Oct 2016
with MSC Cruises on MSC Musica departing 3rd Oct 2016
with MSC Cruises on MSC Musica departing 2nd Oct 2016
with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on Columbus departing 14th Oct 2017
with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on Columbus departing 11th Aug 2017
with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on MS Marco Polo departing 17th Oct 2016
with Norwegian Cruise Line on Norwegian Spirit departing 27th Dec 2016
with Cunard on Queen Elizabeth departing 25th Oct 2017
with Cunard on Queen Elizabeth departing 11th Dec 2017
with Cruise & Maritime Voyages on Magellan departing 14th Oct 2016
with Cunard on Queen Elizabeth departing 16th Nov 2017