Gross Tonnage: 10,700
Length: 337 feet
Breadth: 75 feet
Draft: 18 feet
Cruising Speed: 15.5 knots
Inaugural: July, 2022
Africa West Coast
Deluxe Gay Group Cruise 2024 From Angola To Ghana
14 nights from Luanda, Angola to Accra, Ghana
April 03 17, 2024
Swan Hellenic Cruises SH Vega
This deluxe gay group voyage to the mid-Atlantic region of Africa is an extraordinary opportunity to explore a part of the world largely untouched by tourism. Although the stretch of coastline between Angola and Ghana is less visited than the neighboring African shores, it is no less fascinating—encompassing an astonishingly rich variety of wildlife in an environment of lush rainforests, and a history both proud and tragic.
Cross the equator from the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern on our 15-day West Coast of Africa - Angola to Ghana cruise, and you will realise the diversity of this vast continent. Leaving from the Southern African country of Angola, we cruise up the Atlantic coast via the Central African countries of Congo and Sao Tome to West Africa’s Benin and Togo, finally arriving on the Gold Coast in Ghana.
Your journey starts by experiencing a pristine, biodiverse shoreline that harbours volcanic islands, mangrove forests, rainforests, beaches and lagoons, where elephants, lowland gorillas, leopards, hippos and chimpanzees live. In West Africa, we meet the people and dive deeper into cultures where voodoo is a state religion. Your incredible adventure on our boutique expedition ship ends in Ghana, where you will have encountered unique customs and landscapes in some of the least-visited parts of Africa.
Discover the colonial architecture in Luanda, Sao Tome, and Porto-Novo juxtaposed to the simple houses of the traditional villages along the banks of the Ogooue River in Gabon and on the shores of Lake Togo. Compare and contrast the hustle and bustle of great oil-exporting ports with the pace of life on display in the markets with carefully handcrafted goods for sale. Delve into the unspoiled tropical paradise of Bom Bom Island. The rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna is apparent everywhere, birds in particular abound in and around these lakes and rivers.
Africa West Coast Gay Cruise Highlights
• Sample traditional cuisine and get to know the Congolese locals at Grand Marché market
• Learn about conservation efforts in Congo’s biodiverse Conkouati Reserve
• Keep an eye out for forest elephants and buffalos, lowland gorillas and chimpanzees in Gabon’s South Loango National Park
• Sneak a peek at animal skins, skulls and talismans in the world’s oldest voodoo market
Your Ship - Swan Hellenic Cruises Brand New SH Vega
Welcome To SH Vega, Your New Home Away From Home. Making her maiden voyage in July 2022, our 5 star elegant Scandi-design boutique ship offers you an intimate setting from which you will be fully immersed in all the sights and scenery of your voyage. For now, sit back, relax and take a moment to get to know your expedition ship.
Our brand new ship, named after the first ship to cross the Arctic Northeast Passage, has been designed to journey to off the beaten path destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort.
We know how important outdoor space is, so our spacious, relaxing public spaces provide wide open, unobstructed views throughout the ship. The destination will always be in view.
The safety & happiness of our guests is paramount to our 120-strong crew on board as well as our passionate expedition team who'll be serving up thrilling shore excursions and lasting memories.
The Observation Lounge
After a day of exploration, where better to relax than in the Observation Lounge. Sit back, savour your favourite tipple whilst getting to know your fellow guests.
Alfresco Dining & Heated Outdoor Pool
On Deck 7 you'll find a heated outside pool along with pool side seating from where you can enjoy stunning scenery.
The Swan Restaurant
As the main venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner, our 152-seat restaurant serves international and local cuisine focussed on quality regional ingredients from the unique destinations we visit.
Sauna With A View
Head to Deck 8 for the best views in the world. After a work out in our state-of-the-art gym, relax in our sauna or Jacuzzi and take in those breathtaking vistas along the way.
The Club Lounge
Vibrant and welcoming, The Club Lounge acts as a hub, combining 24 hours tapas inspired dining with panoramic views of the ocean glittering below.
• One night accommodation at a deluxe hotel in Luanda, Angola
• Cruise aboard Swan Hellenic’s Vega, as described in the itinerary
• Sightseeing excursions and entry fees, as stated in the itinerary
• Complete program of shore landings and activities ashore
• 41 Meals (three meals a day onboard Vega, dinner on arrival day, breakfast on departure day)
• Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard the ship hosted by the captain
• Open bar with select alcoholic beverages
• Coffee, including espresso and cappuccino, tea and soft drinks throughout the day and night
• 24-hour room service
• Private transportation and English-speaking local guide throughout the tour
• Airport/hotel/pier transfers and handling of luggage
• Presentations and discussions with guest lecturer Ambassador Robert E. Gribbin
• Lectures from our onboard team of experts
• Gratuities to the ship’s crew, guides, porters and drivers
• Basic Wi-Fi aboard the ship
• Gay Group Representative, with minimum participation
• Pre-departure assistance and Information Portfolio
What's Not Included
• International airfare and baggage fees
• Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance (highly recommended)
• Passport and visa fees; several visas are required for this tour
• Early or late arrival/departure surcharge or early check-in / late check-out
• Personal accommodations, meals, transfers, drinks, telephone, gifts, and expenses not outlined in the itinerary
• Any optional sightseeing excursions or additional visits not outlined in the itinerary
• Gratuity for Gay Group Manager
Africa West Coast
Deluxe Gay Group Cruise 2024
| 03 Apr
| 04 Apr
| 05 Apr
|A Day at Sea!
| 06 Apr
| 07 Apr
|Conkouati Reserve, Congo
| 08 Apr
|Conkouati Reserve, Congo
| 09 Apr
|South Loango National Park, Gabon
| 10 Apr
|South Loango National Park, Gabon
| 11 Apr
|A Day at Sea!
| 12 Apr
|Sao Tome Island, Sao Tome and Principe
| 13 Apr
|Bom Bom Island, Sao Tome and Principe
| 14 Apr
|A Day at Sea!
| 15 Apr
| 16 Apr
| 17 Apr
Days 1 & 2 - Luanda, Angola
Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for check-in and gather for a welcome dinner to meet fellow travelers.
After breakfast, benefit from the insights of a local guide with a tour of Angola's capital. As Angola emerges from years of colonial rule and a long Civil War, its capital Luanda is fast becoming a forward-looking city with a rich heritage. Delve into its colonial past at the Old City’s Portuguese-style buildings and the 16th-century Fortress of São Miguel. Museums across the city offer a glimpse of local culture through their exhibits on traditional art, hunting equipment, and masks. At Ilha do Cabo, chic seaside steak restaurants and bars showcase a modern side of the city. We will embark the Vega in late afternoon and set sail.
Day 3 - A Day at Sea!
Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.
Day 4 - Pointe-Noire, Congo
The Republic of Congo’s second city offers up a slice of French Africa with two distinct quarters – European and African. Explore lively La Cité on foot, sampling traditional cuisine and stopping in at the vibrant Grand Marché for a glimpse of local life. Relax at a waterfront restaurant at Côté Sauvage – a laid-back city beach. Just outside the city, the Diosso Gorge offers tropical rainforest and sweeping views of red canyons.
Days 5 & 6 - Conkouati Reserve, Congo
The vast and varied terrain, where the forest meets the sea, of this biodiverse national park offers safe haven to free-roaming elephants, lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. In this untouched coastal forest, where beaches give way to mangroves and grasslands, canoes glide silently down rivers, allowing close up views of the jungle. Spend the day learning about the Republic of Congo’s incredible natural history and conservation efforts in the heart of one of its most protected areas.
Days 7 & 8 - South Loango National Park, Gabon
Discover an untamed wilderness in Equatorial Africa - a place where forest and coast collide, offering a home to lowland gorillas and hippos, elephants and leopards. The landscape changes dramatically from mangrove forest to savannah grassland to shimmering lagoons – each providing habitat to terrestrial and avian species. When migratory whales and dolphins arrive, the waters of the Atlantic churn with marine activity. Welcome to the wild west coast of Gabon – there’s a reason it’s called ‘Africa’s last Eden’.
Day 9 - A Day at Sea!
Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.
Day 10 - Sao Tome Island, Sao Tome and Principe
Today you arrive at a tropical idyll with lush rainforests, beaches and waterfalls. São Tomé island is the largest in a collection of far-flung volcanic isles that straddle the equator in the Gulf of Guinea. São Tomé Peak rises to 2,024 m, and on its slopes you may also spot some of the island’s bird species such as the ibis and grosbeak. The capital city of São Tomé has 15th-century Portuguese architecture and a long colonial history.
Day 11 - Bom Bom Island, Sao Tome and Principe
The island nation of São Tomé and Principe was uninhabited until Portuguese explorers came upon it in the 1400s. Bom Bom Island – a tiny speck just off Principe – still remains sparsely populated. Discover the island’s natural bounty and rich biodiversity through fun outdoor activities. Nature trails wind through the dense forests that carpet the isle’s hills, and fantastic swims await in calm waters off pristine beaches.
Day 12 - A Day at Sea!
Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.
Day 13 - Cotonou, Benin
Benin’s vibrant port city is defined by its colonial legacy and voodoo (the state religion). As a former French colony, Cotonou retains a certain European flair in its cuisine and architecture. For an insight into local culture, there’s no better place than the sprawling Dantokpa market, filled with local crafts and an entire section devoted to sacred voodoo items. Along the lakeshore, visit Ganvie, a lake village with bamboo houses and the world’s only town on stilts, where residents get around in canoes.
Day 14 - Lome, Togo
Voodoo traditions, colonial history and beautiful beaches: Togo’s capital city offers plenty of history, culture, and outdoor fun. Learn about the country’s heritage at the National Museum, housing artefacts like pottery, masks, and Togolese art. Akodessewa Fetish Market, selling animal skins and voodoo talismans, offers a fascinating insight into the region’s traditional customs. Trace the country’s colonial past at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, built by the Germans, and the Independence Monument, a symbol of the country’s freedom gained in 1960.
Day 15 - Accra, Ghana
Ghana’s fast-paced capital city is culturally rich, modern, and historic all at once. European-built forts and Independence Square’s public monuments offer a glimpse at the city’s past. To feel the pulse of Accra, head to the neighbourhood of Jamestown – a 17th-century fishing community – with old colonial buildings, plus a diverse art and food scene. While you’re here, sample some local bites like waakye – rice and beans with sides – at a low-key ‘chop bar’.