Grand Africa & India

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83 days | Departs 3 Jan 2020 –
Join us on an epic cruise of a lifetime to 31 ports in Africa & India, now available to you at the most affordable fare ever! Also includes return flights & 2 nights in London.

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Highlights

You’re invited to experience this incredible voyage to India & Africa. Sail aboard the Marco Polo, a ‘child-free’ ocean liner that accommodates just 800 guests in a warm friendly atmosphere.

This amazing expedition will take you from the UK to 31 exciting ports in search of African adventures. Enjoy 5 stops in South Africa with an option to tour the famous Garden Route, home of 125km of stunning coastal landscapes. Explore exotic Tanzania, Zanzibar & Mombasa, with an option to join an overnight trip to the Tsavo East National Park – the home of herds of dust-red elephants, rhino, lions & hippos.

Cross the Indian Ocean to the nature lovers paradise of the Seychelles, explore a land of tradition & beauty in India and sail to Jordan to visit Petra, a city dating back 6,000 years before Christ! See the Western Wall & King David’s tomb in Israel then relax on the sandy beaches of Spain before cruising back to the UK.

Inclusions
  • Return flights to & from London
  • 2 night stay in Central London
  • 78 night cruise aboard the Marco Polo
  • 82 breakfasts (B), 79 lunches (L) & 80 dinners (D)
Itinerary

Show / hide full Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Homeport (D)

Depart Australia on your flight tonight.

Day 2 – Arrive London (BL)

Welcome to London! You will be met on arrival at London Heathrow Airport and taken your your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the city.

❱ Hotel stay: London (2 nights)

Day 3 – London (B)

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore the city of London.

Day 4 – Board the Marco Polo (BD)

You will be transferred from your hotel in London to Bristol to board the Marco Polo. Setting sail at 3.00pm, you will enjoy a night at leisure onboard to enjoy a welcome dinner & entertainment.

❱ Ocean cruise: Marco Polo (78 nights)

Days 5 & 6 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 2 days at sea to to take advantage of the many activities available onboard the Marco Polo as you sail across from the UK to Portugal.

Day 7 – Lisbon, Portugal (BLD)

Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, is home to the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery, Belem Tower, 25th April Bridge and Monument of the Discoveries. Wander through the maze of narrow streets in the delightful Alfama district and ride one of the famous old trams.

Day 8 – At Sea (BLD)

Today is spent sailing across from Portugal to Morocco.

Day 9 – Casablanca, Morocco (BLD)

Located on the western coast of Africa, the cosmopolitan Casablanca is Morocco’s largest city with a thriving tourism trade. Blending the modern world with the ancient, Casablanca can be accurately described as a cultural melting pot with clear African, Arabic and European influences. The city’s many parks, fountains and recognisably Art Deco flourishes are all courtesy of the French Protectorate who made the city their administrative centre in the early part of the 20th Century. Highlights include the impressive Hassan Il Mosque, the ornate Mauresque architecture and gleaming white 1930’s buildings immortalised in the classic film starring Humphrey Bogart.

Days 10 to 12 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 3 days at sea as you cruise from Morocco to Cape Verde.

Day 13 – Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde (BLD)

Complete with cobblestone streets, candy-coloured colonial buildings and yachts bobbing in the peaceful harbour, Mindelo, which has long been the country’s cultural centre, is Cape Verde’s answer to the Riviera.

Days 14 to 18 – At Sea (BLD)

These 5 days are spent sailing around Africa, from Cape Verde to Jamestown.

Day 19 – Jamestown, St Helena (BLD)

This fascinating former 17th century British colony is accessible only by sea and is one of themost rugged and individual outposts on the world cruise scene. It is easy to explore the quaint capital, Jamestown, on foot, while optional tours can show you its extremes of countryside, from wind-eroded desert to mountainous cliffs.

Days 20 to 22 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy another 3 days at sea as you sail from Jamestown to Namibia.

Day 23 – Walvis Bay, Namibia (BLD)

Walvis Bay is the gateway to the spectacular lunar landscape of the Namibian desert and is also a birdwatchers paradise home to many colourful species of birds and literally thousands of flamingos. Once known as German South West Africa,Namibia reflects a wide range of influences during its earlier chequered history.

Day 24 – Luderitz, Namibia (BLD)

Lüderitz is still home to many bright and colourful buildings from its colonial past with many of the towns German influences still visible today. Named after Adolf Lüderitz who purchased the land in 1883, it experienced a boom in 1909 with the discovery of diamonds, in nearby Kolmanskop. Almost five million carats were found before the harsh landscape was abandoned leaving it a ghost town.

Day 25 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards South Africa.

Day 26 – Cape Town, South Africa (BLD)

The jewel of South Africa’s coastline, Cape Town is a city with the most recognisable profile.The backdrop of Table Mountain gives it its distinct and proud signature.With a day to explore,why not try the cable car trip up Table Mountain, go wine-tasting in nearby Paarl or Stellenbosch (world-class vintages guaranteed) or soak up some of the great botanical gardens.

Day 27 – Mossel Bay, South Africa (BLD)

The Garden Route in the Western Cape is one of South Africa’s most scenic attractions and is generally thought to stretch along the Indian Ocean from Mossel Bay to St Francis. Mossel Bay offers sandy beaches and whale watching.

Day 28 – Port Elizabeth, South Africa (BLD)

As South Africa’s sunniest and driest coastal city, Port Elizabeth on the sunshine coast is sure to give you a warm welcome. The marine wildlife is not to be missed with dolphins and whales taking advantage of the waters all year round. The No. 7 Castle Hill Museum offers visitors the chance to look back in history in the oldest surviving settler’s cottage in Port Elizabeth.

Day 29 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail around South Africa.

Day 30 – Durban, South Africa (BLD)

Europe meets Africa in South Africa’s prime resort of Durban, with all the benefits of being on the Indian Ocean. Spending the day on one of the beautiful beaches is a popular pastime, but there is also much of historical interest, plus some magnificent natural beauty within reach.If nothing else,stroll along the main promenade and stop for traditional afternoon tea at the Royal Hotel.

Day 31 – Richards Bay, South Africa (BLD)

Nestled into the Mhathuze river lagoon, Richard’s Bay is named after the British naval commander Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards who first landed troops on to the Zululand coast in 1879. The nature reserve which sits in the lagoon is home to numerous species of birds, with the rare pink-backed pelican making the odd appearance to visitors.

Days 32 to 34 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 3 days at sea as you sail towards Reunion Island.

Day 35 – Pointe del Galets, Reunion Island (BLD)

This French isle is another rocky volcano outcrop, with its own Volcano Museum dedicated to this aspect of island life. Again there are good beaches, but you can also study the highly individual Creole architecture, amazing botanical gardens and several wildlife parks. This is also dramatic mountain country, so come armed with plenty of film.

Day 36 – Port Louis, Mauritius (BLD)

Mauritius boasts some of the most eye-pleasing scenery in the Indian Ocean, as well as a wealth of fine beaches to ensure every trip ashore fully meets the‘island paradise’ description.

Days 37 & 38 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 2 days at sea as you sail towards the Comoros Islands.

Day 39 – Mamoudzou, Mayotte, Comoros Islands (BLD)

Mayotte is the smallest and most-southernly of the Comoros Islands, in the world’s largest lagoon, surrounded by a stunning coral reef, which boasts a large population of turtles and whales. Inland the lush landscape is home to mangrove forests, exotic greenery, lemurs and flying foxes, all worth keeping an eye out for.

Day 40 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards Zanzibar.

Day 41 – Zanzibar, Tanzania (BLD)

Stunning beaches, coral reefs and fragrant clove fields contrast with its labyrinth-like Old Town in picturesque Zanzibar. With its unique mix of British, Indian, Arabian and Portuguese influences, take a stroll through the old medieval quarter which is home to the famous Stone Town. Likewise, be sure to take in the Beit-el-Ajaib, House of Wonders, built by Sultan Barghash in 1883.

Days 42 & 43 – Mombasa, Kenya (BLD)

A true melting pot of history and culture, Mombasa is Kenya’s oldest city. Its deep natural harbour on the Indian Ocean makes it a key port for trade across Africa, Arabia, India and the Orient. Be sure to explore its many Hindu temples, stunning mosques and the imposing Fort Jesus built by the Portuguese in 1596 which guards the Old Port or take an optional tour to Tsavo East National Park for a safari tour.

Days 44 & 45 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 2 days at sea as you sail towards the Seychelles.

Day 46 – Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles (BLD)

A true tropical island paradise, Mahé is the perfect stop to unwind with its sandy beached bays enclosed by lush coconut and takamaka trees. For those looking to explore Victoria, Mahé’s capital and the smallest capital in the world, a visit to the botanical gardens is a must with its coco de mer palm trees which line the main entrance.

Day 47 – Praslin, Seychelles (BLD)

At just a little over 14 square miles in size, Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles and is the quintessential tropical island. Home to the UNESCO-protected Vallee de Mai palm trees, a visit to the Praslin National Park will delight you with vanilla orchids, the Seychelles Black Parrot, Blue Pigeon and the Bulbul.

Days 48 to 50 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 3 days at sea as you sail towards the Maldives.

Day 51 – Male, Maldives (BLD)

Spend a full day in the picture perfect Maldives.

Day 52 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards Sri Lanka.

Day 53 – Colombo, Sri Lanka (BLD)

Sri Lanka’s capital is a delightful concoction of past and present. Its busy, man-made harbour, from which tea, spices and rubber are exported, stands side-by-side with historical museums and monuments. Colombo offers an array of charms, from the Royal Botanical Gardens to the Pettah Bazaar.

Day 54 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards India.

Day 55 – Cochin, Optional overnight tour to the Taj Mahal (BLD)

Beautifully situated in Kerala, Cochin has been drawing traders and explorers to its shores for over 600 years. If you’re not tempted by an overland excursion to Delhi or Agra and the Taj Mahal, take in some of Cochin’s fascinating cultural legacy, which includes a synagogue, churches, mosques, temples and the crumbling remains of the British Raj. Don’t miss the Mattancherry Palace or a stroll along the lovely beach, scattered with unique Chinese fishing nets.

Day 56 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail around India.

Day 57 – Mormugao / Goa, India (BLD)

Spend a day in the beautiful region of Goa, India.

Day 58 – Mumbai, India (BLD)

Your first glimpse of Mumbai, a densely populated and intoxicating city, will be the iconic Gateway of India that sits on the waterfront. A trip to Elephanta Island visits the temple carved out of rock. Visit too, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus whose exterior is a jungle of stone. Be sure to experience the furious energy of Mumbai’s markets.

Days 59 to 61 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 3 days at sea as you sail towards Oman.

Day 62 – Salalah, Oman (BLD)

The second city of the Sultanate of Oman, after Muscat, Salalah is a place of antiquity with a heritage dating back to 100 B.C. and a number of natural attractions such as the nearby mountains, lush wadi areas and an attractive coastline with beautiful beaches. An abundance of Frankincense trees in the area give rise to the epithet ‘Perfume Capital of Arabia’.

Days 63 to 66 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 4 days at sea as you sail towards Egypt.

Day 67 – Safaga for Luxor, Egypt (BLD)

Reached across the Eastern Desert from Safaga, Luxor, in the celebrated Valley of the Kings, is often called the world’s greatest open-air museum. Nothing in the world compares to the scale and grandeur of the ancient monuments.

Day 68 – Aqaba for Petra, Jordan (BLD)

The port of Aqaba has been an important strategic and commercial centre since Roman times. It presents the opportunity to visit the lost city of Petra, which lies in the surrounding desert – a city that is estimated to date back to 6,000 B.C. – and Wadi Rum, where T.E. Lawrence found his destiny as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.

Day 69 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards the Suez Canal.

Day 70 – Transiting the Suez Canal (BLD)

Enjoy a day transiting through the Suez Canal.

Day 71 – Ashdod for Jerusalem, Israel (BLD)

The ancient port to Tel Aviv, Ashdod is the gateway to the sacred city of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world. There’s much to see and do – optional tours will give you a broad view but be sure to see the gold-plated Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and the City of David.

Days 72 & 73 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 2 days at sea as you sail towards Malta.

Day 74 – Valletta, Malta (BLD)

As the capital city of Malta, Valetta provides the perfect balance between the buzz of hectic city life and the tranquillity found in its peaceful palace and gardens. The majority of the magnificent buildings found in this city are Baroque in character and date back to the 16th century during the reign of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, but there are also hints or neo-classical and modern architectural design to be found. Valetta was named after Jean Parisot de la Valette who not only laid the first foundation stone of the city, but also protected it against Ottoman invasion in 1565. Tragically, he passed away before his city was completed at the age of 74, but his remains now rest at St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Valetta is a rare urban treasure that has preserved nearly all of its original features and was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

Days 75 & 76 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy 2 days at sea as you sail towards Gibraltar.

Day 77 – Gibraltar (BLD)

Famously contested, Gibraltar is a renowned headland in the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient times known as the Pillars of Hercules with it’s African counterpart, Mt Abyla, the Rock has remained under British rule for the last 300 years, despite being connected to Spain. A towering 1400 ft outcrop that separates the Mediterranean from the Atlantic, Gibraltar was named Jebel al-Tarik by the Moorish General Tarik who landed there in 711 AD. See the famous Barbary apes that occupy the island as well as St Michael’s Cave and the Siege Tunnels or admire the view to Africa from a cable car.

Day 78 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards Spain.

Day 79 – La Coruña for Santiago de Compostela, Spain (BLD)

A charming mix of both modern city and old town, La Coruña is capital of the Spanish province bearing the same name in the rugged and beautiful region of Galicia. The symbol of La Coruña, nicknamed the ‘Crystal City’ for the glass-fronted buildings along its attractive seafront promenade, is the 2nd century lighthouse Torre del Hercules. Beautiful old streets and squares are found in Ciudad Vieja. The heart of this old town is the colonnaded Maria Pita Square surrounded by delightful shops, cafes and restaurants.

Day 80 – At Sea (BLD)

Enjoy a day at sea as you sail towards Ireland.

Day 81 – Cobh for Cork, Republic of Ireland (BLD)

Lying at the mouth of the River Lee, Cobh has one of the best natural harbours in the world. Known as Queenstown until 1922, it was the departure point for thousands of Irish emigrants to America and the last port of call of the Titanic. The ‘Queenstown Story’ is a wonderful exhibition telling of this rich maritime history. From Cobh’s waterfront, streets lined with brightly coloured houses climb the steep slope of a hill, which is crowned with the imposing St Coleman’s Cathedral. A charming little town, Cobh is a gateway to the city of Cork and excursions to Ireland’s legendary Blarney Castle.

Day 82 – Depart London (BD)

Sadly today marks the end of your Europe holiday. After breakfast, disembark from your cruise and be transferred to London Heathrow Airport in time for your flight home.

Day 83 – Arrive Homeport (BL)

Arrive back in Australia today on your flight from London.

*Depending on flight schedules, you may arrive back in Australia on the morning of Day 84 instead. This will be advised on your booking confirmation.

Additional information
Departure City

Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Departure

03 Jan 2020

Cruise Cabin Type

Interior Cabin – Category IG, Oceanview Cabin – Category OG, Superior Oceanview Cabin – Category 9, Premium Oceanview Cabin – Category 12

Terms

The following terms & conditions apply to your booking in addition to our General Booking Terms & Conditions:

  • Flights are included from all departure cities shown as required. These are based on Emirates ‘U’ Class or Qatar Airways ‘S’ Class Economy airfares, and are subject to availability at the time of your booking confirmation.
  • The following fees apply for cancellations made once your booking is confirmed:
    After deposit is received – loss of deposit;
    31 to 70 days before departure – 50% of total booking value plus deposit;
    Within 30 days of departure – 100% of total booking value.
    We recommend purchasing travel insurance for your holiday.
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