CAPE VERDE TO SENEGALThe Bijagos Archipelago



Board Le Dumont-d’Urville for a fabulous expedition cruise between Praia and Dakar. This brand-new 12-day adventure will enable you to discover two exceptional archipelagos including wild nature, cultural heritage and encounters with the local populations.  

In Cape Verde, you will call at the island of São Nicolau, which will delight you with its pristine mountain landscapes, its picturesque capital, Ribeira Brava, its friendly inhabitants and its lively traditions.

Further west, you will visit Mindelo, the cultural capital of Cape Verde, where the famous morna singer Cesaria Evora was born.

A gigantic volcanic cone emerging from the Ocean, Fogo or “volcano island” is the most unusual in the Cape Verde archipelago. With scenery of savannah and fields of sugar cane, scattered with peaceful hamlets, Fogo offers you extraordinary panoramas.

The second part of your cruise will take place in the Bijagos Islands. Located off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, this archipelago is one of the most preserved and protected on the planet. Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, it is made up of 88 islands, most of which are uninhabited and nestling in the heart of an environment which often remains untouched by humans.

During your Zodiac® excursions, you will get as close as possible to nature, between pale-sand beaches, mangrove stretching as far as the eye can see, savannah, palm trees and baobabs.

The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

Departing 24 October 2019 from Paris, your 12 night package includes:

• Transfer from Airport to hotel in Paris

• 1 night accommodation in Paris

• Transfer from hotel to airport

• Flight from Paris to Praia

• 11 night cruise onboard Ponant Cruises’ Le Dumont-D’Urville

• All meals on board the cruise

• Wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Henri Abelé BRUT champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) is served on request and at any time of the day. Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar.

• Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

• Pre-paid port taxes

• Transfer from port to airport

• Chauffeur driven luxury car transfer from your home to your nearest international airport and return (with 35 km)

Last cabins available! Please contact us for best prices and availability!


*The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.

Le Dumont D’Urville

Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Dumont d’Urville will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

Cruise Highlights


The capital of Cape Verde, Praia, is located on the southern tip of Santiago island. You can dally in the districts planted with Tamarind and Albizia trees. . Above the harbour, the statue of Diogo Gomes pays homage to the man who discovered Cape Verde in 1460. A few streets away, in the old centre, the Ethnographic Museum presents the diversity of the archipelago’s cultural origins. Its historical building with transom windows is one of the city’s more unusual curiosities.


Located south-west of São Vicente, the island of São Nicolau is a dramatic sight with steep, richly forested mountains that reach their peak at ᅠMt Gordo. Near the summit, the island’s attractive capital, Ribeira Brava, nestles in a deep green valley. Not far off, you can hike along the mountain paths of Fajã, where you’ll see rare and extremely old dragon trees growing naturally on the high plateaux. Coastal landmarks include the Blue Hole, ᅠpeaceful Tarrafal beach and the picturesque fishing village of Preguiça.


Set on the shores of the Porto Grande bay on the north-west coast of São Vicente, Mindelo is considered to be Cape Verde’s cultural capital. Here in singer Cesaria Evora’s homeland, you can listen to real morna in the bars of the old town, where you can also sip the local grog, a Cape Verdian sugarcane spirit. A few streets from the elegant floating resort of Pont d’água you’ll see the pastel-coloured houses and colonial buildings of the historical district. Other landmarks are the facades of the old Governor’s Palace and the busy municipal market.


The coastal town of Porto Novo is located on the south-east coast of Santo Antão Island. Near the jetty, colourfully painted boats lie on the sand and the waterfront boasts beautiful vantage points overlooking the Atlantic and the nearby island of São Vicente. In the town centre, built at the foot of steep escarpments, you’ll discover the low-profile, painted buildings that are typical of traditional Cape Verde architecture. And you’ll definitely be tempted to sample one of the many desserts made from locally grown fruit, such as a banana tart or pawpaw flan.


Lying west of Praia, the volcanic island of Fogo is Cape Verde’s highest landmark. The foothills of Pico de Fogo are ideal for hiking, with an immense caldera surrounding the active crater. Trails start at the little town of Chã das Caldeiras and you can see recent lava flows and older ones sprouting with new growth. Along the rocky coastline you’ll come across picturesque Mosteiros and the historic town of São Filipe, where elegant colonial houses overlook the Atlantic.


Some 20 kilometres off the coast of west Africa, the Bissau-Guinean archipelago of Bissagos is famous for its abundant biodiversity. The richness of its marine animal and plant life afforded it the status of Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Of the 88 islets and islands in the archipelago, only 23 are inhabited. At Maio, still called Chediã, you can meet the Bissagos people and get to know their ancestral ways and customs. In this region, cut off from the rest of the world and secluded from Western influences, you’ll discover how locals really live.


Off the west African coast of Guinea-Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago rolls out its 88 islands and islets of black rock and white sand in the heart of the Atlantic. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1996, this string of islets has exceptionally rich land and sea fauna. In the heart of luxuriant nature, you’ll enjoy Caravela Island’s wild charm and its Bijago inhabitants, fascinating men and women who have adapted to and melted in with their natural environment.


On the tip of the African continent, the buzzing capital of Senegal stretches along the narrow peninsula of Cape Verde. You may be overwhelmed by its sheer size, but Dakar will win you over with its richly diverse districts, appealing cultural scene and rich natural surroundings. In the historic centre, you’ll enjoy the pell-mell of colours and tasty delights in Kermel market. A visit to the island of Gorée is deeply moving; for several hundred years this island was the largest slave trading centre on the African coast. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are looking for pristine, unspoilt nature, the wildlife in the heart of Madeleine Islands’ national park will not disappoint.

Cruise Category
  • Luxury Expedition
  • Modern
  • Solo Traveller
  • 24 Hr Room Service
  • All meals
  • Boutique &/or Salon
  • Disability Friendly
  • Drinks All Day
  • On-Board Lecturer
  • Ponant Exclusive Service
  • Pool &/or Spa
  • Shore Excursions
  • Solo Traveller Friendly
  • Speciality Restaurants

Individual locations copy Source: Ponant

Image gallery credits:

1 Ponant

3 Wiki Commons - Robin Elaine

4 Ponant

6 Wiki Commons - Kulttuurinavigaattori

7 Wiki Commons - Cayambe

8 Wiki Commons - Christof46

9 Wiki commons

Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

Praia, Cape Verde
Pre-Cruise Accommodation and flight from Paris incl
Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde Islands

Mindelo (Porto Grande) Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands

Porto Novo

Fogo & Brava, Cape Verde Islands

At Sea

Maio, Cape Verde Islands

Bijagos Archipelago, West Africa

Bijagos Archipelago, West Africa

Bijagos Archipelago, West Africa

Technical Details

  • Built Date 2019
  • Crew 110
  • Capacity 184
  • Length 131M

Cruise Category

  • Luxury Expeditions
  • Modern Style

Le Dumont d’Urville

With just 92 elegantly appointed staterooms and suites, each with modern amenities, 24 hour room service and Wi-Fi access, Le Dumont d’Urville embodies the unique, luxurious atmosphere of the Ponant fleet.

Le Dumont d’Urville features two superb restaurants, a beautiful lounge area, modern theatre and a large pool deck with solarium, pool and outdoor bar. The ship also offers the revolutionary Blue Eye multisensory lounge, located below the water line where guests can glimpse the underwater world via two large portholes and hydrophones.