Sea to Sahara – Cape Verde, Canary Islands, and Morocco (16 Days)

Cruise Line: Zegrahm Expeditions
Ship: Island Sky  |  2 Reviews
Cidade Velha, São Tiago Island, Cape Verde to Marrakech, Morocco
Dates: 07 Apr 2018 - 22 Apr 2018

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Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
07 Apr 2018
Air travel

Board your independent flight to Cape Verde.

08 Apr 2018
Cidade Velha, São Tiago Island, Cape Verde
Praia, Cape Verde

Arrive on São Tiago, the largest of the Cape Verde Islands, crowned by Antónia Peak, which rises 4,500 feet above fertile farmlands. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, then join a guided walk through Cidade Velha, the former capital and a World Heritage Site. After a traditional batuque performance, return to Praia and embark the Island Sky this evening.

09 Apr 2018
São Filipe, Fogo, Cape Verde
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo, Cape Verde
São Filipe, Fogo, Cape Verde

Crowned by a massive volcano, which erupted as recently as 2014, Fogo (fire in Portuguese) is a fitting name for this dramatically beautiful island. Begin your explorations in colonial São Filipe and visit a wealthy merchant's house that has been converted into a museum. Then take a drive through phenomenal volcanic landscape to the small town of Chã das Caldeiras, situated within the massive crater of Pico do Fogo. Enjoy a traditional lunch, sample local wines, and take an unforgettable walk over the lava fields created by the most recent eruption.

10 Apr 2018
Porto da Furna, Ilha Brava, Cape Verde
Nova Sintra, Ilha Brava, Cape Verde
Fajã de Água, Ilha Brava, Cape Verde
Porto da Furna, Ilha Brava, Cape Verde

Cape Verde's "wild" island of Brava earns its moniker with an abundance of verdant hills and valleys, laced with colorful oleander, hibiscus, and bougainvillea. Take a drive inland, passing plantations of coconut palms and lush meadows dotted with herds of goats. Located high in the mountains, the town of Nova Sintra boasts a lovely historic center with well-preserved colonial architecture and a fantastic viewpoint overlooking the island. Continue to Fajã de Água for a short hike, a picnic lunch, and the opportunity take a dip in a natural pool.

11 Apr 2018
Porto Novo, Cape Verde
Cova, Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Fontainhas, Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Ponta do Sol, Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Paúl Valley, Santo Antão, Cape Verde
Porto Novo, Cape Verde

Cape Verde's greenest island boasts a spectacular array of landscapes, from stark volcanic flats to lush green peaks and tropical valleys. Disembark in Porto Novo for a scenic drive along the coast, and into the mountains to visit the Cova Crater to learn about local agriculture. Enjoy more spectacular views en route to Fontainhas, a picturesque village which clings to a rocky slope overlooking the beautiful coastline. After lunch in the small fishing village of Ponta do Sol, visit a distillery for a tasting of grogue, the local spirit made from sugarcane. Continue through the lush Paul Valley, visiting small agricultural communities along the way.

12 Apr 2018

Join naturalists on deck to search for pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins, while lectures recap your experiences in the Cape Verde Islands and prepare you for what's ahead.

13 Apr 2018
14 Apr 2018
Dakhla, Western Sahara

This morning, birders search for a wealth of migrant shorebirds at Dakhla Lagoon. Species commonly found here include greater flamingos, broad-billed sandpipers, pelicans, terns, and oystercatchers. Or, venture into the shifting sand dunes to visit with the nomadic Sahraoui people. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony and trek to the top of White Dune for fantastic views over the desert. Return to the ship in time for lunch and set sail for El Marsa.

15 Apr 2018
El Marsa, Western Sahara
El Aaiun, Western Sahara
El Marsa, Western Sahara

Disembark in El Marsa this afternoon and board vehicles for a ride through the Sahara Desert. Make a stop en route for Moroccan tea and amazing vistas of the undulating dunes. In Laayoune, visit the busy dromedary souk, the Moulay Abdel Aziz Mosque, and the Place El Mechouar, a large public square. Browse a collection of artisanal workshops where you will find fine silver jewelry and local art. Take a walk through the old town for a look at the Spanish cathedral, then drive to a scenic viewpoint overlooking the dam on the Saguia al-Hamra River, before returning to the ship in El Marsa.

DAY 10
16 Apr 2018
San Sebastian, Spain
Garajonay National Park, Spain
Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain
San Sebastian, Spain

Take a hike through the spectacular laurel forest of Garajonay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Often shrouded in a magical mist, this area is known locally as "the witch's forest". Keep an eye out for the endemic white-tailed and dark-tailed laurel pigeons as you stroll through the lush vegetation. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive through the Valle Gran Rey where you'll discover terraced farms and tiny towns clinging to the steep walls of the valley.

DAY 11
17 Apr 2018
La Palma, Spain

Venture high into the hills for a hike through the Caldera de Taburiente, a national park whose centerpiece is a five-mile-wide crater caused by erosion. Enjoy stunning top-of-the-world scenery and take a walk through stands of indigenous Canary pine trees. After working up a good appetite, stop for a snack of cheese and macaroons, accompanied by local wines. Or, choose to explore Los Tilos, an enchanting subtropical rainforest that is home to hundreds of plant species, many unique to the Canary Islands. Cool off at Charco Azul (Blue Pool), a natural seaside pool created by ancient lava flows. Then make a stop at a rum distillery to learn about the production of this beloved liquor, with a chance to sample the delightful results.

DAY 12
18 Apr 2018
Lanzarote, Spain

Explore Timanfaya National Park and its stunning volcanic landscape, a legacy of the 1824 eruption. Search for some of the 177 species of rare plants, many of them unique to the Canaries, while birders keep a keen eye out for houbara bustards, Berthelot's pipits, and other species. On the nearby coast, view natural geologic formations where water rushes dramatically into a sea-eroded volcanic cave at Los Hervideros. Then soak in fantastic views as you drive along the rugged coast to Mirador del Rio, the island's most famous viewpoint. Then immerse yourself in the world of famed local artist César Manrique, with a stroll through the unique Cactus Garden, which displays over 1,000 species of cactus from all over the world, and the Jameos del Agua, a spectacular lava-tube cave transformed into a delightful series of pools, gardens, and a natural amphitheater.

DAY 13
19 Apr 2018

Our lecture series continues during a relaxing day at sea.

DAY 14
20 Apr 2018
Casablanca, Morocco
Marrakech, Morocco

This morning, disembark in lovely Casablanca. Begin your exploration with an excursion to the colorful Central Market, followed by a stop at the Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest religious structure in the world after Mecca. Its 700-foot-high minaret is visible for miles. Continuing on, pass through the elegant Corniche district which spreads along the Atlantic coast; the Anfa Quarter, where Roosevelt met with Churchill during World War II; the impressive Law Courts; and the Habbous Quarters, built by the French in the early 20th century. Then depart overland to magical Marrakech; this romantic rose-red city perches on the edge of the pre-Saharan plains along ancient Berber trade routes. Explore sites such as the opulent 19th-century Bahia Palace, the medina—a World Heritage Site, Koutoubia Mosque, the imperial Saadian tombs, and Djemaa El Fna Square. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 15
21 Apr 2018
Marrakech, Morocco

Today explore the Majorelle Garden, the Palmeraie–a vast area of date palms, and the bustling souk. Or join a full-day birding excursion in the Atlas Mountains. Winding up into the mountains, make several stops to search for a variety of birds including the scarce and localized Barbary falcon, black wheatear, Atlas chaffinch, and flocks of aerobatic red-billed chough. With a great deal of luck, you may also encounter one of the great raptors of the world, the massive lammergeier. Tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner.

DAY 16
22 Apr 2018
Marrakech, Morocco
Air travel

Transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.

Sea to Sahara – Cape Verde, Canary Islands, and Morocco map

Virtuoso Voyages Benefits


$100 of apparel and gear from the Zegrahm Expeditions Gear Shop

Virtuoso guests receive $100 voucher per-person for the purchase of apparel and gear from the Zegrahm Expeditions Gear Shop.

Restrictions may apply, please see Booking Instruction Terms & Conditions for details.

About the Ship

Island Sky

Built in 1992 and recently refurbished, public spaces include a large lounge, elegant bar, library, and a single-seating dining room. Outside decks feature a bar and a sun deck where meals are served in pleasant weather. All suites feature ocean views, a sitting area, en suite bathroom, large wardrobes, small refrigerator, and television.

What's Included


  • Included:  All gratuities; accommodations as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; and medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance.

Not Included

  • Not Included: All air transportation (except where noted); optional estensions and excursions as noted in the itinerary; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages (other than listed above); e-mail/internet/fax/telephone charges.

About Us

With over 25 years in expedition travel, Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions Inc. is a leading adventure travel company specializing in small-ship expedition cruises, tours, and safaris to remote and intriguing destinations around the world. Led by expert guides and lecturers, Zegrahm itineraries are carefully crafted and all-inclusive, feature deluxe accommodations, and operate in all seven continents.

Insider Tip

Virtually everything is included: gratuities, transfers, group hotels, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, and a variety of excursions including snorkeling and birding.

Terms & Conditions

Please read our complete set of Terms and Conditions on our website. In order to confirm your participation, it is important that you carefully read and electronically sign the acknowledgement form for your trip. You can select the applicable trip option from our website.

The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.


Shore Excursions

San Sebastian, Spain - 16 Apr 2018

Garajonay National Park, Spain - 16 Apr 2018

Valle Gran Rey, La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain - 16 Apr 2018

San Sebastian, Spain - 16 Apr 2018

La Palma, Spain - 17 Apr 2018

Lanzarote, Spain - 18 Apr 2018

Casablanca, Morocco - 20 Apr 2018

Marrakech, Morocco - 20 Apr 2018

Marrakech, Morocco - 21 Apr 2018

Marrakech, Morocco - 22 Apr 2018

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