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Setting sail from Lisbon
The roots of historic Lisbon's fame lie in its strategic position on the edge of the Atlantic and the fact it offers one of the world's greatest natural harbours. No surprise therefore that it became the home of the world's most famous explorers such as Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Built on seven hills, we always find Lisbon to be soulful, captivating and picturesque, with architecture which reflects its status as a great port.
Belem Tower, dating from the 1500s, was both a fortress and the explorers’ departure point. On the façade you will find a stone rhinoceros sculpted into the tower – Europe’s first sight of this extraordinary beast!
Funchal, Madeira’s bustling capital, tumbles down a dramatic hillside towards a beautiful sweeping bay. Highlights include colourful markets, wine lodges and the spectacular cable car ride up to the village of Monte, home of the famous toboggan run.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife’s north eastern shore, the island’s capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island’s interior.
Canary Islands: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Said to have the world's most perfect climate, cosmopolitan Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and the largest city in the Canary Islands. The charming old quarter, La Vegueta, is where you'll find the city's most interesting colonial architecture, while beach fans should head for lovely Playa de las Canteras.
Cape Verde: Mindelo
The dry and barren volcanic island of São Vicente is home to Cape Verde’s most appealing port, the charming city of Mindelo. The cobbled streets and colonial architecture are a real pleasure to explore, and the city plays host to a raucous carnival in February.
Cape Verde: Praia
Praia is the capital of Cape Verde, set on the south coast of Santiago island. Highlights include a scattering of attractive Portuguese colonial architecture around the Praca Alexandre Albuquerque, while the lively fruit and vegetable market will give you a taste of local life at street level.
Arriving in Dakar
The busy, dusty streets of Senegal's capital Dakar are filled with life and colour, noises, smells and local music. The city extends over the Cap Vert peninsula - as the name suggests, it is a former French colony, and the distinctive atmosphere still has traces of the French influence. You can get a great view of the flat peninsula and ocean beyond from Les Mamelles (The Breasts), two small and appropriately shaped hills. The people here are friendly and helpful, so expect a warm welcome - but watch out for the usual hustles and scams of a busy city.
For a brief respite from the heat and bustle, go to the Institut Francais in the centre of town. We find it a bit of a haven; lovely gardens to enjoy over a coffee.
For once-in-a-lifetime tailor-made itineraries, Mundy Adventures specialises in expedition cruises to some of the most wonderful places on earth; places often only accessible by water.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Ponant's wonderful Explorer yachts blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
Named after six of France's most famous explorers, Le Champlain, Le Lapérouse, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier offer exciting and adventurous itineraries in the utmost comfort. Technologically advanced, with the latest in environmentally friendly hardware, the new ships embody Ponant's trademark élan and flair, with just 92 spacious rooms and suites, a stylish pool deck and an intimate, refined onboard ambience.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|
Tailor-make your trip
Our recommended hotel
The Pousada de Lisboa, newly opened in May 2015, has a great location in the heart of the city and an interior to wow you.
Take a day trip from Lisbon
Visit Sintra – Roman and Moorish influences make this magical city with its fairytale palaces and extravagant villas a must.
Where to stay in Dakar
The comfortable Radisson Blu is probably the best choice.
Sightseeing in Senegal
Outside Dakar lies the beautiful Pink Lake – Lake Retba. Its high salt content attracts a bacteria which creates the colour.