wildearth-travel.com
Australia: 1800 107 715
NZ: 0800 945 3327
Sign up for Wild Earth Travel's newsletter
wildearth-travel.com
Arctic

Trip Finder

Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky)

Escape the British winter and enjoy the warmth and beauty of the Cape Verde archipelago aboard the wonderfully comfortable MS Island Sky as she undertakes exactly the type of itinerary that suits her best. Like the Azores but even more remote, the Cape Verde Islands are an intriguing archipelago located off the coast of Senegal.

They are an amazingly varied group of islands that have been used as a staging post by mariners through the ages. There is truly no better way to explore this archipelago, with its dramatic beauty and cultural vibrancy than by small ship, and with the MS Island Sky as our base we can island hop with great ease.

Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky) itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - LONDON TO PRAIA, SAO TIAGO.
Fly direct by exclusively chartered flight to Sao Tiago. Embark MS Island Sky this evening and moor overnight.
Day 2 - PRAIA.
The island of Sao Tiago and in particular the busy capital of Praia, has a wonderful Mindelo Bay, Sao Vincente African feel. We drive to nearby Cidade Velha the old Portuguese capital with a rich history. See the fort and cathedral which dominate the narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses which were once the centre of the slave trade. Later, visit the National Maritime Museum of marine archaeology where treasure retrieved from the deep is on display.
Day 3 - MAIO.
Spend the day on the tiny island of Maio, a peaceful island with vast deserted beaches. Due to winds and erosion this relatively flat island shows little evidence of its volcanic past. Today will be a relaxing day allowing time at leisure to walk in the sand dunes and along the long beach next to the capital of Vila do Maio with its huge white Baroque church and pretty pastel painted houses.
Days 4 & 5 - FOGO & BRAVA
Over the next couple of days we will visit both Fogo & Brava. Fogo is an extraordinary place. Known as the ‘Mother Island’ it has its own unique character and people. It’s a volcano that rises steeply out of the Atlantic and has become an island, the summit reaching some 3000 metres. An island drive will take us through dramatically contrasting areas of fertile valleys that are dominated by the massive grey volcanic cone of Pico de Fogo. Later, call into the main town of Sao Filipe, a gracious town of faded grandeur with its pretty squares and wide boulevards of colonial houses. Brava is often referred to as the ‘Secret Island’ it is sometimes mist shrouded and the humid conditions produce wonderful conditions for the flora. It is also one of the most mountainous of the islands with soaring peaks and deep valleys. There will be opportunities here for walkers and a tour which will include arguably the most beautiful bay in the islands at Faja d’Agua with its pretty nearby village. The capital of Nova Sintra, named after its namesake in Portugal is a charming town full of colour from the blooming hibiscus and bougainvillea.
Day 6 - SAO NICOLAU.
Sao Nicolau is a charming, peaceful and attractive island of plantations, small holdings and busy farming villages. It also has impressive, almost untouched mountain scenery, friendly residents and lively traditions. On our tour we will drive through a spectacular landscape towards the historical capital Ribeira Brava. Here we will discover the lively centre of the island which reflects the character of the people and learn why Ribeira Brava was the bedrock of Cape Verdean intellect in the 19th century.
Day 7 - SANTO ANTAO
We have a full day on the most beautiful of the islands, Santo Antao. Driving up the old trading route, enjoy panoramic views of the island before arriving in a tiny picturesque mountain village on the northern side of the island. After lunch in the seaside village of Ponta de Sol, we will take the coastal road towards the greenest valley in the archipelago, the valley of Paul. In this green valley you will enjoy a coffee break while learning about the production of sugarcane on the island. Also discover ‘Grogue’, the national drink of the islands and have a taste of it at the oldest traditional Grogue distillery of the island. Drive back along the coast to the southern side of the island to admire the views.
Day 8 - PORTO NOVO, SANTO ANTAO & MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE
Leaving the port, the scenery becomes more and more volcanic. Before approaching the driest part of the island we will turn into the valley of Ribeira das Patas to see the bizarre rock formation volcanic eruptions have left behind. Enjoy the spectacular view over two valleys at Selada de Altomira. On our way back we will visit a socio-cultural tourism and agriculture project and enjoy some snacks organised by the project itself with local specialties. This afternoon we will drive back to the harbour and sail the short distance to Mindelo, the cultural capital of the Cape Verde. The afternoon is free to explore the vibrant town and , after dinner, we will be entertained by local music and capoeira onboard.
Day 9 - MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE
Mindelo is one of the most attractive of all Cape Verde towns with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets, cafes and lively restaurants. We will go on a discovery tour of the lively markets and the secret corners of the harbour town. After a coffee break in a typical Capeverdean bar, learn about Capeverdean arts and the life of the artists by visiting the national museum of handicraft. In the afternoon there will be time to explore at leisure.
Day 10 - MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE TO LONDON
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered direct flight to London.

Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky) reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Day 10 - MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE TO LONDON *
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our specially chartered direct flight to London.
Day 9 - MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE *
Mindelo is one of the most attractive of all Cape Verde towns with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets, cafes and lively restaurants. We will go on a discovery tour of the lively markets and the secret corners of the harbour town. After a coffee break in a typical Capeverdean bar, learn about Capeverdean arts and the life of the artists by visiting the national museum of handicraft. In the afternoon there will be time to explore at leisure.
Day 8 - PORTO NOVO, SANTO ANTAO & MINDELO, SAO VINCENTE *
Leaving the port, the scenery becomes more and more volcanic. Before approaching the driest part of the island we will turn into the valley of Ribeira das Patas to see the bizarre rock formation volcanic eruptions have left behind. Enjoy the spectacular view over two valleys at Selada de Altomira. On our way back we will visit a socio-cultural tourism and agriculture project and enjoy some snacks organised by the project itself with local specialties. This afternoon we will drive back to the harbour and sail the short distance to Mindelo, the cultural capital of the Cape Verde. The afternoon is free to explore the vibrant town and , after dinner, we will be entertained by local music and capoeira onboard.
Day 7 - SANTO ANTAO *
We have a full day on the most beautiful of the islands, Santo Antao. Driving up the old trading route, enjoy panoramic views of the island before arriving in a tiny picturesque mountain village on the northern side of the island. After lunch in the seaside village of Ponta de Sol, we will take the coastal road towards the greenest valley in the archipelago, the valley of Paul. In this green valley you will enjoy a coffee break while learning about the production of sugarcane on the island. Also discover ‘Grogue’, the national drink of the islands and have a taste of it at the oldest traditional Grogue distillery of the island. Drive back along the coast to the southern side of the island to admire the views.
Day 6 - SAO NICOLAU. *
Sao Nicolau is a charming, peaceful and attractive island of plantations, small holdings and busy farming villages. It also has impressive, almost untouched mountain scenery, friendly residents and lively traditions. On our tour we will drive through a spectacular landscape towards the historical capital Ribeira Brava. Here we will discover the lively centre of the island which reflects the character of the people and learn why Ribeira Brava was the bedrock of Cape Verdean intellect in the 19th century.
Days 4 & 5 - FOGO & BRAVA *
Over the next couple of days we will visit both Fogo & Brava. Fogo is an extraordinary place. Known as the ‘Mother Island’ it has its own unique character and people. It’s a volcano that rises steeply out of the Atlantic and has become an island, the summit reaching some 3000 metres. An island drive will take us through dramatically contrasting areas of fertile valleys that are dominated by the massive grey volcanic cone of Pico de Fogo. Later, call into the main town of Sao Filipe, a gracious town of faded grandeur with its pretty squares and wide boulevards of colonial houses. Brava is often referred to as the ‘Secret Island’ it is sometimes mist shrouded and the humid conditions produce wonderful conditions for the flora. It is also one of the most mountainous of the islands with soaring peaks and deep valleys. There will be opportunities here for walkers and a tour which will include arguably the most beautiful bay in the islands at Faja d’Agua with its pretty nearby village. The capital of Nova Sintra, named after its namesake in Portugal is a charming town full of colour from the blooming hibiscus and bougainvillea.
Day 3 - MAIO. *
Spend the day on the tiny island of Maio, a peaceful island with vast deserted beaches. Due to winds and erosion this relatively flat island shows little evidence of its volcanic past. Today will be a relaxing day allowing time at leisure to walk in the sand dunes and along the long beach next to the capital of Vila do Maio with its huge white Baroque church and pretty pastel painted houses.
Day 2 - PRAIA. *
The island of Sao Tiago and in particular the busy capital of Praia, has a wonderful Mindelo Bay, Sao Vincente African feel. We drive to nearby Cidade Velha the old Portuguese capital with a rich history. See the fort and cathedral which dominate the narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses which were once the centre of the slave trade. Later, visit the National Maritime Museum of marine archaeology where treasure retrieved from the deep is on display.
Day 1 - LONDON TO PRAIA, SAO TIAGO. *
Fly direct by exclusively chartered flight to Sao Tiago. Embark MS Island Sky this evening and moor overnight.
* = Indicative
Map for Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky)
Island Sky, the ship servicing Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky)

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship. If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast and a buffet-style lunch are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.

Exploring Ashore & Expedition Cruising
Our inclusive pricing policy for the MS Island Sky means that the majority of shore excursions are included in the price of your cruise. Due to her size the MS Island Sky has the freedom of the seas and can come alongside in small docks or drop anchor in any suitable spot. In remote, undeveloped areas or places with restricted access, we will use the vessel’s tender to go ashore and when the vessel is operating expedition cruises in areas such as the British Isles, we will employ the vessel’s Zodiacs. These inflatable craft offer marvellous manoeuverability allowing us access to otherwise impossible landing places. There is snorkelling equipment onboard and when weather and location permits, the expedition team will set up a snorkelling platform. One of the joys of expedition cruising aboard a small vessel is the flexibility it allows. We have twenty years experience of designing trips to some of the most remote places in the world and although we set sail with a set itinerary it is the unscheduled events that often become the highlight of the journey. It is our belief that you do not go on holiday to be part of the all engulfing masses which descend on a town when a number of large ships dock at the same time. Arriving at a port for the first time should be an invigorating experience and can certainly be so when the right place is chosen and your arrival is on a small ship. With only 116 passengers, there is no queuing to disembark or embark the MS Island Sky for an excursion and when required there will only be three coaches waiting on the quayside to transport you to the day’s attraction as opposed to a whole fleet waiting for the passengers travelling on the big ships.

For Your Comfort & Security & Safety
Our vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. The captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.

Cabin layout for Island Sky
Enquire now about Exploring the Cape Verde Islands (Island Sky)