Celebrate Christmas and start the New Year with a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, discovering some of the most beautiful tropical islands on earth. Our two week journey combines some fascinating and exotic calls in Tanzania with stunning islands in the Seychelles along with the natural wonders of Madagascar.

We know the region well having operated vessels there for the past twenty five years and if ever there was a region perfect for expedition cruising it is here, a timeless world of wonders both below and above the water. Our itinerary is perfectly suited to the MS Serenissima, her small size allowing us access to isolated ports and islands that are off limits to large cruise ships, and with our fleet of Zodiac landing craft we can reach the unreachable, landing on remote beaches, walking through verdant rainforest and national parks and getting close to some unique flora and fauna. Your experience will be made all the more memorable by our expert crew and officers who along with our expedition team of marine biologists, ornithologists and botanists have many years of experience in the Indian Ocean.

Highlights


• Discover Kilwa Kisiwani, a site of exceptional historical interest, whose atmospheric ruins represent a wide sweep of East African coastal history, from the heights of the Swahili and Shirazi trading civilisation, to the darker days of slavery and the uprisings against German rule.

• Have three days to enjoy the Aldabra group of islands.

• Explore the sparkling lagoon of the remote atoll ringed island of coconut and casuarina trees - Farquhar.

• Visit dramatic Diego Suarez, a stunning natural harbour with a cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants including Creoles, Indians, Chinese, Comorans and Arabs.

• Enjoy a full day visit to Madagascar’s largest protected area, the Masoala National Park which comprises coastal rainforest, flooded forests and marsh and mangroves.

Arrive today and transfer to the MS Serenissima and sail tonight.
Here the colourful harbour will be crowded with dhows, very much setting the scene for our visit to the Arab style city with its long narrow streets, bazaars, houses with overhanging balconies and intricately carved doorways. On a morning tour, soak up the timeless atmosphere of Stone Town including Livingstone House, Sultan’s Palace, the slave market and the old Fort. The afternoon is free to relax and explore independently or join a tour to a spice farm to experience the various fruits and spices cultivated on the island where you will find everything from jackfruit to coconuts, turmeric and vanilla to lipstick trees.
Once a prominent stopover for ships on the trade routes from East Africa, Mafia Island has not seen the same development as nearby Zanzibar and remains relatively unknown and off the major tourist trail but is a wonderful spot to spend the day. Between October and February the island is home to large numbers of whale sharks and we will embark local boats to search for these beautiful creatures with our knowledgeable guides. If conditions allow we may also be able to swim alongside them. We also hope to offer snorkelling on one of the reefs in the Marine Park, whilst nature lovers can enjoy walks looking for some of the 120 bird species found here, endemic butterflies and lizards.
Our last call in Tanzania will be at Kilwa Kisiwani, a site of exceptional historical interest, whose atmospheric ruins represent a wide sweep of East African coastal history, from the heights of the Swahili and Shirazi trading civilisation, to the darker days of slavery and the uprisings against German rule. Once one of Africa’s wealthiest towns, Kilwa Kisiwani is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contains the world’s most extensive and bestpreserved Swahili ruins. On a morning walking tour we will see the prominent fort and the Great Mosque which stood at the heart of the ancient city and was once the largest in East Africa. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure.
Enjoy a day to relax on board, maybe join a lecture or just find a spot on deck.
We have three days to enjoy the Aldabra group of islands and our itinerary will be in the hands of our Expedition Leader and Captain who will monitor the local conditions to ensure we maximise our time here. Whilst our itinerary is flexible we will hope to call at the island of Assumption which was ruthlessly plundered for its vast deposits of guano in the early 20th century. Happily, peace has returned and the wildlife of rare birds and green turtles are once again in abundance. Our time here will be spent beachcombing, on a nature walk or snorkelling. We also hope to reach Cosmoledo where a huge ring of twelve islands circle a lagoon. Many of the atolls are still to be surveyed and we will explore some of them by Zodiac. This is an important bird area with all three species of booby found in the Seychelles including the last breeding site for the brown booby. Also spot sooty terns and great frigate birds. We will then spend time on Aldabra, the island referred to by Sir Julian Huxley as “One of nature’s treasures and should belong to the whole world”. Aldabra is unique and every time we call at what is believed to be the world’s largest atoll we find something new of interest. Sightings have been made of the extremely rare white throated rail and the atoll is also home to the world’s second largest colony of frigate birds and to the largest crab, the coconut crab. Whilst exploring by Zodiac it is difficult to know in which direction to look. The clear blue seas abound with colourful life, the skies are alive with varied birdlife and ashore giant land tortoises forage as they have done for millions of years. We will explore Picard Island with a short walk to see some of the thousands of tortoises and numerous robber crabs. We will include as much as possible with our time on Aldabra making landings on South Island and trips into the lagoon, a vast 17 mile stretch of shallow clear water. From our Zodiacs we can watch the ever-changing undersea world and snorkel in colourful coral waters teeming with marine life. We will spend Christmas Day on one of these fascinating islands.
After a morning at sea we will anchor off Farquhar over lunch where we will use our Zodiacs to explore the sparkling lagoon of this remote atoll ringed island of coconut and casuarina trees. The island is a haven for many species of migratory birds providing us with a delightful afternoon of bird watching or snorkelling. Return to the ship as we clear customs formalities and make our way to Madagascar.
This morning we will enter dramatic Diego Suarez, a stunning natural harbour with a cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants including Creoles, Indians, Chinese, Comorans and Arabs. After a brief tour of the town we will use 4x4 vehicles to make our way to the Malagasy Rainforest at the Mount Amber National Park. Dividing into short and long walk parties we will go in search of lemurs and chameleons as we explore the rainforest. If this is not possible based on weather conditions, we will instead visit the Domaine de Fontenay where we will explore the reserve rich with flora, fauna and several waterfalls. On our return to the MS Serenissima we will take a detour to the bay of Diego with its impressive views of the sugar loaf and also home to the indigenous baobab suareziensis tree. Enjoy lunch on board whilst our lecture programme continues during a relaxing afternoon at sea.
After a morning at sea we arrive at Nosy Mangabe, a 520 hectare island reserve in Antongil Bay. Here we find one of the most diverse areas of virgin rain forest in Madagascar which has also been an important research centre since the mid-1960s when several ayeayes and lemurs were released into the forest. We will use our Zodiacs to land on the beach next to the forest and organise a series of nature walks. For the birders we will keep an eye out for Madagascar buzzard, kingfisher and paradise flycatchers.
We remain in Antongil Bay overnight and enjoy a full day visit to Madagascar’s largest protected area, the Masoala National Park which comprises coastal rainforest, flooded forests and marsh and mangroves. Mammal species encountered include the red-ruffed lemur, the red-fronted brown lemur, the aye-aye, the greater hedgehog tenrec and the ring tailed mongoose. The park is also home to various species of brightly coloured Mantella frogs and all manner of extraordinary chameleons. We will run a series of walks for all levels during the day whilst you will also have the option to swim off the beach or perhaps visit the local village.
Our final call in Madagascar is at Ile Sainte Marie, also known as Nosy Bohara, a lush tropical island offering sandy beaches, coral reefs and natural beauty. This morning we will explore the capital of Ambodifotatra including the oldest church in Madagascar built in 1837 and the vibrant market. We will then head over to neighbouring Nosy Nato where you can choose to join a nature walk keeping an eye out for the wildlife or simply enjoy an afternoon of swimming and snorkelling.
Arrive this morning in Reunion where we have a choice of excursions. On a full day tour we will visit the central highlands where spectacularly rugged peaks of dormant or extinct volcanoes cradle huge amphitheatres known as cirques, where mountains tower to over 10,000 feet and beautiful waterfalls plummet hundreds of feet. The rich soil and mellow climate produce a lush and verdant landscape which is dotted with villages and towns with a uniquely French atmosphere. We will enjoy views from the Nez des Bouefs and see the Piton de la Fournaise crater. After enjoying a creole lunch in a local restaurant we will visit the “Cite du Volcan” Museum. Alternatively enjoy a morning tour to a vanilla plantation in St Andre where we learn about the history and culture of this integral part of Reunion’s heritage. We will also enjoy some free time in St Denis before returning to the MS Serenissima for lunch. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before we set sail this evening.
Disembark after breakfast and continue with your onward travel plans.
The final itinerary for several island groups will be decided by the Captain and Expedition leader depending on local conditions and permissions that are subject to change.

Inside single

£ 6345 GBP pp
Inside single
Inside single cabins range in size from 9.9 to 11.52 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom

£ 6745 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus

£ 6945 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Single

£ 6945 GBP pp
Standard Single
The standard single cabins range in size from 7.1 to 12.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Superior Stateroom

£ 7145 GBP pp
Superior Stateroom
The superior staterooms range in size from 11 to 19.6 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Deluxe Stateroom

£ 7645 GBP pp
Deluxe Stateroom
The deluxe staterooms range in size from 15 to 25.4 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Junior Suite

£ 7745 GBP pp
Junior Suite
The junior suites range in size from 20.9 to 21.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Executive Suite

£ 8545 GBP pp
Executive Suite
The executive suites are 25 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Owners Suite

£ 8545 GBP pp
Owners Suite
The owner’s suites are 22.7 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Sole

£ 8745 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Standard Stateroom Plus Sole

£ 8945 GBP pp
Standard Stateroom Plus Sole
The standard staterooms range in size from 10 to 15.5 square metres. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily.

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95)

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018

We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.

MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

AIR-CONDITIONING

The ship is air conditioned throughout. Please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning.

DAILY PROGRAMME

A Daily Programme, detailing the following day’s arrangements as well as any specific information about the day’s activities is produced onboard and delivered to your cabin each evening during the turn down service.

DINING, DRINKING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

The Venice Restaurant onboard serves international cuisine and accommodates all guests at a single open seating. Tables seat 4 to 10 diners. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. Breakfast and lunch are both buffet style, dinner is waiter service only. Complimentary (red and white) house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner. Bar drinks and other beverages with meals are not included; these may be purchased onboard and paid for at the end of your cruise. Complimentary tea and coffee are available between 07:00 hours and 23:00 hours at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea lounge. Please advise of any special dietary requests in advance.

DISABLED FACILITIES

The ship can accommodate passengers with mobility restrictions and wheelchair dependent passengers in cabin 407, which has a wider door and no step into/out of the bathroom and shower area. There is a lift serving decks 3 to 6, but there is no stair lift.

DOCTOR

A medical doctor is available on board 24 hours a day. A fee is charged for any consultations and medication prescribed. Please ensure you carry adequate supplies of any regular medications you may require. 

ELECTRICITY

The electrical outlets in the cabins and public areas are 220V and take a two-round-pin plug (as in continental Europe). There is a 110/220V, 60Hz outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom. We recommend that you bring an international adaptor.

GRATUITIES

Gratuities to crew and whilst on excursions are included in the cost of your holiday.

INTERNET

The onboard library has a computer equipped for email/internet access and Wi-Fi access is available in public areas, although you will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone, and charges apply – 100mb for €15 Euros, or 500mb for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

LANGUAGE

All members of the crew speak English.

MONEY

The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts: Cash (Euros or British Pounds), Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express), Debit Card (MasterCard and Visa). Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

PUBLIC AREAS

• Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 11.00 until 24.00.

• Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. There is also a computer for public use (charges apply for internet access)

• Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and fitness room with two running machines

• Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area)

• Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

SNORKELLING

Snorkelling equipment is kept onboard. Please note that there is no snorkelling from Zodiacs. All snorkelling stops will operate from a beach. 

TELEVISION

The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 15 channels. TV reception depends on the satellite dish and on occasion it may not be possible to receive a signal. There is one central video channel on which it is possible to listen to the lectures delivered in the Andrea Lounge. There is also a channel for the ship’s camera located in front of the ship.

ZODIACS

Some destinations may require the use of Zodiacs to go ashore. These are usually on expedition cruises though may sometimes be used on destination cruises. 

PLEASE NOTE: Deck plan varies for 2019 cruises, no inside cabins.

Cabin layout for Serenissima

Pre-Cruise Selous Safari Extension. From (2525.00 GBP)

The Selous Game Reserve lies 200 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam and at 55,000 square kilometres is four times larger than the famous Serengeti in the north. The reserve is home to over 1,000,000 large animals and over half of Tanzania’s elephant population. However, one of the major attractions has to be the mighty Rufiji river, home to one of the largest crocodile and hippo populations in Africa, swarming with fish which in turn bring about some of the world’s best water birding. The river has also formed several large lakes on its northern bank, navigable by boat and Siwandu Camp is situated on one of these lakes, sheltered in a grove of one of Selous’ many beautiful palm forests. Our stay coincides with the perfect season for bird and plant lovers, flowers will be in abundance and the deciduous trees are starting new growth. It is also the main reproductive time of year so a good time for seeing young animals.

Serenissima

Serenissima in East AfricaSerenissima

East Africa Expedition Expedition

18 Days from
£ 6345 GBP pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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