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10 nights
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Island Hopping in Cape Verde

Explore the natural beauty and culture of the Cape Verde Archipelago aboard the MS Island Sky

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  • History and Culture
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Maio

Join us aboard the wonderfully comfortable MS Island Sky as she undertakes an island hopping adventure; exactly the type of itinerary that suits her best. 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 and there is truly no better way to explore this region, 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.

Our voyage provides an in-depth exploration of the culture, wildlife and lifestyle of the islands, some of which are arid and flat with extraordinary beaches and sand dunes contrasting with lush mountainous islands. It is a little world of its own, each island having a distinct culture and atmosphere and an ideal archipelago for small ship cruising. On some islands the infrastructure is minimal but with our nimble Zodiacs we are able to land on the remotest of islands and explore on foot.

Our in-depth discovery of the Cape Verde archipelago will begin and end on the island of Sao Tiago and from here we will island hop, exploring volcanic landscapes, colonial towns and villages and breathtaking beaches. For those who enjoy visiting out of the way islands where tourists are a rarity, this is a unique opportunity.

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Island Sky

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

View vessel details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Praia, Sao Tiago, Cape Verde.

Fly by scheduled flight via Lisbon. Arrive in the late evening and transfer to the MS Island Sky. Moor overnight.

Day 2 - Maio.

Depart Praia after breakfast and make the short hop over to tiny Maio, a peaceful island with vast deserted beaches. Due to winds and erosion this relatively flat island shows little evidence of its volcanic past. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon allowing for time at leisure to walk in the sand dunes and along the beach next to the capital of Vila do Maio with its huge white Baroque church and pretty pastel painted houses. Alternatively join an informal guided walking tour of the town or join the expedition team on a nature walk.

Day 3 - Palmeira, Sal.

The island of Sal was relatively undeveloped until the mid-nineteenth century when salt export business was developed and this morning we will visit one of the original sites at Pedra de Lume. We will see the saltpans, learn of the salt extraction process and even have the chance to float in the waters. After lunch we have the option to stay on board or transfer to the town of Santa Maria for a relaxing afternoon swimming from the beaches or exploring the local shops for Cape Verdean crafts.

Day 4 - Tarrafal, 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. After lunch enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 5 - Porto Novo, Sao Antao.

We have a full day on the most beautiful of the islands, Sao Antao. Driving up the old trading route, we pass the volcanic crater ‘Cova’ with its agricultural plantations and enjoy panoramic views of the island before arriving in the tiny picturesque mountain village of Fontainhas on the northern side of the island. After lunch in the seaside village of Ponta do Sol, we will take the coastal road towards the greenest valley in the archipelago, the valley of Paul. Here we will enjoy a coffee break whilst 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 and our waiting ship. Moor overnight.

Day 6 - Porto Novo, Sao Antao & Mindelo, Sao Vicente.

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 sail the short distance to Mindelo, the cultural capital of the Cape Verde. Enjoy an island drive to Monte Verde with its plantations and spectacular views over the island. We will be entertained by local music and capoeira on board as we moor overnight.

Day 7 - Mindelo, Sao Vicente.

Enjoy a further full day in Mindelo, one of the most attractive of all Cape Verde towns with its colonial buildings, cobbled streets, cafes and lively restaurants. Depart on a morning discovery tour of the lively markets and the secret corners of the harbour town. After a coffee break in a typical Cape Verdean bar, learn about the life of the local artists and their works by visiting the national museum of handicraft. The afternoon is free to further explore the vibrant town independently.

Days 8 & 9 - Sao Filipe, Fogo & Furna, Brava.

Over the next couple of days we will visit both Fogo and Brava. Fogo is an extraordinary place. Known as the ‘Mother Island’ it has its own unique character and people. It is 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. Here we enjoy lunch and listen to local guides talk of the eruption of 1995 over local wines. 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, coconut trees and bougainvillea.

Day 10 - Praia, Sao Tiago.

The island of Sao Tiago and in particular the busy capital of Praia, has a wonderful African feel. On a full day excursion visit Cidade Velha the old Portuguese Fogo capital with a rich history and once the centre of the slave trade. See the fort and cathedral which dominate the narrow cobbled lanes and stone houses. Enjoy a traditional performance of Batuco dance. Continue into the green interior, climbing the steep mountains and enjoying the colours as we climb to Rui Vaz where we enjoy lunch of local produce in the shadow of Pico da Antonia. We will see local farms and drive past the only water dam in Cape Verde on our way back to the ship.

Day 11 - Praia, Sao Tiago to London.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our return flight to London via Lisbon.

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £400 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
29 March 2018 to 8 April 2018 • 18 to 28 October 2018
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
Magellan Deck Standard Forward Suites £5295 £4895
Magellan Deck Standard Suites £5395 £4995
Columbus Deck Superior Suites £5595 £5195
Marco Polo Deck Premium Suites £5795 £5395
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suites £5995 £5595
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony Suites £6395 £5995
Explorer Deck Owner's Balcony Suite £6595 £6195
Magellan Deck Standard for sole occupancy £6295 £5895
Columbus Deck Superior for sole occupancy £6595 £6195

Tour Reference Code: SCISK29318/SCISK18108

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled flights, 10 nights aboard the MS Island Sky on a full board basis, wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, shore excursions, on board team, transfers, port taxes, gratuities.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visas.

Ship to Shore: This cruise is not classified as an expedition cruise, however Zodiac landing crafts will be used on some days to explore coastlines and to land on some of the islands which have minimal infrastructure. 

  • All Decks

  • Explorer Deck

  • Erikson Deck

  • Marco Polo Deck

  • Columbus Deck

  • Magellan Deck

Island Sky

The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.

 
  • MS Island Sky
  • Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
    Standard Suite (Magellan Deck)
  • Superior Suite (Columbus Deck)
  • Premium Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Corner Suite (Marco Polo Deck)
  • Premium Balcony Suite (Erikson Deck)
  • Owner's Balcony Suites (Explorer Deck)
  • Lido Deck
  • Lido Deck
  • Restaurant
  • The Lounge
  • Library
  • Restaurant
  • Your Suite

    On board 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, a large wardrobe, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD/CD player and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries, 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 on the Columbus Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. For your convenience, it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite.

    In addition to the main Lounge on the Columbus Deck, there is also The Club, located on the Marco Polo Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Marco Polo Deck is The Library. Well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads, you will not find yourself short of excellent literature on board. A selection of games and two computers complete with internet access can also be found in The Library. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability.

    The main dining room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Magellan Deck and outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Erikson Deck, complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Further to this on the top Explorer Deck the observation area complete with sun loungers is ideal for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request. For your comfort, there is also a clinic with Doctor and a lift which serves all decks.

    As is the joy of small ship cruising, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the progress of the vessel (subject to weather or security conditions).

  • Dining

    It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions.

    With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board all three vessels is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapes take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice.

    In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose.

    The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.

  • Life Onboard

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels.

    When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky 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. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship.

    The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

  • For your comfort

    The MS Island Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more 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 a specific area on deck.

  • Inclusions

    Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Island Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included this in your holiday price. In addition we tip all our guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you. We also include excursions and drinks with meals onboard.

  • 360's

    Island Sky Balcony 

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    Island Sky Bathroom

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    Island Sky Bridge

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    Island Sky Cafe

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    Island Sky Club

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    Island Sky Magellan Deck Cabin 

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    Island Sky Restaurant

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    Island Sky Lounge

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    Island Sky Library

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  • Cabin Plans

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  • Ship Directory
    The booklet below contains some further details pertaining to the vessel.
    Please click on the booklet to view. 

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  • Deck plans
    • All Decks

    • Explorer Deck

    • Erikson Deck

    • Marco Polo Deck

    • Columbus Deck

    • Magellan Deck

Tour Extensions

    • 27-29 March 2018 & 16-18 October 2018

      For those who would like to spend some time in Lisbon prior to embarking the MS Island Sky we have arranged a two night extension. Our package includes two nights hotel accommodation on a breakfast only basis at a centrally located four star hotel, a half day city tour and transfers from and to Lisbon airport.

      Lisbon Lisbon
    • Prices per person based on double occupancy
      CategoryPrice
      Twin £355
      Single £465

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