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19 nights
from £8995

Circumnavigation of Madagascar

Discover the marvels of the ‘eighth continent’ aboard the MS Serenissima with Guest Speaker Daniel Austin

  • 3 February 2022
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Expedition Cruising
  • Masoala National Park

Join us for this unique opportunity to circumnavigate the island of Madagascar on what will be our most comprehensive exploration of this extraordinary island yet. Still relatively unexplored, there is minimal infrastructure in many parts of the island and for those wishing to explore the island in some depth, doing so by small ship, especially one as well-suited as the MS Serenissima is far preferable to exploring by any other means.

The world’s ‘eighth continent’, Madagascar long remained obscure as a destination and the animals, plants, landscapes and people that make up this thousand mile long island are unlike anywhere else in the world. Our expedition includes thirteen days on the island allowing for the opportunity to explore rainforests full of wildlife including lemurs, chameleons and indigenous birdlife as well as seeing the underwater world and village life. Our days will be spent exploring ashore, often traversing over rugged terrain and walking through spectacular rainforests and each evening we will have the benefit of returning to our comfortable ship to relax and look forward to the next adventure.

In addition to the breathtaking scenery, the region abounds with strange and wonderful plants and trees, countless varieties of birds and abundant wildlife including the iconic lemur. The long separation from the African mainland has given rise to its amazing number of endemic species of flora and fauna and its people are also unique having descended from Malay-Polynesian mariners who sailed from South East Asia between 1500 to 2000 years ago. Later arrivals included slaves from Africa, traders from Arabia, India and Portugal and more latterly French colonials.

With the vessel’s fleet of Zodiacs for forays ashore, allowing access to the wonderful places denied to larger ships, you can enjoy ample time to explore and encounters with fabulous endemic wildlife in this immensely rich and timeless corner of the Indian Ocean. Your experience will be made all the more memorable by our expert crew and officers who, along with our expedition team including marine biologists, ornithologists and botanists have many years of experience in the region.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  


Serenissima

Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

View vessel details

Itinerary

  • Panther Chameleon
  • Broad-billed Roller

Day 1 London to Mauritius.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 Mauritius.

Arrive today and transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Port Louis. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 3 Reunion.

We arrive at breakfast 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. Fields of sugar cane and plantations of tropical fruits, vanilla and all manner of spices perfume the air. 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. Continue to Salazie, a verdant landscape and home to many waterfalls including the ‘Voile de la Mariee’ before spending some free time in St Denis on the way back to the MS Serenissima. This afternoon is at leisure before we set sail this evening.

Day 4 At Sea.

Spend the day at sea as we sail towards Madagascar. Maybe join a lecture or find a spot on deck to relax.

Days 5 & 6 Taolagnaro, Madagascar.

Our first call in Madagascar is the south eastern port of Taolagnaro, also known as Fort Dauphin. This was the first French settlement in Madagascar, situated on a peninsula overlooked by the Anosy mountains. We will moor overnight and during our afternoon and morning here we will offer a choice of excursions including Nahampoana Private Park. The reserve is only 67 hectares but home to four species of lemur including ring-tailed and sifakas whilst the gardens showcase Madagascan plants with three-cornered palms and spiny Desiderata trees. A tour of Taolagnaro will include the market, public gardens and the Fort Flacourt Museum where we will learn about the arrival of the Magalasay people to Madagascar and the historical links with Reunion. Also enjoy walks in the forest at the Madena Conservation Zone, a 200 hectare park protected from the region’s mining industry and where we hope to see bamboo lemur and different varieties of orchids.

Day 7 Tulear.

Having sailed around the southern tip of Madagascar we arrive in Tulear at lunchtime. This afternoon choose a drive to the Antsokay Arboretum which is entirely devoted to the conservation of the plants from the south west of Madagascar and, after more than 30 years of hard work, offers a densely kept selection of flora presenting a typical sub-arid thicket with baobab trees towering over the smaller plants. We will see the four hectare botanical garden which comprises over 900 species of plants of which 90% are endemic to the region. Alternatively visit the Reniala Private Reserve, a small area of just 60 hectares but containing a spiny forest which is unique to south eastern Madagascar. The park is home to 200 plant species including baobabs as well as being a haven for birders with sightings of paradise flycatchers, Madagascar hoopoe and Madagascar crested drongo.

Day 8 Andavadoaka & Nosy Hao.

The vessel will anchor this morning off the small fishing community of Andavadoaka, home to the Vezo fishing people. The area offers the most diverse marine ecosystem on the southwest coast. It is also the base for Blue Ventures, a marine conservation society that has helped the local villagers invest in their community by way of training local guides and showing ways to preserve their resources. We hope to learn more about the local projects before sailing over lunch to Nosy Hao to discover the sandy white beaches where we can enjoy a swim in the warm waters.

Day 9 Morondava.

From our anchorage off the town of Morondava, we will use the Zodiacs to land on the local beach. From here there will be a choice of excursions to explore the local region. A half day morning tour will visit the Avenue de Baobabs. Of the eight baobab species in the world, six are endemic to Madagascar and here we will see the Adansonia grandidieri species with a row of 20 to 25 trees which border the gravel road. We will learn about the trees and their spiritual significance before returning to Morondava and exploring the local market. Alternatively, join a full day excursion to Kirindy Forest. Situated approximately a two hour drive from Morondava, we will pass the Avenue de Baobabs as we travel north. Kirindy is a 10,000 hectare, dry deciduous forest, one of the most endangered in the world where the flora and fauna includes many endemic species. Here we find three species of baobab, many birds and reptiles including snakes, tortoises and lizards. Eight species of lemur reside here including the pale form marked lemur.

Day 10 At Sea.

Our lecture programme resumes as we continue our journey around the Madagascan coast.

Day 11 Mahajanga.

Mahajanga is a major port in northwest Madagascar situated on the Betsiboka River and is our base for a full day excursion to Ankarafantsika National Park. This deciduous forest is a haven for birds, lemurs and reptiles and on a choice of walks, we will explore with our guides. Eight species of lemur have been observed here including the famous Microcebus, the smallest primate in the world. Meanwhile over 120 species of birds nest here and we will keep an eye out for the Madagascan fish eagle and banded kestrel whilst the 44 species of reptile include chameleon, turtles and crocodiles that live in Lake Ravelobe. We will enjoy lunch in the park and in the afternoon there will be options to join further walks or watch for birdlife at the nearby lake before returning to the MS Serenissima.

Day 12 Nosy Tanikely.

We arrive mid-morning at the Nosy Tanikely Island Marine Reserve, an uninhabited island which offers snorkelling opportunities and wonderful beaches. We will take the chance to either swim in the clear waters or snorkel over the corals keeping an eye out for reef fish, turtles and morays. Alternatively our naturalists will lead guided walks on the island where we may see the resident lemurs, fruit bats and hermit crabs and enjoy fantastic views from the lighthouse on the island’s highest point.

Day 13 Nosy Hara.

As we continue our journey along the western coast of Madagascar we will find a number of strangely shaped limestone islets that dot the aquamarine-coloured sea. The expedition team will decide on the most suitable island for landing, such as Nosy Hara with its abundant birdlife and great places to swim off the beach. We will spend the day exploring the island on foot, walking through dense woodland and observing the unusual vegetation. Alternatively join a Zodiac cruise around the islands and a chance to snorkel over the coral.

Day 14 Diego Suarez.

Overnight we will have sailed around the northern tip of Madagascar and first thing this morning we will enter dramatic Panther Chameleon Diego Suarez, a stunning natural harbour with a cosmopolitan mix of inhabitants including Creoles, Indians, Chinese, Comorans and Arabs. This afternoon choose from a city tour visiting the Commonwealth Cemetery and Place Joffre, or the Malagasy Rain Forest at the Mount Amber National Park. Dividing into short and long walk parties we will go in search of lemurs, chameleons and endemic birds as we explore the rain forest. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea.

Days 15 & 16 Masoala National Park & Nosy Mangabe.

We will spend a day and a half exploring from our anchorage in Antongil Bay. We visit 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 redfronted brown lemur and the ring-tailed mongoose. The park is also home to various species of brightly coloured Mantella frogs and all manner of extraordinary chameleons. Masoala is also a refuge of the endangered Madagascar red owl, Madagascar serpent eagle and many endemic bird species. We will run a series of walks for all levels during our time here whilst you will also have the option to swim off the beach or perhaps visit the local village. We will also explore Nosy Mangabe, a 520 hectare island reserve. Here we find one of the most diverse areas of virgin rainforest in Madagascar which has also been an important research centre since the mid-1960s when several aye-ayes and lemurs were released into the forest. We will use our Zodiacs to land on the beach next to the forest and a series of nature walks will be offered to look at the varied trees, plants and ferns and we also hope to spot chameleon, lizards and black and white ruffed lemur. For the birders, we will keep an eye out for the Madagascar buzzard, kingfisher and paradise flycatchers.

Day 17 Taomasina.

Our last call in Madagascar is at Taomasina, the country’s main port and second largest city but also the gateway to the Pangalanes Canals, a series of rivers, waterways and lakes that extend for over 400 miles down the island’s east coast. Used mainly for transportation and fishing, the canals are also home to unspoiled beaches, lagoons and lakes whilst providing access to national parks and private reserves. This morning we will take a local boat cruise through the canal to enjoy the scenery followed by a nature walk in one of the private reserves. Enjoy lunch in the reserve before returning to Taomasina this afternoon. Alternatively visit the Ivoloina Zoological Parc, a 282 hectare property combining a small zoo where we will see up to 12 species of lemur as well as indigenous tortoises and chameleons. Meanwhile in the surrounding forests we can see wild lemurs or malachite kingfishers on one of the many walking trails.

Day 18 At Sea.

Enjoy the day at sea to relax and reflect on our Madagascan adventure as we sail back to Mauritius.

Day 19 Mauritius to London.

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 20 London.

Arrive this morning.

  • Masoala National Park
  • Ankarafantsika National Park

Dates and Prices

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £200 PER PERSON FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY
Prices per person based on double occupancy
3 to 22 February 2022
Category Brochure Price Special Offer Price
2 Standard Stateroom £9195 £8995
3 Classic Stateroom £9495 £9295
4 Superior Stateroom £9795 £9595
5 Deluxe Stateroom £10295 £10095
6 Junior Suite £10795 £10595
7 Owner’s Suite £11195 £10995
8 Serenissima Suite £11495 £11295
10 Standard Single £10195 £9995

Tour Reference Code: SCSE030222

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • 17 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner • Noble Caledonia expedition team • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Airport taxes • Port taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Madagascan visa.

  • Deckplan

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Serenissima

The charming MS Serenissima began her career as the Harald Jarl, cruising the Norwegian coastline and fjords. Extensively renovated in 2003 she was rechristened MS Andrea and began her life as a classic cruise ship, and was chartered by Noble Caledonia for a number of years. In spring 2012 MS Andrea was purchased by our longstanding associates Volga Dream and renamed the MS Serenissima. After a thorough renovation and upgrading, the charming MS Serenissima commenced cruise operations in April 2013 and we have chartered her for the majority of each year since knowing her to be perfect for small ship cruising. With her small size she can navigate into small, remote ports inaccessible to the big cruise ships and appears an impressive sight when moored. With her fleet of Zodiacs she is capable of both destination and expedition cruising.

 
  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served à la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel 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 the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers 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 the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    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 she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style.

    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 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.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

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

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

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    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all cabins feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air-conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by email at cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    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 & 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 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea Lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a welcome and farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events. For example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    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. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    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.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin/suite and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

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

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitisers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard & Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. 

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY & LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SHOP

    The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 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 and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

    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 BE ADVISED: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.6 December 2019

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  • Your Cabin

    Your Cabin/Suite

    Accommodating no more than 95 passengers, there are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all feature either windows or portholes. Cabins for double occupancy range in size from 10 to 25 square metres. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and all cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 – 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, telephone, robes and slippers, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. All cabins feature a flat screen television on which the lectures are relayed live should you wish to listen to them from the comfort of your cabin. Refillable water bottles are also available in the cabins. Due to the quirky nature of the ship, no two cabins are the same and cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.

  • Your Space

    Your Space

    The facilities on board include two lounges – the larger Andrea Lounge is comfortable and spacious and the smaller Harald Jarl Lounge is more intimate. There is also a small library and Wi-Fi is available at an extra cost throughout the vessel. The outside areas really are something special. A spacious observation deck allows 360 degree views of the passing scenery. From here, step down to the lido area with Jacuzzi and outside bar. The covered seating area at the back of Deck 6 is ideal for relaxing with a drink in hand. Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a country house style which has recently been updated with some Art Deco styling which works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and a classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

  • Your Dining

    Your Dining

    The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting and, with its Deck 5 location, all of the tables benefit from great views. The picture windows also make the restaurant wonderfully light and airy. Breakfast is served buffet-style with cooked dishes available and eggs to order by the ship’s accomplished chef. Lunch is also served buffet-style with hot and cold dishes available. Dinner is served à la carte and is four courses, except at the Captain’s Dinner, which is a six course affair. Where possible, local produce is sourced for an authentic dining experience. A choice of red or white wine, beer, soft drinks and water is included at lunch and dinner. In good weather there are al fresco dining facilities available and tea and coffee are available around the clock in the Andrea Lounge. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure and dress is informal except for the Captain’s Dinner for which you may wish to dress in smarter attire.

  • Life On Board

    Life on Board

    If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then the MS Serenissima is not the vessel 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 the MS Serenissima the ideal vessel. The MS Serenissima is more akin to a country hotel than one of the large ships trawling the seas today. The Captain, Officers 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 the emphasis is on well-thought out itineraries, relaxation, time spent with like-minded passengers and discovery. A little music in the lounge after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Cruise Director and of course, good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make a voyage aboard the MS Serenissima a memorable and joyful experience.

  • For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    For your Comfort, Safety & Security

    There are so few ships of this generation still cruising and MS Serenissima is a great testament to her present and previous owners that they have seen fit to invest considerable sums over the years to keep her in top form and complying with health and safety requirements. There is a Doctor on board and a lift. During your voyage you will have the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the bridge to check the vessel’s progress by charts and learn more about your journey and whenever possible a tour to see the unique engine room is offered.

  • Ship Directory

    Ship Directory 

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    Please find below further details pertaining to the vessel or click on the booklet to download.

    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 she is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her on top form. At the end of 2018 she underwent a refurbishment which included both of the lounges and in November 2019 further refurbishments were completed including the cabins on Decks 3 & 4, the reception area and the Venice Restaurant. MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features is her unique style.

    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 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.

    We hope this information booklet answers any questions you may have pertaining to the vessel and wish you a pleasant voyage.

    VESSEL TECHNICAL DETAILS

    Number of crew: 52
    Beam: 43.6 feet
    Draft: 15.5 feet
    Length: 286 feet
    Gross tonnage: 2598 tonnes
    Classification: CRS
    Cruising Speed: 14 knots
    Built: 1960 
    Refurbished: 2018 & 2019
    Registered: St Vincent & Grenadines

    AIR-CONDITIONING

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

    ALTERATIONS TO THE SCHEDULE

    Our planned schedule may be changed at short notice due to weather conditions or technical reasons. Should there be any alterations the Captain or Cruise Director will inform you of any changes.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    The ship uses a public address system to advise guests of all important information and activities during the cruise. Announcements can be heard throughout the public areas of the ship and in all cabins.

    CABINS

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    The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. There are eight different grades of cabins arranged over five decks, and all cabins feature either windows or portholes. Windows and portholes do not open in the cabins/suites, except for the Serenissima Suites (numbers 701 – 704) which have a window and a balcony door which opens out onto the balcony.

    Facilities include: • Air-conditioning (please note that only the Serenissima Suites have individually controlled air-conditioning) • Dressing table with chair or stool • En-suite bathroom with shower, (please note cabins 601-605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) • Hairdryer • Minibar (Serenissima Suites only) • Balcony (Serenissima Suites only) • Dressing gown and slippers • Safe • Flat screen television • Telephone (charges apply) • Wardrobe • Wi-Fi access – You will require your own laptop, tablet or smartphone (charges apply). 

    COMMUNICATION

    In case you wish to contact the ship, please call + 47 2367 4607. This is a Norwegian telephone number so calls will be charged at an international rate. The ship can also be contacted by email at cruise@msserenissima.com (please indicate passenger name and cabin number as the subject).

    The telephone system for ship to shore functions is via satellite and charged at €7 Euros per minute for outgoing calls. Please be advised of the following for internal communication:

    Cabin to cabin: dial cabin number International line: dial 000+ code of the country + telephone number Reception: dial 800 Doctor: dial 331 or 332

    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 & 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 24 hours a day at the tea and coffee station located in the Andrea Lounge.

    Please advise of any special dietary requests such as vegetarian, vegan, low salt, low cholesterol, gluten free, lactose intolerant to Noble Caledonia (in writing) in advance and we recommend that you also reconfirm with your Cruise Director and Maitre D’ once on board. We regret that not all dietary requests can be guaranteed.

    DRESS CODE

    During the day, comfortable and casual attire is appropriate. The evenings are smart casual (e.g. a shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a skirt/trousers and blouse for ladies). There will be a welcome and farewell dinner, so you may like to bring something a little dressier for these events. For example, gentlemen may wish to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies a dress or trouser suit. Black tie is not required.

    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. If you have any medication which must be kept cold, please ask at reception to store it in the fridge.

    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.

    EMERGENCIES

    In case of an emergency please leave your cabin/suite and follow the instructions given by the Captain and Hotel Manager. All public areas have an emergency button. We request that you read the safety instructions on the back of your cabin door.

    FIELD STAFF

    Throughout your cruise you will be accompanied by your Noble Caledonia Cruise Director/Expedition Leader and an experienced team who will be happy to assist you with any queries or requests.

    GOING ASHORE

    Please leave your cabin key at reception and take your ship card with you. As soon as you are back on board please hand back your boarding card and pick up your key as this will confirm your presence on board.

    When you go ashore individually, please be back on board at least 30 minutes before the advertised departure time of the ship.

    GRATUITIES

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

    HEALTH & HYGIENE

    In order to maintain health standards you will find hand sanitisers at key positions around the ship particularly at the entrance to restaurants and near the gangway. We kindly ask you to use these regularly.

    INTERNET

    Wi-Fi access is available in public areas with your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and charges apply – 500MB for €15 Euros, or 1GB for €25 Euros. Please note that connection is dependent on weather conditions and location.

    LANGUAGE

    All members of the crew speak English.

    LAUNDRY SERVICE

    If you require the laundry service, please leave your laundry bag together with the completed laundry list on your bed before 0900. The laundry bag and list can be found in your wardrobe. Every effort will be made to return your laundry to your cabin within 24 hours. There is no dry cleaning service onboard.

    LIFE JACKETS

    All life jackets are stored on Deck 6 near the Muster station.

    LIFT

    There is a lift on board that serves decks 3 to 6. Please note that, due to the layout of the ship, the following cabins are accessible by at least one flight of stairs: 417 – 421, 424 & 701 – 704.

    LOST PROPERTY

    Before you disembark the ship, please check your cabin to ensure you do not leave anything behind. If you discover you have left any items behind, please contact Noble Caledonia within seven days of disembarking. If we are able to recover your item(s) we will contact you to arrange delivery or collection, and any costs incurred will be at your own expense.

    MONEY

    The official currency on board is the Euro, but British Pounds are also accepted. All passengers will have their own ship account, which allows you to sign for purchases and services such as bar drinks, telephone calls, laundry etc. throughout your cruise. The following payment methods are accepted for settlement of shipboard accounts:

    • Cash (Euros,British Pounds or US Dollars) • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express) • Debit Card (MasterCard & Visa) Please note that personal cheques and Travellers’ Cheques are not accepted.

    As a result of Russian ownership, please note that credit/debit card payments will be charged in Russian Rubles. The debited amount shown on your bank/building society statement in British Pounds will be based on the relevant exchange rates on the day of the transaction. You may need to make your bank/building society aware that your card payment will be authorised ‘in Russia’ so that payment is not declined, and also to ascertain if any additional charges will be applied. Unfortunately, the ship is not able to offer a money-changing service onboard, as this would be contravening official regulations.

    PASSPORTS

    Your passport will be kept securely at reception throughout the duration of the cruise, and you will be issued with a ship card which we advise you carry with you at all times when ashore.

    POST

    Please note that although the reception staff may be happy to post letters and postcards on your behalf, they may not be able to do so straightaway or indeed at the port of call at which you make such a request. Please also note that some postal services are unreliable and that any letters or postcards that you ask to be sent on your behalf may be delayed or even lost en route. 

    PUBLIC AREAS

    • Andrea Lounge (on Deck 5). The bar is open from 09.00 until 24.00. • Harald Jarl Lounge (on Deck 5). There is a small library here with books and games. • Lido area (on Deck 5) with a Jacuzzi and small fitness room with two running machines • Observation Deck (access from Deck 5 lido area) • Deck 5 and Deck 6 outside seating areas

    RECEPTION

    Reception is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 pm. Overnight the reception’s phone will be switched over to the bridge.

    QUESTIONNAIRE

    Your comments are important to us therefore before your cruise ends, you will receive a questionnaire. We are always looking for ways to improve your holiday and in order to do this we need some feedback from our guests. Kindly hand your completed questionnaire in to your Cruise Director.

    QUIETVOX AUDIO SYSTEM

    During our excursions, we use an audio headset system called Quietvox. In your cabin there is a charging station with two devices and two sets of earpieces. Please keep your devices in the charging station (and the station plugged in) whilst you are not on an excursion. Bring the sets with you on excursions as your guides with speak to you through their microphone. The use of the equipment will be explained before the first excursion starts.

    SAFE

    Although there is a safe in your cabin, we recommend that you leave all extra valuables at home, and bring with you only what you consider necessary. Neither the ship, nor Noble Caledonia, are responsible for any valuables left in the cabins. Beware of petty crime and pickpockets whilst ashore. A money belt worn underneath clothing is useful. Do not take all your money with you when out sightseeing. We advise utmost caution at popular tourist spots. Please do not leave any luggage unattended at any time.

    SAFETY & LIFEBOAT DRILL

    The safety briefing will take place prior to sailing. All guests must attend this compulsory and important exercise. Please listen for the announcements. During the drill you will be instructed on how to wear and operate your life jacket.

    SEA SICKNESS

    As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon weather, season, etc. It is recommended that you bring anti-motion sickness medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. Please consult your Doctor/General Practitioner (GP) or local pharmacist regarding which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or lying down with their eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help. SHOP The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SHOP

    The shop sells branded MS Serenissima merchandise.

    SMOKING

    Smoking is not permitted in the cabins or public areas. Smoking will only be permitted outside in the designated areas.

    SNORKELLING

    There is snorkelling equipment available on board the vessel.

    TELEVISION

    The ship is equipped with a satellite TV system which receives 13 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 and another which displays the Daily Programme and activities.

    TOILETS

    The ship is fitted with a sensitive vacuum system. Please do not put anything into the toilet except toilet paper.

    TOWELS

    Towels will be changed once in the middle of your cruise. Should you need new towels earlier, please let the housekeeper know. Please do not use the bathroom towels on the beach. A separate towel for swimming will be provided.

    WATER

    Previously the MS Serenissima used 200 plastic bottles of water every day. In order to help reduce the damage caused to the environment by waste plastic, we are replacing plastic water bottles where possible with eco-friendly, reusable water bottles. We have chosen stainless steel bottles, made of durable, high quality stainless steel.  It will keep your drink fresh and cool for longer and fit neatly into your bag or backpack. You can fill it up from the water station on board, located in Reception area, deck 5. We recommend that you do not drink nor refill your bottles from the tap in your cabin. The tap water is not potable. The bottle in your cabin is for your personal use during the cruise to take on excursions. Please leave the bottle/s in your cabin at the end of the cruise.

    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 BE ADVISED: These details should be used as a guideline only. Information is subject to change.

    V.6 December 2019

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Travelling with You

  • Daniel Austin

    Daniel is a travel writer, naturalist, photographer and tour lecturer who specialises in the exotic Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. He visits Madagascar every year to explore and photograph its diverse wonders. His fascination with this enigmatic country extends not only to its unique flora and fauna, but also to its people, culture, history, geology and beyond. Daniel has written three books about Madagascar and contributed words and images to countless others. He also presents occasional lectures on the country, including at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society, as well as on specialist tours of the island. His expertise is frequently consulted by filmmakers making documentaries about Madagascar. In addition, Daniel is Secretary of the Anglo-Malagasy Society, a UK-based organisation founded in 1961, which holds events and meetings in London to promote knowledge of Madagascar amongst British people and to foster relations between the two countries. Daniel is the founder of the Madagascar Library, a private collection of some 3,000 books, maps and other documents about the country, available for use by academics, journalists, historians and other researchers. He studied linguistics and cognitive science at the University of Cambridge and at UCL in London, as well as engineering science at the University of Oxford.

    Daniel Austin will be on the following tour dates: 3 to 22 February 2022

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