Hurtigruten has revealed it is to become the only expedition cruise line exploring Africa’s west coast next year, introducing four new countries to its 2022/2023 season.

In line with guest demand for more warm water destinations, Hurtigruten has added the west coast of Africa and its archipelagos – the Bissagos Island and Cape Verde – to its list of new destinations. The new 13-day itinerary will visit four countries: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. MS Spitsbergen will be based out of Dakar, the expedition specialists have revealed.

“2022 will be one of the most adventurous years for Hurtigruten Expeditions. We will start the year by launching our Galapagos operations in January, and at the end of the year, we will introduce our first African cruises. We are very excited about expanding to new unique destinations, which complements our Caribbean and South American expedition cruises and strengthens our global position,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.

“We know our guests want to explore many different parts of the globe, and our ambition is to offer the world’s most exciting destinations that can best be explored by our small ships. With the Bissagos Islands and Cape Verde, we offer a truly unique and off-the-beaten-track destination that is perfect for an expedition adventure like no other,” said Lassesen.

Hurtigruten Expedition’s first-ever African cruise will depart on 27 November 2022 and will be the first in a series of expedition cruises to visit Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands. One of the world’s most untouched destinations, the Bissagos Islands will offer guests a combination of distinctive wildlife and diverse landscapes as they enjoy four days exploring the 88-island archipelago that is home to hippos, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, manatees, and 500 species of birds.

Guests will explore Cape Verde and the Bissagos on board the extremely popular MS Spitsbergen.

In addition to new African itineraries, Hurtigruten is also set to show travellers a new side to the Canary Islands and Madeira, focusing on great hiking, national parks, and cultural walking tours. The five 10-days sailings to the Canary Islands and Madeira depart in November 2022 and January through March of 2023.