Crystal Cruises’ newest Overland Adventure, the “Bwindi Forest Gorilla Tracking Experience,” is a five-night journey only available to guests sailing back-to-back on two of Crystal Serenity’s 2014 World Cruise segments: an 18-day March 10 voyage from Singapore to Cape Town and the following 21-day March 28 cruise from Cape Town to London. From South Africa’s port of Durban, outing participants will travel deep into Uganda, then reconnect with the ship in Cape Town.
Over two days, participants will follow guides into the UNESCO World Heritage-classified Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, tracking the gorillas’ paths. Guests can then safely watch their interactions, observe them, learn about their habits and history and possibly see other residents such as forest elephants, giant forest hogs, blue monkeys or one of 350 bird species and 200 types of butterflies.
On non-tracking days, the group will also learn about Uganda’s wetland, savannah, and forest eco-systems at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and participate in a mock Batwa Pygmy (considered the “keepers of the forest” for more than 5,000 years) hunting party, including tribal singing and dancing. Luxury accommodations include two nights atThe Lake Victoria Serena Resort, set on the world’s largest tropical lake, and three nights at the silver-service Sanctuary Gorilla Camp.
The “Bwindi Forest Gorilla Tracking Experience” starts at $11,676 per person. The combined, 39-day cruise itinerary calls in Singapore (overnight); Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; Durban and Cape Town, South Africa; Walvis Bay, Namibia; Luanda, Angola (maiden call); Bom Bom Island/São Tomé, Principe; Takoradi, Ghana; Dakar, Senegal; Agadir, Morocco; Lisbon, Portugal; and London/Southampton. Cruise-only fares start at $18,240, with $1,100 in “Book Now” savings if booked by Jan. 3.
Crystal is also offering ten other Overland Adventures (shore excursions wherein guests stay inland overnight during a cruise) in Africa next year, taking guest to Nelson Mandela’s former home, through the countryside by Victorian-era railcar, and on multiple safaris in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
The Crystal Serenity recently emerged from a $17-million redesign with new Crystal Penthouses and transformed indoor/outdoor casual dining spaces, including the Trident Grill, Scoops ice cream bar, Tastes Bar, Lido Cafe and Tastes restaurant, with a brand new evening menu.