A fond farewell to Saga Pearl II on an epic 54-night South African adventure cruise

The Saga Pearl II (Dec. 2013, photo Ivan T. at Wikipedia)Saga Pearl II is set to retire in style from the Saga Cruises’ fleet with a 54-night farewell celebration cruise across Africa, departing on February 16, 2019.

The momentous South African Farewell Adventure sailing features calls including South Africa and Namibia, Mozambique and the remote island of St Helena, plus there are amazing opportunities to spot wildlife.

Saga Pearl II sails from Portsmouth and ventures into the West African sunshine with a call to Banjul, in Gambia, where guests can take a tour of the Oyster Creek mangroves to look for birdlife such as red-throated bee-eaters.

There’s also going to be plenty of fun with a Crossing the Line ceremony and cruise-goers who have never sailed across Equator can expect the japes of King Neptune, Davy Jones and their sidekicks in a riotous event!

Oil-rich Luanda, the capital of Angola, awaits. It is one of the world’s most expensive and quickly expanding cities but its history can be explored visiting the San Miguel Fort and the Agostinho Neto Mausoleum.

One of the special farewell celebrations takes place during an overnight mooring in Cape Town, South Africa. Whilst in Port Elizabeth, guests can perhaps try to spot the ‘big five’ in the Pumba Game Reserve or take a 4×4 ride through Addo Elephant Park.

East London, also in South Africa, sits beside the Buffalo River and there’s rare wildlife, such as the unique Eastern Cape kudu, to be seen on an optional tour to Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve.

From Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, there’s a fantastic opportunity to join a two-night overland excursion to Kruger National Park for afternoon and early morning safaris before rejoining Saga Pearl II in Durban. A further optional tour takes guests to Tala Game Reserve to go in search of giraffe, antelope and buffalo.

Richards Bay is also on the itinerary and in Hluhluwe Game Reserve there’s a kayaking safari into the wetlands of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, home to turtles, crocodiles, hippo and hundreds of birds.

Weather permitting, it’s time to find a space on deck as Saga Pearl II makes her way around the shoreline of the Cape of Good Hope en-route to Luderitz and Walvis, in Namibia, to look out for seals, penguins, flamingos and rare white pelicans.

Covering just 47 square miles, the South Atlantic island of St Helena is extraordinarily remote and guests have the rare chance to step ashore on this British Overseas Territory.

French-speaking Dakar, in Senegal, is next on the itinerary with excursions to Gorée Island or the Pink Lake, where salt is harvested by locals.

On Saga Pearl II’s 202nd sailing she also calls into Porto Grande in Cape Verde; Funchal, Madeira; Santa Cruz, Tenerife and Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The last port is Ferrol, the gateway to Galicia and Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

54 nights from £11,097 departing from Portsmouth on February 16, 2019. Price includes UK travel package to and from Southampton, all meals and entertainment, choice of table wines at lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, free wifi, all on-board gratuities, porterage, free shuttle bus to nearest town centre (whenever possible and when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount passenger has own insurance.

All excursions mentioned are optional, at an additional cost, and are subject to availability and change. Some of the highlights detailed may only be seen on optional excursions or by exploring independently.

Price based on two people sharing the lowest available Inside cabin grade and includes any relevant booking discount. Fare was correct at the time of sending and is subject to availability and change. Further terms and conditions apply. Please call for details.

Saga Pearl II
She joined the Saga fleet in 2010 and will be retired after the South African Farewell Adventure sailing. She first set sail as ‘Astor’ in December 1981 and changed names to Arkona, Astoria and Quest for Adventure before becoming Saga Pearl II.

Saga Cruises’ new 999-guest, all-balcony ship Spirit of Discovery will come into service during summer 2019.