17 nights onboard SH Diana

South-East African Horizons

28
Leaving from: Mombasa
Cruise ship: SH Diana
Visiting: Mombasa Zanzibar Kilwa Kisiwani Nosy Bé
Swan Hellenic Logo
Swan Hellenic

Swan Hellenic cruise line takes pride in providing elegant cruises that sail their guests to far-flung destinations across the world such as New Zealand and the Arctic. With over 70 years of experience, enjoy a sophisticated and comfortable atmosphere onboard Swan Hellenic cruises, with some truly remarkable visits to less-accessible polar regions and plenty of lesser-visited ports worth seeing.

192
Passengers
141
Crew
2023
Launched
12100t
Tonnage
125m
Length
23m
Width
15kts
Speed
9
Decks
USD
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Day 1
Mombasa, Kenya
Day 2
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Day 3
Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
Day 5
Nosy Bé, Madagascar
Day 6
Majunga (Mahajanga), Madagascar
Day 7
Nosy Ve, Madagascar
Day 8
Morondava, Madagascar
Day 9
Tuléar, Madagascar
Day 12
Richards Bay, South Africa
Day 13
Durban, South Africa
Day 14
East London, South Africa
Day 15
Gqeberha (ex Port Elizabeth), South Africa
Day 16
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Day 17
Hermanus, South Africa
Day 18
Cape Town, South Africa
Mombasa, Kenya image
Day 1
Mombasa, Kenya
You may well find yourself in Mombasa for a few hours or an overnight stop. The city (which is actually an island linked to the mainland by a ferry) is the second oldest trade center with Arabia and the Far East. Today it still plays an important role as the main port for Kenya. Although it lacks the beautiful beaches of the north and south, it has a rich, fascinating history. Visit the Old Town with its narrow streets lined with tiny shops and souks (markets). The Old Harbour, frequented by numerous dhows, is an ideal place to arrange a short cruise on one of these local boats that have plied the oceans for centuries. Fort Jesus, designed by an Italian and built by the Portuguese in the late 16th century, is a major visitor draw and well worth a visit. In summer there's an impressive sound-and-light show.
Zanzibar, Tanzania image
Day 2
Zanzibar, Tanzania
This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that’ll make your jaw drop.Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only 6 degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone.The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations.The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route.Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania.Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, decent dive spots, acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a popular spot to head post-safari.Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples, and 2 Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow.Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th century have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village.Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island and now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all.
Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania image
Day 3
Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
Nosy Bé, Madagascar image
Day 5
Nosy Bé, Madagascar
Nosy Bé, meaning Big Island in the Malagasy language, lies just a stone's throw off Madagascar's northwest coast. It is a remote and exotic destination. With its deserted beaches, rustic hotels and unhurried pace, it attracts travellers looking for a laid-back vacation. The fertile island is the centre for the production of perfume essence from the ylang-ylang trees. The heady scent of their flowers gave Nosy Bé the name "Perfumed Isle." Other local products include sugar cane, coffee, vanilla and pepper; they are grown for export in large plantations. Hellville, the island’s main town and port, is situated in a sheltered bay. It is named after a former French governor, Admiral de Hell. The town features a few old colonial buildings, a busy market, some small boutiques and tourist shops along the busy main street. At the quayside, vendors display embroidered linens, wood carvings and straw articles. Trips into the lush countryside may include a ride up to Mt. Passot. At 950 feet (285 metres), this is the highest point on the island. The view from the top offers an extensive panorama of crater lakes nestled between verdant hills. Most visitors make the boat trip to Nosy Komba. The tiny island is known for its lemur reserve. These arboreal primates, with their large eyes, soft fur and long curling tails, have lived unharmed for centuries in the forest behind Ampangorina village. The lemurs are a popular tourist attraction and a profitable source of income to the small local community.
Majunga (Mahajanga), Madagascar image
Day 6
Majunga (Mahajanga), Madagascar
Nosy Ve, Madagascar image
Day 7
Nosy Ve, Madagascar
Morondava, Madagascar image
Day 8
Morondava, Madagascar
Tuléar, Madagascar image
Day 9
Tuléar, Madagascar
Richards Bay, South Africa image
Day 12
Richards Bay, South Africa
South Africa’s largest harbour is located on a lagoon on the Mhlatuze River on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal and takes its name from Admiral Sir F W Richards who sailed into the bay to deliver supplies to the troops during the Anglo/Zulu War of 1879. The Richards Bay lagoon was declared a game reserve in 1935, when conservationists objected to the growing industrialisation here. This however did nothing to halt development. Instead a compromise was agreed and a wall was built across the length of the bay to divide the lagoon. The north side became the seaport and the south remained a sanctuary for waterfowl and wildlife. The lagoon is famous for being the site where the longest crocodile ever recorded was shot by hunter John Dunn - it measured over 20 feet. The town was built on the shores of the lagoon in 1954 and although it was only a small fishing community in the 1960s, the development of the deep water harbour and railway in 1976 prompted the growth of the much larger township you see today. The bustling town is now a popular holiday destination with its unspoilt beaches at the edge of the Indian Ocean, year-round sunshine and excellent recreational facilities including surfing and fishing. It is also an excellent gateway to Zululand and the KwaZulu wildlife reserves. Richards Bay has recently undergone a major renovation that has given the town a Caribbean feel.
Durban, South Africa image
Day 13
Durban, South Africa
Durban, a glistening jewel on the south-east coast of Africa, is the third largest city in South Africa and the major city of KwaZulu-Natal. It has been a centre of sea trade since before colonisation and now has a flourishing artistic centre, which perfectly complements the vibrant markets and rich cultures of the city. Durban’s port is a natural half-moon harbour lined with white sand and azure water, punctuated by the port’s many piers which reach into the water like the leaves of a fan. The beaches of Durban’s famous Golden Mile stretch along the harbour and are popular all year round, as travellers and locals alike enjoy Durban’s warm, humid summers and mild, dry winters.
East London, South Africa image
Day 14
East London, South Africa
South Africa’s only river port city is situated on the south-east Indian Ocean coast between the Buffalo and Nahoon Rivers. Its location is widely regarded as one of the most attractive on the Eastern Cape coast and it is ideally placed for exploring the coast towards Port Elizabeth and the surrounding Transkei region. The city you see today was born when the British-built Fort Glamorgan was constructed here in 1847 and it was British governor Sir Harry Smith who named the town London after the Empire’s capital as an open declaration about its promising position as a port. The town later became East London due to its location on the east of the Buffalo River, and in more recent times is sometimes referred to as Buffalo City. East London is renowned for its superb golden beaches such as Eastern, Orient and Nahoon, both popular with surfers, and a variety of places to dine and drink have sprung up along the bustling beachfront. While the city is predominantly modern you can see a number of historic buildings and monuments such as City Hall, whose clock tower commemorates the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Gqeberha (ex Port Elizabeth), South Africa image
Day 15
Gqeberha (ex Port Elizabeth), South Africa
Originally the home of the San and Khoisan people and later the Xhosa tribe, the area now known as Gqeberha (previously Port Elizabeth) became a landing place for passing European ships after Portuguese navigator Bartolomew Diaz arrived in Algoa Bay in 1488. As part of the Cape Colony, the British occupied the area during the Napoleonic Wars and it was they who built Fort Frederick here in 1799. Twenty-one years later 4,000 settlers arrived, becoming the first permanent British residents of South Africa and Gqeberha. Sir Rufane Donkin, Acting Governor of the Cape Colony, founded Port Elizabeth, naming the settlement after his late wife. The town underwent rapid growth after 1873 following the construction of the railway to Kimberley, and is now one of the country’s major seaports. Like most South African cities, miles of beautiful coastline surround Gqeberha. Algoa Bay combines warm water and fair breezes, making it a mecca for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts. Those interested in history can follow the Donkin Heritage Trail, past a succession of Victorian and Edwardian town houses, trim gardens and neo-Gothic churches. Just outside the town are a number of game reserves, including the famous Addo Elephant National Park.
Mossel Bay, South Africa image
Day 16
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Hermanus, South Africa image
Day 17
Hermanus, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa image
Day 18
Cape Town, South Africa
Sometimes referred to as the Mother City, Cape Town is the most famous port in South Africa and is influenced by many different cultures, including Dutch, British and Malay. The port was founded in 1652 by Dutch explorer Jan Van Riebeeck, and evidence of Dutch colonial rule remains throughout the region. The port is located on one of the world's most important trade routes, and is mainly a container port and handler of fresh fruit. Fishing is another vital industry, with large Asian fishing fleets using Cape Town as a logistical repair base for much of the year. The region is famous for its natural beauty, with the imposing Table Mountain and Lions Head, as well as the many nature reserves and botanical gardens such as Kirstenbosch which boasts an extensive range of indigenous plant life, including proteas and ferns. Cape Town's weather is mercurial, and can change from beautiful sunshine to dramatic thunderstorms within a short period. A local adage is that in Cape Town you can experience four seasons in one day.
Ship Details
Swan Hellenic
SH Diana
Arriving in early 2023, SH Diana will be the largest ship in our fleet, providing elegant and spacious 5-star accommodation for 192 guests in 96 spacious staterooms and suites, the vast majority with large balconies. Operated by an onboard team of 140 she will provide the highest levels of personal service and take Swan Hellenic back to its roots when she launches, exploring the Mediterranean and its famous sites of antiquity.
Find your perfect cruise!
Cabins
All Prices