23 Oct 2023
North Africa is a cultural feast, with a wealth of ancient civilisations, complex peoples, exotic cities and rich architecture to discover. A cruise to this region provides an amazing variety of destinations, from mysterious Egypt to colourful Morocco, and offers extraordinary shore excursions to explore rolling desert sands and unique classical sites. With guaranteed constant sunshine and warm sparkling waters, every moment will be filled with pleasure and relaxation.
The majority of cruises to North Africa form part of longer sailings, to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, or the Atlantic Islands including the Canaries. In general, the best time for cruising in this area is the spring or the autumn, when there are fewer crowds and temperatures are moderate. However, the winter season can also be very mild and pleasant.
One of the most frequently visited countries on a North Africa cruise is Morocco, a heady mix of cultures, traditions and religions, with both a Mediterranean and an Atlantic coast. On the Mediterranean coast, Tangier, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, is the gateway to Africa from Europe, and is characterised by whitewashed buildings, beautiful vistas and unspoiled beaches. At the nucleus is the vast labyrinthine Medina, pulsating with activity, and contrasting with the cool fountains, quiet mosques and tranquil mosaic courtyards that can be glimpsed behind wrought-iron gates.
On the Atlantic coast lie the lively beach resort of Agadir, sought after by surfers and sun-lovers, and the cosmopolitan city of Casablanca, the commercial capital, known for its beautiful Moorish and Art Deco architecture. From here it's possible to visit Morocco's biggest attraction, Marrakech, the Pearl of the South and a World Heritage site -- full of exciting experiences, including mediaeval snake charmers.
Further east, the city of Tunis has long been a favourite cruise stop, and some cruise lines still visit, though others have avoided it since the terrorist attack of 2015. This old white hill town has a history going back 3,000 years, and from the 12th to the 16th centuries was regarded as one of the centres of the Arab world. The main avenue and the ancient bustling Medina are a delight to explore.
The most popular country in North Africa for cruising is undoubtedly Egypt, where the most frequent ports of call are Port Said and Alexandria. Alexandria for centuries was the greatest centre of learning in the ancient world, second only to Rome, and has many classical sites, while Port Said is a popular resort destination. From both ports there are excursions to Cairo and the Great Pyramids of Giza, one of the world's greatest spectacles dating back 5,000 years.
The whole of the north coast of Africa provides a rich tapestry of culture which will keep you enthralled. And a cruise here is not only a feast for the mind, but a feast for the senses too, with so many new smells and flavours, spices and food. A cruise along this mysterious coast will transport you to new and exciting worlds.