84 Small Ship Cruise Lines Covered and Counting...


The Continent offers a hugely varied choice of small-ship cruises. Beginning in the north, Morocco is a major destination for its ancient Arab cities, mostly located inland from nearby ports, the edge of the Sahara Desert and coastal resorts. Egypt is a draw for ships calling at Alexandria, at Port Said for the overland excursion to Cairo and the Pyramids, the Suez Canal transit, and Safaga for the Nile Valley. Nile River cruises are a big draw when combined with a land package. East African ports give access the wildlife safaris. Oceangoing ships call at East and South African ports, and lake and river cruises ply Botswana’s waterways.

East Africa

Small ships call at Mombasa for national park safaris and at Zanzibar for its Arab and African culture and history; Stone Town, a World Heritage Site; and the fine sandy beaches.


Oceangoing ships call at Alexandria for its multi-cultural heritage, at Port Said for the road trip to Cairo, its museum and the Pyramids, and Safaga for the trip inland to the Nile Valley. Separate river cruises lasting from several days to a week or more to take in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, Luxor, Karnak and Abu Simbel.

North Africa

Morocco’s draws are its ancient Arab cities of Tetouan, Fez, and Meknes, accessed from Tangier and capital at Rabat, and from Casablanca, the market city of Marrakesh at the edge of the Sahara Desert. Tunisia has limited tourism focused on Tunis, the capital, and nearby ancient ruins of Carthage.

South Africa

The country has wonderful access from Cape Town for Table Mountain, the beautiful nearby wine country, spectacular botanical gardens, Durban and its sea front, and Richards Bay for national park wildlife.

Southern Africa

This region indicates countries other than South Africa, such as Namibia with its German heritage at coastal Luderitz and Swakopmund and inland desert scenery. For game, Botswana offers a combination of river, lake and land cruises to its parks, plus a border crossing to see Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.