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Rome (Civitavecchia) to Cape Town

HISTORIC WONDER | 34 Nights | Departs Oct 21, 2015

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  • Sossusvlei Dune Adventure
  • Sossusvlei Dune Adventure

    Code: wvdl01

    Experience one of the world’s most dramatic desert landscapes in luxury by joining a game drive, stargazing in an observatory, brunching on the high dunes, and zipping about on a quad bike.

    Day 1

    After disembarking from the ship in Walvis Bay, you will transfer to the Walvis Bay Airport for your chartered light aircraft transfer flight to Sossusvlei.

    You will be met at the airstrip and you will transfer in a 4-wheel-drive open-air vehicle to the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

    Nestled deep in the heart of Namibia’s hauntingly beautiful Namib Desert in Southern Africa, the secluded lodge is a serene oasis that overlooks awe-inspiring dunes and stony outcrops. The area’s tranquility and extraordinary clarity of light make it one of Africa’s most compelling landscapes.

    Upon arrival you will enjoy lunch followed by check-in formalities.

    After some time to freshen up in your suite, you will then embark on an afternoon game drive accompanied by an expert guide. Driving along in an open-air vehicle ideally suited for viewing, you will look for indigenous desert wildlife.

    You may spot the iconic oryx, an antelope with bold black and white facial markings and sweeping horns. The desert is also home to mountain zebra, cheetah, baboon, springbok, Cape fox and ostrich. There is no telling what you will encounter or see, as you explore the fascinating and varied terrain.

    Later, you will dine on delectable African cuisine and then head for the lodge’s observatory, which houses the most powerful electronic telescope in Namibia outside the National Observatory. The crisp, dry desert air provides unrivalled opportunities to be mesmerized by the Milky Way, when the weather permits. To help you get the most out of your viewing, knowledgeable field guides will point out the highlights in the southern skies while elaborating on the cosmos.

    Afterwards, you will retire to your suite for the evening.

    Day 2

    Your adventure begins in the coolness of the early morning, as you board a 4-wheel-drive open-air vehicle and set out to explore the Sossusvlei Desert Mountains. The orange sand dune belts of the NamibRand Nature Reserve are magnificent and among the world’s highest, offering an incredibly panoramic view of the serene desert below.

    Here, in this rare dramatic setting, you will enjoy brunch, followed by a visit to the Dead Vlei, which is Afrikaans for “dead marsh.” Once irrigated by a river, which dried up about 900 years ago, this part of the desert is so dry that the trees not only died, they turned black in the intense sunlight. Yet, they still stand as eerie monuments to the harsh climate as it’s too arid for them to decompose.

    By the late morning, you will return to the lodge and settle in to enjoy several hours of free time. Afterwards, you can participate in an activity such as a dune walk, during which you might see a yellow-flowered quiver tree and animals resting in cool burrows. It’s also possible to arrange an expedition to the nearby San cave to see the ancient paintings on the cave walls. Another option is a nature drive where you can track down unique desert-adapted wildlife such as zebra, cheetah, kudu, baboon, steenbok or the leopard. Perhaps take a scenic drive to enjoy the massive boulders of Bushman’s Koppies.

    Come evening, you’ll enjoy dinner before retiring to your suite, where you might stargaze in private through the skylight above the bed.

    Day 3

    Following breakfast you will have time for a game activity in the morning. Afterwards, you will transfer to the airstrip for your chartered light aircraft flight to Walvis Bay.

    On arrival at Walvis Bay Airport you will be met and assisted with check-in formalities for your flight to Cape Town.

    On arrival in Cape Town, a local tour guide will meet and transfer you to Cape Town harbor where you will re-join the ship.

    Overland Program Step by Step: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The indicated times are approximate, provided here only for general reference and are subject to change.

    Day 1

    10:00am Depart Walvis Bay and transfer to the airport

    10:30am Flight to Sossusvlei (flight details TBA and subject to change)

    11:30pm Arrive in Sossusvlei and transfer to the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

    12:30pm Arrive at the lodge for check in and lunch

    3:30pm Afternoon tea

    4:00pm Afternoon game drive

    6:30pm Sundowner drinks

    7:30pm Dinner and optional star gazing (weather permitting)

    Overnight at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

    Day 2

    5:00am Early-morning wake-up call

    5:30am Tea & coffee

    6:00am Sossusvlei desert excursion with breakfast

    11:30am Approximate return to the lodge

    1:00pm Lunch

    3:30pm Afternoon tea

    4:00pm Afternoon activity

    6:30pm Sundowner drinks in the bush

    7:30pm Dinner and optional stargazing (weather permitting)

    Overnight at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

    Day 3

    5:30am Morning game activity, followed by breakfast

    10:00am Check out and transfer to the airstrip for your charter flight to Walvis Bay

    10:15am Flight from Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay (Flight details TBA and subject to change)

    11:15am Arrival in Walvis Bay and check in for your flight to Cape Town

    2:00pm Flight to Cape Town (flight details TBA and subject to change)

    4:00pm Arrival in Cape Town, clear customs and immigration and transfer to the harbor

    5:30pm Re-board your ship

    Expected weather:

    South Africa’s seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Midwinter is in June and midsummer in December and January. The climate varies from region to region but is generally mild throughout the year.

    At Sossusvlei, the weather in December tends to represent the middle part of the warm humid spring, with reliable bright sunshine and virtually no chance of rain. Daytime temperatures should peak around 30C/86F, with nights a dipping to a reasonable 14C/57F.

    What to bring:

    Khaki, brown, white and beige-colored clothing. No bright colors. Light cotton tops and cotton trousers and shorts in summer. Safari trousers and warm fleece tops for evenings and cooler days. Swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes, camera, film and batteries (including spare batteries), and personal toiletries.

    Currency:

    The monetary unit of South Africa is the Rand, divided into cents and abbreviated as R and c. Notes currently in circulation are to the value or R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10. Coins are in denominations of R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c, and 5c. All major credit cards are accepted at most establishments, although Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards.

    Electricity:

    South Africa’s electrical system is 220/230 volts A/C 50 cycles. Most accommodations have hair dryers and plug adaptors in the bedrooms.

    Luggage:

    Due to the charter flight on a 12-seat C208 plane (subject to change), luggage weight is restricted to a maximum of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) per person, including hand luggage.

    **Luggage must be soft-sided.

    Weight restriction on charter flight:

    Guests cannot weigh more than 100 kilograms (200 pounds) each. Weight restrictions do not allow for guests to compensate their weight with fellow travelling guests.

    Documents and visa requirements:

    South African Immigrations requires that you have at least two consecutive double-blank pages in your passport, or entry to the country could be denied. Passports should also be valid for more than six months at the time of travel. Please consult your local embassy for all visa requirements pertaining to South Africa.

    Accommodation:

    Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (suites)

    IMPORTANT NOTES, OBSERVATIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS

    •Guests are not permitted to use cellular phones during activities, nor speak loudly or stand up on the game drive vehicles, as it will disturb the animals.

    •Smoking is not permitted during the drives.

    •It may be difficult for some guests with walking difficulties to get in and out of the open vehicles.

    •The roads in the game reserve are gravel. Certain parts of the drive can be bumpy. The program is not recommended for guests with back problems.

    •Comfortable clothing, binoculars and a sun hat are strongly recommended.

    •For safety reasons, no children under the age of 6 years are allowed on the open vehicles.

    •Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.

    • Please consult your local embassy for details on the latest visa requirements for Namibia.

    •Only one soft-sided bag of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) per person is allowed.

    WHAT’S INCLUDED

    ? 2 nights at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge on a fully inclusive basis (accommodation, all meals, local beverages and activities as mentioned above).

    ? Transfers in Cape Town and Walvis Bay in luxury touring vehicles with air-conditioning and PA-system.

    ? Registered English-speaking driver-guide on transfers

    ? One 500-ml (17-ounce) bottle of mineral water per person on transfers

    ? Porterage for a maximum of one piece of soft-sided luggage per person

    ? Charter flights between Walvis Bay and Sossusvlei

    ? Scheduled economy class flight from Walvis Bay to Cape Town

    WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

    ? Meals not listed above

    ? Gratuities for drivers, guides and lodge staff

    ? All other drinks, including champagne and premium-brand spirits and liquor

    ? Personal expenses such as telephone calls, shop purchases and laundry

    ? Any other services not mentioned above

    Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces, which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather-appropriate clothing such as caps, sunglasses, and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

    Sossusvlei Dune Adventure
    Price: $2,999.00 per guest based on double occupancy.

    Sossusvlei Dune Adventure
    Price: $2,849.00 per guest based on double occupancy.

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