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Cotonou, Benin-port
  • Cotonou, Benin

Cotonou, on the Gulf of Guinea is Benin's chief seaport and commercial center. At the beginning of the 19th century, Cotonou was a small fishing village dominated by the powerful Kingdom of Dahomeywith its elite corps of Amazon warriors. In the 19th century it became a French trading enclave and colony. In the city, view the Cotonou Friendship Stadium, the Cotonou Cathedral with its distinctive striped exterior , Cotonou Central Mosque and Dantokpa Market offering goods and produce from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. A familiar feature of the city is the motorcycle-taxis known as Zémidjans. Memorable excursions include a cruise across Nokoue Lake to the traditional village of Ganvie; a royal reception with the king of Abomey or a tour of Benin's captivating capital city of Porto-Novo.

View Cruises that visit this port

Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Cotonou Highlights & Orphanage
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Ganvie Village On Stilts
    Light Activity /Walking
  • Kingdom of Abomey and Royal Greeting
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent ChoiceMeal
  • Ouidah - the City of Voodoo
    Light Activity /WalkingRegent Choice
  • Porto Novo
    Light Activity /Walking

Cotonou Highlights & Orphanage

Light Activity /Walking

Duration: 3 1/2 hours

Tour Code: COO-005

Join your coach at the pier and commence a drive through the Ganhi commercial area, passing the Cotonou Cathedral along the way. This Roman Catholic cathedral is well-known for its distinctive burgundy and white-striped tiled exterior façade.

From here you will continue on, crossing the Nokoue Lake and driving past the bustling Dantokpa market to the craft center. A stop will be made at the craft center where you will be allowed some free time to do some shopping for local handicrafts.

Re-joining your coach, you will next travel to the Abomey-Calavi orphanage. The orphanage is home to approximately 110 children that range in age from infants to children 16-years of age. Your visit includes a chance to meet with the children and then they will entertain you with singing and dancing. While the orphanage does have a box for those wishing to give a donation, this is strictly voluntary and there is no pressure for visitors to do this.

Your tour concludes with a drive through Cotonou's administrative quarter as you make your way back to the pier.

Please note: This tour includes minimal walking over mostly even surfaces. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who are able to both make their way on and off the coach and sit in a coach seat. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Loose clothing and comfortable, flat walking shoes are suggested. The order of the sites visited or viewed may vary. Please bear in mind that you will be visiting an under-developed destination which will not have the same amenities and comforts that you would find in more urban areas.