Although the capital of Gambia, Banjul remains one of Africa's smallest cities. Nestled on St. Mary's Island at the mouth of the Gambia River, it exudes a village-like atmosphere. Spend a carefree day admiring the 19th century architecture in MacCarthy Square or visiting the landmark King Fahad Mosque with its twin minarets. Explore the Gambia National Museum, which houses historical, archaeological and cultural artifacts. And shop for unique gifts at the bustling and lively Albert Market.

Port: Banjul
Experience

Banjul

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  • Beach Break At the Sheraton

    Relax and unwind at one of Gambia's finest beaches during this half-day respite at the Sheraton Beach.

    Depart the pier for the 18-mile drive along the coastal road south of Banjul en route to the Sheraton Beach, one of Gambia's finest beaches. After a welcome drink upon arrival, you can relax and unwind by the pool, sunbathe or go swimming. Following your visit, you will rejoin the coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: Wear a swimsuit under a cover-up, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship. Beach umbrellas, lounge chairs and towels are available at the beach. Guests wishing to stay longer at the Sheraton can do so, but will need to take a taxi back to the ship at their own expense.

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  • Lazy Day Cruise

    Experience the natural beauty and traditional local lifestyle along Gambia's waterways during this scenic and relaxing boat cruise on the Gambia River.

    Depart Oyster Creek via boat for a relaxing cruise along the sheltered meandering tributaries of the Gambia River. As you glide between the lush, green mangrove-lined waterways, you will see many exotic tropical birds and pass by an area where local villagers can be seen oystering from their age-old, dugout canoes.

    During your excursion, a stop will be made for a buffet lunch. After lunch, you will have an opportunity to take a refreshing swim and try your hand at fishing before continuing your exploration of the local creeks. Beer, soda and water will be served throughout the cruise.

    At the conclusion of your boat cruise, you will be transferred back to the pier.

    Please note: Wear a swimsuit under a cover-up, and bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and a towel from the ship.

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  • Roots Juffureh River Cruise

    Discover the land of Alex Haley's epic novel and TV series, Roots: The Saga of an American Family, during this scenic and memorable full-day cruise along the Juffureh River.

    Depart Banjul Port via boat for the long, relaxing cruise up-river to the centuries-old trading station of Albreda, whose flagpole gained fame during the slave-trade days. According to local lore, the flagpole was once thought to guarantee freedom to any slave who touched it after escaping from nearby James Island.

    Next, you will proceed to the Museum of Slavery for a unique insight into Gambia's slave trade. From here, you will take a short walk to the village of Juffure, purported birthplace of Kunta Kinte, the central character in the novel and TV series, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The original home of Alex Haley's great-great-grandfather stands near the mosque; it is still inhabited by the family, and may be visited during your stroll through the village.

    You will then embark the boat again and be served lunch while continuing your river cruise towards James Island. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island is steeped in slave trade history. Although you will not set foot on the island, the boat will cruise close enough for you to see the fortress ruins and learn about its history from your guide. Following your visit, you will commence the cruise back to the pier. En route, you may see dolphins swimming in the estuary.

    Please note: The boat is very basic, and the only one available for this tour. It features an inside cabin and an open deck. The inside cabin is not air-conditioned; windows will be kept open, and fans will run to keep the inside of the boat as comfortable as possible. The boat ride is long and can be monotonous; we recommend bringing along a book or crossword puzzle. The seating on-deck consists of plastic chairs that are not bolted to the floor; please use caution when moving around. The actual duration of the tour depends on the river's current and tide. Wear lightweight, comfortable clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship.

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  • Banjul Highlights

    Explore the highlights of Gambia's capital city and surroundings during this scenic, half-day orientation tour of Banjul.

    Depart the pier for an orientation drive through Banjul. Your first stop will be a visit to the National Museum, followed by stops at a jewelry shop and the city's main mosque. A photo stop will then be made at Arch 22 before continuing on to Serre-Kunda, the most densely-populated town in Gambia. Upon arrival, you will observe a tie-dying demonstration, and see beautiful batik cotton.

    Next, you will proceed to Bakau, where a stop will be made for refreshments at a local bar before heading to the Bakau Craft Market to browse for souvenirs. Afterward, you will continue on to the Katchically Crocodile Pool for an opportunity to see the famous resident crocodile, Charlie, which was featured in a British television documentary.

    Your tour will conclude with a visit to the bustling Banjul Albert Market, where everything from live chickens and vegetables to herbs and toupees can be purchased. Following your visit, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier.

    Please note: At the marketplaces, as with any crowded place, care muct be taken with handbags, cameras and valuables. Order of the sites visited may vary.

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  • Makasutu Palm Forest

    Experience the pristine natural beauty of the Gambia River during this scenic, half-day nature walk through the Makasutu Palm Forest.

    Depart the pier for the drive to the Makasutu Palm Forest, which is situated on a beautiful meandering tributary of the Gambia River, or Mandina Bolong. This region encompasses many different ecosystems, including mangroves, savannahs and dense forests. Upon arrival, you will take a guided nature walk through the park at the forest.

    Along the way, you are likely to see a variety of African and European birds that include the pied wagtail, lily trotters, West African river eagle, black heron and Goliath heron. African tropical birds found here include sunbirds, glossy starlings, amusing parrots, hornbills, beautiful rollers, and colorful kingfishers. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, monitor lizards, pygmy deer, mongoose, and the occasional baboon. Following your nature walk, you will be transferred to the pier.

    Please note: Although common, animal sightings are not guaranteed. Wear lightweight clothing with comfortable, closed-toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship.

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  • Makasutu Palm Forest and Mangrove Cruise

    Explore the Makasutu Palm Forest in a unique new way during this scenic and memorable nature walk and mangrove cruise.

    Depart the pier for the drive to the Makasutu Palm Forest, which is situated on a beautiful meandering tributary of the Gambia River, or Mandina Bolong. This region encompasses many different ecosystems, including mangroves, savannahs and dense forests. Upon arrival, you will take a guided nature walk through the park at the forest.

    Along the way, you are likely to see a variety of African and European birds that include the pied wagtail, lily trotters, West African river eagle, black heron and Goliath heron. African tropical birds found here include sunbirds, glossy starlings, amusing parrots, hornbills, beautiful rollers, and colorful kingfishers. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for monkeys, monitor lizards, pygmy deer, mongoose, and the occasional baboon. Following your nature walk, you will explore the mangrove area in a canopied dugout canoe. Your visit to Makasutu will conclude with a Gambian buffet lunch accompanied by a demonstration of Jola cultural dancing. Afterward, you will be transferred back to the pier.

    Please note: Although common, animal sightings are not guaranteed. Wear lightweight clothing with comfortable, closed-toe shoes, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship.

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  • Off the Beaten Track - Four Wheel Adventure

    Experience the scenic beauty and local lifestyle of Southern Gambia in an exciting new way during this off-road excursion along the Smiling Coast.

    Depart the pier via four-wheel-drive vehicle for the drive along the southern coast of Gambia. En route, a few stops will be made in the bustling Greater Banjul area to observe the local way of life in the bustling commercial center before proceeding into rural Gambia.

    Your occasional incursions into the bush offer an opportunity to see chattering monkeys, baboons in their treetop playgrounds, and many exotic and colorful birds. You will also experience the hospitality of the local citizens during visits to some local villages and one of the village schools, if possible. Snacks and refreshments will be served on one of the pristine beaches, where you may take a stroll.

    Next, a visit will be made to the Tanji Nature Trail to observe various aspects of Gambian culture. Following your visit, you will rejoin your coach for the return drive to the pier. En route, you will pass by the beach and a fishing village.

    Please note: Although common, wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. As this tour involves travel over bumpy surfaces, pregnant women and guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilize a wheelchair are discouraged from participating. Wear lightweight clothing, and bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses from the ship.

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