Cruising with a difference.jpg

Cruising with a difference

BREATHTAKING views and exclusive access to some of the world’s most beautiful animals await passengers aboard the MV Arion as it travels from Portimão later this year to the Cape Verde islands, passing Lanzarote, Fuerterventura and San Sebastian de La Gomera.

The cruise ship departs from the Algarve port on October 10 for the 12-night voyage of discovery to the Cape Verde islands – and The Resident is delighted to have linked up with organisers Ultimate Pelagics  to offer readers a chance to be part of this adventure.

Marine life

Whales, dolphins and other marine animals, as well as birds, can be seen up close and passengers will have plenty to do with the many activities on board and the excursions on land.

The cruise will pass the Canary Islands, which is rich in marine life and passengers

The cruise to the Cape Verde Islands will pass the Canary Islands.
The cruise to the Cape Verde Islands will pass the Canary Islands.

could see as many as 26 cetacean (whales and dolphins) species, including sub tropical dolphin species.

As a former colony, the Cape Verde Islands have much to offer the adventurous and active tourist. The influence of Portugal is still evident in the cultural mix of everyday life.

The islands lie off the west coast of Africa and as a volcanic archipelago, the seabed around the islands slope steeply away into great depths.

The islands are surrounded by deep water canyons and shelf slopes, which are a prime habitat for beaked whale species. The cruise will allow passengers to discover an area rich in marine and birdlife, an area untouched and very rarely recorded.

One passenger said: “A combination of a night sky full of stars, a luminous milky way, phosphorescence of unknown beasts and the occasional visit by dolphins

The Arion strives to create a welcoming atmosphere.
The Arion strives to create a welcoming atmosphere.

is indescribable – this was pure emotion”.

The cruise is organised by Ultimate Pelagics and the Biscay Dolphin Research team, both striving to give passengers a unique look at nature in its most purest and most unspoiled form.

Ultimate Pelagics was founded in 2004 with the aim of enabling people to experience the natural environment in a manner consistent with the principles of sustainable development. In order to achieve this, Ultimate Pelagics works directly with the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme (BDRP).

Since 1995, BDRP has carried out monthly, year-round cetacean surveys in several locations, including the Bay of Biscay. It is currently working on a project in the Canary Islands with the aim to further the conservation of cetaceans and other marine life through scientific investigation and educational activities.

Passengers can take on an active role in contributing to the protection and enhancement of the quality of marine life and they will in turn receive the ultimate experience by being brought closer to nature.

On board, a team of scientists announce all sightings throughout the open decks and public lounges of the ship. A simple to use sightings guide is used to help passengers see the wildlife and around 15 staff are strategically positioned around the ship for direct questions and assistance with the species identification.

The team director is also head of the Biscay Dolphin Research Programme and thus provides both the company and the ship’s captain with the correct protocols of whale and dolphin watching. The trip can be as busy or relaxed as passengers want and with the full facilities of a luxury cruise liner they will have the benefits of relaxing in the beauty and therapy salon or putting their feet up and enjoying a book or card game in the library.

The 13-day ecological cruise is dedicated to marine life and will give passengers the chance to sample local traditions of the islands as well as relax and unwind in the lap of luxury and the arms of Mother Nature.

Itinerary on board MV Arion

Day 1 – Arion departs Portimão at 6pm.

Day 2 – Wildlife watching at sea.

Day 3 – Passing east of Lanzarote in the morning and east of Fuerterventura, we will be able to enjoy the marine life around these islands which are renowned for their variety of species.

Day 4 – This morning we arrive at San Sebastian de La Gomera for a chance to stretch your legs on land before our journey towards Cape Verde.

Day 5 – Wildlife watching at sea.

Day 6 – Circumnavigate Raso Island which is famous for the rare Raso lark.

Day 7 – This morning we arrive in Praia Santiago, the capital of the Cape Verde is lands, where you will have a couple of hours to enjoy the town before re boarding the ship to circumnavigate Fogo, an island formed from a volcanic eruption.

Day 8 – Santa Maria Bay, Sal. This morning you will be taken to a salt lake in an extinct volcano crater.

Day 9 – Wildlife watching at sea.

Day 10 – Puerto de La Estaca-Heirro. Our arrival at 4pm will allow you to enjoy the town at night. Ship departs at 11.59pm.

Day 11 – Today we will spend the day wildlife watching, while we pass the Selvagens Islands.

Day 12 – Wildlife watching at sea.

Day 13 – Arrival back into Portimão at approximately 12pm.

Costs for this voyage of discovery start at 1,399 euros per person. For more information about this offer, brought to you exclusively in Portugal by The Resident, please call 282 342 151 or visit