When it comes to experiencing the cruise trip of a lifetime, more people are considering Cape Verde as the ideal holiday destination, newly released data suggests.
According to Enapor port authority, cruise traffic to the archipelago saw a 96 per cent jump in 2013 in terms of the number of vessels docking, while the amount of passengers disembarking rose by an equally incredible 98 per cent.
Porto Grande in the city of Mindelo saw the most visitors with 61 separate holidays incorporating it as part of the journey, with Porto Praia taking the second ranking with 42 calls. Both ports can accommodate three ships of various sizes at the same time, explaining their popularity with operators.
While the undeniable beauty of Cape Verde is certainly a huge draw, product development and plans to turn the country – which encompasses ten volcanic islands – into a more tourist-friendly destination have played their part in the rising figures.
"The growth is the result of good planning, execution and team work by all stakeholders involved but there is still much work to be done at a local level, and the government is stepping up its support," commented Luis de Carvalho, consultant to the Cape Verde Cruise Project.
"Our long term goal is to gradually expand itineraries and initiatives to include other West and Central African countries that are being motivated by the success of Cape Verde," he added.
The training of more guides and provision of better-suited facilities to island ports such as those of Sal, Boavista, Fogo, Sao Nicolau, Maio and Brava are developments that are thought to have resulted in the explosion of popularity.
Consider exploring the islands of Cape Verde aboard the Harmony V mega-yacht operated by Variety Cruises, which can provide a unique perspective to its surrounding islands with plenty of luxury available above and below deck in addition to stunning destinations and inspiring itineraries. Failing that, keep an eye out for Seafarer's short series of cruises sailing from next November to this fabulous destination, priced from £1,199 excluding port charges and flights.