Portuguese Island

One of Africa's most evocative beach destinations
Amazing silk-sand beaches
White triangular sail and crystalline waters

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Portuguese Island/Inhaca Island

A spectacular uninhabited island

Set between the African coast and the Indian Ocean, Portuguese Island is a small, uninhabited island: one of the enchanting destinations of an MSC cruise to Southern Africa. It is located at the external limit of Maputo Bay, host to the capital of Mozambique, under the cover of Inhaca Island, the chosen location for some of the most luxurious resorts of the entire continent.

During your holiday, take some time between dips in the warm, crystalline ocean waters to stroll around this island. It is six kilometres long, about an hour walk on sand that caresses the soles of your feet (during the central hours of the day, it is best to wear open sandals because the sand becomes very hot), with only the blue of the water and the green of the low vegetation for company.

The mild effort involved will be repaid in kiosks serving refreshing beverages and local food. If you like rum, try the Tipo Tinto, which is distilled from local sugar cane. There is also no lack of beach activities: in addition to all the services available for those who just want to lay in the sun undisturbed, such as beach umbrellas, deckchairs and sunbeds, there is equipment for playing beach volleyball and beach tennis.

However, a piece of advice for all: don’t stop as soon as you get off the tender that brings you to the island, look for a more secluded bay; they are just a short, pleasant stroll away. For those who wish it, it is also possible to circumnavigate the island and admire the coast and the bay of Maputo in a traditional dhow: boats with a triangular sail of Middle-Eastern origins that have sailed the waters of the Indian Ocean for centuries.

From Portuguese Island, it is possible to reach the nearby main island of Inhaca, where, in addition to fantastic beaches,there are restaurants, bars, a market and even a Marine Museum and old lighthouse.

Must see places in Portuguese Island

Portuguese Island Excursions

MAKE IT A DAY TO REMEMBER
MAKE IT A DAY TO REMEMBER

Have a wonderful day ashore discovering the beauty of Portuguese Island.


Excursions can be booked at the Shore excursions desk on board. The prices are merely orientative and may change ; final prices and excursions will be confirmed during your cruise in the daily program.

SCENIC ROUTE

INHACA TRANSFERS
Take a regular zodiac trip to Portuguese Island and then transfer to another boat which takes you to Inhaca Island. Explore this mini-kingdom at your own peace and take advantage of its seafood restaurants, bars and curio stalls. Inhaca Island is a favourite location for bird watchers and is known for its rich and varied bird population. Your ticket is valid for a one time return transfer. Please note: last transfer from Portuguese Island to Inhaca will be at 14h00; last transfer from Inhaca back to Portuguese Island will be at 15h00. The Pestana Lodge at the landing jetty is only for guests staying at the Lodge.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 19.00
Children: USD 19.00

WALKING TOUR OF THE LEPER COLONY APPROX. 2 HOURS
About 3km northwest of Inhaca is the tiny, uninhabited Portuguese Island (Ilha dos Portuguêses), a beautiful white patch of sand surrounded by clear waters. It was formerly a leper colony and is now part of the Inhaca marine reserve system. Take a guided walk along the beach and into the forest to enjoy a few hours at close contact with nature on your way to discover the ruins at the centre of the island. An English speaking guide will inform you of the fauna and flora found on the island, as well as enlighten you with stories about the history of the island and what once was a leper colony.

Please note: Different departure times will be foreseen. Participants must be 6 years and older. This tour is not suitable for guests in a wheelchair and fitness levels should be reasonable. Guests are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen, a mosquito repellent, light clothes and a swimming suit.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 10.00
Children: USD 6.00

EXCLUSIVE BEACH LOUNGE STATION
Discover our new “Exclusive Beach Lounge” at Portuguese Island. Enjoying access to an Exclusive area with exceptional services and privileges such as Private Bar service including one free drink and a delicious fruit plate. The service includes as well a beach lounger, umbrella and drink table set up especially for you. Very Limited offer. Kindly note that this tour allows you priority landing from the vessel to the beach.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 25.00
Children: USD 25.00

 
ACTIVE & ADVENTURE
CORAL GARDEN SNORKELLING EXCURSION APPROX. 1.5 HOURS
This excursion leaves from Portuguese Island from where you will be transferred to a large snorkelling pontoon from which you will enjoy a 30 minute sail to the only surviving coral reef in Maputo Bay called 'The Coral Gardens'.  Equipment is included (mask, snorkel and fins) but sizes are not guaranteed so it is always advisable to bring your own. Rich varieties of fish, starfish and abundant, colorful coral will amaze you. A cash bar is available on board for soft drinks and water. Please note: participants will be divided in groups with different departure times; minimum age to take part in this tour is 12. This tour is not suitable for guests with heart or back problems, ear infections, allergies or who are currently on medication. No refunds will be given if a guest fails to take notice of these exclusions. Visibility cannot be guaranteed. We suggest not to drink alcohol before snorkelling and to wear a T-shirt, a hat and sunscreen. Snorkelling equipment is provided; please note that you are responsible for it. If you lose or damage it, you will be charged.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 35.00
Children: USD 32.00

SEA KAYAKING APPROX. 30 MINUTES 
It is an exhilarating experience, bringing humans face to face with some of the hidden wonders that the oceans amazing biodiversity has to offer. From the  magic of the sea grass below, to a myriad of sea birds above, the diversity of life out there will open your eyes to the last great frontier on this planet. Our Fluid Synergy kayaks feature a soft tri-hull that is super stable. The mellow keel helps tracking in a straight line, whilst the hull has ample rocker to make it manoeuvrable when needed. The lifted bow punches through waves and the unique stern design creates stability when surfing or stationary. These kayaks are uniquely built for one or two paddles.Please note: participants will be divided in groups with different departure times; minimum age to take part in this tour is 12. Your 30-minute tour will start from when you collect the life jackets.
 
Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 15.00
Children: USD 15.00

FUN TORPEDO (APPROX. 10 MIN)
FUN TIME! Rocket across the water on a 8 rider, Fun Torpedo, and bounce and buck along the wake! Full speed ahead with the FUN TORPEDO! Please note: participants will be divided in groups with different departure times; minimum age to take part in this tour is 8. Parents supervision is required for children from 08 to 12 years old. Your 10 minutes will start from when you collect the life jacket. Guests need to be able swimmers. Eight riders with a
maximum weight of 90 kg per person. Riders must be arranged lightest to heaviest at the back.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 15.00
Children: USD 15.00

SNIPER TUBE RIDE APPROX. 12 MINUTES 
Excursion for young at heart that will make you feel the thrill on a ride on the water surface. The jetski driver will give you a short briefing on how to enjoy safely a 12-minute ride of pure fun. Grab your partner, get on your tube and let yourself pulled by the jetski. A few minutes of adventure that will make your stay in Portuguese memorable.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 15.00
Children: USD 15.00

SANTA MARIA SNORKELLING APPROX. 2 HOURS 
This excursion leaves from the beautiful shoreline of Inhaca for 16km to Santa Maria, the most southern part of the Inhaca Island. The rich variety of fish and abundant, colourful  coral will amaze you. It is right up against the beach so entry and exit points are varied. Please note: visibility cannot be guaranteed. Juvenile morays, chocolate dips, goldies and radial firefish to mention a few, can be spotted. This tour is not suitable for guests with heart problems, ear infections or currently on medication; please check with the Excursion Office for a full list of these conditions to prevent disappointment. No refund will be given if a guest fails to take notice of these. Snorkelling equipment (mask, snorkel and fins) is provided but sizes are not guaranteed so it is always advisable to bring your own.

Please note that you are responsible for the equipment. If you lose or damage it, you will be charged for it. Participants must be 11 years and older. Guests are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen, light clothes and a swimming suit.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 35.00
Children: USD 32.00

INHACA LIGHTHOUSE APPROX. 1.5 HOURS
Inhaca has the southernmost of Mozambique’s major lighthouses, and the light station is one of the country’s oldest. It was established in 1894 at the northern end of the island, which shelters the Bay of Maputo. Its purpose was to guide ships to the colony’s most important seaport, Maputo (then called Lourenco Marques). The original lighthouse was a 27.5 metre (90ft) cast iron tower, and light lists continued to describe that light as late as 1920. However, sometime in the 1920’s, the present hexagonal tower was built. Remains of the M/S Tecumseh Ship which shipwrecked on Inhaca Island in 1932 can be seen from the lighthouse or beach. Includes transfer to and from Inhaca jetty with a guide.

Please note: different departure times will be foreseen. Participants must be 11 years and older. This tour is not suitable for guests in a wheelchair. Guests are encouraged to wear a hat, sunscreen, light clothes and a swimming suit.


Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 35.00
Children: USD 29.00

 
SEA & SUN
DHOW EXCURSION APPROX. 45 MINUTES
Experience sailing around the Bay of Inhaca in a local Dhow. Guests will embark the Dhow near the jetty in front of the Inhaca Pestana Lodge. Expect water to be knee-level. Drinking water is available on board the Dhow and the wooden deck is supplied with cushions for seating.

Please note: Different departure times will be foreseen. This tour is not suitable for guests in a wheelchair and children under the age of 11 need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Guests are encouraged to wear a hat and sunscreen (as shading is limited), a mosquito repellent, light clothes and a swimming suit.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 25.00
Children: USD 20.00
 
SOMETHING SPECIAL
DOLPHIN WATCHING APPROX. 2 HOURS
Mozambique has got to be one of the most incredible destinations in the world for watching marine mammals. What is most fascinating is the way that they interact with fellow mammals, humans and one another. Although we may never totally grasp the dolphins nature or personality, at least we can sit back, watch and enjoy it.Please note: sightings of dolphins cannot be guaranteed even though it is dolphin season. Drinks can be purchased for cash on the boat.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 40.00
Children: USD 40.00

PESTANA HOTEL EXCURSION APPROX. 4 HOURS

After a ships zodiac transfer you will be taken directly to Inhaca Lodge Pestana Resort to enjoy your lunch. Inhaca Island is a favourite location for bird watchers and is known for its rich and varied bird population. You will have time to use the hotel facilities or explore the village on your own. The ships zodiac craft will take you back to the ship.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 45.00
Children: USD 30.00

LUNCH AT LUCA'S RESTAURANT APPROX. 2 HOURS
Explore this mini-kingdom at your own pace and take advantage of it’s seafood restaurants, bars and curio stalls. In particular, Luca’s restaurant. This long-standing local-style restaurant serves a delicious Set Menu of seafood, chicken and fruit and can be found along the main road in the village. The ambience is laid back with live bands to sing along to. Inhaca Island is a favourite location for bird watchers and is known for it’s rich and varied bird population.

Please note: 50 – 100 guests only. Guests are encouraged to take along a mosquito repellent.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 39.00
Children: USD 29.00
FAMILY FUN
FUN FAMILY RIDE APPROX. 12 MINUTES
Why not granting you and your family a funny and safe experience during your stay in Portuguese Island? Join this thrilling ride on the water surface and feel the wind breeze in your face. The jetski driver will give you a short briefing on how to enjoy safely a 12-minute ride of pure fun. Next, all you have to do is to get on your tube and enjoy the ride.

Price per Person Starting From
Adults: USD 13.00
Children: USD 13.00
Excursions can be booked at the Shore excursions desk on board. The prices are merely orientative and may change ; final prices and excursions will be confirmed during your cruise in the daily program.
 
 

Mozambique

Indulging in the shade of a baobab
Indulging in the shade of a baobab

A holiday to Mozambique means getting to know an authentic part of Africa which also has a strong Portuguese influence.

It is a land which can mutate in just a few kilometres, from its white sands with the coral reef of the Indian Ocean, to its plateaus and mountains which almost reach 3000 metres, or to the legendary Rift Valley, the cradle of the human race, which lies in the centre of the country.

Here, the population is cheerful and hospitable. The territory is shared by colonial cities and villages made up of huts, baobab and mangrove forests, unspoilt archipelagos and great natural reserves. Historically belonging to the Portuguese, on a cruise to Mozambique you will be struck by the charm of its inhabited colonial towns with palaces, fortresses and churches which are a medley of African, Arab and Indian influences.

What strikes those who arrive by sea, however, are its 3000 km of coastline, which include some of the Africa's most beautiful beaches. It is a picture of a typical tropical holiday: white sands, crystal clear waters and palm trees gently swaying in the breeze. There are also islands to explore, real gems like Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina, or Inhaca. Places where divers and snorkelers alike will find plenty to do and see. The island’s marine life will make for some interesting excursions too with dolphins, humpback whales, dugongs (sea cows) and green and loggerhead sea turtles.