This is an extraordinary cruise for those who love the natural world and all its wonders. The star is Madagascar, a thousand-mile island boasting an impressive variety of spectacular landscapes from pristine coral reefs and coastal mangroves to virgin rain forests and native groves of Baobab trees. Geographically isolated for millions of years, nearly all of Madagascar’s intriguing animals and plants are found nowhere else on Earth, including nearly 100 varieties of lemurs. Madagascar’s people are also unique, having descended from Malay-Polynesian mariners, slaves from Africa, as well as traders from Arabia, India, and Portugal. To maximize the time in Madagascar, this expedition begins with a private charter flight from Johannesburg to Tulear, Madagascar, thus avoiding the 2-day crossing of the rough Mozambique Channel by ship. Led by a team of expert naturalists, enjoy the luxury of having ten full days to explore Madagascar’s numerous marine reserves and national parks from the comfort of the newly refurbished 95-passenger MS Serenissima. Leaving the wonders of Madagascar behind, arrive at Reunion Island, a paradisiacal French outpost, to explore its white-sand beaches, spectacular dormant volcanoes and Creole character. Disembark on the island of Mauritius, the perfect ending to our voyage, taking in this island’s cultural riches or geologic wonders before transferring to the airport for flights to the U.S. Travelers will have the option of extending in Mauritius or Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Trip Itinerary Day 1: International flight Day 2: Arrive in Johannesburg Day 3: Tulear, Madagascar Day 4: Reniala Private Park Day 5: Avenue of Baobabs/Kirindy Nature Reserve Day 6: At Sea Day 7: Ankarafantsina National Park Day 8: Nosy Tanikely Day 9: Nosy Hara National Park Day 10: Diego Suarez/ Mount Amber National Park Day 11: Masoala National Park Day 12: Nosy Mangabe Day 13: Ile Sainte-Marie Day 14: At Sea Day 15: Reunion Island Day 16: Port Louis, Mauritius Day 17: Return to U.S.
Professor Dominy is an anthropologist and evolutionary biologist. He studies the behavior, ecology, and functional morphology of humans and nonhuman primates. He has worked in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia since 1999, and he has received grants and fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Packard Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Explorers Club, and the Royal Geographic Society. His research philosophy is to integrate tropical fieldwork with mechanical, molecular, and isotopic analyses in order to better understand how and why adaptive shifts occurred during primate evolution. In 2010, he was named a “Brilliant 10” scientist under the age of 40 by Popular Science magazine.