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7 unconventional cruises for your bucket list

Feb. 25, 2013, 3:54 p.m.
River Gambia cruise

Photo: Variety Cruises

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Beyond the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and West Africa

Variety Cruises is a small Athens-based company that offers cruises that start in the Mediterranean and end up in exotic locales like the Seychelles and Senegal. This company's ships are smaller than the industry's resort-like giants, but they are still quite luxurious, with swimming pools and large staterooms equipped with minibars and flat-screen TVs. Even with these extra luxuries, the most attractive aspect of a cruise with Variety is the far-flung ports that passengers get to visit. Most cruise ships stick to the heavily traveled waters of the Med, but Variety takes it a step further to the beautiful, often-deserted beaches of the Seychelles, a paradise for nature-lovers and sun-seekers alike. One of Variety's most interesting trips is a seven-night expedition-style cruise that visits cities like Dakar, Senegal, and continues to some of the most important rivers in West Africa, including the wildlife-rich River Gambia (shown here).