Portuguese Island

One of Africa's most evocative beach destinations
Amazing silk-sand beaches
Crystal clear water smattered with white-sailed boats

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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 t 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

Discover our excursions

6 results found

  • Fun Torpedo


    Fun Torpedo
      • Duration
        2 h

    • Giant Thriller


      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. Please note, you can only book this excursion on board.
        • Duration
          10 m

      • Santa Maria Snorkeling


        Santa Maria Snorkeling
          • Duration
            00 m

        • Sea kayaking



          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. Please note, you can only book this excursion on board.
          • Possibility of swimming

          • Limited seats

          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level

          • Duration
            50 m

        • Snorkeling coral gardens



          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”. The Coral Gardens are one of the few remaining eco-systems of the Dugong (a large marine mammal that was often mistaken for a mermaid) and although sightings are very rare, you might catch a glimpse of this majestic gentle creature. 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. Never, ever stand on the coral. We support Coral Friendly Snorkelling (CFS). Remember, look but don’t touch. Please note, you can only book this excursion on board.
          • Possibility of swimming

          • Limited seats

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level

          • Duration
            1:30 h

        • Exclusive Beach Lounge

          SCENIC ROUTE


          Exclusive Beach Lounge
            • Duration
              1:30 h

          The excursions in the programme are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
          Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
          Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.


          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.