Luanda - Angola

Luanda is the capital and largest city of Angola on the Atlantic Ocean coast of the country. Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais founded Luanda in 1575 as São Paulo de Loanda, with a hundred families of settlers and four hundred soldiers. In 1618 the Portuguese built the fortress called Fortaleza São Pedro da Barra, subsequently building two more: Fortaleza de São Miguel (1634) and Forte de São Francisco do Penedo (1765-6). Of these, the Fortaleza de São Miguel is the best preserved. Luanda is divided into two parts, the Baixa de Luanda (lower Luanda, the old city) and the Cidade Alta (upper city or the new part). The Baixa de Luanda is situated next to the port, and has narrow streets and old colonial buildings. The city served as the centre of a large slave trade to Brazil from c.1550 to 1836. The slave trade was conducted mostly with the Portuguese colony of Brazil. This slave trade also involved local black merchants and warriors who profited from the trade. By 1850, Luanda was one of the greatest and most developed Portuguese cities in the vast Portuguese Empire outside Mainland Portugal, full of trading companies. By the time of Angolan independence in 1975, Luanda was a modern city and the majority of the city's population was of Portuguese origin. However during the Angolan Civil War (1975-2002), most of the Portuguese left as refugees and the city declined under the pressure of incoming refugess. Major reconstruction started when hostilities ceased in 2002. The following 12 cruises call at Luanda. Discover more by clicking the cruise name or ship or click the Enquire button if you want to check availability and pricing.