Summary : From one port of call to the next, enjoy relaxing on idyllic beaches, visiting must-see sites, and meeting the local communities. Surrender to the unique charm of the Scattered Islands (Europa, Juan de Nova and the Glorioso Islands), a a geological sanctuary with nature reserve status since 1975. This beautiful archipelago with very few inhabitants is home to exceptional flora and fauna and boasts the highest concentration of sea turtles in the world! After an unforgettable call at Nosi Komba (Lemur Island) in Madagascar, set sail for the Seychelles, a dream destination for fans of lagoons and turquoise water. You will have the chance to discover Assumption Island, Alphonse, and postcard-perfect La Digue, as well as Aldabra, an immense raised coral atoll listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Embark the vessel in the afternoon.
Located in the South of the Mozambique channel, between the African continent and Mozambique, the island of Europa is the largest and best preserved of the Scattered Islands. This ancient atoll of volcanic origin is covered by natural and practically virgin vegetation, a blend of dense forest and mangrove. Small piece of France at the end of the World, the island is surrounded by coral reef, home to an impressive array of marine wildlife. In addition to the many bird colonies that have made the island their home, such as the red-footed booby, the tern or the tropicbird, the white sandy beaches have become the most important laying ground for green turtles in the entire Indian Ocean.
Sailing to South Georgia, you will notice a drop in temperature as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where the warmer waters of the north meet the cooler waters of the south, creating a zone abundant marine life where whales feed.
Sail to discover Juan de Nova in the Scattered Islands, virgin and pristine lands often described as “ocean sanctuaries”. Located deep inside the Mozambique Channel, once known as Saint Christopher, this unusual islet owes its existence to its coral reef, which has slowly developed over time to form an almost submerged land made of coral and sand. Home to the biggest colony of Sooty Tern in the Indian Ocean, this tiny strip of land is classed as a nature reserve and will not fail to enchant you with its rocky hillsides, sand dunes and translucent lagoons.
Settle into life on board and the ship's many comforts.
The Scattered Islands are like confetti sprinkled around Madagascar and form an archipelago of unrivaled beauty. Their geographical isolation, and their very limited human settlement make them a true geological sanctuary. Classed as a nature reserve since 1975, they offer their rare visitors almost pristine vegetation composed mainly of mangrove, as well as long beaches of shimmering sand stretching out behind turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs that are home to the world’s highest concentration of sea turtles.
During your cruise, your ship will stop in Nosy Komba, otherwise known as “lemur island”. Not far from the Madagascar mainland, this volcanic island shaped like a gigantic turtle shell is covered in dense tropical rainforest. This vegetation is home to amusing black lemurs – furry orange-brown and black creatures that are surprisingly agile and call to each other from among the trees. The many small beaches and the emerald-colored water make Nosy Komba a natural gem that only a select few visit.
Located in the very heart of this faraway archipelago, the Aldabra Atoll is considered to be one of the last virtually untouched sanctuaries on earth, where a large population of sea turtles has found refuge. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast tract of land is formed by 4 small coral reef islands separated by narrow passes and containing an emerald-water lagoon lined with mangrove and fine-sand beaches. As your ship slowly nears the clear, reflective waters along its shoreline, do not miss your chance to discover this natural wonder, which is considered to be the largest atoll in the world.
The Seychelles exude calm and beauty against a backdrop of leafy coconut trees, white sand and crystal-clear water. In addition to the tranquility of its green lagoons and its idyllic beaches, this remote paradise also boasts exceptional flora and fauna. In the many parks and nature reserves, come and observe colorful birds, giant turtles and the numerous marine species living in the turquoise waters. Before reaching the archipelago’s capital, Mahé, your ship will introduce you to La Digue. Time stands still here on this small stretch of land protected from all motorized traffic, where the only mode of transport is the bicycle or the oxcart.
Disembark the vessel after breakfast.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Meals on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; luggage transfer between pier and ship; mineral water, tea, filter coffee, a selection of white, red and rosé wines offered during meals, afternoon tea; open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands - list available upon request); port and safety taxes; crew gratuities; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying on Deck 6. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned; scuba diving; spa charges; beverages other than those mentioned; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Lorraine Turci, © Eva Robert, © Ponant