Summary : From the Seychelles to Mauritius via Madagascar and Reunion Island, take a 13-day cruise aboard Le Jacques-Cartier to enjoy beaches, snorkeling and nautical activities, and discovering endemic fauna and flora as well as places of breathtaking natural beauty that few tourists visit. From Victoria on the island of Mahé, you will first sail to La Digue, where a veritable picture-postcard of the Seychelles awaits you: palm trees, granite rocks, white sand and crystal-clear waters. Further on, on the small island of Alphonse, you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling among the brightly-colored sea life, before reaching the Glorioso Islands, part of the Scattered Islands. This beautiful archipelago with very few inhabitants is home to exceptional fauna and flora including, in particular, marine turtles. Your ship will then set sail for Madagascar, the island continent. On the west coast first, you will discover Nosy Komba, also known as “lemur island”, home to large colonies of these small, agile primates, Majunga from which you’ll be able to explore Ankarafantsika National Park, and Nosy Mitsio and its immaculate beaches. On the east coast, Île Sainte-Marie, once a lair of pirates, has successfully retained its authentic and untouched character.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Diving, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
Inquire about special offers for honeymooners, wedding anniversaries, and groups. Subject to change.
$9,130 to $26,910
Embark the vessel in the afternoon.
La Digue Island is a veritable concentration of all the beauty of the Seychelles. Located southeast of Praslin, this small piece of land that looks like paradise is the third-largest island in the Seychelles, despite its modest size. Turquoise waters just asking you to swim in them, lush vegetation sheltering giant tortoises, beaches of fine sand fringed with coconut trees and surrounded with those emblematic large granite rocks with their pink highlights like at the famous Anse Source d’Argent making for a perfect picture postcard. Authentic and preserved, the island follows a peaceful rhythm, with the only means of transport along its little roads being bikes or traditional oxcarts.
Alphonse Island is located off the Seychelles archipelago. Discovered in 1730 by the Knight Alphonse de Pontevez, this island specialized in coconut processing in the past, but is now a veritable natural reserve, home to different species of marine mammals, sea turtles and many birds. Alphonse Island is also renowned for its rich underwater life and coral, among the best preserved in the Indian Ocean. A marvelous spectacle that can be admired with just a mask!
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the presentations on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the staff photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the ocean and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
The Scattered Islands are like minuscule confetti sprinkled around Madagascar and form an archipelago of unrivalled beauty. Their geographical isolation, and their very limited human settlement make them a true geological sanctuary, classed as a nature reserve since 1975. Regularly used as the “zero point” in scientific studies, 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 amongst the trees. The many small beaches and the emerald-colored water make Nosy Komba a natural gem that only a select few visit.
A lively and cosmopolitan town on the west coast of Madagascar, Majunga, also called Mahajanga, will be a port of call rich in discoveries. The former capital of the Sakalava kingdom, then a significant interchange due to its prime position between Africa and the Middle East, the city displays an interesting cultural patchwork. Also renowned for its outstanding natural sites, this port of call will provide you with the opportunity to discover Anakarafantsika National Park, home to many endemic animal and plant species, or the Cirque Rouge, immense red sandstone formations classified as national heritage.
There are three excursions today from which to choose (some have an extra fee):
The Red Circus (included)
Sacred Lake (included)
Ankarafantsika National Park (extra fee)
Please inquire with an Expedition Specialist for more details.
In a magnificent bay, 45 miles northeast of Nosy Be, many islets formed of rocks and shallows skim the sea to form the Mitsio archipelago. With its immaculate beaches and its turquoise waters, it serenely appears like a majestic haven of peace and beauty, an ideal place for relaxation or exploration. With many orchids and baobabs, the lush tropical vegetation is a spectacle in itself. Several fishing villages stand alongside its very well preserved idyllic beaches. To the south of the island, basalt columns, known as Organ Pipes, emerge from the sea in the form of tall brown columnar rock.
Off the east coast of Madagascar, discover the island of St. Mary. A real Garden of Eden, this peaceful land will offer you landscapes of stunning beauty, with lush vegetation, enormous waterfalls and sumptuous natural pools. In addition, the island is home to a very large variety of orchids. An idyllic natural setting that contrasts with the eventful past of the island, which once played host to pirates and prisoners. This port of call will also provide you with privileged access to the Île aux Nattes, renowned for its wild beauty.
Optional excursion today for an extra fee are:
Piton De La Fournaise Volcano by 4WD
L'entre-deux an dDomaine Du Cafe Grille
Piton Maido and Geranium Distillery
Please inquire for rates and more information.
Disembark the ship 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.
NOTE: This is ship is currently being built and all details are subject to change.
Reverse Itinerary: 3/5/2021
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Shipboard accommodations; snorkeling; gear on loan (snorkeling gear except wetsuit); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Butler service for guests staying in the Owner's Suite, Grand Deluxe Suites, Privilege Suites, and Deck 6 Prestige Suites. 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; premium alcohol; laundry services, hair salon; personal expenses, onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Ponant