Summary : Experience the trip of a lifetime to discover little-known places of breathtaking natural beauty, captivating flora and fauna, as well as the opportunity to meet local people. From Victoria on the island of Mahé, you will first sail to Praslin. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. There you will find sea coconuts, gigantic endemic fruits with a very evocative shape, nicknamed the “love nut”. Further on, the small islands of Alphonse and Astove will be an opportunity to snorkel and dive among brightly-colored sea life. Thanks to the on-board presence of a diving instructor, you will be able to enjoy unforgettable dives in an exceptional underwater environment. Reach each the Glorioso Islands, part of the Scattered Islands. This beautiful archipelago with very few inhabitants is home to exceptional plants and wildlife including marine turtles. Finally, you will reach Madagascar, the island continent, and disembark in Nosy Be, after spending time on lemur island!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
Inquire about special offers for honeymooners, wedding anniversaries, groups, and first time travelers with this shipping company. Subject to change.
$6,220 to $21,110
Embark the vessel.
Situated some forty kilometers away from Victoria, Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles. Its idyllic beaches where granite rocks nestle in immaculate sand correspond perfectly to how we imagine the Seychelles to be. They invite visitors to dive into the turquoise waters, which are ideal for snorkeling. In the center of the island, hidden in the heart of a stunning tropical rainforest, lies the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this veritable plant sanctuary, several endemic species of palm trees can be observed, as well as the famous sea coconut, which can weigh up to 20 kg.
In the heart of the Seychelles’ Outer Islands, the coral islands located more than 200 km south of Mahé, the Saint-Joseph Atoll is a magnificent ring of coral islets surrounding a splendid lagoon sparkling in turquoise and emerald green. Since 2014, it has been an integral part of the “D'Arros and St. Joseph Atoll Special Reserve”, a national park and protected marine area that preserve the unique biodiversity of these sites. This veritable nursery for Hawksbill sea turtles, juvenile reef fish, including several species of ray and shark (blacktip reef shark, sicklefin lemon shark) attracts big fish that swim up from the drop-off of the Amirantes plateau, located only two kilometres from the atoll.
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!
The Cosmoledo Atoll owes its nickname, the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, to the beauty of its underwater world, which attracts the most experienced divers: parrotfish, giant rays and clams inhabit the reefs of its crystal waters. The fascinating marine life comes alive as the multi-colored fish, making the most of the protection of the extraordinary coral reef, come together to feed in the currents formed by the sweeping movements of the tides. Exploited in the past for coconut and agave, the atoll is now uninhabited, apart from an eco-resort in the heart of the nature reserve, which shelters green turtles and significant colonies of sooty terns and red-footed boobies.
Assumption Island is part of the Aldabra group (Outer Islands), situated in the southwest of the Seychelles. Discovered in the mid-18th century by the French captain Nicolas Morphey, this bean-shaped island covered in dunes and shrubs is relatively flat. A handful of people live there, in a small village in the island’s west. The island’s beaches are a major egg-laying and breeding site for sea turtles. The surrounding waters are ideal for scuba diving. This is where Jacques-Yves Cousteau filmed some of the scenes for his famous documentary film “The Silent World”, released in 1956.
Closer to Madagascar than to Victoria, Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles. It is part of the Aldabra group, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Now uninhabited, this coral island covered in coconut trees was once home to the employees that worked on the coconut plantations. Renowned for the richness of its seabeds, Astove Atoll is now a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. It also attracts experienced divers, who visit the atoll to explore the “Astove Wall”, where the sea floor drops to a depth of about 40 metres. The wall is covered in coral and many fish and green sea turtles can be found there.
The Scattered Islands are like minuscule 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. 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.
In the heart of the Nosy Be archipelago, discover Nosy Tanikely, nicknamed the “island of little earth.” In addition to a magnificent white sand beach bordering a lagoon of crystal-clear waters, the island, which is uninhabited, has exceptional marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Thanks to this, the area has been classified as a “marine and coastal protected area” since 2010. It is a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. Hiking fans won’t be left out either: a stunning walk that climbs to the summit of the island will enable them to discover the old lighthouse built at the beginning of the 20th century and enjoy superb views over the ocean and surrounding islands.
Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Mauritius.
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 is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
Reverse Itinerary: 2/23/2021
Transfer from ship to airport (or reverse for 2/23/2021); one-way flight from Nosy Be to Mauritius (or reverse for 2/23/2021); 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, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Ponant, Laurence Fischer, Plisson, Tamar Sarkissi, Margot Sib