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Seychelles with Aldabra Atoll

Seychelles Cruise

  • Le Bougainville
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 184 Capacity
  • 13 Days
  • 2020 View Departure>
    • 2020
    • Feb 28 Fri Offer
    • Mar 29 Sun
    • Apr 18 Sat Offer
  • Price from
  • $8,980
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Summary : Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Vallée de Mai nature reserve in Praslin, and the Aldabra coral atoll. Possibility of observing tortoises on Aldabra and Curieuse. Discover the Aride nature reserve, a treasure of the Seychelles with colorful vegetation and more than one million birds. Experience the bare red earth of Curieuse, a granite island in the Seychelles. Explore the coral island of Desroches, an intimate destination home to lush vegetation of coconut palms, takamakas and filaos. Stroll the most famous beach at La Digue, Anse Source d’Argent, flanked by sparkling granite bolders and whispy coconut palms. Snorkel and scuba dive in an exceptional setting with an experienced instructor on board on this trip of a lifetime.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Victoria, Mahé

Embark the vessel in the afternoon.

Day 2
Aride Island

Aride is an island in the Seychelles situated northwest of Praslin. Listed as a nature reserve, this pearl of the Indian Ocean will seduce you with the beauty of its landscapes of wild cliffs and fine-sand beaches. Protected from human impact and sometimes called the “bird capital”, it is home to several endemic plants as well as exceptional wildlife. Most notably, it is the refuge of an impressive number of seabirds (Seychelles magpie-robins, terns, noddies, and more), and reptiles, such as Wright’s skinks, which can be found in the island’s wooded areas. Sea turtles can also be observed on the island’s beaches, and boxfish can be admired while scuba diving (extra fee) in the surrounding waters.

Day 3
Praslin Island / Curieuse Islands

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 swim in 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 45 pounds and is sometimes called “coco fesse” because its shape calls to mind a pair of buttocks.

Situated off the coast of Praslin, Curieuse has a distinguishing feature—its red earth. Discovered in 1768 by the French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne, it was ravaged by a fire in 1771 and then home to a leper colony of which a few vestiges still remain. Declared a national marine park in 1979, it is home to many underwater species, which can be discovered while scuba diving (extra fee) or snorkeling in the idyllic waters of the Indian Ocean. But above all, Curieuse is renowned for the hundreds of Aldabra giant tortoises that live there. It is highly likely that you will get the chance to meet these fascinating reptiles. Along with Praslin, it is also the only island on which the sea coconut grows wild.

Day 4
Poivre Island

Southwest of Mahé, discover Poivre Atoll, a small paradise that is part of the Amirantes Archipelago, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Consisting of two coral islands, Poivre Island and Ile du Sud, separated by a small lagoon, it owes its name to Pierre Poivre from Mauricius who introduced spices to the Seychelles in the late 18th century. Once used for coconut plantations, Poivre Island is now focused on tourism. Visitors come here for scuba diving or big-game fishing in waters that are particularly rich and clean, where the marine life includes sea turtles.

Day 5
Alphonse Island

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, 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!

Day 6
At Sea

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 conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's 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 spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7 – 8
Aldabra Atoll

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.

Day 9
Astove Island

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 130 feet. The wall is covered in coral and many fish and green sea turtles can be found there.

Day 10
At Sea

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 conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's 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 spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 11
Desroches Island

Coconut trees, she-oak, white-sand beaches, warm and clear waters: everything here is conducive to daydreaming and relaxation in an intimate setting where the blue sky completes the picture postcard. You are on Desroches Island, the largest in the Amirantes group in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. This ~3.5 mile long coral atoll covered in lush vegetation is surrounded by spectacular seabeds where encounters with sharks and manta rays are not uncommon. On the beach, you may be lucky enough to observe sea turtles, there to lay their eggs. In the island’s north, a lighthouse that is still in operation stands guard, and the small village is home to a chapel and a cemetery.

Day 12
La Digue Island / Victoria, Mahé

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.

Discover Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles and also the largest of the archipelago, home to the capital, Victoria. Mahé has almost 70 beaches of fine sand, framed by the emblematic granite rocks, and whose crystal clear waters are renowned for their rich underwater life. The island is also famous for its splendid mountain panoramas accessible on hikes, such as the Morne Seychellois, which overlooks the Indian Ocean. Mahé is also an island full of history where fine colonial properties rub shoulders with Creole houses - and don’t forget the marvelous Botanical Gardens in Victoria.

Day 13
Mahé, Seychelles

Disembark the vessel after breakfast.

Notes

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.

Included:
 
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.

Not Included:

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

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