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Adventure Cruises in Seychelles
With beautiful beaches, clear waters and plentiful wildlife, the Seychelles are an idyllic place for a small ship cruise.
A Seychelles cruise allows guests to relax and enjoy the quiet beaches and crystal clear waters that these islands offer. The Seychelles are very remote and the one hundred and fifteen islands which make up the archipelago are mostly uninhabited. Most of the islands are only accessible by boat and visitors will find they are often completely alone on a beautiful white sand beach or granite outcrop.
Those who cruise the Seychelles Islands will find not only beautiful beaches but also plenty of interesting wildlife living there including several rare birds and giant tortoises. The main city of Victoria is also home to quaint architecture, a Hindu temple and a natural history museum documenting the unique history of the archipelago’s wildlife.
With so many islands to choose from it can be hard to decide which you want to visit on your Seychelles cruise. The intriguing Curieuse Island should be high on any visitor’s list. The island and the waters surrounding it have been declared a national park to protect the local wildlife, including the endangered Coco de Mer palm and the three hundred Aldabra giant tortoises who live here. The island also has an interesting cultural history having served as a leper colony in the 19th Century. The ruins of the leper colony remain and the house of the local doctor is now a museum.
Close to Curieuse, Praslin Island also offers a rich diversity of wildlife and is the only other island where the Coco de Mer palm grows. Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles and is a popular spot for visitors thanks to the plentiful white sand beaches and tropical forests. In the centre of the island, the Valee de Mai nature reserve is home to several endemic plants and birds. The area is so rich in natural beauty that a visiting British General in the 19th Century declared it the site of the Garden of Eden.
Only a short sail from Praslin, The Sisters Islands are a very popular spot to visit for those who are in the Seychelles island hopping. These two small islands are uninhabited, save for their warden and a number of giant tortoises. The beaches are known for being pristine and quiet. There is also an excellent coral reef for snorkelling on the front side of Big Sister, this is a great opportunity to snorkel away from the busier reefs. As you sail around these islands you also have the chance to see flying fish and turtles popping up to the surface. Keen paddle boarders will find these islands to be the perfect spot thanks to the calm waters and beautiful scenery.
For those who enjoy snorkelling many Seychelles cruises also visit the nearby islet of Coco Isle where there is ample marine life close to shore. Coco Isle is also close by Felicite and both of which are considered satellites of the much larger La Digue Island. La Digue is well known for having excellent white sand beaches and hikes through the forest for wildlife enthusiasts. There is even the chance to spot the Seychelles paradise flycatcher of which only one hundred remain in the wild. Closer to the main Seychelles archipelago, St Anne Marine Park is a great place for marine life with stingrays and huge parrot fish visible to both snorkelers and those who prefer to stay on land or on the cruise.
Bird enthusiasts will also find the small Cousin Island west of Praslin to be a top spot for seabird sightings. This is only one of the island’s wildlife credentials, the area is also a nesting site for hawksbill turtles. The flora and fauna on Cousin Island is carefully protected by the warden meaning that many of the indigenous trees are currently thriving. The island also offers a quiet white sand beach perfect for swimming and snorkelling, keep an eye out for turtles, especially in september when hawksbills can be found nesting.
Best time to cruise Seychelles
The best time of year to visit Seychelles will depend on your interests and what activities you want to enjoy during your Seychelles cruise. Avid birdwatchers should try to visit the Seychelles in April which is the breeding season for birds and October is the chance to see the migration. Those looking to go hiking and enjoy nature will find that from May until September cooler, fresher winds make this even more of a pleasure.
Those who visit the Seychelles in September will have the chance to see the hatching of the hawksbill turtles on the islands.The peak season for diving and snorkelling is between March and May and September to November when the seas are at their calmest and visibility underwater is excellent. Although sailing is excellent all year in the Seychelles from May to October the trade winds blow just right.
How to get to the Seychelles
There is only one international airport on the Seychelles in the main town of Victoria, also known as Mahe. In order to reach Victoria most flights will connect through Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha in Qatar. Victoria is the departure point for many cruises in the Seychelles. If the timing is appropriate then it is also possible to travel to Victoria from Columbo in Sri Lanka. Visitors should be careful with timing their flights as weather systems around the archipelago can mean delays in arriving. There is also an airport on Praslin Island, which offers domestic flights within the archipelago and regular boat services between the islands if your cruise departs from another island.
Where do Seychelles cruises depart from?
Many Seychelles cruises depart from Victoria where the international airport is located. Inter Island Quay is the most common point of departure in Victoria and is only a twenty minute taxi ride away. If you plan to stay a few days in Victoria before your cruise starts, which is highly recommended then most of the hotels in the town are very close to the harbour, no more than a few minutes by taxi. Although most cruises in the Seychelles depart from Victoria there are some which leave from Anne Jetty in Praslin. In order to reach Praslin visitors can fly from Victoria, a journey which offers spectacular views of the islands. There are also several inter-island ferries and other boat services which can take you to Praslin.
Seychelles Cruise Tips
- Plan Ahead - Although you will rarely feel like the islands are packed the Seychelles is a very popular destination and availability, especially during holidays around Christmas and Easter can be quite limited. August is also a high season when flights and places on cruises in the Seychelles are booked up well in advance. It is not uncommon for some flights and cruises to be completely booked up. If you are visiting for a specific activity like birdwatching or diving then cruises with these activities might need to be booked early.
- Arrive Early - Thanks to the remote nature and changeable flight weather conditions it is fairly common for arrivals to the Seychelles to be delayed. This is normally only an hour or two but travellers transiting through Dubai and Abu Dhabi should arrange to arrive well before their cruise embarks. Arriving one or two days before your cruise is set to depart not only ensures you will be there for the trip but gives you a few extra days to explore the Seychelles and forget about any jet lag too.
- Choosing the right trip - Cruises in the Seychelles offer several different itineraries depending on what activities interest you. For those interested in wildlife and cultural visits, a Seychelles island hopping tour is the best option. Other itineraries have an emphasis on water sports for diving, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Sailing enthusiasts will also find certain trips offer them the chance to take to the seas, on one of the many traditional sailing boats that tour the islands.
- What to pack - One of the biggest appeals of the Seychelles is the long warm sunny days and cool sea breezes. The climate is excellent but it does require some preparation, be sure to bring plenty of high factor suncream you are pretty close to the equator after all. For those looking to do lots of wildlife tours and hiking comfortable waterproof shoes are a must as well as warm clothing for the evenings.
- Snorkelling - The waters around the Seychelles are a great chance to enjoy some snorkelling. The waters are warm and clear with a lot of colourful marine life to see. Turtles can be seen on many of the islands and during September huge numbers of Hawksbill turtles migrate here to nest. Most of the cruises offer snorkelling equipment for their guests but if you have your own it is a good idea to bring it for the most comfortable experience.
- Seychelles Travel Advice - Visitors do not need to have a visa prior to flying to the Seychelles however you will need to provide a few things in order to receive on when you get there. Normally a passport valid until at least the date you leave as well as a return ticket are needed. Often you will be asked to prove that you have one hundred and fifty dollars for every day of your stay, it is possible to show cash or credit card statements.You will also have to show that you have somewhere to stay so you should have your cruise booking information and details of any hotel you intend to stay in before or after the trip.
- The currency of the Seychelles is the Seychelles Rupee but you will find that the US Dollar is widely accepted and it is worth noting that the Seychelles Rupee is a restricted currency which cannot be taken back to your own country. Regarding money, the best idea seems to be to take US Dollars which are usually expected from non-locals and can be easily exchanged in banks and hotels if you need local currency.
Contact our reservations team today to plan your next adventure cruise to the Seychelles.
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The experience met every one of my expectations and I have the highest praise for the crew who go out of their way to make everyone of the mixed travellers comfortable and safe. They do it over and over again but never ever show it. I have been on many sea voyages on large ships as well as cargo ships - and these guys are the best!
Cruising Seychelles in December on the Pegasus