With their 491 kilometers of exquisite coastline comprising crescent pink and white sandy beaches, coral nurseries and smoothed grey granite outcrops, it is as if the Seychelles Islands were designed with sailing and cruising in mind. Temperatures here vary between 24 and 32 degrees centigrade all year round, and thanks to the vast majority of the islands being outside the cyclone belt, the waters are mostly very calm with light ocean breezes bringing the sailing boats along at a nice, leisurely pace averaging 10 to 15 knots. It is any sailor’s dream.
Despite their surging popularity, the Seychelles have plenty of uninhabited, hidden treasures like Anse Major where lush jungle slopes meet pristine, deserted beaches which twist around the gentle, turquoise waves of the Indian Ocean. Like many of the most heavenly hotspots on these islands, the easiest way to get here is by boat.
Cruising the Seychelles
So what can you expect if you embark upon a cruise holiday in the Seychelles?
Well, the Seychelles offer just about every type of cruise under the sun. For those who want luxury with all the mod-cons, the “Treasures of Seychelles” cruise on board Le Laperouse is one of many that might be just the ticket. Framed with lavish yet intimate interior design across seven decks, the ship has a vast lounge area, a pool with a panoramic view and solarium, 188-seat theatre, French gourmet cuisine and much more.
Setting off from the central hub on Mahé island, the itinerary on the 13-day luxury cruise will take you the length and breadth of the islands and promises some unforgettable experiences from a stop-over on La Digue island where you can feast your eyes on Anse Source D’argent, a beach crowned “the most beautiful in the world”; to the tranquil coral-lined Praslin Island where nature-lovers can visit the UNESCO listed Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve and golfers can enjoy 18 holes. Along the way there are ample opportunities for diving, snorkeling and watersports or simply soaking up the atmosphere on the deck.
Sailing the Seychelles
For those who are looking for the romanticism of a bygone era let the wind carry you on a Silhouette cruise on board the three-mast, five-sail Sea Star yacht. With only the sound of the swelling sails and the water lapping against the bow, you could be forgiven for feeling like you are the only person in the world. The Sea Star really looks like a 17th century-explorer’s yacht and with the interminable, panoramic views stretching out in front of you, you might feel like a bit of a Robinson Crusoe yourself. With just 9 cabins available, yachts like the Sea Star are exclusive, intimate and ideal for navigating the inner-islands. On board you will find canoes, diving, snorkeling and fishing gear, and the boat itself is a PADI-rated diving center with dive tanks and a compressor.
A silhouette cruise lasts 6-7 days and not a moment is wasted. Mornings are often set aside for snorkeling, diving and watersports (or sunbathing on the deck if you want to take it easy) and each afternoon offers a once-in-a-lifetime day trip. You can set foot on uninhabited islands like Petite Soeur and Grand Soeur, visit the mangrove forests on Curieuse Island and disembark on Booby island which is famous for… you guessed it… diving safaris. The only hard part about this cruise holidays is bidding farewell at the beach barbeque on the final evening.
Seychelles: the world’s luxury destination
Seychelles was once a destination mainly reserved for the French, Germans and Emiratis but with access routes becoming ever easier, other nations from Asia to the Americas are now discovering the Indian Ocean’s most attractive destination.
Seychelles has been awarded a string of accolades this summer including from the prestigious Travel and Leisure 2017 World’s Best Awards where they were dubbed, for the second year running, “the best islands in Africa and the Middle East”. At the awards ceremony in New York, as Mr. David Germain, Seychelles Tourism Board’s Regional Director for Africa and the Americas accepted the distinction, he said: “The award is confirmation that our beautiful islands are becoming more and more popular in North America, topping the list of the most desirable holiday destinations worldwide.” He was right. Visitor arrivals from the Americas to the Seychelles increased by an astounding 69% from January to June this year.
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