Seychelles,

A Luxury Seychelles Cruise: Including Legendary Aldabra

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Wildlife Cruise
14 Days
From 6600
Birding
Snorkelling and Diving

Tour Introduction

14 Days from 6600 per adult. Prices based on rates applicable at the time of costing which may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote

Most cruises of the Seychelles concentrate on the main Inner Islands; others might even add one or two of the Outer Islands. Our unique two-week cruise itinerary goes one step further and includes legendary Aldabra, the world’s largest raised atoll and the furthest flung of the Seychelles.

Your home on the high seas, Le Jacques-Cartier, is a Norwegian-built, state of the art ship of 430 feet in length with five decks and 92 cabins accommodating a maximum of 184 guests served by 118 crew. It boasts environmentally friendly technology, two restaurants, spa, gym, sauna, swimming pool, two lounges, bars and entertainment lounge.

Accommodation is in spacious, en-suite staterooms and suites, each with large sliding glass doors opening onto a balcony or terrace for fresh air and fabulous views of the islands and ocean.

Being a French ship, wining and dining is a real pleasure at both restaurants. Panoramic Le Nautilus opens to the outside and serves buffets and hot dishes, while the Grill is smaller, offers grilled meats and salads and overlooks the swimming pool deck.

The fortnight long itinerary affords you the complete Seychelles experience. You will cruise the Inner Islands including Mahe, Praslin and La Digue – the islands usually seen by most visitors. These unique granite islands are oceanic remnants of India’s landmass as it broke away from Gondwanaland and slowly journeyed towards its collision with Asia (giving rise to the Himalaya mountain range). In our view, though, the spiritual essence of the Seychelles is found in the Outer Islands, jewel-like coral atolls formed from undersea volcanic activity spread over a vast expanse of Indian Ocean. The most exclusive of the Outer Island atolls are found in the little-visited Aldabra Group, consisting of Astove, Cosmoledo and Aldabra itself, the world’s largest raised atoll and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Throughout the cruise, shore excursions, scuba diving and snorkelling are available to derive full benefit from visiting this vast Indian Ocean haven with its wonderful coral reefs, teeming marine life, endemic nature and palm fringed islands, each so different from the others.

PLEASE NOTE: This extraordinary two week cruise has only one departure, on 29 December 2022. Please make sure you are on it to experience the most enchanting and wide-ranging sail of the Seychelles ever devised.

 

Full Itinerary

Price from 6600 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Victoria, Mahe

If there is time before joining the ship, you can explore Mahe's attractions, such as Victoria, the Botanical Gardens, Morne Seychellois National Park and the many beaches which are found on the nation's largest island.

Embarkation will be from 16:00 to 17:00 at the dock in Victoria, capital of the Seychelles. Departure from Victoria will be at 23:00. Throughout the trip there will be multiple opportunities to go snorkelling and scuba diving (optional).

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes Dinner.

Day 2
Curieuse

Situated off the coast of Praslin, Curieuse was discovered in 1768 by the French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne. It was ravaged by a fire in 1771 and then became home to a leper colony of which a few vestiges still remain including the doctor's house. Declared a national marine park in 1979, it is home to many underwater species, which can be discovered while scuba diving or snorkelling 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 coco de mer grows wild.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Aride & Praslin

Aride is a nature reserve situated a few kilometres north-west of Praslin boasting wild cliffs and fine-sand beaches. Protected from human impact, it is home to several endemic plants as well as exceptional wildlife, notably Seychelles magpie-robins, various terns, noddies and frigatebirds, and reptiles such as Wright’s skink, which can be found in the island’s wooded areas. Turtles can sometimes be observed on the island’s beaches in daylight laying their eggs.

After Aride, visit Praslin situated some forty kilometres away from Victoria. Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles with idyllic beaches where granite rocks fringe blindingly white sand. They invite visitors to dive into the turquoise waters, which are ideal for snorkelling. In the centre 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, most famously the coco de mer palm, bearing the world's largest nut which can weigh up to 20 kg and is curiously shaped to resemble aspects of human anatomy.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Poivre

We leave the Inner Islands and sail some 200 km south-west of Mahé to Poivre Atoll, part of the Amirantes archipelago in the Outer Islands. Consisting of two coral islands, Poivre Island and Ile du Sud, separated by a small lagoon, it owes its name to Pierre Poivre, the Mauritius French colonial official 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 on day trips for scuba diving or fly fishing in waters that are particularly rich and clean, where the marine life includes bonefish, permit and various species of turtle.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Bijoutier & Saint Francois

Bijoutier is one of the three idyllic islands of Alphonse Atoll, considered the most unspoiled of the Outer Islands. Formed around volcanos having vanished into the abyssal depths of the Indian Ocean, they are protected by splendid coral reefs. Bijoutier lagoon is surrounded by beaches and coconut trees and is a haven for herons, frigatebirds, turtles and giant crabs. Since 2007, the island has been preserved by the atoll’s conservation centre, which is dedicated to restoring the biodiversity of the islands' ecosystem.

Next visit St. François, a mini-atoll covered in coconut trees with a distinctive crescent-shaped silhouette. See a myriad of birds and possibly turtles and a multitude of fish in the water, making this an ideal place for hiking or snorkelling.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Sailing at sea

Today will be spent at sea sailing westwards. Treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Lie by the swimming pool and indulge in a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows performed on board, do some shopping in the boutique or meet the on board photographers in their dedicated space. Lovers of the open sea will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the vast ocean and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Aldabra

The furthest west of the Seychelles, Aldabra Atoll is one of the last virtually untouched sanctuaries on earth, where 200,000 giant tortoises and the endemic flightless rail have found refuge. This is the last wild population of giant tortoises remaining, all others having become extinct after human contact in Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar and Reunion. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aldabra consists of four small coral reef islands separated by narrow sea passages and surrounding a huge lagoon lined with mangroves and fine-sand beaches. As the ship nears the clear waters along its shoreline, take the chance to go ashore on the largest raised atoll in the world which fired the imagination of many a bygone explorer.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Aldabra

Your second day to explore legendary Aldabra, perhaps enjoying both its land and marine attractions, before sailing to Cosmoledo.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Cosmoledo

Cosmoledo Atoll owes its nickname, the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, to the majesty of its underwater world which attracts experienced snorkellers and divers to view the parrotfish, giant rays, pelagic fish and giant clams which inhabit its reefs. Once exploited for coconut and agave, the atoll is now uninhabited, apart from a small, eight-room eco-resort in the heart of the Wizard Island nature reserve, which shelters green turtles and significant colonies of sooty terns, frigatebirds and brown and red-footed boobies.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Astove

Part of the Aldabra group yet closer to Madagascar than to Victoria, Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles. Uninhabited apart from a small fly fishing resort, this coral island once had extensive coconut plantations. Renowned for the richness of its sea beds, Astove Atoll is now a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. It also attracts divers and snorkellers to the Astove Wall where the fringing reef drops to a depth of 40 metres. The reef and wall are blessed with healthy coral and many mid-size fish, often absent from other reefs near human habitation where they are usually overfished. Small reef sharks, large trevally jacks and green sea turtles can be found swimming on the reef, which is one of the best for snorkelling that we have ever seen anywhere in the world.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Sailing at sea

Another day spent at sea, making headway towards the east,

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 12
Remire

Remire Island is prized for its unique biodiversity, especially its exceptionally rich underwater life. The few inhabitants of this tropical islet watch over its preservation, and a walk amidst its lush vegetation will delight fans of unspoilt islands. For those who love diving and snorkelling, myriad colourful fish live among the healthy coral reefs that border the island.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 13
La Digue

We are now back in the Inner Islands. La Digue is 6 km south-east of Praslin and is the third-largest island in the Seychelles, despite its modest size (5 km by 3 km). There are beautiful beaches of white sand and large granite rocks with their pink highlights, like the famous Anse Source d’Argent, a picture postcard beach and the location of many a fashion shoot. In the past ten years La Digue has become rather busier but still retains its charm from bygone days when only oxcarts and bicycles could be seen on its sandy roads.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes All Meals.

Day 14
Victoria, Mahe

Disembark at 07:00 after an early breakfast, saying goodbye to all the friends made during the voyage, including the delightful crew.

Staying at Le Jacques-Cartier. Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Inner Islands Outer Islands

Le Jacques-Cartier

Overview

Norwegian-built Le Jacques-Cartier has two restaurants, a spa and 92 cabins accommodating a maximum of 184 guests. It offers environmentally friendly five-star cruising aboard a modern ship with slender, tapered  lines boasting innovative technology and tasteful contemporary decoration.

The common areas include a hydraulic platform offering easy access for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and for Zodiacs when participating in excursions. The main lounge on Deck 3 can fit all passengers for briefings, shows and entertainment, while the theatre has 188 seats and cutting edge audio-visual and lighting technology. An outdoor bar, lounge and swimming pool with a counter-current system and sundeck are also on Deck 3, while Deck 6 features a panoramic terrace and lounge, library, internet area, bar and live entertainment. Deck 7 holds the spa, sauna (with window) and the gym.

A unique feature of this boat is the underwater Blue Eye, a multi-sensory underwater lounge giving the opportunity to view the life, vistas and sounds of the marine world. The Blue Eye has a 40-person capacity and is very popular.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Capacity
184
Length
430ft
Class
1C
Cabins

92

Facilities

Le Jacques-Cartier has 92 well appointed staterooms and suites, each featuring a balcony or terrace with large sliding glass doors.

Optional Activities

Various activities on shore via Zodiacs are available, as well as snorkelling, swimming, gym, spa, scuba diving, guided nature excursions, and evening entertainment can consist of a film, theatre performance, classical concert and dancing.

Route Map

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Mahe: -4.682669, 55.480396
Praslin: -4.332591, 55.746726
Aldabra Atoll: -9.423698, 46.343278
Curieuse: -4.281590, 55.721724
Aride: -4.212899, 55.664800
La Digue: -4.358525, 55.830118
Poivre: -5.747435, 53.305370
Bijoutier: -7.067918, 52.734557
Saint Francois: -7.155239, 52.735560
Cosmoledo: -9.708791, 47.515268
Astove: -10.067920, 47.740334
Remire: -5.116522, 53.311693
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Mahe

Mahe
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Mahé
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Praslin

Praslin
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Praslin
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Aldabra Atoll

Aldabra Atoll
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Aldabra Atoll
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Curieuse
Curieuse
Curieuse, Seychelles
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Aride
Aride
Aride Island, Seychelles
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La Digue

La Digue
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La Digue, Seychelles
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Poivre
Poivre
Poivre Atoll
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Bijoutier

Bijoutier

Bijoutier, Seychelles
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Saint Francois

Saint Francois

Saint-Francois, Seychelles
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Cosmoledo
Cosmoledo
Cosmoledo, Seychelles
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Astove

Astove

Astove Island, Seychelles
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Remire

Remire

Remire, Seychelles

Departure Dates

Tour Dates
Adult Price
Single Supp
29/12/2022
6600
3300

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Various carriers serve Mahe, Seychelles, including Emirates and Qatar Airways - please ask us for details.

Best Visited:

December to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Alan Godwin

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

Thank you for all your excellent coordination of the multi travel and island hopping. We really enjoyed the wildlife experience offered by the Seychelles. [Your representatives] were very good in their arrangements and organisation locally.

Dr & Mrs M - Cambridgeshire