The Seychelles Under the Trade Winds

The Seychelles Under the Trade Winds

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Aboard its emblematic yacht, PONANT is reshaping the contours of expedition cruising and invites you to experience a new way of discovering the wonderful Seychelles, between granite rocks and coral islets. Like a soft murmur at the heart of the Indian Ocean, in the ear of the insatiable traveller the wind hums a captivating melody blending African, European and Indian influences. Offering you unique and iconic ports of call and intimate moments, Le Ponant takes you to dreamy, wild and idyllic gems where the unexpected brings a delicious sense of freedom.

As the wind catches the sails, Mahé fades into the distance, and with it its colourful houses. The gentle way of life invites itself on board and with each port of call the islands of the Seychelles are revealed. Volcanoes buried in the abysses or fragments detached from the continent, each one in turn presents stunning panoramas.

The Amirante Islands reveal themselves, from the African Banks and their exceptional underwater scenery to the islands of Poivre and Bijoutier and their stunning coral atolls. Marvel at the purity of their crystal-clear lagoons lined with fine sand. Under the trade winds, sail to the small, uninhabited Thérèse Island and, like a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, experience the exhilaration of first times.

Continue your journey by setting a course for the Inner Islands. Granite rocks reflecting pink and golden hues punctuate the white-sand beaches and their celadon shores with their rounded edges. On Curieuse Island, the fascinating and ancient Aldabra giant tortoises move nonchalantly and slowly through the landscape. The abundant flora of Aride is home to lizards, sea turtles, and the largest seabird reserve in the Seychelles.

On Praslin, while the gentle backwash invites you to take a quiet pause on Grande Sœur beach, you dive right in to the island’s tropical rainforest, a UNESCO-listed nature reserve. Let the gentle pace of La Digue soothe you. The sound of birdsong and the delicate scent of tropical flowers add the finishing touches to this enchanting scene.

From one island to the next, these idyllic landscapes invite you to be at one with the elements. Far from the frenzy of the world, take the time to get back in tune with your senses: melt into the ocean during a scuba dive or introduction to free-diving, draw in the energy that surrounds you during a yoga session at sunrise or sunset, and experience mindfulness during a meditation. At your own pace, discover these unspoiled paradises while paddle-boarding, glass-bottom kayaking, or snorkelling. Lost in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles blend their contrasts to perfection: a tropical paradise nestling in a wild and unspoiled natural environment. These biodiversity reserves offer precious moments of exploration and infinite spaces in which to dream.

Trip Name
The Seychelles Under the Trade Winds
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht Length: 88 metres Passenger Capacity: 64 Built: 1991 This sleek, expertly designed 88-metre-long and 56-metre-high three-master is one of the most majestic yachts in the world. In an age when everything is becoming computer controlled, it shines the spotlight back on the more manual, skilful art of sailing, combined with comfort, elegance, exclusivity and sustainability. The striking lines, the quality of the materials, the sophistication of the way they’re combined: the common areas, designed by French design studio Jean-Philippe Nuel, exude a sense of timelessness and offer a genuine connection with the exterior scenery and landscapes. Their design offers a blend of purity, excellence and a sense of easy living through the prominent use of stylish plain tones: off-white, taupe and caviar grey. No flourishes or embellishments here, but instead a unity between the common areas and the staterooms. Exterior bar - Sun Deck Sun Lounge area - Exterior bar The Le Diamant panoramic restaurant - Zéphyr Deck Seats 34 guests - 61 m² - Buffet breakfast and dinner - Fine gastronomic cuisine made using exceptionally high quality organic and local products - Veuve Clicquot champagne - Wines from French artisan wine producers and the regions visited. The Marina - Alizés Deck Two standard kayaks and two glass-bottomed kayaks - Four stand up paddleboards - Snorkelling equipment - Fishing equipment - Scuba diving equipment (for a group of four people) - Saltwater swimming pool - Small equipment for children (noodles, rings, armbands and safety equipment) - Bicycles The lounge and Bar Emeraude - Alizés Deck Interior surface : 92 m² - Seats 35 guests - Exterior surface : 85 m² - Seats 24 guests The wellness space - Alizés Deck Spa / massages (18.5 m²): one cabin offering massages and Biologique Recherche treatments - Gym (16 m²) with dedicated fitness instructor - Yoga sessions on the Sun Deck


Day 1 - Day 1 VICTORIA, MAHÉ
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 is 905 metres high and 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 marvellous Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
Located 30 km (18.6 miles) north of Remire, on the edge of the Amirantes Bank, the African Banks were discovered in 1797 by Admiral Willaumez, commanding the frigate La Régénérée. The group of two islets, separated by a lagoon, forms a pseudo-atoll, their common base being granitic. The coast of these small uninhabited islands appearing only at low tide is gradually being eroded. This former important nesting site for terns and seabirds is surrounded by waters teeming with fish. Renowned among divers, the African Banks boast the most beautiful sea beds visible at such a short distance from the shore: in the east of the North Island is an exceptional drop-off to 300 metres (984 feet). This promises a memorable dive.
Bijoutier Island is one of the three idyllic islands of the Alphonse Atoll, considered the most intact and unspoiled group of islands in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Formed around volcanos having vanished into the abyssal depths of the Indian Ocean, they are protected by splendid and fragile coral reefs. The jewel of the Alphonse Atoll, the Bijoutier lagoon is set with beaches of coconut trees bordering this 2-hectare setting, a haven of peace for herons, colonies of frigate birds, tortoises and giant crabs. Since 2007, the natural treasures of this desert island have been preserved by the atoll’s conservation centre, which is dedicated to restoring the biodiversity of the island ecosystems.
At some 200 km south-west 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, the Mauritius intendant 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.
Thérèse is an uninhabited island of the Inner Seychelles. From the heights of this tiny island covered in abundant vegetation, the Mahé summits can be seen. Its tropical beach, a 700-metre long (2,300 feet) ribbon of golden sand lined with coconut trees, is one of the most beautiful in the Seychelles. The crystal-clear waters in shades of turquoise edging this piece of confetti in the Indian Ocean are home to numerous species of multicoloured tropical fish. In this stunning setting, away from the world, the myth of Robinson Crusoe can be reinvented.
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 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 sea coconut grows wild.
Aride is an island in the Seychelles situated a few kilometres north-west 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 “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.Located 6 km north of La Digue, Grande Sœur Island is renowned for its two sumptuous beaches and its translucent waters, protected by a coral reef. An ideal spot for snorkelling and observing the sea turtles that co-exist here with the many multi-coloured fish. The pristine Grande Sœur Island is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Seychelles.
Situated some forty kilometres 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 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, as well as the famous sea coconut, which can weigh up to 20 kg and is sometimes called “coco fesse” because its shape calls to mind a pair of buttocks.
La Digue Island is a veritable concentration of all the beauty of the Seychelles. Located 6 km south-east of Praslin, this small piece of land that looks like paradise is the third-largest island in the Seychelles, despite its modest size (5 km by 3 km)! 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: the 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.
Day 10 - Day 10 VICTORIA, MAHÉ
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 is 905 metres high and 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 marvellous Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
Day 11 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Enjoy the extraordinary experience of sailing aboard Le Ponant as though you were on your own private yacht.
    • A limited-capacity yacht: a maximum of 32 passengers and as many crew members; a dedicated chef Sail on a ship propelled by the wind and enjoy the wonderful opportunities nature offers us to adjust the programme and navigate under sail whenever possible.
    • An expedition cruise to discover the Seychelles, a remarkable biodiversity reserve, among granitic islands and coral atolls, in the company of your naturalist guides.
    • Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • As the wind carries you, savour shared moments of joy and be fully present in this wonderful Eden.
    • Enjoy spending time in harmony with the elements in this unspoiled paradise: scuba diving, introduction to free-diving, yoga at sunrise or sunset, meditation.
    • Brand-new ports of call to discover new lands: the African Banks and Thérèse Island.
    • Exceptional moments on board and numerous water-based activities to discover the beauty of this archipelago in the Indian Ocean as if alone in the world, with all your senses heightened.
    • Discover the underwater flora and fauna of the Seychelles during your choice of an included beginner’s introduction to diving or a more advanced scuba dive (Level 1 or CMAS 1-star diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor.
    • Before the nights under sail, treat yourself to a few nights under the stars in the Arabian Peninsula desert, and enjoy a break during which you can forget time and reconnect with yourself in an exceptional natural setting.