Passage Through the Seychelles

Passage Through the Seychelles

From GBP £9,495

Description

The Seychelles offers the visitor a tropical beauty that is difficult, if not impossible to match anywhere else in the world. Spread out over a vast area of the Indian Ocean, they offer everything from quiet sophistication and enchanting scenery to wild and uninhabited nature reserves, where the very remoteness of the islands has protected them from the worst excesses of mankind. If ever there was a region perfect for expedition cruising it is here and the MS Caledonian Sky is the perfect size and equipped vessel for our voyage.

Our journey will include all aspects of this extraordinary island nation from the lesser known and rarely visited Outer Seychelles where we visit Aldabra Island Group, the world’s largest coral atoll and a World Heritage Site to the developed Inner Seychelles with staggeringly beautiful islands such as Praslin, La Digue and Aride.

Being one of the most difficult places in the world to access and having a lack of freshwater has saved Aldabra from any tourism development and only small vessels like the MS Caledonian Sky are allowed to visit. It is therefore a great privilege to be able to land on the untouched beaches of Aldabra, the breeding ground for giant tortoise and home to some of the rarest birds in the Indian Ocean. To explore the abundant crystal clear waters of the vast lagoon and to set foot on atolls which have never been exploited by the hand of man is a rare experience.

Trip Name
Passage Through the Seychelles
Days
13
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Length: 90 metres Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites) Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012 The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows. If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere. Your Suite Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub. Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Your space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request. Your dining With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board. For your comfort, safety and security The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only. Gratuities Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight.
Day 2 - Day 2 Dar es Salaam.
Arrive today and transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky. Enjoy welcome dinner and drinks on board as we sail this evening.
Day 3 - Day 3 Zanzibar.
Here the colourful harbour, crowded with dhows, very much sets the scene for our visit to this Arab-style city with its long narrow streets, bazaars, houses with overhanging balconies and intricately carved doorways. On a morning walking tour, soak up the timeless atmosphere of Stone Town including Livingstone House, Sultan’s Palace, the slave market and the old Fort. The afternoon is free to relax and explore independently or join a tour to a spice farm to experience the various fruits and spices cultivated on the island. Alternatively, travel to Jozani Forest which sustains a variety of wildlife and birds, including the rare red colobus monkey, indigenous to the island.
Day 4 - Day 4 At Sea.
Spend a relaxing day at sea as we cross to the Seychelles.
Day 5 - Days 5 to 7 Aldabra Island Group, Seychelles.
We have two and a half days to enjoy the Aldabra group of islands and our itinerary will be in the hands of our Expedition Leader and Captain who will monitor the local conditions to ensure we maximise our time here. Whilst our itinerary is flexible, after a morning at sea, we will plan to call at the island of mankind. Assumption, for clearance into the Seychelles. Assumption was ruthlessly plundered for its vast deposits of guano in the early 20th century but peace has returned and the wildlife of rare birds and green turtles are once again in abundance. Our time here will be spent beachcombing, on a nature walk or snorkelling. We also hope to reach Cosmoledo where a huge ring of twelve islands circle a lagoon. Many of the atolls are still to be surveyed and we will explore some of them by Zodiac. This is an important bird area with all three species of booby found in the Seychelles including the last breeding site for the brown booby. Also spot sooty terns and great frigate birds. We also plan time on Aldabra, the island referred to by Sir Julian Huxley as “One of nature’s treasures and should belong to the whole world”. Aldabra is unique and every time we call at what is believed to be the world’s largest atoll we find something new of interest. Sightings have been made of the extremely rare white throated rail and the atoll is also home to the world’s second largest colony of frigate birds and to the largest crab, the coconut crab. Whilst exploring by Zodiac it is difficult to know in which direction to look. The clear blue seas abound with colourful life, the skies are alive with varied birdlife and ashore giant land tortoises forage as they have done for millions of years. We will explore Picard Island with a short walk to see some of the thousands of tortoises and numerous robber crabs. We will include as much as possible with our time on Aldabra making landings on South Island and trips into the lagoon, a vast 17 mile stretch of shallow clear water. From our Zodiacs we can watch the everchanging undersea world and snorkel in colourful coral waters teeming with marine life.
Day 6 - Day 8 Farquhar Islands.
After a morning at sea we will anchor off Farquhar over lunch where we will use our Zodiacs to explore the sparkling lagoon of this remote atoll ringed island of coconut and casuarina trees. Hawksbill and green sea turtles come to the atoll for nesting, and several of the Farquhar Group’s islands are Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. The island is a haven providing us with a delightful afternoon of bird watching or snorkelling.
Day 7 - Day 9 Alphonse Islands.
There are three islands in the Alphonse group which is located directly south of the Amirantes. As we approach the islands over lunch you will understand why they are regarded by many to be the most beautiful of the 115 islands in the Seychelles archipelago. On the main island the circular lagoon offers good snorkelling and there are a number of tracks across the island to enjoy island walks.
Day 8 - Day 10 Amirante Islands.
This morning we arrive at the 28 islands in the Amirante Group of islands which were discovered by Vasco de Gama in 1501 and are, considered to be, some of the most pristine and untouched islands in the world. If conditions permit we will spend the day on Desroches, the largest of the islands, although still only measuring six kilometres by 1.5 kilometres. Enjoy nature walks with our naturalists and the island’s conservation team observing the flora and fauna and in particular the giant tortoises and nesting turtles. Meanwhile keen snorkellers will have the chance to swim over the outlying coral.
Day 9 - Day 11 Aride & Curieuse.
Early this morning we will anchor off Aride, one of the finest and most important seabird islands in the Indian Ocean. Over one million seabirds breed on the island including tropical shearwater, lesser noddy, frigatebirds and roseate tern and also five species unique to the Seychelles such as the Seychelles warbler and Seychelles magpie robin. The island is largely covered in native woodland, including the endemic wright’s gardenia, a shrub with beautifully scented flowers found nowhere else in the world. Sail over lunch to Curieuse, a rugged island which was once home to a leper colony and now houses an eco-museum and visitor centre. The island is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles and boasts endemic vine and mangroves which we explore on an island walk.
Day 10 - Day 12 Praslin & La Digue.
From our overnight anchorage we will land on Praslin to explore the ‘Vallee de Mai’, the last remnant of the original high canopied Seychelles palm forest and home to the coco de mer. We will walk its paths looking out for the rare black parrot and enjoying its natural beauty. Return to the ship for lunch as we sail the short distance to La Digue where huge granite boulders that lie like giant sculptures on the brilliant white beaches of the island. Tour the forested nature reserve and the L’Union Estate, a superbly restored 19th century colonial house. Rent a bicycle, relax or swim from one of the beaches. Tonight we will sail to Mahe where we moor overnight.
Day 11 - Day 13 Mahe to London.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. Arrive this evening.
Day 12 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £9,495Castle Standard Suite
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £12,495Promenade Owner's Corner Suite
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £9,795Caledonian Superior Suite
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £9,995Promenade Premium Suite
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £10,995Bridge Deluxe Balcony Suite
08-11-202020-11-2020GBP £11,295Promenade Prem. Balcony Suite

Inclusions

    • Spend two and a half days enjoying the Aldabra group of islands
    • Anchor off Farquhar & explore the sparkling lagoon of this remote atoll ringed island of coconut and casuarina trees
    • Arrive at the 28 islands in the Amirante Group of islands which were discovered by Vasco de Gama in 1501 and are, considered to be, some of the most pristine and untouched islands in the world
    • Anchor off Aride, one of the finest and most important seabird islands in the Indian Ocean

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