Seychelles sailing holiday
There are 2 categories of cabin, all have a wash basin and air conditioning, but no cabins have ensuite facilities.
Description of Seychelles sailing holiday
This Seychelles sailing holiday is a week of pure Indian Ocean bliss, exploring the island idylls of this archipelago, famous for being isolated and paradise like. The Seychelles archipelago is actually made up of 43 Inner Islands and 72 Outer Islands and their highest peaks are a submerged mountain range, once joined to the ancient continent known as Gondwana.
With a tropical climate and exquisite empty beaches, the population is still very small, focused mainly on the largest islands which we visit as part of our sailing itinerary: Mahé which is home to the capital city of Victoria, and then Praslin which is famous for its stunning Vallée de Mai, and UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as tropical forests, palm lined beaches and all round heavenly qualities. Not surprisingly, these islands were believed to have been the site of the Garden of Eden.
We also visit La Digue Island where its stunning coast is dotted with vast granite boulders, not untypical of the archipelago as these are the only granite mid-ocean islands on the planet. A popular island for cycling, swimming around its lagoons and reef brings you into a world of eels, rays and black tipped reef sharks. Each island on this trip, Inner or Outer, has its own special quality, the Outer ones formed from five coral reefs and the famous Aldabra Atoll.
You will be sailing on board a magnificent sailing vessel with eight air conditioned cabins, of varied sizes, all with sinks but main bathroom facilities are shared. There is, of course, a deck shower too, although more time will probably be spent in the water than on deck anyway, if swimming is your thing. Please note that on this holiday we charge an additional conservation fee, which goes directly to island communities and local NGO’s to support vital environmental work.
1 Reviews of Seychelles sailing holiday
Reviewed on 23 Apr 2018 by Nicholas Ward
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Snorkelling at various sites.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you're travelling alone try and get a single use cabin, it's not too expensive and unless you like being fairly intimate with strangers it makes things much more comfortable in the small cabin space. Even outside your own cabin, remember you're sharing quite a small space with a bunch of strangers. That might be great, or not so great - it really depends on how gregarious you are and the characters of the other people on board. Worth considering is that it's not like a hotel or big cruise ship where you can 'walk away' from somebody you don't want to spend time with. Luckily, my bunch were pretty much okay!
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Not benefiting 'local people' unless they are the owners of the boat! When discussing tipping, the captain gave a sob story on behalf of the crew as to how little they (not including himself) are paid. If not true, then a crude attempt to squeeze more cash out of the customer. Supporting Conservation - well, we paid the entry fees if that counts. Apart from Co2 footprint, quite a low impact holiday, not disturbing people or wildlife. Greenish, I'd say.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Not the best of its type I've been on. The Seychelles themselves are marvellous, both above water and, for snorkellers and divers, below - although it has to
be said that the tsunami and coral bleaching has taken its toll. The boat was great, especially as not too expensive in a very expensive country. Now the
downside. My usual whinge on 'small group' holidays is that groups are too big. On this trip, with just 5 of us it was a bit too small. As the only solo traveller
(and that in itself was a first for me) and two couples one of which were German speakers, there was little opportunity for 'group spirit' shall we say. Still, that's the risk you take on this type of holiday. If the boat had been full, i'd probably have been complaining about that instead. One real complaint was the fact that the Captain made no attempt to socialise with his passengers, despite obviously having quite a lot of free time especially in the evenings. He did his job fine, but that was all. Another problem was the step down to reach the dinghy when going ashore etc. A plank which rotates under your foot is not very safe! Having had a slip and 'near miss' I mentioned this and something was done, but was soon undone as it obviously didn't work and things went back to normal (ie unsafe) for the rest of the trip. So, overall a good trip but could have been better.
PlanetThe smaller size of our ship and the smaller passenger numbers ensures that any detrimental social and environmental impacts are minimised whilst allowing the passengers to visit smaller communities that don’t usually benefit from this form of tourism. Most tourists to Seychelles stay (and often don’t leave) some large resorts in a few restricted locations, so by enabling our passengers to visit some different areas without putting any strain on local amenities, we are spreading the financial benefits and the load of our visit.
Sail power has very obvious benefits, vastly reducing the carbon used in any form of travel. Although we cannot use the sails all the time and in all conditions, they do provide a welcome benefit.
Most of the islands visited on our this cruise are run by not-for-profit NGOs, foundations or government conservation/monitoring organizations, and everyone that visits these places provides desperately needed funding toward the continued conservation and research of their unique ecosystems. These charges are combined into one 'conservation fee,' so that everyone that joins this cruise knows that this separate amount is going directly toward the islands' preservation and long-term sustainability. These partner organizations include:
Seychelles Islands Foundation - a government conservation body that manages Seychelles two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Aldabra and the Vallée de Mai
Seychelles National Parks Authority - a government agency charged with the protection of all national parks, including the variety of marine park reserves we visit on our itinerary such as the Ste Anne Marine National Park, the Baie Ternay Marine National Park, as well as Curieuse, St Pierre and Coco islands
Island Conservation Society - an NGO which owns and manages Aride Island, as well as providing consultancy for government with respect to environmental conservation on other islands such as Silhouette Island and the coralline outer isles.
Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles - an NGO with a particular focus on marine research, which has spearheaded a variety of initiatives toward the better understanding and conservation of sea turtles, sharks, whale sharks and marine mammals.
Nature Seychelles - an NGO which is responsible for the management of Cousin Island Special Reserve.
We will visit Cousin Island, a bird sanctuary run by Nature Seychelles and their partner, Birdlife International. Our visit, apart from educating our guests to the fantastic work being done on the Seychelles, provides a little funding to the NGOs that are working to preserve some of the world's rarest species. In 1959 there were fewer than 30 Seychelles warbler left alive, all on Cousin Island. Following fantastic work by these NGOs and others, the population began to recover and birds were translocated to other islands. The island also hosts the incredibly rare Seychelles fody, Seychelles magpie-robin, the endemic Seychelles sunbird and Seychelles blue pigeon as well as the Malagasy turtle dove. The island hosts over 300,000 nesting seabirds of seven species.
We rely heavily on small local businesses for providing local excursions for our passengers, providing an income to several smaller local firms.
All the food on board is bought in the Seychelles; fruit, vegetables, plenty of fish, meat and other staples are all locally grown and produced, and much of it is bought from small retailers or even directly from the grower or fisherman.
PeopleWe encourage all our passengers to engage with the local community on a social and economic level to ensure that this tourism has a benefit to both the visitors and the hosts.
The ship’s managers will buy as much of their produce as possible from local communities, and we will also encourage our passengers to spend money in the communities that we visit. By trying some local fruit juice instead of a well known American brand of soft drink, you will support the economy, it will be better for you and, who knows, you might find you enjoy it more too.
We will endeavour to maximise the benefits of tourism and to minimise or eradicate any downside, socially, environmentally & economically.
We will encourage our passengers to learn and understand as much as possible about the local traditions and way of life to enable them to appreciate the reality of life in the Seychelles.
The ships managers state that they "are committed to build upon this experience and success and provide high standards of service, while operating in a responsible and sustainable manner in co-existence with the natural eco-systems we visit."