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Seychelles Island Hopping Cruise

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Seychelles Island Hopping Cruise Review

Part of my responsibilities as Product Manager here at Orbital is the unenviable task to test our cruises. So here's my review of our new 7 night island hopping cruise in the Seychelles........ off I went with snorkel in hand.

So after a long overnight Etihad flight it was great to be able to step on board and settle into our cabin. Time for a quick welcome meeting and safety drill before a short cruise of 15 minutes to Ste Anne Island for an overnight stay and our first swim stop – very refreshing after such a long journey. 

We then had an introduction to the crew and the superb food that we were to have throughout the week and to meet fellow passengers, from the UK, Germany, Belgium and South Africa. There was great entertainment in the evenings from Bingo, to party nights to towel and napkin folding demonstrations! The two nights we had with Seychellois bands, singers and dancers were excellent. 

The next morning we set sail to Curieuse Island, about a 3 hour cruise from Ste Anne and the longest time spent cruising between the islands.  We spent the morning walking round the island meeting the giant tortoises and scratching their backs, walking through (dry) mangrove swamps and seeing crabs scuttling about. Then it was time for a BBQ under the trees and swimming and snorkelling on the beach in the afternoon.

To get to and from the islands from the Pegasus we used the zodiac (you always had to wear a life jacket) which takes 12 people at a time. The waves up against the ship could be quite choppy but the crew were superb at helping you on and off.    

MY Pegasus

The next morning we visited Cousin Island which is a bird sanctuary and we were warned to put lots of mosquito repellent on. The best bit was arriving on the island: as usual we were picked up by tender from the Pegasus and then about 100m out from the island we were told to prepare ourselves for a beach landing! Yep we flew out of the water and landed right up on the beach itself - very Bondesque– fantastic! As for the mosquito repellent yes it was definitely needed but then you are literally surrounded by thousands of birds, some of which make their nests on the ground as there are no predators. I particularly liked the Fairy terns and the White-tailed tropicbirds. After the visit we cruised back to Praslin Island but couldn’t go to Anse Lazio beach as the waves were too rough. Instead we headed off to a different beach for more snorkelling. In the evening we cruised back round to the quiet side of Praslin Island and saw another beautiful sunset over the islands – incredibly peaceful and serene.

Sunset, Seychelles

The next day Aride Island was closed so we went to Anse Lazio beach in the morning instead as the tide was out. Here we had some great snorkelling even in the shallows. After lunch we cruised around the eastern side of Praslin and moored up in Baie Ste Anne. People then got off for the Praslin excursion to the Vallée de Mai. 

La Digue, Seychelles

In the morning there was a snorkelling session off the tender boat at St Pierre Island off the coast of Praslin and then in the afternoon we visited Felicité Island for more snorkelling. When we were returning to the zodiac we came across three Eagle Rays swimming lazily around the small port area. We watched them until they drifted off out of sight. We also saw groups of dolphins on three occasions off the bow of the ship as we cruised around the islands and my highlight was seeing a mother and baby dolphin – glorious! Glimpses are fleeting and you have to be patient but the crew are used to spotting them and they would knock on the windows (there is a row of seats at the front of the ship, in front of the bridge) to warn us when they had been spotted.

Our next day on La Digue was very chilled – it was nice to have a whole day on terra firma and La Digue has such a special atmosphere. The Anse Source d’Argent beach lived up to expectations – beautiful granitic boulders, lovely beach and great snorkelling. 

We then had a late afternoon sailing to Moyenne Island (about 3 hours) which is an island opposite Mahé and moored up for the night.

The next day we had a tour around Moyenne with time for more swimming and snorkelling. The island was bought by Brendon Grimshaw (originally from Yorkshire) in the early 1960s and he transformed it by re-introducing endemic plants and trees as well as giant tortoises. There were some beautiful views over the Marine Park. We then cruised a short distance to Mahe’s port in the afternoon and had a great farewell dinner with live music and dancing. It was good to see the crew having a bit of a wiggle. Markos the boat manager even played a few tunes on the ukulele!

Moyenne Island, La Digue

Vivek, the tour guide was excellent and gave us a briefing every evening before dinner about the next day’s activities and whether we were due to have a wet or dry landing. He would always bring the beach towels so even if we had a wet landing we always had a towel to hand to dry off before putting shoes back on. 

The crew were a great a mix of Greek, Seychellois, Indonesian and Mauritian – very friendly, efficient and fun. The captain was always incredibly mindful of our safety and sometimes did a recce to check the beach landing conditions before planned outings.

What will I remember? Those fantastic granitic boulders on those beautiful beaches, the fruit bats, the fish, the giant tortoises, the great food and crew, the great laughs with the other passengers, the ocean like bath water, the wild waves, the mother & baby dolphins swimming across the bow of the ship, the Eagle Rays, the stunning sunsets, the whole experience really……………. When’s my next trip?

Please click here for the photos on facebook.

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