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Mahe, Seychelles

Suggested Cruising Program

A Seychelles sailing itinerary takes you into a sailor's paradise. The marine preserves on islands populated with diverse and rare species of birds, lizards, and turtles in the Seychelles are exotic and intriguing. The plant life is varied too, from the coco-de-mer palms with huge double coconuts to the pitcher plants, gardenias, and orchids that grow on the mountain slopes. Passages combine a mix of open-water sailing in fair winds and short hops between adjacent islands for snorkeling and scuba diving on the coral reefs or simply relaxing on one of the many white-sand beaches. Although the Inner Islands of the Seychelles are mostly undeveloped, some are home to seaside resorts and small settlements, providing plenty to do ashore as well as aboard your luxury yacht.

Day 1: St. Anne Marie National Park

St. Anne Island is the centerpiece of this beautiful marine park, and nearby Moyenne, Round, and Cerf are just as scenic. During World War II St. Anne served as a base for a contingent of Royal Marines stationed there to defend the port of Victoria in the event of an enemy attack. In the early 19th century, the area was a busy whaling port. Today, cruising in St. Anne Marine National Park is a delightful foray into the wonders of Nature, with superb snorkeling and swimming, and a number of restaurants where you can dine out and savor the local cuisine.

Mooring: Moorings are available for a fee on the south side of St. Anne Island. Anchoring is permitted in the park.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do:Swimming and snorkeling are the main attractions of the park. The turtles are relatively tame and will swim around you in a friendly way, providing a chance for some underwater photography. Ashore on St. Anne, Moyenne, Round, and Cerf islands are restaurants serving Creole and haute cuisine.

Day 2: Curieuse Island

St. Anne Island to Curieuse Marine National Park - 40 nm. A northwest or southeast wind will provide an ideal point of sail for your open-water passage from the coast of Mahé to the group of beautiful islands to the north. Balmy winds and gentle seas are typical in the Seychelles, just one of many reasons why this destination in the Indian Ocean is so popular. You'll pass to the west of Praslin Island, then turn east to reach the scenic anchorage of Baie Laraie, a cove with excellent protection in northwesterly winds. There are a number of attractions ashore, including a tortoise farm and a museum. The snorkeling and scuba diving is superb in these waters.

Mooring: Moorings are available. The best anchorage in northwesterly winds is in the cove of Baie Laraie.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: A short hike from Baie Laraie across the island to Anse José takes you on a boardwalk running through a mangrove forest. Amid the foliage are the ruins of the leper colony, and near the beach at Anse José is The Doctor's House, where the island's physician lived. Built in the Creole Colonial style, the house is now a museum that highlights the history of the island. On the beach, giant tortoises bask in the sun. Barbecues on the beach are popular, as is snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing. The snorkeling is particularly good around the nearby islet of St. Pierre. Taken together, all these attractions make cruising in Curieuse Island waters a memorable and inspiring adventure.

Day 3: Grande Soeur Island

Curiesue Island to Grande Soeur Island - 14 nm. The next leg of your Seychelles sailing itinerary takes you almost due east to spend the day savoring the delights of beautiful Grande Soeur Island. There's a beach bar where you can relax over lunch and enjoy locally caught seafood and sip a cool drink. On the east side of the island is Grande Anse, a spectacular beach for swimming and snorkeling. Later in the afternoon sail to the secluded anchorage at Anse Coco at La Digue Island.

Mooring: No moorings are available. The anchorage is right off the Reef Bar, on the west side of the island. It can be uncomfortable in southeasterly winds.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available. The landing fee includes a boat taxi ride to and from your yacht.

Things to do: Swimming and snorkeling are the main attractions of Grande Soeur Island yachting, though enjoying a beachside barbecue (there are fixed barbecue tables) is also a popular activity, as is a visit to the Reef Bar for refreshing cocktails.

Day 4: Coco Islands

La Digue Island to Ile Coco Marine National Park - 7 nm. A sail to the Cocos is a must on any Seychelles itinerary. The sheer beauty of the park, with Coco Island at its center and three islets nearby, is breathtaking even by Seychelles standards. The snorkeling is some of the best anywhere. After spending the day exploring the Cocos, sail back to La Digue Island, this time to La Digue Island Harbour.

Mooring: Day moorings are available. The best anchorage is south of Coco Island. Holding is good in sand.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: Snorkeling is the main attraction of the Cocos.

Day 5: La Digue Island

La Digue Island to Praslin Island - 12 nm. Tarry until early afternoon to do some sightseeing and enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants of this small island community, where you'll see ox-drawn carts on the narrow streets. There are a number of attractions, including tours of the large plantation of Union Estate as well as one of the few working copra mills in the Seychelles. For the night, head over to Praslin Island and anchor at Anse Volbert, where you'll find restaurants ashore and live music on Friday evenings at the Paradise Sun hotel.

Mooring: No moorings are available. The best all-weather anchorage is in La Digue Harbour on the northwest coast. On the southeast side of the island, Anse Coco is well protected in northwesterly winds.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available.

Things to do: There is much to do on La Digue Island, which is one reason why La Digue yachting is so popular on luxury yacht charter itineraries. Some cruisers opt to stay an extra day just to relax and see the sights in a place where the slow pace of life is cherished. Among the attractions are the working copra mill and the Union Estate Park, a large plantation covering almost a third of the island. In addition to the estate building, which is open to the public, you'll find The Old Cemetery and a tortoise pen. A walk through Veuve Reserve takes you deep into the ecosystem of the island. Horseback riding, bicycle rentals, and sightseeing trips by helicopter are popular. The beach at Source d'Argent is one of the island's most picturesque settings. The Tarrosa Bar, Restaurant and Disco features live music on weekends.

Day 6: Cousin Island

Praslin Island to Providence by way of Cousin Island - 49 nm. This last full day of sailing will take you just over a mile south to Cousin Island for a short stop at one of the bird sanctuaries in the Seychelles. More than 300,000 birds nest on this tiny isle, a mere 2,264 feet in diameter. Lizards and tortoises share this small space with the birds. A taxi boat is available to take you ashore. After your visit, plot a course back to Mahé and when you arrive, treat yourself to a wonderful dinner at The Wharf restaurant.

Mooring: No moorings are available. The anchorage you select depends on the wind directions. The southeast coast and off the northern beach are possible options for anchoring.

Dinghy dockage: No dinghy dockage is available. Landing a dinghy is prohibited, but a boat taxi is on station to give you a ride ashore. The service is included with the landing fee.

Things to do: Bird watching is the main attraction at Cousin Island.

Tropical Yachts
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Tel: 1 (305) 735-3460 & (305) 593-8687

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