Treasures of Seychelles

13 days / 12 nights
    Expedition
    New itinerary
    Treasures of Seychelles

    Cruise Asia

    from 29 November 2018 to 11 December 2018
    13 days / 12 nights

    Departure Port : Victoria, Mahé
    Arrival Port : Victoria, Mahé

    Ship : LE LAPEROUSE

    • Ref : R291118

    Set sail for a 13-day expedition cruise to discover the most beautiful islands of the Seychelles. PONANT invites you to follow a brand-new itinerary aboard Le Lapérouse, against a backdrop of turquoise waters and coconut palms.  

    Leaving from Victoria, the archipelago’s capital, fall under the spell of the idyllic landscapes, with their exceptional flora and fauna.  

    Your first port of call will be in the island of Aride, an unspoiled delight of the Indian Ocean, home to thousands of birds including some endemic species.

    In Praslin, don’t miss the chance to visit the Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. There you will find sea coconuts, gigantic fruits with a very evocative shape, nicknamed the “love nut”.

    During your cruise, you will have many opportunities to dive or snorkel, notably in Poivre, Astove, Aldabra, and at the heart of the sublime coral reef in the Alphonse lagoon.

    Another highlight of your trip will be the port of call at Aldabra, a gigantic coral atoll that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Edged with mangrove and fine sandy beaches, it is home to the largest colony of land turtles in the world.

    Before you return to Mahé, Le Lapérouse will chart a course for the coral island of Desroches and the sublime beaches of La Digue, some of the most renowned of the Seychelles

    • Naturalists Naturalists
    • Diving Diving
    See the map

    Highlights

    • UNESCO sites: the Vallée de Mai nature reserve in Praslin and Aldabra, the largest coral atoll in the world.
    • The Aride nature reserve, a treasure of the Seychelles with some 73 hectares of colourful vegetation and more than one million birds.
    • The bare red earth of Curieuse, a granite island in the Seychelles.
    • The coral island of Desroches, an intimate destination home to lush vegetation of coconut palms, takamakas and filaos.
    • Anse Source d’Argent, the most famous beach of La Digue, surrounded by large blocks of granite and edged with coconut palms.
    • The chance to dive and snorkel in an exceptional setting with an experienced instructor on board.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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      LE LAPEROUSE

      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE
      • LE LAPEROUSE

      LE LAPEROUSE

      Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience.

      As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Lapérouse will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort.

      Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service.

      Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

      Port of call & excursions

      29 November 2018 – Aride Island

      Victoria, Mahé

      Embarkation 29/11/2018 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 29/11/2018 at 18H00 .

      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.

      30 November 2018 – Aride Island

      30 November 2018 – Aride Island

      Arrival 30/11/2018. Departure 30/11/2018.

      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, and boxfish can be admired while scuba diving in the surrounding waters.

      1 December 2018 – Praslin Island

      1 December 2018 – Praslin Island

      Arrival 01/12/2018 early morning. Departure 01/12/2018 midday.

      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.

      1 December 2018 – Curieuse Island

      1 December 2018 – Curieuse Island

      Arrival 01/12/2018. Departure 01/12/2018.

      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.

      2 December 2018 – Poivre Island

      2 December 2018 – Poivre Island

      Arrival 02/12/2018. Departure 02/12/2018.

      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.

      3 December 2018 – Alphonse Island

      3 December 2018 – Alphonse Island

      Arrival 03/12/2018. Departure 03/12/2018.

      Alphonse Island is located off the Seychelles archipelago. Discovered in 1730 by the Knight Alphonse de Pontevez, this island, specialised in coconut processing in the past, is now a veritable natural reserve, home to different species of marine mammals, sea turtles and many birds. Alphonse Island is also renowned for its rich underwater life and coral, among the best preserved in the Indian Ocean. A marvellous spectacle that can be admired with just a mask!

      4 December 2018 – At sea

      4 December 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 04/12/2018. Departure 04/12/2018.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      5 December 2018▸6 December 2018 – Aldabra Atoll

      5 December 2018▸6 December 2018 – Aldabra Atoll

      Arrival 05/12/2018. Departure 06/12/2018.

      Located in the very heart of this faraway archipelago, the Aldabra Atoll is considered to be one of the last virtually untouched sanctuaries on earth, where a large population of sea turtles has found refuge. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast tract of land is formed by 4 small coral reef islands separated by narrow passes and containing an emerald-water lagoon lined with mangrove and fine-sand beaches. As your ship slowly nears the clear, reflective waters along its shoreline, do not miss your chance to discover this natural wonder, which is considered to be the largest atoll in the world and once fired the imagination of many an explorer.

      7 December 2018 – Astove Island

      7 December 2018 – Astove Island

      Arrival 07/12/2018. Departure 07/12/2018.

      Closer to Madagascar than to Victoria, Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles. It is part of the Aldabra group, in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. Now uninhabited, this coral island covered in coconut trees was once home to the employees that worked on the coconut plantations. Renowned for the richness of its seabeds, Astove Atoll is now a top destination for fishing enthusiasts. It also attracts experienced divers, who visit the atoll to explore the “Astove Wall”, where the sea floor drops to a depth of about 40 metres. The wall is covered in coral and many fish and green sea turtles can be found there.

      8 December 2018 – At sea

      8 December 2018 – At sea

      Arrival 08/12/2018. Departure 08/12/2018.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      9 December 2018 – Desroches Island

      9 December 2018 – Desroches Island

      Arrival 09/12/2018. Departure 09/12/2018.

      Coconut trees, she-oak, white-sand beaches, warm and clear waters: everything here is conducive to daydreaming and relaxation in an intimate setting where the blue sky completes the picture postcard. You are on Desroches Island, the largest in the Amirantes group in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. This 6-km long coral atoll covered in lush vegetation is surrounded by spectacular seabeds where encounters with sharks and manta rays are not uncommon. On the beach, you may be lucky enough to observe sea turtles, there to lay their eggs. In the island’s north, a lighthouse that is still in operation stands guard, and the small village is home to a chapel and a cemetery.

      10 December 2018 – La Digue Island

      10 December 2018 – La Digue Island

      Arrival 10/12/2018 early morning. Departure 10/12/2018 late afternoon.

      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 3km)! 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.

      10 December 2018 – Victoria, Mahé

      10 December 2018 – Victoria, Mahé

      Arrival 10/12/2018 evening. Departure 10/12/2018.

      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.

      11 December 2018▸10 December 2018 – Victoria, Mahé

      Victoria, Mahé

      Disembarkation 11/12/2018 at 00H00 .

      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.

      Formalities

      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

      • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

      • In order to participate in diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1 year old and their up to date dive book.

      Scuba diving

      Scuba diving

      Fauna and flora of the Indian Ocean

      The fauna of the Indian Ocean is very varied. During the various dives, divers can observe various species of benthic fauna such as napoleon fish, oriental sweetlips, blackspotted  sweetlips, batfish and pelagic fauna such as manta rays, gray reef sharks, dolphin fish, rainbow runner as well as endemic wildlife such as different soft corals.

      Supervision of the dives

      Your dives will be led by your PONANT instructor. He will take care of your safety and that all goes smoothly. On some diving sites, as in natural reserves or if the local regulations require it, a local guide will escort the diving.

      Level required for scuba diving on this cruise

      The minimum level required for scuba diving on this cruise is 2 stars CMAS or the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent). The certification card, the diving log book and a recent medical certificate (less than 12 months) must be presented at the beginning of the cruise to our main diving instructor.

      Process of the dives (certified divers)

      The instructor can dive with 4 certified divers at a time. The instructor reserves the right to check divers’ ability for maximum safety. As we will dive in remote places, the dives will be done without decompression stop. A safety stop of 3 minutes at 5 metres will be mandatory. The depth that can be reached will depend on the certification of the divers:

      • For those with PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certificate (or equivalent), the maximum depth can be up to 25 metres.
      • If two PADI Advanced Open Water Divers (or equivalent) wish to dive together independently, they must have a briefing first. They must have dive computers and are allowed to go to a maximum depth of 20 metres.

      Duration of the dives

      The diving activity lasts from 2 to 3 hours, which includes the journey to the diving site and the diving. This duration may vary according to the site, the level of divers, weather conditions and the number of participants. For experienced divers, the duration of dives varies between 35 and 60 minutes depending on the site, the diver’s experience and consumption.

       Supplied equipment

      • Diving wetsuit
      • Stabilising jacket
      • Fins, mask and snorkel
      • Regulator with octopus and pressure gauge
      • Diving computer (for divers mastering their use)

      Scuba diving activities on this cruise

      PORTS OF CALL

      CERTIFIED

      DIVERS

      INITIATION 

      DIVES

      SEYCHELLES – Aride Island

      NO

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Praslin Island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Curieuse Island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Poivre Island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Alphonse Island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Aldabra (Day 1)

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Aldabra (Day 2)

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Astove island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Desroches island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – La Digue Island

      YES

      NO

      SEYCHELLES – Mahe

      NO

      NO

      These sites are indicative. The proposed diving excursions may be changed depending on weather and safety conditions and the number of divers.

      Rates

      Price per person

      • Dives:
        • Exploration (1 dive) : € 80
        • Excellence Package (3 dives) : € 225
        • Passion Package (6 dives) : € 420
        • Master Package (10 dives) : € 650



      Theme

      TROPICAL EXPEDITION

      TROPICAL EXPEDITION

      Discover the unique concept of PONANT tropical expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

      A luxury expedition voyage

      Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the archipelagos of Oceania or the atolls of the Indian Ocean, along the wild coastlines of Central America or Australia, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

      PONANT, expedition cruise specialists

      With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is also a real specialist in the planet’s most remote tropical regions. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

      Professional expedition teams, varied activities

      After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the tropical regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies so as to get as close to nature as possible. They can reserve local means of transport (dugout canoes, bush taxis, local buses, etc.) in order to reach essential sites for hiking (volcanoes, nature reserves, etc.) or for visiting isolated villages. Indeed, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to share the life and ancestral customs of these peoples for a few hours. The naturalist guides also supervise snorkelling tours to discover the coral reef fauna. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

      Important information

      Expeditions programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

      Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer an unusual chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe a full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.

      Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and /or isolated zones.

      Dressing tips :

      • Cotton comfrortable and light weight shorts/bermudas
      • Light weight long trousers
      • Long-sleeved breathable UPF50+ shirts
      • Cotton short sleeves T-shirt
      • Aquatic UV long-sleeve T-shirt for sun protection during snorkeling or swimming (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Aquatic non-slip sandals (except for the Amazon cruises where bathing is not allowed)
      • Windproof, waterproof and breathable outer layer
      • Broad brimmed anti-UV hat with strap
      • Comfortable walking shoes
      • Waterproof backpack for camera
      • Sunscreen and after-sun high index & insect repellent
      • Binoculars
      • Note: During your visits to some local communities, all guests will be required to dress respectfully. Ladies must have their shoulders and thighs covered. Gentlemen should have their shoulders covered also.

      Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

      Benefits of the PONANT shop:

      • expert advice to gear up
      • a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
      • Duty Free prices
      • delivery directly on board

      Pre/Post & Overlands

      1. Before your cruise

        27/11/2018 – Glimpse of Victoria and dolce farniente in oceanfront villa (2 nights)

        For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
        The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
        His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.
        1190.00 $ **

        More information

        27/11/2018 – Glimpse of Victoria and dolce farniente in hillside villa (2 nights)

        For your comfort and serenity, this programme benefits from a PONANT accompaniment***.
        The escort, mandated by the company, accompanies you and remains at your disposal during your stay.
        His mission: offering you assistance and facilitating the organisation to ensure the full success of your stay.
        940.00 $ **

        More information

        28/11/2018 – RELAXING STAY AND DISCOVERY OF MAHÉ (1 NIGHT)

        550.00 $ **

        More information

      2. After your cruise

        11/12/2018 – Relaxing day in Mahé

        440.00 $ **

        More information

      Attention: the prices listed at the time of your reservation can be different from those listed in the brochure. These prices can evolve based on availability and the real time rates of the airline companies selected.
      Travellers are advised to check all the information with the authorities concerned prior to the departure date. Ponant advises Travellers to consult the country factsheets relating to the chosen destinations. Ponant specifically draws Travellers' attention to the fact that the information provided may change up until the departure date, and they are advised to consult that information up until the time of departure. CDP invites Travellers to adjust their behavior to the visited country, to exercise vigilance and to avoid carrying valuable objects during their travel.
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