A call redolent of the songs of whales reverberates through the canopy above, alerting us to a troop of Madagascar’s most extraordinary inhabitants. Legends in Roman mythology, these wide eyed arboreal primates are thought to carry restless spirits. We wonder how this fable came to be, for few sights can match an encounter with the lovable lemur.
I really enjoyed the whole trip and have been recommending it to everybody. It was a good mix of different forms of travel and we saw the most interesting places.
J Fisher - Northern Spain & Portugal
Joining you on your expedition will be a dedicated Captain's Choice Tour Host Team, ably supported by the crew and Expedition Team aboard Noble Caledonia.
I’ve travelled to over 70 countries but prefer “out the of the way” destinations – for the way they challenge and enrich. And you don’t get more out of the way than the places we’ll explore on this tour. If you're looking for something different. If you have adventure in your soul, then join me and discover the uncharted lands of the Indian Ocean.
Kenneth joins our expedition as guest lecturer. Kenneth studied the politics and history of the area and has travelled extensively through the Southern Indian Ocean region. He will introduce you to the fascinating history and culture of East Africa and the Southern Indian Ocean.
Australia’s leading lady and pre eminent performer, Rhonda Burchmore, joins our voyage as entertainer extraordinaire. Rhonda invites you to join her “for the ultimate escape to paradise, through some of the most magical waters, exotic wildlife and sundrenched islands on earth".
While there’s no denying Australia is home to some of the most idyllic beaches in the world, there’s little comparison to those of the Seychelles. Along with all you can ever hope for from tropical islands, we’re about to discover a heady blend of African, Asian and European influences all wrapped in a fascinating Creole culture that defines this magnificent archipelago.
There’s much to dream about as we depart Australia on an evening flight via Dubai with Emirates.
An island nation and a nation of islands – the Seychelles spans an Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands. Kissed by the sun and blessed by the gods the Seychelles is a tropical paradise. We arrive on the main island, Mahe, this afternoon. Your room will be ready but you won’t want to stay indoors. For respite, it’s hard to beat lolling under a palm on one of the many beaches, there are around 60 to choose from, or grabbing a poolside cocktail to celebrate your arrival. You might even dive right in and enjoy a spot of snorkelling before our Welcome Dinner this evening.
We call upon Victoria, the glorious capital, inspecting the famous clocktower and the bustling marketplace. A drive through the passes of Sans Souci renders views of Mahe’s jungle clad mountains and tea plantations, before we come to the historic Mission Lodge. Take a moment to savour the view – it’s one of the island’s best vantage points. Even Queen Elizabeth II once paused here for a cup of tea.
We’re off for our first taste of Creole cuisine with a bountiful buffet in a local restaurant followed by a stop at a herb and spice garden. Before the day’s end we explore a local craft village, greeting local artisans and peeking into Creole homes.
With a restful start to the day we have time to wander the botanical gardens, where endemic coco de mer trees stand guard over the entrance.
Breathe in Mahe’s unbridled beauty one last time as we transfer to the MS Island Sky, designed for cruising unexplored waters like the largely uninhabited islands of the outer Seychelles. Scattered over thousands of kilometres, many of these islands are accessible by way of ship only. So it won’t be uncommon at all to find islands completely free of tourists, and people in general.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 6.00pm
The 28 idyllic islands that make up the Amirante group are considered to be some of the world’s most pristine. Not only do they invite relaxation but intrepid adventure – if you are up for it. We drop anchor at the largest of the islands, although still only measuring 6 km by 1.5 km, Desroches. Here, velvety sand beaches collide with forested hills and crystalline waters – this is truly paradise found. Here we enjoy nature walks with our onboard naturalists and the island’s conservation team observing the flora and fauna and in particular the giant tortoises and nesting turtles.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 1.00pm
Sailing up to the three islands in the Alphonse group at dawn, we understand why they are considered the most beautiful of the archipelago: clusters of green creep up on us beneath a sky that changes from amber to pink, the brilliant display relieved by a calm sea of infinite topaz.
Stepping into the warm waters of its circular lagoon whilst enjoying perfect snorkelling conditions – we are unlikely to find fault with its beauty.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 1.00pm
Whilst we enjoy breakfast, our Expedition Team will be busily lowering the Zodiacs for our foray into the Farquhar atoll, ringed by coconut and casuarina trees. Thanks to our Zodiac vessels, our exploration of this sparkling lagoon will be intimate. The island is a haven for numerous species of migratory birds and you’ve also the chance to join an expedition to South Island to see boobies, frigatebirds and terns. Stop by the tiny local settlement before enjoying time on the beach to swim or snorkel. Return to the ship for lunch and a lazy afternoon at sea.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 9.00pm
From one glorious atoll to the next, today our ship lands us on Cosmoledo’s doorstep, where Zodiacs will ferry us around the huge ring of twelve islands that circle a lagoon. As an important bird area in the Seychelles including the last breeding site for Masked boobies, we begin to understand why the Seychelles archipelago is indeed known as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’. Keep watch for sooty tern and great frigatebirds as well as green turtles, skinks and the Madagascar banded lizard.
Arrive 6.00am - Sail 5.00pm
A secluded UNESCO World Heritage listed paradise awaits us as we reach Aldabra, where we have a day and a half to explore the world’s second largest raised coral atoll – an island that perhaps best illustrates what the Seychelles is all about. Reaching the remote Aldabra atoll is a feat in itself and even then special permission must be granted by the Seychelles’ government.
Whilst exploring by Zodiac we understand why Sir David Attenborough referred to Aldabra as ‘one of the wonders of the world’. The clear blue seas abound with colourful life, the skies are alive with varied birdlife and ashore, the island’s famous inhabitants, giant land tortoises, forage as they have done for millions of years. If you’ve a thing for birdwatching, our search of the rare white throated rail and the world’s second largest colony of frigatebirds will delight you. From our Zodiacs, meanwhile, we can watch the ever changing undersea world and snorkel in the cerulean coral waters teeming with marine life.
Arrive 12.30pm - Sail 11.59pm
Today brings us into Madagascar through dramatic Diego Suarez harbour. Peel back the layers of this stunning natural harbour town, then we are soon on our way to the Malagasy Rainforest at Amber Mountain National Park.
We pause at Diego Suarez Bay for views of the serene deep water harbour and Sugarloaf Mountain, and marvel at the imposing baobab trees, indigenous to the island. Our day ends with a night walk at the Domaine de Fontenay where we will explore the reserve rich with nocturnal wildlife.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 6.00pm
Awaken from a slumber that only fresh sea air and plunges in warm crystal clear water can bring. The day is ours to enjoy Nosy Hara, an archipelago of 12 uninhabited islands off Madagascar’s northern coast. Navigating around the limestone cliffs aboard Zodiacs we look to the sky for fish eagles and Madagascan black swifts before claiming our spot on one of the remote beaches to either snorkel over the coral reefs or take a nature walk through the woodland.
Strolling along the powder white sand, accompanied by birdsong and the rustling of palms in the breeze, we feel a million miles from civilisation. You could certainly get used to leisurely days like these!
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 7.00pm
Incredible vistas accompany our breakfast as we approach the uninhabited Nosy Tanikely Island Marine Reserve. This is a favourite feeding and nesting site for an array of marine turtles, and with luck we may see some today as we spend our day snorkelling and swimming.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 6.00pm
Opening the curtains this morning we’re greeted by Mahajanga. This major port in northwestern Madagascar is our jumping off point for our full day excursion to Ankarafantsika National Park. Our guides lead us deep into this forest on a choice of walks. We hope the Madagascan fish eagle and banded kestrel will grace our presence today, as well as the lemurs, chameleons, turtles and crocodiles that live in and around Lake Ravelobe.
A relaxing day at sea provides you with the chance to catch up on some reading or join the Expedition Team experts for an informal lecture as we make our way across the Mozambique Channel.
Arrive 7.00am - Sail 4.00pm
From the 16th to the 19th centuries, Mozambique Island was the Portuguese capital in East Africa. Today it is one of the country’s highlights, a compact UNESCO World Heritage listed town.
Though it is only 3km in length and just 500 metres wide, we discover the busy village atmosphere is infectious. Along the alleyways we notice evocative colonial buildings, some of which have survived from the earliest days of the Portuguese occupation.
All this exploring makes for thirsty work – return to your ship and perhaps cool down with your favourite drink before dinner.
Arrive 1.00pm - Sail 6.00pm
Looking out from our window to the immediate beyond, we glimpse the Quirimbas Archipelago, one of the country’s most biologically diverse regions. Here, we find opportunities for guided nature walks, snorkelling over coral or relaxing and swimming from the sandy beaches.
Arrive 12.00pm - Sail 5.00pm
A jewel of an island, the sleepy mud and thatch settlement of Kilwa Kisiwani stands behind a wall and elaborate towers that hug the shoreline. Its lush setting, abundant with an array of citrus trees, and dilapidated fortifications conceal the elaborate UNESCO World Heritage listed remnants of what was once the largest and most powerful city on the East African coast – a seat of sultans and the centre of an intricate trading route. Walking along the mazelike pathways, we find abandoned palaces and mosques. It’s almost as if we are walking through Kilwa’s history.
Arrive 9.30am - Sail 11.59pm
Lapped by aquamarine waters, flanked by lush green forests and drenched with white sand beaches, life here in the Arab style city of Zanzibar beats to an intoxicating rhythm. Confronted by a colourful harbour crowded with dhows, we can’t wait to hit the narrow streets, laden with bazaars and idyllic white stone houses. You’ll be filled with wonder as we explore Stone Town, where Livingstone’s House, Sultan’s Palace and the Arab Fort create an ambience of drama and mysticism.
Pulling into the busy harbour of this former fishing village, we bid the MS Island Sky farewell for the final time and prepare for our discovery of Dar es Saalam.
‘Dar’ as the locals call it, could not be more different to the island settlements we have visited in previous days – it’s a busy, energetic mega city and a bastion of Tanzanian culture. Savour every last moment with our guide before returning to Australia with Emirates via Dubai.
Arriving into Australia, we have had plenty of time to scribble our last notes in our diary. With such an extensive foray, we can see why this exotic wonderland is one of Africa’s best kept secrets.
Do we tell our friends or keep it all to ourselves?
Imagine a trip where you won’t have to lift a finger, or worry about bringing your wallet.
Sightseeing in each destination is included. Select Options even allow you to tailor aspects of the touring to your individual tastes when there are multiple touring options.
Stepping onto the deck of MS Island Sky you’ll instantly feel welcome. Intimate, comfortable and warmly familiar, imagine a day enjoying the charming life aquatic...
The sunlight wakes you delicately as it starts to fill your room. Laying in your cosy twin or queen bed, you rise to your ensuite bathroom before relaxing in your sitting area, complete with flat screen TV and DVD player. If you’ve opted for a private balcony, there’s no better way to start the day! Before too long you’re out the door and headed for a hearty buffet breakfast, prepared by professional chefs and cooked to order should you fancy.
With your appetite satiated, a morning of discovery is not far away. If we’re in port it will be a simple step onto land. If we’re in remote lands then things get a bit more exciting, it’s down to the Magellan Deck to board one of the Zodiacs for an exciting ride to land or perhaps even an exploration of the local coastline.
For full suite upgrade prices please download a copy of the brochure or speak to one of our friendly Tour Sales Consultants.
Our fleet of Zodiacs offer you the freedom to explore otherwie inaccessible waterways, marvelling at extraordinary landscapes and coming within paddles' reach of another inspired moment.
In the elegant, single sitting main restaurant, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is a la carte. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat.
Choice of Suites
The price of your tour includes accommodation in the Magellan Deck Standard Forward Suite however there are several suite upgrades available for your time aboard. Please download a brochure for a full description.
An infinity pool, zen spa and a waterfront location add to the sense of limitless luxury in this beachside haven of relaxation.
Enjoy every creature comfort as you take to life on the high seas. The MS Island Sky transports you to far-flung dream destinations with effortless ease and in the ultimate elegance.
Prices include airfares from from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with Emirates. Prices from other cities are available on request. If you prefer we can book you with another airline or you can use frequent flyer points to join the tour. If you wish to fly with another airline or use frequent flyer points you simply take the Land Only price.