The mere mention of Africa and the Indian Ocean is enough to inspire dreams of sunshine and adventure. Next winter (2023/24) Ponant has cruises visiting and exploring Tanzania, Madagascar, Réunion, Mauritius, the Maldives and the Seychelles… the sense of exotic escape is everywhere. With that sense, comes idyllic, heavenly landscapes, from the savannah, where the elephant reigns supreme, to fine sandy palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and multi-coloured underwater worlds. To visit the Scattered Islands of the Indian Ocean is to experience a complete change of scenery. Like confetti strewn about the ocean, these French territories remain some of the most unspoiled destinations on the planet.
With ten cruises across the islands and Tanzania, you’ll be forgiven for believing this region is absolute paradise: it’s what the sailors of centuries long ago thought. Clear, warm waters, pristine, sandy beaches, lush vegetation and unique animals, not to mention the astounding abundance of marine life, all combine to enthrall visitors.
Cruising on Le Champlain or Le Jacques-Cartier, both of which carry a maximum of 184 passengers in intimate luxury, with an ethnic chic ambiance and five-star personal service. These are modern ships with slender, tapered lines, environmentally friendly and equipped with innovative technology. Offering a sauna and spa, along with gorgeous public lounges and a library, two restaurants and a pool deck, these stunning ships encapsulate the atmosphere and amenities of an exclusive boutique hotel. Perfect for relaxing and socialising after a day exploring nature’s wonders on Zodiacs or partaking of snorkelling, kayaking or paddleboarding.
Are you tempted by Anse Source d’Argent beach on La Digue of the Seychelles? This beach is often named as one of the most beautiful on the planet, and with good reason: Anse Source d’Argent is like a picture postcard. Palm trees line the golden sands, and granite blocks add a wild feel to this strip of land edged with calm, transparent waters. Swimming here is lovely for much of the year. Reminiscent of the Garden of Eden, Anse Source d’Argent is one of the Indian Ocean’s treasures.
Or perhaps you’d like to get away from it all at the Baa Atoll in the Maldives? Declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2011, the Baa Atoll is exceptional for more than one reason. Not only is it home to one of the biggest coral reef collections in the Indian Ocean, but the 50 islets that make it up also have a myriad of idyllic beaches. There’s nothing like these dots of land scattered in the turquoise waters for a place to give yourself a beautiful break.
And for dramatic scenery, fly over Réunion ‘s cirques. With 40% of the island a UNESCO World Heritage site, Réunion has rich natural resources. Among its treasures are the Piton des Neiges volcano, dormant for thousands of years, and the Piton de la Fournaises, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. With their peaks, jagged landscapes, and waterfalls, the Mafate, Cilaos, and Salazie cirques are dominated by views worth admiring from a helicopter!
Whichever cruise you choose, you’ll find breath taking beauty, endless tranquility and moments where being on the perfect desert island seem a reality.
Find out more
Our Silver Travel Advisors can give you a quote and book these amazing cruises, call them on 0800 412 5678. Visit Ponant. Prices start from £4,980 (cruise only) for 10 days, with no single supplements on selected departures (subject to availability).