Amy Wright discovers the idyllic Seychelles onboard a yacht cruise
Picture paradise, and most people would imagine perhaps an island of lush vegetation, edged with tranquil beaches of fine, white sand, and surrounded by invitingly clear, sparkling azure water. Add some intriguing granitic formations, and you might as well transport yourself to the idyllic Seychelles, an archipelago of some 115 islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Many of the islands cannot be accessed other than by boat, making a cruise the ideal way to explore the Seychelles. Better still, a yacht cruise offers a more intimate, informal and flexible way to explore the area than traditional cruises (with greater accessibility), as Rachel and I discovered during our seven-night ‘Garden of Eden’ cruise with Variety Cruises onboard the M/Y Pegasus.
The Pegasus is a 45m mega yacht, with a capacity for up to 44 guests. First launched in 1990, she’s kept in remarkably good condition, and lovingly looked after by the crew, who ensure that she is constantly gleaming. Cabins are spacious, with a few offering a three-berth for families, and we were pleasantly surprised by the generous storage space. The public areas consist of the main bar/lounge and restaurant, which are open plan on the upper deck, and a lot of al fresco deck space. There’s even a spa onboard, with very reasonably priced massages on offer!
The crew bring the Pegasus to life, with their friendliness and warmth, and we were immediately made to feel at home. There’s an international feel onboard, with guests hailing predominantly from Europe; and a wider range in ages than you’d perhaps see on other cruises, from millennials in their late twenties, couples in their forties, to those in their seventies, but still fit and active.
Onboard life is more informal than traditional cruising, and the appeal of this cruise extends to people who wouldn’t ordinarily consider themselves cruisers. There’s certainly no formal nights onboard! Dinner alternates between a buffet and a set four- or five-course meal, with a choice for the main course. During meal times, we would always be moored up and never sailing (‘we don’t want you to have rock and roll while you’re eating!’ they explained). Despite only three, maybe four, people working in the galley, the food they turned out was always well presented and tasty, and we were impressed with the meals.
Most of the sailing was only for short stretches, averaging perhaps an hour each time. We left Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, for a short sail to moor overnight nearby St Anne, enjoying a swim stop in the wonderful waters of the Indian Ocean, which was beautifully refreshing. Swim stops in the ocean are something unique to a smaller yacht like M/Y Pegasus; you certainly can’t do that from the back of a normal cruise ship!
The cruise includes excursions to discover the wildlife on Curieuse Island, Cousin Island, and Moyenne Island, with lots of opportunities to meet new ‘lazy friends’ (the famous giant Aldabra tortoises) and view many different types of birds, some unique to the Seychelles. We also enjoyed a couple of beach barbecues and the chance to unwind on some spectacular beaches such as Anse Lazio, or snorkelling at St Pierre (where I enjoyed my first ever snorkelling experience) and Felicite.
‘We aim to give you memories!’ Makis, the captain of the M/Y Pegasus, promised us at the start of our cruise. At the end of the cruise, he asked the guests whether the cruise had delivered its promise, and – having discovered the Seychelles’ unique wildlife, relaxed on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, swam and snorkelled in the sparkling turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, walked through lush forests, and enjoyed the friendly and warm hospitality of Variety Cruises and the M/Y Pegasus – there was unanimous agreement.
To cruise the Seychelles onboard Pegasus, contact the cruise specialists at Select Travel Holidays