Join us on an expedition voyage through the bountiful islands of the Indian Ocean to Aldabra, the world’s largest coral atoll and a World Heritage site. Totally untouched by the modern world, Aldabra has been described by Jacques Cousteau as ‘the last unprofaned sanctuary on this planet’. Being one of the most difficult places in the world to access and a lack of freshwater has saved Aldabra from any development. There is no landing strip and the only viable means of reaching this untouched region is by ship. Aldabra is the last breeding ground of the giant tortoise and in addition to seeing some of these endearing creatures you should encounter dolphins, turtles and whales as well as countless birds including the flightless rail, the last flightless bird in the Indian Ocean. Join us aboard the MS Island Sky and be one of the few who have explored this ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’.

Highlights


• Enjoy our stepping stone voyage across the Indian ocean, firstly to Aldabra and then to the Alphonse and Amirantes archipelago

• Discover some of the most wonderful and isolated tropical islands in the world

• Enjoy walks with our onboard naturalists, spend time relaxing on pristine beaches or viewing the bountiful underwater world whilst snorkelling

Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Non-use of flights is available so the voyage starts on the 28th January- please enquire for details
Arrive today and transfer to the MS Island Sky in the afternoon.
Here the colourful harbour will be crowded with dhows, very much setting the scene for our visit to the Arab style city with its long narrow streets, bazaars, houses with overhanging balconies and intricately carved doorways. Out of town there are magnificent brilliant white sandy beaches and lush vegetation with plantations of cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg which fill the air with heady aromas. On a morning tour, soak up the timeless atmosphere of Stone Town including Livingstone House, Sultan’s Palace, the slave market and the old Fort. The afternoon is free to relax and explore independently or join a tour to a spice farm to experience the various fruits and spices cultivated on the island where you will find everything from jackfruit to coconuts, turmeric and vanilla to lipstick trees.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea. Maybe join one of the lectures or spend time on deck as we cruise to the Seychelles.
We have two and a half days to enjoy the Aldabra group of islands. We will clear immigration on the island of Assumption which was ruthlessly plundered for its vast deposits of guano in the early 20th century. Happily, peace has returned and the wildlife of rare birds and green turtles are once again in abundance. Our time here will be spent beachcombing, on a nature walk or snorkelling before we sail the short distance to Aldabra where we have two full days to explore the island referred to by Sir Julian Huxley as “One of nature’s treasures and should belong to the whole world”. Aldabra is unique and every time we call at what is believed to be the world’s largest atoll we find something new of interest. Sightings have been made of the extremely rare white throated rail and the atoll is also home to the world’s second largest colony of frigate birds and to the largest crab, the coconut crab. Whilst exploring by Zodiac it is difficult to know in which direction to look. The clear blue seas abound with colourful life, the skies are alive with varied birdlife and ashore giant land tortoises forage as they have done for millions of years. We will explore Picard Island with a short walk to see some of the thousands of tortoises and numerous robber crabs. We will include as much as possible with our time on Aldabra making landings on South Island and trips into the lagoon, a vast 17 mile stretch of shallow clear water. From our Zodiacs we can watch the ever-changing undersea world and snorkel in colourful coral waters teeming with marine life. Our programme ashore will be flexible and in the hands of our expedition leader based on sea and weather conditions. One thing is for sure, you will not be disappointed by these extraordinary islands and atolls.
Spend the day on Cosmoledo where a huge ring of twelve islands circle a lagoon. Many of the atolls are still to be surveyed and we will explore some of them by Zodiac. This is an important bird area with all three species of booby found in the Seychelles including the last breeding site for the Brown Booby. Also spot sooty terns and great frigate birds. We may also spot the green turtles, skinks and the Madagascar banded lizard.
After a morning at sea we will anchor off Farquhar where we will use our Zodiacs to explore the sparkling lagoon of this remote atoll ringed island of coconut and casuarina trees. The island is a haven for many species of migratory birds providing us with a delightful afternoon of bird watching or snorkelling. Here we will also find the single administrator of the island who is kept busy by also being the boat master, storekeeper, accountant, postmaster, doctor, policeman and sometimes priest.
There are three islands in the Alphonse group which is located directly south of the Amirantes. As we approach the islands over lunch you will understand why they are regarded by many to be the most beautiful of the 115 islands in the Seychelles archipelago. On the main island the circular lagoon offers good snorkelling and there are a number of tracks across the island to enjoy island walks.
The 28 islands in the Amirante Group of islands were discovered by Vasco de Gama in 1501 and are considered to be some of the most pristine and untouched islands in the world. We have a day on Desroches, the largest of the islands, although still only measuring six kilometres by 1.5 kilometres. 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. Whilst keen snorkellers will have the chance to swim over the outlying coral.
Arrive this morning at the islands to the north of Mahe. Our first call will be at Aride one of the finest and most important seabird islands in the Indian Ocean. Over one million seabirds breed on the island including tropical shearwater and roseate tern and also five species unique to the Seychelles such as the Seychelles warbler and Seychelles magpie robin. We will enjoy a walk on the island amongst the native woodland. Sail over lunch to Curieuse a rugged island which was once home to a leper colony and now houses an eco-museum and visitors centre. The island is an important nesting site for Hawksbill turtles and boasts endemic vine and mangroves which we explore on an island walk.
This morning we will explore Praslin’s ‘Vallee de Mai’, the last remnant of the original highcanopied Seychelles palm forest and home to the coco de mer. We will walk its paths looking out for the rare black parrot and enjoying its natural beauty which so overpowered General Gordon. Sail during lunch to nearby La Digue where there is a hint of Henry Moore in the huge granite boulders that lie like giant sculptures on the brilliant white beaches of the island. Tour the forested nature reserve and the L’Union Estate, a superbly restored 19th century colonial house. Rent a bicycle, relax or swim and snorkel from one of the beaches. During dinner we sail across to the island of Mahe and the Seychelles capital of Victoria where we moor overnight.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. Arrive this evening.

Magellan Deck (Forward)

£ 6795 GBP pp
Magellan Deck (Forward)
Suites measure approximately 21m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite

£ 6995 GBP pp
Magellan Suite
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior

£ 7295 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Premium

£ 7495 GBP pp
Marco Polo Deck Premium
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Magellan Suite Sole

£ 10395 GBP pp
Magellan Suite Sole
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Columbus Deck Superior Sole

£ 10695 GBP pp
Columbus Deck Superior Sole
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.

Marco Polo Deck Premium Single

£ 13150 GBP pp

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. 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. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Cabin layout for Island Sky

Selous Reserve Safari Pre-Cruise Extension. From

23rd to 28th January 2017. Only 200 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam lies the mighty Selous Game Reserve, one of Africa’s least known yet wildest conservation areas. At 55,000 square kilometres, Selous is four times larger than the famous Serengeti in the north. Fed by the mighty Rufiji River this reserve is home to over 1,000,000 large animals and over half of Tanzania’s elephant population. However, one of the major attractions has to be the mighty river itself, home to one of the largest crocodile and hippo populations in Africa, swarming with fish which in turn bring about some of the world’s best water birding. For our exploration of the Selous Game Reserve, we will be staying at Siwandu Camp which is situated on the banks of Lake Nzerakera and designed to blend in with the spectacular natural scenery in what is one of the most photogenic areas of the Selous Game Reserve.

Island Sky

Island SkyIsland Sky

Luxury Small Ship Cruise Luxury Small Ship Cruise

14 Days from
£ 6795 GBP pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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