Cruising the Seychelles
With a pre-voyage adventure in glittering Dubai
Explore the contrasting worlds of man-made Dubai and the peaceful Seychelles Islands on this adventure!
- Insights from the West of Ireland
- Fabulous shots from Smithsonian Journeys Expert Kirt Kempter
- Visiting Mount Fuji, by way of rural Japan
- Saturday in Pamplona
Embark on an adventure guaranteed to be like none other. This land exploration of Dubai combined with a cruise of the spectacular Seychelles Islands is a study in contrasts and extremes: in Dubai, you will witness man's capacity to build beyond the limits of the imagination; in the Seychelles, you'll sail the virtually uninhabited islands to experience a world still ruled by nature. Your journey begins with four full days in Dubai where, against the backdrop of futuristic skyscrapers, you will explore traditional souks, the labyrinthine lanes of the Bastakiya Quarter, and the Dubai Museum. Sail Dubai Creek for a full panorama of the city's dramatic skyline, then enjoy an excursion to the outlying desert, where watching the sunset over rippling red-gold sand is an awe-inspiring event. Prepare yourself for a drastic change of pace when you fly to the Seychelles and embark the 42-guest yacht Pegasus. The trappings of civilization will give way to an ecological wonderland, virtually untouched by man, as you explore this island paradise for six full days. Daydream on pristine beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and watch for rare birds in primeval rain forests. As you cruise from one jewel-like island to another, you may, for a moment, forget a world outside of this paradise even exists.
Day 1-2 — U.S., Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fly from the U.S. to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Arrive in Dubai and transfer to the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers. A small coastal hamlet less than 100 years ago, Dubai has transformed itself into an irresistible modern metropolis --a center of finance and commerce and a destination of international travelers. During our four-day stay we will have the opportunity to explore this amazing city and the surrounding area.
Day 3 — Dubai
Explore Dubai, including the old parts of Bur Dubai and Deira, where we will visit the Dubai Museum, whose exhibits give an informative introduction to the history of Dubai and the Emirates; the covered Deira Old Souk, also known as the Spice Souk; and the famed Gold Souk. Also visit the Bastakiya Quarter, with its old wind tower houses, and enjoy a traditional lunch in one of them. Spend the afternoon at leisure before a welcome dinner this evening. (B, L, D)
Day 4 — Dubai, Sharjah, Dubai
Drive in the morning to nearby Sharjah, the third largest Emirate, and one of the most important trading ports in the Gulf during the early 19th century. Sharjah is known for its vibrant cultural scene as seen in its museums and galleries, as well as for its Al-Arsah Souk. Return to Dubai to spend the afternoon at leisure. (B)
Day 5 — Dubai
In the morning take a boat ride on The Creek to view Dubai's incomparable mixture of old and strikingly new architecture. In the afternoon, take a desert safari, driving out of Dubai, where you will enjoy a ride through the impressive sand dunes, the sunset over the desert, and a traditional dinner. (B, D)
Day 6 — Dubai, Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles, Embark
Fly in the morning from Dubai to Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, located on the island of Mahe. Upon arrival, transfer to the port to embark Pegasus. Sail in the late afternoon to the small island of St. Anne, arriving shortly thereafter for a refreshing swim. (B, D)
Day 7 — Curieuse Island
Explore Curieuse Island, home to giant land tortoises, the legendary coco de mer palm, and several bird species we'll view during our walk through the mangrove forest. Curieuse is also noted for its superb beaches, which we will enjoy. (B, L, D) ;
Day 8 — Cousin Island
Enjoy an excursion to the Bird Sanctuary on this uninhabited island which is in the care of Bird Life International, and home to Seychelles warblers, Seychelles turtle doves, and other species. (B, L, D)
Day 9 — Aride & St. Pierre Islands, Praslin Island
Spend the morning in Aride, home to more breeding species of seabird than any other island in the Seychelles. Its beautiful cream and magenta Wright's Gardenia and Aride Peponium, are found nowhere else on Earth. Over lunch sail to nearby St. Pierre Island for a swimming and snorkeling stop. Depart at sunset for Praslin Island. (B, L, D)
Day 10 — Praslin Island, Felicite Island
Enjoy a morning excursion to the famous Vallee de Mai Reserve, a World Heritage site. This lush, primeval tract of virgin forest is believed by some to be the original Garden of Eden. Sail to Felicite Island, one square mile, which offers forest trails to a hilltop with splendid views, as well as wonderful swimming and snorkeling in crystal-clear water. (B, L, D)
Day 11 — La Digue Island
Cruise to La Digue over lunch. La Digue is one of the most exquisite islands in the world, remarkable for its pure white beaches, emerald palms, and sparkling turquoise sea. Tour the Veuve Nature Reserve by oxcart and visit a 19th-century colonial estate. (B, L, D)
Day 12 — Moyenne Island
This tiny island, home to the Moyenne Island National Park, harbors more species per square foot than any place on Earth. Explore this paradise by foot. Afterwards enjoy swimming and snorkeling opportunities. (B, L, D)
Day 13-14 — Victoria, Mahe Island, Disembark, En route, U.S.
Disembark in Victoria and transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S. Arrive in the U.S. (B)