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Small Islands of the Indian Ocean

Sail from our home shores of Australia all the way to the edge of Africa, across the vast expanses of the Indian Ocean through Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Seychelles and arrive at the legendary isles off Africa’s eastern seaboard: Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and Zanzibar. Stroll through ancient bazaars, gaze up at giant baobab trees, sample Creole cuisine and explore pristine marine ecosystems at remote atolls. These new voyages offer an intoxicating mix of frontier colonial history, extensive biodiversity and rich native traditions dating back millennia.

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Our Indian Ocean Cruises:

To South Sulawesi & Borneo for Christmas | Broome to Singapore | 17 Nights

Orangutan Borneo TH

Join us on an expedition voyage to the rarely seen islands of South Sulawesi and Borneo in Indonesia. This 17-night voyage from Broome to Singapore combines cultural insights, wildlife encounters and nature immersion in one of the world’s last rainforest frontiers. Visit remote communities, stroll through villages unchanged throughout centuries, and partake in traditional customs.

> Departs 13 December 2022

Island Traditions To the Edge of Africa | Singapore to Seychelles | 25 Nights

Assumption Island, Seychelles

Experience the biodiversity of Sumatra, the colonial history of Malaysia and the coastal communities of Sri Lanka. Spend five days sailing through the rarely visited atolls of the Maldives. Visit the northern Seychelles, the land of the giant Coco Der Mer palm forests, huge granite boulders and enormous tortoises that forage along the foreshore. Explore the legendary La Digue, Praslin and Aride islands before concluding your voyage in cosmopolitan Mahe.

> Departs 8 January 2023

The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion | Seychelles to Mauritius | 15 Nights

green chameleon

Journey into another world on this voyage aboard Coral Geographer. Featuring an extensive exploration of the northern coastline of Madagascar and a visit to the majestic island of Reunion, you’ll also explore the remote atolls of the southern Seychelles, renowned for pure white beaches and uninhabited wildlife reserves.  Explore Aldabra Atoll, the world’s second-largest coral atoll and home to the largest colony of wild giant tortoises. Continue on to the shores of Madagascar – the 8th continent – famed for the diversity of its endemic wildlife and landscape with something remarkable around every corner. 

> Departs 3 February 2023 Fully Booked

Africa's Frontier Islands | Mauritius to Zanzibar | 17 Nights

Zanzibar Women

The eastern edge of Africa stands at the crossroads of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. Take a journey along the coastline of Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania over 17 exotic nights, where enchanting Malagasy and Creole culture emanate from colourful street-side markets, wild landscapes rise above sparkling seas, lush rainforests hide native lemurs and ancient ruins hold rich history. From the comfort of Coral Geographer, explore remote lands that only hardy traders in search of ancient spices ventured to long ago.

> Departs 19 February 2023

Passages At Sea | Zanzibar to Fremantle | 19 Nights

A couple enjoying time at sea from the Xplorer Deck

In times past, an Indian Ocean crossing was a sailor’s rite of passage and a truly daunting task on a wooden sailing vessel. Create your own journey on the new state of the art expedition ship, Coral Geographer as she sails east in a southern arc from the ancient island of Zanzibar off the African coast and arrives on Australian shores in Fremantle. This is a classic 19-night ocean passage that allows you to settle into the rhythm of the sea.

> Departs 8 March 2023

Some of the Islands we visit:

Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

The island of Hithadhoo lies some 530km south of the Maldives capital of Male and is the second largest island in the Maldives with a surface area of 540ha. The lush land covered by shrubs and palms can be explored by narrow trails that snake throughout the island.

Hithadhoo holds historical significance housing the ruins of a fort of which the origins remain a mystery. Archeologists have investigated the fort unable to decipher any clues, including Mr. H.C.P. Bell, who studied the ruins in 1922 to no avail. Today, historians surmise that it was built for Kunhali Marakkar, also named the ‘Lord of the Maldives’, acting as a strong base while the Portuguese were pursuing the Maldivian ships. The remains of a battery unit built by the British in World War II can be found on the north-western point of the island at Fen Muli.

While we visit this this tropical destination, we will learn of the ancient Maldivian history linked to the land, originating from Buddhist settlement tracing back to the 5th century. The island has great opportunity to spot bird life including the white tern, which in the Maldives is only found on Addu Atoll. This area was unaffected by the global coral bleaching event in 1998 making it an extraordinary place to snorkel over the colourful coral reef.

This is part of the itinerary on our 25 night ‘Island Traditions to the Edge of Africa’ expedition from Singapore to the Seychelles departing 8 January 2023.


Mozambique Island

Mozambique Island

The country of Mozambique earned its name from this small island. Assigned a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991, the Island of Mozambique is significant for its remarkable 16th century architectural features with a culmination of Portuguese, Indian and Arab influences.

Connected to mainland Africa by a 3.4km long bridge straddling the Indian Ocean, the island has two distinct types of dwellings: the stone and lime town of Swahili, Arab and European influence in the north and macuti town (translating to city of roofed palm leaves) with traditional African architecture in the south.

On the island you will find white sand beaches and, notably, the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere, the Capel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, constructed in 1522.

This is part of the itinerary on our 17 night ‘Africa’s Frontier Islands’ expedition from Mauritius to Zanzibar departing 19 February 2023.


Hell-Ville, Nosy Be, Madagascar

Hell-Ville, Nosy Be, Madagascar

Originally formed by the effects of volcanic activity, the island of Nosy Be is covered in lush vegetation and features many craters and crater lakes. Nosy Be is home to 7 species of lemur that live in semi-captivity at Lemuria Land. The species on the island include Macaco lemurs, Sifaka, brown lemurs, black and white ruffed lemur, red ruffed lemur, crowned lemur and the ring-tailed lemur. The botanical reserve also houses reptilian life including chameleons, turtles, crocodiles and lizards.

The French warship Colibri arrived on the island in 1840 guided by Captain Passot. The main township, Hell-Ville is located in the south of the island and features a port catering to foreign shipping and trade. The town received its name from Passot’s commander in chief, Admiral de Hell.

Before the islands was ceded to the French, it was occupied by migrant tribes from the Madagascan mainland and trade settlements from the Swahili Coast, Comoros and India. Known for its exports of sugar and oils used for perfumery alongside run, black pepper and vanilla, the island offers the opportunity to do a tasting of rum and to visit the plantations.

This is part of the itinerary on our 15 night ‘The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion’ expedition from Seychelles to Mauritius departing 3 February 2023.


Ile Alphonse, Seychelles

Ile Alphonse, Seychelles

Ile Alphonse is one of two atolls within the Alphonse group and are a picture-perfect island paradise. The palm fringed shorelines are covered in pristine white sands meeting crystal clear tropical water. Below the water, the colourful sea life teems. Species that call the island home include green and hawksbill turtles, mangrove crabs and manta rays.

Part of the outer islands of the Seychelles, the island lies at the heart of the Indian Ocean, 400 kilometers south-west of Mahe and seven degrees south of the equator. French settlement can be traced back to 1770 when they began exporting salted fish and growing maize. In the years since, the island has been used for farming pineapples, bananas, coconuts, pumpkin, sweet potato and chickens alongside the exports of pearl and turtle shell.

While we visit this location, guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery by taking a walk on the beach, exploring the island and water activities galore.

This is part of the itinerary on our 15 night ‘The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion’ expedition from Seychelles to Mauritius departing 3 February 2023.

Cruise Page - Small Islands of the Indian Ocean

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