Day 1 - London - In flight
Crystal clear waters, white sand-beaches and ancient forests, mixed with some rather special cultural cities, create a cruise full of delights to enjoy on this Christmas break. Fly into Port Louis, a city famed for its diverse mix of cultures, religions and ethnicities, to board Fred. Olsen’s Boudicca for an adventure over warm, glistening waters. Look out for endemic wildlife and giant tortoises while exploring the Seychelles’ breathtaking jungles and beautiful landscapes. Then discover Zanzibar’s fascinating history and natural delights, with the option to dive among protected barrier reefs and sail lagoons where tropical fish and dolphins play. And, before exploring the volcanic landscapes of Reunion Island, enjoy days relaxing and celebrating Christmas.
Day 2 - Port Louis, Mauritius (overnight)
This morning, we arrive in Mauritius and transfer to Port Louis, to embark Boudicca (3T+). The rest of the day is free to settle in before dinner this evening. Our ship remains in port overnight.
Day 3 - Port Louis
Today we remain in Mauritius’ capital, Port Louis, a bustling city with a Mauritian market at its heart. Browse the shops which scatter out on the streets, visit the manufacturers’ factories, view some picturesque colonial houses or visit the sparkling waterfront where delicious local cuisine can be enjoyed along with the island’s impressive 58 varieties of tea. You may have opportunities to walk with lions at Casela National Park or discover the breathtaking Trou-aux-Cerfs volcano, sacred lake and ‘Seven Coloured Earth’ sand dunes, before we set sail late this afternoon.
Day 4 - 5 - At sea
Day 6 - Praslin Island, Seychelles - Victoria (overnight)
The tropical island of Praslin is true paradise hidden in the Seychelles. Once an ideal hideaway for pirates, the island is adored purely for its crystal blue seas and abundance of enchanted, tropical forests. Enjoy the day relaxing on the glorious white sanded beaches or explore the palm-treed forest of UNESCO-listed Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve which has remained unchanged since prehistoric times. While exploring, look out for the beautiful variety of rare bird species hiding amongst the huge fronds of its endemic palms, including the native Seychelles bulbul, the distinctive blue pigeon, the Seychelles warbler and the endangered black parrot. The ancient coral reefs just off shore are particularly popular with divers. Tonight we set sail for a late night arrival into Victoria, where we dock overnight. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 7 - Victoria - Cruising Silhouette Island
Victoria is beautifully tranquil for a capital, but then it is one of the world’s smallest and edged by beautiful golden sand beaches synonymous with the Seychelles. See the old-fashioned courthouse and clock tower (resembling London’s Little Ben), and take a stroll to the harbour to find jewellery, handmade goods and food. Also worth a look are the landscaped Botanical Gardens, with their coco de mer palms and population of giant tortoises. Alternatively, you may have the opportunity to venture further into the island of Mahe to explore the dense jungle or climb Morne Blanc, from where you can appreciate breathtaking views of this tropical island. Later, we enjoy a scenic cruise by Silhouette Island at sunset.
Day 8 - 9 - At sea
Day 10 - Zanzibar, Tanzania
The beautiful, sun-soaked paradise island of Zanzibar is edged by some of Africa’s best coral beaches - luxuriously powder-soft, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters known for its native tropical marine life. Dip into the island’s fascinating past with a visit to the old Slave Market and view the Old Anglican Church where it is said lays the heart of explorer and anti-slavery crusader Dr David Livingstone. Or meet the local artists who sell their crafts in the courtyard of the ruined Old Fort and enjoy the wonderful views of rich and varied flora and fauna, and picturesque scenes of fishermen and locals sailing and kayaking on the sparkling waters.
Day 11 - At sea
Day 12 - Christmas Eve - Mamoudzou Mayotte, Comoros Islands
The capital of Mayotte, Mamoudzou, is a French-influenced region full of charm and culture. This small city has a lot to offer, being home to Mayotte’s best shops, vibrant markets and delicious restaurants creating an abundance of flavours in French, Creole, Arabic and African cuisine; and you may catch a great Mamoudzou band perform a few hearty renditions of Christmas carols. The city is also a gateway to some spectacular natural sights - lush mangroves and humid rainforests, stunning volcanic landscapes marked by deep ravines and aquamarine waters where tropical fish, turtles, dolphins and whales are often spotted. We set sail late afternoon. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 13 - Christmas Day - At sea
Enjoy a day of celebrations, with all the festive food and fun you would enjoy at home, from classic afternoon games to an exciting evening show.
Day 14 - Boxing Day - At sea
Day 15 - Port Reunion, Reunion Island.
Recognised as the tropical version of the French Riviera, the legacy of Reunion’s French colonists is still evident with its gourmet restaurants and chic boutiques. The island displays mesmerising views of lush green landscapes, idyllic waterfalls, tropical coastline and vast mountain ranges which include one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Or visit the southern villages that have been frozen in time, still appearing as they did fifty years ago with their pretty creole houses.
Day 16 - Mauritius - In flight.
We disembark Boudicca this morning and join a sightseeing tour of Port Louis. The city blends the island’s past and present and a rainbow of cultures, religions and traditions. Our visit includes the Champ de Mars racecourse, St James Cathedral, imposing Place d’Armes, the striking Jummah Mosque, the Chinese pagoda, thriving China Town and La Citadelle. We then continue to the famous Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. The endless acres of this National Botanical Garden are renowned for the giant Victoria Water Lillies, spellbinding variety of flora and 85 different varieties of palm trees from around the world. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before we head to the airport for a scheduled Emirates flight to London via Dubai.
Day 17 London
Arrive at London Gatwick Airport, where you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.