Indian Ocean Yacht Charter Guide
Explore the lesser-chartered waters of the Indian Ocean — the Seychelles and Maldives offer uninhabited islands, pristine beaches, turquoise waters and sheltered anchorages
From the ocean idylls of the Maldives to the mountainous, jungle-covered islands of the Seychelles, the Indian Ocean is a tempting alternative winter destination to the Caribbean. The two archipelagos offer uninhabited islands, pristine beaches, turquoise waters, unique wildlife and sheltered anchorages, but that is where their similarities end. A cluster of 115 islands lying south of the Equator, the Seychelles archipelago is made up of ancient granite and coral atolls. The Maldives, meanwhile, lies off the southern tip of Indian and the slender chain of 1,000-plus coral dots barely nudges above the surface. Both offer endless cruising possibilities for a luxury yacht charter.
MAHÉ TO SAINTE ANNE’S MARINE PARK (14 NAUTICAL MILES)
Cruise from the capital island of Mahé to the nearby Marine National Park. Within the park there are several islands including Sainte Anne and Moyene – the latter is renowned for pirates’ treasure.
MAHÉ TO PRASLIN ISLAND (24 NAUTICAL MILES)
Awake for breakfast at anchor off Anse Lazio on the island of Praslin. The beach is one of the world’s most photographed stretches of sand and provides barefoot relaxation at its best. Wander along the pink coral beach or snorkel among the granite boulders scattered along the shoreline. Discover the endemic palm forest Vallée de Mai – home to the famous pelvic-shaped coco-de-mer and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
PRASLIN ISLAND TO LA DIGUE (14 NAUTICAL MILES)
Between the islands of Praslin and La Digue are a handful of large granite rocks where you can snorkel and see giant wrasse swimming around. Anchor off Coco Beach or Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue and discover the nine miles of spectacular coastline, or step ashore to discover the island’s interior by bicycle.
LA DIGUE TO FRÉGATE ISLAND (15 NAUTICAL MILES)
Once believe to have been the haunt of pirates, Frégate Island Private has been transformed to its original ecological state and is home to endangered birdlife, including the magpie robin. It has also welcomed back native reptiles, including the giant Aldabra tortoise. Step ashore to witness the wildlife before sunset cocktails and fine Creole cuisine.
FRÉGATE ISLAND TO THE SISTERS (11 NAUTICAL MILES)
The satellite islands around Praslin comprise Félicité, Marianne and The Sisters Islands. Enjoy an afternoon of watersports or step ashore and discover a wealth of flora, including orchids, vanilla vines and hibiscus among thousands of coconut palms.
THE SISTERS TO NORTH ISLAND (42 NAUTICAL MILES)
Famous for its celebrity guest list, the private resort island of North Island boasts equally impressive credentials for its dedication to preserving the environment in which it’s located. Spend the day discovering the island’s unabashed luxury.
NORTH ISLAND TO SILHOUETTE ISLAND TO MAHÉ (26 NAUTICAL MILES)
Take the tender ashore to discover Silhouette Island’s volcanic mountainous terrain. Spend the day exploring before cruising back to Mahé to disembark. Spend a few nights ashore on the capital island.
The traditional cruising grounds of the Mediterranean and Caribbean have long attracted the superyacht crowd, but those seeking a little more adventure can explore the lesser-chartered waters of the exotic and the remote Indian Ocean cruising grounds. Split into two swathes – the Seychelles to the west and the Maldives to the east, both archipelagos offer endless opportunities for a variety of activities, from relaxing and sunbathing on the beach to diving and fishing, but that is where their similarities end.
The Seychelles are made up of 115 equally postcard-perfect granite islands adrift in the Indian Ocean. Made up of two groups, the Inner Islands cluster around Mahé, the capital island, some of which are almost 1,000 meters above sea level, while the Outer Islands, and the world-famous atoll of Aldabra, are low-lying coral islands.
The Maldives comprises a string of coral atolls that are home to more than 1,000 desert islands spanning across 41,500 square miles. Around one in 10 are inhabited, generally by luxury resorts, and the best way to discover them is by boat. You can flit from resort to resort, exploring the outer islands and remote dive sites and game-fishing grounds with a luxury yacht charter. The only decision to make is which atoll to explore next.
- Explore the underwater world of Kihaadhuffaru Thila where you will find stingrays and nurse sharks, Maldives
- Discover the historic Haani Tree on the island of Maroshi, Maldives
- Dive the relics around Maamakunudhoo, Maldives
- Explore Utheemu, the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, Maldives
- Dive at Angu Faru – a breeding ground for grey reef sharks, Maldives
- Step ashore at One&Only Rheeti Rah, Maldives
Discovered by a French ship in the 18th century, the Seychelles comprise ancient granite and coral atolls with turquoise lagoons and white sands. Discover the islands own unique ecology with a luxury yacht charter through these idyllic desert island idylls. Lying out of the cyclone belt, they offer a 12-month cruising season, with trade winds blowing for ten months of the year. Visit in March and April or October and November for lighter winds.