Seychelles is said to be one of the most romantic destinations. So, it comes as no surprise that many couples choose this group of islands for their destination wedding or honeymoon. On the other hand, even if you’re a group of friends just wanting to have a good time, this tropical paradise has a lot to offer for you as well. Sure, you’d have a good time staying at a beautiful resort on the coast, but it is a whole different experience spending your holiday on a yacht. Since Seychelles consists of 115 islands, they are an ideal destination for island hopping, and what’s a better way to do that other than on a yacht? To fully enjoy all there is, we suggest you opt for the most comfortable option for a yacht charter in Seychelles. Thus, choosing a catamaran for your sailing holiday will provide that ultimate sailing experience.
The truth behind catamaran popularity
Catamarans are becoming more popular due to their characteristics. They are quite stable and, as opposed to sailing yachts, usually have two engines allowing easier manoeuvrability. That is something that makes docking more convenient. The most distinct difference is spaciousness. Wouldn’t you want to enjoy the tropical sunset while lying on the net, swaying on the sea waves? Whether you want privacy travelling with your significant other or need enough room to party, catamarans are an excellent option in both cases. Although they are not as affordable as sailing yachts, their characteristics make the price difference justified. Another advantage is that catamarans have a shallow draft, which makes sailing in shallow waters easier. Due to many coral reefs close to the Seychelles islands' coast, it is essential to look out at sea depth on the route.
All Yacht Charter Options in Seychelles
Apart from having the option to choose a catamaran or a sailboat, you can opt for bareboat, crewed, or cabin yacht charter in Seychelles.
If you have a valid license and experience, you will probably look no further than the bareboat sailing in Seychelles. That will allow you the freedom to set the itinerary as you wish. What's more, a great advantage is that you have absolute privacy on the yacht. You’d oversee navigation and safety, but the whole crew should be working as a team. The cruising area for bareboat charter is 50 nautical miles from Mahé and includes all inner islands.
If you don’t have a valid sailing license for a yacht charter in Seychelles, you can choose a skippered charter option. This might be a good option if you lack enough confidence to sail the Indian Ocean waters by yourself. Skipper can suggest some hidden spots worth visiting, the best local restaurants, must-see places, etc. But most importantly, the skipper is responsible for safe navigation. They are always on alert, with extensive knowledge about the weather and the area. Therefore, they have the last saying about the itinerary.
Crewed yacht charter
However, if you want to feel the ultimate luxury experience, you can opt for a crewed yacht. You can choose to have a hostess and/or a cook. In this case, you don’t have to worry about the food preparation, and you’d be able to try the local specialities while cruising the islands.
You don’t have a license or group big enough to charter a catamaran in Seychelles? No need to worry! Go on a cabin cruise. This way you’d be spending holidays with a group of sailing enthusiasts from all around the world. Most cabin charters include a meal plan and there’s a set itinerary. They comprise port fees, fuel, and the crew. You only charter a cabin on a yacht and share common areas with other passengers.
What to keep in mind when chartering a boat in Seychelles
If you wish to charter the yacht bareboat, make sure you have a valid sailing license and VHF (SRC) license. Please check with your charter operator the validity of your license.
The islands have a tropical climate, so the weather is warm during the whole year. Depending on the tropical trade winds, there are two seasons, with calm transition periods in between. Northwest trade winds blow from December to March, averaging from 8 to 12 knots, bringing in the hot and humid weather. The weather is drier and cooler from May to September, while the winds switch to the southeast, averaging from 10 to 20 knots.
The average air temperature ranges from 24 to 32 °C, while the sea temperature ranges from 26 to 30 °C, both year-round. Although Seychelles are outside the cyclone belt, there’s more precipitation from December to March. Despite some periods being more dry or rainy, the weather in Seychelles is pleasant year-round. Having a tropical climate means that sudden weather changes are always possible, no matter the season. But as the rain might occur out of nowhere, it can also change back to sunny weather in no time.
Tides on Seychelles occur within the gap of 6 hours. They average from 2 m during the spring tide, and 0,9 m during the neap tide. Sea currents are moderate with an average of 1,5 knots. During rough seas, rip currents might occur in the Beau Vallon area. There might not be safety information on all beaches, so be aware of the changes and ask the locals for advice on the conditions.
Considering half of the Seychelles area is under protection because of its biodiversity importance, there are fees when mooring or entering protected areas. Some islands or moorings are forbidden for visitors due to environmental and conservation reasons. You also must check opening days and times, as some marine parks & reserves have limited tourist access. Some islands or areas are not open for visitation on public holidays, weekends, or selected weekdays. When entering marine parks, if you are planning on going ashore, there’s a fee of approximately SCR 200 per person, depending on the area. Charges apply for areas like Ste Anne, Bay Ternay, and Port Launay, etc. There’s also a cost of approximately SCR 250 per yacht for overnight mooring, depending on the area.
Must-Have Items on your Catamaran Sailing Trip in Seychelles
It is best to pack lightly when going on a sailing trip. Cabins on a yacht are smaller than a hotel room, and you don’t want to overcrowd the space. Storage space on a yacht is quite limited, so make sure you don’t carry more stuff than you’ll be needing. Before the charter, please check what’s exactly provided onboard (like towels, sheets, kitchen utensils, etc.), so you don’t have to carry your own. Whenever possible, choose travel size packaging, instead of the regular, as it takes less space.
Regarding the wardrobe, make sure you bring light shirts and dresses. However, a warmer piece of clothing will come in handy in case it gets chilly in the evening. It is always good to pack a light waterproof windbreaker, tropical weather might surprise you with an occasional rain shower. Don’t forget your bathing suit and high SPF sunscreen. The sea reflects the sun and doubles the effect, but also the solar radiation is more intense in tropical areas.
Also, make sure you always have some cash with you. Although major credit cards (MasterCard & Visa) are widely accepted, there might be some local shops and restaurants in remote areas that only accept cash. Standard power plugs on Seychelles are type G, with 220-240 V, so don’t forget to pack the adapter if that differs from what you use back home. The last but least are good vibes and your sailing holiday in Seychelles awaits you!