An online cruising guide for yachts sailing around the Seychelles Islands.
The Seychelles islands are in the Indian Ocean 1000 miles due east of Kenya and the East Africa coast. They stretch between four and five degrees south and 55 to 56 degrees east. The country consists of an archipelago of over 100 islands, five or six islands being easily accessible. The entire archipelago is extremely spread out but the main granite islands are roughly 30 miles apart, making for easy cruising.
Cruising boats sail there year round, but the majority will come through on the trade wind route. Boats from the east will generally have come from Australia, Cocos Keeling, Indonesia or Chagos. Others will be coming down from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. Most long-term cruisers will be in the middle of a circumnavigation heading west.
For many, the Seychelles is a turning point, either sailing north or south. The Seychelles have had a bit of a chequered past as far as yachties are concerned. Until several years ago the government was trying to discourage yachts from visiting. Their strategy was to charge 100 dollars per day just for being in the Seychelles and they controlled movement from anchorage to anchorage very tightly. Their plan worked and cruisers stopped going there.
Lately the government has gone through several changes. Originally a French colony, the country was traded back and forth between Britain and France several times. In 1903 the Seychelles became an official British crown Colony. The country gained its independence in 1976 but in 1977 there was a coup d' etat and Albert Rene was installed as president. In the late 80's the economy was hurting. A large chunk of income was European tourism and the recession in Europe was affecting the Seychelles. Eventually, bowing to European pressure, the government changed to a multiparty system in 1992. Rene actually stayed in power after the elections, and European tension eased. For cruisers this meant an overall easing of regulations.
Some restrictions still do apply, but things have changed for the better. Boats are only allowed to anchor in specific anchorages on certain islands, but most of the places cruisers would want to go are on their list. They have a bizarre rule listed on all of the paperwork that states that you can anchor within three miles offshore. Not that any cruising yacht carries enough chain to anchor three miles off shore but it is allowed.
Yachting in the Seychelles has definitely changed over the last few years. The government has relaxed its attitude towards visiting yachts and is now actively encouraging the sailing community. The islands are not cheap, but are not outrageously expensive. People are sincere, friendly and quite happy to share their local customs and culture. The granite scenery of the islands is truly spectacular and memorable. (Sue Brodsky - article in SA Yachting July 1997)
The history of the Seychelles is best observed on Wikipedia
- BA721 (southern approaches to the Seychelles Group)
- BA722 ( Port Victoria and approaches)
- BA724 (anchorages in the Seychelles Group and outlying islands)
- BA740 (Seychelles Group)
- BA742 (Mahe, Praslin and adjacent islands)
Tropical and NOT in the "cyclone belt". The Indian Ocean tradewinds blow from the SE , 15 to 20 knots consistently May through October and the NW monsoon lasts from November to April. Rainfall varies from 60mm in June to 350 mm in January. In the months of April and November there are calm and sometimes windless periods when the trade winds change direction. These light and variable wind periods are accompanied by calm seas and clear waters.
Swells are generally moderate with waves of up to 1 to 2 metres becoming higher only in strong winds on open water.
Sources for forecast info:
- Seychelles Radio (Coast Station) on VHF16
|Inner Islands||Amirantes||Southern Coral||Alphonse||Farquhar||Aldabra|
| Farquhar|| Aldabra|
- Praslin Island
- Baie St Anne is a particularly beautiful anchorage. Contact the "Pier Master" - Baie St Anne Jetty, Praslin on VHF Channel 16, 24 hours in advance if possible and again on arrival. Tel/fax +248 23 24 34. Fuel and water is available on the jetty.
- La Digue Island
- Also a beautiful mooring. Contact the "Pier Master" - La Passe Jetty, La Passe, La Digue, at least 24 hours in advance if possible, and again on arrival. - Tel/Fax +248 22 43 00. Fuel and water is available on the jetty.
Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.
Also see World Cruiser's Nets
Any navigation notes here.
Checking into the Seychelles is required in Mahe, so the first port of call is Victoria Harbour, the capital and main centre of the island. Arrival formalities are easy. In the inner harbour there are moorings but all belong to yacht club members. Quite a few local boats do charter work and can be gone for a few days at a time, so some cruisers use the moorings by arrangement.
Port & Marine Services, New Port,
PO Box 47, Port Victoria, Mahe.
Tel: +248 22 47 01, Fax: +248 22 40 04
Yachts must contact the Port Victoria Harbour Master at least 2 hours in advance on VHF channel 16 - he will direct you to the anchorage.
There are a number of boatyards and slips at Port Victoria.
See the official Entry/Exit Guide for yachts.
Immigration & Customs
On arrival in Mahe the following must be presented to Customs:
- A valid outward clearance from their last port of call
- Full, detailed Crew list
- Stores (or consumables) list - including alchoholic beverages.
- Firearms and ammunition list
A one-month visitor's permit is usually issued to crew members on arrival in the Seychelles. Extension of these permits must be sought at least one week prior to its expiry should you decide to extend your stay. If a trip to the Outer Islands of Seychelles is planned and the return to Port Victoria, Mahé will be later than the expiry date of their permit, visitors must secure the extension of their permit prior to embarking on their journey.
Immigration must be advised in advance and in writing of any crew changes.
When exiting Seychelles, vessels must complete the outward clearance formality with the customs authorities and are not allowed to call at any of the islands once cleared by the relevant authorities in Port Victoria.
See the official Entry/Exit Guide for yachts.
Fees and Charges
Access to the ecologically sensitive Marine Parks and Reserve areas are managed by various conservation organizations and requires either permission, and/or payment of a landing or entry fee, and mooring fee for overnight mooring. However, streamlined procedures now make it easy for yachts to visit. Simply arrive and anchor in the marked zones and the marine park officials will come out and visit the yacht to collect the required fees.
The Marine Parks and Reserves areas are: Aride, Cousin, Curieuse Marine National Park, ïle Cocos Marine National Park, Ste. Anne Marine National Park and St. Pierre.
- Entrance fees start from Euro 10 per person.
- Overnight mooring fees start from Euro 10 per yacht.
Some islands are privately owned or managed, therefore access is controlled by the owners. Islands that fall into this category are: Anonyme, Bird, Chauvre Souris, Cousine, D’Arros and St.Joseph Atoll, Denis, Félicité, Frégate, Grande Soeur, Petite Soeur, Moyenne, North, Round Island off Mahé and Round Island off Praslin. Please contact the island management for permissions.
- Landing fees start from Euro 10 per person.
The following islands are under the management of the Island Development Company (IDC): Alphonse Island, Bijoutier, Coëtivy, Desroches, Farquhar, Poivre Atoll, Platte, Providence Atoll, Remire, Silhouette and St. François. Please contact IDC for permission to access.
- Landing fees start from Euro 20 per person.
See the official Entry/Exit Guide for yachts.
Health & Security
Submit any health warnings/information and any security details here.
Yacht Clubs and Marinas
Seychelles Yacht Club
Tel:+248 32 23 62, Fax:+248 32 11 21
Visitors are welcome. The anchorage in front of the club is well protected. The club has a bar, restaurant and laundry. Fuel is available on an adjacent dock. The yacht club charges a monthly fee for the use of its facilities.
Wharf Hotel & Marina
P O Box 1350, Victoria, Mahe
Tel:+248 67 07 00, Fax:+248 60 17 00
This new luxury hotel is located on the east coast of Mahe, midway between the International Airport and Port Victoria. The complex includes a 60 berth marina, shower facilities, slipway, electricity and water.
List transportation (local and/or international.)
Submit details/contacts of cruiser's "friends" that can be contacted in advance or on arrival - who can offer information and assistance to our cruising "family".
List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)
- Seychelles at the Wikipedia
- Seychelles at the Wikivoyage
- See the official Entry/Exit Guide for yachts.
References & Publications
- Indian Ocean Crossing Notes by Tony Herrick
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