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Sy sea bird   amri photo 4 hr 1

Tour Highlights

  • An extraordinary way to experience a handful of the Seychelles' 115 islands in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean

  • Explore unique geological features and underwater boulder formations

  • Swim alongside abundant sealife rarely seen elsewhere

  • Enjoy a fully catered holiday with meals prepared by our onboard chef

  • Hike the fascinating terrain from the islands' peaks to its lush forests

Lying just over a thousand miles from the East African coast, the Seychelles are made up of 115 islands scattered over the western Indian Ocean. Featuring stunning rock formations, alluring peaks, lush forests and a rich Creole heritage, the Seychelles offer more than just a fly and flop beach holiday.

Unlike most island groups around the world which are volcanic, the Seychelles are predominantly granitic in origin, which causes the coastline to be more irregular with boulders strewn along a large proportion of the shore. This offers up some great coastal swims with the chance to enjoy the stunning coral beaches, warm, clear waters and the varied marine life both above and under the water’s surface!

Our home for the week is Sea Bird, a 42 metre sailing yacht, which allows us to find the best swimming opportunities available. Between swims, our liveaboard vessel journeys in and around the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue as well as the outlying islands of Aride, Marieann and the Sisters. The trip is fully catered with all meals prepared for us by our very own onboard chef.

On top of the organised swims which are included in the trip itinerary, there is also plenty of time to take part in additional activities throughout the trip, including snorkeling, scuba diving (at an additional cost) and exploratory walks on the islands.


New for 2019

The islands stunning granite and golden sand coastline will appeal to pioneering swimmers who will relish the opportunity to explore a new destination.


Who is this trip for?

This trip is for swimmers who love island hopping as well as exploring on foot. With a mix of coastals and crossings, this trip has a bit of everything, whether it be crossing over reefs or swimming through and under large boulder formations. There are also great hiking opportunities available around this archipelago - substantially more than many of our other trips. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 5 km prior to the start of the trip.


What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Seychelles
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Six nights accommodation aboard SY Sea Bird
  • All meals prepared by the onboard chef
  • All tea, coffee and drinking water
  • Local island visits
  • Snorkelling
  • National and Marine Park entry fees

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Alcoholic drinks which can be purchased on board our boat

Daily Itineraries

Please note that the below daily itineraries are an example of the swims that may take place during the course of your trip, however, actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions. Your SwimTrek guides and local boat pilot will determine the most suitable swim locations each day and will communicate the plan with all guests as soon as possible.

Day 1

If you are pre-booking arrival transfers you will be met at Mahé Airport’s arrivals terminal. Otherwise we will meet you at the liveaboard where our guides will be waiting.

After an introduction from both your guides and boat crew we travel a short distance to the St Anne National Marine Park which lies just off Mahé’s east coast. After our first swim along St Anne, we will enjoy a welcome drink and BBQ and take a tour of our liveaboard vessel which will be our home for the next six nights.

Day 2

This morning our boat weighs anchor and heads for Aride Island, the most northern island in the country, and home to one of most important seabird populations in the Indian Ocean, with well over a million breeding adults in the Aride Island Nature Reserve. The highlight of the swim is passing underneath the cliff of Gros la Tête with its brightly coloured quartz layers glittering within the granite cliff face.

Following lunch on our yacht, we sail to Praslin Island which will be our base for the next few days. The peak of Grand Fond guides our way to the start of the afternoon’s swim from Anse Petit Cour. From here, we head out around the headland of Point Zanguilles before finishing up at the lively village of Côte D’Or, a beautiful end to our first full day.

Day 3

Our morning swim is scheduled to be from Praslin to the old leper colony island of Curieuse. We start at the idyllic beach of Anse Boudin, often scattered with local fishing boats on the shore. The swim across to Curieuse is relatively short and so we carry on our swim to finish at the small beach of Madarin. After our swim we have some time to explore this island and visit the ruins of the leper colony as well as understand the conservation work happening today on the island.

The afternoon sees us tackle Curieuse’s more dramatic and remote north coast as we head from Anse Badamier to Grand Anse. Depending on weather conditions, this swim could be one of our more challenging, especially as we approach the headland of Rouge Point, a site where Eagle Rays and Giant Stingrays have often been spotted.

At the end of the day the boat sets sail for the island of La Digue, the base for the rest of our Seychelles trip! Once anchored up we enjoy dinner as the sun sets over the southern section of Curieuse.

Day 4

We’ll start our morning on the Island of La Digue swimming from Anse Source D’Argent around the southernmost tip toward Petite Anse beach. The afternoon is then set aside for a relaxed snorkel around the Anse Source D’Argent off La Digue or an alternative afternoon activity could be a hiking across La Digue.

Day 5

This morning we travel north to the islands of Petite Souer (Small Sister) and Grande Souer (Big Sister), the former previously being a small coconut plantation. We begin our swim with a circumnavigation of Petite Souer, with its steep cliff sides and many caves to explore before crossing from Petite Souer to Grande Souer. Following our Sister Island swims, we head over to the Cocos Islands, whose granite outcrops seem to rise regally above the water’s surface. The Cocos Islands are home to a large number of marine life including Clown Fish, Angel Fish and sometimes Sea Turtles. Here you will be able to experience the marine life with a snorkel around the islands.

Back on the boat, we have lunch and head down to Felicite, an island famous for its huge smooth granite boulders and home to many species of marine life. This afternoon consists of a swimming along its southwest coast, before we sail back to Praslin to anchor for the night.

Day 6

Waking up to Praslin, we embark on a morning swim, from Anse Lazio to Anse Georgette, with the former often regarded as the best beach in the Seychelles. There’s an abundance of crabs on all of the islands, with 31 species calling this home.

After completing our morning swim we begin our boat crossing back towards Mahé, during which we will stop off at St Anne for our final swim of our Seychelles expedition! This evening will be spent anchored off St Anne, where you will have time to reflect on all that you have achieved during this trip.

Day 7

Following a relaxed breakfast, we continue our sail back to Mahé where our trip draws to a close and we disembark S.Y. Sea Bird. If you are making your own way on to a hotel or back to Mahé International Airport, our local partners can help arrange transfers (see ‘Getting There’ below.) If you require an earlier transfer to catch a morning flight, please let your guides know so that this can be arranged.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Inter-Island Quay, Victoria (Mahé)

Start Time: 10:30 on Day 1

Finish Point: Inter-Island Quay, Victoria (Mahé)

Finish Time: 08:30 on Day 7

Trip Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x 2) Small Daypack
Tinted Swimming Goggles (x 2)* Waterproof Jacket
Sun Hat and Sunglasses Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Reef friendly Waterproof Sun Cream (Factor 30+ or higher or zinc) Light Shoes
Rash Vest and Leggings/Jammers for Swimming Sarong
Towels provided but a beach towel is recommended* Insect Repellent
Aqua Shoes (to wade between boats and islands) High SPF Lip balm

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

**A towel will be provided on board, however, please do feel free to bring your own along if preferred. Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Suncare

Due to the equatorial nature of the weather in the Seychelles, the sun can be extremely strong, so please take the necessary steps to ensure you are well protected. Plenty of very high factor, waterproof sun cream, zinc, long-sleeved rash vests and leggings/jammers and a good sun hat are essential for protection from the sun, particularly during morning swims.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances*
St Anne Coastal 1½km
Aride Circumnavigation 3½km
Anse Petit Cour - Côte D’Or 1½km
Praslin - Curieuse 3km
Anse Badamier - Grand Anse (Curieuse) 3½km
Anse Source d’Argent - Petite Anse Cocos 3km
Petite Souer - Grande Souer 3km
Felicite 3km
Anse Lazio to Anse Georgette 2½km
St Anne Coastal 2½km

*Please note that these swims are an example of the what may take place during the course of your trip and should be used as a guide only. Actual swim locations and distances will vary according to local weather and sea conditions.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that marine life is abundant in the Seychelles. Stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
April 29-31°C / 85-87°F 28-32°C / 82-90°F
May 28-31°C / 83-86°F 26-31°C / 79-88°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of up to 16 swimmers. Non-swimmers are welcome to join us by taking a swim space. You will be accompanied by two SwimTrek guides and a local ship’s crew. The group will be split into two or three swim groups based on speed, each of which is accompanied by their own guide and safety support boat.

Getting There

Your liveaboard boat will depart from and return to the Inter-Island Quay in Victoria, on the island of Mahé.

Flights to the Seychelles are widely available from most international destinations, however, due to its isolated location in the Indian Ocean, multi-leg journeys are usually required to reach the islands.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. We suggest that you use Skyscanner to search for alternative flight options for this trip.

Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Travel to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)

To search for available flights into Seychelles International Airport, please visit Skyscanner.

Seychelles International Airport to Liveaboard Vessel

Guests who arrive in the Seychelles prior to the start of their SwimTrek trip must organise a transfer from their hotel in time to meet the SwimTrek group on Day 1 of the trip.

This transfer can be organised with our local partner Silhouette Cruises. Please email cruises@seychelles.net in order to ensure you arrive in time for the start of your SwimTrek trip. Please note that confirmation of the exact departure time from your hotel will usually not be available until the night before the transfer. It is critical that your travel plans are arranged to ensure that you arrive at Inter-Island Quay in time for the 10:30 am start on Day 1.

Leaving the Seychelles

At the end of your trip, you can arrange a transfer from Sea Bird between 07:00 and 08:30, depending on your outbound flight time or your onwards travel plans.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation over the course of your trip is on board SY Sea Bird, a two-masted 42-metre liveaboard yacht with Bermuda sails. There are eight fully air-conditioned guest cabins; five with a double bed plus a single bunk and a further three double cabins with one bed. All cabins have air conditioning and an en suite bathroom. There are a limited number of cabins available for single occupancy or non-swimmers, which can be reserved during the booking process, subject to availability.

SY Sea Bird also features large communal lounge areas and multiple sun decks which are the perfect place to relax between swims or to watch the sun go down at the end of each day.

Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodation

If you would like to extend your trip, our partner, Silhouette Cruises, can organise accommodation before or after your SwimTrek tour. Please email cruises@seychelles.net for additional accommodation.

Meals

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee and drinking water (non-bottled) are included in your trip price, with meals prepared on board by our own chef. Menus include a mix of freshly prepared international and local specialities. Our chef will do their best to accommodate special dietary requirements, however, if you have any strict dietary restrictions or requirements, please contact the SwimTrek office prior to booking. The traditional Creole cuisine of the Seychelles is a mix of Indian and Arabic with European influences. Curry, garlic, cumin and the like are common ingredients in Creole dishes.

Drinking water (non-bottled) is included but to avoid generating unnecessary waste plastic, please bring a reusable water bottle with you. Soft drinks, wine, beer and spirits can be purchased on board our vessel, with an individual tab to be set up for each guest at the start of your trip. Your tab must be settled prior to the end of your trip and can be paid in Seychellois Rupee (SCR), British Pounds, US Dollars or Euros. As a guide, soft drinks are priced from SCR35, beers from SCR75, wine from SCR350 and spirits from SCR90 per shot. Please note that these prices exclude a 15% Value Added Tax which will be added to your final bill. Payments by VISA and MasterCard will also incur a 2.5% credit card convenience fee.

Extra Activities

Throughout the course of your trip, you will have the opportunity to take part in a number of extra activities before or after our organised daily swims. These activities include snorkelling, scuba diving (extra cost*) and local island visits. Participation in these activities is optional and does not need to be booked in advance. However, if you are interested in participating in scuba diving, we would require information prior to the trip, in order to reserve your equipment.

*Scuba diving is available on board through our partners in the Seychelles. It is possible to take part in an introductory or a standard dive at the following rates: - SCR640 per dive, full equipment hire SCR450 per day - SCR1120 per person for an introductory dive, including equipment

To reserve your equipment, please contact our customer team with your EU shoe size (for fins) and jacket size (S/M/L/XL), (for Wetsuit and BCD), at least 28 days before departure via info@swimtrek.com.

If you intend to participate in scuba diving (other than the the introductory dive), you must be a qualified diver in possession of a dive certification card and log book. Prices exclude a 15% Value Added Tax which will be added to your final bill.

During our Seychelles Trip there will be the opportunity to take excursions ashore to explore the islands. Many of these islands are national parks or within marine parks. Each of these parks has Landing fees which are included in the price of your holiday (equivalent to SCR100-120).

Extra Expenses and Tipping

Both Euros and US Dollars are accepted as legal tender throughout the Seychelles, however, the country also has a local currency, Seychellois Rupees (SCR), which is non-convertible and cannot be purchased before your arrival in the Seychelles. It is possible to change most major currencies for Seychellois Rupees at Seychelles International Airport upon arrival. However, the Euro is the most commonly used foreign currency in the Seychelles and payment in Euros and US Dollars is often preferred.

If you make a payment in Euros or US Dollars, change will usually be given in the local currency. All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at major resorts, hotels, shops, etc.

ATMs are widely available on the main islands. Please note that ATMs only dispense cash in the local currency (SCR), not in Euros or US Dollars. Credit Card payments by VISA and MasterCard on bird S/Y Sea Bird incur a 2.5% credit card convenience fee.

As all of your meals and accommodation are included in your package price and you will be spending most of your time on board our liveaboard vessel, extra expenses throughout the duration of your trip will be limited, however, you should bring extra money with you to cover items such as additional drinks, souvenirs and optional island resort visits or extra activities.

In general, tipping is not part of the culture in the Seychelles and is not considered obligatory.

Local SIM Card / Internet Access

Please note that there is very limited access to WiFi during your time on board the boat (via a shared 4G modem). S.Y. Sea Bird does not offer WiFi onboard. However, should you need access to the internet during your trip, please ensure that you get your phone unlocked before your trip (or bring your own personal dongle) and that you purchase a SIM card from the airport on your arrival. If you purchase a SIM card with a 3G or 4G data plan, you should be able to access the internet for the majority of the trip (subject to your data allowance limits), but please bear in mind that the signal will still be limited in some locations.

Passports and Visas

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. As a ‘visa-free’ country, there are no visa requirements when travelling to the Seychelles. However, in order to gain entry, please ensure that you have a valid passport as well as your travel documents.

Upon arrival at Seychelles International Airport, you will be need to be issued with a visitor’s permit. To receive this, you will need to ensure you have supporting travel documents, including the following:

  • a valid return ticket or ticket for onward travel for the duration of the visit;
  • confirmed accommodation
  • sufficient funds for the duration of the stay (minimum of US$150 or equivalent per day).

For further information about passport and visa requirements, please visit the Republic of Seychelles - Department of Foreign Affairs website.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to the Seychelles, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

The power points on our liveaboard vessel use the standard 3-pin UK plugs (type G), however, please be aware that some hotels in the Seychelles use alternative plug types. If you are staying in the Seychelles before or after your SwimTrek trip, please contact your accommodation to enquire about this. All electrical devices running on 110/120V must have power converters / step-up transformers.

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit World Standards.

  • This was an amazing first experience with SwimTrek for me. Can't wait to sign up for the next one.

    Victoria C, UK - 2019
  • Trip of a lifetime and exceeded my expectations.

    Karen W, USA - 2019
  • In my opinion and experience of Swim Trek all the trips are unique and have always exceeded my expectations. Well done to the entire Swim Trek Team.

    Gerald K, UAE - 2019