In the middle of the Indian Ocean
, far away from any continent, there’s a bunch of islands that were simply built for sailing holidays, with a perfect position outside the cyclone belt, with calm waters and fair winds all year round. The Seychelles lie off the coast of East Africa, further out to sea even than Madagascar
, making them a remote location, perfect if you’re an Yacht Charter explorer.
The 115 islands that make up the archipelago were first visited by Austronesian and Arab sailors but the first European sighting took place in 1502 when Vasco da Gama passed by and gave them the name Amirantes. The first landing took place 10 years later when the British sailors of the Ascension set foot on its beaches in 1609. Then came a period of turmoil as the French and British disputed over control of the islands, with the latter winning eventually in 1814. Seychelles won their independence in 1976 and since 1991 they’ve been a democratic republic.
Since there aren’t many resources on the islands, Seychelles makes a point out of turning tourism into a profitable activity, and that’s good news for any Yacht Charter looking to explore this part of the world. You’ll find the Seychelles are not just a wonderful place to sail your boat but also a beautiful land to explore, with laidback and welcoming people. Your travel starting point should be the capital city of Victoria and the second largest settlement, Mahe
Prior to 1990, when Seychelles was still under socialist rule, yacht traffic was strictly monitored but today most bans have been lifted, making this one of the best Yacht Charter destinations in this part of the world. The rules that remain in place are purely for environment protection and mostly apply for national parks or protected areas.
Entry in such protected areas is either monitored (which means your Yacht Charter crew will have to pay a fee for entering, landing, mooring or overnight stays) or restricted. Also, care should be taken as some of the islands are privately owned.
You’ll find that the islands are known for their fair weather all year round, so that should pose no trouble for even a beginner skipper. The only problem you’ll encounter are the underwater reefs and shallows that make navigating somewhat tricky (remember that anchoring on coral is strictly forbidden here).
Law & Order
The Yacht Charter center of the island is Mahe, and this also applies for privately owned boats coming from the outside, as Port Victoria is the only official port for entry of exit in Seychelles. If you arrive in a foreign boat, you’ll have to contact the port authority in Port Victoria for customs, health, immigration and security formalities.
Foreign vessels are required to have upon entry in the country a valid outward clearance from their last port of call, a crew and passenger list, store list and arms list. Yacht Charter vessels are exempt from such formalities.
Usually, Seychelles don’t require a visit from any of their visitors, regardless of the purpose of the visit, This works for only a period of one month initially that can be later extended to up to one year. However, any visiting Yacht Charter tourist will require a passport with at least 6 months validity left on it.