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Small Islands of the Indian Ocean

Small Islands of the Indian Ocean

Join us and be a part of Coral Expeditions history as we venture across the Indian Ocean for the first time. Coral Geographer will sail from our home shores of Australia all the way to the edge of Africa. En route, we make expedition stops at Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Seychelles before arriving at the legendary isles off Africa’s eastern seaboard: Madagascar, Reunion, Mauritius and Zanzibar.

These new voyages offer an intoxicating mix of frontier colonial history, extensive biodiversity and rich native traditions dating back millennia. Enjoy a dusk safari at Yala National Park in Sri Lanka with a chance to spot elephants and leopards, beachcomb at ‘the world’s most beautiful beach’ at the island of La Digue, stroll through the fabled bazaars of Zanzibar, sample traditional Creole cuisine at Reunion and gaze up at giant trees at the Avenue of the Baobabs in Madagascar.

Accompanied by an expert expedition team, there is no better way to tour these far-flung lands.

Learn more about these islands > 


Our Indian Ocean Cruises:

To South Sulawesi & Borneo for Christmas | Broome - Singapore | 17 Nights

Orangutan Borneo TH

Join us on an expedition voyage to the rarely seen islands of South Sulawesi and Borneo in Indonesia. This 17-night voyage from Broome to Singapore combines cultural insights, wildlife encounters and nature immersion in one of the world’s last rainforest frontiers. Visit remote communities, stroll through villages unchanged throughout centuries, and partake in traditional customs.

> Departs 13 December 2022

Island Traditions To the Edge of Africa | Singapore - Seychelles | 25 Nights

Sri Lanka Safari TH

Set sail across the vast arc of the Indian Ocean onboard Coral Geographer, calling in at Sumatra, the colourful and exotic island of Sri Lanka, remote atolls of the Maldives and on to pristine Seychelles. Be immersed in rich cultural history and enjoy hand-crafted nature and wildlife experiences.  Discover the history and delicious cuisine of Malaysia. Experience a dusk expedition safari of Yala National Park in Sri Lanka with the opportunity to see elephants and leopards. 

> Departs 8 January 2023

The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion | Seychelles - Mauritius | 15 Nights

Journey into another world on this voyage aboard Coral Geographer. Featuring an extensive exploration of the northern coastline of Madagascar and a visit to the majestic island of Reunion, you’ll also explore the remote atolls of the southern Seychelles, renowned for pure white beaches and uninhabited wildlife reserves.  Explore Aldabra Atoll, the world’s second-largest coral atoll and home to the largest colony of wild giant tortoises. Continue on to the shores of Madagascar – the 8th continent – famed for the diversity of its endemic wildlife and landscape with something remarkable around every corner. 

> Departs 3 February 2023

Africa's Frontier Islands | Mauritius to Zanzibar | 17 Nights

Zanzibar Women

The eastern edge of Africa stands at the crossroads of African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures. Take a journey along the coastline of Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania over 20 exotic nights, where enchanting Malagasy and Creole culture emanate from colourful street-side markets, wild landscapes rise above sparkling seas, lush rainforests hide native lemurs and ancient ruins hold rich history. From the comfort of Coral Geographer, explore remote lands that only hardy traders in search of ancient spices ventured to long ago.

> Departs 19 February 2023

A Navigation Voyage: Across the Indian Ocean | Zanzibar - Fremantle | 19 Nights

Celestial Navigation TH

In times past, an Indian Ocean crossing was a sailor’s rite of passage and a truly daunting task on a wooden sailing vessel. Create your own journey on the new state of the art expedition ship, Coral Geographer as she sails east in a southern arc from the ancient island of Zanzibar off the African coast and arrives on Australian shores in Fremantle. This is a classic 19-night ocean passage that allows you to settle into the rhythm of the sea.

> Departs 8 March 2023

Some of the Islands we visit:

Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

The island of Hithadhoo lies some 530km south of the Maldives capital of Male and is the second largest island in the Maldives with a surface area of 540ha. The lush land covered by shrubs and palms can be explored by narrow trails that snake throughout the island.

Hithadhoo holds historical significance housing the ruins of a fort of which the origins remain a mystery. Archeologists have investigated the fort unable to decipher any clues, including Mr. H.C.P. Bell, who studied the ruins in 1922 to no avail. Today, historians surmise that it was built for Kunhali Marakkar, also named the ‘Lord of the Maldives’, acting as a strong base while the Portuguese were pursuing the Maldivian ships. The remains of a battery unit built by the British in World War II can be found on the north-western point of the island at Fen Muli.

While we visit this this tropical destination, we will learn of the ancient Maldivian history linked to the land, originating from Buddhist settlement tracing back to the 5th century. The island has great opportunity to spot bird life including the white tern, which in the Maldives is only found on Addu Atoll. This area was unaffected by the global coral bleaching event in 1998 making it an extraordinary place to snorkel over the colourful coral reef.

This is part of the itinerary on our 25 night ‘Island Traditions to the Edge of Africa’ expedition from Singapore to the Seychelles departing 8 January 2023.


Mozambique Island

Mozambique Island

Mozambique’s extensive coastline along with the Mozambique Channel separates mainland Africa from the island of Madagascar. A bridge built in the 1960s provides a path connecting the island to the mainland.

The capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa for some 400 years, the Portuguese established a port and naval base here in 1507. In 1991, the island was assigned as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its culmination of Portuguese, Indian and Arab influences on the architecture. On the island you will find white sand beaches, fertile soils that yield abundant agriculture, savannah grasslands to the west, forest reserves and transnational parks.

Notably, the island is home to the oldest European building in the Southern Hemisphere, the Capel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte, constructed in 1522.

This is part of the itinerary on our 17 night ‘Africa’s Frontier Islands’ expedition from Mauritius to Zanzibar departing 19 February 2023.


Hell-Ville, Nosy Be, Madagascar

Hell-Ville, Nosy Be, Madagascar

Originally formed by the effects of volcanic activity, the island of Nosy Be is covered in lush vegetation and features many craters and crater lakes. Nosy Be is home to 7 species of lemur that live in semi-captivity at Lemuria Land. The species on the island include Macaco lemurs, Sifaka, brown lemurs, black and white ruffed lemur, red ruffed lemur, crowned lemur and the ring-tailed lemur. The botanical reserve also houses reptilian life including chameleons, turtles, crocodiles and lizards.

The French warship Colibri arrived on the island in 1840 guided by Captain Passot. The main township, Hell-Ville is located in the south of the island and features a port catering to foreign shipping and trade. The town received its name from Passot’s commander in chief, Admiral de Hell.

Before the islands was ceded to the French, it was occupied by migrant tribes from the Madagascan mainland and trade settlements from the Swahili Coast, Comoros and India. Known for its exports of sugar and oils used for perfumery alongside run, black pepper and vanilla, the island offers the opportunity to do a tasting of rum and to visit the plantations.

This is part of the itinerary on our 15 night ‘The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion’ expedition from Seychelles to Mauritius departing 3 February 2023.


Ile Alphonse, Seychelles

Ile Alphonse, Seychelles

Ile Alphonse is one of two atolls within the Alphonse group and are a picture-perfect island paradise. The palm fringed shorelines are covered in pristine white sands meeting crystal clear tropical water. Below the water, the colourful sea life teems. Species that call the island home include green and hawksbill turtles, mangrove crabs and manta rays.

Part of the outer islands of the Seychelles, the island lies at the heart of the Indian Ocean, 400 kilometers south-west of Mahe and seven degrees south of the equator. French settlement can be traced back to 1770 when they began exporting salted fish and growing maize. In the years since, the island has been used for farming pineapples, bananas, coconuts, pumpkin, sweet potato and chickens alongside the exports of pearl and turtle shell.

While we visit this location, guests can make the most of the spectacular scenery by taking a walk on the beach, exploring the island and water activities galore.

This is part of the itinerary on our 15 night ‘The Seychelles, Madagascar & Reunion’ expedition from Seychelles to Mauritius departing 3 February 2023.


Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park lies in the south-eastern corner of Sri Lanka and is home to large expanses of lagoons, grasslands and forest home to exotic wildlife including leopards, elephants and hundreds of bird species. Set amongst varied habitats including rock outcrops, dense jungle, beaches and freshwater lakes, we will be enjoying a safari experience at dusk.

Ironically, the area was used as hunting grounds in the past while under British rule, now the land is known for being a flourishing wildlife haven. Assigned wildlife sanctuary status in 1900, Yala National Park was one the two first national parks in Sri Lanka in order to protect elephants, leopards and aquatic birds endemic to the region.

This is part of the itinerary on our 25 night ‘Island Traditions to the Edge of Africa’ expedition from Singapore to the Seychelles departing 8 January 2023.

Cruise Page - Small Islands of the Indian Ocean

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