The Indian Ocean and its islands such as Mauritius and the Seychelles are simply beautiful but cruises in the Indian Ocean are just beginning to become popular so you don’t have the same choice as you’d find in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. That of course has its benefits as you’ll be able to explore and enjoy the Indian Ocean islands with less people. There are many cruise lines that make the Indian Ocean part of a longer cruise but few that do a dedicated fly-cruise programme such as Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines which depart from Mauritius.
The best time to visit is November and December. A big benefit is that cruising can be a cheaper option than flying and staying in hotels at this peak time. Southern Africa is often combined with an Indian Ocean cruise which gives you the option to do Safaris and of course spend time in Cape Town. Other African countries that are popular on cruise itineraries are Namibia, Mozambique and if your lucky Zanzibar in Tanzania or perhaps a beach stop in Kenya.
Cruise itineraries to South Africa include ports such as Richards Bay, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth and of course Cape Town. Cruise lines will tend to spend more than one night in Cape town with so much to do. You can visit the winelands, take a safari, go diving with sharks (in a cage), whale watching, visit Robben Island, spend time shopping and dining at the Victoria & Alfred waterfront or chill out at Camps bay. A must is of course going to the top of Table Mountain.
The Seychelles archipelago offers probably the closest to idyllic a tropical hideaway that one can get. Their beautiful white beaches contrast with aquamarine seas. Al fresco dining, often close to the shore, is a delight. There's snorkelling, kayaking, para-gliding as well as windsurfing and swimming. A place to relax and soak up the sun.
The island is known for its excellent choice of beach hotels and offers the visitor a relaxing holiday with all the activities one would expect in a tropical paradise – but hotels can be expensive at peak time so cruises can be a great value alternative. Mauritius offers a little more in terms of site seeing, because of its size, there are cascades and hidden coves to explore as well as shopping malls along the waterfront at the capital, Port Louis.
Madagascar, because of its isolated position off the south-east coast of Africa, is home to thousands of species of animals including its famous lemurs. This cruise destination that will appeal to outdoor types who want to discover the many animals in the rainforests and reefs as well as exploring royal palaces and burial grounds.
These beautiful islands with azure seas and milky white beaches enthral the tourist with their simple way of life. If you are lucky you will get to visit one of the quiet islands where there are no roads and the little local school opens its doors to you so you will see bright eyed infants full of fun, welcoming you to their utopian world. Local handicrafts might be available under the shade of a palm tree, as you explore the island on foot.