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The Scattered Islands & Madagascar

17 days with Ponant   Rating: Deluxe

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  • Save with special rates on Ponant expedition cruises. Prices shown reflect discount. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

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Departure at 20H30.
As your vessel cruises along the coast of Durban, from the exterior decks you will be able to admire the long beaches washed by waves from the Indian Ocean and the skyscrapers that overlook the jacaranda-lined avenues. Not far from there, you will be captivated by the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the ancestral land of the Zulu people. The undulating, soft green hills are home to a multitude of small villages with traditional round huts. In the heart of the Phezulu Safari Park, the beliefs and rituals of the fascinating Zulu culture will be revealed to you and you will be treated to a show that pulsates to the beat of Zulu drums.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Located in the South of the Mozambique channel, between the African continent and Mozambique, the island of Europa is the largest and best preserved of the Scattered Islands. This ancient atoll of volcanic origin is covered by natural and practically virgin vegetation, a blend of dense forest and mangrove. Small piece of France at the end of the World, the island is surrounded by coral reef, home to an impressive array of marine wildlife. In addition to the many bird colonies that have made the island their home, such as the red-footed booby, the tern or the tropicbird, the white sandy beaches have become the most important laying ground for green turtles in the entire Indian Ocean.
We invite you to board your ship and sail to discover the Scattered islands, virgin and pristine lands often described as “ocean sanctuaries”, and more particularly the island of Juan de Nova. Located deep inside the Mozambique Channel, once known as Saint Christopher, this unusual islet owes its existence to its coral reef, which has slowly developed over time to form an almost submerged land made of coral and sand. Home to the biggest colony of Sooty Tern in the Indian Ocean, this tiny strip of land is classed as a nature reserve and will not fail to enchant you with its rocky hillsides, sand dunes and translucent lagoons.
The Scattered Islands are like minuscule confetti sprinkled around Madagascar and form an archipelago of unrivalled beauty. Their geographical isolation, and their very limited human settlement make them a true geological sanctuary, classed as a nature reserve since 1975. Regularly used as the “zero point” in scientific studies, they offer their rare visitors almost pristine vegetation composed mainly of mangrove, as well as long beaches of shimmering sand stretching out behind turquoise lagoons, and coral reefs that are home to the world’s highest concentration of sea turtles. 
In the heart of the Nosy Be archipelago, discover Nosy Tanikely, nicknamed the “island of little earth.” In addition to a magnificent white sand beach bordering a lagoon of crystal-clear waters, the island, which is uninhabited, has exceptional marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Thanks to this, the area has been classified as a “marine and coastal protected area” since 2010. It is a perfect spot for swimming and snorkelling. Hiking fans won’t be left out either: a stunning walk that climbs to the summit of the island will enable them to discover the old lighthouse built at the beginning of the 20th century and enjoy superb views over the ocean and surrounding islands.
A lively and cosmopolitan town on the west coast of Madagascar, Majunga, also called Mahajanga, will be a port of call rich in discoveries. The former capital of the Sakalava kingdom, then a significant interchange due to its prime position between Africa and the Middle East, the city displays an interesting cultural patchwork. Also renowned for its outstanding natural sites, this port of call will provide you with the opportunity to discover Anakarafantsika National Park, home to many endemic animal and plant species, or the Cirque Rouge, immense red sandstone formations classified as national heritage.
DAYS 14-15 – AT SEA
A simple fishing village in the past, Richards Bay is now South Africa’s second port. Despite the significant development of industrial activity, particularly in terms of mineral extraction, Richards Bay is one of the country’s cleanest and most environmentally responsible towns. Bordering the Indian Ocean, the town is a haunt for water sport enthusiasts. In the heart of the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, nature lovers will be able to observe the wild fauna, made up of crocodiles, hippos and different bird species, as well as rich subtropical flora. Richards Bay is the departure point for many excursions heading off to discover Zulu country.
Disembarkation at 07H00.
All This Included
Embark with PONANT on an all-new expedition cruise from Durban to the Scattered Islands and Madagascar. This 17-day itinerary aboard Le Lyrial will be an opportunity to discover little-known places of breathtaking natural beauty, an original fauna and flora, as well as meet the locals. 
Surrender to the unique charm of the Scattered Islands (Europa, Juan de Nova and the Glorioso Islands), tiny specks that are part of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). This beautiful islands with very few inhabitants are home to exceptional fauna and flora including in particular marine turtles.
Your ship will then sail to Madagascar, the island continent. On the northern west coast, you will have the opportunity to swim in the turquoise waters of the Nosy Tanikely marine reserve, a paradisiac islet which offers wonderful beaches and coral reefs.
In Majunga, you’ll be able to explore Ankarafantsika National Park, home to numerous bird and lemur species, and try to observe the tiny Microcebus ravelobensis, one of the smallest primates in the world, before reaching further south the red-coloured earth-grounds and the baobabs of Morondava.
Le Lyrial will then reach the South African coasts. From Richards Bay and Durban, a cosmopolitan seaside city, you will discover the extraordinary rich cultural and natural heritage of this territory, home to three of the largest terrestrial mammals—the elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus.
  • Port and safety charges
  • Open bar
  • Gratuities
  • Your cruise including all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
  • Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
  • 24 hour room service (selected menu)
  • Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
  • Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
  • English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)
  • Discover the preserved wildlife’s treasures of the Scattered Islands, Madagascar, and South Africa.
  • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides. Use of local transports in Madagascar and South Africa, in the company of local guides and our naturalist guides.
  • A variety of idyllic landscapes: atolls, coral reefs, lagoons, white-sand beaches, a rich and preserved fauna and flora, savannah.
  • Discover the Glorioso Islands, a geological sanctuary with nature reserve status since 1975.
  • Paradisiac beaches and extraordinary coral reefs of Nosy Tanikely.
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: iSimangaliso Wetland Park and its many hippopotamuses and Nile crocodiles, from Richards Bay.
  • Fauna: marine turtles, dolphins and several species of lemurs, the chance to see the emblematic species of the African continent during a safari in a reserve.
  • Possibility of swimming and snorkelling with your expedition team.
  • Before your cruise, you have the opportunity of going on safari in the Kruger National Park, inside the largest game reserve in South Africa, or visiting the stunning Victoria Falls.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Le Lyrial
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Fares may be subject to a fuel adjustment.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Ponant terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.