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The Indian Ocean is a huge expanse scattered with thousands of lush islets crowned with immaculate sand, inviting you on an unexpected, intriguing and captivating interlude. From the Seychelles to Sri Lanka via the Maldives, set off aboard Le Jacques-Cartier for an all-new 16-day expedition cruise, featuring wild untouched nature and a cultural mosaic of countless of scents and colours.
Victoria, on the island of Mahé in the Seychelles, will mark the starting point of your immersion into the heart of the Indian Ocean. In this veritable paradise, you will sail among the captivating archipelago's most idyllic islets. Praslin and its splendid Vallée de Mai nature reserve, a natural sanctuary with biodiversity unlike anywhere else. Then, Aride Island, the northernmost in the Seychelles, floating on the ocean like a preserved paradise where thousands of endemic birds whirl around above the lush canopy. On Curieuse Island, the age-old Aldabra giant tortoises with their majestic gait are fascinating. Finally La Digue, the last port of call in the Seychelles, a playground for many underwater species that can be seen during diving sessions into the captivating abysses of the Indian Ocean.
You will continue to experience a sense of wonder in this tropical vastness as you follow the warm waters of the ocean. A sprinkling of islands lined with tall coconut trees, the Maldives will transport you into a marvellous world of 1,200 captivating islets and 19 atolls protected by coral reefs. Between ribbons of immaculate sand and crystal-clear waters, you will criss-cross atolls that are ranked among the most beautiful on the planet. Rasdhoo will amaze with its sublime lagoon where hammerhead sharks, turtles and colourful fish weave, flit and wind their way between the majestic coral surrounding the atoll; Baa and its sumptuous atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, edged by long sandy expanses. Both will plunge you into a palette of blue where the watchwords are 'contemplation' and 'escape'.
Resembling a pearl from India, Sri Lanka will reveal its treasures. Here, the scents of cinnamon, cardamom and curry will ignite your senses; the monumental ochre-coloured temples will captivate; and the generosity of the inhabitants will fascinate. In Galle, the Old Town and its 18th-century fortifications, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, bear witness to the Portuguese and Dutchheritage that still has a strong presence in the city's little streets. From Hambantota, the Yala National Park unfolds before you. Exploring it will take you deep into vibrant nature, teeming with wild species: leopards, sloth bears, mongooses, monkeys, buffalos and more.
At the crossroads of the maritime trade between Europe and Asia, Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, will mark the end of this unique adventure, with its various colours and perfumes.
The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.