Port Victoria

Botanical garden and creole houses
A white and tiny Big Ben
Sainte Anne Marine National Park

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Port Victoria

The small – but great – capital of the Seychelles

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The small – but great – capital of the Seychelles

When you arrive to the Seychelles with an MSC cruise, you will dock in Victoria, the capital of this country composed of 115 islands dotting the Indian Ocean. As you will discover during your holiday, Victoria is located on Mahé, one of the archipelago’s largest, most important and busy islands.
Victoria is one of the smallest and youngest capital cities in the world; founded as late as 1770 by a group of Frenchmen, whose influence is still strongly felt on the island, in spite of the long occupation by the British, which ended with the islands independence in 1976. Victoria has been reconstructed several times but its original colonial style can still be seen in the lines of the Palace of Justice and of the Clock Tower of the Roundabout, a reduced-scale reproduction of the Big Ben constructed in 1903 in honour of Queen Victoria.

For those who prefer not to venture into the forest but would still like to learn about the local biodiversity, we suggest an excursion to the Victoria Botanical Garden. The park spans six hectares of land and is home to the Aldabra giant tortoises as well as to 200 species of plants, including interesting examples of trees not found anywhere else, such as the coco-de-mer.

While in Victoria, also don’t miss out on the centre of every-day life: the bazar, a market offering typical local products, spices, fish, fruit and vegetables; and on the delightful shops selling crafts flanked by beautiful Creole houses.

If you would like to drink a local cocktail, the place to go is the Pirate’s Arms: located at the top of a hill, it is the most famous bar of the entire archipelago. Next, go on an excursion to the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, which covers six islands. Here, mangroves, tropical trees and even the infamous crocodiles are abundant. To relax in the sun, go to Mahe Beach; here, a few kilometres from the city, you will find everything you need to pass a pleasant day by the sea.

Must see places in Port Victoria

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    The splendour of the atolls
    The splendour of the atolls

    A cruise to the Seychelles will introduce you to the 115 islands which have only been permanently inhabited for 200 years. Situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 500 miles from the nearest mainland, their striking environmental and cultural diversity amaze visitors.

    The external islands are coral atolls with immense pure white beaches which emerge from waters that change shades from light blue to turquoise. 

    Arriving at the Seychelles on an MSC Grand Voyages cruise means walking into a life sciences manual, it’s not without reason that 50% of their territory is part of a national park or natural reserve

    Two sites are protected by UNESCO: Aldabra, the largest raised coral atoll in the world, where you can find the world’s biggest seed, the sea coconut, in the Vallée de Mai in Praslin, a real earthly paradise

    On these islands you will also find the only eight examples in the world of the jellyfish tree, as well as the black parrot or the Seychelles nightingale, the smallest frog on the planet and the heaviest of the giant tortoises. 

    And if all these natural wonders seem too many to take in, you can also have a break and relax on the white beaches and the warm waters of one of the countless bays of this archipelago.