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Stop for a moment. Sit down and relax. Breathe deeply. Close your eyes and let your mind start to wander. Imagine yourself on a soft, white, sandy beach, with a warm tropical breeze gently blowing through your hair. Aqua marine lagoons lap against the shore and lure you into their clear crystal coral and rainbow fish-filled waters. Now open your eyes. This doesn't have to just form part of your imagination. This experience can easily be yours for the keeping with an amazing Indian Ocean Cruise, allowing you the opportunity to sail through these magical waters, island hopping in this heavenly paradise.
For those in search of the ultimate beach destination, the islands of the Indian Ocean can either be discovered as part of a luxurious World Cruise enabling you to compare and contrast the world's treasures with all the comfort and convenience of cruising. Alternatively you can discover this sun-kissed part of the world by flying to your embarkation point on a fly cruise and then indulging in maximum relaxation time sailing through the azure waters towards the lush green islets, even opting for an Indian Ocean cruise and stay holiday. Enjoy the idyllic Maldives, the superb Seychelles and stunning Mauritius, as well as enchanting Sri Lanka with its diverse beauty and wonderful history.
Thanks to the tropical climate in the Indian Ocean, there is no bad time to cruise here. However, if you want endless days of sunshine, it's best to avoid January and February as these are the months when this part of the world receives the most rainfall.
To get up close and personal with the islands in the Indian Ocean, take advantage of one of the many immaculately organised shore excursions from your ship, allowing you maximum time ashore to the see the islands in their full glory. Enjoy a truly authentic experience in every place that you visit.
The stunning island of Mauritius plays host to the beautiful Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens where you can marvel at the magnificent Giant Amazon Water Lily. Be sure to take a 4 wheel drive to the Domaine les Pailles, natural habitat to fascinating deer, mischievous monkeys and stunning bird life. If you're keen to get out on the water, why not board a catamaran for a different perspective of this beautiful island from the peaceful reef-sheltered waters? Finally, the breathtaking Tamarin Falls will complete your long lasting memories of this stunning island.
For the chance to see a unique mix of plants and animals, many seen nowhere else in the world, take a shore excursion onto this charming island. Nosy Be plays host to stunning beaches, lush vegetation, friendly locals and a relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel at home straight away. While you're here, be sure to visit the old town near the port, as well as the Nosy Be Museum displaying exhibits belonging to local tribes and giving you a real insight into the history of Madagascar.
The Maldives is a glittering archipelago of some 1190 islands and is one of the finest collections of picture-postcard desert islands that the world has to offer. Take a trip to Male, the busy capital, bizarrely with no beaches, and see panoramic views of the city from the sky. Alternatively, take to the underwater world and marvel at the amazing rainbow coloured fish and coral formations. Spend some time on the beach on Chaaya Island Dhonveli and enjoy a cool refreshing drink while soaking up the sun overlooking the amazing bungalows built on stilts straight out of the clear aquamarine waters. Before you leave, for a true desert island experience, visit the uninhabited Kuda Bandos.
Off the beaten track lies the stunning island of La Reunion, just to the East of Madagascar. Volcanic in its origins, this almost pristine island still plays host to two active volcanoes. For a once in a lifetime adventure, take a trip to the peaks of Piton de la Fournaise and Piton des Neiges. If you are looking for a slightly more urban experience, then watch the world go by from the comfort of one of the colourful selections of brasseries, bistros and vibrant cafes in the lively town of Saint Denis.
The group of tropical paradise islands that make up the Seychelles are home to various bird species, not found anywhere else in the world. A shore excursion to the island of Mahe will reveal a stunning landscape covered with lush tropical vegetation, including coconut palms, banana plants, mango and breadfruit trees, and a myriad of pure white sandy beaches. The beach at Anse Royale is reputedly the best for snorkelling while that in the Beau Vallon Bay is the best for soaking up some well earned rays. Take a trip into the capital city of Victoria for the National History Museum and breathtaking Botanical gardens where you can also enjoy the colony of rare giant tortoises.
A sightseeing tour around Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, will reveal a bounty of treasures and enable you to get a very good feel for this unique island over the course of a day before returning to the comfort of your ship. See the beautiful Cinnamon Gardens, the awesome Conference Hall, the Buddhist temples and the National Museum for a fascinating insight into the history of this wonderful island. The ancient ruins of the city of Polonnaruwa date back as early as the 12th century and are an absolute "must see".