Active, immersive expedition travel
Venture to remote, tranquil islands bathed in warm seas to find wildlife, plants, landscapes, and people different from any others on Earth. Along the way you’ll find extraordinary marine life at some of the world’s most productive coral reefs and undersea sites that thrive with life. From the Swahili culture of Zanzibar, to the rare birds and giant tortoises of the Seychelles, to the postcard-perfect beaches, you’ll see tropical nature at its most exuberant. On this expedition you will:
- Swim, snorkel and dive at the coral islands and powder-white beaches of the Seychelles.
- Spend two full days exploring Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site that teems with tropical fish, rare birds, and the world’s largest population of giant tortoises.
- See an incredible spectacle of seabirds: thousands of shearwaters at St. Joseph’s Atoll, plus see noddy terns, fairy terns, tropicbirds, and a host of others at Aride.
- On the storied island of Zanzibar, explore the historic Stone Town, see a spice plantation, and learn about Zanzibar’s history and Swahili culture.
- Relax on Anse Source d’Argent in the Seychelles, named "world's best beach" in the National Geographic book The 10 Best of Everything.
Visit the region’s best snorkel & dive sites
In the Seychelles, explore several reefs around pristine Assumption Island and, sure to be a highlight, Aldabra, a huge atoll and UNESCO World Heritage site with some of the best snorkeling on Earth. Here, the tidal change pushes vast amounts of nutrient-rich water through narrow channels, creating rich seas where marine life congregates. See reef sharks, rays, turtles, and over hundreds of species of fish. Dive and snorkel colorful reefs, along cliffs that rise from the depths of the sea, and off powdery white sand beaches.
Discover incredible and unique flora & fauna
The isolation of these islands has given rise to endemic species, including the rare and endangered Aldabra giant tortoise. Once hunted to near extinction by sailors, these quiet giants can be seen feeding in the wild. On Praslin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, walk through a forest of the legendary coco-de-mer, strange gigantic palms that reach land-of-the-lost proportions with mammoth fan-shaped fronds and seeds that weigh 40 pounds.
Take advantage of all the superb photo ops
You’ll have a National Geographic photographer as your traveling companion, to inspire you and provide tips in the field. And the services of a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, as well—to help you turn your point-and-shoot camera into an “aim and create.” You’ll find no end of subjects and the guidance you need to return home with your best photos ever.
Every day is active and engaging
Get out on adventure and actively explore—walk or hike, kayak or Zodiac cruise, scuba dive or snorkel. Because National Geographic Orion has a fleet of both Zodiacs and kayaks, the entire expedition community can embark at once on forays, no waiting around for returning parties. You’ll have a choice of activities each day, and the option to join the naturalist whose interests mirror yours. Choice also includes opting to enjoy the view from the bridge, lounge, or one of the many expansive deck spaces.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, divemasters, an undersea specialist, a video chronicler, and a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the region is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience. Meet the team.
Scuba diving requirements: Scuba divers must be certified by an internationally recognized dive association prior to the voyage, and certification cards and logbooks must be shown on board. Divers must have logged 25 dives in total and made a dive within the 12 months preceding the voyage.