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  • Writer's picturePeter Antonucci

Victoria (Mahe), Seychelles

Thursday | February 26, 2015

We finally reached land today – and land is Seychelles. We are due to be here for four days, stopping at three different islands. Today, we docked on the island of Mahe, home to the capital, Victoria.

A few words about  Seychelles – it is a series of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. It was discovered by the French in the 1770s and has been home to five principle cultures, resulting in a seamless melting pot of ethnicity and religion. It is reputed to have no racial or religious discord and people are alleged to live in perfect harmony.

In 1976, Seychelles earned its independence from the United Kingdom.

Creole is the cuisine of Seychelles. The three official languages are Seselwa, French and English.

Seychelles is the only populated granite island in the world. It contains many beaches but only 90,000 residents. It is located on the equator and boasts what is referred to as “perpetual summer.” There is no rainy season, typhoon season, dry season or anything other than 80 something degrees and sunshine. Aslasio Beach was recently voted by National Geographic as the best beach in the world.

It is well known for big waves, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, swimming, snorkeling and diving. It is home to hundreds of giant tortoises. In order to maintain its strong economic benefits from tourism, Seychelles is comprised of 50% national parks.

Seychelles is home to the largest tuna canning factory in the southern hemisphere. That is because the waters are flush with yellowfin tuna. Tourism accounts for 69% of the workforce and 25% of the country’s GDP.

Seychelles has much history and ancient lore. At one time, it served as a retreat for slave children, the only one of its kind in the world. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of the offspring of slaves were able to live, attend school and have freedom in Seychelles. At another point in its history, Seychelles became the home to many troves of buried pirate treasure, and people still dig in the islands today hoping to find those chests of gold and jewels.

We left the ship and wandered through Victoria. The island is very well-developed with beautifully paved sidewalks, neat shops, and very pleasant merchants. It is somewhat analogous to St. Barts or the old St. Maarten or some of the islands where tradition and culture remain important. In contrast, it is a far cry from the muddy or dusty roads of Cambodia where beggars and hawking street merchants are the themes of the day.

After a brief visit at the US consulate to conduct some business, I walked around town a bit before stopping at a massive supermarket and purchasing a few things for the apartment on the ship.  

In the center of town is a landmark clock tower. It was commissioned by a former governor of Seychelles to be billed as an exact replica (albeit a smaller scale) of Big Ben due to his fascination with the structure. Its gleaming silver in the sunshine was a striking image.


On the way back, I purchased a large piece of coral for the apartment. After all, my apartment on The World should rightly reflect all of environs visited by the ship – and me. So this was my first purchase of a “seaside” theme.

With many water activities on the agenda for the next few days, I turned in early.


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