Why the Indian Ocean is the perfect luxury cruise destination

Friday, December 14, 2018
By Azamara

Dreaming of a holiday to far-flung destinations like the Maldives and Seychelles? A luxury cruise holiday is the best way to explore the idyllic Indian Ocean nations. With azure waters for snorkelling, fascinating cities for cultural excursions and white sand beaches for lazy days by the sea, the Indian Ocean is the perfect luxury holiday destination.

“It’s easy to see why Seychelles is quickly becoming one of the most incredible luxury destinations in the world”

“We decided to visit Seychelles for our honeymoon,” said Cory and G of You Could Travel blog, “lured by the incredible natural beauty of the archipelago. With pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, tropical vegetation and stunning mountains, it’s easy to see why Seychelles is quickly becoming one of the most incredible luxury destinations in the world.

“Our favourite island was Mahe because of its unique hiking opportunities and its vibrant capital city, Victoria. We loved Praslin, a laid-back island and home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai, known for its indigenous coco de mer.

“As Seychelles is primarily a beach destination, the islands are a magnet for divers and snorkellers. Around Mahe, one can find a variety of trails which offer postcard-perfect views of the island, whilst Praslin is known for its long stretches of white beaches fringed with exotic trees.”

Why book a luxury cruise to the Indian Ocean?

It’s the perfect snorkelling spot

Diving with Whale Sharks

Imagine stepping into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and seeing thousands of beautiful colourful fish and coral reefs. Not only is the water stunningly blue, but it’s also crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkelling. In the Maldives, just south of Sri Lanka, the warm waters attract the gentle giant manta rays and whale sharks. But if you’re an experienced diver, you can take a boat trip out to deeper reefs further from the shore. Seychelles are also perfect for underwater adventures, with more than 100 species of coral and 900 species of fish.

The cities are refreshingly different

Port Louis Mauritius

While it’ll be difficult to tear yourself away from the beautiful beaches during your luxury cruise in the Indian Ocean, you’ll want to spare some time to experience the cities. In Mauritius the coastal city of Port Louis is a hub of activity. Founded in 1735 by the French governor and pioneer Bertrand-Francois Mahe de la Bourdonnais, the city sits on the north-west coast of Mauritius, and is considered the business capital of the island.

Port Louis is full of cultural and historical treasures – plenty to keep you busy during your cruise stopover. Discover the historical centre of the city, the Place d’Armes, with statues, sculptures and beautiful Bottle Palm trees. Visit the Government House, one of the oldest buildings in Port Louis, and the Port Louis Theatre, which dates to the 19th century. Culture vultures won’t be disappointed with the number of museums in the city, and for those seeking a spot of retail therapy, shopping opportunities in Port Louis are abundant.

We offer several excursions in Port Louis, including a visit to the Bois Cheri Tea Factory to learn about this important part of Mauritian heritage, a scenic drive to natural wonders just outside the city and a cultural tour of the nearby village Mahebourg to see French and British colonial architecture.

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Over in Sri Lanka, Colombo is another popular city. As the country’s capital, Colombo has a long history as a port on the ancient east-west trade routes, resulting in an eclectic cultural scene. Once a frenetic city, Colombo has transformed into a thriving and fascinating travel destination, with colonial architecture and modern buildings giving way to beautiful beaches. Its cosmopolitan edge means you can enjoy fine dining, shopping and local cafes from which to do a spot of people watching.

Our exciting shore excursions are a great way to explore the many faces of Colombo. Tour through the city’s colonial district with a historical guide, enjoy a captivating evening of Kandyan song and dance performances, explore the area by seaplane or hop in an open-topped jeep for an unforgettable sightseeing adventure. Colombo isn’t your typical city, so spend your stopover getting under the skin of this unique part of Sri Lanka.

You’ll struggle to find a more beautiful landscape

“It turned out to be an island paradise beyond any other”

Seychelles Beach

For many, countries in the Indian Ocean such as the Maldives and Seychelles have long been the dream holiday destinations, and the remarkable landscape has a huge part to play in that. This was certainly the case for Derek (also known as Earl), who left home for a 3-month trip to Southeast Asia in 1999, and never really came home. He has since visited more than 100 countries and documents his adventures on WanderingEarl. “Seychelles was always my dream destination,” said Derek. “I’m a huge beach and island fan and the allure of Seychelles, based on photos I’d seen ever since I was a kid, always remained incredibly strong.

“To me, Seychelles was the absolute pinnacle of tropical destinations. Then, in 2017, my girlfriend and I made plans to visit Africa. We decided to add Seychelles to our itinerary in order to celebrate my 40th birthday in my dream location!”

We asked Derek which areas in Seychelles he visited, and why: “We only spent a couple of days in Mahe but we instantly loved it. The vibe, the beaches, the overall atmosphere was too good to be true. It was indeed tropical, romantic, adventurous and gorgeous all at the same time.

“We spent one week on La Digue and another on Praslin. Praslin had too many unbelievable beaches to count! Everywhere we went there was a perfect stretch of white sand backed by perfect palm trees, with perfect turquoise water, full of colourful fish, gently flowing in and out.

“Apart from the beaches, there was the interior jungle to explore, local food to try and of course, mandatory time to simply relax and enjoy what indeed turned out to be an island paradise beyond any other.”

“We could not have had a better introduction to Seychelles”

Mahe, Seychelles

Mahe, a popular stopover on Indian Ocean cruises, was also a firm favourite with Derek and his girlfriend: “On Mahe, we hung out in the beautiful Beau Vallon area, which was excellent especially around sunset. With perfect views out over the bay, calm waters and great restaurants behind the beach, we could not have had a better introduction to Seychelles.

“On Praslin, my favourite beaches were Anse Lazio, Anse Georgette and Cote d’Or, all three of which are simply spectacular and worth a few hours. Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is also worth visiting in order to see the rare coco de mer palm trees in the jungle. And if you have time, hop on the short ferry over to the tinier island of La Digue and pay a visit to Source d’Argent beach, often considered the most beautiful beach in the world!”

A cruise is the best way to explore it

Sunset and palm trees

Hopping from Madagascar to Seychelles and beyond is challenging without the help of a cruise ship. But that’s not the only reason why a cruise is the best way to explore the Indian Ocean. Travelling on a luxury cruise ship gives you the opportunity to experience this beautiful part of the world in the best possible way. You’ll have the comforts of home, plus indulgent extras, and the perfect accommodation to rest in after a long day of lounging on the beach and experiencing new cultures. Our staff will go out of their way to ensure your experience is the best it possibly can be.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at our luxury cruises to find the perfect itinerary for you.



Image Credits: Didier Baertschiger,

Featured Cruises

Recent Articles

Dubrovnik, Croatia at dusk

Seven Things to do in Croatia

Croatia has seen a sort of transformation recently, one that has taken it from a hidden gem of coastal delights to one of the hottest travel destinations in Europe. What makes this small Balkan nation so appealing? It could be the brilliant sapphire waters of the Adriatic and spectacular white beaches. Or maybe it’s the medieval architecture and walled towns steeped in history begging to be uncovered. Or perhaps it’s the friendly, welcoming people and unique folk culture.

aerial shoreline view

Highlights of the 2025 Azamara World Voyage

155 nights. 37 countries. Explore every corner of the globe on Azamara’s 2025 World Voyage. A leader in Destination Immersion® experiences, Azamara continues to bring guests to bucket-list destinations, providing immersive travel moments while delivering service excellence. 

shimmer background woman holding gift

2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travel Lovers

Just like every snowflake is unique, so is every individual and their approach to travel. Some people value staying connected while they travel, while the fashionista in your life might prioritize wardrobe changes. The aspiring photographer might have a carry-on filled with camera equipment, and someone drawn to wellness may need their portable workout gear on every trip!