If you think that deciding between the many gorgeous Mauritian beaches is difficult, think again! There’s more. Beyond the shores, out in the crystal-clear waters, there are a few more tropical islands that demand your full attention.
But where to start and how to get there? Don’t panic. Here’s a list of three essential boat tours and cruises that will help you navigate Mauritius’ azure heaven.
Best Boat Tours in Mauritius
1. A Trip to Ile aux Cerfs
Why go? Situated a couple miles off the coast in the South-East, Ile aux Cerfs provides for sublime turquoise lagoons and white sandy bays. You won’t believe the sheer abundance of impeccable blue basins. What more can you ask for?
How to get there? Boats depart regularly from the main harbor in Trou d’Eau Douce. Local tour operators can arrange the transfer on the spot for about 600 MUR (12-15 €) for the return-trip. Guests of Friday Attitude Hotel enjoy a free trip to the island. In any case, make sure to depart for Ile aux Cerfs in the morning as the last boats head back to Trou d’Eau Douce around 4 p.m.
What to expect? Upon landing at the Ile, you will be offered different activities ranging from a traditional Mauritian lunch to snorkeling and parasailing. Respectfully decline and make your way to the Northern shores of the lagoon. The real beauty of Ile aux Cerfs lies beyond the busy landing area. The farther you walk along the pristine beach, the fewer fellow tourists you’ll spot. Welcome to your private Mauritian paradise!
Pro Tip: Bring your own lunch and find yourself a shady place to rest. Do you hear that? A light breeze, the sound of small waves, and a few birds chirping along will make for a heavenly peaceful atmosphere. Munching on a sandwich has never felt better.
2. A Catamaran Tour to Îlot Gabriel
Why go? That’s easy – because a ride on a catamaran along the beautiful Mauritian coast is an amazing experience. Upon landing at Gabriel Island, you will be rewarded with paradisiacal surroundings that will awaken your inner Robinson Crusoe.
How to get there? Boats depart daily from Grand Baie and trips can be arranged without much hassle. Simply inquire with your hotel or a local tour operator. It seems like virtually anybody knows someone who can arrange tours. I encourage a bit of bargaining but 1.800 MUR (45 €) is a decent price for a day trip including transfer, drinks, and a tasty barbecue.
What to expect? Likely the best experience of your time in Mauritius. But, let me say also say this: If you easily suffer from seasickness, this might not be the most suitable tour for you (in that case, I would suggest opting for a trip to Ile aux Cerfs). If you want to set foot on Îlot Gabriel, you have to endure a 2-hour boat ride which will take you beyond the reef that protects the calm Mauritian beaches. On the upside, you will see iconic Coin de Mire up close.
Pro Tip: Find yourself a seat at the very front of the catamaran and feel your feet dipping into the warm Indian Ocean with each wave. If you’re lucky, you will spot a herd of dolphins riding along the catamaran.
3. Swimming with Dolphins & Île aux Bénitiers
Why go? Swimming with dolphins in the open sea is nothing you get to do on the daily. Don’t be discouraged by the 6:00 am pick-up from the hotel – it’s absolutely worth it!
How to get there? Tamarin Bay or Flic en Flac in the South-West serve as starting points for most tours. Only here, herds of dolphins gather in the shallow waters a few miles off the coast for their morning ritual. Sign up for a tour with a local company for about 1.600 MUR (40 €) and you will be set for a full day of exploration.
What to expect? Snorkeling at a coral reef, a tasty barbecue lunch on Île aux Bénitiers plus seeing large herds of dolphins up close. It doesn’t get better than this. A guide will be in the water with you in order to make sure you keep a safe distance to the animals.