Silhouette Cruises is a joint venture between Seychelles and international interests, founded in 1997 with a vision to introduce a new tourism concept. This combines the romance of sail with the charm of the world’s ultimate tropical islands: Seychelles.
The successful introduction of SV Sea Shell was followed by the arrival of a sister ship, SV Sea Pearl, in 1999. With a desire to introduce the same concept onboard a more comfortable platform, SY Sea Star began operating in 2004, followed by SY Sea Bird in 2007.
The company has recently expanded even further with the addition of the MV Maya’s Dugong and MV Tethys Supporter (www.ocean-odysseys.com), which undertakes a variety of oceanographic research and monitoring missions, and is also available for select expeditions for tourists.
The directors of Silhouette Cruises are among the very few people to have visited every single island in Seychelles.
Executive Director Amit Wasserberg knows the islands intimately, having captained live-aboard vessels in the region for more than 10 years. Chairman Adrian Skerrett has authored many books on Seychelles and its natural history, and is a trustee of several conservation organisations. Director Guy Adam has spent a lifetime involved with a variety of vessels in the region, both serving at sea and ashore.
Today, Silhouette Cruises has established a strong base in the Indian Ocean with years of experience in successfully operating cruises for tourists. We are committed to build upon this success and provide high standards of service, while operating in a responsible and sustainable manner in co-existence with the natural eco-systems we visit.
Isolated in the Indian Ocean and the only mid-ocean islands of granite formation to be found on earth, the Seychelles archipelago is often mentioned in the same breath as the lost 'Garden of Eden.'
The highest peaks of a submerged mountain range that broke apart from the supercontinent of Gondwana millions of years ago, the Seychelles' inner islands are the most ancient islands on earth - no other mid-ocean isles of granite formation can be found anywhere else. This curious geological feature was one of several curiosities about the islands that led the famed British General, Charles Gordon, to declare Seychelles the site of the biblical Garden of Eden.
Situated some 1,500 kilometers east of mainland Africa, and northeast of the island of Madagascar, this tiny island group boasts a population of just 90,000 inhabitants, with a warm, tropical climate all year-round and some of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in the world.
Mahé, the largest island, is home to the majority of the population and represents the archipelago's commercial and transportation hub, with the country's only international airport linking the islands to the rest of the globe. The island is characterised by its towering granite peaks, lush mist forests and dozens of striking coves and beaches.
The second largest island, Praslin, is home to the legendary Vallée de Mai, the UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Coco de Mer grows in abundance. This double coconut, which curiously resembles the shape of a woman's pelvis, was another facet of General Gordon's theory about Seychelles as the Garden of Eden - he believed it to be the real forbidden fruit.
La Digue, the third-most populous island, moves at an even slower pace: bicycles remain the most common mode of transportation, for both its residents and visiting tourists. The huge granite boulders that adorn the coastline at Anse Source D'Argent have led some to believe that it could very well be the most photographed beach in the world.
While Mahé, Praslin and La Digue may be the principal islands, dozens of smaller 'satellite' isles nearby offer further opportunity to explore and admire. Every island has a character and charm all of its own, with colorful individual histories and unique natural features, some with steep granite cliffs and others comprising pristine coral atolls. Together, they make up a surprisingly diverse destination of great natural beauty, rare flora and fauna that have been cocooned in isolation for millions of years, and a friendly multi-cultural people eager to welcome you to their shores.
As one of the leading live-aboard operators in Seychelles, we have an especially important role to play in the conservation of the islands' unique ecology, both on land and at sea.
Most of the islands we visit on our itineraries are run by not-for-profit NGOs, foundations or government conservation/monitoring organizations, and each tourist we bring to these places provides desperately needed funding toward the continued conservation and research of their unique ecosystems. We combine these charges during the week into what we call our 'conservation fee,' so that each of our guests know this separate amount is going directly toward the islands' preservation and long-term sustainability. These partner organizations include:
Seychelles Islands Foundation - a government conservation body that manages Seychelles two UNESCO World Heritage sites: Aldabra and the Vallée de Mai
Seychelles National Parks Authority - a government agency charged with the protection of all national parks, including the variety of marine park reserves we visit on our itinerary such as the Ste Anne Marine National Park, the Baie Ternay Marine National Park, as well as Curieuse, St Pierre and Coco islands
Nature Seychelles - an NGO which is responsible for the management of Cousin Island Special Reserve.
Island Conservation Society - an NGO which owns and manages Aride Island, as well as providing consultancy for government with respect to environmental conservation on other islands such as Silhouette Island and the coralline outer isles.
Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles - an NGO with a particular focus on marine research, which has spearheaded a variety of initiatives toward the better understanding and conservation of sea turtles, sharks, whale sharks and marine mammals.