Geographically isolated from mass tourism & with just a handful of residents, the Southern Amirantes offer pristine waters populated by a full range of Indian Ocean flora and fauna.
On board the Explorer 2 – Basilisk, This expedition will allow you to visit the groups of islands around Alphonse: Bijoutier, St François, Marie-Louise, Desnoeufs… No less than 6 shipwrecks adorn the reef of Saint-François, reminding in silence the power of the ocean. Diving on the Alphonse Wall is one of the best sites in the Indian Ocean, where the gorgonian forest is a “must” for spotting the longnose hawkfish.
We sail at night to maximise the number of dives during the day.
The dive sites are remote and unspoilt as this part of the Indian Ocean only sees a handful of divers each year. This is because it is a highly protected and strictly regulated area seen as one of the last sanctuaries in the world. The access is to these sites are limited by the government. In fact, some of the sites are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This means that each dive site offers an incredible diversity of marine life.
Dives are made at the bottom of the coral reefs, drifting, at depths between 12 and 30 meters but also in the lagoons.
The last dive of the day is usually carried out on a coral reef or in a channel at depths if possible of not more than 12 metres to help decompression.
The night moorings are selected for their comfort (calm waters) and the beauty of atolls allowing swimming and snorkeling, with corals and fishes, or even a night dive.
Boarding between 8am and 11am, installation in your cabins, security briefing and presentation of the program. After a control dive, we sail directly to Alphonse, a day trip of about 24 hours
Arrived after breakfast, we expect 3-4 dives per day, starting with Alphonse
Giant groupers and jacks frequent this area with silver tip sharks, bull and grey sharks, nurse sharks, platoons of rays eagles and large solitary stingrays.
Swarms of humpbacks and snappers, sprinkled with oriental sweet-lips in pairs or solitary, of humpback parrot fish, of bat fish and fusilier fish abound, with an occasional troop of barracudas of passage : what a program!
Today, turtles, moray eels, lobsters, octopuses, cleaning prawns and a multitude of exotic nudibranches are all present.
You'll have to avoid the stonefish disguised as a rock and square off against a giant potato bass, out to defend his territory. Night navigation because it’s already time to return...
After a night navigation, you will wake up not far from Mahé to enjoy your last breakfast. Disembarkation at 11:00.
Indicative program, subject to changes depending on weather conditions.
Alphonse and Southern Amirantes Expedition (7 days / 6 nights on board – 18 dives)
(Departure with minimum 4 people )