Seychelles

Seychelles essential information

Sailing in Seychelles

Back to Seychelles


Find everything you need to prepare for a charter in Seychelles. From important base information to required documents for international travel, you can use this information as your guide before and during your charter. Don't forget to pack a copy to take with you.

Plan

Before you go

Address

Sunsail Seychelles 
Eden Marina,
PO Box 1076
Eden Plaza Suite F14
Eden Island
Mahé
Seychelles

The Sunsail base is located in Eden Island, on the East coast of Mahe halfway between the International Airport and the country’s capital Victoria, five minutes each way. Distance from Mahe Airport to the base: 5 km.

Base hours
Monday - Sunday: 8:30am – 5:00pm

VHF channel 14 (short range for entering/leaving marina).

Language
The official languages of the Seychelles are Creole, English and French.

Time Zone
Standard Time Zone is UTC/GMT +4 hours.

Cost of living
Prices vary between areas and from restaurant to restaurant.

As a rough guide:

  • A bottle of wine costs from about 20 EURO/300 SCRnin a supermarket and 15 EUR/225 SCR in a restaurant.
  • A bottle of beer costs about £1- £3.
  • A snack can be bought for about £2.50.
  • A three course meal is likely to cost over EUR/600 SCR per head.
  • Mooring fees vary from about £3 - £25 per person

What to bring

Passport and visas
Please ensure your passport is valid for the period of travel and for six months after you return. Your passport name must match the name on the flight ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid.

Please note country entry/exit requirements are subject to change. Please check https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country.html for the latest information before you leave. Sunsail is not accountable for any requirement changes.

Customs + immigration
On arrival, you will be required to show your passport, completed Immigration card (distributed on the aircraft), proof of accommodation and your return ticket.   Presentation of all these documents will grant you a Visitors Permit that will be issued upon arrival by the Seychelles Department of Immigration.

Going through Immigration, Customs and Baggage Collection can take up to an hour.

Sailing licenses
Click here to view the sailing requirements in the Seychelles.

Seychelles environmental levy
The Seychelles government has introduced an environmental levy which impacts all bookings traveling from 1 August 2023 onwards. The levy costs Seychelles Rupee (SCR) 100.00 per person per day and is payable locally, for individuals aged 12 and above, when you arrive at the base.
Changes in requirements from the port authorities
In order to issue a certificate of competence that allows you to sail in the Seychelles, the port authorities require a copy of the skipper's qualification/license and that individual's passport number. Please ensure you have submitted your guest list and all passport data to us in advance of travel to allow us to prepare your boat papers prior to your arrival.

What's on board

Coolers
Coolers are available at the base on a first come first served basis at no additional charge. Please sign these out and return them clean and undamaged otherwise there will be a charge for replacement. Only one per boat.

Mobile phones
To call Mahe from overseas:

Dial 011 248 followed by the number you need (6 digits).

Mobile phones in Seychelles are rapidly overtaking land phones as many cellular phones now provide Internet access and cell phone computers. SMS, MMS and broadband are becoming standard features on cell phones. Mobile phones work in most areas on the islands and there is good coverage. Your mobile phone may work when in the Seychelles but please check with your service provider for coverage details and call costs. You will need to activate international roaming on your contract. EGSM 900 – International Option Roaming system available.

In Mahe, telephone booths work with phone cards which you can buy in newsagents, at the post office and in some supermarkets.
You also have the option of contacting the base personnel by mobile phone:
They are available 24 hours a day in case of emergency. The contact will be given to you during check-in.

Drone
The use of flying drones may be restricted in some areas. For current drone regulations in this destination, please visit https://www.scaa.sc/index.php.

Electricity
The standard voltage on all yachts is 12 volts.

Music + iPods
All boats are fitted with a radio and CD player. If you wish to listen to your IPOD whilst sailing you will need to bring along an I-trip or FM radio transmitter.

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Sail

About the marina

Marina facilities

Facilities at the base include showers and toilets (open 24hrs a day) and located near the Sunsail office. Please ask Sunsail staff for a key if it is a weekend or Public Holiday. Other facilities include ATM, shops, swimming pool, restaurant, cafeteria, bar, laundry and souvenir shop.

Ice will be provided on the boat on arrival at the Sunsail Base. All Sunsail yachts are equipped with 12V refrigerators.

A free car park is available for Sunsail customers at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Beach Resort & Casino. The parking is not secured, but the marina is guarded 24 hours a day.

Dock facilities
Your boat's tanks will be full on delivery of your charter yacht.

The quantity of diesel is generally enough for your cruise. If you need to refuel during your cruise please, call the Sunsail base before refuelling (the price per liter is approx. 1, 34€ (Fuel) and 1, 82€ (Super).

Sailing licenses

Experience level
Mahe is a Level 3 sailing area

Experience levels are based on sailing conditions and the length of passages within your chosen sailing area.  Follow the link for more information on the sailing conditions. This rating scale is designed as a guide based on the prevailing conditions during the most popular season

Level 3 - Equates to 20 days sailing, 400 miles on an equivalent yacht or RYA Day Skipper qualification with experience to a higher level.

  • RYA Coastal Skipper qualification
  • ICC qualification with experience to a higher level
  • Wind/Weather – 10-25 knots
  • Navigation - Understand tidal flow, ability to navigate in open waters, cope with strong currents and be able to make a passage plan
  • Anchor/Mooring - Primarily anchoring, some slightly more exposed anchorages with poor anchor holding ground.
Seychelles port authorities have recently updated their sailing certification requirementswhich requires skippers to submit all the necessary qualifications as detailed here no later than 7 days prior to departure date. All qualifications must be in English or French – no other language will be accepted. If your qualification is in another language, you will need to obtain a certified translation of your qualification. 
To submit your qualifications, please email [email protected]

Sailing grounds

Skippered charter information
The skipper’s time is booked from 12:00pm to 12:00pm in 24-hour periods. If you have reserved him for the first day of your charter and have a 6:00pm start, he will use this time to ensure he is happy with all aspects of the yacht and will be at the base to meet you upon your arrival. If you have reserved him for a later date on your charter he will start at 12:00pm on that day.

The skipper is responsible for the safety of the yacht at all times. He is not permitted to dive with you, nor leave the vessel overnight. He must conduct a safety brief with you before leaving the dock regardless of the duration of his contract with you.

For “check out charters” (anything less than the full duration of the charter) the checkout skipper’s time is booked from 6:00pm to 6:00pm to allow for a meet and greet in the evening and go over basic systems, then a full day with you the next day. This skipper is required to give you a thorough briefing on all aspects of the yacht and dinghy in addition to assisting you with planning an itinerary for the trip and advising you how to contact the base, the return to base procedures and the emergency assistance procedures. It is suggested that you attend the scheduled chart brief that will be supplemented by the skipper during his time with you on the yacht. It is also suggested that you make it clear exactly what you want to cover… anchoring, docking, etc.

The skipper will be required to give you as much information as you require concerning the yacht and its systems, sailing skills and navigation in general.

The skipper fee does not include food or beverages for the skipper and are therefore your responsibility. It is suggested that you discuss this on the first day with the skipper and establish whether you will give the skipper cash for meals, whether you have included him in your provisioning or whether you will accommodate him as part of the group for meals ashore.

The skipper must have his own cabin. For one-day check out skipper’s it is your responsibility to get the skipper back to the base. If you prefer not to come back to the base you must pay for his expenses (ferry, taxi, etc.) to get him back to the base.

The average tip for a skipper is 15 to 20% of the skipper’s fee. This is, of course, at your discretion.  
More information on Skippered Charter Options.

Download Sunsail's Seychelles Cruising Guide here.

Deck Hand

Please note that a deck hand is a legal requirement in the Seychelles if traveling to the outer islands.

Luggage + packing list
We would highly recommend packing prescription medicine and essential clothing (swimsuit, t-shirt and shorts) in your hand luggage as occasionally your luggage may arrive at the base after you do.

Please pack using soft-sided bags, as these are easier to store on your yacht.

Sailing area restrictions
As far south as the South of Mahe. Northern limits are to Bird and Denis Island. West as far as Silhouette and North Island and east as far as Praslin and the immediate islands, such as La Digue, Grand and Petite Seour and Cureouce.

No restricted areas for sailing, except the military harbour of Victoria in the Inner Islands... For the Amirantes an authorization is required (charter on a boat with an Outer Islands licensed with a local skipper only).

Mooring Areas: any mooring on the nearby islands except Police Bay, in the south of Mahe, Coco Islands and Grand Anse in Praslin (Dangerous access).

In the Marine Parks and Beau Vallon Bay in Mahé, the anchorage is restricted.

Visiting the islands: The owner’s permission must always be obtained before visiting private islands. Some islands or moorings are forbidden for environmental and conservation reasons. Anything else you need to know will be explained during the chart briefing.

Night sailing
You are not permitted to sail at night unless it has been agreed with the base manager prior to departure.

Charts + pilot books
All the charts and pilot books you will need for the sailing area are on board the yacht. 

Moorings fees + taxes
Taxes are payable to go ashore on some islands. Taxes vary from one island to another.

Apart from The Eden Island Marina – Sunsail Base - in Mahe, there is one other option in the Bay Sainte Anne, Praslin. Contact Dream Yacht marina by VHF before arrival. The average price for a berth is between 45/75 €. The port of La Digue welcomes only 3 or 4 yachts at a time. You have to contact the harbour master before arrival on VHF channel 16. For the other islands you must anchor in a safe cove for the night.

Cruising permits + taxes
The harbor master’s office is located in the main harbour of Victoria: + 248 22 47 01

The Port & Marine division (harbor control) is a restricted area. There are no formalities to complete by the skipper before departure. The Sunsail base will take care of it. On departure and arrival in Victoria’s channel, the skipper must contact Harbour Control by VHF (16) to inform the port office.

There are landing and visitor fees for certain islands. The amount per person/per cruise for one week is approximately 120€. We advise you to anticipate a small cash reserve on board to cover these fees. You will, in this way avoid trying to put together the money at the time of landing. These fees are usually paid in foreign currency to the island's custodian who will also provide you with the tickets. The fees listed below are provided as a guideline.

Mahe St Anne Marine Park
Open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
10€ per person per day +10€ for the boat for night mooring
Baie Ternay Marine Park
Open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
10€ per person per day /after 5:00 pm 10€ for the boat only

Other Islands

Ile Coco Marine Park
Open daily from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm / 10€ per person per day

Cousin Island
Open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
25€ per person / Landing between 9:00 am and 10:00 am for guided tours

Big Sister Island
Open Monday to Friday 10:30 am - 3:00 pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holidays 23€ per person - Private Island

La Digue Island
Disembarkation Free of charge
L’Union Estate Visit & pass to Anse Source d’Argent. Open daily, 4€ per person.

Silhouette Island
Open daily with Clearance /20€ per person: Request at I.D.C. Office before departure

Aride Island
Open Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays
30€ per person / Landing before 10:00 am for guided tour

Curieuse & Saint Pierre
Open daily / 10€ per person / Curieuse Island visit and snorkelling in Saint Pierre

Praslin Island
Disembarkation Free of charge
Vallée de Mai Visit, Open daily /15€ per person

Bird Island
Open daily / 40€ per person

North Island, Small Sister Island, Marianne Island, Denis Island & Fregate Island
Closed to the public - No landing- Private islands

Health + safety

Illness or injury
If you get sick and visit the doctor or hospital during your trip please have a member of your party contact the Sunsail base manager as soon as possible.

  • Hospital Mont Fleuri Mahe Tel :+ 248 38 80 20
  • Hospital Praslin Praslin Tel: + 248 23 23 33
  • Hospital La Digue La Digue Tel :+248 23 42 55

Swim Safe 

Take extreme care when swimming or snorkelling in the Seychelles, even on organised excursions, and particularly with children or the elderly. 

  • Beaches which are safer at certain times of the year can be dangerous for swimming at other times. 
  • Beaches at the southern tip are not recommended for swimming at any time. 
  • Seek local advice about the conditions before you visit beaches.  

Snorkel vests, Life Jackets and Diver Down flags are all available on board.

Children

  • Talk to children about water safety at the start of a vacation, making them aware of the potential dangers.
  • Accidents can happen at any time on vacation, but often they happen on the first and last day, so keep watch and do not get distracted when your children are playing by, or in the water.
  • Children in or near water should always be supervised by an adult and never left unattended. 
  • Get in the water with them, it is easier to keep an eye on them as well as good fun. Floatation devices are highly recommended for children but are not a substitute for supervision.

Be aware of your surroundings

  • Check warning flags and signage on the beach and only swim where it is permitted. Not all beaches have safety information, and you should not assume they are safe.
  • Beware of dangerous currents, these can be extremly powerful in the Seychelles. Not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags.
  • Beware of underwater hazards, such as reefs, rocks, sudden changes in depth and marine life.
  • Never swim where a sign says not to e.g. in zoned areas for jet boats or jet skis.
  • Never swim at night or after drinking alcohol.

Look out for others

  • Never swim alone, ‘buddy up’ with others in your party and use the snorkel vests provided.
  • Know how and where to get help. If you see someone in difficulty; raise the alarm, preferably the emergency services. Ensure you know the correct number for the country you are in.

Do not overestimate your ability

  • Consider swimming lessons before you go if you think it would be useful to learn proper swimming technique.
  • Even if you regularly swim in a pool, remember that open water swimming can be very different.

Safety

All yachts are equipped with adult life jackets, harnesses, snorkel vests & diver down flags. You can see all this equipment demonstrated in our online safety briefing, and we strongly recommend that you make use this equipment during your vacation. This safety equipment will be displayed in the saloon of your boat on boarding - If you have any questions feel free to ask our base staff during your briefing. 

We have a very limited supply of children's life jackets on base so highly recommend that if you are travelling with children, you bring their own. This ensures that children have correctly fitting jackets that are comfortable for them.  

Children should not be allowed in the dinghy without a life jacket or buoyancy aid and should wear a buoyancy aid or harness whilst on deck. 

Children under the age of 16 should not operate an outboard engine and should be supervised at all times when in the dinghy.

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Shop

Around the base

HotelsLe Relax Hotel & Restaurant (allows 1-night stays)
P. O. Box 215,
Anse Royale, Mahe,
Seychelles.
Tel: +248 38 29 00
Fax: +248 37 19 00
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.lerelaxhotel.com

Perched over a cliff, overlooking the bay of Anse Royale and the Chauve Souris island, Le Relax is situated in the South of Mahé. The Seychelles International Airport is a 15 minute drive from the hotel and can be reached either by easily available taxi or Public transport.

Berjaya Beau Vallon Beach Resort & Casino***
P.O.Box 550 Victoria, Mahe,
Seychelles
Tel: +248 28 72 87 - Fax: +248 24 79 43
Email : [email protected] 
Website: www.berjayaresorts.com

Amenities: AC , DSTV, restaurant, bar, swimming pool
North West coast of the island, on the beach. The resort is 15 km from Seychelles International Airport and a mere 5 km from the capital, Victoria.  

The Wharf Hotel and Marina
P O Box 740
Victoria
Mahé
Seychelles
GPS: 04 38.73S 055 28.58E
Tel: +248 670700
Fax: +248 601701
Email: [email protected]
The hotel is on the east coast of Mahe, right between, and just 5 minutes away, from both the International Airport and the Country's Capital, Victoria.

Currency

The local currency is the Seychelles Rupee (SCR). Due to fluctuating exchange rates it is strongly recommended to take either Euros or US$ (in small denominations) rather than the Rupee, as the Rupee is not widely accepted.

Please note that the Sunsail base is unable to accept the Rupee. All transactions, provisioning, services etc made through the Sunsail base will need to be made in Euros or US$.

Credit card information
Credit Card: American Express, Eurocard/MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.

Banks
There are a few ATMs in Victoria, Praslin and La Digue located in front of each bank (24h/24h). Cash and travelers checks can be changed at banks at the airport and in some villages around Mahé, Praslin and La Digue.

Absa Branches: Airport /Providance /Hyper Market / Victoria / Beau Vallon / Anse Royale
Mcb: Airport / Providance / Edend Island / Victoria /Anse Royale
Nouvo Banque: Airport /Eden Idland /Victoria
We Accept Euro /Usd/ Scr
Visa Card But Not American Express
Money Changer Eden Island Jpl Exchange 248 4346615
Mon -Fri 8.30 Am To 6 Pm
Sat 9 Am -6pm
Sun 9 Am -1pm
Https://Jplx.Sc
Jamboo Money Exchange Victoria
248 2781399
Https://Www.Seychellesyp.Com>Jamboo

Shopping
Supermarkets are located in Victoria, five minutes by car from the Sunsail office. Supermarkets are generally open daily except Sunday, from 8:00am to 5:00 pm. You can pay by cash in Seychelles Rupees (SCR).

  • S.M.B: Seychelles Marketing Board, main
  • Supermarket in Seychelles – No delivery (Tel: +248 28 50 00)
  • Supermarket in the center of Victoria:
  • Temooljee & Co, Oliaji Trade center, Victoria (Tel: +248 22 43 31) – No delivery
  • Sai Supermarket, Victoria: (Tel: +248 22 60 77) – No delivery
  • Mohan Shopping Center, Market Street, Victoria (Tel: +248 32 15 24) – No delivery
  • Krishna Mart & Co, Supermarket, English River,Victoria (Tel: 248 32 26 55) – No delivery.

Other locations:

  • Beau Vallon Supermarket, Beau Vallon : (Tel: +248 24 72 56) – No delivery
  • Baie Saint Anne Supermarket, Baie Saint Anne, Praslin (Tel: 248 23 29 94)
  • S.M.B, Supermarket, Praslin (Tel: 248 23 38 29)
Spar Eden Island: 8am To 6pm Mon-Sun, and Public Holiday.
Their Shopping It Can Be Deliver To The Boat
STC Hyper Market Bois De Rose: 8am To 7pm Weekdays and Sunday 9am To 1pm
Taxi No Delivery.
Mohan Shopping Centre Plaisance: Opening Hours 8am Till Late in the evening.
They Do Delivery Contact Ameen 248 2610445
ISPC Bois De Rose: 248 438 9200
Can Place Online Provisioning and will be delivered onboard
They Also Have A Branch At Anse Royale And Beau-Vallon.
Ispcyachtsupplies.Com
Https:Ispcyachtsupplies.Com

Market
In the center of Victoria the open-air Market : Selwyn Market, Market Street (“Rue du Bazard”).

Local Vegetable and fruits, fish, craft. Open during the week from 6:00am until 4:00pm and Saturday until 12:00am. Closed on Sunday.

Pay Cash in SCR.

Visitors are required to use only foreign currency when making payments to hotels and guesthouses and when paying for other hospitality-related expenses such as renting cars or boats, the services of tour operators or travel agents, patronage of the casino, and domestic transfers within the Seychelles. Small incidental purchases in restaurants outside hotels, shopping (excluding duty free shops) and taxi fares are payable in local currency (Seychelles Rupees).

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For more information on what's included on your yacht, please view the full list here.

Choose Sunsail

20+
Stunning sailing destinations 
14
Flotilla routes
48
Types of yachts
50 yrs
Creating vacations
4 hr
Service commitment