La Digue on the Seychelles is nearly 50 kilometers from Mahé and the objective of our travel. It took us a day or even more to get there from St. Petersburg, Russia: the long flight with the transfer in Dubai took a bit less than the whole day, then a few hours for the way across the Seychelles. The border control and way to the pier took us a few hours, then a ferry to La Digue. So, we were happy to get there, though tired.

If you plan to visit this island, you need in advance to think over the way to get there: by a ferry or by a helicopter. Of course, there are planes on the Seychelles, but not to La Digue because this island has no airstrip to land on.

Helicopter transfer

It takes a helicopter 20 minutes to take you from the Mahé airport to La Digue, but it is much more expensive than a ferry. One way helicopter transfer costs more than $1,000. That is ok for a luxurious holiday, but not for most tourists. There is just one way left — to go to the pier

Ferry line from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue
Ferry line from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue

Ferry

From the airport we got straight to the pier. It's nice that the air-company takes care of its customers and provides a free shuttle from the airport to the pier. There was a man at the airport who invited passengers to a bus. The traffic was busy on Mahé, but there were no traffic jams. It took us less than 15 minutes to get to docks.

Speed Cat Cocos catamarans are cruising between Mahé, Praslin and La Digue several times a day. Attention: there is no direct ferry route from Mahé to La Digue, so you have to transfer on Praslin. Fortunately, it takes no time, because ferries go strictly as scheduled.

We bought tickets upon arrival at the dock, but you can book them in advance on the Cat Cocos website: that would cost you even less. But, actually, there is no need to worry and to book tickets in advance: ferries are spacious and there are always free seats.

Here is the ferry schedule which was actual for the time of our journey (2016):

Cat Cocos Schedule (from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue)
Cat Cocos Schedule (from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue)

Be sure to visit the Cat Cocos website and check the schedule of ferries. If you are going from the Mahé airport directly to La Digue, keep in mind that your aircraft should arrive at least two hours before the last ferry departure: border control queues and baggage claim in the Mahé airport are time-consuming. If you have not enough time, you had better stay for a night in a hotel at Mahé and go to La Digue next day. It is much better than to sleep on your suitcase on the empty jetty.

Cat Cocos Catamaran

God bless the Seychellois for the good transport communication between the islands: Cat Cocos catamarans are adorable. They have are several decks, some are open. They are clean, neat, comfortable and air-conditioned. It is a pleasure to travel by them!

Luxury Cat Cocos speed boats are cruising on the Seychelles
Luxury Cat Cocos speed boats are cruising on the Seychelles

Strong waves rocked our ferry pretty well, some passengers felt sick and had to use vomiting bags. If you are seasick, you should have some travel sickness pills. Trust me, ocean waves can harm even the strongest of us.

The road to La Digue across the Indian Ocean, Mahé was left behind
The road to La Digue across the Indian Ocean, Mahé was left behind. Photo by Andrew

On the upper open deck we enjoyed the views of the wide open spaces of the sea! Waves crashed into the ferry chaotically, lifted it up and threw down, it seemed that your heart would stop in awe of the raging abyss!

The view from the open deck was stunning and the fresh ocean breeze invigorated. Though, distant yourself from the very edge: a high wave can douse you from head to foot, and you will continue your journey soaked and salted down to skin.

La Digue’s small jetty

La Digue’s small jetty. Photo by Andrew

La Digue’s small jetty. Photo by Andrew

The weather was beautiful. Mahé disappeared below the horizon in a light haze. It took us a half an hour to get to Praslin, then a quick transfer to another catamaran and 15 minutes to La Digue. Sand, coral and crystal clear water of the incredible beautiful island met us right at the pier.

Here we are! It is time for new discoveries.