Port Louis cruise

The capital of Mauritius
Ile aux Cerfs’ splendid beaches
The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden

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Port Louis

Elegant palaces and a striking seafro

A holiday in the Mauritius with an MSC cruise means disembarking at Port Louis. It is the capital of this island nation off the cost of Madagascar, which together with its twin Réunion, represents a must-see stop for an MSC cruise to Southern Africa.

Port Louis has taken its role as the country’s first city seriously and has expanded over time with new streets, buildings and a beautiful promenade. After our cruise ship has docked, you will be able to take a stroll along the Caudan Waterfront, lined with some old cannons and numerous shops. Traces of Port Luis’s colonial past can be seen on Place D’Armes, where the statue of Bertrand François Mahé, the count of La Bourdonnais and a former governor of the island, observes passers-by surrounded by palm trees.

A short distance away, stands the Government House. Dating from 1738, it is shaped like a horseshoe and protected by an iron fence guarded by the statue of a grave-looking Queen Victoria. In the same neighbourhood, there are also the central market and the city park, the Jardins de la Compagnie. However, it is a former property of the Count de La Bourdonnais to house an even more spectacular garden, the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden.

An MSC excursion to this garden should not be missed for any reason on earth. This garden is almost three hundred years old. Over the centuries, it has been lovingly tended by expert gardeners, who have slowly enriched it with plant species from three different continents, Asia, Africa and Oceania. If you prefer the sea to vegetation, another highly recommended MSC excursion will allow you to pass a day on the other side of Mauritius, on the splendid beaches of Ile aux Cerfs (so called because of the deer imported here for hunting).

Must see places in Port Louis

Discover our excursions

8 results found

  • CASELA NATURE PARK & EUREKA MANSION

    NATURAL WONDERS

    PL03

    This entertaining half-day tour will not only see you take a walk on the wild side, but also step back in time at two must-see island locations: first at the amazing Casela Nature Park and then at the lovingly restored 19th-century Eureka Mansion. The outing begins with a short coach ride down to the Casela Nature Park, where some 1,500 birds as well as other creatures such as wildcats, zebras, monkeys and giant tortoises await you. After spending some time exploring the lush parklands, the coach will take you north again to reach the magnificent Eureka Mansion. Built in the 1830s when Mauritius was still under French rule, the mansion is a living museum and will transport you back to this bygone era as soon as you step over the threshold. The estate is set in beautifully landscaped grounds and still retains many original features, including a curious shower contraption and a very old piano. The short return trip to the ship then brings the tour to a close. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Limited seats

    • Active excursions recommended only for guests in good physical health

      Difficulty Level
      Strenuous

    • Duration
      5 h

    • Adults$49.00Price per person

    • Children$42.00Price per person

  • MAURITIUS PANORAMIC & BEACH

    SEA & SUN

    PL06

    A day off the ship exploring some of Mauritius’ unspoiled natural beauty in the south of the island can be yours to enjoy on this leisurely and largely coach-based tour. A scenic drive will first see you reach your first stop, the lake known as Ganga Talao or Grand Bassin. This secluded and picture-perfect crater lake in the mountains of Savanne is the most important site of Hindu worship on Mauritius and also boasts several temples, including one dedicated to Lord Shiva. You’ll then move on through the Black River Gorges National Park, home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, waterfalls and ebony trees. You’ll be heading for the next highlight, the area known as Chamarel and the unique Seven Coloured Earths dune phenomenon. The multi-coloured sands were formed by volcanic rock and shift on a continuous basis, providing a most unusual geological spectacle that is well worth a photo or two. Last up is a visit to a nearby public beach where time will be yours to enjoy before you return to the ship. Please note: guests are advised that there are no facilities at the beach. During the visit to Grand Bassin, women must wear a blouse or a shirt and men must wear a shirt. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults$39.00Price per person

    • Children$35.00Price per person

  • PAMPLEMOUSSES BOTANICAL GARDEN & BEACH

    SEA & SUN

    PL07SA

    Two forms of nature-given beauty are on the itinerary of this enjoyable outing, which begins with a coach ride to the island’s Pamplemousses district and the gorgeous SSR Botanical Gardens (a.k.a. Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens), which was established in 1770 by the French horticulturalist, Pierre Poivre. Shady pathways wind their way through luxuriant tropical vegetation and the gardens also feature a large pond with an abundance of water lilies. Next up is a public beach, where you can savour the surroundings, go for a dip in the ocean or simply relax on the sands soaking up the golden sun. The return trip to the ship then brings the outing to a leisurely close. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Guests are advised that there are no facilities at the beach. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      5:30 h

    • Adults$39.00Price per person

    • Children$35.00Price per person

  • BLUE SAFARI SUBMARINE & GRAND BAY MARKET

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    PL11

    Get set to explore the fascinating underwater world off the coast of Mauritius without even wetting a toe on this leisurely submarine excursion. After boarding a coach at the pier, you’ll head north to the Trou-aux-Biches area and the Blue Safari headquarters. From there, you’ll get on the submarine and set off on your unusual tour of discovery. Once fully submerged at a depth of around 30 m, the sub will take you through a colourful garden of aquatic flora and fauna – all you have to do is relax and feast your eyes. Next on the itinerary is the seaside resort of Grand Bay, which sits on the shores of a turquoise lagoon. This is your chance to browse and shop at the trendy stores, malls and the market of Grand Bay. The tour then wraps up with your return to the ship in Port Louis. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Minimum age to take part in this tour is 18. Shops may be closed on Sunday and during public holidays. This tour foresees different departures. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Shopping

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$172.00Price per person

    • ChildrenNot available

  • BLUE SAFARI SUBSCOOTER & GRAND BAY MARKET

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    PL12

    Almost like a real-life underwater episode of The Jetsons, this tour will see you pilot your own subscooter – complete with a 360° viewing and breathing bubble – to explore the colourful marine wildlife that populates the nearshore waters of Mauritius. A coach will first take you up to the Blue Safari headquarters, where you’ll then head down to a depth of roughly 3 m (10 ft.) either on your own or as a couple. A guide will remain on hand to show you around and ensure you stay safe throughout. Part two of the tour will see you head for the coastal resort of Grand Bay for a spot of shopping at its stores, malls and market. Or simply find a waterside café and savour superb views of the turquoise lagoon whose shores are graced by Grand Bay. The return journey then brings your tour to a close. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Minimum age to take part in this tour is 18. Shops may be closed on Sunday and during public holidays. This tour foresees different departures. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Shopping

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults$119.00Price per person

    • ChildrenNot available

  • BOTANICAL GARDENS & PORT LOUIS SHOPPING

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    PL04

    First up on this half-day tour is a brief coach ride up to the Pamplemousses region of Mauritius to reach the marvellous SSR Botanical Gardens, or the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens as they are commonly known. The gardens date back to the late 18th century and were established by the French horticulturalist, Pierre Poivre, and continue to enchant visitors as they stroll through its leafy grounds. Apart from lush tropical vegetation, the gardens also boast a large pond that is almost covered in water lilies. Following on from the botanical gardens, you’ll move on to Port Louis for a drive-by look at its main sights – churches, mosques and temples – after which there’ll be time for you to do some shopping at the attractive Caudan Waterfront shopping and leisure complex before you head back to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Shops may be closed on Sundays or during public holidays. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Shopping

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4 h

    • Adults$39.00Price per person

    • Children$35.00Price per person

  • ILE AUX CERFS

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    PL02

    Ready to retreat to a private island paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, just off the shores of Mauritius? Then step off the ship, board a coach and first enjoy a 1-hour drive to Trou d’Eau Douce on the east coast, after which you’ll take a motorboat for the 10-minute crossing to the beautiful Île aux Cerfs (or Deer Island). Look forward to a sheltered lagoon, sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, all of which you can enjoy at your leisure. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the island’s amenities during your stay, which also includes lunch. Later in the day, the return journey will give you time to savour warm memories of a glorious day. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or in a wheelchair. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Lunch or dinner included

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      8 h

    • Adults$102.00Price per person

    • Children$95.00Price per person

  • UNDERSEA WALK & GRAND BAY

    SOMETHING SPECIAL

    PL13

    While water-based activities usually require an ability to swim, this entertaining underwater walk is entirely different, taking you both under the sea itself, but without involving any swimming at all. You’ll first reach the reef-side site of your underwater stroll by motorboat, then the crew will brief you on how the equipment works and finally you’ll make your way down to a depth of about 2 to 5 m (6 ½ ft. to 16 ½ ft.) to begin your exploration. With a transparent helmet covering your head and a continuous air supply, you can breathe normally and enjoy getting close to the magnificent marine wildlife. The tour then moves on to the popular seaside town of Grand Bay, scenically situated on a turquoise lagoon. You’ll have free time here to check out the market, stores and shopping centres before you return to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests with mobility problems or using a wheelchair or suffering from acute asthma. This tour is subject to weather conditions. Shops may be closed on Sunday and during public holidays. Limited number of guides in languages other than English or French. Should a tour guide for your language be unavailable, the tour will be in English or French only.
    • Shopping

    • Possibility of swimming

    • Limited seats

    • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

      Difficulty Level
      Moderate

    • Duration
      4:30 h

    • Adults$85.00Price per person

    • ChildrenNot available

The excursions in the program above are intended to provide MSC Guests with an idea of the different tours that can be arranged in each port of call; this program is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise.
Shore excursions programs and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.

 

Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

Mauritius

A melting pot of cultures
A melting pot of cultures

At almost 900km beyond Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is far enough east to get omitted from most maps of South Africa.

It’s sometimes excluded from accounts of the continent, too, perhaps because its atmosphere, architecture and outlook are so distinct from the mainland. With a proudly multicultural population descended from French, British and Indian settlers as well as Africans, it feels part-European, part-Asian and part-international.

On your holiday to Mauritius, you’ll see tutti-frutti coloured Tamil temples sitting jauntily alongside the kind of modern developments that are common to tropical playgrounds such as Queensland and the Caribbean. On a cruise to Mauritius, luxury beach and golf resorts are the main selling points. If you’re the kind of person who likes your sand manicured, your golf clubs polished, your jacuzzi sprinkled with petals and your towels sculpted into swans, you’ll fit right in. Mauritius is quiet, peaceful and wealthy, by African standards, its coffers boosted by foreign investment in its thriving business scene and its luxury housing projects.

The roads are in good enough condition to make travelling to Mauritius a pleasure and while very little of the landscape remains untouched by farming, logging and hunting, a few beautiful wilderness regions remain, with little-used hiking trails.