Most of the tourists heading to Mauritius would have Catamaran cruise in their wish list. And why not? Catamaran cruises in Mauritius are synonyms to sun, sea, sand, sightseeing, beach, beer, drinks, music, relaxation, new friends, and countless more entities.
Mauritius is famous for Catamaran cruises. Whether be it the Southern Mauritius or the Northern Mauritius, Catamaran cruises are listed in almost all the tour booking centers. Henceforth I am going to talk about the highlights of Catamaran trip.
The Catamaran cruise in Mauritius reminded me of the beautiful Ko Lanta island tour in Thailand. The only difference is that the island tour in Thailand takes place in a boat powered by a diesel engine. Some of the other trips which are also famous in Mauritius is the South West Mauritius tour.
Most of the highlights talked below are almost same throughout the Mauritius irrespective of the part of the country you take the tour.
What is a Catamaran Cruise?
A Catamaran is a two-hulled boat which has two parallel hulls of equal size. The Catamaran is built on the wide beam between the two hulls. This gives it a more stabilized feature while less resistance in the water. Catamaran cruises are famous in Mauritius because of the nature of the unpredictable sea.
A catamaran would usually have rooms on both sides of the boat. On a cruise, one side is reserved for the crew members and tourists are usually not allowed inside. While the other side is open for the tourists. There is no particular reason for not allowing tourists inside the crew members area.
Most of the times, crew members keep their stuff required for a tour designated in their area. By inviting tourists, they just simply do not want to mess it up. The shipping area is usually divided into three parts i.e. front, center, and back. The center area is the covered area. It is the largest area where people sit. At the front, there will be a small area where more people can sit.
At the frontmost, there are resting nets where a single person can lie down. At the back, one can smoke. Also, Barbecue chicken is grilled in the backside only. While the center of the Catamaran from where it is stirred also serve as the temporary bar area.
Booking a catamaran tour:
There are a few things to know before you proceed to book a catamaran tour:
If the weather is not good, you might not be able to enjoy properly. Every day, Mauritian NCG (National Coastal Guard) monitor the weather. Upon their permission, tour operators are allowed to go to the islands with the Catamarans. Otherwise, Catamarans have to return.
There are many speculations that do tour operators know about it in advance? If they know about it then why do they book it? Well, some of the bookings happen much ahead in advance. If the tour operators try to be honest and refund the amount, they might get a negative review because many tourists keep aside a day just for this trip.
As long as you are getting a catamaran tour at the normal market price, its good. Even some discount does not hurt. However, be careful when you are about to get the ticket at dirt cheap price. It happened with me. Just a day before the trip, I got the ticket for a price almost 30% of the regular market price. Next day when the trip was canceled then realized why I got the ticket for so low price.
What’s included in a Catamaran Cruise?
Well, it depends but one of the most confusing things about the Catamaran cruise inclusion is free hotel pick up and drop. Hardly, any of the tour operators offer such service. You might be offered such service, there are always exceptions. But it is advisable that you should reconfirm things.
Drinks, Snacks, and Lunch
Once the catamaran cruise starts, the snacks distribution also starts. The snacks would usually be fruits, mostly Pineapple and watermelon. Once the ship has sailed and left the beach, in some time after the snacks distribution, the free drinks are served.
On some of the cruises, they offer you beer bottles but on some of the cruises, beer is distributed in the glass. The same applies to cocktails, wine, and other alcoholic drinks. Usual drinks that are served generally throughout the day are:
- soft drinks
- White Wine
- Red Wine
- Rose wine
The lunch menu is almost fixed. There might be a little variation on different cruises but more or less, its the same
- Either fresh Dorade or fresh Marlin or Fresh Tuna
- Fresh Chicken grilled
- Sausages (Pork/chicken)
- Pasta Salad
- Rice Salad
- Mixed Salad
- Fresh Baguettes
- Banana Flambé (Sweet Dish)
The lunch is a buffet. You can eat as much as you want. But some of the items are served by the crew members such as fish and grilled chicken.
Catamaran Cruise: From Morning till Evening
A Catamaran Cruise usually starts around 9 in the morning. People are given a meeting point where everyone should come almost 5 minutes before the given time. The meeting point will usually be a beach. Once everyone is on board, people are asked to remove their footwear and use the premises. This is just to keep the premises clean.
People are also asked to keep their bags downstairs in the underdeck. This is just to keep the luggage dry. Sometimes, when the sea is rough, the water from waves fly on the catamaran and makes things wet.
What to carry on a Catamaran Cruise
- Beach Towel
- Water Bottle
- Camera & Waterproof Pouch
- Sun lotion
Once everybody is onboard, the ship captain or the main person gives a brief about the tour. It lasts for about 5-10 minutes. The brief is given in English as well as French. Once the brief is over, snacks distribution takes places along with the alcohol servings. And from now on, you are allowed to drink as much as you can.
People start introducing each other. Those who come in a group start having their fun together. Some just sit and enjoy the cruise. I liked to sit at the front at the net. You can sit there as well at the front.
If the sea is rough, the waves which hit the boat wash you completely sometimes but that is pure fun. Maintain caution with your camera. Those who sit at the front or at the side have to mandatorily wear a life jacket. The catamaran cruise has to abide by the NCG, Mauritius rules.
If there is some scenic place, the ship driver slows down the boat so that people can take pictures. When there is a snorkeling spot, the ship will halt in the water and you can go for the snorkeling as well. The gears are also provided y the cruise people. But some of the snorkels are not in good shape. Have caution with those gears. The ship would halt at the island and the barbecue takes place.
Everyone can eat as much as they want. If the weather is not good, the barbecue happens on the ship itself. After the lunch, you are given free time to roam around. In that time, you can either do sunbathing, have a walk on the beach, take pictures, do swimming or just sit and drink. The choice is yours.
Later, everyone is called back on the ship. On the ship, one of the cruise members would either sing or play guitar or dance. If there is another snorkeling point, then the Catamaran will halt and you can again jump into the water and do snorkeling. Around 4’o clock, the cruise comes back to the pickup point and people say bye to each other.