Review: Cat Cocos Ferry, Mahé Island – Praslin Island, Seychelles


There are many ways to get between the islands of the Seychelles that include air travel and a robust ferry option operated by local operator Cat Cocos. We aimed for a ferry transfer between Mahé and Praslin Islands. In doing so, we were able to experience some sunny adventure through the Indian Ocean on a unique ferry route in the continent of Africa.

This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Cat Cocos Ferry, Mahé Island – Praslin Island, Seychelles

Our travels today had us headed over to Praslin Island. MrsWT73 wanted to take the fast ferry over to Praslin instead of the Air Seychelles plane so I ended up booking a one way ferry ticket over to Praslin with an Air Seychelles Praslin – Mahé air transfer for the way back to Mahe.

We departed the Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove in Bel Ombre and headed over by hotel car to the Cat Cocos ferry terminal. Our hotel car driver took us the usual route over the mountain which has a great view of Victoria which is the capital of Mahe. There are charming churches and interesting architecture as we passed through town.

View of Mahé on the way to the Ferry Terminal

Booking the Cat Cocos Ferry:

I was able to make the booking on line via the Cat Cocos website. The payment was made by credit card, which was without issue.

The tickets themselves cost 1,286 Seychellois Rupees, or approximately $90 USD for two. This equalled about $45 USD per ticket for one way passage.

When I made the on line booking, the ferry company sent me 4 separate emails confirming travel. In those emails, I only printed off one of the boarding cards and forgot to print MrsWT73’s. Unfortunately, Cat Cocos wouldn’t accept our bags without the correct boarding cards so I had to queue to get her copy printed.

Arriving to the Cat Cocos Ferry Terminal:

Our driver dropped us off at the ferry terminal.It’s a somewhat industrial looking facility that hides underneath the towering mountains of Mahé.

Travelling on the Cat Cocos Ferry:

We waited around for about 20 minutes until we were set for a 4 PM boarding. We clambered on the boat at 4:02 PM and headed for the upstairs outdoor economy deck. The boat today was about 35% full and only about 30% full on the outdoor upper deck. There were several advance cautions from both hotel operators and on line forums indicating that the boats do get completely full and encouraged travellers to book well in advance.

Once I was on the boat, I checked my phone for wifi and saw a push news alert via the BBC News App that Anthony Bourdain had passed away at the age of 61. The boat did not have any free wifi so I wasn’t able to learn more of the news until we reached the Chateau des Feuilles hotel. It was a strange place to receive the news of the death of a travel icon when we were in the middle of our own memorable trip.

Food and Beverage on the Ferry:

We had skipped lunch and I located the only snack bar on the top floor. The snack bar only offered domestic beer, soda drinks, and some interesting Chicken O’s potato chips. I tried them but I couldn’t convince the chicken breast lover MrsWT73 to have any more than just one to try.

Needless to say, the food and beverage options on board and around the terminal are pretty limited. I’d plan on eating elsewhere in the journey and coming with a full stomach.


Travelling Between the Islands:

The sea crossing between Mahé Island and Praslin Island can be quite rough. I had taken some Gravol Ginger tablets before the journey and didn’t have to take any more while in transit.

The Mahé harbour had what appeared to be large commercial fishing boats with medium duty cranes attached to them. The boats were between the large wind tower spinners that reminded me of Rain Man and Mission Impossible 3.

The ferry route took us past St Anne Island in the St Anne Marine National Park on the right hand side of the boat. It was pretty much the last thing to see before we arrived to Baie St Anne on Praslin during the 50 minute journey.

Arriving at Praslin Island:

After about 45 minutes, we arrived to a dark and wet looking Praslin Island. We moored at the Baie St Anne Jetty Praslin Island and disembarked. The boat was completely full returning to Mahé and there were about 300 people waiting to board. The bags were put out onto the jetty and collection was a free for all method in the group mob mentality.

We were picked up by the Château Des Feuilles at the Praslin Ferry Terminal and transferred over to our hotel.

My Thoughts on the Cat Cocos Ferry:

The Cat Cocos ferry was a reasonable way to cross between Mahé and Praslin islands. In the end it was probably easier than the flight, but only because we weren’t at the airport or worried about having our baggage weighed. The scenery was great at the start and end of the trip, but there wasn’t much to see along the way while you were in the middle of the. Either way, a boat trip through the Indian Ocean is always a good thing. We would probably take the ferry again if we didn’t have a flight at either end of our trip.

If you’ve transferred between the islands of the Seychelles, do you prefer the ferry or the propeller plane ?

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