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About Reunion

Located in the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar is the island of Reunion - this cruise destination reveals a haven of French culture and home to a wildly mountainous countryside. Discovered by the Portuguese, today the population is an interesting mix of ethnic and religious variety - from the French to the Africans, Malays and Indians.

Born of volcanic origin the island is popular for an abundance of natural attractions. On our cruises to Reunion highlights include the peaks of the still-active Piton de la Fournaise, and Piton des Neiges, the islands highest point. Southwest of the mountains you will find the collapsed calderas of Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Cilaos and Cirque de Mafate.

On Reunion cruises you can visit the capital Saint-Denis and enjoy its brassieres, bistros and continental café culture or swim in the lagoons of St-Gilles-les Bains. Garden lovers will delight in the Domaine du Grand Hazier, an 18th century sugar planters residence displaying a variety of tropical flowers and fruit trees.

 

Shore excursions in Reunion

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Coast and Waterfalls

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8 hours

Sample the sights of the north coast and capital, and learn about the island’s vanilla production on this varied scenic tour.

Relax and take in some of the scenery of the island of Reunion. During this interesting excursion you will explore the north coast via the seashore road. Pass the capital of St Denis and journey towards Ste Marie and Ste Suzanne.

Stopping at St Andre, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the vanilla plantation, where you will learn about the production process, before heading to the heart of the island. Passing though the lush countryside of sugar cane fields, vanilla and lychee plantations, reach the spectacular waterfall of Voile de la Mariée. Better known as the Bride’s Veil, it is the most prominent of around 100 waterfalls in this amazing and striking area.

Lunch will be served at the picturesque Creole village of Hellbourg. Afterwards, your return scenic drive passes some of the restored Creole houses in the city centre.

Enjoy a little free time to purchase souvenirs in St Denis before returning to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please be advised that this tour has over 1 hour’s walking mostly over paved surfaces.

Saint-Denis

Activity mediumShopping

Duration: 4½ hours

A great opportunity to acquaint yourself with the island’s capital, people and culture.

Follow the beautiful scenic coastline to the north east, to reach the capital, Saint-Denis. Surrounded by idyllic mountains on 3 sides, it is located on the northernmost tip of the island. This warm and extremely welcoming town is the largest of the French Colonies, and was named after the boat St Denis that ran aground in the nearby bay, with the town growing around the small pier of Barachois.

Your local guide will point out the former East India Company building, before passing by the splendid Creole-style houses of Rue de Paris with their shady white verandas. There will be a short stop at the State Garden and the former palace of the General Consul, now the Natural History Museum. Passing by the Hindu Temples and the Christian Cathedral you fully understand the variety of races and cultures that mix harmoniously. They are united by the musical Creole language on this little remote island. Enjoy a brief stop at a handicraft market, which offers typical Creole products. You can bargain with the stall-owners for handicrafts, scents and spices from Reunion and Madagascar.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Please be advised that the itinerary may operate in reverse order due to local traffic conditions.

Scenes of Reunion

Activity medium

Duration: 4½ hours

This tropical island has an unexpected landscape including beautiful coastline, high plains and spectacular mountain ranges.

Drive along the west coast to St Paul, from where you will start your ascent into the enticing mountainous centre of Reunion. Your destination is a marvellous viewpoint on the edge of a high escarpment at over 7,000 feet. Absorb breathtaking views descending into the ancient crater of the Circle of Mafate, totally surrounded by impressive mountains. This rugged and wild cirque is the only one of the island’s 3 natural amphitheatres that is accessible only on foot or by helicopter.

Stop at the quaint village of La Petite France, the centre of the geranium growing district. Reunion is one of the largest producers of geranium oil, used as a fixative in perfumes. Visit a small Geranium Oil Distillery, where the distillation process will be explained and you’ll be given an opportunity to purchase Geranium essential oils and perfumes. This is a very simple cottage industry, far removed from more developed productions, and a very low-key delicate process.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This excursion involves traveling around hairpin bends with steep slopes, which may affect those who suffer from vertigo. A jacket is recommended, as the temperature is much cooler at higher altitudes. Mist and cloud often surround the higher peaks and plains; they lift, drop and swirl spasmodically during the day and can affect the visibility on this tour.

Volcanic Experience

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 8½ hours

Reunion is famed for breathtaking volcanic scenery, which can be explored on this remarkable and interesting tour of discovery.

Heading to the south of the island, you’ll pass several seaside towns until reaching St Pierre. En route, you will take a scenic road with spectacular views of the littoral.

From St Pierre, head towards the heights of the island to take the volcano road. Pass through extraordinary landscapes, going from beautiful lush green settings to breathtaking moonscape sights. During a stop at Nez le Bœuf, you can enjoy a breathtaking view into the deep volcano ravine and the green countryside full of stunning flowers.

Upon reaching the volcanic crater in Pas de Bellecombe at a height of over 7,000 feet, you’ll have the opportunity to gaze down at the volcano Piton de la Fournaise, possibly the most viewed attraction on the island. After viewing these awesome sights, enjoy a typical Creole lunch in a popular local restaurant.

After lunch head to the newly re-opened cité du volcan (Volcano Museum). The museum is located within the UNESCO Heritage site of La Réunion National Park and close to one of the most active volcanoes in the Indian Ocean. Discover a replica Lava tunnel and uncover how the island was formed from underwater volcanic eruptions 3 million years ago.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1 hour of walking on this tour over mostly paved surfaces. The visibility at the volcano locations is dependent on the weather conditions. The mountain drive takes in a number of hairpin bends, which may affect those who suffer from vertigo. This tour is not suitable for passengers who suffer from high altitude. Passengers are recommended to carry a light jacket as temperatures can drop due to the altitude.

Wild South

Activity highMeal includedShopping

Duration: 8½ hours

This tour gives you the chance to explore the highlights of the south of the island and its volcanic history.

Your journey begins by heading to the northern coast of Reunion Island via the coastal road. You’ll cross the capital of St Denis, in an easterly direction towards Ste Marie and Ste Suzanne. Pass by Ste Rose, sheltering the chapel of Notre-Dame des Laves, which was miraculously spared during the lava flow of 1977. Absorb these wonderful and intriguing landmarks whilst admiring the spectacle of the cold lava flows from the last eruptions in the Tremblet zone.

Lunch will be served in a local traditional Creole restaurant in charming St Philippe. This town is famous for vanilla cultivation, as well as other treasures like the palmist (palm heart).

Discover the primary forest of Mare Longue by visiting the exotic garden of perfumes and spices with a specialised guide. See various endemic plants and spices introduced by Joseph Hubert and preserved in this wild natural environment.

During the picturesque return drive, follow the alluring wild coast, discovering various creeks along the way.

Your journey begins by heading to the northern coast of Reunion Island via the coastal road. You’ll cross the capital of St Denis, in an easterly direction towards Ste Marie and Ste Suzanne. Pass by Ste Rose, sheltering the chapel of Notre-Dame des Laves, which was miraculously spared during the lava flow of 1977. Absorb these wonderful and intriguing landmarks whilst admiring the spectacle of the cold lava flows from the last eruptions in the Tremblet zone.

Lunch will be served in a local traditional Creole restaurant in charming St Philippe. This town is famous for vanilla cultivation, as well as other treasures like the palmist (palm heart).

Discover the primary forest of Mare Longue by visiting the exotic garden of perfumes and spices with a specialised guide. See various endemic plants and spices introduced by Joseph Hubert and preserved in this wild natural environment.

During the picturesque return drive, follow the alluring wild coast, discovering various views along the way.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2 hours of walking on this tour, as well as around 30 steps to negotiate. Passengers are advised to take sun block, mosquito repellent and a hat and to wear flat, comfortable shoes.

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