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Day trip tips - which island to choose?

Prague, Czech...
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Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Hi all. I'm trying to sort out our October itinerary. We would like to visit one of the islands - either Ile des deux Cocos, Ile aux Cerfs or Gabriel Island. I would welcome some recommendations. Which one to choose for its best pure beauty and photo shots possibilities, please? Which one to choose, "value for money" wise?

Cape Town, South...
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for Mauritius
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1. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Hi Hanka

We've been to Flat Island and Gabriel island which are right next to each other. I'd say Gabriel, out of the two, for photo shoot potential. Haven't been to Ile aux Cerfs as too many people have said that it's too commercialised and busy.

We found the full day catamaran trips to the northern islands to be extremely good value for money at around Rs1200 per pax which includes all drinks and a bbq for lunch with fish, chicken and a host of salads etc.

Have a lovely holiday next month.

Regards

Dee

Prague, Czech...
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2. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Thank you Dee!

New Delhi
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3. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Hey Dee

We are going to Mauritius this weekend for 9 days and we plan to do the trip to Gabriel Island among other things.

Which tour operator/catamaran did you use? Do all the operators charge similar rates i.e. 1200 MRU? Do they make stops at Gunners point for snorkeling?

Cheers

Madhu

Cape Town, South...
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4. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Hi Madhu

I'd recommend Croisieres Australes. We went with them the first time on cat called Le Pacha 2 and the trip was brilliant. http://www.croisieres-australes.mu/index.php/en

The next time we went with a different company booked through the boat house at our hotel who weren't quite as good. The crew weren't as interactive with the passengers.

On neither trip did we stop at Gunners Quoin for snorkeling, I'm afraid. Good snorkeling at Gabriel Island during the lunch break.

Have a good holiday!!!

Regards

Dee

New Delhi
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5. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Thanks Dee

Croisieres website has a price tag of €40/pax - their cats look quite nice.

However I have just now received quotes for less than €25(900-1000 mur) from taxi mauritius and northview. Both have been suggested elsewhere in these forums.

Should I be worried about the quality of cheaper tours or they are all the same? The itineraries for all of them are identical with 9 to 4 program including snorkeling, bbq lunch and drinks.

We are 4 ppl so 15€ each would make a difference though not much - but we found similar price difference in diving courses where the price difference is around 8000-10000 mur between different dive shops(all of them established and having 4*+ reviews on TA.

This raises a larger question of transparency in tourism industry in Mauritius. Does a significant part of what tourists pay go to middlemen who thrive on innocence of tourists and lack of transparency in the business.

UK, Mauritius
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for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
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6. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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The tourist industry in any country is never transparent.

When I visited the Taj Mahal as a European I paid an inflated entrance fee compared to local tourists visiting - just an example.

People selling trips etc are they make a profit - its a business and they have to pay salaries to their employees and overheads.

When I visit a new country I do a lot of background reading to try and avoid the usual tourist rip offs you find throughout the world.

Don't worry about Northview tours and taxismauritius - both are well know and good local operators.

I and other regulars on here use taxismauritius for airport transfers and I hear their trips are very good too.

Bronia :)

New Delhi
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7. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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Thanks Bronia for giving comfort on orthview and Taximauritius! Would go with one of them!

I accept that India is one of the least friendly countries for foreign tourists but I had expected a more mature tourism industry in Mauritius where prices for common trips would be almost fixed.

But not an issue for me as I love to shop around for prices and negotiate the best deal.

Looking forward to a great experience in Mauritius.

Cheers

Madhu

Cape Town, South...
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8. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?
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You can book the same trip on the same boat through different operators for different prices. When we went on Le Pacha we booked through Mautourco at our hotel only to find out later that it would have been cheaper to book through Northview or any of the operators on Royal Road in Grand Baie. So shop around as the trips are very much the same no matter which cat you go on.

That's why we advise travelers not to book until they arrive in Mauritius and can look around for the best deal. The trips to the northern islands go everyday (about 10 or more boats) so you don't need to book too far in advance. We recently did the undersea walk and got two or three quotes before deciding who to book through - for the identical trip!

Good news is that the price for most of these trips hasn't changed in four years. I bring back the brochures (Northview etc) and the prices are the same this year as our first trip in 2008. So they certainly aren't making a huge killing. We paid Rs1200 for our last trip which I think is a very good price for what you get.

Dee

9. Re: Day trip tips - which island to choose?

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