Réunion cruises

Réunion offers a little taste of French culture on a tropical island whose setting has more in common with Hawaii than Paris. Officially an overseas French department, the island is full of cultural Creole buildings as well as an incredible range of geographical diversity, from beaches to flourishing forests. Réunion’s rugged scenic roads and dusty plains could lead you up to see the incredible ‘Piton de la Fournaise’ or ‘Peak of the Furnace,’ one of the most active volcanoes in the world today.

Excursions

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.

  • St Leu and Turtle Observatory

    Learn about Reunion’s sea turtles at the Kelonia sanctuary and observatory and explore the historic quarter of St Leu.

    St Leu and Turtle Observatory

    After a scenic drive along Reunion’s west coast, you arrive at Kelonia, the marine turtle sanctuary and observatory.

    Home to around 60 species of sea turtles, all of which are threatened species, the sanctuary rehabilitates and releases between 15 and 30 turtles per year. Turtles brought to Kelonia have been injured in many various ways; by ingesting plastic, through collisions with propellers or getting caught up in a fishing net or line. As well as the great work done in its clinic, Kelonia also researches migration and population monitoring. Everything they do is designed to help the shrinking world of marine turtles to thrive again.

    As you explore the park, you’ll discover more about the mysterious world of marine turtles in the 100 million years they’ve been around. The park is quite small and easily walkable, with several turtle pools and a varying amount of residents.

    After a scenic drive along Reunion’s west coast, you arrive at Kelonia, the marine turtle sanctuary and observatory. Home to around 60 species of sea turtles, all of which are threatened species, the sanctuary rehabilitates and releases between 15 and 30 turtles per year. Turtles brought to Kelonia have been injured in many various ways; by ingesting plastic, through collisions with propellers or getting caught up in a fishing net or line. As well as the great work done in its clinic, Kelonia also researches migration and population monitoring. Everything they do is designed to help the shrinking world of marine turtles to thrive again. As you explore the park, you’ll discover more about the mysterious world of marine turtles in the 100 million years they’ve been around. The park is quite small and easily walkable, with several turtle pools and a varying amount of residents. Afterwards, your tour continues to the historical quarter of St Leu. The Reunion culture of today is a rich mix of Malagasy, French, Indian, African, Arab and Chinese. The East India Company, which managed the island, introduced coffee, nutmeg and clove production and some of their buildings still stand. Here, you can learn more about their influence, the slave revolution, coffee and so much more. Enjoy a little free time for shopping before the return drive.


    This excursion will operate by coach and foot. There is approximately three hours of walking on this tour, some of which is over uneven ground.

    Tour code

    REU_011

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • St Denis

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

    St Denis

    Follow the beautiful scenic coastline to the north east, to reach the capital, St 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.



    Please be advised that the itinerary may operate in reverse order due to local traffic conditions.

    Tour code

    REU_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Volcanic Experience

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

    Volcanic Experience

    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 in amazement into the active crater of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise, possibly the most viewed attraction on the island. After viewing these awesome sights, enjoy a typical Creole luncheon in a popular local restaurant.

    After luncheon 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 three million years ago


    This tour will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately one 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.

    Tour code

    REU_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    Duration

    8½ hours

  • Entre Deux and Botanical Garden

    Explore a Creole village perched between two rivers, before discovering the story of Reunion in a lush tropical garden, with an accent on coffee.

    Entre Deux and Botanical Garden

    Embark on a scenic drive to Entre-Deux, perched high in the hills north of St Pierre, against the dramatic backdrop of the majestic Dimitile mountains. The town’s name derives from its situation; ‘entre deux’ (between two), tributaries of the Saint Etienne River; the Bras de Cilaos to the west and the Bras de la Plaine to the east. Its isolated situation and difficult access for centuries helped preserve its traditions of Creole architecture, tropical gardens and local handicrafts. Today, however it is easily accessible thanks to its famous 150 metre high bridge spanning the Bras de la Plaine.

    The Creole houses are built of wood, with a tin roof and a veranda at the front. The white decoration on the houses is called ‘mantling’ and is a type of gutter. During a visit of the village, look out for the local slippers, handmade from the choca (agave) plant.

    Continue to St Pierre, where you’ll visit the garden of Domaine du Café Grillé. Covering an area of four hectares, the garden will take you on a journey through the Reunion of today and back into its past, via its lush plant life. In the modern Reunion garden, you’ll discover exotic rock plants, frangipani, ylang ylang, lianas, palms, orchids and bamboos.

    In the Reunion garden of old you’ll find plants that have shaped the island’s history; sugar cane, vanilla, vetiver and especially most importantly coffee.


    This excursion will operate by coach and foot. There is approximately 2¼ hours of walking on this tour, therefore flat comfortable shoes are recommended. Guests are recommended to take a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water with them.

    Tour code

    REU_012

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Scenes of Reunion

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

    Scenes of Reunion

    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.

    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.

    Tour code

    REU_004

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Wild South

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

    Wild South

    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.

    Luncheon 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.


    There is approximately two hours of walking on this tour, as well as around 30 steps to negotiate. Guests are advised to take sun block, mosquito repellent and a hat and to wear flat, comfortable shoes.

    Tour code

    REU_006

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8¼ hours

  • Salazie and Vanilla Plantation

    Capture stunning scenery, and learn about the island’s vanilla production during a visit to a vanilla plantation.

    Salazie and Vanilla Plantation

    Your tour begins with a scenic drive along the north coast via the seashore road, before crossing the capital of St Denis and veering east towards Sainte-Marie and Sainte-Suzanne.

    Vanilla is an important part of the history and culture of Reunion and you’ll soon discover why during a visit to a vanilla plantation. If you’ve ever wondered why fresh vanilla pods are so expensive, as you’ll discover, growing them is a labour-intensive process. And, if you’ve also ever wondered why vanilla is sometimes called Bourbon vanilla, it’s because Reunion used to be called Ile Bourbon!

    Afterwards, your tour continues on to the lush Cirque de Salazie, with its sheer-walled canyon of peaks, valleys and thunderous waterfalls. The most breathtaking site is the famous ‘le voile de la mariée’ (bride's veil waterfall). A stop will be made to allow you to capture photographs of Reunions most photographed waterfall, before the scenic drive back to the pier.


    This excursion will operate by coach and foot. There is approximately 1¼ hours of walking on this tour.

    Tour code

    REU_010

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    4½ hours

  • Coast and Waterfalls

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

    Coast and Waterfalls

    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.

    Luncheon will be served at the picturesque Creole village of Hellbourg before the return scenic drive, passing by some of the restored Creole houses in the city centre.



    Please be advised that this tour has over an hour’s walking mostly over paved surfaces.

    Tour code

    REU_008

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Shopping

      Shopping

    Duration

    8 hours