Seychelles: transportation (ferry, cars + bikes)

by | Dec 5, 2023 | International Travel, Travel

Since we wanted to explore multiple spots and didn’t want to rely on a travel provider, we needed to arrange ferries to get between islands, plus either a car or a bike to get around each island.

Ferry Trips

When booking the ferry tickets in advance I used seyferry.com instead of the ferry company website, so instead of getting actual tickets, we had vouchers we had to exchange each time. This was fine on Mahe and Praslin, but on La Digue it was a bit confusing with the office closed the and the worker at the far end of the pier. I would suggest booking directly with the ferries to save check-in time.

Mahe > Praslin Ferry
The Mahe parking lot, while large, gets chaotic around ferry time. Check in for the boat was pretty straightforward once we found the office in the building on the other side of the ferry queue facing the water. We took our voucher to the ticket office where they handed over pre-printed tickets. We then went to the neighboring office where we showed these tickets to the luggage people to check our two large bags. After this it was just a matter of standing in line, sweating, while we waited to board. At this point I took a Dramamine tablet and got out more cash at the nearby ATM. Upon boarding we were directed to the upper economy deck which I paid extra for. Glad we boarded near the front as we scored two seats facing forward with open ocean views. The ride was choppy but manageable – very glad I took Dramamine because a few people were getting sick around us. It was raining when we arrived in Praslin but our bags made it with no issues, just a little damp. It’s a bit of a circus collecting luggage as the bags are unloaded one at a time and passengers are roped off several feet away and waving at the porters when they see their bags.

Praslin > La Digue Ferry
We traded in our voucher for a slip of paper and this time we handed our ‘checked’ bags to the attendants as we boarded the boat. Thankfully the sitting area in this terminal had a nice breeze – I would love to know what this country has against outdoor ceiling fans. We sat for a while in the hot sun waiting for everyone to board but we managed to snag two seats upstairs for better views. The ride itself was much quicker than the queue, only 15 minutes. Since all the boating for the snorkel tour didn’t bother me the day before, I skipped the Dramamine and I was fine. The luggage retrieval was easy as well.

La Digue > Mahe Ferry
Unfortunately the check-in was needlessly complicated. I had a voucher we needed to exchange for tickets and this was easy on Mahe and Praslin, but the ferry terminal office was closed on La Digue as well as the tour office further down the street. The main office had a sign posted to check the jetty so after another hot walk, I found the woman checking people in, got our tickets and then collected Eric so we could drop off our luggage and wait in line to board. We paid extra for the upper deck but the regular economy section was nicely air conditioned, so we regretted our seating choice while we waited for the boat to get underway. Once at sea the breeze helped considerably. Our 2:15pm ferry didn’t stop at Praslin so it was a straight shot to Mahe, about 1:10 hours long. I took a Dramamine but the seas weren’t too bad and I just ended up sleepy.

Rental Cars

I booked all of our car rentals through Kreol Cars and wound up with cars from three different rental agencies (none named Kreol Cars). The one on Praslin (Bliss) had the best service and vehicle but all worked out fine.

Mahe
1st car pickup at the airport was smooth, spotted a guy with my name on a board as promised. The rental was from a place called E Eye rentals though, not Kreol Cars, and our tank was less than half full. Left my credit card number on the rental sheet, no payment run at that time. Car itself was fine, a small KIA. Upon returning the car at the ferry terminal, our rental car guy was nowhere to be found so we decided to just park the car and look for him on foot. No luck. I Whatsapped him and while waiting for a response, a car rental rep from a different company came over to ask us who we were looking for. He called Ronny and told us that we could give him the key instead. Mildly unsure but out of options, I messaged Ronny again while we walked back to the car to collect our bags. Thankfully he wrote back this time and said all was well. We received a receipt of the rental when we got to Praslin, so that eased my head a bit!

Praslin
After grabbing our bags at the ferry, we spotted my name on a sign quickly and paperwork was easy – this time we got a small SUV with a full tank of gas. We were also able to pay by card on the spot with a 3.5% transaction fee. Bliss Cars reps were clearly marked. Drop off was also super easy. I pulled up to drop Eric off with our luggage at the terminal just as Joshua was walking up. He checked the car over, looked at the gas receipt, took the keys, and we were all set.

Mahe
Car pickup at the ferry terminal was no problem. Spotted my name on a placard while we were waiting for the bags to come out. This time the car company was Bosco and Joel went over what to do if we didn’t see a rep when we were dropping the car off at the airport – park in the paid lot and leave the ticket and keys under the floor mat. We got a sporty looking red KIA with a few dents and scratches this time, plus a gas tank ¾ full. Return was easy, pulled up to the return point next to the terminal and the guard asked what rental agency we had and then called Joel (small island!). I was handed the phone and told to park the car in the main lot and give the key to the guard. At this point, Leo asked if I wanted to take a photo of his badge as insurance, I said sure but at this point in the trip I was used to just handing the keys to whomever!

Bikes!

La Digue
Bike rentals are the only tourist option on this small island so I sent in a request for bikes with Nedy’s Bikes the day we arrived. We didn’t hear back quickly, but had also booked a tour with Lizzy Tours and it’s the same person, so we figured out a plan via Whatsapp. We wanted the bikes through dinner on the third day, so we only paid 600scr for 3 days. It was well worth it, as the the bikes saved us loads of time and allowed us to visit a farther grocery store and beaches. The seats could have been more padded, but otherwise the bikes were in good shape. The guy dropping them off at our hotel was super friendly and described the gears, etc, and even better, they picked the bikes up again right where we stayed so we didn’t have to do any extra work. And being a small island, we never needed to lock them up, we just simply parked them with all the other bikes.

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)