Silversea Luxury Cruises A Pointe des Galets

Pointe des Galets

Located about 480 miles (773 km) east of Madagascar and 102 miles (164 km) southwest of Mauritius, Réunion is the largest of the Mascarene Islands. The archipelago, consisting of Rodrigues, Mauritius and Réunion, was named The Mascarentes following its discovery in 1512 by the Portuguese navigator, Pedro de Mascarenhas. The French made the decision to settle Réunion in 1642, but no one actually lived here until four years later when the French governor of Fort Dauphin in Madagascar exiled a dozen mutineers to the island. View more

In 1649, the king of France officially took possession of Réunion and renamed the island Colbert Bourbon. After the French Revolution, the island took back its original name. Since 1946, Réunion has been administered by France as an Overseas Department, with St. Denis as its capital. Facilities here are comparable to any major town in metropolitan France. St. Denis straddles the mouth of the St. Denis River and sweeps upward into the flanks of la Montagne where modern apartment complexes and luxurious houses have replaced the shanty town of the post-war era. Pointe des Galets is the principal port of Réunion, 30-minute by car from the small capital, St. Denis. The island is best known for the rugged beauty of its interior. Major attractions include the fascinating and still active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, and three extinct craters known as cirques. Their forested slopes are dotted with isolated villages. Two thirds of the western part of Réunion are covered by mountain ranges, with the 9,200-foot-high Piton des Neiges the highest point on the island. The major source of income is from agriculture, mainly sugarcane, vanilla and the production of geranium oil used as a fixative in perfumes. Although the island has its share of beaches, most travellers arriving from France and South Africa come here for the stunning vistas of the interior. A taste of Créole-flavored French culture transported to the tropical setting of Réunion is also part of the attraction.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

Excursões em Pointe des Galets

Cirque of Salazie

One of Réunion's most extraordinary features, the cirques, is a highlight of this half-day excursion.


Vanilla Plantation

Departing the port, begin with a visit to a local vanilla plantation to learn about the cultivation and production of this important local resource.


Cirque of Salazie

Next, head inland to Salazie, where the scenery becomes breathtaking and the vegetation changes to luxuriant greenery. In several places, swing bridges cross the chasm to small farms on the other side. The unique, natural landforms of Réunion's cirques got their name due to the wide and deep hollows resembling an amphitheatre. Your trip takes you as far as the Voile de la Mariée, or Bride's Veil, the most stunning of the several waterfalls cascading down the mountainsides.


Following a photo stop, commence the return drive downhill and toward St. Denis, the island's capital and the cultural and commercial hub of Réunion. An approximate 30-minute drive from St. Denis brings you back to the port.


Please note: Tour involves driving on winding mountain roads and some easy walking.

Piton de la Fournaise Volcano

See the massive Piton de la Fournaise (Peak of the Furnace) basaltic shield volcano, on this full-day tour from Pointe des Galets. Rising more than 8,630 feet (2,631 metres) above sea level, it is still one of the world's most active volcanoes.


Depart the pier via coach for the approximate two-hour drive south to the island's second largest city, St. Pierre. Travel along the tamarind line coastal road head inland to the plains. During your drive, note the change in the countryside as it goes from green lush plains to lunar landscapes as you approach the volcano.


Continuing on up to the crater, the next stop is at Le Nez de Boeufs, a viewpoint of the 'plaine des sables' (plain of sands), made from black sand from volcanic activity.


Finally you arrive at the volcanic crater in Pas de Bellecombe, at a height of 7,580 feet (2,311 metres) above sea level. A short walk from the car park takes you to a lovely of the 'Fournaise'. Look down into the active crater that is mysteriously veiled by clouds. From here you are also afforded a spectacular view of the island.


Re-board your coach and descend to the plateau of Plaines des Cafres. Enjoy a typical creole lunch before your return drive to Pointe des Galets.


Please note: This tour involves a moderate walking along uneven surfaces. It is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those utilising a wheelchair. Flat comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight jacket for the cooler climate in the mountains are recommended. Don't forget to bring your camera.

Piton Maido - Volcanic Reunion

The dominant feature of Réunion Island is its volcanic nature, and every visit must include an introduction to the unique landforms, wonderful views and interesting flora and fauna.


Departure the pier via coach and drive along the West Coast of the island passing through the town of St. Paul where the first French settled in 1646. The leeward or West Coast's ever changing scenery is fringed with a long ribbon of beaches sometimes of white sand and sometimes of black sand.


Piton des Neiges

Fields of sugar cane, geraniums and tamarinds, with the cultivation characteristically changing as the altitude increases. The highest peak of Réunion, the Piton des Neiges volcano is flanked by three erosion-worn cirques. A cirque is a high volcanic basin surrounded by sheer rocky walls.


Mafate

The wildest of the cirques is Mafate, which is accessible only by walking or by helicopter. Follow the steep road up to Maïdo Peak for breathtaking views of the cirque of Mafate, the highest peak of the island, including that Piton des Neiges, and the plains below.


La Petite France

On the way back, pause at "La Petite France", or similar, to see the distillation of the geranium leaves into an essence used in perfume making. This process, which takes place about every two months, uses 1,540 pounds (700 kilos) of leaves to produce one litre of essence.


Drive through St. Paul to St. Gilles for a short stop to explore on your own. After this brief acquaintance with Réunion, return to the ship.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking, some of which is up/down inclines and over uneven surfaces. It is not suitabler for guests with limited mobility or those utilising a wheelchair. Guests must be able to get on/off the coach by climbing steps; wear flat comfortable walking shoes. There are numerous hairpin turns along the drive, therefore, this tour is not recommended for guests who are affected by motion sickness.

Discover Réunion by Helicopter

There is no better way to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Réunion than from the air. This exhilarating 45-minute airborne experience ranks among the island's top sightseeing options.


Flightseeing Spectacular

Following a short transfer to the heliport, begin your flightseeing adventure. From the coast, fly over the Cirque of Mafate and Salazie. Then fly over the Trou de Fer and the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the planet. You will be bewitched by the beauty of this island. Continue your flying by the Plaine des Cafres, Dimitile and the last one, Cilaos.


Finally, proceed towards the Cirques of Mafate before getting back to the beaches and St-Paul's lagoon.


The flight is a feast for the eyes and the senses. Upon return to the heliport, the transfer van is ready to take you back to Pointe des Galets and the ship.


Please note: Pilots may speak limited English and the tour does not include commentary. Participation is limited. Operation of the tour is subject to weather conditions. Minimum/maximum is 4 guests per helicopter.

Pointe Des Galets by Private Car & Driver/Guide - Half Day

Explore Pointe des Galets at your leisure during your choice of half-day (4-Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking driver/guide in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Pointe Des Galets by Private Car & Driver/Guide - Full Day

Explore Pointe des Galets at your leisure during your choice of full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking driver/guide in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Pointe Des Galets by Private Van & Guide - Half Day

Explore Pointe des Galets at your leisure during your choice of half-day (4-Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking driver/guide in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Pointe Des Galets by Private Van & Guide - Full Day

Explore Pointe des Galets at your leisure during your choice of full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking driver/guide in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.