Sitting off the southeast coast of Africa is Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, and one of the great sailing locations worldwide. The island evolved in isolation separated from mainland Africa--its famed for its largely endemic array of wildlife and biodiversity. Nosy Be is a small archipelago located along the northwest coast of Madagascar and by far the most popular sailing destination in the country. While world cruisers get to set their eyes on a diverse landscape dotted with archipelagos and a rich agricultural land, it is the mix of culture and nature that brings this itinerary to life.
The Madagascar Expedition - limited to three private double cabins aboard a premier 53' catamaran with a crew of 4 comprised of a Malagasy captain and Sailing Collective chef & translator.
Price per traveler: $4350 [$480 per day all-inclusive] | Cabin availability: 3*
A private cabin aboard a catamaran
Private local captain & personal chef
SC travel guide & French to English translator
All meals aboard + beverages (including stock spirits, beer, and wine)
Not included: Crew gratuity, travel, mandatory travel insurance
*Price listed is per cabin. Please review Terms & Conditions and the Cancelation Policy prior to booking. By booking a cabin, you agree to all Terms & Conditions.
The land is great but when you chose to set sail with The Sailing Collective you will encounter life-altering experiences and you will see some of the most remote islands in the world, only reachable by boat.
Crater Bay, Nosy Be After departing Crater Bay, it’s common to sail counter-clockwise around Nosy Be with the first leg of the itinerary sailing towards Nosy Amariovato. From there, sailing along the east side of Nosy Be en route to Nosy Mitsio. After a few days in the norther islands, sailing south with an overnight anchorage in Nosy Sakatia located on Nosy Be’s western coast is recommended. South from there is Russia Bay (or Ambavatoby Bay) and Nosy Iranja, two popular locations during the itinerary.
Nosy Mitsio - Sailing north from Nosy Be, you’ll find a small archipelago that’s roughly 45 nautical miles north of Nosy Be and made up of about one dozen islands. La Grande Mitsio is the largest island, with a few small farming villages dotting the landscape. There are no stores or even a supply shop ashore. A five kilometer long white sand beach lines the main cove. Upon arrival, you will find a very different and traditional way of living. Nosy Mitsio is completely isolated and the few villages on the island trade only minimally outside of their communities, unlike Nosy Be which is home to resorts accommodating mostly French and Italian tourists. Nosy Mitsio has remained more untouched by modern ways of life. The island is lush with palm trees along the beach where the settlements are built.
Tsarabanjina - After spending a few days exploring the various islands in the northern archipelago, most sailors turn their itinerary south towards Nosy Be. Along the way is the small island of Tsarabanjina. Surrounded by coral reefs and covered in layers of thick greenery, this small island is located between Nosy Be and Nosy Mitsio, perfectly suited for an afternoon stopover to swim off your boat. Only one suitable anchorage exists here, which is located off the Southern point of the island. Along the beach is an exclusive resort with private bungalows and a bar made from the island’s traditional timber. The bar welcomes sailors for tropical drinks and freshly caught seafood dishes. Take note that an overnight in this anchorage is only suitable in very light winds and not recommended by local mariners. Good snorkeling can be found on either side of the beach. The resort itself is private and offers an exclusive ambiance to only a few lucky patrons at a time and sailors are able to experience a taste of it.
Nosy Iranja - South of Nosy Be located a few nautical miles from mainland Madagascar is Nosy Iranja. The island is home to some of the most tranquil turquoise waters sitting off the Baramahamay River and surrounded by mangrove trees that feed into an electric blue colored sea. A well positioned lighthouse has been constructed at the top of this island, which is also home to the school on the island. Nosy Iranja is a hatching ground for both Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles, which can be seen swimming around the anchorage. These turtles can grow up to 5 feet long and are easy to spot from the boat as they come up for a breath in between dives to snack on the seagrass below. There is a long spit of white sand that connects the main island of Nosy Iranja with its southeast point. Anchoring along the eastern coast off the sandy spit makes for a perfect location to swim with the turtles and have easy access to dinghy ashore.
Russian Bay - Ambavatory, or Russian Bay is 25 nautical miles from Nosy Be located on mainland Madagascar at the tip of the Ampasindava Peninsula. Sheltered from the sea and surrounded by vibrant green hills that are completely covered with a jungle, Russian Bay is a remarkable environmental ecosystem that’s frequented by pods of dolphins, whale sharks and other unique species. It also serves as a mating ground for humpback whales, while the beaches are a nesting place for sea turtles. The bay is also lined with exceptional coral reefs. Taking a dinghy ride ashore, you will find a gorgeous forest that’s inhabited by lemurs, wild boar, birds, bats and the Pygargue Madagascar, one of the rarest raptors in the world. On land, there are scattered fishing villages along the waterfront, and the community is largely made up of boatbuilders and fishermen that happily welcome you ashore to explore their domain. Most of the villagers speak only Malagasy, so a smile and some pantomiming goes a long way in making new friends.
What airport do I need to fly into?
Fascene Airport NOS. Nosy Be, Madagascar. Common flight options: USA to Paris then separate flight Paris to Nosy Be on Air Austral. There are numerous flights with a layover in Addis Ababa Mole International Airport, Ethiopia. Additional flights have layovers in the Madagascar capital of Antananarivo with layovers in Johannesburg.
What is the average flight cost from New York City to Madagascar?
$1600 to $2200 round trip and the average flight time is 24 hours. Take your time for a layover in South Africa, Paris, or Antananarivo.
When should I arrive?
We recommend you arrive in Nosy Be, Madagascar one-day in advance to acclimate to the climate and environment.
What style of travel should I expect with Sailing Collective in Madagascar?
It's not about luxury in this itinerary, it's about experience. We'll be sailing in some of the most remote areas on earth and resources can be limited. For example, the catamarans you'll be living on will be older than the normal catamaran used during the Sailing Collective voyage. It is difficult to get new parts being so remote. But we're here not for luxury - you can book a 5-star hotel after charter and life aboard is all about the experience, community, and joys of travel. This is adventure travel - you should be prepared for it.
What kind of traveler is a good fit for this voyage in Madagascar?
Sailing Collective provides a high level of customer service and we work diligently to make sure you are fully prepared and ready for the voyage. With that said, we do expect you to be a seasoned traveler who is easy-going and amenable to change in an unpredictable journey.
The Sailing Collective Travel Co. takes food to a new level. We believe by sourcing local ingredients from local friends we have made throughout our travels pushes us to experience where we are by being engulfed by the regional flavors. You will feel bewildered at first, and then you will feel ecstasy with each meal.
Each voyage, both group & private, has a private culinary artist aboard preparing some of the most unique, interesting, and thoughtful food you may ever enjoy in your life! From breakfast to dinner each day of the journey, we are blessed by beautiful meals by one of the most talented culinary teams in travel anywhere in the world.
Book a flight to Paris, France then book a separate flight to Nosy Be. Option to bookmark your travel with a day+ in Paris. The alternative option, stay at the Sheraton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Hotel for brief layovers.
Air Austral Schedule Paris, France -> Nosy Be, Madagascar
Air Austral Schedule Nosy Be, Madagascar -> Paris, France
Air Austral | Paris to Nosy Be (brief layover in Reunion)
Book a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa then book a separate flight to Nosy Be, Madagascar (Sunday flights only). Option to bookmark your travel with a day+ in Johannesburg, South Africa. The alternative option, stay at the InterContinental Johannesburg O.RTambo Aiport Hotel for brief layovers.
Airlink Schedule Johannesburg, South Africa -> Nosy Be, Madagascar
Airlink Schedule Nosy Be, Madagascar -> Johannesburg, South Africa
Airlink | Johannesburg to Nosy Be direct
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