Indeed, even though the excursion all signed up for ended abruptly, the cruise line involved gave all 627 who were on board their damaged ship a free vacation on this exotic island nation that is comprised of some 115 islands.
And so, according to a statement from Costa Cruises, 70 percent of those who had reached country about 932 miles east of Africa after being towed into the Seychelles were excited to stay on and soak up this appealing environment.
But these holiday seekers were not going to be traveling by ship. Instead, the sojourners who opted to take the line up on its offer to stay for up to two weeks at the company’s expense would be walking, flying, driving and being escorted around the various hot spots that had become part of their revised itinerary.
On the roster and on Costa's tab are stays in Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette and Cerfs, with return flights also provided by the cruise line. Meanwhile, those who did not take advantage of this continuing travel experience left out of Seychelles International airport, heading for Paris and Milan via Rome, and to Zurich via Vienna on March 2.
As for those disembarked passengers who stayed around after the Costa Allegra was pulled into the Seychelles, these adventurers were about to discover this stunning destination's most popular tourist haunts.
Praslin is ripe with flora and fauna in its tropical forests, with colorful parrots greeting hikers to their own version of paradise. Also on tap in this Seychelle island for the Costa Allegra crowd--and everyone else who happens to get the amazing opportunity to spend some time there--is a jaw dropping nature preserve called Vallee de Mai in which vanilla orchids proliferate.
On La Digue to the east of Praslin and linked by ferry, travelers have the chance to encounter the rare exotic bird called the black paradise flycatcher, one of only 100 still in existence. This species can be spotted in the Veuve Nature Reserve, while Belle Vue--or Eagle's Nest Mountain-- calls visitors to its summit in the Seychelles which lies some 1,000 feet above sea level.
Passengers from the Costa Allegra will also discover remote Silhouette, population 130. Visitors arrive via helicopter to this volcanic island named after a French dignitary who lived during the 18th century. Mountains dot this scenic area of the Seychelles with Dauban being the highest peak and home to exotic albizia trees.
Near the ocean, the only plantation house on Silhouette is one of the most exciting the Seychelles has to offer, but visitors also appreciate the luxury villas built for travelers who find themselves on this stunning resort that rivals what one might find in, say, Bali or Bora Bora. Many of these digs are secluded, ready for romance with huge private balconies and gardens.
Meanwhile, the tiny island of Cerfs is home to Set Anne Marine National Park and is surrounded by a picturesque coral reef and some entertaining sea life, including clown fish and giant tortoises. Diving is a must here.
This out-of-the-way Indian Ocean remote spot--which hosts no boutiques, but does offer both a tiny art gallery and a single church--only comes equipped with two hotels, one guest lodge and a trio of eateries. The tiny L'Habitation has been on the island for a little more than a decade, providing visitors with seaside terraces, beachy decor, and plantation-style housing surrounded by lush tropical landscaping.
And so, with all of this now being discovered by the Costa Allegra passengers who were not able to finish their voyage, these perks in the Seychelles should prove to make the ending of their sea adventure sweet instead of bitter. Indeed, this trip with its unplanned itinerary most definitely will be one to remember.