SY Sea Pearl of Silhouette Cruises
Description: SV Sea Pearl moored I Location: Victoria / Mahé I Date: March 2022 I Copyright: SHIPS@SEA

SV SEA PEARL – pure sailing ship feeling on a historic schooner

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In the middle of the Indian Ocean, we enter what is probably the most famous pearl of the Seychelles: the historic cruise ship SV SEA PEARL of the local cruise line Silhouette Cruises. The venerable, converted former schooner from 1915 pauses in the low season directly in front of Silhouette Cruises‘ offices in Mahé harbour. Before it sets sail again shortly and shows tourists from all over the world the most beautiful spots of the unique island world of the Seychelles, skipper Cedric shows us his ship and leaves no door closed.

All hands on deck

We board the venerable cruise schooner via the outer promenade of the adjacent Sea Star – the youngest ship in the Silhouette fleet – and stand on the sun deck of the Silhouette Pearl. Since 1999, the Sea Pearl has been cruising through the island world, visiting both the inner and outer Seychelles. The sun deck is spacious and, in keeping with the ship’s origins, somewhat nested. There is also a highlight at the bow and stern:

Bowsprit net and „Fly Bridge“

The so-called bowsprit net at the bow can be walked on and probably offers the best place on board and a view of the water. Of course we try it out immediately. Although we are moored, we really enjoyed this climbing action. How must that feel under sail?At the stern then the next highlight: In the mostly good weather of the Seychelles, the Sea Pearl is steered from the open „fly bridge“ located under a sun sail. A large wooden steering wheel bears witness to the maritime style of past decades and at the same time you have a wonderful view over the Sea Pearl. Of course, there is also a „real“ bridge, which, contrary to today’s ship designs, is located aft. From here you can access the truly compact engine room. Despite its small dimensions, it offers two power generators and a workshop corner in addition to its relatively new main engine.

Maritime charm and historic cabins

Midships below deck is the dining saloon, the tiny-looking galley and the stairway to the cabin deck below. The eight passenger cabins, like the other passenger areas, are air-conditioned and have electric light and a washbasin. In addition, a little daylight falls down via tiny light slots – that’s all there is. The cabin size is manageable and yet up to three guests will be able to fit in one cabin. Three WC’s and four showers are clustered in one area at the Pearl´s stern. They are shared by everyone on board and cleaned by the crew daily.

Immersion under white sails

Whenever possible, the 2-masted schooner is sailed and, according to Silhouette Cruises, passengers are welcome to lend a hand and assist the experienced crew of eight. This certainly adds to the charm of the unique rustic ship. In favourable winds, the Sea Pearl multiplies its speed and makes up to 12kts. As with all Silhouette Cruises ships, this oldie is also equipped with the latest diving equipment and an accompanying instructor. The opportunity to experience the Seychelles in this way, both modern and old-fashioned, makes the Sea Pearl what it has been for over a hundred years: a maritime pearl with a lot of charm at sea.

All photo-galleries of the Sea Pearl can be found here under „Views of Sea Pearl“.

ADVERTISEMENT: SHIPS@SEA visited SV Sea Pearl in the port of Victoria at the invitation of Silhouette Cruises.



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