My review of a catamaran trip to Deer Island in Mauritius

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Sea tour to Deer Island (Ile aux Cerfs) stands as one of the most popular in Mauritius. It claims a spot on the on the list of must-do day trips for anyone vacationing on the island, and rightfully so. In this piece, I’ll provide an in-depth review of my catamaran voyage to Deer Island, detailing the experiences you can expect from this tour.

Sea vacation on a catamaran in Mauritius

Catamaran riding – one of the most sought-after sea activities in Mauritius

Which tour option to choose: catamaran or speedboat?

A boat tour to Deer Island is offered at all hotels and street kiosks. What’s more, it is not just offered, it is recommended as one of the most valuable sea experiences in Mauritius. This tour holds universal appeal: it’s neither tiring nor monotonous, making it engaging and suitable even for families with children.

When considering a tour to Deer Island, you’ll find two primary options:

  • Speedboat tour – a rich trip, including a visit to a couple more islands. Great for those who love outdoor activities. You can find out prices and available dates for this tour on the GYG website →
  • Catamaran tour – a leisurely, full-day trip on a 14-meter catamaran with snorkeling and barbecue. For those who really want to relax. I chose this option, and below I will tell you why. The price starts from 50€ and up depending on the program. You can find out prices for this tour on this page →
💡 Tip: Opting for a catamaran tour is advisable for families with children. This choice minimizes the likelihood of motion sickness and offers ample shade. Catamaran rides are generally better tolerated by children compared to motorboat journeys.

How much does an excursion to Deer Island cost?

I made a table with prices for different options for a boat tour. The table has a description of what is included in the tour, price and a link where you can check available dates and verify the exact price. All options include the basic version.

Description Price More details
Basic catamaran: BBQ, GRSE waterfall, Deer Island, snorkeling 60 € Tour page
Catamaran + visit to the island with a lighthouse 100 € Tour page
Catamaran + parasailing + underwater tour 150 € Tour page
Private tour on a 14m catamaran for a group of 15 people 1150 € Tour page

Private sea tour is when only you and your family or friends are on a speedboat or catamaran. In fact, this is renting a catamaran or speedboat for a day. It is best to book a private catamaran trip several days or even a week in advance. You can find the available catamaran options on the Viator website →

There are many more tour options for visiting Deer Island than listed in the table. You can choose the most suitable for you by comparing prices and programs using this list →

Deer Island (Ile aux Cerfs) sea tour: my review

I planned my trip to Mauritius so that the tour to the island of Ile aux Cerfs was on the day between hiking in Black River Gorges National Park and climbing Le Morne Brabant Mountain. This boat trip is very peaceful, and you can really relax, chill all day on a catamaran, while looking at the pristine Indian Ocean and the island of Mauritius.

holidays in Mauritius

One of the photos I took during the tour. During a snorkeling stop, a boat taking tourists on a parachute ride approached our catamaran.

What to expect: A relaxed, quiet catamaran ride to a beautiful waterfall and island with a couple of snorkeling stops.

What not to expect on the tour: an intense or hard program for the whole day.

The catamaran is small, but you won’t feel the waves. It moves smoothly and doesn’t swing. Unlike riding a speedboat, riding a catamaran does not cause nausea. I specially chose a catamaran ride, because after many speedboat tours in Thailand I realized that I don’t like bouncing on the waves like that.

There is plenty of room on catamarans. If you want, you can sunbathe on the deck or you can sit in the shade and drink cocktails. Everyone can find a comfortable spot without any problems.

Review of a sea excursion on a catamaran in Mauritius

The atmosphere was great on the catamaran. Everyone did what they wanted: chilled, drank cocktails, made friends and chatted

There was plenty of food. I won’t say that the food was wow, but it was tasty, and even vegans could find something for themselves. Bellow I’ll tell you about BBQ on the catamaran tour and show how we were fed.

My conclusion: this boat tour is ideal for those who truly looking for relax aboard a catamaran.

A boat trip to Gabriel Island is more suitable for those who want an active vacation with snorkeling. More details about the tour can be found on this page →

🤿 5 best snorkeling spots in Mauritius

Catamaran tour in photos: how everything was organized, what places I visited

In the morning a minibus which collected all the tourists came to the hotel to pick me up, because I bought a tour with transport included.

Then we were taken to the dock in the northeast of the island, from where all boats and catamarans depart to Deer Island.

Important: Bring your tour payment voucher with you. On the dock, a travel agency employee checked all the tourists according to the list. Some people had already paid for the tour, some hadn’t. But you will have to show your payment voucher.

After everyone gathered, we were all taken by boat to the catamaran, and we set off on our little adventure.

On board, everyone was immediately offered drinks and alcohol (beer, wine and cocktails). By the way, alcohol was unlimited. A group of Italians got so drunk by the end of the trip that one of the guys didn’t even notice that he stepped on a sea urchin.🙈

The main thing is not to abuse alcohol in the heat: it goes straight to the head
After the first snorkeling stop, they took us to the GRSE Waterfall, which is one of the ten most beautiful waterfalls on the island. The waterfall itself is not accessible by catamaran, so everyone was transferred to a motorboat.

GRSE Waterfall in Mauritius

Here you can see what kind of motorboat is used to bring tourists to the waterfall. In the photo, the GRSE Waterfall is visible from afar, so it seems smaller. In reality, it is much more powerful

Monkeys live in the bushes near the waterfall and gladly approach tourists to ask for food, but they also like to steal things. That is why you should keep all your things with you.

After visiting the waterfall, there was another stop for snorkeling and barbecue.
The barbecue was prepared by the staff right there on the catamaran: chicken and fish. I can’t tell you anything about the chicken because I don’t eat meat, but I can tell you that the fish was delicious. There was also rice, vegetables, roasted bananas. There was plenty of food. Everyone could find something for themselves. Here’s what it looked like:

🥘 10 Mauritian dishes you should try

The last point of the tour is Deer Island (Ile aux Cerfs). Here everyone was given a free hour to relax on the island. We could snorkel, sunbathe or go for a walk around the island.

Caution: there are sea urchins in the waters around the coast of Ile aux Cerfs.

After relaxing on the island of Ile aux Cerf, everyone was brought back to the dock and transferred to their hotels in Mauritius.

My impressions of the tour can be described by the word “relaxation”. I relaxed. I spent the whole day being rolled on the ocean, looking at the fish and Mauritius, sunbathing and slowly drinking rosé. What else do you need for a good vacation?

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My name is Tatiana, and I am glad to see you in my Mauritius travel guide.
For more than 12 years I have been traveling and creating travel guides to different countries. For the first time I got to Mauritius in 2018. I got inspired by the island so much that I decided to create this guide.
I personally visited all the places described on this site. Photos and texts are also taken and written by me. I update articles regularly to keep them up to date.
I hope you’ll forgive any errors or awkward phrasing, as I am not a native English speaker.