Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, is truly a city of contrasts. The local culture blends tradition with contemporary, while the panoramic scenery can change rapidly between gorgeous views of the Indian Ocean to stunning sights of mountains and rainforests.
Located about 1,100 kilometres east of Madagascar, the African island nation of Mauritius is well known for its beautiful aquatic nature, including reefs, waterfalls, and lagoons. The country’s largest city of Port Louis is the ideal landing point for discovering these wonders for yourself, yet it also provides guests with plenty of modern luxuries and quaint city experiences as well.
A diverse mixture of ethnicities in the city means a wide variety of delicious cuisine and entertaining activities are available to cruise passengers here. However, it really is the natural sights – especially the glorious beaches – that make this an unforgettable stop for cruises sailing past eastern Africa. Companies including Costa Cruises, Princess Cruises, and MSC Cruises include Port Louis on their relevant itineraries.
Cruise ships dock at the Christian Decotter Cruise Jetty, which is located in the Les Salines district. Access bridges, shuttle services, or water taxis provide passengers with immediate access to the heart of the city.
The jetty sits on Trou Fanfaron Harbour, directly adjacent to downtown Port Louis and the Caudan Waterfront.
The Christian Decotter Cruise Jetty has won several awards. It features two access bridges, a dedicated cruise terminal with basic marquee facilities, and security cameras and perimeter fencing.
More importantly for cruise passengers, the jetty grants almost immediate access to the Caudan Waterfront, one of the trendiest and most modern spots in the city. This waterfront is also home to the Blue Penny Museum and Port Louis Casino.
Facilities available at the Caudan Waterfront include:
Restaurants and cafés
How To Get Around
Taking a taxi is the simplest way to get to most destinations in Port Louis or nearby. Taxis are regulated and metered here. However, during the day, traffic can move slowly through the city; if your next stop is within walking distance, travelling on foot may be faster.
Travel times from the Caudan Waterfront:
It is a 41 minute journey to the Natural History Museum and Company Garden
It is a 45 minute journey to Central Market
It is a 56 minute journey to Champ de Mars Racecourse
It is a 60 minute journey to Citadel Fort Adelaide.
It is a 6 minute journey to Central Market
It is a 9 minute journey to the Natural History Museum and Company Garden
It is a 9 minute journey to Citadel Fort Adelaide
It is a 10 minute journey to Champ de Mars Racecourse
It is a 22 minute journey to Long Mountain
It is a 31 minute journey to Trou aux Biches Beach
It is a 33 minute journey to Mont Choisy Beach.
Currency – The local currency in Port Louis is the Mauritian rupee (MUR or Rs). Coins come in 5 and 20 cents, and Rs½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 denominations. Notes come in Rs 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 denominations. Other currencies are not generally accepted, so plan to exchange cash upon arrival or use a major credit card for transactions.
Time Zone – Clocks in Port Louis are set to Mauritius Time (MUT), which is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – Port Louis’s climate is classed as hot semi-arid. The dry season lasts from May to November, during which a month may feature as few as 3 days of rainfall. Temperatures do not vary too dramatically throughout the year, from an average of 26 degrees Celsius in January to 20 degrees Celsius in July.
Beaches – For many visitors, the stunning beaches north of Port Louis are the city’s main drawcard. From the unbeatable sand quality of Trou aux Biches Beach to the tantalising turquoise waters of Mont Choisy Beach, the northern shore of Mauritius provides endless opportunities for relaxing, swimming, and snapping brilliant photos.
Natural History Museum – A visit to Port Louis should include a stop at the city’s Natural History Museum. Amongst other fascinating exhibits, you will discover the World of the Dodo, a section dedicated to the island’s now-extinct native bird, and the Giant Tortoise Gallery. Just outside is the quaint Company Garden, which is home to some historical monuments.
Champ de Mars Racecourse – If your time in Port Louis coincides with a race day, consider yourself lucky! The Champ de Mars Racecourse is one of the most exciting attractions in the area, especially when it is crowded with cheering fans and echoing with the sounds of galloping hooves. When no races are scheduled, the racecourse becomes a pleasant and peaceful place to spend a couple of hours relaxing.