Blue-chip company chooses Seychelles to launch semi-submersible sea vessels 

Should this endeavour prove successful, an expansion towards neighbouring island nations could be in the plans. 



Seychelles has been chosen amongst other tourism destinations in the Indian Ocean by South Korean HLB Inc., as the ideal location to introduce two semi-submersibles through one of their companies called Penguin Ocean Leisure (POL). 

The “Penguins”, as they have been dubbed by their South Korean creators, will be an addition to the adventure-excursion offerings. The two state of the art and family-friendly vessels, which can fit up to six people at a time, represents a definite first for Seychelles and the South-West Indian Ocean. The two semisubmersibles will be operated by Creole Travel Services (CTS). The price of an excursion has not yet been decided but CTS is working on something that would be reasonable, said Arthur Lopinto, the JFAlbert Group of Companies’ group public relations (PR) and communications manager, which CTS forms part of.

Seychellois in particular will benefit from local rates. “We realise that over the past years, locals have had this belief that all our excursions are available to foreigners only, which is not true.” Any Seychellois is therefore welcome to “hop on one of our excursions” continued Mr. Lopinto. He also added that CTS is putting together a Seychelles fish chart so that Seychellois children, just like visitors’ children, can grab and cross-reference with the fish that they see swimming by. 


People will have the opportunity to experience the St. Anne Marine Park. 


Mr. Lopinto believes that the semi-submersible will be educational. “People will have the chance to discover our coral reef and the many species of fish that we have. This will bring awareness to our visitors about our fragile eco system,” he said. “This project goes beyond a commercial venture for us. It is about discovery, learning and eco-awareness as well”.

Well versed in the Asian market, Mr. Lopinto says that he knows that the “Penguins” will be “very popular among our Asian clients, especially the Chinese, who go crazy for these types of activities”.

Mr. Lopinto says that they will start using the semi-submersibles “as soon as possible”. Currently, CTS is assessing which of the coral reefs would be ideal for the excursion but he did note that it Starfish Excursion of Mahé”. The plan is to have the semi-submersible leave the Angelfish Marina jetty at 8.30am and go towards the St. Anne National Marine Park where those on board will have the opportunity to feed the fish, snorkel in the marine park, have a barbecue lunch on Cerf Island and then an afternoon of leisure before heading back to Mahé.

Both vessels were introduced to invited guests aboard the “Oplezir” catamaran in the St. Anne marine park. The guests consisted of Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St. Ange, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) Sherin Naiken, deputy CEO of the STB Nathalie Didon, principal secretary (PS) of Tourism Anne Lafortune, His Excellency Mr. Jeong and CTS amongst others. 


Seychelles is the first country in the south western part of the
Indian Ocean to have “Penguins“.


Source: 3-4-16