When Tim and Marlien Gentges embarked on Qatar Airways for a 12-hour flight from Germany, little did they know they would land in Seychelles on Monday, October 11, as the lucky 114,859th visitor, marking a milestone for the Indian Ocean Island destination and being feted as the number of visitors for the year surpassed that of 2020.
Travel lovers in their 30s, Tim, a professional handball player and police officer, and Marlien, a secondary school teacher, live on a little farm in Dusseldorf in Germany with their animals and enjoy traveling together.
Marlien loves to travel, whereas Tim wasn’t very keen at first as with his work and sports team he did not have much time to venture far from home. However, after their first trip together to Canada, he has fallen in love with traveling with his wife. Together or alone, the couple has visited several countries around the globe including Croatia, France, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Spain, Fiji, and Sri Lanka. The Seychelles is the first island destination they have been together as a couple.
Marlien and Tim, who met at a handball game when they were teenagers, got married in Germany on June 6, 2020, and explained how they chose the destination. Having traveled to all the continents together except for Africa, the couple wanted to honeymoon in a country in Africa; that is when they discovered and chose Seychelles. They had planned to come in 2020 after their wedding but due to COVID-19 travel restrictions they had to put their travel plans on hold.
“We were planning on coming to the Seychelles right after our wedding but because of COVID this wasn’t possible, so we planned to 2021 or 2022,” Marlien said revealing that when they were planning their honeymoon she wanted to come to Seychelles, and Tim wasn’t too sure, but on their arrival, they were both over the moon that it had been the right choice.
“We are so happy to have come when we did because it got us to be the lucky couple to mark a milestone in the Seychelles,” Marlien said.
They had a lot of preparations to make prior to travel due to COVID-19 and were worried when they were stopped on landing in Seychelles, only to find out they were to be feted as marking the important milestone for the destination.
“We couldn’t believe that we were the lucky number, it was crazy. It was very welcoming and very friendly. Everyone told us that people in Seychelles are very friendly and we agree,” Marlien and Tim said happily.
The couple who was in Seychelles for 8 days said they were looking to experience as much of the islands as possible and savoring creole cuisine.
For their first day on Mahé, the Tourism Department hosted the couple for an excursion aboard Mason’s Travel’s Anahita catamaran where they enjoyed a fun-filled day exploring the wonders of the Seychelles waters of the Ste. Anne Marine Park.
Through the transparent glass of a semi-submersible vessel, they feasted their eyes on a plethora of tropical fish, creatures that inhabit the park’s colorful coral gardens. This was followed by a swim in the warm turquoise waters, feeding the fish that came close as they snorkeled in the marine park.
Tim and Marlien particularly enjoyed their creole lunch and musical entertainment by the Mason’s Travel team before heading ashore to explore Moyenne Island and its amazing flora and fauna. Marlien was overjoyed to be able to see and meet the Giant Tortoises that freely roam the area as well as the baby one in the nursery. “I can tick off meeting a giant tortoise off my holiday list; I am so happy,” she said.
The couple has made the most of their stay, kayaking and snorkeling, as well as swimming in the famous rock pool at Bliss Hotel Glacis and visiting La Digue Island where they were looking forward to cycling around the island.
Marlien and Tim say a return is in the cards, and they would want to come back to Seychelles, with friends or family.
MEDIA CONTACT: Tourism Seychelles, firstname.lastname@example.org