Le Port ship models resonates the very existence of Mauritius, where people poured in on this tiny island on a ship from various parts of the world like India, Africa, France, Britain, etc. They were mainly bought for sugarcane cultivation and administration purposes. Today, the population has increased manifolds but they do not forget their roots and how they came to live on the island of Mauritius. The art of ship modeling was brought to Mauritius by various sailors who visited this island.
Le Port’s eye for detail and quality has many customers visiting them from around the world. Their craftsmen are adept in the art of miniaturisation and the techniques of replica work. At times it requires more than six months for a craftsman to produce a particular model. They also create half models and replicas. These models are built out of pure wood using traditional plank on frame technique.
We went to the ship modeling factory on a weekday but it was thick with visitors, mostly tourists. We were attended by a hostess who explained us the details of creating a replica and how much hard-work goes into preparing one. The entire production is segmented. A few artisans are expert in decking up the model with metal strips, wires, cloth pieces used as ship hoists, etc.; and a few paint and polish or give it a final touch.
The hostess explained us the procedure by taking us to each unit. First, the craftsmen carve out the base out of solid wood. Then the wood base goes to the set of artisans who create finer details like carving out designs, windows, steps, etc. Then the model is sent to artisans who paint and polish. Once the base is ready, then it proceeds to other artisans who give a model its unique features and details. The entire processes are time consuming and elaborate. I was astonished at their precision and attention to detail in spite of distractions in the form of visitors.
The factory also houses a jewellery section made from pearls and semi-precious stones. It also has products like turtles, Chinese symbols and birds made of crystals. It also has a section dedicated to historic globes.
The hostess urged us to buy ship models as it was considered a sign of good luck. We didn’t mind spending on a few models as they were unique and beautiful. We bought miniatures of Soleil Royale.
The cost of one mid-size model was MUR 700 and we thought that it was a beautiful gift for our set of parents. There were mini ship-models too which were priced at around MUR 300. Products at the Le Port ship models are duty-free. They are packed with customized boxes and packing material so that the models do not get damaged in the transit. We didn’t have any problem getting them to Mumbai.
The bigger models are packed in a unique packaging material and delivered directly to the airport. You can find similar products at Caudan Waterfront as well.
Pirate & Co Ltd (Le Port Ship Shop)
Opening Hours – Monday to Friday: 8h30 – 17h00
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays: 9h00 – 12h00