St. Brandon is a beautiful and untouched string of islands barely visible on any map. Exclusive visiting rights mean two days spent exploring the pristine ecosystem virtually alone are assured. Continue through Madagascar to reach Jacques Cousteau’s “last unprofaned sanctuary on this planet”', Aldabra Island, nourishing your chance of a lifetime to get connected to the Ocean on nature’s terms.
• Have 2 days to explore the islands, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons of Mauritius
• Visit Amber Mountain National Park and enjoy leisurely natural history walks in the private nature reserve, home to five species of lemur, leaf-tailed geckos and ring-tailed mongoose as well as 15 different waterfalls
• Pay a visit to one of the ylang-ylang distilleries. The fragrant flowers are a basic ingredient for expensive perfumes and are steam-processed to extract the oil
• Enjoy clean and private beaches that offer great swimming and snorkelling
• Enjoy spectacular Aldabra – a natural paradise on earth
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this inspiring Expedition entitled, “Exploring the Infinite Indian Ocean.” After settling in, join your Expedition Team to participate in a mandatory safety drill, followed by sail away cocktails out on deck. This evening, become well acquainted with the ship and enjoy the first of many fabulous dining experiences in The Restaurant.
The Silver Discoverer will ply the waters of the Cargados Bank in Mauritius for two full days so that we might dedicate our time to exploring the islands, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons here in true expeditionary style.
Roughly 40 islands pepper the Bank with a total land mass of 1.3 square kilometres. Meanwhile, the coral reef covers approximately 190 square kilometres. A few of the islands support coconut palms, bushes and grass, but the granulated coral sands are the star of the show. In the distant past, the Cargados Bank was one large volcano, likely formed by tectonic plates dragging over the Reunion hotspot. Be prepared to explore the fascinating geology, marine life, and bird species here to your heart’s content over the next two days.
Life on a Silversea expedition ship is packed with new experiences, explorations, and inspirational moments. A day at sea is no different, but the relaxed pace of sea time is a welcome balance to every voyage’s adventure. As the miles to Madagascar peel away in our churning wake, you may wish to take advantage of the fascinating lecture series offered aboard. Our expedition team is comprised of experts in their fields who bring their subjects to life by sharing images and videos representing a wealth of experience. More entertaining and relevant than most university lectures, the choice of presentations on offer through our sea days will stimulate both thought and conversation aboard the ship.
Be out on deck early this morning as the Silver Discoverer enters the attractive Bay of Diego, and one of the largest natural bays in the world. Enjoy the views as we cruise the eight nautical miles towards Antsiranana, known as Diego Suarez until 1975 and still called Diego by many. Diego Suarez is actually named after the two Portuguese explorers who “discovered” Madagascar in 1506. In fact, their names were Diego Diaz and Fernando Suarez. In 1885, the beginning of the French protectorate, the French Navy built a military base here and urban growth followed. In 1942, the Allies launched Operation Ironclad and landed forces at Courrier Bay and Ambararata Bay, just west of Diego Suarez. Hundreds of British soldiers fell in the Battle of Madagascar, and most of them were buried in the special British cemetery in the center of town.
From ‘Diego’ we travel to Montagne d’Ambre (Amber Mountain). This is an isolated patch of montane forest that rises from the surrounding dry region. The park is famous for its waterfalls, crater lakes, and wildlife, especially chameleons. At Joffreville, we visit the Domaine de Fontenay, and its 300 hectares of parkland. This former colonial villa with its century-old manor house is the perfect place to relax after a visit to Amber Mountain National Park. We will enjoy leisurely natural history walks in the private nature reserve, home to five species of lemur, leaf-tailed geckos and ring-tailed mongoose as well as 15 different waterfalls.
Local authorities will clear the ship into Madagascar on the small island of Nosy Be. Once granted clearance to enter the country, we will head out to Lokobe Strict Reserve, located on the southern side of Nosy Be. The reserve’s humid evergreen forests are the habitat of endangered black lemurs that only occur in this part of Madagascar. The lemurs are real beauties and while the males are black as the name suggests, the females can be told apart by their rich reddish brown coloration. In addition to black lemurs, other nocturnal lemur species live here such as the gray-backed sportive and mouse lemurs.
The Lokobe Strict Reserve is home to endemic birds including the Madagascar Pygmy Kingfisher and the Madagascar Long-eared Owl. Spectacular panther-chameleons, local endemic frogs and several snakes also reside here. After hiking in the western part of the reserve, we will pay a visit to one of the ylang-ylang distilleries. The fragrant flowers are a basic ingredient for expensive perfumes and are steam-processed to extract the oil. There are so many pleasant fragrances enveloping the island, including ylang-ylang, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, coconut, and cinnamon, that Nosy Be’s potpourri of nature’s scents will give yet another dimension to our visit.
During lunch, Silver Discoverer will reposition to Ampangorina on Nosy Komba’s north coast.
Nosy Komba is a small, attractive volcanic island between Nosy Be and the mainland of Madagascar. The island is covered by a magnificent primal forest and has easily accessible, clean and private beaches that offer great swimming and snorkelling. The dense tropical forest, surrounded by clear waters, is home to a multitude of animals from lemurs and makis macacos, to chameleons, lizards, snakes, spiders, and 19 species of birds. Sea turtles, rays, and dolphins frequent the waters around Nosy Komba.
From Nosy Komba, Silver Discoverer sets a course to the northwest to reach Assumption Island.
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Aldabra is reputedly the world’s second-largest atoll. For two days Silver Discoverer will anchor off Aldabra for the opportunity to visit this remote part of the Seychelles’ Outer Islands. Aldabra has been described as one of nature’s treasures and it will truly be a privilege to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Due to its extreme isolation, Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans and its distinctive island fauna includes the Aldabra giant tortoise. About two thirds of the world population of giant tortoises live on Aldabra. As Aldabra lacks freshwater and is difficult to access, the island has not been developed for tourism. Only a handful of smaller ships with special permits are allowed to call at this unique atoll.
We hope to enjoy exhilarating drift snorkels as the incoming tide whisks us into a lagoon populated with eagle rays, turtles, and coral gardens teeming with marine life. Time and tides permitting, we may cruise via Zodiac through narrow channels between fossilized coral islands, and between mangrove-covered islands to observe large colonies of nesting boobies and Great Frigatebirds soaring overhead. As the tides pump water in and out of the lagoon, massive numbers of fish come and go through channels to feed. We can snorkel in these same channels, allowing the current to carry us along in the magical scene. Conditions permitting, we will go ashore to visit the small research station on Picard Island and photograph the mighty tortoises living on this isolated spit of land.
While expedition travel with Silversea Expeditions is primarily about the excitement and the delight to be found in exploring remote and infrequently visited corners of the world, it remains that you travel with a company renowned for its attention to detail and offering some of the most exemplary service available at sea today. Perhaps a sea day is your opportunity to enjoy a late breakfast served in the privacy and comfort of your suite. Later, you may choose to join new friends to savor a sunset cocktail on the aft deck as the sun slips below the horizon. Sea days also present a perfect opportunity to enjoy a workout in the gym, indulge in a massage, or visit the salon. In essence, time at sea is time to get spoiled with the service that only Silversea can offer.
Be sure to take time out today to attend the screening of the voyage’s video recap that our Videographer has been hard at work to create for you. It will feature the highlights of this epic voyage through the seemingly infinite Indian Ocean.
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
Overall size of 186 SQ.FT. / 17.3 M2. Enjoy a sitting area to watch brilliant scenery through a view window. With preferred midship location, Deck 4 Explorer Suites accommodate three guests. As on Deck 4, the Explorer Suites on Deck 3 offer an ample view window and relaxing sitting area, with enough room for three guests. An enchanting retreat suitable for three guests, Deck 2 suites exude cozy opulence, with porthole window views and a cushy sitting area. Features: View window or portholes, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Writing desk, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Flat screen television
Overall size of 181 SQ. FT. / 16.8 M2. Welcoming and comfortable, the View Suite provides a relaxing haven for even the utmost adventure-seeking guests. Complete a day spent exploring onshore with an evening unwinding in the comfort of your sitting area. Capture passing ocean scenes through your view window. Freshen up in your beautiful marbled bathroom before enjoying an elegant onboard dinner. Or cozy up under fine bed linens to watch an on-demand movie on the flat-screen television. Fall asleep easily, dreaming of the incredible experiences that await you the following day. Features: View window, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Choice of bathroom amenities, Writing desk, Hair dryer, Personal safe, Flat screen television with DVD and satellite reception, Wifi available (fees apply)
Overall size of 269 SQ. FT. / 25 M2. A quiet sanctuary. The suite’s sitting area has plenty of room to relax while on your cruise. Large picture windows frame panoramic ocean views. The perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed. Some Vista Suites accommodate three guests. Features: Large view window(s), Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Choice of bathroom amenities, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Writing desk, Flat screen television with DVD and satellite reception, Wifi available (fees apply)
Overall size of 280 SQ. FT. / 26 M2 (including a private balcony 35.5 SQ. FT. / 3.2 M2 ). Veranda Suites 601, 602, 603 and 604 can accommodate three guests. A Silversea signature, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with patio furniture. Veranda Suites lavishly accommodate three guests. Features: Veranda or balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Writing desk, Flat screen television
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 338 Feet/102.9 Metres
Passenger Capacity: 120 passengers
Her small size and shallow draft allow close-up access to rugged coasts well beyond the reach of ordinary vessels. And she has been newly refurbished to help guests maximize their experience and build a genuine connection with the regions they visit.
Spacious decks and panoramic public rooms mean the drama of the unexpected is never far from view. A fleet of Zodiacs allows exploration from the water or remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictate. Since many of our expeditions sail to some of the world's most pristine coral reef systems, there's a glass-bottom boat for underwater viewing along with a full complement of snorkelling equipment and a dive programme for advanced divers.
We've also taken great care to assemble a truly outstanding Expedition Team, composed of experts in the culture, history and wild life of the destinations, to present informal talks, guide Zodiac outings and lead small-group explorations ashore. While back on board, every creature comfort awaits: an ocean-view suite, in-suite bar and the head-to-toe pampering of a butler; elegant lounges and open bar where fellow travellers gather to swap tales about their day's adventures; and cuisine that meets Silversea's standards of culinary excellence — which are lofty, indeed. Imaginative menus in The Restaurant feature both regional offerings and dishes inspired by Relais & Châteaux. Additional amenities include a sun-catching pool deck, an internet cafe, a fitness centre, and a beauty and massage centre — particularly alluring after an adventurous day ashore.