Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by our team of expert guides and lecturers, allows you to fully experience the lands you’ll visit.
• See UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Goa
• Explore the Lakshadweep Islands
• See Cochin’s Backwater by local boat and enjoy Keralan cuisine
• Look for elephants and crocodiles in Yala National Park
• See UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka
Embark Silver Discoverer this afternoon and depart on your exciting 14-day Silversea Expedition – Laccadive Sea and Bay of Bengal. After a mandatory safety drill, head out onto the Pool Deck for a ‘Sail Away’ party, leaving Mumbai behind. Later during the afternoon, the Expedition Team and important crew members will be introduced.
In the evening enjoy the first of many fine dining experiences in The Restaurant and relax in the Discoverer Lounge or on the open decks.
This afternoon, we will drive from Mormugao, Goa’s most important harbour, to Velho Goa (“old Goa” in Portuguese) to be able to see the Bom Jesu Basilica and the churches and convent of old Goa which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Quite close to the Bom Jesu Basilica is the gigantic Se Cathedral built in Portuguese-Gothic style. Its bell –known as the “Golden Bell” for its sound- is said to be one of Goa’s largest.
You could also visit one of Goa’s famous spice farms to see, smell and taste some of the local spices and to find out how black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, chilies, and coriander look like before consumption or see the landscape and fluvial system from sea level in a kayak.
Silver Discoverer will take a southerly course through the Laccadive Sea to reach the Lakshadweep Islands –formerly known as the Laccadive Islands.
Our Hotel and Galley Teams will do their utmost to pamper you while at sea, and our Expedition Team will have several presentations and talks, as well as the Recap & Briefing at hand to inform and to entertain you.
Thinnakara Island and Bangaram Island share a vast lagoon and coralline banks. The actual lagoon area amounts to 125 square kms.
Thinnakara is a tiny teardrop shaped island within the magnificent lagoon. The sun-drenched beaches and the swaying palms form a perfect backdrop to the spectacular marine flora and fauna. The shallow lagoon with crystal clear water, the coral reef and blue lagoon invite to spend the entire day in the water, swimming or snorkelling, discovering graceful schools of fish in the water, or looking ashore for hermit crabs on the beach and seabirds in the lush coconut groves.
Silver Discoverer will reach another of the rarely visited atolls of the Lakshadweep Islands. South of Thinnakara, this atoll has three little islands at the northern, eastern and southwestern corner of the reef.
Our Marine Biologists will be looking for the perfect snorkelling site and our other experts will be there to help you. Conditions permitting, we expect to be offering walks along the beach, beachcombing, looking for birds or explaining the local botany ashore during the morning.
In the afternoon, Silver Discoverer will be heading in an east-southeasterly direction towards mainland India, giving our team of experts another chance at presenting interesting topics, relevant to the area.
Have a leisurely breakfast and attend a lecture about India’s natural history while we approach the state of Kerala and southern India’s port of Cochin. Because of the location between China and Europe and the spice trade the port and town with the easy access to the sea used to be called “Queen of the Arabian Sea”.
Around noon, we expect to be welcomed with a traditional Kerala shinkari melam, a group of musicians playing traditional instruments.
We will use the afternoon and the following day to get a better insight into this port and the surrounding area and will drive through one of India’s most beautiful and tranquil landscapes to visit Alleppey, the “City of Canals” or “Venice of the East”, located south of Cochin between the Arabian Sea and Lake Vembanad, India’s longest lake.
Alleppey’s port was opened to foreign trade by the British in the late 18th century to end the Dutch commercial supremacy in Cochin. Today prawn farming and coconuts form the basis for the city’s economy. We will board a houseboat and cruise the river, lake and canals, collectively known as “the Backwaters”, and have a look at old colonial warehouses and typical thatched local homes. Brilliant green paddy fields where farming is done below sea level, will give way to views of village life and glimpses of churches, mosques and temples. While we cruise the “Backwaters”, a typical Keralan snack with tea, south Indian coffee and fruit juices will be served.
After the cruise, we will reach a special location, beautifully illuminated by hundreds of oil lamps giving it an earthly spiritual feel for an exclusive Mohiniyattam performance that will be done by Keralan women in traditional attire. After this exceptional presentation, you will be treated to a special Syrian Christian dinner, mixing Indian and European influences.
The following morning, we will board local cruise boats to reach Fort Cochin. In Cochin we will walk through the Heritage city to see the wonderful array of architectural styles dating back to the Portuguese, British and Dutch periods, before the East India Company took over in 1814. There are Portuguese churches including the oldest Portuguese church in India going back to the year 1503, a Jewish synagogue, as well as mosques and Hindu temples. During the walk we visit the Indo-Portuguese Museum and finally the David Hall Gallery. Here a prominent historian will talk about the history of Cochin and the spice trade, followed by a Kalaripayattu (martial arts) performance.
Following the performance you will be treated to a special Mopilah lunch catered by a celebrity chef. The Mopilah are Muslims from the Malabar region and known for their food.
From the gallery you will take local Tuk-Tuks (open 2-seater taxis) to reach the Mattancherry Palace built by the Raja of Kochi. We will visit the Palace, walk to the Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace and will have some spare time to wander around Jew Town, looking at souvenir and antique shops before being taken back to Silver Discoverer by local boats.
Today you can head north for Thiruvananthapuram, the “Evergreen City of India”. It is the largest city in this part of India and also the capital of the state of Kerala. The Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the world’s richest temple, can be found in Thiruvananthapuram. Uncounted objects in gold and silver, some of them studded with precious stones have been guarded inside the temple in various vaults that are rarely if ever opened. Estimates of the objects’ value seen so far on few occasions supervised by members of the Indian government and the royal families involved go into the billions of US-dollars. Unfortunately for us, neither can we see these objects, nor can we enter the temple (unless you profess Hindu faith), but outside views are quite spectacular too.
Instead of Thiruvananthapuram you might chose to drive south to Chakala to visit Padmanabhapuram, the largest wooden palace in India, dating back to the 16th century. The palace is a fine specimen of Keralan architecture with antique interiors, intricate rosewood carvings and sculpted décor. The sheer size, style and materials are overwhelming –the palace used to feed 2000 people on a daily basis with a hall able to accommodate everyone. Part of this excursion is a typical Sadya lunch and a Kathakali dance performance.
Sadya is a festive vegetarian meal served on banana leafs and is usually reserved for important temple festivals or other special celebrations. The Kathakali dance has evolved over the last 400 years to become the most popular and sacred dance drama of Kerala. Rigorous training is needed to attain complete control of the body to be able to render all its nuances through hand gestures and facial expressions. The themes presented usually centre on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, two of the great Indian epics.
During the evening, Silver Discoverer will leave and head for Sri Lanka and Galle
While Silver Discoverer is sailing through the Laccadive Sea on a southeasterly course, our experts will offer talks and presentations about Sri Lanka.
Our Chef might explain some of the secrets behind the preparation of culinary highlights, or the Bar Team might tempt you with special cocktails or wine tasting. The outer decks are there to relax and unwind, although you might also want to help our naturalists looking for marine life or seabirds from the bridgewing.
After lunch, Silver Discoverer will approach Galle and Sri Lanka.
As soon as we have been cleared into Sri Lanka, we want to explore the ancient port of Galle and surrounding area. We intend to visit Galle and its magnificent fort. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 as the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South and South-East Asia showing the interaction between European architectural styles and South Asian traditions, it is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Some of the colonial Dutch architecture has survived and the National Museum of Galle uses a building going back to 1656, the oldest remaining Dutch building in the fort. The three galleries have collections not only going back to the Portuguese, Dutch and British periods, but also include displays of the 15th century expeditions of Chinese Admiral Zheng He.
On Day 10 we intend to visit a working tea plantation near the small village of Akuressa. This privately owned property is the only organic tea factory in southern Sri Lanka. The head planter will introduce you to the fascinating process of tea production. You will walk the fields, see the picking of the tea leafs by the local women and partake in a tea tasting session.
Afterwards we head for the sea and will enjoy a special seafood barbecue lunch at what is considered one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka. A group of Sri Lankan Baila musicians will perform during the lobster, king prawn, tiger prawn, crab fish and shellfish barbecue.
Golden sand, a protected bay and excellent swimming will later permit you to return refreshed to Silver Discoverer.
Early in the morning, we will start from the fishing port of Kirinda for a visit to Yala National Park. Yala began as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900 and in 1938 it was declared a National Park. Situated in the southeast of Sri Lanka, the park covers 979 square kilometres. A wide variety of wild animals live in the park, including one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. Of the 215 bird species known six are endemic. Another important factor of the park is the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants in it.
Within the park we will use 4WD vehicles with local trackers and naturalists and will learn about the leopards, with information on the animal, its habitat, and the conservation work that has gone (and is going) on to protect the animals.
You will have a Champagne brunch at a scenic spot in the forest. As a special treat, one Sri Lanka’s leading conservationists will talk about birding and conservation in Sri Lanka.
From Trincomalee there will be two options for full day tours. Both destinations are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the first option is to drive to the former capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa. Dating back to the 12th century, the ancient city is an excellent example of how irrigation systems were planned to be able to maximise the use of rain. Its ruins and statues are still today overpowering. The excursion to Polonnaruwa will include a visit to the museum where by special arrangement the museum’s curator will be at hand to answer any questions.
A special buffet lunch will be arranged in the wilderness, and while you have your meal, a traditional Sri Lankan folk show will take place for you.
Alternatively travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya- the city of the Rock Fortress. Sigiriya is Asia’s best-preserved city centre dating back to the first millennium. Its particular interest goes back to the 5th century, when parricidal King Kassapa fled to the peak of reddish gneiss known as Lion’s Rock. This massive column of rock was used for the construction of his palace. It is known that the area had been in use for centuries and was used as a Buddhist monastery after Kassapa died.
A massive wall defends part of the lower city. Various features have been overgrown by the forests and while one part has not yet been fully excavated, the other part is known to have been the aristocratic quarter with terraced gardens, canals and fountains.
On arrival in Sigiriya, we will first visit the museum to get a good overview of the fortress, its history, the objects found and those excavated. Here too the museum’s curator will be at your disposal to answer any questions that you might have regarding the legendary citadel.
To see the top one has to climb special staircases. At the summit of the rock is the fortified palace with its ruined buildings, its cisterns and its rock sculptures. Apart from the archaeological remains of the palace and city, Sigiriya is famous for the “Mirror Wall”. The surface of the rock had been polished to such an extreme that one could see one’s reflection. Halfway up the rock, within an inaccessible rocky shelter in the vertical wall of the western face, are rock paintings known as ‘The Maidens of the Clouds’, 21 beautiful female figures. The climb is not easy and takes approximately 2 hours.
A sumptuous Sri Lankan lunch –well deserved after the climb- will be served at a nearby hotel before returning to Silver Discoverer.
Our final day at sea will give you a chance to attend last presentations or seminars, taste some culinary specialties –perhaps comparing Sri Lankan and Indian food- and edit your many photos before the onboard Photographer/Videographer presents the official Voyage-DVD, highlighting the many interesting objects, animals and sights seen and activities done.
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
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
Overall size of 408 SQ. FT. / 38 M2 (including a private balcony 27 SQ. FT. / 2.5 M2). A mark of distinction. Sumptuous. Spacious. Rich textures and panoramic views surround you with distinguished luxury. The perfect summary of The Medallion Suite offered by the world’s best cruise line. Features: Large teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with shower, Personal safe, Hair dryer,Writing desk, Flat screen television(s) with DVD and satellite reception
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.