Day 1 – Port Louis, Mauritius
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this inspiring Silversea 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.
Day 2 – At Sea
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.
Day 3 – Ambodifotatra, Madagascar
During the morning Silver Discoverer will still be on the way to Madagascar.
Around noon we will arrive in front of Nosy Boraha, formerly known as Ile Ste Marie. After clearing into the country we will embark on an afternoon walking tour of Ambodifotatra, the island’s main town. Nosy Boraha is a narrow granitic island with a length of 57 km and a width of 8 km. Located off the east coast of Madagascar, an atmosphere of peace, tranquillity and pure natural splendour prevails on the island. Lush vegetation and sandy beaches shaded by coconut palms are interspersed by many small villages. Tranquil bays and coves protected by coral reefs all lend themselves to a dreamy feeling that is emphasized by the ‘joie de vivre’ of the Malagasy.
Day 4 – Nosy Mangabe and Fakararaina, Madagascar
Before breakfast, Silver Discoverer will be anchored in front of tiny Nosy Mangabe. Part of the larger Masoala National Park complex and formerly a Dutch basis for the slave trade, the island has been protected since 1965. The Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve is a tropical rainforest preserve and our forays ashore today will be primarily to see lemur species in the dense and hilly forests. We hope to spot mouse lemur, gray mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, white-fronted brown lemur, and black-and-white ruffed lemur among others. There are also several fascinating birds such as the Madagascar Buzzard and Paradise Flycatchers to look out for, as well as reptiles and amphibians including leaf-tailed geckos, frogs, small snakes and even an endemic boa.
As part of our night exploration we visit the Farankaraina Private Reserve. The reserve is home to a healthy population of aye-ayes which can frequently be seen during night walks. Six other lemur species occur and other wildlife often seen includes mongoose, tenrecs, chameleons and endemic frogs.
Day 5 – At Sea
To cover the 655 nautical miles to our next destination, Silver Discoverer will spend a day at sea, giving our lecturers another opportunity to present interesting talks and topics and to be out on deck looking for seabirds, flying fish and marine mammals.
Our bar and galley team will be there to offer drinks and culinary specialties and Spa and Gym are ready for those willing to indulge or wanting to stay fit.
Day 6 – Antsiranana, Madagascar
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.
Day 7 — Nosy Be and Ampangorinana, Nosy Komba, Madagascar
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 maki macacos, to chameleons, lizards, snakes, spiders, and 19 species of birds. Sea turtles, rays, and dolphins frequent the waters around Nosy Komba.
During lunch, Silver Discoverer will reposition to Nosy Be. There 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 also 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.
From Nosy Be Silver Discoverer sets a course to the northwest to reach Assumption Island.
Day 8 — Assumption, Seychelles
The Silver Discoverer will pass a morning at sea as she crosses a wide stretch of the Indian Ocean bound for Assumption Island. At the small, crescent shaped island (just over 11 square kilometres in size) we will clear into the Seychelles. After this brief technical stop, Silver Discoverer will continue on her path towards Aldabra.
Day 9-10 – Aldabra, Seychelles
Aldabra is reputedly the world’s second-largest atoll. 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.
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, 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.
Day 11 — Day at Sea
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.
Day 12 – Zanzibar, Tanzania
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
Please Note: 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 and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
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Make sure you get all your essentials today. We offer packages or individual items, for your convenience, and recommend you place orders at least 30 days before your embarkation date.