• See different ethnic groups and their traditional ceremonies
• Observe young Nias warriors and their stone jumping
• Visit Karimunjawa, one of Indonesia’s five Marine National Parks
• See Anak Krakatoa, the new volcano that rose on the site of history’s worst volcanic eruption
Day 1 — Yangon, Singapore
Embark Silver Discoverer this afternoon and depart on your exciting 15-day Silversea Expedition – Semi-Circumnavigation of Sumatra and Java. After a mandatory safety drill, 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 Explorer Lounge or on the outer decks.
Day 2 — At Sea
Use this day at sea to meet some of your fellow explorers, and to attend the first a many informative talks and presentations preparing you for your varied adventures ashore and in the water.
Silver Discoverer presents various options to keep you busy: visit the Gym or Spa, let yourself be pampered through the services of the Hotel, Restaurant and Bar Teams, or just relax on the outer decks.
In the evening, the Captain would like to invite you to the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail, introducing the senior officers, and the Chef and Restaurant Manger would like to see you at the Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 — Port Blair, India
After clearing into India, we will have the opportunity to see two museums in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ capital on South Andaman Island. The Anthropological Museum has exhibits relating to the life of the four local tribes of the Andaman Islands and the two groups on the Nicobar Islands. Some light refreshment and a specially arranged presentation about the indigenous tribal communities will be accompanied by a brief Nicobar tribal dance performance.
The Cellular Jail was built in the late 19th, early 20th century and could house 693 inmates in single cells. The prison was set up in such a way that no inmates could communicate with each other. Three of the seven wings still exist and together with the central watchtower have been declared a national monument since most of the inmates that were imprisoned here had struggled for India’s independence.
Day 4 — South Cinque, Andaman Islands
During the morning we will explore South Cinque and some of the most spectacular beaches in the Andaman Islands. This is a specially designated National Park Area with many opportunities for underwater exploration or simply relaxing on one of the beaches. Make the most of our morning visit and will snorkel from the beach or from anchored Zodiacs. Snorkelers will want to see snappers, Napoleon wrasses, moray eels, nudibranchs, eagle rays, stingrays, Moorish idols, star fish, lionfish, and many more.
In the evening Silver Discoverer will be in front of Ross Island, the capital of the islands between 1858 and 1941. Here Silver Discoverer will clear out of the Andaman Islands and India.
Day 5 — At Sea
On our way navigation towards Sumatra’s north coast our Executive Chef and the Galley Team will tempt you with local specialties, while our Expedition Team lecturers will recap on the Andaman Islands and prepare you for the Aceh Province. Be out on deck, scan the horizon for marine mammals and seabirds, visit the Gym or Spa, or simply relax and prepare yourself for the next visit to one of Sumatra’s attractions.
Day 6 — Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Located at the very northern tip of Sumatra, Banda Aceh, the capital of Banda Province, was severely hit by a tsunami in 2004. The power of nature can be seen through the PLTD Apung, a former floating power plant, which was moved by the tsunami several kilometres inland –despite its weight of 780 tons. The structure now acts as a monument and a nice little park has exhibits relating to the tsunami damage.
We will also see the Blang Padang Park, a memorial to all the nations that helped Aceh after the terrible earthquake and tsunami. The park houses an old DC-3 as a monument to Indonesia’s struggle for independence and has a Tsunami Museum. One of the dance forms popularly practiced in Aceh province is the Saman dance –which is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. While the dancers sit in a row and perform elaborative and fast movements with their hands, heads, and torsos the choreography includes clapping and hitting the body with the hands, resulting in percussive sounds that add to the performance. These movements symbolize the daily lives of the Gayo people and their natural environment. During the afternoon, our lecturers will continue their series of informative presentations.
Day 7 — Simeulue Island, Indonesia
Silver Discoverer will be at anchor off Simeulue Island’s northeast coast. Big Simeulue, the largest in a group of 57 islands, has more than 80,000 inhabitants living off farming and fishing. The islands are covered in forest, have beaches, caves, 2 lakes and even a waterfall. Simeulue’s inhabitants live a traditional lifestyle and the local culture is still important. The island is quite famous for its dragon boat teams.
Once ashore, we will head for a village on the south side of the island to visit a local school and to see the rural life of the islanders.
During the afternoon, we will continue to sail south.
Day 8 — Nias Island, Indonesia
The Nias Islanders were said to be very fierce and young men prepared to become warriors at an early age. To do so, different ceremonies or stages of growth of a child/juvenile needed animals to be slaughtered or enemies killed. One of these preparations was stone jumping, a ritual where youngsters jumped over 1.5 to 2-metre stone structures. It was basically a task in warrior training, which led to the young boy becoming an adult if he jumped a specific height in warriors clothing. Still today, Nias boys start preparing for their stone jump from the age of 10. They become men by jumping over the stone tower, signifying that they are ready to assume the responsibilities of men.
Because of this ongoing tradition one of the villages on the south coast has been selected by the Indonesian government to be placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list.
We will have a cultural performance including the War Dance performed to enhance the spirit of the ancestors before war and will see the local young men performing the stone jumping.
Apart from the cultural segment of the visit, birders will be looking for the Stork-billed Kingfisher and other birds.
Day 9 — Padang, Indonesia
From Padang we will drive to a Minangkabau village in Sumatra’s interior. The ancestral homelands of the Minangkabau, devout Muslims, are centred in West Sumatra’s lush highlands and stretch as far as the seashore. The specialty among them is that ownership of a family’s property—their homes, rice paddies and the like—passes from mother to daughter. The Minangkabau are in fact the world’s largest matrilineal society.
Visiting the village we will see a traditional Minangkabau home known as a rumah gadang, intended to hold the extended family. Made of local Surian wood, it has an arched, buffalo-horn shaped roof and walls woven of bamboo, icons of the Minangkabau building style. With its long hall-like main room, it is not only used as a residence, but also sometimes for meetings and ceremonies.
During our visit we will see a traditional ceremony. A welcome dance will be performed and later you can enjoy some of the other traditional dances. A cooking demonstration will take place and you can learn how to prepare local food known as rendang.
Day 10 — At Sea
Silver Discoverer will be heading for the southeastern end of Sumatra.
After a leisurely breakfast, attend a seminar, perhaps on photography or Indonesian food, exercise at the Gym, visit the Spa –or simply relax on the outer decks.
Join our naturalists on deck, scanning the horizon for seabirds or marine mammals and let Sumatra’s coastline go by.
Day 11 — Ujung Kulon NP and Anak Krakatoa, Indonesia
Very early in the morning we will reach the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ujung Kulon National Park, at the southwest tip of Java. The National Park includes the Ujung Kulon Peninsula containing the largest remaining lowland rain forest on the Java plain, as well as the Natural Reserve of Krakatoa –which we will see in the afternoon.
Ashore a briefing will be given by the park rangers before a walk on Peucang Island will take place. Birders will look for Asian Pied Hornbill, Caspian and Bridled Terns, as well as White-bellied Sea Eagles, Tiger Shrikes, Sunda Minivets, and Javan Kingfisher, but hundreds of barking deer are found in the dense tropical forest, along with macaques, monitor lizards and wild boars. At the end of the walk there will be free time to swim.
Over lunch, Silver Discoverer heads into the Sunda Strait to reach the area of one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in historical times. During the afternoon, we will reach Anak Krakatoa, a volcano that rose above sea level in 1930 where Krakatoa originally stood and has grown continuously since the 1950s. The active fumaroles, old and new lava flows, the beautifully coloured rocks and the volcano itself are stunning. Conditions permitting, we will land and do a hike up part of the volcano –otherwise we will do a ship cruise past this historically important and impressive site.
Day 12 — At Sea
On our way to our next destination we will navigate along Java’s north coast, leaving Jakarta on starboard.
While we cruise the Java Sea either use your time to go through your many photos, editing them, or take the opportunity to attend informative lectures about some of the many cultural and natural history highlights of Indonesia. Use your time on the outer decks or in the Gym, read that book you have wanted to read, enjoy a refreshing drink at the Pool Bar, or simply relax.
Day 13 — Karimunjawa, Indonesia
The Karimunjawa Marine National Park consists of 27 islands and their surrounding waters. Dazzling corals, incredible fish diversity and a beautiful seascape are expected for Karimunjawa Island. A walk for early risers, especially bird enthusiasts, will be followed by beach activities, swimming, snorkeling or relaxing in the shade of coconut palm trees. Snorkelers will delve into the extremely welcoming waters of the Java Sea in search of colorful anemone fish and other beautiful animals of the coral reef ecosystem. Angelfish, butterfly fish, a diversity of parrot fish and wrasses, as well as an assortment of damselfish and surgeonfish will be present.
Day 14 — Sumenep
Located slightly northeast of Surabaya, Sumenep has some interesting sites to visit. Besides historical sites such as the Keraton (Palace) and its tiny Museum, there is the Great Mosque built in 1763. The museum holds antique weapons, ceremonial tools, and jewellery, as well as some of the uniforms and furniture used by the different kings. Probably the most unusual object is the golden carriage the Queen of England gave the Sumenep King. Built one year later than the Palace, the Great Mosque shows the influence of Islamic, Chinese and European style, making this building unique, specifically with its beautiful gate.
The island is also known and even famous for its carvings, kris production and textiles: Madura batik has different characteristics compared to Java's -especially in its colour selection. Madura Batik has clear and strong colours (red, green and yellow) with birds, flowers and dragons as the motif.
Madura is also known for its bull racing, which is usually done on an annual basis. Originating with the ploughing of fields using bulls, a competition started to see who had the strongest animals. Today these bulls are kept for prestige and are extremely well looked after. A variety of special fodder is prepared: apart from corn, bean and soybean leafs and good grass, a mixture of traditional spices (crushed ginger, pepper, chili, and honey), even beer and eggs are believed to strengthen the bulls.
Day 15 — Probolinggo, Indonesia
Arriving in Probolinggo at night, we will disembark very early in the morning for a sunrise hike to Mount Bromo.
From Probolinggo we have to travel southwest to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Semeru and Bromo are active volcanos, with Semeru active on a periodical and reliable schedule. The eerie landscape of the park has nurtured legends and myths and the Tengger people believe that a prince sacrificed his life for his family at Mount Bromo. The people now appease the Gods once a year during the annual Kasada festival where offerings of vegetables, chickens and money are thrown into the crater of the volcano.
At 2392 meters, Mt Bromo is not among Indonesia’s tallest mountains, but its beauty lies in its incredible setting. Mt Bromo sits in the Tengger caldera, surrounded by the “Sea of Sand”. Sulphurous smoke rises from Mount Bromo while Mt Semeru is smoking in the distance.
Walking is the best way to experience Mount Bromo but you can take ponies across the Sea of Sand to the bottom of the steep stairs (200 steps) that lead to the crater. At the base of Mount Bromo and amidst the Sea of Sand is the Poten, a Tenggerese Hindu temple.
Before returning to Silver Discoverer, a lunch will be had at the Bromo Restaurant from where you will have a last look at Mount Bromo in the distance.
Once we are back on board, our Videographer/Photographer will present the Voyage-DVD, showing the many interesting and captivating moments of the voyage.
Day 16 — Benoa, Indonesia
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.
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