silversea

MAPUTO To MAHE

Indian Ocean expedition cruise Silver Discoverer

Fascinated by the idea of one of the world's most wild and remote regions? Then UNESCO protected Aldabra is for you. While the extraordinary beauty of all the Indian Ocean islands are legendary, some are simply divine. Considered the 8th continent, no amount of travel can prepare you for Madagascar with its emerald rainforests, gigantic baobab trees and golden beaches. Embrace your explorer within.
Voyage 9829

Book by 30 November, 2018 and benefit from Reduced Air Fares + Included Hotel and Transfers

Fares shown are per guest

Cruise itinerary

Our itineraries are second-to-none – below please find detailed information regarding ports of call, arrival and departure times, as well as supplemental information about the destinations you’ll visit
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Maputo, formerly Portuguese-ruled Lourenço Marques, is the laid-back capital, an incongruous mix of palm-lined streets, an elegant promenade with ritzy villas, and once-grand colonial buildings—which often sit side-by-side with shanties and concrete, Soviet-style buildings dating back to the 1950s, when Russia and Cuba had a finger in the political pie here. An economic upturn since the end of the civil war in the late '90s has brought new investment in infrastructure, and buildings are rising at a fast pace, especially near the port.

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.
A younger city than many others in Madagascar, Tulear (or Toliara) was created in 1895. Much of the cityscape was planned by a French architect who foresaw the value and beauty of planting a plenitude of trees around the city that now provide shade from the extreme heat and sun. The city of over 156,000 has an important local university, which cares for the main museums of the city (and the main attractions in town), the Museum of Arts and Traditions and the Museum of the Sea. Within reach of Tulear is also the Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar.

Andavadoaka is a small fishing community in Madagascar full of biodiversity, natural beauty and the unique culture of the indigenous population, the Vezo. The village lies on the edge of a shallow lagoon protected from the open ocean by a series of fringing and submerged barrier reefs that support substantial coral growth.
Nosy Hao is a scenic, lovely little slip of an island off the west-southwestern coast of Madagascar that offers sandy white beaches and clear aquamarine water. Also known as Had Island, the atoll has a complex underwater topography of reefs that offer excellent snorkelling due to the wide biodiversity of coral and fish living there. Locals living here are either working on the island’s resort or involved in fishing trades, where they use traditionally constructed wooden fishing boats. Visitors to this island recommend stargazing on a clear night.
Morondava is a coastal town in the west of Madagascar. The city is most known for its picturesque Avenue of the Baobabs, one of the most accessible places to see the Baobab trees in Africa that is also said to be the most beautiful road in Madagascar. The experience of passing along this road is impressive as a row of imposing Baobab trees stretches along the roadside for close to one-third of a kilometer. The avenue has been a centre of local conservation efforts and was granted protected status, which is the first step toward making it Madagascar's first natural monument.
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.
The densely populated Mozambique Island is small at only 3 km (1.9 miles) long and less than 500 meters (650 yards) wide. The Portuguese had already settled here by 1507, and the oldest European building in the southern hemisphere is found on Mozambique Island: the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte. Fort São Sebastião also dates back to the 16th century. Historical buildings on the northern side of the island include the Palace and Chapel of São Paulo, built in 1610 as a Jesuit College — later converted to be the Governor’s Residence, and now a museum.

Ibo Island is situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago offshore of Tanzania. One of the largest mangrove forests in Africa grows firmly rooted in front of Ibo Island. The streets of the remote island feel lost in time and were almost completely forgotten by the outside world for nearly a century. Ibo Island is one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique with a history dating back to early 600AD Arab merchant days. Forts once serving as military bastions and slave trading houses line the shores.
Kilwa Kisiwani dates back to the 9th century as one of the most famous trading posts in East Africa and on the Indian Ocean. From the 11th century to early 15th century this island community off the southern coast of present-day Tanzania was a powerful city, political force, and major trading center with close links to the interior of Africa as well as distant Asian ports. Goods exchanged here included gold, iron, ivory, slaves, textiles, jewelry, porcelain and spices. Today, Kilwa Kisiwani is a UNESCO World Heritage site whose ancient ruins can be explored on foot.
This ancient isle once ruled by sultans and slave traders served as the stepping stone into the African continent for missionaries and explorers. Today it attracts visitors intent on discovering sandy beaches, pristine rain forests, or colorful coral reefs. Once known as the Spice Island for its export of cloves, Zanzibar has become one of the most exotic flavors in travel, better than Bali or Mali when it comes to beauty that'll make your jaw drop.

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.
Assumption (Assomption) Island is a small, crescent shaped island about 4.3 square miles (11.07 sq km) in size. Considered one of the Outer Seychelles Islands, Assumption is part of the Aldabra Group, lying approximately 600 miles (960 km) southwest of Mahé, in the Indian Ocean. These outer islands are not made from granite, like their larger sisters Mahé, Praslin or La Digue, but rather are coralline formations. Once a part of the French colony Réunion, then a member of the British Indian Ocean Territories, today Assumption is governed by the Seychelles.
Part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, Aldabra is reputedly the world’s second-largest atoll and has been described as “one of nature’s treasures” and a “sanctuary”. The inner lagoon teems with marine life like eagle rays and sea turtles. It is possible to snorkel and drift along with the tide passing in or out of the lagoon as massive numbers of fish come and go through the same channels. Narrow channels between fossilized coral islands are fringed in mangrove forests supporting large colonies of nesting boobies and Great Frigatebirds.
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.
This coral island stands majestically on a submerged atoll of the same name, 120 nautical miles south-west of Mahe in the Amirantes group. Desroches rises 3,000 meters out of the clear blue sea, boasting an abundant fish life and surrounded by approximately 50 nautical miles of reef to explore. The island has a coconut plantation and small agricultural settlement and enjoys a similar weather pattern as the rest of Seychelles in general, sunny all year round, with occasional warm showers.
Like jade-coloured jewels in the Indian Ocean, the more than 100 Seychelles Islands are often regarded as the Garden of Eden. Lying just four degrees south of the equator, the Seychelles are some 1,000 miles (1,610 km) from the nearest mainland Africa. Little more than 200 years ago, all 115 islands were uninhabited. Then in 1742 a French ship dispatched from Mauritius sailed into one of the small bays. Captain Lazare Picault was the first to explore these unnamed islands. He encountered breathtaking vistas of rugged mountains, lagoons, coral atolls, splendid beaches and secluded coves.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Medallion Suite

408 ft² / 38 m² including a private balcony

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Veranda Suite

280 ft² / 26 m² including a private balcony

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Vista Suite

269 ft² / 25 m²

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View Suite

181 ft² / 16.8 m²

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Explorer Suite

186 ft² / 17.3 m²

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Fares shown are per guest

included in the cruise fare

  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar
  • In-suite dining and room service – available 24 hours aboard Silver Explorer, and from 06:00 to 23:00 aboard Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • *If required by air connection. Free Transfers, Hotel are available only for guests utilizing Silversea air offer. In case Promotional Flights are not available or for guests not utilizing the promotional bundle offer, we are pleased to offer a $1,500 Air credit. Terms and conditions.

Silver Discoverer

Silversea's loyal following of adventure travellers can now explore the remote archipelagos of the vast Pacific aboard the sleek, 116-guest Silver Discoverer cruise ship. She's the perfect platform for viewing these untamed landscapes, with all ocean-view suites and plenty of deck space so that a breaching whale or a pod of dolphins is always within sight. Silver Discoverer’s shallow draft allows her to navigate closer to shore, and with a fleet of 12 Zodiacs, guests can land on isolated shores and explore wetlands and submerged ecosystems, up-close and in-depth.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Suites

Silversea's oceanview suites are some of the most spacious in cruising, and all include the services of a butler. Select your suite and Request a Quote - guests who book early are rewarded with the best fares and ability to select their desired suite.

Medallion Suite

408 ft² / 38 m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Veranda Suite

280 ft² / 26 m² including a private balcony

Waitlist
Vista Suite

269 ft² / 25 m²

Waitlist
View Suite

181 ft² / 16.8 m²

Waitlist
Explorer Suite

186 ft² / 17.3 m²

Waitlist
Fares shown are per guest

Restaurants

Discover our collection of onboard venues where you'll enjoy spending time with like-minded travellers and of course, our personalized all-inclusive service.

Public Areas

Renowned for culinary excellence and innovative spirit, Silversea's luxury cruises offer a choice of open-seating dining options throughout the fleet, as well as several specialty venues aboard all non-expedition ships.

1 Hotel

Our land programmes (multi-day mid-, pre- or post-cruise) provide additional opportunities to discover more of the highlights and hidden treasures of the lands you visit.

Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.

voyage highlights

Expedition Highlights:


• Look for lemurs and endemic bird species near Tulear and in the Kirindy Forest
• See the “Avenue of the Baobabs”
• Visit Zanzibar’s Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
• Be one of the few to explore Aldabra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
 

Day 1 — Maputo, Mozambique
Embark Silver Discoverer this afternoon and depart on your exciting 17-day Silversea Expedition – Expedition Madagascar and Aldabra. After a mandatory safety drill, the Expedition Team and important crew members will be introduced.
Stay out on deck for a ‘Sail Away’ party leaving Maputo behind, before enjoying the first of many fine dining experiences in The Restaurant.

Days 2-3 — At Sea
Two sea days will be a good start to your voyage, as they will permit you to settle in comfortably, recover from your long journey to Maputo, meet some of your fellow travellers and make full use of our small, manoeuvrable ship while we start covering the western part of the Indian Ocean.
Our lecturers will offer talks preparing you for the visit to Madagascar, be it about its historical aspects or natural history. In addition you can unwind, relax, and make use of the gym or Spa, or any of the other amenities Silver Discoverer can offer.

Day 4 — Tulear and Nosy Ve, Madagascar
As soon as we have cleared into Madagascar at Tulear, we will drive within the northern limit of the Madagascar spiny thickets, an ecoregion with a high percentage of endemic plants, and will visit the Arboretum. Far from the prevailing northeastern rains, this ecoregion shows extreme adaptation to aridity -with the spiny thickets usually between 3 and 6 meters in height. Within this area the coastal mikea forest is quite unique. Apart from Burseraceae, baobabs, euphorbias, and members of the cashew family, several endemic lemurs and birds are found here. Birders will look for Banded Kestrels, Long-tailed Ground-Rollers, Sickle-billed Vanga and Subdesert Mesite, while apart from the endemic white-footed sportive and the grey mouse lemur, the large-eared and lesser hedgehog tenrecs and horned chameleon can be found in this ecoregion.

After lunch, Silver Discoverer will head over to small Nosy Ve, an island sacred to the Vezo people. It was used by the French in the 19th century, but today is uninhabited except for birds. While Red-tailed Tropicbirds nest here all year round, other birds to look for are Humblot’s Heron, Common and Lesser Crested Terns, Crab Plovers, Common Greenshanks and Souimanga Sunbirds.
The afternoon can be spend walking on or around this 0.5 square kilometre island, looking for birds, beachcombing or snorkelling and swimming from the beach.

Day 5 — Andavadoaka and Nosy Hao, Madagascar
Today we will visit the small fishing community of Andavadoaka. The village lies on the edge of a shallow lagoon protected from the open ocean by a series of fringing and submerged barrier reefs that support substantial coral growth. These coral reefs are thought to possess a significantly higher abundance and diversity of species than other reefs in southwest Madagascar. Andavadoaka is home to the Vezo people.

This morning we hope to learn more about community projects that assist and promote the sustainable management of marine resources. Biodiversity studies have identified many hundreds of marine species in the waters in the area. The reefs around Andavadoaka represent some of the most well-developed coral reef systems in the Indian Ocean.

In the afternoon, we plan to visit tiny Nosy Hao for a leisurely afternoon of swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on sandy white beaches.

Day 6 — Morondava, Madagascar
Approximately 50 km northeast of the town of Morondava lies Kirindy Reserve, a private forest managed by a Swiss company dedicated to a selective and sustainable logging. The Reserve has some 12,000 hectares and is comprised of one of the most outstanding and threatened wildlife habitats in Madagascar known as the ‘dry deciduous forest’.
Kirindy is known to be the best place on the whole island to observe Madagascar’s largest predator, the endemic fossa. Sightings can be especially favourable during December. We hope to have some good views of this elusive animal during our morning walks. Red-fronted brown lemurs, as well as other species of lemur, are present and seven species of chameleons. For birders quite a number of endemics can be found, including Sakalava Weavers, Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher, Madagascar Bee-eater, Madagascar Hoopoe, and Madagascar Blue Vanga.

After a lunch ashore, we will visit the Avenue of the Baobabs, surely one of Madagascar’s highlights. It is likely one of the most accessible places to see baobab trees in Africa, and is said to be the most beautiful road in Madagascar. The experience of passing along this road is impressive as a row of imposing baobab trees stretches along the roadside for close to one-third of a kilometre. The avenue has been a centre of local conservation efforts and was granted protected status.

Day 7 — At Sea
Silver Discoverer will sail in a northwesterly direction across the Mozambique Channel. Our lecturers will recap the special sightings and event in Madagascar and will talk about Mozambique, our next destination.
While out on deck, help our Marine Biologist spot southern right whales or humpback whales frequently seen in the channel. Relax on the Sun Deck and enjoy a refreshing drink at The Pool Bar.

Day 8 — Island of Mozambique, Mozambique
Mozambique Island was named after a sultan in the times of the early Portuguese voyages of exploration. The island is small at only 3 km long and some 200 to 500 metres in width. The oldest European building of the southern hemisphere is found on Mozambique Island; the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte. As a result of its rich history and architectural remains, the Island of Mozambique is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Going ashore using our Zodiacs we will be enthralled by the historical buildings and the fascinating history of the island. Guided in small groups, our walking tours will immerse us into the fascinating mix of African, Arab and European culture and history that is displayed in the churches and mosques, beautiful colonial buildings with thick walls and small traditional houses. Highlights also include the imposing fort, the old Portuguese houses (some dating back to the sixteenth century), the well-maintained, interesting museums, and above all the local population and their incredibly varied cultural heritage.

There is a colorful and vibrant feel to the island with all the hustle and bustle; yet the charm and culture of days gone by still lingers.

Day 9 — Ibo Island
Silver Discoverer will be at anchor this morning off Ibo Island, situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago. With an entire day here to explore, we hope to swim and snorkel in front of Ibo Island, and witness some of the fascinating culture aspects of the island.

We will shuttle to shore via Zodiac. After a long ride we will meet up with local guides who walk us through streets that feel lost in time and were indeed almost forgotten to the outside world for nearly a century. Ibo Island is one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique with a history dating back to early 600AD Arab merchant days. Forts once serving as military bastions and slave trading houses line the shores. Some of the grand, majestic structures have been lovingly restored to former glory, while others have fallen into crumbling ruins. Ibo is a melting pot of influences from around the world, creating a culture that is completely unique.

Day 10 — Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
A morning at sea will permit to continue the voyage’s lecture series. Our experts will bring their subjects to life with the passion of their words and by sharing images and videos representing a wealth of experience. Tanzania’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites we intend to visit will certainly feature in one of the presentations.
This afternoon, we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Kilwa Ruins. Our Zodiacs will take us ashore to explore the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani on foot. Divided into small groups we will look at the haunting ruins of Malindi Mosque and cemetery, Fort Gereza, the tombs of the sultans, several mosques, and the Great House. Highlights include a fourteenth century palace – no other structure of its size was built anywhere along the coast – and a fortified enclosure, very similar to structures found in Syria, Turkey and the Persian Gulf.

Day 11 — Zanzibar, Tanzania
Today we will visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site: Stone Town — a fine example of a Swahili coastal trading town. At the City Market we can see and smell the tropical fruits that are on offer and can see the freshly ground spices. Within walking distance is the Anglican Church, built over the old Great Slave Market. Slaves from all over East Africa had been brought here and had been kept in underground chambers.
Our destination will be a spice farm in the countryside. To get there we will drive past the Old Arab Fort and Dr. Livingstone’s house. At the spice farm you will have a guided tour and can taste some of the exotic spices and fruits grown here. The different plants are grown for food flavouring, for cosmetics, as dyes and for traditional medicine.
A visit to the Jozani Forest and a nearby mangrove area would give a glimpse of the botany of the central part of the island.
Alternatively you might only want to go swimming and snorkelling at a sand bank. To get there you will be taken by traditional dhows. The crystal clear waters invite you to explore the underwater world, looking for coral and fishes.

Day 12 — At Sea
Today Silver Discoverer has to sail in an east-southeasterly direction to reach Aldabra. Because of its isolation in the Indian Ocean and containing one of the most important natural habitats for studying evolutionary and ecological processes, the raised coral islands of this atoll show remarkable wildlife. Aldabra is not only home to the largest giant tortoise population in the world, but also has interesting marine fauna. Let our naturalists share insights into this unique group of islands that receives a limited amount of visitors and with special permits only per year.

Day 13 — Assumption
Today Silver Discoverer will be in front of Assumption to clear into the Seychelles. The banana-shaped island has been used partially as a coconut plantation and to mine guano. Recently a joint India-Seychelles project has seen the installation of a radar system and the airstrip on the island permits scientists from Mahé an easier access to Aldabra. Despite the afore-mentioned modern aspects, Assumption's west coast boasts a six kilometer long beach with turquoise waters, one of the best beaches in the Seychelles. We intend to go ashore to explore the island, might see some of the hundreds of giant tortoises that have been introduced from Aldabra and swim and snorkel from the beach or anchored Zodiacs. 

Days 14-15 — Aldabra, Seychelles
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 take our Zodiacs into a lagoon populated with eagle rays, turtles, and coral gardens teeming with marine life. Time and tides permitting, we may cruise via Zodiac past 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 front of Aldabra's western side and 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 16 — At Sea
Covering the distance of 490 nautical miles to our next destination, Silver Discoverer will sail on a northeasterly course.
Apart from the lectures given by our specialists, let the Chef and his team tempt you with special culinary treats. Our Spa Team is there to pamper you, and if you think you need a workout, the Gym is always available. You could also start to edit your photos or simply relax on the outer deck or in the comfort of your suite.

Day 17 — Desroches, Seychelles
Desroches is one of the Outer Islands and the main island of the Amirante group of the Seychelles. Located 230 km southwest of Mahé, it has a land area of only 3.24 km², but has a staggering 15 kilometers of fine sand beaches. The northern part of the island is a coconut plantation and farm, with a settlement on the far shore. The first coconut plantations were started in 1875 and copra is still processed on the island before being transported to Mahé for export.
After spending the morning exploring this beautiful beach, we plan to return to Silver Discoverer for a late lunch.
The onboard Photographer/Videographer will present the Voyage-DVD during the afternoon.

Day 18 — Mahé, Seychelles
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 and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

GEAR UP

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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Clothes for all types of weather, boot rentals, accessories and more »

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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.