silversea

Port Louis To Port Louis

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN expedition cruise Silver Discoverer

An archipelago of virgin islands waiting to be discovered, the Cargados Shoals are one of the last places on earth left untouched by the march of modernisation. Exclusive rights to the area mean that Silver Discoverer is the only ship to take you to this unique piece of paradise. Experience the hidden jewel of the Indian Ocean before immersing yourself in the scent-filled scenery of Madagascar and beyond.
Voyage 9825

Book and pay in full by 30 June, 2018 and save 10%*

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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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Located just off the east coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is fast making a name for itself as the tropical paradise of the Indian Ocean. A volcanic island approximately 10 million years old, Mauritius is thought to be the peak of an enormous sunken volcanic chain stretching from the Seychelles to Réunion. In fact, volcanic lakes and inactive craters can be found scattered throughout the island. Mauritius also boasts a unique marine environment.

Also referred to as Saint Brandon, the Cargados Bank in Mauritius is an archipelago of sand banks, coral reefs and small islands that is worth a long visit to fully explore the atolls and turquoise lagoons. Roughly 40 islands pepper the Bank with a total land mass of 1.3 square kilometres. In contrast, the massive coral reef covers approximately 190 square kilometres underwater. About 40 people in total live on the entire set of islands, primarily on Île Raphael.
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.
Originally named Diego Suarez after a 16th century Portuguese navigator, Antisiranana was renamed in 1975 when independence from Portuguese rule was declared in Madagascar. The Bay of Diego is one of the largest natural bays in the world, and both bay and city are full of history. The bay was a battleground for the French in the 1880s, a depot for Russia in 1896, and again a point of focus for capture during World War II. In 1942, the Allies launched Operation Ironclad and landed forces at Courrier Bay and Ambararata Bay, just west of Antisiranana.
Ambohitralanana is a town (as well as a commune) located along a river harbor on the easternmost point of Madagascar. About 80% of the town’s population ~18,000 are employed as farmers. The town offers an opportunity to experience the traditional life in this remote part of the island, as well as riverside beaches and a national park. Visitors will be charmed by the simple, river-oriented agrarian culture of this community. Thatch-roofed houses and palm trees dot the landscape, while locals transport down the river that reaches inland in traditionally constructed wooden boats.
Tiny Nosy Mangabe is part of the larger Masoala National Park complex. Formerly a Dutch basis for the slave trade, the island has been protected since 1965. The Nosy Mangabe Special Reserve protects tropical rainforest that shelters several species of lemurs in the dense and hilly forests. Here it is possible to find the mouse lemur, gray mouse lemur, Eastern woolly lemur, white-fronted brown lemur, and black-and-white ruffed lemur. There are also several birds and a good number of reptiles and amphibians from leaf-tailed geckos, frogs, and small snakes, to an endemic boa constrictor.
Vibrant and rustic, Mananara is a small fishing community located in Helodrano Antonglia Bay on the eastern shore of Madagascar. The population of 30,000 live simply but cheerfully in this river and bay side town that teems with fishing boats pulled along the shore. Visitors can spend time exploring the busy streets and markets, go snorkelling off the peninsula in the bay, or make a trip to Aye-Aye Island. This island is named after the nocturnal lemur known as the aye-aye that many tourists come to see.
Ambodifototra is the main town on Nosy Boraha (formerly named Île Ste Marie), a narrow granite-based island 57 km long and 8 km wide that is 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 with bright aqua water and coves protected by coral reefs all lend themselves to a dreamy feeling that is emphasized by the ‘joie de vivre’ of the people who live on the island.
Île aux Nattes is a small island south of Île Sainte-Marie and off the east coast of Madagascar. At Ile aux Nattes visitors going ashore will discover unspoiled tropical beaches with fine white sand, coconut trees scattered along the shore, and a turquoise lagoon protected by coral reefs and inhabited by a variety of exotic marine life. The island is a natural place to retreat and take in its pristine beauty. Activities offered on this small island include swimming, snorkelling to view the wide variety of fish, or nature walks to see the black and white lemurs.
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.
La Possession is a French influenced port city on the northwestern side of La Reunion. Two national parks have been created to protect the island’s natural wealth and UNESCO has given World Heritage status to the “Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island”. For birders, the “La Roche Ecrite Nature Reserve” is of prime interest as it was created on the slopes of the 2,276 meter Roche Ecrite next to La Possession to protect the endemic and endangered Reunion Cuckooshrike.
Located just off the east coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is fast making a name for itself as the tropical paradise of the Indian Ocean. A volcanic island approximately 10 million years old, Mauritius is thought to be the peak of an enormous sunken volcanic chain stretching from the Seychelles to Réunion. In fact, volcanic lakes and inactive craters can be found scattered throughout the island. Mauritius also boasts a unique marine environment.

SELECT YOUR SUITE AND REQUEST A QUOTE

Medallion Suite

408 ft² / 38m² including a private balcony

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Veranda Suite

280 ft² / 26m² including a private balcony

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Vista Suite

269 ft² / 25m²

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View Suite

181 ft² / 16.8m²

From US$ 9,990 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

186 ft² / 17.3 m²

From US$ 9,000 with early booking bonus
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
  • *Excluding All Full World Cruise and Grand Voyages
  • *If required by air connection. Free Transfers, Hotel are available only for guests utilizing Silversea air offer.

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.

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.

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

Day 1 – Port Louis, Mauritius
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this inspiring Silversea Expedition entitled, “Indian Ocean Expedition: From Rainforests to Reefs.” After getting settled in, join your Expedition Team to participate in a mandatory safety drill, followed by sail away cocktails out on deck.  This evening, become better acquainted with the ship and enjoy the first of many fabulous dining experiences in The Restaurant.

Days 2-3 – Expedition in Cargados Bank, Mauritius                                                                   
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 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 ashore. 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.            

Days 4-5 – 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 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 6 – Antisiranana, 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 — Ambohitralanana, Madagascar
Today, in true expedition mode, we explore the easternmost part of Madagascar. As part of our exploration we might visit the national park, landing our Zodiacs on the unspoilt beaches, or perhaps visit a local community and learn about the traditional life in this remote part of the island. Our Captain and Expedition Leader will work together to find the best possible experience.

Day 8 — Nosy Mangabe and Mananara, Madagascar
Before breakfast, Silver Discoverer will 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.
                                                                                                                                                                     
During the early afternoon Silver Discoverer will set a course for Mananara where, weather depending, we will land by Zodiac in the late afternoon , to visit this vibrant and small fishing community. After some leisure time exploring the streets and markets, we board pickup trucks to drive out of town towards Aye-Aye Island. To reach the island we will travel across a river in dugout canoes.  As the sunsets we will go in search of a nocturnal lemur, known as the Aye-Aye.  These tiny, rare lemurs can only be found on Madagascar, and at first glance look nothing like any other lemurs. They possess big eyes, slender fingers, and large, sensitive ears. Aye-Ayes have pointed claws on all their fingers and toes except for their opposable big toes, which enable them to dangle from branches.

Aye-ayes spend their lives in rain forest trees and avoid coming down to earth. They are nocturnal, and spend the day curled up in a ball-like nest of leaves and branches. The nests appear as closed spheres with single entry holes, situated in the forks of large trees. During our night-time expedition we hope to get memorable glimpses of this unique little animal.

Day 9 – Ambodifotatra and Ile aux Nates, Madagascar
This morning, we will embark on a walking tour of Ambodifototra, the main town on Ile Ste Marie (Nosy Boraha) a narrow granitic island 57 km long and 8 km wide that is 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.

During lunch, Silver Discoverer will reposition to Ile aux Nates, where we will go ashore on unspoiled tropical beaches with fine white sand, coconut trees scattered along the shore, and a turquoise lagoon protected by coral reefs and inhabited by a variety of exotic marine life. Enjoy swimming and snorkelling in the warm waters, or go in search of the group of black and white lemurs which has been settled here. Perhaps you will be inclined to hunt for one of the rarest orchids worldwide known as the ‘Queen of Madagascar’ (Eulophiella roempleriana), which blooms from November to January.

A full day of new encounters followed by a delicious dinner aboard Silver Discoverer is perfect way to wrap up our time in Madagascar!

Day 10 — Day at Sea                                                                       
Most people alive today may never experience the exhilaration of being at sea and out of sight of land. Members of the Expedition Team are ever-vigilant during sea days and spend hours on the bridge and out on deck with binoculars and cameras in hand. They watch for seabirds, marine mammals, schools of feeding fish, and any other unexpected wildlife interactions to share with our guests on the outer decks at a moment’s notice. Take advantage of the fresh air and boundless vistas and spend time today with Silversea Expedition’s experts in search of breaching whales, dolphins or soaring seabirds. 

Day 11 — La Possession, Reunion (French Overseas Department and European Outermost Region)
After breakfast, we will go alongside in La Possession, on the north western side of La Reunion. Two national parks have been created to protect the Island's nature and UNESCO has given World Heritage status to the "pitons, cirques and ramparts of Reunion Island." For birders the ‘La Roche Ecrite Nature Reserve’ is of prime interest as it was created on the slopes of the 2,276 meter Roche Ecrite to protect the endemic and endangered Reunion Cuckooshrike.

On a full-day tour we will visit the central highlands where spectacular and rugged volcanic peaks cradle huge amphitheatres known as cirques, and where mountains tower to over 10,000 feet as cascading waterfalls plummet hundreds of feet. On our excursion we will visit the active volcano "La Fournaise." One road, followed by a good track, leads up to Bellecombe Pass situated over the caldera’s cliffs and offers a good point of view over the northeast part of the caldera. From there a stairway path descends from the pass to the caldera floor. A number of footpaths ascending the lava shield inside the caldera are marked, but access depends on the volcanic activity.

This afternoon, enjoy a typical creole lunch ashore before exploring further with some time for independent exploration in St. Denis, a charming town with a wonderfully French atmosphere. This surely marks another highlight of our voyage and a fantastic way to cap the expedition.

In the evening we return to Silver Discoverer and will set sail for Mauritius.

Day 12 – Port Louis, Mauritius
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.

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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Packing List »

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.