Zanzibar To Durban

AFRICA & INDIAN OCEAN expedition cruise Silver Discoverer

Never before have the hot slices of colour that make up Southern Africa been so eloquently displayed. From the historic seat of sultans and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the wildlife of Richards Bay, expect a spectrum of experience both on and off shore. Six new destinations, including exclusive visiting rights to a private property and the legendary Baobab Avenue, complete this defining voyage.
Voyage 9827

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


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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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.

View 2 Land programme(s) in Zanzibar

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.
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.
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.

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.
Madagascar’s second city, also an important port, is an ethnically diverse urban center with the appearance of a big resort town, surrounded by beautiful beaches, and with a wide, seafront boulevard, lined by coconut trees, running along its western side. Much of the population is Indian. Colorful shops, lively bars, good restaurants, and nice accommodations make the city a great place to stay in its own right, or as a good base for exploring nearby attractions.

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.
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.
Belo Sur Mer is a rarely-visited, lovely Vezo fishing village located about 80 km south of Morondava, Madagascar. The town is referred to as a commune, with a population of 8,000 that consists primarily of the Vezo people. The Vezo have an ocean-oriented, semi-nomadic culture but call southern Madagascar their home. Visitors to Belo Sur Mer will be welcomed by a pristine long stretches of bright white sandy beaches and stunning turquoise waters. Take in the relaxed atmosphere, the bold red sunsets and learn from the locals who preserve their traditional ways of living.
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.
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.

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.
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.
Founded in the 1880s, during the Anglo-Zulu colonial wars, Richards Bay was named after British Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards, who landed a naval force here. An early claim to fame came in 1891, when colonial adventurer John Dunn killed a 22-foot crocodile in the estuary still one of the largest ever documented but the town remained a backwater with a population of less than 200 people until as recently as 1968. Today, Richards Bay is the major port in the region and is adjacent to significant mineral deposits, which have contributed to the town's massive growth.

Durban has the pulse, the look, and the complex face of Africa. If you wander into the Indian District or drive through the Warwick Triangle—an area away from the sea around Julius Nyerere (Warwick) Avenue—the pulsating city rises up to meet you. Traditional healers tout animal organs, vegetable and spice vendors crowd the sidewalks, and minibus taxis hoot incessantly as they trawl for business. It is by turns colorful, stimulating, and hypnotic. It's also a place steeped in history and culture. Gandhi lived and practiced law here, and Winston Churchill visited as a young man.

View 1 Land programme(s) in Durban


Medallion Suite

408 ft² / 38m² including a private balcony

Veranda Suite

280 ft² / 26m² including a private balcony

Vista Suite

269 ft² / 25m²

View Suite

181 ft² / 16.8m²

From US$ 16,920 with early booking bonus
Explorer Suite

186 ft² / 17.3 m²

From US$ 15,840 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.


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.


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.

3 Land programmes

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

Day 1 – Zanzibar, Tanzania
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this inspiring Silversea Expedition entitled, “The Realms of Mozambique and Madagascar.” 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 well acquainted with the ship and enjoy the first of many fabulous dining experiences in The Restaurant.

Day 2 – Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
This morning we visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Kilwa Ruins. Our Zodiacs will take us ashore from the ship at anchor, 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.

With new knowledge gained of this ancient site, we will head back to Silver Discoverer to enjoy lunch aboard and an afternoon at sea to begin the voyage’s lecture series. Our expedition team is comprised of experts in their fields who bring their subjects to life with the passion of their words and by sharing images and videos representing a wealth of experience.

Day 3 – Ibo Island, Mozambique
Silver Discoverer is at anchor this morning off Ibo Island, situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago. With an entire day here to explore, we hope to witness some of the fascinating culture aspects of the island.

Following breakfast, we will shuttle to the shore via Zodiac to 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, marvellous ruins. Ibo is a melting pot of influences from around the world, creating a culture that is completely unique.

This evening we will be back aboard, while the ship hauls up anchor for our next stop, to enjoy a Recap and Briefing from the Expedition Team followed by another exquisitely creative dinner aboard.

Day 4 – 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 in the local population, and their incredibly varied cultural heritage.

Before heading back to the ship for the day, you will surely agree there is a colorful and vibrant feel to the island with all the hustle and bustle; yet the charm, sophistication and culture of days-gone-by still lingers.

Day 5 – Day 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 choose to take advantage of the fascinating lecture series offered aboard. More entertaining and relevant than most university lectures, the choice of presentations on offer through the day will stimulate both thought and conversation aboard the ship.

Day 6 – Mahajanga, Madagascar
After navigating by Zodiac into the small port of Mahajanga we travel 110 kilometres (68 miles) to one of the largest and last remaining sections of dense dry deciduous forest in Madagascar in the Ampijoroa National Park. The last refuge of several lemur and bird species, the park is filled with critically endangered and endemic species. Home to eight lemur species, the Park is also one of Madagascar's finest birdwatching venues with 129 species. Roughly 75 of the birds are endemic and found nowhere else, including as the Banded Kestrel, Rufous Vanga, Van Dam´s Vanga and Madagascar Fish Eagle. Up to ten frog and 45 reptile species are also found here, like Oustalett's, dwarf, horned and rhinoceros chameleons.

Guided by the on board Expedition Team and local experts, we will enjoy interpretive walks throughout the forest, as well as a simple lunch within the park.

Day 7 — Day at Sea
The expedition team members 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 with Silversea’s expert expedition team in search of breaching whales, dolphins or soaring seabirds.

Day 8 — 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 (Centre de Formation Professionelle Forestière). The Reserve is comprised of one of the most outstanding and threatened wildlife habitats in Madagascar known as the ‘dry deciduous forest.’ This habitat type has been reduced to roughly 3% of its original extent, making it highly prized and worthy of protection.

Kirindy is known to be the best place on the whole island to observe the fossa (a carnivorous mammal that is endemic to Madagascar). Sightings can be especially favourable during the cat-like animals’ mating season between October and December. We hope to have views of this elusive nocturnal predator during our morning walks.

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 the 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 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.

Evening will find us back aboard the Silver Discoverer to carry on to our next port of call in Madagascar.

Day 9 – Belo sur Mer, Madagascar
A first for any expedition company, today we visit Belo sur Mer. This pleasant Vezo fishing village is located about 80 km south of Morondava. The Vezo are a semi-nomadic people who call southern Madagascar their home. Visitors who come here are greeted by a wonderful kilometer-long stretch of bright white sandy beach and amazing transparent, emerald waters. Enjoy the laidback atmosphere and the locals who keep the authenticity of their ancestral way of life intact.

We hope to see the launch of some of the fishing pirogues and large wooden boats that are built here. If we are lucky enough to see the initial launch of one of these boats, it promises to be a brilliant festival. The oversized canoes are propelled by paddles and some also deploy a rectangular sail to take advantage of any passing breeze. The Sakalava people, to which the Vezo belong, are avid anglers who use outrigger canoes of the same design as those used by proto-Malagasy when they made their voyages across the Indian Ocean.

Day 10 — Andavadoaka and Nosy Hao, Madagascar
Another first on this voyage will be our visit to 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. The reef provides a vital resource for a local artisanal fishery. Owing to the remote setting and geographic isolation, these coral reefs are thought to possess a significantly higher abundance and diversity of species than other reefs in southwest Madagascar. Like Belo sur Mer, Andavadoaka is home to the Vezo fishing people, who are known for their dependence upon the ocean.

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.

Days 11-12 — Tulear, Madagascar
From Tulear we will drive 226 kilometres (140 miles) to the Isalo National Park in the Ihorombe Region of Madagascar. Exquisitely gorgeous, the park is known for its wide variety of terrains, including sandstone formations, deep canyons, palm-lined oases, and grassland. En route to Isalo we will visit the Zombitse National Park where we can see more baobab trees and perhaps the White Shifaka Lemur.

The scenic road will slowly climb roughly 800 meters (2600 feet) and we will pass through different types of vegetation before arriving at the park and our hotels for the night. Both Hotel Relais de la Reine and Hotel Jardin du Roy have been reserved for our exclusive use as our base for the one night and two days we will spend exploring the area.

After lunch, we will explore Isalo National Park enjoying various hikes and a special sunset cocktail.
Dinner will be served at our overnight accommodations at the Hotel Relais de la Reine and Hotel Jardin du Roy.

On the morning of ‘Day 12’ of our explorations, we plan to investigate even more of Isalo National Park by undertaking a variety of natural history walks. After a late checkout (with perhaps another chance to shower), enjoy lunch at the hotel before driving back to Tulear. From the port, we will once again board the Silver Discoverer in the evening and say farewell to the beautiful island of Madagascar.

Days 13-14 – At Sea
While expedition travel with Silversea Expeditions is primarily about the excitement and 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. In the evening, you may choose to join new friends for 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.

Day 15 — Maputo, Mozambique
Arriving on the African continent this morning we clear back into Mozambique in Maputo, the capital of the country, hub of East African culture. During our half-day tours we will explore this vibrant city and its rich history. A highlight of the day will certainly be a visit to Fundacao Fernando Leite Couto for a talk with a famous Mozambican artist in a relaxed environment with a chance to enjoy the Mozambican cultural talent or browse through the library. Before returning to the Silver Discoverer we will also visit the Museum of Natural History as well as the vibrant FEIMA curio market.

Enjoy some time on deck as the Silver Discoverer departs during lunch time and sets course for our final country of this expedition – South Africa.

Day 16 — Richards Bay, South Africa
Depart from the quayside in Richards Bay and journey to an authentic Zulu cultural village located around the St Lucia Wetlands. On arrival at Khula Village we will be met at a traditional Zulu "Kraal" (Central meeting place) to begin a journey that weaves an enthralling lesson in Zulu culture and tradition. Gain insight into the life of a Zulu as you are taken through customs and rites of passage, from the charm of the Zulu love letter, to the solemnity of gender roles. Marriage rites, courting rituals, lobola (bartering for the bride’s hand in marriage), the family structure and Zulu spirituality make for a fascinating introduction to these people.

The mysticism of the Sangoma (witch doctor) is unveiled with a visit to her "hut" where an introduction to her herbal and magical medicine takes place. A tour of the surrounding area also portrays modern Zulu life, as several of the local people will open their homes to us. It is here that they will show off their beautiful beadwork, various crafts and the looms that produce the much sought-after mats that often form the basis of their livelihood.

The visit ends on a high note, literally, when guests are privileged to see the rare Umakweyane and other musical instruments played by traditional musicians. With the African bushveld as a stage, Zulu dancers will delight the audience, their bodies pulsating to drums with a characteristic energy. Following this performance, you will have the chance to taste traditional Zulu beer and some time for independent exploration of the village and the handicrafts stalls.

Board the coach to continue your journey to Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Enjoy a scrumptious light snack on arrival followed by an open vehicle game drive in the Hluhluwe Reserve. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is the oldest game reserve in all of Africa. Set in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, the park offers an array of waterholes that are dotted all over for guaranteed wildlife spotting at close range. The park extends itself over 96,000 ha, has an immense variety of flora and fauna and is hugely popular not only for its "Big Five," but for the vast bird life with more than 300 species documented within the reserve.

Following the game drive we will transfer back to the quayside in Richards Bay, and once again join our little expedition ship for one last evening aboard.

Day 17 — Durban, South Africa
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.


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