silversea

Cairns To Darwin

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND expedition cruise Silver Discoverer

Be the envy of your peers as you recount stories of early morning canoe trips through fiords and forests. Tell the tales of dragon dances. Of how you snorkelled from isolated beaches and Zodiac® platforms and saw and schools of colourful reef fish. Or how you saw the increasingly rare Dusky Cuckoo Dove. Live the stories you’d love to tell on this varied voyage.
Voyage 9814

Book by 15 July, 2018 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit per suite and one-category suite upgrade*

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Last-Minute Savings: Book by 15 July, 2018 and enjoy $1,000 onboard credit per suite and one-category suite upgrade*

Venetian Society sailing:  members of the Venetian Society enjoy an additional 5% saving on the cruise fare

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
Click here to see all photos and videos.

Tourism is the lifeblood of Cairns (pronounced Caans). The city makes a good base for exploring the wild top half of Queensland, and tens of thousands of international travelers use it as a jumping-off point for activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling trips to the Barrier Reef, as well as boating, fishing, parasailing, scenic flights, and rain-forest treks.It's a tough environment, with intense heat and fierce wildlife.

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.
Alotau is the provincial capital of the Milne Bay Province located in the southeast bay of Papua New Guinea. The town and surrounding area has been an important staging ground during World War II and we will see remains and memorials dating back or referring to the war. On a tour of the town, visitors will appreciate lovely vistas of the bay and experience the markets, which are frequented not only by locals, but also by islanders selling their products or looking for produce to take back into Milne Bay.

Kafure, located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea, is situated next to a Kwapurina Fjord (the result of ancient volcanic activity) and is surrounded by uncharted coral reefs. The friendly indigenous population is welcoming to visitors and often greets newcomers with songs and dances. Local canoes explore the smooth waters of tropical fjords under canopies of ancient mangrove forests that act as home to a wide range of colorful birds and butterflies. Beaches in the area invite a stroll while locals make canoes and tapa cloth.
Banana-shaped Tuam is an uplifted coral atoll covered in palm trees. The only village is located on the lower eastern side of the island. Highly exposed to the trade winds, the islanders have set up protective walls made out of palm-branches giving the village the look of a fortified castle from a distance. A trail marked by white sand leads from the landing site to the settlement area of neatly organized wooden huts and houses with pandanus-thatched roofs. The forest reveals different gardens set up in the higher regions of the island.
Kopar is a small village of no more than 200 inhabitants at the mouth of the Sepik River. The inhabitants make a living through subsistence hunting and gathering and go out in traditional canoes to look for suitable sago palms to produce their staple food. Since the Sepik meanders through swampy areas, the locals have cut narrow channels through the swamps to be able to connect more easily with their neighbours. The area surrounding Kopar will offer sights of flood plain birds, parrots and the odd kite, a large bird of prey.
Only about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Indonesian border, Vanimo is the capital of the Sandaun (or Sundown) Province. It is one of only two towns in this remote region of Papua New Guinea. Although the Sepik River originates in the province, it bypasses Vanimo far to the south. The Sandaun Province is relatively undeveloped, but Vanimo has lovely beaches and some picturesque villages in the vicinity. The interior is covered in rainforest and logging is an important activity putting to use Vanimo’s port and protected bay.
Jayapura is the largest Indonesian city in New Guinea, and is the provincial capital of Papua, Indonesia. At last count the city – locally known as Port Numbay – had a population of over 315,000 people. Providing both a location to clear in and out of Indonesia, and an opportunity to experience traditional dances and customs of Papua, the city is close to Lake Sentani. This region is famed for the distinctive art, traditional motifs, sago bowls and bark paintings produced by the people who live around and on the lake.
The Padaido Islands, in Numfor Biak, Papua Province, Indonesia, are a cluster of 36 islands and islets, of which only 13 are inhabited. They all have thick jungles, white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters with coral reefs and plenty of marine life. In fact, this area has some of the best coral ecosystem biodiversity in the world.
The Auri Islands lie within the Cenderawasih Bay (Indonesian for Bird of Paradise Bay), is a large bay on the northern coast of West Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia. When this area was part of the Dutch East Indies the bay was called Geelvink Bay, after a Dutch ship. Cenderawasih Bay is dotted with hundreds of small islands and atoll’s that are home to some of the most pristine hard coral reefs in Indonesia with one of the highest concentrations of endemic fishes in the Pacific Ocean. The western part of the bay was declared a marine national park in 2002.
Located just north of the border between West Papua and Papua New Guinea in Indonesia, Palau Roon is a remote, majestic island situated in Cendrawasih Bay. The Bay is a destination for those interested in encountering Papua’s magnficent Whale Sharks, exploring forgotten WWII wrecks off Manokwari and amazing diversity on Cendrawasih Bay’s rich reefs. Guests interested in exploring the underwater ecosystem will encounter a beautiful array of sea animals, including the tiny Pygmy Seahorse all the way to the great Wobbegongs (bottom-dwelling sharks).
Almost totally covered in coconut palm trees, Pulau Miossu is the western and smaller of the two Su Islands. Located at the eastern entrance of the Dampier Strait and within sight of West Papua’s north coast, the Su Islands were used for a short time by Allied Forces at the end of WW II to have P-38 fighter planes stationed there. Today, little remains from those days and even the former airfield is covered by vegetation. Pulau Miossu has just a few houses and is occasionally visited to harvest coconut and to enjoy the white sandy beaches and the rich underwater world.
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 Den Weg Islands are known for their ancient rock art, drawn on canyons, which are visible only by boat. The drawings were made using naturally red materials, resembling human blood. The locals call them ‘blood paintings’, and consider the very sacred. Some of the paintings depict human skeletons, which reference the ancient custom of placing the bodies of their ancestors in the rock cliffs and caves.
In 2008, the Kaimana Regency declared a 6000 square kilometer (over 2,300 square mile) Marine Protected Area around the waters of Triton Bay. Conservation International maintains an office in Kaimana and a field station out in Triton Bay where visiting scientists can do their work studying the staggering marine biodiversity of the reserve. It is truly second to none, and the area offers everything from the tiniest pygmy seahorses, to large and graceful whale sharks.
On the southern coast of West Papua, Indonesia lies the small Aiduma Island, an oceanic paradise and a destination for divers and snorklers. Aiduma Island is described by locals as what Indonesia was like several decades ago, still unspoiled by commerce and traffic. The coast off of Aiduma Island is home to diverse and lovely soft coral forest, while locals live modestly in grass bungalows on shore.
Kei Archipelago, in the south-eastern part of Indonesia in the Maluku Islands, are on the edge of the Banda Sea, south of the Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea. The islands are famous for its beautiful, paradise-like beaches. It is believed that the ancestors came from Bali. The Kei Islanders have almost no written history, but they do have a Tom-Tad, oral stories of objects passed down from generation to generation. Today, 22 ratshcaap, or traditional local leaders have the role of kings of the customary law.
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.
Darwin is Australia's most colorful, and exotic, capital city. Surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Timor Sea, the streets are lined with tropical flowers and trees. Warm and dry in winter, hot and steamy in summer, it's a relaxed and casual place, as well as a beguiling blend of tropical frontier outpost and Outback hardiness. Thanks to its close proximity to Southeast Asia and its multicultural population it also seems more like Asia than the rest of Australia. Darwin is a city that has always had to fight for its survival.

View 1 Land programme(s) in Darwin

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$ 16,000
Explorer Suite

186 ft² / 17.3 m²

From US$ 14,200
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 the one-category upgrade is not available, guests receive instead $500 onboard credit per suite for a total of $1,500 onboard credit per suite.

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.

1 Land programme and 2 Hotels

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 — Cairns, Australia
Embark the Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition – Mysteries of New Guinea. This afternoon, you will meet your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Tonight we invite you to meet some of your fellow travellers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2 — At Sea
While Silver Discoverer sails across the Coral Sea, get acquainted with the amenities on your home away from home for the next 17 days. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps attend a workshop or lecture that will prepare you for the experiences of Papua New Guinea.

Day 3 — Alotau, Papua New Guinea
Alotau is the provincial capital of the Milne Bay Province and our port of entry into Papua New Guinea. The town and surrounding area has been an important staging ground during World War II and we will see remains and memorials dating back or referring to the war. On our tour of the town we will reach viewpoints of the bay and get to see the markets, which are frequented not only by locals, but also by islanders selling their products or looking for produce to take back into Milne Bay. Alotau is an important port facility for the islands and attracts many vendors of handicrafts from different islands.

Day 4 — Kafure, Papua New Guinea
Kafure, located on the south-eastern peninsula of Cape Nelson in Oro Province, is situated next to a tropical fjord (the work of ancient volcanic activities) and is fringed by uncharted coral reefs. We will take our Zodiacs ashore at a small village to be welcomed with songs and dances. Later, climb into a local canoe to explore the smooth waters of the Kwapurina Fjord. With villagers as our oarsmen, we will be guided under canopies of ancient mangrove forests acting as home to a wide range of colorful birds and butterflies. Continuing on our journey, we return to the entrance of the fjord and the small settlement where villagers will demonstrate the making of tapa cloth and offer interesting souvenirs.

Day 5 — Tuam, Papua New Guinea
Banana-shaped Tuam is an uplifted coral atoll covered in palm trees. The only village is located on the lower eastern side of the island. Highly exposed to the trade winds, the islanders have set up protective walls made out of palm-branches giving the village the look of a fortified castle from a distance. A trail marked by white sand leads from the landing site to the settlement area of neatly organized wooden huts and houses with pandanus-thatched roofs. In the village, several dance groups will wait for us at different locations and will perform their special songs and dances.

A walk in the forest permits you to see the different gardens set up in the “higher” regions of the island. The island has a spectacular reef and snorkelling next to the drop-off will reveal a myriad of reef fish.

Day 6 — Kopar Village, Papua New Guinea
During the afternoon, Silver Discoverer will approach the Sepik River for a visit to Kopar, a small village of not more than 200 people at the river’s mouth. Depending on the tide and currents, Silver Discoverer might enter the Sepik River to anchor in front of this little village. The people of the Sepik are known for their artefacts and Kopar presents another opportunity for souvenir hunters. For the keen birders, a Zodiac cruise along the shore of the Sepik or into the small canals just upstream from Kopar village can be rewarded with sights of flood plain birds and parrots and the odd kite. During our visit we will present school supplies to the local community. Your donations will be very welcome. Please see below under the section entitled, “360 DEGREES OF GIVING.”

Day 7 — Vanimo, Papua New Guinea
Vanimo will be our clearance port out of Papua New Guinea. Since visitors are quite rare in this part of the country, we will likely be the main attraction in town. After being greeted ashore we will drive to a local venue for traditional dancing and to see the handicrafts produced in Sandaun Province. Afterwards, we will drive to a local beach for a refreshing swim, or perhaps a walk along the beach to the next little village. To reach the village a stream might have to be crossed and at high tide this involves balancing across a tree trunk bridge.

Everyone will return to our little expedition ship around sunset. During the evening hours Silver Discoverer will be cleared out of the country to carry on along the north coast of New Guinea towards the Indonesian half of this large island.

Day 8 — Jayapura (Port Numbay), Indonesia
At Jayapura – locally known as Port Numbay – we will receive our official clearance into Indonesia.  A welcome at the ship will illustrate some of the traditional dances from Papua. Inland from the town is Lake Sentani, famed for the distinctive art, traditional motifs, sago bowls and bark paintings of the people who live on and around the lake.
We will take local buses to reach the shore of the lake and will then continue on native longboats to reach one of the islands. Here we will see a local dance presentation, walk around the island, perhaps climb up to the church for nice views of the lake, and will have the opportunity to see the famous lake artifacts including bark paintings and bride money.

Return to Silver Discoverer shortly after noon for lunch aboard and to get underway for our next stop.                  

Day 9 — Pudaidori Island, Indonesia                                   
During the morning, Silver Discoverer will continue sailing westward to reach a small group of islands east of Biak. Although Biak played an important part during World War II and still has a large military presence, Pudaidori and the other small islands east of Biak bring promise of a tranquil tropical setting and a snorkeler’s delight. You may want to take the afternoon to relax on the white sandy beaches, swimming and snorkelling, or looking for bird life ashore.

Day 10 — Auri Islands, Indonesia
The Cenderawasih Marine Park features over 15,000km2 of relatively undisturbed marine and coastal habitat and the extensive coral reefs rank amongst the finest in the world. Cenderawasih is renowned for its diversity of coral reef fish species, including numerous species of butterfly fish, angelfish, damselfish, parrotfish, rabbitfish and anemone fish.

Cenderawasih (Bird-of-Paradise) Bay encompasses the Auri Islands offering some of the most beautiful clear-water snorkeling in the huge bay. The dozen or so islands have white sand beaches and excellent reefs. One snorkel site has a trio of American WWII planes sunk in formation in only a few meters of water.

Cenderawasih Marine Park is known for congregating whale sharks. As the biggest fish in the sea, they feed exclusively on the smallest planktonic creatures, growing to more than 12 meters in length. While there are other places in the world where snorkelers can seek a close encounter with these gentle giants, in Cenderawasih Bay the whale sharks tend to linger close to the surface for extended periods. They have become accustomed to taking small fish that spill from the nets of local fishermen.

Day 11 — Pulau Roon, Indonesia
Pulau Roon is just south of the Auri Islands. Closer to the mainland, its twisted coastline has many secluded bays and sandy beaches with the potential for excellent snorkeling on shallow offshore reefs. Pulau Roon is also peppered with small villages that might warrant an impromptu visit by Zodiac to connect with local people in an authentic and spontaneous interaction that can only be achieved on an expedition such as ours.  

Day 12 — Pulau Miossu, Indonesia                
While Silver Discoverer heads for the northwest tip of New Guinea, known as the Bird’s Head, our lecturers will prepare you for coastal Papua. Around noon, Silver Discoverer will arrive at the Su Islands. Located at the entrance of the Dampier Strait, Pulau Miossu is almost totally covered in coconut palm trees and is the western and smaller of the two Su Islands. Within sight of West Papua's north coast, Pulau Miossu has just a few houses and is occasionally visited to harvest coconuts and to enjoy the white sandy beaches and the rich underwater world. Our marine biologist will look for coral walls and drop-offs that are festooned with table corals, staghorn corals, and orange and purple sea squirts. We hope to see giant clams nestled into the coral formations while fish in rainbow colors sprinkle the reef above. Beach activities and bird watching will be on offer too.

Day 13 — At Sea
While Silver Discoverer sails through the Ceram Sea, our lecturers will present further talks about Indonesia and the Raja Ampat. More entertaining and relevant than many university lectures, the choice of presentations on offer through the day will no doubt stimulate both thought and conversation aboard the ship.  

Day 14 — Den Weg Islands, Indonesia
On the southern shore of the Fakfak Peninsula are several karst islands that brought international interest in the 1930s thanks to extensive fields of ancient rock art that were found here. We will take our Zodiacs to explore several of the islands and will have a close look at the most accessible wall paintings that almost resemble Aboriginal motives from the Dreamtime. Depending on local permits we might also be allowed to visit one of the smaller villages and have a look at day-to-day modern life.

Day 15 — Triton Bay and Aiduma Island, Indonesia
In 2008, the Kaimana Regency declared a 6000 km² Marine Protected Area around the waters of Triton Bay. The non-profit organization, Conservation International, maintains an office in Kaimana and a field station out in Triton Bay where visiting scientists can do their work. The marine biodiversity is second to none and the area offers everything from the tiniest pygmy seahorses to large and graceful whale sharks. The Expedition Team will select a prime spot for swimming and snorkeling within the bay.  In addition, we hope to pay a visit to remote Aiduma Island.

Day 16 — Kai Archipelago, Indonesia
Kai Islands will be our final opportunity to meet local people and to take to the water on this voyage. Depending on the conditions (and permits that are granted), we may choose to visit a village first, or to have a relaxing day in the water and on the beach to cap off this adventure in and around New Guinea.

Day 17 — At Sea
As the miles peel away in our churning wake, you may wish to take advantage of one last fascinating lecture series, or perhaps you want to take time out to edit the many photos you have taken during the voyage. Regardless of how you spend the day, be sure to attend the screening of our Videographer’s final video recap of the voyage.

Day 18 — Darwin, Australia                
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.

360 DEGREES OF GIVING
They say it’s better to give than to receive, luckily we have the opportunity to do both. The friendly villagers we visit throughout our expedition welcome us with such warm hearts, and we receive so much from them, that we want to make sure we’re giving right back.

In the spirit of goodwill, we greatly encourage you to help us support the local communities we will be visiting. Gifts may consist of second-hand children’s clothing, school supplies (pencils, pens, and writing tablets), and medical supplies (Band-Aids, antiseptic wipes, and first aid items). Supplies received will be collected on board by the Expedition Team and evenly distributed throughout the villages as we visit.

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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