- Explore the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Juan Fernandez –with the highest percentage of endemic plants anywhere
- Look for the endemic Juan Fernandez furs seal (once believed to be extinct) as well as endemic Pink-footed Shearwaters, Masatierra Petrels, Juan Fernandez Firecrown and the critically endangered Masafuera Rayadito.
- Take a Zodiac cruise along the shores of Alexander Selkirk, one of Chile’s most isolated Islands
- Explore the Salas y Gomez Marine Park –a set of tiny rocks within the Pacific, covering a marine area larger than Galapagos
Day 1 - Valparaiso, Chile
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “In Search of Robinson Crusoe”.
Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves Valparaiso, you will attend a mandatory safety drill. Join us for a Sail Away Cocktail on the outer decks as we sail away from Valparaiso’s Historic Center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Later you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.
This evening the Restaurant Manager and Executive Chef would like to invite you to the delights of a specially prepared menu in The Restaurant.
Day 2 - At Sea
Having left Valparaiso behind, Silver Explorer will have to cover some 370 miles to reach the first of the Juan Fernandez Islands the west.
During our day at sea we will cross the Humboldt Current and will be looking for the occasional seabirds, perhaps spotting the Juan Fernandez Petrel. Our lecturers will present talks about the natural history and other topics related to our next destination, the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.
Day 3 - Robinson Crusoe, Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile
Silver Explorer will anchor in Cumberland Bay, not too far from the main settlement and only village of Robinson Crusoe. Formerly it was called “Mas a Tierra” (closer to land) as it is closer to mainland Chile than Alexander Selkirk –a further 112 nautical miles to the west. In 1966 the island’s name was changed to Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe’s famous literary character, hoping to attract more tourism.
The island has several historical facts that make it interesting: from its discovery by Juan Fernandez to its use as a provisioning stop for pirates and explorers alike, a penal colony during the Chilean independence movement, its various schemes of exploitation, the connection to World War I, and finally the several tsunamis that have caused the current village to be redesigned for safety.
We will land at San Juan Bautista in Cumberland Bay to offer several walks and hikes to various lookout points –including Alexander Selkirk’s viewpoint- and to look for the endemic plants and birds that have put Juan Fernandez on the list of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list. Heading up to the Plazoleta El Yunque (the anvil), we will hike through pine, cypress and eucalyptus forests, but will also be able to see many of the local plants and the Juan Fernandez Firecrown.
Both hikes to the viewpoints offer different views of Cumberland Bay and the surrounding landscape, but from Selkirk’s lookout you can also see the barren eastern side of Robinson Crusoe with the small island of Santa Clara in the background.
An easy walk will lead to the cliff where the projectiles shot at the German light cruiser SMS Dresden during WWI can still be seen. During this walk it is normally possible to see the Juan Fernandez fur seals in the water, while hummingbirds might frequent the shrubs and flowers near the cemetery.
Day 4 - Alexander Selkirk, Juan Fernandez Archipelago, Chile
Today we reach one of the most isolated islands of Chile. Formerly called “Más Afuera” -which clearly stated that is was “further away”- it received the name of Alexander Selkirk in 1966 to entice tourism to the archipelago, but not to the island. Alexander Selkirk is only sporadically used by fishermen from Robinson Crusoe to harvest spiny lobster. There is a small group of buildings on the island’s eastern shore, but landing is conditioned by swell.
We will use the Zodiacs for a cruise along the shore, looking for the feral goats that were left in the archipelago already in the 16th century, and the Juan Fernandez fur seal colonies on the western coast. If possible we will go ashore near one of the colonies.
Days 5-8 - At Sea
After leaving Alexander Selkirk almost 1400 nautical miles will have to be covered before reaching Salas y Gomez. During our days at sea we will be looking for large schools of dolphins that have been observed on this transect before.
Our lecturers will present talks about Chile, the Pacific Ocean and obviously topics related to our next destination, Easter Island, and the famous statues. Attend workshops and seminars, relax, enjoy the solitude of the open ocean, and sample the culinary specialities prepared by our Executive Chef and his team.
Day 9 - Isla Salas y Gomez
We will approach Salas y Gomez during the early morning. We will take our Zodiacs to circumnavigate the island and some of the submerged rocks. In terms of wildlife we can expect to see Christmas Shearwater, Brown Noddies, Masked Boobies, as well as Great Frigatebirds and Sooty Terns –the last two of prime importance to Easter Island’s socio-religious birdman cult.
In the afternoon our onboard Videographer will present the DVD-documentary of our voyage.
Day 10 - Easter Island, Chile
Silver Explorer will sail along Easter Island’s coast, part of the Rapa Nui National Park –a UNESCO World Heritage Site- at dawn and will anchor in front of Hanga Roa, the island’s only settlement at sunrise.
After breakfast disembark Silver Explorer.
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.