Day 1 — Broome, Australia
Embark Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition – From the Kimberley to Komodo.
This afternoon, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a Zodiac briefing. During the evening, we invite you to familiarise yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travellers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
Days 2-6 — Kimberley, Western Australia
The Kimberley is famous for having one of the world’s largest tidal ranges. A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of this natural phenomenon. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on tide, weather and sea conditions. Here are some of the places we may visit during our time in this wondrous region:
-Yampi Sound, Kimberley, Western Australia
Today we can experience a difference of almost 9 meters between high and low tide. A morning Zodiac cruise along the coastline of Yampi will show rock layers wildly twisted and contorted into great folds. The area is rich in minerals and open-pit mines have operated for several decades. During the Zodiac cruise we might see the flooded mine on Koolan Island, but we will also be on the lookout for White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy Kites, Ospreys, Common Sandpipers and Eastern Reef Egrets. The area is rich in fish life, which in turn is an attraction for bottlenose dolphins that come to feed here in the early mornings. To cool off after the exploration we will head for Crocodile Creek, a hidden oasis tucked at the far end of a narrow bay lined with colourful orange cliffs of sandstone and mangrove trees. Despite the name there are supposed to be no crocodiles in the creek and a nice waterfall and natural pool invite to relax –although depending on tides you might have to climb a ladder for a few meters to get to the pool from the Zodiacs.
-Montgomery Reef, Kimberley, Western Australia
Montgomery Reef is over 154 square miles in size, and we are there to observe the amazing tidal changes that take place here. Timing of the tides is everything today; low tide reveals up to 13 feet of reef exposing a river that allows access to this amazing semi-submerged world. As the tide continues to ebb, we use our Zodiacs to make our way to the edge of the reef where we are surrounded by cascading waterfalls up to 10 feet high, and continue up the river as we look at the abundance of reef birds and every imaginable sea creature including turtles, manta rays and if we are lucky the elusive dugong. A visit to Montgomery Reef is extremely tide-dependent but truly a once in a lifetime experience.
-Freshwater Cove, Kimberley, Western Australia
At Freshwater Cove we will be welcomed on the beach by Aboriginal guides with a traditional ochre welcome. Immediately afterwards we will be immersed in Wandjina culture with a walk amongst the rock formations that represent spiritual ancestors, and hear the story of the great Wandjina battle. From there the walk crosses a tidal creek and makes its way through the woodland forest. The highlight of the walk is a unique Jungurim (Boab tree) and its culturally significant carvings from long ago. On the return to the beach, we will have a look at the artists’ shelter where one can relax, share a cup of tea and damper with the artists and peruse their paintings. These paintings based on Dreamtime stories and motives are available for purchase from the artists. The farewell will be a traditional smoking ceremony on the beach at Wijingarra Butt Butt.
-Vansittart Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia
Early in the morning, Silver Discoverer will arrive in Vansittart Bay, near Jar Island. There we will land on a beach and will have the opportunity to view Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) and Wandjina styles of rock art. For these two rock art styles there are two different art sites in close proximity. During midday, the Silver Discoverer will be repositioning to Anjo Peninsula. After lunch we will start the second landing of the day. The site to be visited offers more recent history. After a beach landing and a short hike across a lagoon –or depending on tides- a walk around the lagoon, we will arrive at a World War II site. The almost intact wreck of an old airplane, a C-53, can be seen.
-Hunter River, Kimberley, Western Australia
The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system. The image of an Indian Head in the soaring red sandstone cliffs will guide us as we set out in Zodiacs to explore the narrow mangrove channels, watching for numerous bird species and keeping an eye out for the saltwater crocodile, the most aggressive crocodile known to man. We will also look for the Ospreys that are known to nest here. For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley's vast interior, an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion is on offer to see the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the Mitchell River. The force of the falls is very much depending on seasonal rainfalls.
-King George River & Falls, Kimberley, Western Australia
The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley's most magnificent natural wonders. At 260 feet (80 m), the twin cascades are among the highest in Australia. We will start at the mouth of the river and ride Zodiacs up this waterway, weaving through an amazing landscape of near vertical red rock formations and a parade of wildlife — carnivorous saltwater crocodiles, amazing birdlife including raptors and the Brahminy Kite. Arriving at the falls, we can cruise quite close to the base to contemplate the immensity of this spectacle.
Day 7 — Wyndham (Bungle Bungle), Kimberley, Western Australia
Wyndham is our gateway to the breath-taking Bungle Bungle mountain range in Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Site. For more than 350 million years, nature has shaped geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground. It is a landscape unlike anything you have ever seen. Known to the local aborigines for hundreds of years, the Bungles were only discovered by the outside world in the mid-1980s.
Today, take part in an inclusive overflight for an aerial view of these glorious panoramas, as well as the majestic, man-made Lake Argyle and Argyle Diamond Mine. Alternatively you can take a river cruise on the Ord River, looking for freshwater crocodiles, fruit-bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones.
Day 8 — Cruising the Timor Sea
A leisurely day at sea will permit you to take advantage of the luxurious amenities and wellness program offered aboard Silver Discoverer. Attend a lecture recapping our experience in the Kimberley, or perhaps one preparing you for the fascinating Indonesian islands and cultures on the horizon.
Day 9 — Kupang, Timor, Indonesia
During the morning the Silver Discoverer will steaming closer to the island of Timor. As we approach, you might want to attend a talk by one of our lecturers. Another option might be to learn more about taking and editing photos, by attending a photography seminar.
Timor is one of the most interesting destinations in the Sunda Islands. The tradition of textile weaving remains strong, with the women still growing the cotton, hand dyeing and weaving on back-strap looms. We will board basic local transportation for a 90-minute drive to the highland village of Baun. This was once the center of the Amarasi kingdom. At the village gate we will be welcomed by a traditional procession followed by a traditional Timorese dance, a demonstration of traditional paper making, and a traditional ikat weaving. There will be an opportunity to purchase some of the weavings. Fresh young coconuts, traditional coffee and local food will be on display and offered and Sasando music will be performed. Leaving Baun village we continue our drive to visit an elementary school where it will be possible to interact with the students.
Day 10 — Ende, Flores Island, Indonesia
One of Flores’ attractions is the Kelimutu National Park northeast of Ende. Landing on the southern side of Flores, we will almost completely circle the Kelimutu National Park in order to get to Mount Kelimutu, an active volcano. The site is spectacular, as Mount Kelimutu has three summit crater lakes, located one next to the other, each with varying colours. The lakes are even featured on the Indonesian 5,000 Rupiah bill.
Another option would be to visit one of the local villages for a cultural performance.
Day 11 — Komodo and Pink Beach, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Early risers may spot whales as we approach Komodo. Silver Discoverer will anchor close to the National Park Headquarter, and Zodiacs will bring you ashore onto a floating jetty to reach the starting point of our hike. Walk along forested pathways in search of Komodo dragons. These enormous reptiles weigh up to 300 pounds. The surrounding forest is also home to ornate orchids, elegant Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Helmeted Friarbirds, Orange-footed Megapodes, and Javan deer. Each walking group is accompanied by two local rangers who provide interpretation and help maintain a safe distance between the dragons and the visitors.
During lunch, Silver Discoverer will reposition to the spectacular Pink Beach for an afternoon of snorkeling or relaxing on the beach. You can see shimmering tropical fish such as the striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or a spotted grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant sea fan. In addition to tropical fish at Pink Beach, rays have regularly been seen close to the neighbouring island of Pulau Punya.
Day 12 — Waikelo, Sumba, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia
Known for its intricate ikat fabric, distinctive architecture and sculptured stone tombs, Sumba has resisted the advances of the modern age. This makes it a fascinating island to explore, especially West Sumba where ancient tribal rites are best preserved. The Sumba culture revolves around villages where ancestors are worshipped by extended families living in enormous clan houses with high-pitched thatch roofs. The Sumbanese honour the dead by dragging massive stones a great distance to construct mausoleums for the departed.
We will arrive early in the morning and will take our Zodiacs ashore. From the landing we expect to board small local buses in order to visit several villages. At one stop we will witness a funereal rite ceremony as well as a ‘Pasola’, a fierce martial arts performance on horseback. We will also observe the process of making Indonesia’s famous ikat textiles, and will have the opportunity to purchase ikat directly from the weavers.
During the afternoon back aboard, the Videographer will present our voyage documentation. This is a perfect opportunity to relive all the wondrous moments you have had while exploring the Kimberley and some of the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia.
Day 13 — Benoa, Indonesia
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.
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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