Trincomalee has one of the largest natural harbors in the world. Because of this several European nations fought over Trincomalee, which was already one of the most visited places of Hindu worship. Close to Trincomalee are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One is the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the former capital of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa dating back to the 12th century with its impressive ruins and statues. The second site is Sirigiya; the city of the Rock Fortress. View more
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Learn about and observe the care, feeding and conservation of the elephants of Pinnawela during this memorable full-day tour to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage.
Depart the pier for a short 15-minute drive to the Colombo Railway Station. On arrival, board the train for the approximate 2-hour ride to Rambukana Railway Station where your coach will be waiting for the short transfer to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Rest assured, the short journey is well worth it! During the ride, take in the scenic beauty of the lush, green Sri Lankan countryside from the grandeur of your air-conditioned train car.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was created to care for baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned. Today, approximately 80 animals are cared for, fed, studied and trained by the Sri Lankan Wildlife Authority. Once acclimated to a lifestyle in captivity, the elephants are unable to care for themselves in the wild. As a result, they grow up and reproduce in the protection of the reserve, and very small babies may be spotted amongst the ever-growing family.
Elephant Care, Bathing & Feeding
During your visit, the staff explains and demonstrates the care afforded to these magnificent animals, as well as the on-going battle for the conservation of their native habitats. If your timing is right, you can observe the staff helping the elephants take their daily bath in the nearby river. Your visit includes a relaxing lunch at the Pinnalanda River View restaurant, followed by an opportunity to watch the elephants being fed.
At the conclusion of your visit, board your coach for the approximate 3.5 hour drive back to the pier. A comfort stop will be made en-route.
Please note: This tour requires an extensive amount of walking for approximately 530 yards (484 metres) over uneven surfaces and 40 steps at the Colombo Railway Station, 60 steps at the Rambukkana Railway Station, 8 steps at the Pinnalanda River View Restaurant and 50 steps at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Vehicles used are the best available in the city; they are not of the same standards as vehicles found in Western countries. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection from the ship. Expect crowds at the sites visited. Guests wishing to use a video camera should carry some local currency for videography fees at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. The train is air-conditioned and the Pinnalanda River View restaurant is air-cooled. Elephants at Pinnawela are not fully-tamed; guests should avoid proximity with the animals. Total time spent at the orphanage is approximately 1.25 hours, and 1-hour for lunch.
From the moment you arrive, Sri Lanka offers ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture, traditions, wildlife and flavours of this historic island-nation. Begin by exploring the spectacular ancient city of Polonnaruwa, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its Royal Palace ruins and splendid statues of Buddha. From here, head for a game-drive at Minneriya National Park to observe a wide array of diverse flora and wildlife species. After dinner and an overnight stay at the Cinnamon Lodge, set off the next morning for a guided tour of the sacred and inspiring Dambulla Cave Temple complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features five cave shrines, and various statues and carvings of Buddha and Bodhisattva. From here, continue on for a stroll in a spice garden, followed by a cooking class with lunch. After lunch, drive to panoramic Kandy for a dinner, private cultural and dancing performance, and an overnight stay at the Cinnamon Citadel. The final day of your journey begins with a visit to the magnificent Temple of the Tooth, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the holiest shrines in the Buddhist world. Next, take an aromatic stroll through the Royal Botanical Garden, then visit an Elephant Orphanage and proceed for lunch overlooking the elephants bathing in the river. Your Mid-Voyage Land Adventure concludes on Day Three with a transfer to the pier in Colombo. Upon arrival, embark the ship.
Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: Sri Lankan Sojourn
Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights
Departs from: Trincomalee
Re-join ship: Colombo
Reserve: At least 90 days prior to sailing
This Silver Shore Mid-Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations no later than 90 days prior to the sail date. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis. Tickets are available in limited quantities, and participation cannot be guaranteed for those guests not booking well in advance. A minimum number of participants is required to operate this programme. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Cancellation fee, unless otherwise advised, 90 - 0 days prior to the initial sailing date: 100% of the programme fare per person is due.
Payment-in-full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. Booking made within 120 days of sailing require full payment within seven days of booking or sooner, as specified by Silversea. Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme.
All Land Adventure fares are subject to change, and not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. All Land Adventures are non-transferable, and non-refundable, within 90 days of sailing. Minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older. All Land Adventures are owned by independent contractors, and Silversea makes no representations and assumes no responsibility for the services provided by these operators. Land Adventures may be modified by the operators at their sole discretion.
Please check with your travel professional for details regarding visa requirements for Sri Lanka. It is the responsibility of each guest to obtain all appropriate visas before cruising.
The local currency is the Sri Lankan rupee; however, Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are well-accepted by most vendors; local ATMs are available in some locations visited, and credit cards are accepted in most larger shops and hotels (there is no shopping stop planned during the program).
Explore the diverse cultures, wildlife, flavours and history of Sri Lanka during an unforgettable, two-night excursion to this ancient island-nation.
DAY ONE - Saturday, March 23, 2019 - Trincomalee/Habarana
Ancient city of Polonnaruwa exploration
Depart the ship for the scenic, approximately three-hour drive to Polonnaruwa. Upon arrival, a guided tour is made to this ancient city, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The second capital city of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa was built during 11th and 12th centuries, and is one of the best-planned archaeological sites in the country.
Royal Palace Ruins, Buddha statues at Gal Viharaya and ancient landmarks
View the ruins of the Royal Palace and Gal Viharaya, where a group of splendid statues of Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures are carved out of a rock. Other landmarks to be seen during your guided walking tour of the ancient city include the Shiva Temple, Lotus Bath, Royal Citadel and striking Parakrama Samudraya, an irrigation lake built by King Parakramabahu the Great.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Game-drive at Minneriya National Park
This afternoon, get a glimpse of the wild side of Sri Lanka during an approximately three-hour game-drive at Minneriya National Park, which spans approximately 21,965 acres (about 8,889 hectares). Dry zone plant and animal species are common, and elephants are plentiful. Unlike in other national parks, elephants can be spotted here at very close range. Approximately 160 bird species, nine amphibian species, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species, and more than 78 butterfly species have been found in this area. There are also rare bamboo trees unique to this park.
Check-in at the Cinnamon Lodge
At the conclusion of your game-drive, re-board your coach and transfer to the Cinnamon Lodge for check-in. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure.
A special barbecue dinner and overnight accommodation at the Cinnamon Lodge.
DAY TWO - Sunday, March 24, 2019 - Habarana/Matale/Kandy
Dambulla Cave Temple complex discovery
After breakfast at the hotel, meet your guide and depart for the approximately one-hour drive to the Dambulla Cave Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its compelling and inspirational tranquillity, the Buddhist cave temple complex of Dambulla has touched the spirit of millions of visitors who have passed through its sacred spaces through the centuries.
A former refuge for the fugitive King Valagamba, who was driven from Anuradhapura, these rock shelters have been continuously inhabited over millennia. When King Valagamba returned victorious to his kingdom, he expressed his gratitude to the monks by having the site transformed into a temple complex with five cave shrines dedicated to Buddha.
Buddha and Buddhisatvas rock carvings, and beautiful wall and ceiling murals
Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the temple complex. Over the centuries, the complex has been expanded and filled with statuary of the Buddha and Boddhisatvas, rock-cut carvings of events from Buddha's life, and beautiful murals on walls and ceilings in the style of the 18th-century Painting School of Kandy.
Spice Garden tour and cooking demonstration with lunch
Next, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 1.5-hour drive to Matale. Upon arrival, proceed for a truly unforgettable sensory and culinary experience at a Spice Garden. See a variety of spices, and how they are grown and processed. Afterward, witness a short cooking demonstration followed by lunch.
Next, re-board your coach and continue on for the approximately 1.5-hour drive to Kandy, your final destination for today. Nestled in a valley surrounded by hills, Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese monarchy. It's appropriately regal location is in a valley surrounded by a ridge of mountains, and dense jungle that borders the city's gardens, tea and rice fields. The town is highlighted by a beautiful artificial lake with a pagoda in its centre. The Dalada Maligawa, or 'Temple of the Tooth', stands here.
Check-in at the Cinnamon Citadel
Upon arrival in Kandy, head to the Cinnamon Hotel for check in. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Private cultural and dancing performance
This evening, a special event has been arranged for you; a private cultural performance showcasing the dances and culture of this Emerald Isle.
Dinner and overnight accommodation at Cinnamon Citadel.
DAY THREE - Monday, March 25, 2019 - Kandy/Pinnawela/Colombo
Tour of the holy Temple of the Tooth
After breakfast at the hotel, a visit is made to yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Temple of the Tooth. Considered one of the holiest shrines in the Buddhist world, the temple is a work of art in itself. An impressive stone rampart encloses the shrine, which stands two storeys high on a platform in the centre of a courtyard. The upper-gallery is connected to the first floor of the temple by a small bridge. There, behind a gilt railing, the golden reliquary rests on a silver table. It contains a nest of six boxes; the famous tooth lies within the smallest one.
Aromatic stroll through the Royal Botanical Garden
Next, a visit is made to the Royal Botanical Garden, originally built for the pleasure of Sinhalese queens in the 14th century. Beautifully manicured, with huge trees and bright bougainvillea, the Royal Botanical Garden contains a wide variety of tropical and temperate flora; 4,000 species in all. There is also a Spice Garden with centuries-old nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamoms, vanilla, and clove trees, medicinal Herb Garden with plants used in Ayurvedic medicine, and the Orchid House, which houses 450 hybrid species.
Unique Elephant Orphanage visit
Your tour continues with an approximately one-hour drive to Pinnawela. Upon arrival, visit its famous Elephant Orphanage. Established in 1975 with seven orphans, the orphanage today has some of the orphans enjoying the good fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but it soon turned in to a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawela started a scientific, captive-breeding programme for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role in this regard, and, in 1984, the first baby elephant of Pinnawela was born.
Lunch whilst watching elephants at play
Following your guided tour of the Elephant Orphanage, proceed for lunch on the veranda of a neighbouring local restaurant. During your relaxing meal, observe elephants taking their daily bath at a nearby river; an ideal place to reflect on your fulfilling journey of the past two days and end your tour.
After lunch, commence the approximately three-hour drive to the pier in Colombo, and embark the awaiting Silver Whisper.
Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure involves an extensive amount of walking, at times over uneven and natural surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and many steps at the sites visited, including 400 steps at the Dambulla Cave Temple. This tour is suitable for active guests in good physical condition. This tour is not suitable for pregnant guests, guests with neck and/or back problems, guests with heart and/or respiratory conditions, guests prone to motion sickness, guests with limited mobility, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring a light jacket, camera, and any necessary medication from the ship. Proper attire is required to enter sacred sites; shorts and bare shoulders are not permitted. Shoes and hats must be removed prior to entering the temple. Since the pavement is very hot, guests are advised to bring along a thick pair of socks to wear. Shopping stops are available upon request; common items for purchase include tea, spices, gems and jewellery. Hotels, restaurants, coaches, guides, and equipment are the best-available in the area, but may not be up to the standards of those found on other excursions. Guests should be respectful towards local sentiments and customs. Guides in Sri Lanka tend to have a strong accent. Avoid bringing valuables (such as jewellery or large amounts of cash) on this tour. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and larger shops; small shops may not accept credit cards. The tour sequence may vary. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
- One-night stay in a Superior Room at the Cinnamon Lodge - Habarana
- One-night stay in a Superior Room at the Cinnamon Citadel - Kandy
- Two breakfasts, three lunches and two dinners (lunch includes choice of two local beers, soft drinks, bottled water; beverage at dinner also includes house wine)
- Guide services
- Special barbecue dinner
- Lunch whilst observing elephants bathing in the river
- Royal Botanical and spice gardens
- Private cultural and dancing performance
- Cooking demonstration
- Buddha and bodhisattva statues, carvings and murals
- Game drive
Any meals and drinks not specified above, gratuities to drivers and tour guides, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance and other personal items.