Silversea Luxury Cruises À Zanzibar

ZANZIBAR

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 more

Separated from the mainland by a channel only 35 km (22 miles) wide, and only six degrees south of the equator, this tiny archipelago—the name Zanzibar also includes the islands of Unguja (the main island) and Pemba—in the Indian Ocean was the launching base for a romantic era of expeditions into Africa. Sir Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke used it as their base when searching for the source of the Nile. It was in Zanzibar where journalist Henry Morton Stanley, perched in an upstairs room overlooking the Stone Town harbor, began his search for David Livingstone. The first ships to enter the archipelago's harbors are believed to have sailed in around 600 BC. Since then, every great navy in the Eastern Hemisphere has dropped anchor here at one time or another. But it was Arab traders who left an indelible mark. Minarets punctuate the skyline of Stone Town, where more than 90% of the residents are Muslim. In the harbor you'll see dhows, the Arabian boats with triangular sails. Islamic women covered by black boubou veils scurry down alleyways so narrow their outstretched arms could touch buildings on both sides. Stone Town received its odd name because most of its buildings were made of limestone and coral, which means exposure to salty air has eroded many foundations. The first Europeans who arrived here were the Portuguese in the 15th century, and thus began a reign of exploitation. As far inland as Lake Tanganyika, slave traders captured the residents or bartered for them from their own chiefs, then forced the newly enslaved to march toward the Indian Ocean carrying loads of ivory tusks. Once at the shore they were shackled together while waiting for dhows to collect them at Bagamoyo, a place whose name means, "here I leave my heart." Although it's estimated that 50,000 slaves passed through the Zanzibar slave market each year during the 19th century, many more died en route. Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged in 1964 to create Tanzania, but the honeymoon was brief. Zanzibar's relationship with the mainland remains uncertain as calls for independence continue. "Bismillah, will you let him go," a lyric from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," has become a rebel chant for Zanzibar to break from Tanzania. The archipelago also has tensions of its own. Accusations of voting irregularities during the elections in 2000 and 2005 led to violence that sent scores of refugees fleeing to the mainland. Calm was quickly restored. As the old proverb goes, the dogs bark and the caravan moves on. Zanzibar's appeal is apparent to developers, who are intent on opening restaurants, hotels, and even water-sapping golf courses. But so far the archipelago has kept much of its charm. It retains the allure it had when explorer David Livingstone set up his expedition office here in 1866. Zanzibar Island, locally known as Unguja, has amazing beaches and resorts, incredible dive spots, acres and acres of spice plantations, the Jozani Forest Reserve, and Stone Town. Plus, it takes little more than an hour to fly there. It's a great spot to head for a post-safari unwind. Stone Town, the archipelago's major metropolis, is a maze of narrow streets lined with houses featuring magnificently carved doors studded with brass. There are 51 mosques, six Hindu temples, and two Christian churches. And though it can rightly be called a city, much of the western part of the larger island is a slumbering paradise where cloves, as well as rice and coconuts, still grow. Although the main island of Unguja feels untouched by the rest of the world, the nearby islands of Pemba and Mnemba offer retreats that are even more remote. For many years Arabs referred to Pemba as Al Khudra, or the Green Island, and indeed it still is, with forests of king palms, mangos, and banana trees. The 65-km-long (40-mile-long) island is less famous than Unguja except among scuba divers, who enjoy the coral gardens with colorful sponges and huge fans. Archaeology buffs are also discovering Pemba, where sites from the 9th to the 15th centuries have been unearthed. At Mtambwe Mkuu coins bearing the heads of sultans were discovered. Ruins along the coast include ancient mosques and tombs. In the 1930s Pemba was famous for its sorcerers, attracting disciples of the black arts from as far away as Haiti. Witchcraft is still practiced, and, oddly, so is bullfighting. Introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century, the sport has been improved by locals, who rewrote the ending. After enduring the ritual teasing by the matador's cape, the bull is draped with flowers and paraded around the village. Beyond Pemba, smaller islands in the Zanzibar Archipelago range from mere sandbanks to Changu, once a prison island, now home to the giant Aldabra tortoise, Chumbe Island, and Mnemba, a private retreat for guests who pay hundreds of dollars per day to get away from it all. To the west of Pemba, Misali Island reputedly served as a hideout for the notorious Captain Kidd, which makes visitors dream of buried treasure. In reality it's the green sea turtles that do most of the digging.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

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Excursions depuis Zanzibar

Maharubi Palace Ruins & Spice Plantation

Taking a spice tour in Zanzibar provides a good way to understand why Zanzibar and spices are synonymous. In the 19th century, the Sultan of Oman introduced cloves to the island, which today is Zanzibar's main export product.


Depart from the pier and drive past the house of Dr. David Livingstone, where he stayed while planning his explorations into the interior.


You will visit the ruins of Maruhubi Palace, built by Sultan Barghash, the third Arab sultan of Zanzibar, who used the building to accommodate his wife and concubines. The sultan himself lived in a separate palace in Zanzibar Town. In 1899 the Maruhubi Palace was destroyed by a fire, leaving only a few remains, including some massive stone columns which supported a large wooden balcony which surrounded the upper floor.


Proceed to the countryside, where we offer the first time visitor a look at and taste of the spices grown mostly in off-road regions not easily accessible. You will stop in a luscious green clearing, where examples of spice plants are available for you to smell, taste, touch and see, you will get to see what the products you normally buy in packets or jars in supermarkets look and taste like fresh off the plant. The great variety of spices and plants grown here is used in food flavouring and preparation, cosmetics, dyes and traditional medicines. A local boy will climb up a tall coconut tree while you are walking through the spice area, to reach those plants situated high of the ground, as he then uses his legs to shimmy back down the swaying palm. It is possible depending upon the season to sample some of the edible fruits. Spice packets are available for sale on the rustic tables set up whenever visitors are spotted.


After this experience, you will continue with a visit to the Persian baths at Kidichi, built by the first Sultan for his Persian wife. Then commence your return back to the pier.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately .45 miles (700 metres) and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilist a wheelchair. Guests must be aware that buses and guides are the best available. Tour vehicles come in various sizes and qualities; air-conditioning cannot be guaranteed. Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim therefore guests should dress conservatively with shoulders and knees covered. As climate can be extremely hot and humid, we recommend wearing comfortable closed-toed shoes, cool cotton clothing, sunscreen and a hat. The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. Souvenir shop accepts USD, EURO, GBP and credit cards. Photography of Police Officers or persons in uniform is strictly forbidden.

Sandbank Dhow Adventure

Embrace the beauty of the Zanzibar coast in a unique new way during this picturesque, half-day dhow-boat cruise to the sandbank.


Cruise to Sandbank

Depart the pier for the short transfer to the Africa House boarding point. After receiving your safety and tour instructions, embark your traditional, hand-built dhow-boat for a scenic, approximately 30-minute cruise to the sandbank.


Swimming, Snorkeling and Lunch

Upon arrival, you can relax in the shade, sunbathe, or swim and snorkel on a delightful reef that is just a short boat-ride from the sandbank. Your crew is on-hand to provide instruction on the boat and in the water at all times. Refreshments, snacks, fresh juices, and a Zanzibar-style seafood-and-beef buffet lunch are served on the sandbank. After lunch, relax with a coffee served with Amarula liquor and some additional free time for another swim in the ocean.


At the conclusion of your visit, embark your dhow-boat and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the boarding point. Upon arrival, re-board your coach for the short transfer back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and embark/disembark the dhow-boat and is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Walking on the sandbank is at the discretion of each guest. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions. Guests are advised to wear a swimsuit under a cover-up with beach or water shoes, a hat, sun protection and a towel from the ship. The dhow has wooden benches for seating and has limited shade. There are no fitting rooms provided at the sand bank.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Full-Day)

Explore Zanzibar at your leisure during your full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier either in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Car & Guide (Half-Day)

Explore Zanzibar at your leisure during a half-day (4 Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Guide is English-speaking. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Van & Guide (Full-Day)

Explore Zanzibar at your leisure during your full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier either in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 5 days prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 4 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato: Private Van & Guide (Half-Day)

Explore Zanzibar at your leisure during a half-day (4 Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customise your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights.


Depart the pier with your English-speaking guide in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Stone Town - A UNESCO's World Heritage Site

Discover the highlights of Stone Town (a UNESCO's World Heritage Site), Zanzibar's major port and town. Your introduction begins with a visit to the city Market where you experience the hustle and bustle of morning activities. See and smell the tropical fruits piled high and the freshly ground spices neatly packed for sale.


Slave Market

Proceed to the Anglican Church built in 1874 by Bishop Steer on the site of the Great Slave Market, once the hub of the slave trade for the whole of East Africa. At its peak, up to 60,000 slaves passed through the market each year. You also visit the underground chambers where the slaves were held before being taken to the market. The site hosts a recently commissioned photo exhibition showcasing the slave trade and its abolition.


Palace Museum

Proceed to the Sultan Palace Museum, which was the Sultans residence. During your visit you can view a collection of portraits of past sultans and relics of early explorers, including Dr. Livingstone's medicine chest.


Old Fort

Overlooking a small square and the ocean, the fort was established by the Portuguese as a trading depot in the 16th century. It has been recently restored and now houses a number of craft and souvenir shops around the inner courtyard. From the fort, your guide leads you on a short walking tour through the narrow alleys that lead to the heart of Stone Town, passing the Roman Catholic Church, some extraordinary Zanzibar doors and glimpses of typical Zanzibar life.


Re-join your coach for the return drive to the pier.


Please Note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately .55 miles (900 metres) and approximately 22 steps. Guests must be aware that buses and guides are the best available. Tour vehicles come in various sizes and qualities; air-conditioning cannot be guaranteed. Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim therefore guests should dress conservatively with shoulders and knees covered. As climate can be extremely hot and humid, we recommend wearing comfortable closed-toed shoes, cool cotton clothing, sunscreen and a hat. The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. Souvenir shop accepts USD, EURO, GBP and credit cards. Photographing of Police Officers or persons in uniform is strictly forbidden.

The Monkey Business of Jozani Forest

Indulge your senses with the splendid beauty and wildlife of Zanzibar's only National Park during this memorable, half-day excursion to the Jozani Nature Reserve.


Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour drive to the Jozani Forest Nature Reserve, the only mature forest on the island of Zanzibar. With mangrove forests and saltmarshes to the north of the park, the area is an extremely rich mosaic of Zanzibar's diverse natural habitat, and a haven for rare, endemic and endangered wildlife species such as the red Colobus monkey.

Other game found in this area includes the Sykes monkey, bush babies, Ader's duikers and hydraxes. More than 40 bird species and over 50 butterfly species have also been recorded in this park.


Upon arrival, take a guided trek along a nature trail lined with eucalyptus and mahogany trees. Along the way, learn about the medicinal properties of various plants, and marvel at the abundant animals, reptiles, birds and butterflies that inhabit this tropical rainforest. The mangrove boardwalk takes you over the swamps where, depending upon the tide, you may be fortunate to see some of the tropical fish and crabs between the mangrove roots.


At the conclusion of your rainforest trek, some free time is made available to relax before re-boarding your coach and commencing the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometres), at times over uneven, muddy surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Photographing police officers or those in uniform is strictly prohibited; please ask for permission before photographing locals. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed. Zanzibar is predominantly Muslim therefore guests should dress conservatively with shoulders and knees covered. As climate can be extremely hot and humid, we recommend wearing comfortable closed-toed shoes, cool cotton clothing, sunscreen and a hat. Guests must be at least four years old to participate on this tour.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.