Join us for a journey into one of the last major mangrove forest of the world, looking for interesting wildlife and plants. Heading further along the coast of the Bay of Bengal we will see the rural life of Bangladesh and Myanmar, before we end our voyage in Yangon, seeing some of the most venerated and sacred Buddhist sites.
• Explore the Sundarbans –a UNESCO World Heritage Site- during three days
• Take part in early morning and late afternoon Zodiac cruises in the Sundarbans –the best time to see and hear wildlife
• Get to see the rural Bangladesh
• See the Shwedagon Pagoda –one of Myanmar’s most sacred sites
Day 1 — Chennai, India
Embark Silver Discoverer this afternoon and depart on your exciting 14-day Silversea Expedition – Expedition Sundarbans. After a mandatory safety drill head out onto the Pool Deck for a ‘Sail Away’ party, leaving Chennai behind. Later during the afternoon, the Expedition Team and important crew members will be introduced.
In the evening, enjoy the first of many fine dining experiences in The Restaurant and relax in the Discoverer Lounge or on the open decks.
Day 2 — At Sea
Today, Silver Discoverer will head along India’s east coast in a northeasterly direction. Meet some of your fellow explorers on the outer decks, helping our naturalists looking for seabirds and marine life. You can also attend one of several presentations offered by our experts, or learn about the preparation of culinary highlights presented by our Chef.
This evening the Captain will invite you to the Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and our Chef and Restaurant Manager would like to see you in The Restaurant for a special Welcome Dinner.
Day 3 — Visakhapatnam, India
Silver Discoverer’s visit to Visakhapatnam will permit us to travel west to Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda, two Buddhist sites dating back to a time period when the Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana phases of Buddhism flourished in Sankaram. Two hills have been used to carve stupas and caves that have sculptured panels depiction a seated Buddha and attendants.
Day 4 — At Sea
Continuing along India’s east coast, our lecturers will take the opportunity to present topics related to the Bay of Bengal and the upcoming visit to the Sundarbans.
Attend a seminar, or relax on the outer decks, letting our Bar Team prepare the refreshment of your choice.
If you think you need some exercise, The Gym will be at hand; if you are more inclined to have a massage, visit The Spa.
Day 5 — Mongla Port, Bangladesh
Silver Discoverer will be sailing through the Sundarbans up the Mongla River to reach Mongla Port, one of Bangladesh’s important seaports –although found inland- to clear into the country.
While we travel up the river, spend time on the outer decks to get a first impression of the world’s largest mangrove forest. Alternatively, attend lecture presentation or talks to know more about this fascinating part of the Indian subcontinent.
Days 5-7 — Sundarbans, Bangladesh
Named after the Sundari trees, the Sundarbans is an area reaching from Bangladesh into India. Spreading over an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometres, it is the largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The Indian core area (Sundarbans National Park) has been designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987; the three Wildlife Sanctuaries in Bangladesh were inscribed in 1997. Wildlife species present are macaques, Indian grey mongoose, leopard cats, Ridley sea turtle, wild boar, jungle cat, flying foxes, and spotted deer (Chital).
During the three days we will spend here, Silver Discoverer will be mainly based in the Pashur River. We intend go ashore at Hiron Point for natural history walks and possibly an exploratory Zodiac cruise. This is where we will pick up local rangers which together with local guides will accompany us during the three days of exploration.
The days will be spent going out early in the morning. After our first impressions we will head back to Silver Discoverer to escape the mid-day heat. During the afternoons, we will again take to the Zodiacs to look for aquatic mammals that frequent the tidal waters, including the Ganges dolphin, Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphin, Irrawaddy dolphin and finless porpoise, while on land we might see wild boar, spotted deer, and rhesus macaques.
Birders will be on the look-out for White-bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy Kites, Intermediate Egrets, Indian Pond Heron, as well as Collared and Black-capped Kingfisher. As the best time for wildlife observation here is around sunset, we will stay out until late.
In the very early morning of our second and third day in the Sundarbans we will offer ‘first light’ Zodiac cruises into the mangrove forest. The narrow channels are known to have Stork-billed and Brown-winged Kingfisher, Oriental Magpie Robins, White Wagtails, and many other birds. During our cruises we will take time to drift, which will permit us to hear birdsong all the better.
In time for late breakfasts we will return to Silver Discoverer and attend lectures about the Sundarbans.
At Harbaria, well-maintained boardwalks will permit us to enter the mangrove forest without engine-noise. Rhesus macaques are regularly seen, but this walk will give a great opportunity to see the different plant species our lecturers talked about: cedar mangrove, cannonball mangrove, sea holly, sea mango, blinding mangrove, nipa palm, and Phoenix palm. Groups ashore are always accompanied by one of the local rangers.
Day 8 — Maheshkhali Island, Bangladesh
At Maheshkhali we will see the real rural Bangladesh.
During the morning, we intend to take our Zodiacs to go ashore and to explore the small village with its school and temple. To get a feeling of how the locals live, we will take local transport (rickshaws and tuk tuks) and visit a Buddhist temple, meeting the monks and getting to know the daily routine of the apprentices and monks themselves. Later we visit the school (where our/your donations will be very welcome) and a group of Burmese weavers will be showing us the use of traditional equipment. The cotton products these ladies prepare will be on offer as well. We will then have time to visit a small Rakhayn (Burmese) community at Thakur Tala village before heading back by Zodiac to have lunch aboard Silver Discoverer. Maheshkhali is not at all touristy and our visit should be a good opportunity for us to interact with local communities.
In the late afternoon, we hope to once again take to the Zodiacs, this time to see life on the river banks. We should be able to see fishermen which will be fishing in little boats or with nets from the shore, and will pass areas where small wooden ships are being repaired. We also plan to go ashore at Sonadia Island to see one of the fishing camps and should get to see the oxen after which the island is named (Mahisa is buffalo in the local language).
Day 9 — St. Martins Island, Bangladesh
St. Martin’s Island and Chera Dwip are Bangladesh’s southernmost islands and are actually connected at low tide. These are the only coralline islands and as such have been protected with only limited access for many years.
The beach morning glories and palm trees give the impression of a South Sea island.
We will go ashore to explore the small island(s) and depending on the tide intend to offer swimming and snorkelling.
Day 10— Ngapali, Myanmar
With its 15 miles of white beaches, fringed by palm trees, Ngapali has attracted visitors who look for an unspoilt coast and simply want to relax.
We will go ashore during the afternoon and it is yours to decide whether you want to unwind on the beach or perhaps do some exercise and hike.
Slightly northeast of Ngapali is the town of Thandwe. The town is famous for the Nandaw hilltop pagoda which houses a sacred rib relic of Buddha. From the pagoda magnificent views of the Thandwe River can be enjoyed. One of the options today is to go by local boat upriver to a small elephant camp. The camp was created by Myanmar's Ministry of Forestry once elephants were not used for logging any longer. Visitors to the camp can partake in the bathing and feeding of the elephants.
Day 11 — At Sea
While Silver Discoverer sails along the coast of Ayeyarwady, one of Myanmar’s regions, our lecture staff will be on hand to offer a selection of informative and interesting talks and presentations.
The Spa and Gym are other options to spend your time –and you can be pampered by our Bar and Restaurant Teams. The choice is yours.
Days 12 - 13 — Port Yazar Min, Myanmar
Silver Discoverer will stay in port for two days to offer excursions to Mawlamyine (formerly known as Moulmein), the capital of the Mon state, and to Hpa An, the capital f the Karen state. Mawlamyine used to be the capital of British Burma and has retained some of the colonial flair. During our stay we will see the faszinating central market.
During the day that Hpa An is visited, you will see the Kha Yone cave, a natural limestone cave with terracotta votive tablets on its wall and ceiling. A stop will be made at the unusual Kyaut Ka Latt pagoda which is built in the middle of an almost perfectly round lake, and we will also see Hpa An's most attractive and popular pagoda, the Shweyinhmyaw Pagoda.
Day 14 — Yangon, Myanmar
Silver Discoverer will sail up the Yangon River, and will go alongside in the very heart of Yangon.
Today we will see one of the largest reclining Buddha statues in the world at the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and we will visit the world-famous 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda. The top of the stupa is said to be adorned with more than 5,400 diamonds and more than 2,300 rubies. So much gold and so many gold leafs have been applied to the pagoda over the centuries that it is estimated the stupa has more gold than the Republic of Myanmar has officially as gold reserves. Venerated as a symbol of architectural perfection the glittering golden stupa is considered the appearance of Gautama Buddha in the present world — certainly a highlight.
To celebrate our arrival into Yangon and the end of our voyage, we will enjoy a very special evening ashore. At the end of our excursion we will be driven to the Karaweik Palace Restaurant where a myriad of Myanmar flavours along with a cultural presentation of Myanmar traditional music and dances will be another highlight of our voyage.
Day 15 — Yangon, Myanmar
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
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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