A truly memorable cruise requires two ingredients: a top-class ship and an exceptional itinerary.
The latest expedition cruise holiday from Cruise Traveller, named ‘Archipelagos of the Indian Ocean’ offers both. The ship is as fine as expedition ships come: Silver Discoverer, part of the prestige Silversea fleet, carrying no more than 120 guests. The itinerary is truly special, extending from Thailand to the Maldives and visiting extraordinary places on the way: Bagan, Myanmar’s former capital sometimes called the cradle of civilisation, India, Sri Lanka, the remote Andaman Islands and more.
Cruise Traveller is a specialist in boutique voyages and cruises. ‘Archipelagos of the Indian Ocean’ sails the Andaman and Mergui Archipelagos in the Indian Ocean, giving the chance to dive at rarely visited sites and swim and snorkel in the crystalline blue waters of the Andaman Sea. Discover historic Sri Lankan fortresses and shop for spices in local bazaars – along routes once traversed by Marco Polo.
‘Archipelagos of the Indian Ocean’ lasts 18 nights and costs from A$14,985 per person twin share. At the heart of this fly-free/stay-free offer is a 15-night luxury, expedition-style cruise on Silver Discoverer. Aboard, you’ll stay in an Explorer Suite (complete with porthole).
The offer ends on 30 April 2016 or until sold out, whichever comes first.
The holiday gets under way on 2 December 2016, with a free flight from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Phuket in Thailand. Return flight from Male, capital of the Maldives, at the end of the cruise, is included as well.
There’s a free, three-night stay in Phuket with breakfast and transfers, followed by the 15-night luxury cruise aboard Silver Discoverer from Thailand to Maldives visiting India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka on the way. The price includes ships tips, drinks, shore excursions and Zodiac expedition team leadership.
The sleek, 120-guest Silver Discoverer is the perfect viewing platform, with plenty of deck space so that a breaching whale or a pod of dolphins is always within sight. Silver Discoverer’s shallow draft allows the ship to navigate closer to shore. A fleet of 12 Zodiacs lets guests land on isolated shores and explore up-close and in-depth.
Silver Discoverer’s famed personalised service stems from having the best crew-to-guest ratio in expedition cruising. Butler service extends to every suite and stateroom, so all guests are pampered equally. Open-seating dining options let you dine when you want with whoever you please. Beverages are supplied in your suite and throughout the ship, including select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks, plus your own tailored mini-bar.
In-suite dining and room service is available from 6am to 11pm aboard Silver Discoverer; other special touches include enrichment lectures by a highly qualified expeditions team; guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shore activities led by the expeditions team.
The cruise visits places remote, little-known and unspoiled. Highlights include Lampi Marine National Park on uninhabited Kyun Tan Shey (Lampi Island) in the Mergui Archipelago. Declared an ASEAN Heritage Park in 2003, this park protects evergreen and mangrove forests, beaches and dunes, coral reefs, sea grasses and a rich biodiversity of over 1000 recorded species.
Wildlife inlcudes macaques, dusky langur and lesser mouse-deer, as well as four species of hornbills, eight different kingfishers, white-bellied Sea Eagles and about 215 other bird species.
Cross the Andaman Sea with its 572 islands and spend three days in Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon. Visit 2500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda, surmounted by a stupa adorned with 5488 diamonds and 2317 rubies. Spend an evening at Padonmar Restaurant, one of Yangon’s finest, to experience authentic home-cooked Myanmar cuisine, with performance by a group of traditional Burmese puppeteers.
One complimentary choice on the cruise is to fly to Bagan to see stunning pagodas and temples. Another highlight will be the opportunity, on most cruises, to meet Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s former assistant Ma Thanegi, who will speak about recent events, Suu Kyi and her years in prison as a result of her activism.
The cruise takes in museums, old British forts, some of the most spectacular beaches in the Andaman Islands and Mahatma Ghandi Marine Park for snorkelling, diving or simply relaxing on the beach.
You’ll cross the Bay of Bengal and visit Kirinda in Sri Lanka to see Yala (Ruhuna) National Park, a wildlife sanctuary dating back more than 114 years, teeming with wildlife, including leopards and Sri Lankan elephants.
The Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party is by no means the end of your holiday. There’s the Maldives to come yet, full of history and wonderful expeditions before you fly back home to Australia.
For more information, contact:
Cruise Traveller, Boutique Voyage and Cruise Specialists
Freecall 1800 507 777 or (07) 5575 8094.