Leave the untamed wilderness of Australia’s hidden treasure and eons of Aboriginal culture. From Zodiac® trips exploring narrow mangrove channels and sandstone gorges to see Saltwater crocodiles and Ospreys, to thundering waterfalls, Komodo dragons, and awe-inspiring landscapes, this voyage is never to be forgotten.
• Visit most interesting places in Kimberley - Horizontal Falls, Montgomery Reef, Freshwater Cove, Raft Point, Hunter River and King George River & Falls
• Have the chance to see a lontar tapping demonstration
• Visit the Kelimutu National Park
• Search for Komodo dragons
Embark Silver Discoverer for this stunning 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.
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:
-Talbot Bay (Horizontal Falls), Buccaneer Archipelago, Kimberley, Western Australia
David Attenborough described Horizontal Falls as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”. The region’s tides of close to 36 feet create an amazing spectacle. Depending on whether the tides are ebbing or flowing, we board our Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls which are actually part of the mainland. Then continue deeper into the sandstone gorge of Cyclone Creek, and explore geological formations that were created over the last two billion years.
-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 Bard Bard.
-Raft Point, Kimberley, Western Australia
Raft Point has important indigenous Wandjina paintings. We will Zodiac ashore and set out towards the top of Raft Point. Our hike will take us through abundant flora including the iconic boab tree, also known by the local Aboriginals as the “upside down tree”. Upon reaching the top of Raft Point, enjoy the spectacular views of the bay in the shade of the overhanging cliff, which is home to the Wandjina Spirit and many other Dreamtime stories and images representing daily aboriginal life. Take a seat, or lie on your back and take in the Wandjina Spirit and listen to the dreamtime stories associated with this extremely important Aboriginal spirit.
-Hunter River, Kimberley, Western Australia
The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system that dates back over 2 billion years. The image of the 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, your onboard Silversea Expeditions team can arrange an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion to the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the Mitchell River.
-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 drop anchor 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 giant raptors and the Brahminy Kite. Arriving at the falls, we can cruise quite close to the base to contemplate the immensity of this spectacle.
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.
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.
During the morning the Silver Discoverer will steaming closer to the island of Savu. 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.
Shortly before noon, we hope to arrive in front of Savu. This little island 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 have a traditional village welcome with men and women dancing and singing. Both at the beach and in the village, we can see the men on horseback, showing off their adorned ponies and traditional clothes. The Savunese plant predominantly corn, but derive their staple nutrition from the lontar palm. We will have the chance to see a lontar tapping demonstration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Overall size of 186 SQ.FT. / 17.3 M2. Enjoy a sitting area to watch brilliant scenery through a view window. With preferred midship location, Deck 4 Explorer Suites accommodate three guests. As on Deck 4, the Explorer Suites on Deck 3 offer an ample view window and relaxing sitting area, with enough room for three guests. An enchanting retreat suitable for three guests, Deck 2 suites exude cozy opulence, with porthole window views and a cushy sitting area. Features: View window or portholes, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Writing desk, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Flat screen television
Overall size of 181 SQ. FT. / 16.8 M2. Welcoming and comfortable, the View Suite provides a relaxing haven for even the utmost adventure-seeking guests. Complete a day spent exploring onshore with an evening unwinding in the comfort of your sitting area. Capture passing ocean scenes through your view window. Freshen up in your beautiful marbled bathroom before enjoying an elegant onboard dinner. Or cozy up under fine bed linens to watch an on-demand movie on the flat-screen television. Fall asleep easily, dreaming of the incredible experiences that await you the following day. Features: View window, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Choice of bathroom amenities, Writing desk, Hair dryer, Personal safe, Flat screen television with DVD and satellite reception, Wifi available (fees apply)
Overall size of 269 SQ. FT. / 25 M2. A quiet sanctuary. The suite’s sitting area has plenty of room to relax while on your cruise. Large picture windows frame panoramic ocean views. The perfect backdrop for breakfast in bed. Some Vista Suites accommodate three guests. Features: Large view window(s), Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Choice of bathroom amenities, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Writing desk, Flat screen television with DVD and satellite reception, Wifi available (fees apply)
Overall size of 280 SQ. FT. / 26 M2 (including a private balcony 35.5 SQ. FT. / 3.2 M2 ). Veranda Suites 601, 602, 603 and 604 can accommodate three guests. A Silversea signature, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open onto a private balcony with patio furniture. Veranda Suites lavishly accommodate three guests. Features: Veranda or balcony with floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom, Personal safe, Hair dryer, Writing desk, Flat screen television
Overall size of 408 SQ. FT. / 38 M2 (including a private balcony 27 SQ. FT. / 2.5 M2). A mark of distinction. Sumptuous. Spacious. Rich textures and panoramic views surround you with distinguished luxury. The perfect summary of The Medallion Suite offered by the world’s best cruise line. Features: Large teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, Sitting area, Twin beds or queen-sized bed, Marbled bathroom with shower, Personal safe, Hair dryer,Writing desk, Flat screen television(s) with DVD and satellite reception
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 338 Feet/102.9 Metres
Passenger Capacity: 120 passengers
Her small size and shallow draft allow close-up access to rugged coasts well beyond the reach of ordinary vessels. And she has been newly refurbished to help guests maximize their experience and build a genuine connection with the regions they visit.
Spacious decks and panoramic public rooms mean the drama of the unexpected is never far from view. A fleet of Zodiacs allows exploration from the water or remote landings anywhere nature or curiosity dictate. Since many of our expeditions sail to some of the world's most pristine coral reef systems, there's a glass-bottom boat for underwater viewing along with a full complement of snorkelling equipment and a dive programme for advanced divers.
We've also taken great care to assemble a truly outstanding Expedition Team, composed of experts in the culture, history and wild life of the destinations, to present informal talks, guide Zodiac outings and lead small-group explorations ashore. While back on board, every creature comfort awaits: an ocean-view suite, in-suite bar and the head-to-toe pampering of a butler; elegant lounges and open bar where fellow travellers gather to swap tales about their day's adventures; and cuisine that meets Silversea's standards of culinary excellence — which are lofty, indeed. Imaginative menus in The Restaurant feature both regional offerings and dishes inspired by Relais & Châteaux. Additional amenities include a sun-catching pool deck, an internet cafe, a fitness centre, and a beauty and massage centre — particularly alluring after an adventurous day ashore.