Embark East India’s famous port and prepare for the unexpected. Travel with a team of experts and listen to the birdsong and monkey chatter in remote mangrove forests, tiny rural villages and local riverbank life. Swap notes with new friends in days at sea while three days in Yangon and a visit to Bagan offer a wealth of exploration options.

Please note: Voyage prices are indicative and can fluctuate - please check for details.

Highlights


• Swim and snorkel in the clear waters of the Mergui Islands

• Experience Zodiac cruises in the world’s largest mangrove forest

• Enjoy discovering local people and learning about their crafts and customs

• Observe the real rural Bangladesh

• Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

• Search for Bengal tigers

Embark Silver Discoverer for this expedition - Remote Encounters in Bangladesh and Myanmar in Kolkata -East India’s most important port and former capital of the British Raj. This afternoon, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Tonight 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. Shortly before midnight we will set sail.
During the night and all morning Silver Discoverer will head down the Hooghly River, one of India’s most treacherous and feared rivers, to be able to reach the Bay of Bengal. When the British East India Company had decided to fortify a trading station at what today is Kolkata, it had not been the first British or European attempt at permanently settling there, but it was an unusual location insofar as it was far inland. A British trading station had already been in existence further north at Hooghly. The Hooghly River had early on been recognised as being difficult to navigate and -as the Bengal Pilot Service had already been founded in 1651- a pilot service was started here in 1669. Still today the river poses serious threats to navigation and the permanent River Survey Service publishes charts and the latest information on a daily basis! Indian law requires all ships wanting to go upriver to wait at the Sandheads pilot station and not proceed north of Latitude 21° 00’ N without being advised so. The first part is with remote pilotage for some 40 nautical miles. At Sagar Point a river pilot will board and take the ship some 80 nautical miles up to the Garden Reach pilot station (so named for a botanical garden in the days of the British East India Company). Then a harbour pilot will take over. Depending on where the ship will berth yet another pilot might be needed. All this obviously applies in reverse to leaving Kolkata and heading out to the Bay of Bengal. While Silver Discoverer heads downstream our Expedition Team will offer lectures and workshops to prepare you for the activities planned for our voyage and to give you a better understanding of the conditions under which the different ethnic groups and animals along the rim of the Bay of Bengal live.
Having left India behind, we will clear into Bangladesh in the Sundarbans. Named after the Sundari trees, the Sundarbans is an area reaching from India into Bangladesh. While the Indian part is a National Park, Bangladesh’s part consists of three Wildlife Sanctuaries. The Sundarbans ecosystem is quite unique: spreading over an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometres, it is the largest halophytic mangrove forest in the world. It represents the largest mangal diversity in the world with 81 mangal plant species and it provides habitat for the threatened Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). 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. The whole area has the largest amount of the famous Bengal tigers –an estimated 350 of them roam the Sundarbans. Other wildlife species present are macaques, Indian grey mongoose, leopard cats, Ridley sea turtle, wild boar, jungle cat, flying foxes, and spotted deers (Chital). The mangrove ecosystem of the Sundarbans is considered to be unique because of its immensely rich mangrove flora and mangrove-associated fauna. It is also unique as the mangroves are not only dominant as fringing mangroves along the creeks and backwaters, but also grow along the sides of rivers in muddy as well as in flat, sandy areas. Covering 133,010 ha, the area is estimated to comprise about 55% forest land and 45% wetlands in the form of tidal rivers, creeks, canals and vast estuarine mouths of the river. About 66% of the entire mangrove forest area is estimated to occur in Bangladesh, with the remaining 34% in India. During the two days we will spend here Silver Discoverer will be mainly based in the Pashur River. We will be accompanied by local guides and rangers. Although wild boars are the main prey species of the Bengal tigers, the national park wants to make sure that our hikes and Zodiac cruises are conducted in a safe environment. On our first day we will go ashore at Hiron Point for natural history walks and possibly an exploratory Zodiac cruise. This is where we will pick up local rangers. After our first impressions we will head back to Silver Discoverer to escape the mid-day heat. During the late morning, while the ship will reposition to Kokilmoni, attend an informative talk about the Sundarbans by one of the local lecturers. During the afternoon we will 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. We will again board Silver Discoverer near the Kokilmoni Forest Station, to where the ship repositioned and where the ship will stay overnight. In the very early morning of our second day in the Sundarbans we will offer a ‘first light’ Zodiac cruise into the mangrove forest. The narrow channels around the Kokilmoni Forest Station are known to have Stork-billed and Brown-winged Kingfisher, Oriental Magpie Robins, White Wagtails, and many other birds. During our cruise we will take time to drift, which will permit us to hear birdsong all the better. We might also see some of the local fishermen active on the river. In time for a late breakfast we will return to Silver Discoverer and attend more lectures about the Sundarbans, while the ship repositions to Harbaria Forest Station. At Harbaria we will offer a combined Zodiac cruise and natural history walk. 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. Our botanically inclined guests will love to take the boardwalk and pathways (groups are always accompanied by one of the rangers) and even if plants are not your favourite subject you will surely enjoy this unique opportunity to walk through such a mangrove forest.
Only a short distance from frenzy and hectic Cox Bazaar, Maheshkhali Island is a different world. This is where we will see the real rural Bangladesh. We will take our Zodiacs to get ashore and will explore the small village during the morning. 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 want to meet a group of female Burmese weavers 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 will 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, will pass areas where small wooden ships are repaired. After about two hours of exploration by Zodiac we will go ashore at Sonadia Island to see one of the fishing camps and will get to see the oxen after which the island is named (Mahes = ox).
Leaving Chittagong by coach and heading to the green hills, lakes and rivers to the north-east and south-east will give us a good glimpse of Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hill Tracts are home to several indigenous ethnic groups –the largest being the Chakma. East of Chittagong most of the tribal groups are located around man-made Lake Kaptai. Today we will take a full-day tour to Rangamati, known as the Lake City of Bangladesh. On the way to Kaptai and Rangamati we will have to pass the Rampahar-Sitapahar Wildlife Sanctuary, a tropical lowland evergreen rainforest. On arrival we will be welcomed by the curator of the tribal museum and cultural institute. After a brief talk on the various tribes and their way of life, one of the tribal groups will perform some tribal dances. To board the “Keari Sinbad”, a local boat, to enjoy a cruise on Kaptai Lake, we have to cross Bangladesh’s longest hanging bridge. During the cruise we arrive at Master Para, where we will be welcomed by the village head and be shown around to see the locally produced textiles and ivory jewellery. After lunch at Parjatan Hotel we visit Rajban Vihara, a Buddhist monastery, and tribal museum. Should you wish to stay in Chittagong, a visit to the Ethnological Museum will give you an overview of the history of the different hill tribes.
Two leisurely days at sea will give you a chance to exchange notes with fellow travellers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Help our birdwatchers spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds, and let our experts prepare you for the visit to Myanmar through lectures about Myanmar’s history, culture and nature. During our days at sea you will have ample time to stay fit with physical exercises, although our chefs would also like you to attend a cooking seminar and enjoy the different culinary specialties prepared for you.
This morning Silver Discoverer will be sailing up the Yangon River, before docking around noon. During lunch the ship will be cleared in and in the afternoon we will enjoy an excursion visiting the world-famous 2,500-year-old Shwedagon Pagoda. The top of the stupa is adorned with 5,488 diamonds and 2,317 rubies. Venerated as a symbol of architectural perfection the glittering golden stupa is considered the appearance of Gautama Buddha in the present world. One of the largest reclining Buddha in the world is found at the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda — another highlight. If you wish you can sponsor the last meal of the day for the monks in residence. As the last point we will explore Scott Market, seeing the many shops, stalls and vendors. If you find that perfect souvenir, use your bargaining skills for a special price. To celebrate our arrival into Myanmar, we will enjoy a very special evening ashore. Especially reserved for us we will spend the evening at Padonmar restaurant. One of the best in Yangon, we will experience authentic home-cooked Myanmar cuisine. Influences in Myanmar have come from both India and China. These influences have affected the religion, the culture and the arts that are found in Myanmar, but, it has also had a profound impact on the food! Witness your Chef cooking your dinner whilst enjoying a delicious cocktail. You will be invited to take part in the cooking and see the ingredients that will be used in the preparation of your dishes, the fresh fruit, the vegetables, the spices and all the different colours and smells that go with them. This experience will make you appreciate the art of cooking all the more. During dinner, a group of traditional Burmese puppeteers will play and perform as they manipulate their puppets to tell tales of national culture. The Puppets will converse, joke, and relate humorous stories through their movements to delight the audience in a way that has been practiced throughout the ages. Typically, each puppet has three or four puppeteers to master the character’s movements and the puppets themselves are dressed in lavish costumes embellished with gilded materials and semi-precious stones and gems.
In Myanmar you are still likely to be as entranced as the Victorian visitors more than a hundred years Ago -there is no other Asian country with such a vast and varied range of cultural sites, including the 3000 standing monuments at Bagan. One of the complimentary choices for today is to fly to Bagan to see some of the most significant pagodas and temples dating back to the 11th and 13th century. The Shwezigon Pagoda was created to enshrine a replica of one of the Lord Buddha’s teeth and its bell shape has been the prototype for all other pagodas in Bagan. Wall paintings in the Gubyaukgiy Temple depict scenes from the previous lives of the Buddha. The Ananda Temple is a beautiful example of Mon architecture, while the Damayangyi Temple is Bagan’s biggest. Apart from the pagodas and temples we also want to see how traditional lacquer ware is produced. We will see the many stages necessary: from the cutting and shaping of the bamboo to the final stages, when the final coatings are applied. The whole process is highly labour intensive, and -with a better understanding of the production technique- you might want to purchase a piece. At the end of a long but rewarding day we fly back to Yangon and return to Silver Discoverer. Alternatively, for this those who prefer to visit Bago, a full day tour will be on offer. On our way to Bago we will stop at a World War II cemetery containing almost 30,000 graves. Before reaching Bago a visit to the local market at Htaukkyant will give us an opportunity to stretch our legs and observe the daily life. The city is on the banks of the River Bago in the lower regions of Myanmar. First established in 825 A.D., in the 15th century it was named as the ancient capital city of the Mon kingdom, although then it was called “Pegu”. We will visit Kyakhatwaing, one of the three largest Buddhist monasteries in the whole country, and will learn about the monks, their lifestyle, and see how they practice their daily studies. We will make a food donation at the monastery and the monastery’s Abbott will address the group and will answer questions you might have. Continuing our tour we then visit the Shemawdaw Pagoda, where the Buddha hair relics are enshrined. This pagoda is even larger than the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. A Chinese- or Myanmar-style lunch will help us regain some strength before admiring the panoramic view of Bago from the Hinthagone Pagoda. Here you can see a traditional dance presentation before we reach the Shwethalyaung Reclining Buddha Image. The reclining statue is 180 feet in length and has a height of 52 feet. The Kyaikpun Pagoda with its four large images of Buddha will be the last stop before returning to Silver Discoverer in the evening.
Today we will get a feeling of Myanmar’s struggle for Independence and journey to Democracy. Considering that there is more to a country than just famous highlights we want to show the evolution and development of an Independence movement and let you get an insight into the more recent events in Myanmar and their social implication. Apart from visiting the Bogyoke Aung San museum, relating to the country’s independence leader, we will see the U Thant Museum (former U.N. General Secretary) and the University of Yangon’s main campus. The highlight of the day will probably be meeting Nobel laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s former assistant Ma Theinghi, who will speak about recent events, Suu Kyi and her years in prison as a result of her activism. Author of several books about Burmese culture and cuisine, she will also be signing books.
Cruising the Andaman Sea on our way south, you can use your time to attend a seminar, listen to a talk about the upcoming Mergui Archipelago, relax on the Pool Deck, or work out at The Gym.
During the morning we want to start our two days of exploration, diving and snorkelling in the Mergui Archipelago. More than 800 islands spread out over 36.000 km² (with an air temperature of 24-32°C and water temperature of 26-29°C) make Mergui Archipelago a prime location for underwater activities. With a visibility of 10-40 meters and usually weak to moderate currents the multiple dive sites are a diver’s true delight. Limestone rock pinnacles, fringing sloping reefs, and hard coral reef gardens will not only attract fish but divers and snorkelers alike. During our first day in the archipelago we want to take advantage of Kyunn Tann Shey located in the Lampi Group. The officially uninhabited Lampi, apart from having occasional fishing nomads stop over, is large enough to hold wild animals, including a small herd of elephants. With rainforest and a fringing coral reef, Lampi’s outstanding beauty is enhanced by spotting monkeys, hornbills and sea eagles. Lampi was established in 1995 as Myanmar’s first marine national park. It is rich in biodiversity, mangroves and coral reefs. Ashore you can witness some of the area’s exotic flora and fauna. The surrounding islands offer beaches regardless of tides. More than 50 white sand beaches and fringing reefs wait to be used for snorkelling, bird-watching or just relaxing. Tonight our Captain would like to invite you to the Farewell Cocktail Party and afterwards the Executive Chef and Restaurant Manager would like to invite you for the Farewell Dinner.
Our last day of the voyage will be used to explore the beaches and water of Hastings (Za Det Nge in the local language) and the three adjacent uninhabited islands. Long white-sand beaches, clear water, birdsong and the chattering of monkeys ashore will captivate nature lovers. Our snorkelers will take up the last opportunity to see corals and colourful fishes, while others might simply relax on the beach or take a refreshing swim. During lunch Silver Discoverer will relocate to Kawthaung, on mainland Myanmar. While the authorities will prepare our outbound clearance, we will have a look at this border town formerly known as Victoria Point. Interestingly enough it has a strong Muslim and Indian influence and a Buddhist monastery atop the hill to the north of the town. The monastery has impressive guardian dragons and will offer nice views of Kawthaung. Our on-board Videographer/Photographer will present his/her final cut of the voyage-DVD. You might already have forgotten some details –but this will be a good opportunity to review the many interesting and magical moments of the voyage.
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, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Explorer Suite

$ 14450 AUD pp
Explorer Suite
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

View Suite

$ 15950 AUD pp
View Suite
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)

Vista Suite

$ 21050 AUD pp
Vista Suite
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)

Veranda Suite

$ 26250 AUD pp
Veranda Suite
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

Medallion Suite

$ 33050 AUD pp
Medallion Suite
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

Silver Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 338 Feet/102.9 Metres

Passenger Capacity: 120 passengers

Refurbished: 2014

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.

  

  

Cabin layout for Silver Discoverer

6NT PRE-CRUISE: WHERE TIGERS ROAM

Join a member of our Expedition Team as you travel to legendary Kathmandu. Rich in history and culture, it’s the ideal launching point for your journey on the trail of the elusive Bengal Tiger. Explore the jungle first from the back of an elephant. Further exploration is done in the company of a local naturalist.

Silver Discoverer

Silver DiscovererSilver Discoverer

Luxury Expedition Luxury Expedition

15 Days from
$ 14450 AUD pp

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