|Silversea's Silver Discoverer|
Here is the itinerary:
10 Singapore, Singapore
11 Day at sea
12 Belawan, Indonesia
13 Day at sea
14 Sabang, Indonesia
14 Banda Aceh, Indonesia
15 Day at sea
16 Kawthaung, Myanmar (former Burma)
16 Myauk Phyu, Myanmar
17 Lampi Island, Myanmar
18 Bo Cho Island,
18 Frost Island, Myanmar
19 Shark Island, Myanmar
19 Kho Yinn Kwla Island, Myanmar
20 Kyet Mau Island, Myanmar
21 Phuket, Thailand 5:30 AM
As Silversea Cruises briefly describes this journey:
On this voyage to Sumatra and the Mergui Archipelago we will hike through Gunung Leuser National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and part of the UNESCO Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra World Heritage Site, looking for orangutans and other wildlife.
When cruising the Andaman Sea we will enter a part of the world that has hardly been explored and immerse ourselves in one of the most remote and culturally interesting offshore paradises. The vast majority of the hundreds of islands are still uninhabited.
The Mergui Archipelago is used by the Salone or Moken, a people who live off, and on, the sea. Sometimes called “sea-gypsies”, this ethnic minority group leads a traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyle, dominated by diving for sea cucumbers, fishing and bartering.OK, but before I get into the details of this truly exotic expedition cruise (which I will do throughout my journey), let me talk about the Silver Discoverer, which is a true expedition ship that has been reinvented as an expedition ship that is supposed to offer a luxury experience; noting that everyone's definition of luxury is different! (I will, of course, let you know.)
The Silver Discoverer is an intimate shallow-drafted ship of only 338 feet (103 meters) in length and 51 feet (15.4 meters) in width, just over 5,000 gross tons, carries only 120 guests and travels at a slow-and-steady speed of 14 knots; bringing 12 zodiacs along for the ride. She was acquired by Silversea in 2014 after bouncing from owner to owner; not because she isn't a good ship, but rather because in her early life the market for upscale expedition cruising really did not exist.
|Silver Discoverer's View Suite|
Dining is limited to the casual Discoverer Lounge (breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks), The Grill poolside for all three meals (including the Hot Rocks experience at night) and the Main Dining Room (dinner only) plus, of course, In-Suite Dining. There is also a gym and spa.
Even with butler service in all accommodations, room service, complimentary beverages in your suite and about the ship, included gratuities, open-seat dining, included expedition and shore excursions you may be saying to yourself, "OK. Sounds fine, but where is the real luxury? This ship cannot compete with what Crystal or Scenic are going to be offering, or even what Seabourn offers!" And that is where your definition of "luxury" needs to be defined!
Here "luxury" is focused on a "Experiential Experiences"; ones that you simply cannot experience on the ship, but where the ship takes you...Silver Discoverer shines in this regard; not only with its itineraries, but what Silversea does when it arrives in the various locations. I am very interested in seeing what the mix of guests are (I am told it is very international) and how many are going to sit on a beach, meet the indigenous people, hike (yes, actually hiking), snorkeling or, possibly, diving. I am equally fascinated to observe, not only the lecturers, but if and how the guests engage with them.
There is no question that on this expedition cruise it is going to be hot, sweaty, salty and incredibly interesting. For me, it is "My Luxury".
By the way, speaking of luxury, I will be staying at Raffles in Singapore for one night in a Personality Suite for one night. I am really looking forward to which famous person's personality I get to enjoy: Rudyard Kipling, Charley Chaplin, James Michener, etc. A bit of a different luxury...though I do plan on hitting the night markets and enjoying some chicken rice.
And at the end of the cruise, as my flight doesn't leave until 4:20 a.m. the next day I will be staying at The Slate in Phuket, Thailand. It is an all-suite hotel that is absolutely beautiful.
If you would like more information or would like to book your Silversea or other exotic cruise, please give us a call:
United States: (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom: 020 8133 3450
Australia: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232