Join us in May as we set sail aboard Silversea’s new Silver Discoverer

Our Silver Discoverer expedition cruise will take us from Australia to Indonesia - in style. Illustration courtesy of Silversea

Our Silver Discoverer expedition cruise will take us from Australia to Indonesia – in style. Illustration courtesy of Silversea

Yesterday, I wrote about the new document package unveiled by ultra-luxury line Silversea to commemorate their 20th anniversary. But there’s another reason I have an interest in the line’s new documentation package, and it has everything to do with another exciting Live Voyage Report.

This May, I’ll be travelling to Australia for the very first time to embark Silversea’s newest expedition ship, the 120-guest Silver Discoverer.  Voyage 9407 is quite an interesting journey; at 12 days in length, it travels from Broome, Australia all the way to Bali, Indonesia.

Silversea's Silver Discoverer will enter service on March 1, 2014. Photo courtesy of Silversea.

Silversea’s Silver Discoverer will enter service this April. Photo courtesy of Silversea.

A normal Silversea ship sailing this itinerary would make it noteworthy enough, but the fact remains that Silver Discoverer will become the third ship to sail under the Silversea Expeditions brand the line has been steadily developing since the launch of Silver Explorer in 2007.

I had a firsthand look at what Silversea Expeditions offers guests in 2012 during a sailing around the British Isles aboard Silver Explorer, and I loved what I experienced: a proper expedition cruise, with all the adventurous days of exploration that entails, wrapped in the luxurious embrace that Silversea offers aboard their more traditional cruise ships.

With the launch of Silver Discoverer this April, Silversea now has the ability to offer adventures around the world, such as the one I’m embarking on in May. A few highlights of the voyage, courtesy of Silversea’s website:

  • Witness the spectacular tidal change at Montgomery Reef.
  • Discover The Kimberley’s ancient and mysterious rock art.
  • Look for the White Bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Brahminy Kite and Peregrine Falcon.
  • Photograph King George’s towering twin falls plunging over 551 feet (180 m).
  • Experience the sheer vastness and power of Mitchell Falls from a helicopter.
  • Admire the glorious beehive panoramas of the Bungle Bungle from the air
  • Go on a “mock” whale hunt with the whalers of Lamalera.
  • See the “dragons” of Komodo Island.
  • Enjoy numerous nature walks and Zodiac tours, which reveal stunning scenery, pristine beaches, and awe-­inspiring landscapes.

The full itinerary, both here and onboard:

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Silver Discoverer will explore some of the world's most fascinating places, like The Kimberley in western Australia. Photo courtesy of Silversea.

Silver Discoverer will explore some of the world’s most fascinating places, like The Kimberley in western Australia. Photo courtesy of Silversea.

Here’s where things get really interesting: over the course of six straight days, Silver Discoverer will sail no fixed itinerary, instead opting to go where conditions are best suited for us. The exact itinerary will be determined by the conditions, the ship’s Captain, and Expedition Team Leaders Robin West and Jarda Versloot. I had the pleasure of sailing with both Robin and Jarda two years ago aboard Silver Explorer, and I’m looking forward to sailing with them again.

Weather dependent, we might see Nares Point and Crocodile Creek which, unlike its name suggests, is actually devoid of crocodiles. Talbot Bay’s Horizontal Falls was created millions of years ago by 490-foot tidal fluctuations. We’ll sail aboard our Zodiacs on a ride through the falls before heading deeper into the sandstone gorge of Cyclone Creek.

One of the key highlights of this adventurous cruising on the Kimberley Coast is Montgomery Reef, which spans 400 square miles in size. At low tide, up to 13 feet of reef is exposed along with river access that allows guests to visit this normally semi-submerged world. Zodiacs are flanked by waterfalls up to 10 feet in height, and sea life here includes turtles, manta rays and manatees.

The stunning spectacle of The Kimberley's King George Falls. Photo courtesy of Silversea / Tourism Western Australia

The stunning spectacle of The Kimberley’s King George Falls. Photo courtesy of Silversea / Tourism Western Australia

We’ll also Zodiac ashore to hike up to the top of Raft Point, journeying through the Kimberley Flora that includes the iconic Baobab Tree, perhaps better known as the “Upside Down Tree” by the local Aboriginals. At the top, guests will hear the dreamlike stories associated with the Wadjina Spirit.

Hunter River, on the other hand, is an immense mangrove system dating back two billion years. It’s also home to Crocodylus Porosous, the most aggressive crocodile known to man. If crocodiles aren’t your thing, you can arrange with the Expedition Team for an optional helicopter flightseeing tour to the famous Mitchell Falls.

Then, there’s King George Falls. One of The Kimberley’s most stunning natural wonders, these twin falls cascade 260 feet in height. Zodiacs whisk guests up the King George River, allowing us to view not only the falls but also the abundance of wildlife including – yep – more crocodiles, and an abundance of bird life.

That marks the end of our experience in The Kimberley, but certainly not the end of our voyage.

Ancient cave art. Photo courtesy of Silversea / Tourism Western Australia

Ancient cave art. Photo courtesy of Silversea / Tourism Western Australia

In Wyndham, Australia, guests are invited to do something truly unique: participate in an inclusive overland flight of the Bungle Bungle mountain range in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Purnulu National Park.

Then, it’s off to Indonesia, where we’ll cruise the Timor Sea, visit Lamalera Village, which still relies on whaling as its primary source of income; snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of Pink Beach and explore Komodo, before completing the journey by viewing a funeral rite ceremony and a fierce martial arts performance conducted on horseback in Waikelo, Indonesia.

My Silver Discoverer journey concludes on May 24 in Benoa, Bali, Indonesia with a trek home through Hong Kong. The entire journey – just including air travel alone – will span nearly 20,200 miles and five separate countries.

Sounds like my kind of adventure!

In Indonesia, we'll have the chance to explore the island of Komodo - and maybe get a glimpse of the famous Komodo Dragon. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons

In Indonesia, we’ll have the chance to explore the island of Komodo – and maybe get a glimpse of the famous Komodo Dragon. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia / Creative Commons

If you think that sounds pretty cool too, I have good news: there’s still some space left aboard Silver Discoverer’s inaugural voyage 9403 on April 2nd from Broome to Darwin; and Voyage 9405 from Broome to Darwin departing on April 22nd. But Silversea now has Silver Discoverer’s entire 2014 and 2015 seasons available to browse and book online.

Have a peek, but be warned: these voyages look wonderfully addictive.

Our Live Voyage Report aboard Silversea’s Silver Discoverer kicks off on May 9, 2014! For a look at the line’s Expedition product, have a peek at our Silver Explorer Live Voyage Report from the British Isles!

 

6 Responses to Live Voyage Preview: Expedition Australia aboard Silver Discoverer

  1. Peter says:

    Aaron You have some exciting travels coming up this year. Looking forward to tagging along by way of your posts. Thanks!

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      Thanks, Peter! I’m really making an effort to take some interesting voyages this year. If I am excited, I hope readers will be excited as well!

  2. YIKES, Aaron! Every time I think you’ve topped-them-all with THE unique and fascinating cruise of a lifetime, you come up with another!

    (Are you sure you don’t need a personal servant….shoe-shine guy….valet….or the like to….ahemmm, “assist”….with your ocean voyages? 🙂 )

    As always….my vicarious bags are packed….

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      Thanks, Nicholas!! Great to hear from you as always. It’s getting harder and harder to top some of these voyages – in fact, I think I actually enjoy the hunting and planning stages as much as the actual thing!

      And you have no idea how often I am asked if I need an assistant 😉

      Thrilled to know you’ll be following along.

  3. Wow!! What an amazing voyage this is going to be and I can’t wait to follow along on your LIVE VOYAGE REPORTS for a day-to-day report on your adventures. Most certainly does this sound like a voyage for me as well but I cringed when you mentioned the crocs so if I were you, I would opt for flightseeing. ;).

  4. […] More information on Silversea and Silversea Expeditions can be found by paying a visit to their website. You can read our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silver Explorer as she winds her way from Portsmouth, England to Greenock, Scotland by clicking here, or tune in next week for the start of our own Live Voyage Report adventure aboard Silver Discoverer in Australia and Indonesia! Coverage begins Friday, May 9, 2014 from Sydney, Australia. […]

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