Summary : When cruising the Andaman Sea you will enter a part of the world that has hardly been explored and immerse yourself in one of the most remote and culturally interesting offshore paradises. The vast majority of the hundreds of islands are still uninhabited and have only recently opened up to travelers. The traditional inhabitants of these archipelagos are the Salone or Moken, a people who live off, and on, the sea. Visit Gunung Leuser National Park to see orangutans in the wild. Snorkel in Thailand’s Turatao National Park. Swim, snorkel and relax in the Mergui Archipelago. Visit the Moken, the semi-nomadic inhabitants of the Mergui Archipelago.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Embark the ship and meet your Expedition Team. Enjoy time to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, and meet fellow travelers.
Today you will have several choices for activities aboard. Either take this day to catch up with you biological rhythm after your journey to reach Silver Discoverer to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast before attending the Zodiac briefing and the lectures preparing you for Gunung Leuser National Park and the islands in the Andaman Sea, or join the Wellness Team early in the morning for the first of many sessions and exercises prepared for you.
Silver Discoverer will go alongside in Belawan, Sumatra’s busiest port. Built originally to export tobacco, rubber and later palm oil, Belawan today is an important port for containers, and exports now include coffee and tea.
Belawan is the gate to Gunung Leuser National Park. Located in the interior of Sumatra, running along the Barisan mountain-ridge from Aceh towards the southeast, the park covers an area of some 9000 square kilometers and apart from being one of Indonesia’s oldest (and possibly least visited) parks is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra”.
The park is quite mountainous and home to more than 120 species of mammals, 190 species of reptiles and amphibians, as well as more than 350 species of birds. More than 4000 plant species, including such interesting plants as the corpse flower (Rafflesia arnoldii) and titan arum (Amorphophallus titanium), can be found in the park.
Before visiting the Bukit Lawang Visitor Center to learn about the flora and fauna of the park, have breakfast at the Rindu Alam Restaurant. Be briefed by a ranger about your visit and hike for two hours in the park. The former Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre has released more than 200 of the Sumatran orangutan back into the wild. The center had to close, but the orangutans can still be seen. Apart from Sumatran orangutans there are eight other primate species present in the park.
The Ko Tarutao Marine Park is off the beaten track and is made up of approx. 50 islands that are hardly developed and covered in dense jungle. The park covers an area of 1,490 square kilometres (1,260 of ocean, 230 of land).
The name Tarutao is a Thai corruption of its original Malay name, Pulau Tertua (the island of old). The park was established in 1974. In 1982, it was listed as one of the original ASEAN Heritage Parks. It was also submitted to UNESCO for inclusion to the World Heritage Site in 1990, but its listing was deferred in 1991.
Today’s destination, Ko Rawi, offers excellent snorkeling and other aquatic opportunities with hard coral sheltering anemones, giant clams and tropical fish. Among of the points of interests on the islands are the pebbles found on Ko Hin Ngam. Legend has it that the stones are cursed and anyone who takes any away will experience bad luck until the stones are returned to their source.
On a neighborliness island are the Pirates Falls, rumored to have been used by pirates in the area as a fresh water source.
This morning your Expedition Team will present lectures about the history and natural history of the Mergui Archipelago preparing you for the next 4 days of exploration within this group of islands.
Once Silver Discoverer has been cleared into Myanmar, 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.
During the morning start your four days of exploration, and snorkeling in the Mergui Archipelago. More than 800 islands spread out over 36.000 km² making Mergui Archipelago a prime location for underwater activities.
Limestone rock pinnacles, fringing sloping reefs, and hard coral reef gardens will not only attract fish but snorkelers too.
West of Lambi look for appropriate sites to swim, snorkel, relax, exercise and perhaps hike into the interior of Kyunn Mee Gee.
During your second day in the archipelago 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 snorkeling, bird-watching or just relaxing.
At this spectacular island you can also have the choice of a jungle walk.
Kyunn Phi Lar has many birds, animals, fishes and marine mammals -including monkeys, turtles, shark and dolphins.The Salone people (known as Moken in Thailand and Malaysia and as Sea Gypsies in English) are traveling through this area, so there might be a chance meeting them and to see their unique boat designs.
It is also a special place for snorkeling because of coral reefs and a beautiful mile-long beach on the northern shore.
In the afternoon visit one of the smaller islands with nice beaches that are perfect for relaxation or more exercises with your Wellness Team.
Your 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. Snorkelers will take up the last opportunity to see corals and colorful fishes, while others might simply relax on the beach, take a refreshing swim or attend the last meeting with the Wellness Team.
During lunch Silver Discoverer will relocate to Kawthoung, on mainland Myanmar.
While the authorities will prepare your outbound clearance, your on-board Videographer 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.
After breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Suite accommodations; onboard meals and entertainment; snorkeling gear; butler service; gratuities aboard ship (except spa); complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soda, water and coffee); 1 hour of internet access per guest/per day for passengers booked in Explorer and View Suites; unlimited internet access for passengers booked in Vista, Veranda, and Medallion Suites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; optional shore excursions; government fees and taxes; passport and visa expenses; some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars; laundry or valet services; items of a personal nature such as boutique purchases, medical care, and spa services; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Creative Services at Silversea Cruises