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zA Journey of Discovery through the Malay Archipeligo

15 days

15 Day Luxury Pacific Expedition

Small Ship Adventures for our World Travelers

  • Enjoy traditional village welcome ceremonies, performances, and demonstrations.
  • Discover Bori, “The Stonehenge of Indonesia.”
  • Drift through spectacular reefs by snorkelling, scuba diving or Glass Bottom Boat.
  • Encounter the sea turtles, schooling barracuda, white tip sharks and other marine life in Sipadan Island.
  • Zodiac through the mangroves of the Kinabatangan River in search of Borneo proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, otters and countless rare and beautiful birds.
  • Visit Borneo’s famous orang-utan sanctuary, the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC).

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Darwin, Australia

Once all guests have embarked, we depart on our spectacular 14-day, Journey of Discovery through the Malay Archipelago. This afternoon you will be introduced to your expedition team and participate in the safety drill. Tonight we invite you to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.


At Sea

A leisurely day at sea allows time to exchange notes with fellow travelers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Attend a lecture, perhaps about the Indonesia craft of Ikat weaving or Indonesian ornithology. Or just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television.


Seba, Savu, Indonesia

Savu, a small island about halfway between Timor and Sumba, is one of the most interesting destinations in Nusa Tenggara. The Savunese derive their staple nutrition from the lontar palm, and the nutritious juice of this drought-resistant tree makes possible a relatively high population concentration on Savu’s 461 square kilometers. Approximately 80% of Savunese are Christian. 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, dances and singing. We will be treated to a lontar tapping demonstration by men who seem to float on the palm fan leaves.


Lamalera Village, Lomblem Island, and Palau Suanggi, Indonesia

Lamalera and Lamakera on nearby Solor Island are the last two traditional whaling villages in Eastern Indonesia. Although slowly dying out, the ancient tradition of whaling is still the principal economic activity here. Whaling boats are made entirely of wood with wooden pegs (there is not a nail to be found!) and sails are made of palm leaves. The patterns of the whale and the boats are often seen in Lamalera’s hand-woven, ikat textiles. We will be welcomed by the villagers and have the opportunity to actually go on a “mock” whale hunt in the boats. The women will give us a weaving/dying demonstration and ikat textile will be available for purchase.

During lunch the Silver Discoverer will re-position to Palau Suanggi for an afternoon of underwater wonders. Enjoy snorkeling, scuba diving or glass bottom boat viewing off the coast of this tiny island. 


Alor Island, Indonesia

Kalabahi (for Takpala), Alor Island, Indonesia
Today we anchor off the Alor-Pantar Strait, recognised as one of Indonesia’s top dive sites. With its smoldering volcanoes reaching down into crystal clear waters, pure white sandy beaches and traditional villages built half way up mountains; Alor’s scenery is as spectacular above as it is below the waterline. The island is also renowned for its unique Moko drum culture, bronze kettledrums that have been traced back to the Dongson culture of Vietnam. They are highly valued and are still used as dowry throughout Alor. We spend the morning exploring the spectacular reefs by snorkeling, scuba diving or Glass Bottom Boat.

After re-positioning to Kalabahi, we visit the traditional, hilltop village of Takpala where we are welcomed by the Chief and enjoy a cultural performance of dancing and chanting. Kalabahi is the port and capital of Alor Island, set inside a peaceful bay of white sandy beaches, and overlooked by two old volcanoes.


At Sea

A day at sea always gives good opportunities to assess the things seen so far and to prepare oneself for the different islands still to be visited. Enjoy a lecture about culture and natural history, or perhaps about the more modern influences on this remote part of the world. Help our birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds. A refreshing drink and an interesting book can be good company too. There are many ways to enjoy the day while Silver Discoverer cruises at Sea.


Palopo, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

(Overnight tour to Tana Toraja)
After an early departure from the ship at the Polopo Harbor, we drive 1-½ hours to Toraja where we’ll spend a full day exploring Torajaland. We start at Palawa, an ancient village inhabited by residents who adorn their homes with the horns of buffalo killed in funeral ceremonies. We’ll then continue to Bori—“the Stonehenge of Indonesia”—to see an ancient field, or rante (the field of the funeral ceremony), where 102-tall menhir stones soar up several meters above land. From here, it’s onto Lemo to visit the hanging graves and the traditional village of Kete Kesu, to see an array of ancient relics. Finally, we will visit Nanggala, where we will see original rice barns that belonged to the area’s royal family, before heading to a local hotel where we will overnight.
*****This itinerary is subject to change depending if there is a funeral ceremony.


Torajaland and At Sea

After an early breakfast, we’ll drive south to Pare Pare to re-join the Silver Discoverer by mid morning. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at sea to exchange notes with fellow travelers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities aboard Silver Discoverer. Help our birders spot some of the seabirds found far away from their nesting grounds. Enjoy a lecture or an interesting book can be good company too. Or just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television.


At Sea

The days at sea are yours to enjoy. A well-deserved massage may be in order today. Once done, you might find yourself sipping on afternoon tea or taking in a little shopping.


Tarakan, Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia

Once in Tarakan, home to proboscis monkeys, macaques and a variety of bird species; we will travel approximately 1.5 hours by local boats to Tanjung Selor to visit a Dayak Village. After a traditional welcome ceremony, the villagers will entertain us with a dance performance.


Sipadan Island, Sabah, Malaysia

After a technical stop at Tawau early this morning, we clear into Malaysia for a full day of water activities at the stunningly beautiful Sipadan Island. Only 12 hectares in size, it is Malaysia’s only oceanic island, separate from the continental shelf of Borneo.

The teeming marine life of Sabah’s undisturbed coral reefs, especially around the island of Sipadan offers interesting snorkel and scuba dive opportunities. The island is like the head of a mushroom, sitting on the stem of coral almost 600 meters above the ocean floor. Divers and snorkelers alike will have ample opportunity to explore, and have encounters with sea turtles, schooling barracuda, white tip sharks and other denizens of the deep, with the backdrop of multi-coloured hard and soft corals. Alternatively, experience this unique world from the Silver Discoverer’s glass bottom boat


Kinabatangan River - Expedition Day

The Kinabatangan, Sabah’s longest river, is one of the most exciting and easily accessible places to explore the rich biodiversity of Sabah. From Kampung Abai, near the river mouth we set of by zodiac in search of a large range of wildlife including Borneo proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, otters and countless rare and beautiful birds. We have the full day to explore the mangrove that form part of the largest wetlands is in all of Malaysia. Your Expedition team might decide to stop of at a local village to meet some of the twenty or so ethnic groups now classified as Orang Sungei. An early morning or after dusk birding Zodiac cruise might also be a possibility.


Sandakan, Borneo, Malaysia

Once a major port of call, Sandakan—the second largest city in Sabah, East Malaysia—played a significant part in Borneo’s history. Here, at this gateway to Eco-tourism, the city’s haunting past is evoked via religious relics and gorgeous colonial mansions.

Situated on the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve (one of the few remaining virgin jungles in Sabah), just 26 kilometres outside of Sandakan, is the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC). The famous orang-utan sanctuary was founded in 1964 to rescue orphaned and injured orang-utans and rehabilitate them for living in the forest. Here, from a rain forest platform, we will have the unique opportunity to witness the feeding of orang-utans in their natural habitat. After an inspirational visit we continue travel to the Labuk Bay Proboscis Sanctuary, where we will see the endemic Proboscis Monkey. The Proboscis Monkey is best seen during feeding time; at other times they freely roam the 650-hectare area of their habitat. If you are lucky you will get to see other native animals, too, such as Leaf Monkeys, Macaques, and Hornbills. Along the way, witness workers going about their daily task of harvesting and weeding the Palm plantations that now occupy so much of the countryside. 


Kudat, Borneo, Malaysia

As we travel north to Simpang Magayau-for the opportunity to stand on the northernmost tip of Borneo, where the South China Sea meets the Sulu Sea-you’ll see coconut plantations that stretch as far as the eye can see. Once there, we will have the unique opportunity to visit with the indigenous Rungus people, who are famous for the longhouses they build and the gongs they craft. The Rungus, a sub-group of the Kadazandusum, are Sabah’s most traditional ethnic group. Many of the Rungus still live in longhouses, which are communal dwellings where each family has their own sleeping and cooking quarters but shares a long veranda. These longhouses have a unique architecture, very different from the better-known longhouses of neighboring Serawak because they are built quite low to the ground and far away from rivers.


Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

Prices are per person, double occupancy, cruise only.