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Snorkel the tropical reef as you sail the Asian Pacific

Islands & World Heritage Sites of the Indian Ocean

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Silver Discoverer
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Deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees, but also places full of character — fitting descriptions of the Maldives and the Seychelles. Experience for yourself what sets these island paradises apart from other places in the world.
See the multi-cultural expressions and the beauty of the Seychelles and Maldives, and visit African countries with astonishing national parks not yet overrun by tourism. Roam the eastern coast of Africa, and revel in the natural wonders, intriguing cultures and and relaxed way of life. Discover Zanzibar, the “Spice Isle” replete with narrow streets and riveting legends. Seek out dolphins on Mayotte and experience the culture of the laid-back, sun-drenched Seychelles. 


Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Male, Maldives
Day 2 : Maalhaveli, Meemu Atoll, Maldives
Day 3 : Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives
Days 4-6 : At Sea, cruising the Indian Ocean
Day 7 : Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles
Day 8 : La Digue and Praslin, Seychelles
Day 9 : Desroches Island, Seychelles
Day 10 : At Sea, cruising the Indian Ocean
Days 11-12 : Aldabra, Expedition Days
Day 13 : Mamoudzu, Mayotte
Day 14 : Mozambique Island, Mozambique
Day 15 : Ibo Island, Mozambique
Day 16 : Kilwan Kisawani, Tanzania
Day 17 : Zanzibar, Tanzania
Day 18 : Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania


  • See giant tortoises, dolphins, and whales
  • Enjoy beaches and the underwater-world of vast lagoons and tropical islands
  • Visit Aldabra, the ‘last unprofaned sanctuary on this planet’ Jacques Cous
  • Visit five different World Heritage Sites


Silver Discoverer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Snorkel the tropical reef as you sail the Asian Pacific The calm waters of the  Asian Pacific Snorkel the tropical reef as you sail the Asian Pacific A local man of the South Pacific Relax on the stunning beaches of the  Asian Pacific Young locals of the  Asian Pacific

Day 1 Male, Maldives

Embark and depart on your exciting 18-day expedition — “Islands and World Heritage Sites of the Indian Ocean”. After settling in you will attend a safety briefing and be introduced to your Expedition Team. Weather permitting enjoy a sail-away cocktail on deck.
Familiarize 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. 

Day 2 Maalhaveli, Meemu Atoll, Maldives

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Maldives are made up of 1190 islands, of which 200 are inhabited. Atolls are the perfect place to unwind on a beach and watch the waves lapping onto the sand. These islands are also a geographical marvel, where thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals are just a few feet away from where you sit.
Meemu Atoll has a population of 6500 inhabitants and 33 islands, of which 9 are inhabited. Set like pearls on a necklace the islands circle the lagoon which our divers and snorkelers will want to inspect at Maalhaveli — to see what underwater creatures will pose for them.
During the afternoon head south. Let the on board lecturers introduce you to the wonders laying ahead, both above and below the water. The Captain will invite you to his Welcome Cocktail and the Executive Chef and Maître d’ invite you to enjoy a special Welcome Dinner.

Day 3 Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having left Meemu Atoll behind, you also have crossed the Equator. Addu is the southernmost of the Maldives’ atolls and Addu City is one of only two cities in the Maldives. Since Addu is some 540 kilometres south of Male, there even is an international airport on uninhabited Gan, one of Addu Atoll’s islands. Enjoy a full day to explore both land and sea. The Expedition Team will accompany you on walks looking for birds and other wildlife, while the marine biologist(s) will be there to show you some exceptional reefs and underwater creatures.

Day 4-6 At Sea, cruising the Indian Ocean

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
To cover the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, you will be at sea for three days. The lecturers will offer talks preparing you for our visit to the Seychelles, be it about its historical aspects or natural history.
In addition you can unwind, relax, and make use of the gym or Spa, or any of the other amenities on board.

Day 7 Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A visit to the nation’s capital Victoria would have to include ‘Big Ben’, the local version of England’s iconic building. To get an idea of the wide variety of plants found in the tropics, stroll through the Botanic Gardens. A good viewpoint towards Morne Seychellois, the island’s highest point, is from the former Capuchin Mission.

Day 8 La Digue and Praslin, Seychelles

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
La Digue probably is the best-known island of the Seychelles: its rock formations are so spectacular, that the huge granite boulders that are scattered along the shore resemble modern art sculptures and have been featured in many books and on many postcards. Apart from its brilliant white beaches and strangely shaped rocks, the island has a nature reserve and colonial houses — all making for excellent photography. Take a step back in time and visit L’Union Estate — see a traditional copra mill and kiln and watch the antics of the estate’s population of giant land tortoises or stroll around the majestic Plantation House framed by giant granite boulders in landscaped gardens. This natural wonder is classified as a National Monument.
The estate is also home to the cemetery of the original settlers of La Digue and to one of the most pristine beaches in Seychelles — the legendary ‘Source d’Argent’ — among the most photographed beaches on earth.
Anchor off Praslin Island, the site of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’ two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Disembark after lunch via Zodiac to the picturesque Baie Ste Anne jetty, then drive up the scenic coastal road through a quaint fishing village and dense forest of contrasting shades of green, to Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve. With a population of 6,500 people, Praslin, Seychelles’ second largest island, measures only 10km by 3.7km. It has substantial tracts of tropical forests with over 6,000 Coco-de-Mer palms with enormous fan-shaped fronds. These trees can grow more than 100 feet tall, living 800-1,000 years and are home to endemic birds, such as the Seychelles Bulbul and the Seychelles Black Parrot. During your walking tour, you will discover this mystical World Heritage Site famous for the Coco de Mer — the largest nut in the plant kingdom weighing up to 40 pounds. Capture the cathedral feel of this primeval forest and listen for the high pitched whistles of the Black Parrot. Later we depart Vallee de Mai for Cote d’Or Beach, where we have time for an afternoon swim or stroll along this beautiful beach. Enjoy afternoon refreshments before heading back to the ship in time for dinner.

Day 9 Desroches Island, Seychelles

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Desroches Island is one of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles and the main island of the Amirante Islands. Located 230 km southwest of Mahé, it has a land area of only 3.24 km², but 15 kilometres of fine sand beaches.
The northern part of the island is run as a coconut plantation and farm, and there is a settlement on the northern shore.  The first coconut plantations were started in 1875 and copra is still processed on the island before being transported to Mahé. Spend the morning exploring this beautiful beach, returning to the ship for lunch.
During the afternoon continue your lecture program and prepare for another spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 10 At Sea, cruising the Indian Ocean

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today relax on the open decks, visit the Spa or gym, and follow your lecturers in their presentations about the natural history of the Indian Ocean’s islands and animals.

Day 11-12 Aldabra, Expedition Days

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, Aldabra is reputedly the world’s second-largest atoll and has been described as “one of nature’s treasures”, a “sanctuary”, and it will truly be a privilege to be able to visit this World Heritage Site.
Because of its extreme isolation, Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans. Its distinctive island fauna includes the Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea). About two thirds of the world population of Giant Tortoises, some 100,000 out of a reported 150,000, live on Aldabra. As Aldabra lacks freshwater and is difficult to access, Aldabra has not been developed for tourism. No airport has been built, and only a handful of smaller ships (with special permits) are allowed to call at this unique atoll.
 Anchor off Aldabra for two days and enjoy exhilarating drift snorkels as the incoming tide whisks us into a lagoon populated with eagle rays, turtles, and coral gardens teeming with marine life. Time and tides permitting, cruise via Zodiac through narrow channels between fossilised coral islands, and cruise between mangrove-covered islands to observe large colonies of nesting boobies and Great Frigatebirds soaring overhead. As the tides pump water in and out of the lagoon, massive numbers of fish come and go through channels to feed. You can snorkel in these same channels, allowing the current to carry you along a magical scene.
Go ashore to visit the small scientific research station on Picard Island and photograph the mighty tortoises living on this isolated island that few travellers have the privilege to see.

Day 13 Mamoudzu, Mayotte

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark early in the morning for a visit to the town and surrounding areas of Mamoudzou, the capital and largest town in Mayotte. Mayotte is an overseas territory of France, yet geographically it remains part of the Comoros group. It is the most populous of the four Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean off Mozambique in Africa. Mayotte chose to remain a French dependency rather than join the other Comoros Islands in declaring independence in 1975. Comoros laid claim to Mayotte shortly after independence and continues to do so. The economy is largely fishing and agricultural, exporting perfume oils, vanilla, copra, coconuts, coffee, and cinnamon. After strolling through the markets and town, take a scenic drive to the countryside stopping at Ylang-Ylang and Vanilla Plantations. Sleepy fishing villages adorn both golden and black sandy beaches backed by swaying bamboo groves in the tranquil setting that the islanders describe as “au bout du monde” —
at the end of the world.

Day 14 Mozambique Island, Mozambique

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mozambique Island received its name after a sultan at the times of the early Portuguese voyages of exploration. The island is quite small, only 3km long and some 200 to 500 metres in width; perhaps this was one of the reasons why the Portuguese already settled here in 1507. The oldest European building of the southern hemisphere is found on Mozambique Island: the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Baluarte. Fort São Sebastião dates also back to the 16th century. Historical buildings at the northern side of the island include the Palace and Chapel of São Paulo, built in 1610 as a Jesuit College — later converted to be the Governor’s Residence, and now a museum; the Museum of Sacred Art in the Church of Misericórdia; and the hospital, a neo-classical building dating back to 1877. Built by the Portuguese it has a garden decorated with ponds and fountains. As a result of its rich history and architectural remains, the Island of Mozambique is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The majority of the residents today live in reed houses in Makuti Town at the southern end of the island. Apart from the old Christian churches there are several mosques and even a Hindu temple.
For the last 55 years the island has been connected to the mainland by a 3km bridge.

Day 15 Ibo Island, Mozambique

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Anchor this morning off Ibo Island, situated in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Witness one of the largest mangrove forests in Africa, firmly rooted in front of Ibo Island. Meet up with local guides who walk you through streets that feel lost in time and were almost forgotten to the outside world for nearly a century. Ibo Island is one of the most ancient settlements in Mozambique with a history dating back to early 600AD Arab merchant days.
Forts once serving as military bastions and slave trading houses, line the shores. Some of the grand, majestic structures have been lovingly restored to former glory, while others have fallen into crumbling, marvellous ruins. Ibo is a melting pot of influences from around the world, creating a culture that is completely unique.

Day 16 Kilwan Kisawani, Tanzania

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Kilwa Ruins. Your Zodiacs will take you ashore, to explore the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani on foot. Divided into small groups look at the Malindi Mosque and cemetery, Fort Gereza, the tombs of the sultans, several mosques, and the Great House. Highlights include a fourteenth century palace — no structure of its size was built anywhere along the coast, and a fortified enclosure, very similar to structures found in Syria, Turkey and the Persian Gulf.

Day 17 Zanzibar, Tanzania

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you will visit the last UNESCO World Heritage Site of your voyage: Stone Town — a fine example of a Swahili coastal trading town. At the City Market we can see and smell the tropical fruits that are on offer and can see the freshly ground spices. Within walking distance is the Anglican Church, built over the old Great Slave Market. Slaves from all over East Africa had been brought here and had been kept in underground chambers. Your next stop will be a spice farm in the countryside. To get there you will drive past the Old Arab Fort and Dr. Livingstone’s house.
At the spice farm you will have a guided tour and can taste some of the exotic spices and fruits grown here. The different plants are grown for food flavoring, for cosmetics, as dyes and for traditional medicine. The visit to the spice farm will be followed by lunch at a beach resort and free time at the beach for swimming, beachcombing or relaxation.
Alternatively you might only want to go swimming and snorkelling at a Sandbank. To get there you will be taken by traditional dhows. The crystal clear waters invite you to explore the underwater world, looking for coral and fishes.
This evening enjoy the videographer’s marvellous takes and moments from the voyage on DVD. 

Day 18 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark.

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Included in cruise fare:
Suite accommodations, onboard meals and entertainment, gratuities aboard ship (except spa), complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soft drinks, water, tea and coffee. All fares are quoted in US dollars, are per guest and based on double occupancy. 
Not included in cruise fare:
Airfare, hotel accommodations, transfers and luggage handling, optional shore excursions, meals ashore, fuel surcharges, accommodations whilst ashore, casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques or any item or service of a personal nature such as medical care, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures. Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare and may not be available at all times. 

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 and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.


  • 17 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 17 Dinners
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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