Day 1 La Romana, Dominican Republic
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting expedition – West Indies Expedition. Once on board, meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the ship’s luxurious amenities. This evening, after settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team.
Day 2 Cruz Bay, St John, US Virgin Islands
St. John, the smallest of the US Virgin Islands and best known for its dozens of postcard perfect white sand beaches, turquoise bays abounding in colorful corals and rainbows of tropical fish and endless vistas of green velvet hills. Only nine miles long (14.5 kilometers) and three miles (4.8 kilometers) wide, two thirds of the island is a National Park of spectacular beaches and untouched forests.
Options for your afternoon ashore include a trail hike or an island tour by safari bus. The hiking group will follow a naturalist guide along a scenic hillside trail to picturesque Honeymoon Beach for the chance to swim in the refreshing, crystal clear waters and relax in the shade of a coconut palm tree. Continuing along the trail, find the lush Botanical Gardens at Caneel Bay and also the ruins of an 18th-century Danish sugar plantation and factory. Following your hike, travel by open-air safari bus on a scenic drive back to the Silver Explorer.
Alternatively, choose a safari bus tour of St John National Park. Learn about the island's history, native foliage and indigenous wildlife. The peaceful paradise of St. John is the perfect first port with which to begin your West Indies expedition.
Day 3 Anegada Island, British Virgin Islands
Anegada is encircled by 18-mile-long Horseshoe Reef – one of the world’s largest coral reefs, which explains the many shipwrecks that now serve as home to countless exotic fish. Join your onboard Marine Biologist to explore the undersea world surrounding this pristine paradise island, one of the best-kept secrets of scuba divers and snorkelers.
Alternatively, follow along as your onboard Ornithologist leads a wildlife exploration of Anegada’s salt ponds. A number of wading birds can be seen in the mangroves, including great blue heron, little blue heron, stilts and terns.
Day 4 Saba Island, Netherland Antilles
Rising steeply from the azure sea, the tiny island of Saba is a secluded haven that attracts hikers from all over the world for its network of carefully marked and maintained botanical trails. Birdlife is abundant, fruit trees and flowering bushes line the trail, views of the village below and a view of expansive ocean and neighboring islands on the horizon, make for a very interesting hike. Meet up with local guides who are well versed in the local plant life and have many tales to share of the island’s past and present.
Alternatively, enjoy a scenic drive along the island’s only road to the capital village: “The Bottom”. Visit the Roman Catholic Church with its lovely hand-painted altar mural, and also the Saba Artisan Foundation where you will also have the opportunity to purchase locally made handicrafts, spices, and other souvenirs. Have your camera ready for your arrival in the village of St. Johns where you can photograph incredible vistas of surrounding islands across the azure sea. Enjoy some free time at the Windwardside village to do some more shopping or wander through the Saba Museum before returning to the Silver Explorer.
Day 5 Montserrat
Named by Christopher Columbus after its Catalonia namesake, Montserrat rises 3,000 feet in the air, spewing forth steam and ash. Your adventures today allow you to explore some untouched areas surrounding the island’s spectacular live volcano. Hope to learn more about the Soufriere Hills Volcano with a visit to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory where the volcanic activity is monitored for all English speaking Eastern Caribbean countries.
Afternoon conditions permitting, tour the coast off Plymouth village by Zodiac, witnessing first hand the destruction caused by volcanic eruption. This area is off-limits to the general public, but the Silver Explorer has been granted permission to tour this area by Zodiac. Final permission will be given pending volcanic activity in the area on the day of the visit. From a sea-level perspective, clearly see the path taken by the pyroclastic and mud flows, and the devastation of Montserrat’s capital, Plymouth. The town has been compared to a modern-day Pompeii. Buried deep in ash and volcanic debris including boulders up to the size of the houses, the once thriving commercial center of the island now resembles a dust-covered lunar landscape gouged by deep canyons.
Day 6 Les Saintes, Guadeloupe
Watch for whales and dolphins as you approach this cluster of tiny islands off the southern coast of Guadeloupe. Take full advantage of the small ships agility, and sail directly into one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Today take in the French ambiance of Terre-de-Haut Island during your time ashore. Join your onboard historian for an in-depth exploration of the 17th century Fort Napoleon including its barracks, prison cells and drawbridge, then meet up with your expert botanist to discover the fort’s exotic botanical gardens. Enjoy some free time to sip a drink at a quaint café or to pick up some authentic French imports at the shops.
As an option, inquire about the transparent kayaks that are available to guests aboard the Silver Explorer. The waters surrounding Les Saintes are full of life, color and activity, and Silversea’s clear-bottom kayak allows you to enjoy this wonderful environment without disturbing the fascinating creatures – and without getting wet!
Day 7 Bequia, Grenadines
Bequia is the largest island in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain and home to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. Visit this nursery for young Hawksbill turtles run by islander Orton “Brother” King with the goal of preventing the extinction of this beautiful ocean species. Take in the sights from atop Mount Pleasant, the highest accessible point in Bequia and then head back down to one of Bequia’s stunning white beaches for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or simply relaxing with a refreshing cocktail.
In the afternoon, a historian/folklorist will delight you with tales of the island depicted in true Caribbean fashion. Hear the beat of the drum as the slaves toiled daily. Watch the French Quadrille and feel the infectious rhythms calypso and soca. The presentation is infused with poetry, drama, music and a touch of humor, allowing you to easily get lost in the spirit of the island.
Day 8 Bridgetown, Barbados
Arrive at Bridgetown in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer.