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Experience the culture as you sail through the  Pacific on your cruise

Phuket to Bali (Benoa)

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Silver Discoverer
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This exciting semi-circumnavigation cruise around the Indonesian Islands of  Sumatra and Java is an explorer’s dream come true. Sample bona fide local delicacies, walk the sea of sand to reach Mt. Bromo, and search for orangutans in Sumatra. Days at sea, inspiring landmarks, active volcanoes, and eerie yet spectacular landscapes are all just parts of this fascinating 14-day cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Phuket, Thailand | Embark
Day 2 : Ko Rawi | Ko Adang
Day 3 : Belawan, Sumatra, Indonesia
Day 4 : Day at Sea
Day 5 : Pulau Weh, Sumatra | Banda Aceh
Day 6 : Suimeuliu Islands
Day 7 : Bawemataluwo, Nias Islands
Day 8 : Padang, Sumatra | Cupek
Day 9 : Day at Sea
Day 10 : Ujung Kulon National Park, Java | Anak Krakatoa
Day 11 : Cruising the Java Sea
Day 12 : Sumenep, Madura
Day 13 : Probolinggo
Day 14 : Benoa, Bali | Disembark


  • See the Sumatran orangutan in the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra
  • Witness the stone jumping of the Nias warriors
  • Walk on Anak Krakatoa, the volcano that rose from history’s worst eruption
  • Visit cultural, geological, and biological UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Hike the Sea of Sand to reach Mount Bromo


Silver Discoverer

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Experience the culture as you sail through the  Pacific on your cruise Snorkel the tropical reef as you sail the Asian Pacific Young children of the Asian Pacific Stop at majestic islands on your  Asian Pacific cruise The calm waters of the  Asian Pacific

Day 1 Phuket, Thailand | Embark

Phuket is one of the region's economic powerhouses—millions of tourists visit the island every year, enjoying the many delights that are offered in this established resort island. Phuket is a modern, vibrant island with more than 6 million annual visitors, a number that is only increasing year-to-year. If you've never been to Phuket, you will likely love it; returning visitors find a new island that eagerly greets its next wave of tourism. Koh Phuket is linked to the mainland by a causeway, and the rest of the world by an international airport. Its indented coastline and hilly interior make the island seem larger than its 48-km (30-mile) length and 21-km (13-mile) breadth.

After your arrival in Phuket, embark Silver Discoverer during the early afternoon. After settling in attend a mandatory safety drill and Zodiac briefing. After sail-away important crew members and the Expedition Staff are introduced. In the evening enjoy the first of many memorable culinary highlights in The Restaurant.

Day 2 Ko Rawi | Ko Adang

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today venture into areas seldom visited by cruise or expedition ship travelers. The Ko Tarutao Marine Park is off the beaten track and is made up of approximately 50 islands that are underdeveloped and covered in dense jungle and covers an area of 1,490 square kilometers (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. Your destination for this morning, Ko Rawi, offers excellent snorkeling and other aquatic opportunities. One of the points of interests on the island is the stripy pebbles found here. Legend has it that the stones are cursed and anyone who takes any away experience bad luck until the stones are returned to their source.

Your afternoon destination, Ko Adang Island, is the second biggest island within the Park and has an incredible offshore coral reef. Snorkelers and scuba divers delight in the diversity of the marine life. Alternatively, if you wish, experience the rainforest with a botanist. There is the opportunity for a rainforest walk to the Pirates Falls, rumored to have been used by pirates in the area as a fresh water source.

Day 3 Belawan, Sumatra, Indonesia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 endangered 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 titanum), 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 and 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 centre has closed but you can still see the orangutans in the wild. Apart from Sumatran orangutan there are eight other primate species present in the park. After your walk lunch awaits at Rindu Alam before returning to Silver Discoverer in the late afternoon.

Day 4 Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On your navigation around Sumatra’s north coast the Executive Chef and the Galley Team tempt you with local specialties, while the Expedition Team lecturers recap on Gunung Leuser National Park and prepare you for the Aceh Province. Be out on deck, scan the horizon for marine mammals and seabirds, visit the Gym or Spa, or simply relax and prepare yourself for the next visit to one of Sumatra’s attractions.

Day 5 Pulau Weh, Sumatra | Banda Aceh

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located above the very northern tip of Sumatra, Pulau Weh (=Weh Island) and its main port of Sabang used to be an important coaling station in former days. During the morning visit Sabang and see some of the old Dutch Colonial buildings and the trees imported from Suriname by the Dutch. Continue to Weh’s south to see the geothermal-volcanic Valley of Jaboi where you spend some time to look at the fumaroles and enjoy the quiet isolation of the area, admiring the panoramic views of the island. During lunch Silver Discoverer repositions to Banda Aceh.

Banda Aceh, the capital of Banda Province, was severely hit by a tsunami in 2004 and you can see the power of nature through the PLTDApung, a former floating power plant, which was moved by tsunami several kilometers inland, despite its weight of 780 tons. The structure now acts as a monument and a nice little park has exhibits relating to the tsunami damage. See the Blang Padang Park, a memorial to all the nations that helped Aceh after the terrible earthquake and tsunami. The park houses an old DC-3 as a monument to Indonesia’s struggle for independence and has a Tsunami Museum.

After the tsunami certain cultural traits which formerly were only allowed to be performed by men were taught to women as well, among them certain dances. One of the dance forms popularly practiced in Aceh province is the Saman dance, which is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. While the dancers sit in a row and perform elaborative and fast movements with their hands, heads, and torsos the choreography includes clapping and hitting the body with the hands, resulting in percussive sounds that add to the performance. These movements symbolize the daily lives of the Gayo people and their natural environment. The Saman is performed to celebrate national and religious holidays, cementing relationships between village groups. You may have the opportunity to witness a performance by male Sufi dancers.

Day 6 Suimeuliu Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Silver Discoverer anchors in the Simeulue Islands, a group of 57 islands. More than 80,000 inhabitants live in the islands (the largest, Big Simeulue, being 100 kms long) and make a living off farming and fishing. The islands are covered in forest, have beaches, caves, two lakes, and even a waterfall. The inhabitants live a traditional lifestyle and the local culture is still important. The Simeulue Islands are known for black magic, practiced by dukun – shaman or healers that can cause damage and heal. Cultural events include performances of nandong (poetry singing) and debus – traditional dancing and magic performed on stage where the performers use sharp objects to cut or stab themselves without getting hurt. The islands are also famous for their dragon boat teams.

Day 7 Bawemataluwo, Nias Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Nias Islanders were said to be very fierce and different ceremonies or stages of growth of a child and juvenile needed animals to be slaughtered or enemies killed. Therefore young men prepared to become warriors at an early age. One of the preparations was stone jumping, a ritual where youngsters jumped over 1.5 to 2-meter stone towers. It was basically a task in warrior training, which led to the young boy becoming an adult if he jumped a specific height in warrior's clothing. Still today, Nias boys start preparing for their stone jump from the age of 10. They become men by jumping over the stone tower, signifying that they are ready to assume the responsibilities of men.

Going to the local village of Bawomataluo – a complex that is on the UNESCO World Heritage site tentative list - meet the king of the village and experience a cultural performance including the War Dance performed to enhance the spirit of the ancestors before war and see the local young men performing the stone jumping. Apart from the cultural segment of the visit, birders look for the stork-billed kingfisher and other birds.

Day 8 Padang, Sumatra | Cupek

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive from Padang to Cupek, a Minangkabau village in Sumatra’s interior. The ancestral homelands of the Minangkabau, devout Muslims, are centered in West Sumatra’s lush highlands and stretch as far as the seashore. The specialty among them is that ownership of a family’s property—their homes, rice paddies, and the like—passes from mother to daughter. The Minangkabau are in fact the world’s largest matrilineal society. Visiting the village see a rumah gadang, or “big house”, a traditional Minangkabau home intended to hold the extended family. Made of local Surian wood, it has an arched, buffalo-horn-shaped roof and walls woven of bamboo, icons of the Minangkabau building style. With its long hall-like main room, it is not only used as a residence, but also sometimes for meetings and ceremonies.

During your visit see a traditional wedding ceremony and be invited to join the parade of the bride marching to the groom’s house accompanied by more than 100 women in traditional costume. A welcome dance is performed and later you can enjoy some of the other traditional dances. A cooking demonstration takes place and you can learn how to prepare local food known as rendang. Crops like rice, cabbage, beans and the all-important chilies grow in abundance and the Minangnese are known for their spicy, sumptuous cuisine, which you can savor during your local lunch ashore.

Day 9 Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Silver Discoverer heads for the southeastern end of Sumatra. After a leisurely breakfast, attend a seminar, perhaps on photography or Indonesian food, exercise at the Gym, visit the Spa, or simply relax on the outer decks. Join naturalists on deck, scanning the horizon for seabirds or marine mammals and let Sumatra’s coastline go by.

Day 10 Ujung Kulon National Park, Java | Anak Krakatoa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Very early in the morning reach the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ujung Kulon National Park, at the southwest tip of Java. The National Park includes the Ujung Kulon Peninsula containing the largest remaining lowland rain forest on the Java plain, as well as the Natural Reserve of Krakatoa, which you see in the afternoon. Ashore a briefing is given by the manager of the park rangers before hiking across Peucang Island. Birders look for Asian pied hornbill, Caspian and bridled terns, as well as white-bellied sea eagles, tiger shrikes, Sunda minivets, and Javan kingfisher, but hundreds of barking deer are found in the dense tropical forest, along with macaques, monitor lizards, and wild boars. At the end of the walk there is free time to swim or snorkel.

Over lunch Silver Discoverer heads into the Sunda Strait to reach the area of one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in historical times. During the afternoon land on Anak Krakatoa, a volcano that rose above sea level in 1930 where Krakatoa originally stood and has grown continuously since the 1950s. As it is an active volcano it very much depends on how active the volcano is if and where you land on its black sand beaches that are littered with pumices. The active fumaroles, old and new lava flows, the beautifully colored rocks, and the volcano itself are stunning. To land on Anak Krakatoa and walk the beach is unforgettable.

Day 11 Cruising the Java Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the way to your next destination navigate along Java’s north coast, leaving Jakarta on starboard. While cruising the Java Sea either use your time to go through and edit your many photos, or take the opportunity to attend informative lectures about the many cultural and natural history highlights of Indonesia. Use your time on the outer decks or in the Gym for yoga and stretching exercises, read that book you have wanted to read, enjoy a refreshing drink at the Pool Bar, or simply relax.

Day 12 Sumenep, Madura

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A special dance is performed to welcome you to Sumenep on the island of Madura: the Muangsangkal (literally “throwing unhappiness away”). Visit the Keraton (Palace) Sumenep consisting of a Gate, the old and the new Palace, and the adjacent Sare Park. The museum holds antique weapons, ceremonial tools, and jewelry, as well as some of the uniforms and furniture used by the different kings. Probably the most unusual object is the golden carriage the Queen of England gave the Sumenep King. Built one year later than the Palace, the Great Mosque shows the influence of Islamic, Chinese and European style, making this building unique, specifically with its beautiful gate.

The island is also known and even famous for its carvings, kris production, and textiles: Madura batik has different characteristics compared to Java’s, especially in its color selection. Madura Batik has usually clear and strong colors (red, green and yellow) with birds, flowers and dragons as the motif. Madura is also known for its bull racing, which is usually done on an annual basis. Originating with the ploughing of fields using bulls, a competition started to see who had the strongest animals. Today these bulls are kept for prestige and are extremely well-looked-after. A variety of special fodder is prepared: apart from corn, bean and soybean leaves and good grass, a mixture of traditional spices (crushed ginger, pepper, chilli, and honey), even beer and eggs are believed to strengthen the bulls.

Day 13 Probolinggo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arriving in Probolingo at night, disembark very early in the morning for a sunrise hike to Mount Bromo, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. Semeru and Bromo are active volcanos, with Semeru active on a periodical and reliable schedule (about every 20 minutes). The eerie landscape of the park has nurtured legends and myths and the Tengger people believe that a prince sacrificed his life for his family at Mount Bromo. In a somewhat more humane way the people here appease the Gods once a year during the annual Kasada festival where offerings of vegetables, chickens, and money are thrown into the crater of the volcano.

At 2392 meters, Mt Bromo is not among Indonesia’s tallest mountains but its beauty lies in its incredible setting. Mt Bromo sits in the Tengger caldera, surrounded by the “Sea of Sand”. Sulphurous smoke rises from Mount Bromo while Mt Semeru is smoking in the distance. Walking is the best way to experience Mount Bromo but you can take ponies across the Sea of Sand to the bottom of the steep stairs (200 steps) that lead to the crater. At the base of Mount Bromo and amidst the Sea of Sand is the Poten, a Tenggerese Hindu temple. Before returning to Silver Discoverer have lunch at Bromo Restaurant from where you have a last look at Mount Bromo in the distance. Once back on board, your Videographer/Photographer presents his/her Voyage-DVD, showing the many interesting and captivating moments of the voyage.

Day 14 Benoa, Bali | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer in Bali. Bali really is as alluring as everyone says. This island, slightly bigger than Delaware, has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities.

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Please note: Fares are capacity controlled, and subject to change at any time without notice. All prices are in US dollars, cruise-only per person based on double occupancy.

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) 
  • Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
  • Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac®
  • Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions
  • Personalized service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
  • Fine dining even in the most remote places of the planet
  • Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
  • Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits, and soft drinks throughout the ship
  • One hour free WIFI per day for all guests. Unlimited free WIFI for guests sailing on select suite categories.
  • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
 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
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Liz B

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