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From the Untouched Lakshadweep Islands to Colourful Bollywood

13 days with Silversea   Rating: Deluxe

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Day 1 — Male, Maldives
Embark Silver Discoverer this afternoon and depart on your exciting 12-day Silversea Expedition –“From the Untouched Lakshadweep Islands to Colourful Bollywood”. After a mandatory safety drill head out onto the Pool Deck for a ‘Sail Away’ party.
Later during the afternoon, the Expedition Team and important crew members will be introduced.
In the evening enjoy the first of many fine dining experiences in The Restaurant and relax in the Discoverer Lounge or on the open decks.

Day 2 — Uligamu, Maldives
The Maldives are made up of 1190 islands, of which 200 are inhabited, and during the morning Silver Discoverer will head for Uligamu, one of the northernmost inhabited islands of Haa Alif Atoll and the Maldives. Based on its location the island is visited by many yachts on their way into or out of the Arabian Sea.
Our Expedition Staff will start the lecture series during the morning, preparing you for the underwater world we will encounter during the next few days in the Maldives and Lakshadweep Islands.
We will disembark after lunch, and while you might want to have a look at the small community of some 300 inhabitants, our Marine Biologist will be looking for the perfect snorkelling spot southwest of the village.
The island has been selected as the first in the Maldives to use a combination of renewable energies via wind turbines and solar panels in a micro grid, hoping to help the island through more efficient and non-pollutant energy distribution.
South of the village is a nice beach and offshore are some good snorkelling sites where damselfish, rabbitfish, surgeonfish, angelfish, butterfly fish and chromis can easily be seen. Hawksbill turtles and even manta rays were present during earlier visits.

Day 3 — Minicoy, Lakshadweep Islands, India
Largely unexplored and unknown, both above and below the water, the Lakshadweep Sea is home to 36 little islands, one of the most spectacular tropical island systems. Most of the islands are inhabited only by birds and hermit crabs. The precious heritage of the Lakshadweep’s ecology and culture is supported by an extremely fragile ecosystem.

The southernmost island of the group in the Lakshadweep, Minicoy, is geographically isolated from other islands. The culture here is a mix of Maldivian and South Indian. Minicoy is about 10.6 km long and is the second largest island in the Lakshadweep Group and is almost completely covered with coconut palms.

Not only will Minicoy be our entrance point to India, this visit can be used to explore the island with its many coconut palm trees and nice beaches. The island itself is the southern part of a tear-shaped atoll. In the unspoiled waters of the lagoon, living coral reefs of vibrant blue, green, and yellow ring the island and are home to many colourful reef fish, from lionfish to angelfish to butterfly fish. In the clear blue water, you will see a spectacular display of ocean life, including squid, octopi, sea cucumbers, rays, crabs, and even green or hawksbill turtles. Several shipwrecks in the area initiated construction of a lighthouse in 1885. These wrecks are virtual underwater museums and fish species found here are said to be larger than average normal size found elsewhere.

Day 4 — Suheli Island, Lakshadweep Islands, India
Today Silver Discoverer will reach another of the rarely visited atolls of the Lakshadweep Islands. The atoll has three little islands at the northern, eastern and southwestern corner of the reef.
Our Marine Biologists will be looking for the perfect snorkelling site and our other experts will be there to help you ashore, conditions permitting. Ashore we hope to offer activities such as walks along the beach, beachcombing, looking for birds or explaining the local botany.

Day 5 — Thinnakara Island, Lakshadweep Islands, India
North of Suheli are Thinnakara Island and Bangaram Island -both share a vast lagoon and coralline banks. The actual lagoon area amounts to 125 square kms.
Thinnakara is a tiny almond shaped island within the magnificent lagoon. The sun-drenched beaches and the swaying palms form a perfect backdrop to the spectacular marine flora and fauna. The shallow lagoon with crystal clear water, the coral reef and blue lagoon invite to spend the morning in the water, swimming or snorkelling, discovering graceful schools of fish in the water, or looking ashore for hermit crabs on the beach and seabirds in the lush coconut groves.

Days 6-7 — Cochin India
Have a leisurely breakfast and attend a pertinent lecture presentation about one of the many facets of India while we approach the state of Kerala and southern India’s port of Cochin. Because of the location between China and Europe and the spice trade the port and town with the easy access to the sea used to be called “Queen of the Arabian Sea”.

Around mid-day, we expect to be welcomed with a traditional Kerala shinkari melam, a group of musicians playing traditional instruments.

We will use the afternoon and the following day to get a better insight into this port and the surrounding area and will drive through one of India’s most beautiful and tranquil landscapes to visit Alleppey, the “City of Canals” or “Venice of the East”, located south of Cochin between the Arabian Sea and Lake Vembanad, India’s longest lake.

Alleppey’s port was opened to foreign trade by the British in the late 18th century to end the Dutch commercial supremacy in Cochin. Today prawn farming and coconuts form the basis for the city’s economy. We will board a houseboat and cruise the river, lake and canals, collectively known as “the Backwaters”, and have a look at old colonial warehouses and typical thatched local homes. Brilliant green paddy fields where farming is done below sea level, will give way to views of village life and glimpses of churches, mosques and temples.

While we cruise the “Backwaters”, a typical Keralan snack with tea, south Indian coffee and fruit juices will be served.

After the cruise we will reach a special location, beautifully illuminated by hundreds of oil lamps giving it an earthly spiritual feel for an exclusive Mohiniyattam performance that will be done by Keralan women in traditional attire. After this exceptional presentation, you will be treated to a special Syrian Christian dinner, mixing Indian and European influences.

The following morning we will board local cruise boats to reach Fort Cochin. In Cochin we will walk through the Heritage city to see the wonderful array of architectural styles dating back to the Portuguese, British and Dutch periods, before the East India Company took over in 1814. There are Portuguese churches including the oldest Portuguese church in India going back to the year 1503, a Jewish synagogue, as well as mosques and Hindu temples. During the walk we visit the Indo-Portuguese Museum and finally the David Hall Gallery. Here a prominent historian will talk about the history of Cochin and the spice trade, followed by a Kalaripayattu (martial arts) performance.

Following the performance you will be treated to a special Mopilah lunch catered by celebrity chef Mrs. Faiza Moosa. The Mopilah are Muslims from the Malabar region and known for their food. While we are there, Mrs. Moosa will present autographed copies of her cookbooks.

From the gallery you will take local Tuk-Tuks (open 2-seater taxis) to reach the Mattancherry Palace built by the Raja of Kochi. We will visit the Palace, walk to the Jewish Synagogue and Dutch Palace and will have some spare time to wander around Jew Town, looking at souvenir and antique shops before being taken back to Silver Discoverer by local boats.

Day 8 — Beypore, India
Beypore is located in Kozhikode at the mouth of the Chaliyar River. Formerly known as Calicut it was an important centre for Malabar trade in spices and textiles. The shipbuilding yard at Beypore port is famous for its traditional construction of the ‘Uru’ or the Arabian trading vessel. This tradition of shipbuilding is nearly 1,500 years old, and the craftsmanship of the workers here is exceptional.

We will either witness wooden Dhows being built or will proceed to Feroke Tile factory. Feroke is the cradle of the tile industry in Kerala. Then we proceed by coach to the nearby weaving Centre Tasara, a creative and experimental weaving centre where hand weaving and all related textile activities including, dyeing, batik, tie and dye, block and screen printing are taught.
We will continue to Calicut, to a venue for our exclusive use and refreshments followed by a Kalaripayattu performance – the training in the traditional style of combat. The rituals include the worship of certain Hindu gods inside the Kalari, the arena. After the Kalaripayattu performance, treat yourself to another sumptuous Mopilah lunch.
After the lunch, you will be driven to the busiest street in Kozhikode to try a variety of local halwa (sweet meats). Today the street bustles with shops that sell anything and everything including locally famous sweets and banana chips.

Day 9 — At Sea

Silver Discoverer will sail on a northerly course, giving you time to attend a seminar or talk, relax on the outer decks, make use of The Gym or let yourself be pampered in The Spa.
Our experts will want to share information regarding our upcoming port and its Portuguese heritage. Even the name of the largest city in Goa reflects the early European history, honouring Portugal’s most famous explorer Vasco da Gama.

Day 10 — Mormugao (Goa), India
Today we will drive from Mormugao, Goa’s most important harbour, to Velho Goa (“old Goa” in Portuguese) to be able to see the Bom Jesu Basilica and the churches and convent of old Goa which have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Quite close to the Bom Jesu Basilica is the gigantic Se Cathedral built in Portuguese-Gothic style. Its bell –known as the “Golden Bell” for its sound- is said to be one of Goa’s largest.
You could also visit one of Goa’s famous spice farms to see, smell and taste some of the local spices and to find out how black pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, chilies, and coriander look like before consumption or see the landscape and fluvial system from sea level in a kayak.

Day 11 — Murad-Janjira, India
During the late morning, Silver Discoverer will arrive at Murud-Janjira, one of the most unusual old fortifications along India’s coast. This island fortification set on an oval rock just offshore from Rajapuri defended the entrance to Rajapuri Creek. Built in the 17th century and apparently never defeated, it is said to have housed more than 570 cannons at one stage including some of India’s biggest cannons.
We will go ashore to explore the interior of this marine fort, looking at the bastions, cannons, the two freshwater ponds, and the remains of the officers’ quarters, the mosque and the palace.

Day 12 — Mumbai, India
Quite early, Silver Discoverer will go alongside in Mumbai.
There will be several interesting choices for you: see ancient sites relating to Buddhist worship in the Kanheri Caves located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park or the network of the sculpted Elephanta Caves (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) on Elephanta Island, a cave temple complex dedicated to Shiva with magnificent sculptures, including the 7-metre-high masterpiece of Shiva, representing the three aspects of Shiva as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.
You can also look behind the façade of Mumbai’s daily life by visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly the Victoria Terminus), one of India’s busiest train stations built in the Gothic style dating back to 1887-88, travelling with a local train, visiting a local market, or trying some of the world’s best teas in a local tea house in Mumbai. While you do so you are bound to see the dabbawallah delivering meals or perhaps the washers at Dhobi Ghat, considered the world’s largest outdoor laundry.
If you would like to compare American or European film-making with India’s industry, have an in-depth look at one of the Bollywood studios and try your own at dancing with a professional Bollywood dance team.

Day 13 — Mumbai, India
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer. 

All This Included
The subcontinent of India remains a mystery to all – whether you have never been or know it well. The astounding, not to mention outstanding, variety of culture and nature never fail to charm all who fall under her spell. Begin by taking in the untouched Lakshadweep islands as you gather momentum towards colourful Bollywood, this is a voyage that both graceful and spiritual, from the Maldives to Mumbai.
  • 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, parka for polar expeditions
  • Personalised 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
  • Free WIFI* throughout the ship (*One hour free WIFI per day for all guests. Unlimited free WIFI for guests sailing on select suite categories)
  • Onboard Gratuities
  • Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
  • Explore the underwater world of the Lakshadweep Islands
  • Take a local boat through Kerala’s famous Backwater
  • See UNESCO World Heritage sites in Goa and Mumbai
  • Visit Murud-Janjira, one of India’s most unusual marine forts
  • Enjoy different Indian cuisine prepared by renowned chefs
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Discoverer
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • 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, wildlife activity and sea conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Silversea terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.