In the Wake of the Bounty
15 days with Silversea Rating:
Day 1 — Easter Island, Chile
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting Silversea Expedition — “In the Wake of the Bounty”.
Once you have settled in and before Silver Explorer leaves Hanga Roa, you will attend a mandatory safety drill. During a special sail away party watch as the island’s moai slowly disappear from our view.
This evening enjoy the delights of The Restaurant with the last views of Easter Island as it disappears on the horizon.
Days 2-3 — At Sea
These two days will offer you relaxation after the long voyage to Easter Island. Gather in The Theatre for staff introductions and briefings on Zodiac safety. The members of the Expedition Team, all knowledgeable experts in their various scientific fields, will present lectures about the rarely visited islands and archipelagoes that we will visit. Topics will include botany, anthropology and ornithology, and prepare you for the adventures to come. As our voyage follows to a certain degree the route of HMS Bounty, our Historian will also describe how our itinerary is connected to the famous breadfruit-expedition of William Bligh and Fletcher Christian.
Other onboard diversions may include photographic workshops, Spa treatments, and a workout in the Fitness Centre.
Day 4 — Ducie Atoll, Pitcairn Islands, UK
Ducie, a small isolated atoll, is the easternmost of the Pitcairn Islands. A mere speck in the surrounding expanse of ocean, uninhabited except for thousands of nesting seabirds that reside among the two plant species (beach heliotrope and at least one specimen of Pemphis) that grow over seventy percent of the island. Bird species we should be able see include Murphy's Petrels, Common White Terns, Great Frigatebirds and Masked Boobies. Few have ever snorkelled on top of the remains of the Acadia, wrecked in 1881, or in the atoll’s lagoon waters. If conditions permit, this will surely be a highlight of the voyage.
Day 5 — Henderson, Pitcairn Islands, UK
We intend to go ashore on this remote and uninhabited raised coral island on its northern shore. Although inhabited by Polynesians a few hundred years ago, Henderson’s isolation has led to its primary attraction: four endemic land birds. The onboard Ornithologist would like to lead a guided nature walk, hoping to spot the flightless Henderson Rail, Stephen’s (or Henderson) Lorikeet, the Henderson Fruit-dove, and the Henderson Reed Warbler. The island is also known to have ten endemic species of plant life. To protect the rare, natural state of Henderson Island, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1988.
If conditions permit, snorkelling off anchored Zodiacs will be offered.
Day 6 — Pitcairn Island, Pitcairn Islands, UK
Halfway between Peru and New Zealand, Pitcairn was the perfect hiding spot for the famed HMS Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives. Not only had the island been misplaced on early maps of the region, but it can also be very difficult to come ashore as large breakers tend to build up just in front of the small harbour of Bounty Bay. Depending on the sea conditions, we will either go ashore by Zodiac, or will have the privilege to use one of Pitcairn’s longboats.
Our goal is to visit with the islanders, descendants of the Bounty crew, and get a sense of their daily lives, far removed from the rest of the world. Listen to their distinct dialect, a combination of 18th-century English and Tahitian, and explore the island, either on your own or accompanied by one of our experts. We plan to visit the museum, the cemetery, the school and will hike towards Fletcher Christian’s cave. Birders should be on the lookout for the endemic Pitcairn Reed Warbler, while stamp collectors will certainly want to purchase a few of the coveted Pitcairn Island stamps to keep as reminders of their visit to this remote island. Pitcairn Island cook books, hand-carved replicas of the Bounty, walking canes, and other souvenirs will be set up at Adamstown’s meeting ground next to the church and post office.
Day 7 — Oeno, Pitcairn Islands, UK
Located 120 kilometres northwest of Pitcairn, Oeno is a beautiful low-lying island rarely visited. Oeno used to be the island Pitcairn Islanders went to on their ‘holidays’. The little island is surrounded by white sandy beaches inside a lagoon. A sand bar, which is constantly undergoing change, is currently unattached to the island. The island is home to a number of seabirds -such as Murphy's Petrels, Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies.
Access to the island is quite limited, as the currents close to the channel leading to the island can be quite strong and one has to carefully navigate around the many coral heads.
Day 8 — Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia
Mangareva is the main island of the Gambier Islands and together with Taravai, Akamaru, Aukena and several smaller islands is the visible part of an old volcano.
Before the large lagoon had been used for black pearl farming, local divers brought up black-lip pearl oysters for their mother-of-pearl and used them for trade. Mangareva is known as the cradle of Catholicism in French Polynesia and in the mid-19th century St. Michael’s Cathedral was built using large amounts of mother-of-pearl shells to decorate the altar. The building has recently been renovated and to see the workmanship of the locals we will visit the church. The church is still involved in teaching students how to engrave mother-of-pearl shells and we intend to visit their workshop.
If possible, we will visit a pearl farm and can swim and snorkel in the lagoon.
Days 9-10 — At Sea
As the Silver Explorer travels towards the Austral Islands, we will learn about the residents of these remote islands –not only humans, but also plants and animals.
When not attending a lecture or relaxing on the Sun Deck, get help from the onboard Photographer during a workshop or contemplate the wide expanse of the South Pacific while Silver Explorer will sail in a westerly direction to reach Raivavae.
Day 11 — Raivavae, Austral Islands, French Polynesia
Our first stop in the Austral Islands has been described as a small and laid-back version of Bora Bora –without the tourists. We will land on Raivavae’s north shore to semi-circumnavigate the island by local bus. A stop will be made at a marae where one of the few tiki carved on Raivavae can still be seen in a private garden. Once past the airport –which had to be built in the lagoon because there was not enough flat space on land- we will come to meet our Zodiacs again on the southeast side to be transferred across the lagoon to Motu Vaiamanu. This is the typical South Sea paradise one expects: crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, pandanus and coconut palm trees, with reef fish for snorkelers to enjoy and tropicbirds, reef herons, noddies and the occasional shorebird for our birders. If you just want to relax on the beach listen to the local musicians and taste some of the local delicacies prepared for you.
Day 12 — Tubuai
Tubuai is the administrative centre for the Austral Islands, but is probably best-known for the role it played in the selection of a home for the Bounty mutineers before they finally landed on Pitcairn. We will get to see where the mutineers’ settlement Fort George was meant to be built –only impressions of the moat are still visible- and will see two of the important marae (ancient ceremonial sites).
If you want some exercise, a guided walk of some 7km will cross the island and even a strenuous hike to the top of the island (some 422 metres above sea level) could be done if it has not rained.
Day 13 — At Sea
Join our experts in The Theatre for the final fascinating lectures about French Polynesia and attend a briefing on the variety of activities that will be on offer while in Bora Bora and other important information needed to make the most of your time ashore.
Join our Videographer to view the video presentation of our journey so far. Tonight the Captain would like to invite you to his Farewell Cocktail Reception and the Restaurant Manager and Executive Chef have prepared a special Farewell Dinner.
Day 14 — Bora Bora, Society Islands
No superlatives can adequately describe the spectacular beauty of Bora Bora's emerald-green hills and tranquil sapphire-blue lagoons. Silver Explorer will enter the narrow channel into the lagoon at dawn. Be out on deck to watch the sun rise behind Mount Pahia and Otemanu and look for dolphins playing at the entrance to the lagoon.
Select from a variety of excursions and activities today. Enjoy a leisurely, open-air ‘le truck’ tour of Bora Bora’s highlights: ancient marae stone temples, the Faanui Protestant Church, scenic lookout points with spectacular vistas of the lagoon and distant islands, old WWII remnants and popular Matira Beach. Sample local fruits and watch a pareo (sarong) demonstration before returning to the ship.
Alternatively, climb into a specially designed, open-air, off-road vehicle, to circle the island and visit some of its most dramatic sites that are only accessible by four-wheel drive. Veer inland following a trail that leads up the mountain to an amazing 360-degree panorama. From this height, you can view Bora Bora’s breathtaking multi-coloured lagoon. See canons remaining from the American’s presence during WWII.
Optional flight excursion:
Perhaps the most spectacular way to see Bora Bora is from the air on a helicopter flyover. This optional flight aboard a 5-seat “Squirrel” helicopter circles the island for spectacular views of the lagoon fringed with white sandy beaches and a network of smaller islets.
If you would like to see Bora Bora’s underwater world, a snorkel safari permits you to swim with rays and with reef sharks.
Day 15 —Papeete, French Polynesia
After breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
All This Included
Accompany us on a journey that reverses part of the odyssey of the mutineers of the Bounty. Beginning with the magnetic pull of Easter Island, see all four of the Pitcairn Islands before heading over to the Gambier and Austral Islands, Bora Bora and Tahiti. Birders will love the opportunity to see rare endemics and as well as large seabird colonies, while snorkellers will relish a chance to see what is hidden to most.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Discoverer
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