The Kimberley & Lesser Sundas
Benoa to Broome
March 26, 2017

Overview:

Begin with a journey to rarely visited islands of Indonesia to witness ancient ceremonies of megalithic cultures. Then continue on to thundering waterfalls, plunging gorges, Aboriginal rock art, a plethora of wildlife and fewer people per square mile than almost any other place on earth — The Kimberley is one of Australia’s hidden treasures. This vast area in North West Australia is three times the size of England and three-fifths the size of Texas — and much of it is accessible only by boat. Cruise by Zodiac through an untamed wilderness, spotting extraordinary wildlife, experiencing thundering waterfalls and marvelling at ancient rock paintings. Explore narrow channels, searching for eagles and ospreys in the mangroves and mud flats, and keeping an eye out for saltwater crocodiles. Aboard Silver Discoverer.

**There is an option to do a helicopter excursion to Mitchell Falls from Naturalist Island- please enquire ahead of time, as seats might be limited.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1: Benoa, Bali Indonesia
Day 2: Kodi, Sumba, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia
Day 3: Loh Liang and Pink Beach, Komodo Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Day 4: Seba, Savu Island, Indonesia
Day 5: Cruising the Timor Sea
Day 6: Wyndham (Bungle Bungle), Kimberley, Western Australia
Day 7-11: Kimberley, Western Australia
Day 12: Broome, Western Australia

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

The Kimberley & Lesser Sundas
Benoa to Broome
March 26, 2017

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
Embark Silver Discoverer for this stunning Silversea Expedition – The Kimberley & Lesser Sundas. This afternoon, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a Zodiac briefing. During the evening we invite you to familiarise 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: Kodi, Sumba, Lesser Sundas, Indonesia
While we will be heading east towards our first island, sleep in, relax after the long journey to board Silver Discoverer, have a leisurely breakfast and attend one of the lectures preparing you for the Indonesian part of our voyage.

Known for its intricate ikat fabric, distinctive architecture and sculptured stone tombs, Sumba has resisted the advances of the modern age. It is therefore a fascinating island to explore, especially West Sumba where ancient tribal rites are best preserved. The Sumba culture revolves around villages where ancestors are worshipped by extended families living in enormous clan houses with high-pitched thatch roofs. The Sumbanese honour the dead by dragging massive stones a great distance to construct mausoleums for the departed.

We will arrive around noon and will take our Zodiacs to go ashore. On our drive in small local busses to visit several villages we will witness a funereal rite ceremony as well as a ‘Pasola’, a fierce martial arts performance on horseback. We will also observe the process of making Indonesia’s famous ikat textiles, and will have the opportunity to purchase ikat directly from the weavers.

Day 3: Loh Liang and Pink Beach, Komodo, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia
Early risers may spot whales cruising the straits as we approach Komodo. Silver Discoverer will anchor close to the National Park Headquarter, where we will land on a floating jetty to reach the starting point of our hike. Walk along a forested pathway to a viewing area for a close inspection of the Komodo dragons. These enormous reptiles weigh up to 300 pounds. The surrounding forest is also home to elegant Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Helmeted Friarbirds, Orange-footed Megapodes, and Javan deer. Each walking group will be accompanied by a ranger and a local companion to make sure a safe distance will be maintained between the dragons and the visitors.

During lunch Silver Discoverer will reposition to the spectacular Pink Beach for an afternoon of snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. You can spot shimmering tropical fish such as the striped clown fish nestled among the protective tentacles of its sea anemone host, or a spotted grouper lazily swimming by a flamboyant sea fan. Apart from the tropical fish at Pink Beach rays have regularly been seen close to the neighbouring island of Pulau Punya.

Day 4: Seba, Savu Island, Indonesia
During the morning you might attend a talk by one of our lecturers. Another option would be to learn more about taking and editing photos, attending a photography seminar.

Shortly before noon we will arrive in front of Savu, a small island about halfway between Timor and Sumba. This little island is one of the most interesting destinations in Nusa Tenggara. The Savunese plant predominantly corn, but derive their staple nutrition from the lontar palm. The nutritious juice of this drought-resistant tree makes possible a relatively high population concentration on Savu’s 461 square kilometres. Approximately 80% of the Savunese are Christian, although animistic beliefs are still important.

The tradition of textile weaving remains strong, with the women still growing the cotton, hand dyeing and weaving on back-strap looms. We will have a traditional village welcome, will see men and women dancing and singing. Both at the beach and in the village we can see the men on horseback, showing off their adorned ponies. We will be treated to a lontar tapping demonstration. The sap of the lontar palm collected before morning can be used as a refreshing drink; it can be concentrated to a crude sugar or treated to become a thick, sweet and sticky palm wine –which we might get to taste.

Day 5: Cruising the Timor Sea
A leisurely day at sea to exchange notes with fellow travellers and take advantage of the luxurious amenities and wellness program offered aboard Silver Discoverer. Attend a lecture, recapping our experience with Indonesian cultures or to prepare you for the fascinating Dreamtime mythology of the Aborigines. You can also just relax in the comfort of your suite and watch a movie on the in-suite interactive television.

Day 6: Wyndham (Bungle Bungle), Kimberley, Western Australia
Wyndham is our gateway to the breath-taking Bungle Bungle mountain range in Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Site. For more than 350 million years, nature has shaped geological formations of giant orange and black striped domes rising out of the ground -a landscape unlike anything you have ever seen. Known to the local aborigines for hundreds of years, the Bungles were only discovered by the outside world in the mid 1980’s.

Today take part in an inclusive overflight for an aerial view of these glorious panoramas, as well as the majestic, man-made Lake Argyle and Argyle Diamond Mine. Alternatively you can take a river cruise on the Ord River, looking for freshwater crocodiles, fruit-bats, short-eared rock wallabies and a variety of birds, including Mangrove Herons and Mangrove Gerygones.

Days 7–11: Kimberley, Western Australia

The Kimberley is famous for having the world’s second largest tidal range after the Bay of Fundy. A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of this natural phenomenon. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on tide, weather and sea conditions. Here are some of the places we may visit during our time in this wondrous region:

Nares Point & Crocodile Creek, Kimberley, Western Australia

Nares Point is a long finger of sandstone protruding from the mainland alongside Koolan Island. With its convoluted photogenic rock formations, this is a superb location for Zodiac exploration and beach walks with our naturalists. In nearby Crocodile Creek—free of crocodiles despite its name—take a refreshing swim in the cool natural pool to relax and beat the Kimberley heat.

Talbot Bay (Horizontal Falls), Buccaneer Archipelago, Kimberley, Western Australia

The British naturalist David Attenborough described Horizontal Falls as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”. This group of over 800 islands was created millions of years ago by the erosive tidal changes and the region’s tides of close to 36 feet (or nearly 11 metres) create an amazing spectacle. Depending on whether the tides are ebbing or flowing, we board our Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls which are actually part of the mainland. Then continue deeper into the sandstone gorge of Cyclone Creek, and explore geological formations that were created over the last two billion years.

Montgomery Reef, Kimberley, Western Australia

Montgomery Reef is over 400 square kilometres (154 square miles) in size, and we are there to observe the amazing tidal changes that take place here. Timing of the tides is everything today; low tide reveals up to 13 feet (4 m) of reef exposing a river that allows access to this amazing semi-submerged world. As the tide continues to ebb, we use our Zodiacs to make our way to the edge of the reef where we are surrounded by cascading waterfalls up to 10 feet high (3 m), and continue up the river as we look at the abundance of reef birds and every imaginable sea creature including turtles, manta rays and if we are lucky the elusive dugong. A visit to Montgomery Reef is extremely tide-dependent but truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Raft Point, Kimberley, Western Australia

At the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, the world saw an enormous Wandjina spirit rising out of the ground. It was a breath-taking moment, and for most people, their very first encounter with Aboriginal mythology. The image was actually that of an 114‐foot sculpture (35 m) created by an artist who lives at Raft Point, home to indigenous Wandjina paintings. We Zodiac ashore and set out towards the top of Raft Point. Our hike takes us through the abundant Kimberley flora including the iconic boab tree, also known by the local Aboriginals as the “upside down tree”. Upon reaching the top of Raft Point, enjoy the spectacular views of the bay in the shade of the overhanging cliff, which is home to the Wandjina Spirit and many other Dreamtime stories and images representing daily aboriginal life. Take a seat, or lie on your back and take in the Wandjina Spirit and listen to the dreamtime stories associated with this extremely important Aboriginal spirit.

Hunter River, Kimberley, Western Australia

The Hunter River is home to an immense mangrove system that dates back over 2 billion years. Be sure to look for the image of the Indian Head in the soaring red sandstone cliffs as we set out in Zodiacs to explore the narrow mangrove channels, watching for numerous bird species and keeping an eye out for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the most aggressive crocodile known to man. We will also look for the Ospreys that are known to nest here.

For those wishing to explore some of the Kimberley’s vast interior, your on board Silversea Expeditions team can arrange an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion to the famous Mitchell Falls where four tiers of waterfalls plunge into deep pools that flow out into the Mitchell River.

Jar Island, Vansittart Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia

After landing on Jar Island by Zodiac we go for a walk to the outdoor gallery of Bradshaw Art (also known as Gwion Art), one of the three distinctive styles of rock art in the Kimberley region. Bradshaw Art has raised more questions than answers as to who painted these figures and where the artists have come from. We will listen to the theories and interpretations of our own experts as we admire these very delicate and intricate pictographs.

King George River & Falls, Kimberley, Western Australia

The King George Falls is one of the Kimberley’s most magnificent natural wonders. At 260 feet (80 m), the twin cascades are among the highest in Australia. We drop anchor at the mouth of the river and ride Zodiacs up this waterway, weaving through an amazing landscape of near vertical red rock formations and a parade of wildlife — carnivorous saltwater crocodiles, amazing birdlife including giant raptors and the Brahminy Kite. Arriving at the falls, we can cruise quite close to the base to contemplate the immensity of this thundering spectacle. A truly humbling experience.

Day 12: Broome, Western Australia
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

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.

ARE YOU A CERTIFIED DIVER?

This voyage features an optional Dive Program that visits several different dive sites throughout the itinerary. If you wish to participate in scuba diving excursions, here’s what you need to know.

You must:
•Be an advanced scuba diver.
•Be fully certified.
•Provide proof before embarking the Silver Discoverer.
•Have medical dive travel insurance.
•Bring your own gear like Scuba BCDs and regulators (we will provide weight belts
and tanks).

Snorkeling is available for non-divers. The Dive Program has limited participation. Kindly contact Silversea Reservations for additional requirements and further information.

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

SS-SD2017

The Kimberley & Lesser Sundas
Benoa to Broome
March 26, 2017

Rates:

Starting at Approx. $9,150 per person sharing

Please contact Expedition Easy for details and available cabin rates.

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Included:

– 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
– 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
– Onboard Gratuities
– Exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society

Not Included:

Airfare; optional hotel accommodation; transfers and luggage handling; fuel surcharges; optional shore excursions; meals ashore; accommodation while ashore; security surcharges; items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa treatments or purchases from the ship boutiques. Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare.

Deposit & Payments

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

Reservations

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

March 26, 2017