Islands of the Indian Ocean: Singapore to the Seychelles

from £12008
excluding flights *
25 nights Jan

Overview

Set sail from Singapore across the Indian Ocean, via the fascinating and varied islands of Sumatra, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Seychelles. Discover a rich cultural history and enjoy spellbinding wildlife experiences on this immersive small ship expedition cruise. From close encounters with elephants and giant tortoises, to the chance to try local cuisines, dive at pristine coral reefs and explore deserted beaches and deep forests, every day will bring a new adventure.

Highlights

  • Visit the bustling Malaysian cities of Melaka and Penang
  • Spot elephants and leopards on safari in Sri Lanka
  • Visit a Sri Lankan tea plantation and wander through the Galle Fort
  • Dive or snorkel off remote atolls in the beautiful Maldives
  • Marvel at a Coco de Mer palm forest on Praslin, Seychelles
  • Explore the pristine Anse Source d’Argent beach on the spectacular Seychelles island of La Digue
  • Meet the giant tortoises of the Seychelles

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Selected alcoholic & non-alcholic beverages with meals
  • Shore landings and cruises by Xplorer expedition vessel & Zodiacs
  • Kayaking excursions
  • Experienced guides on board
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Your cruise begins with a leisurely exploration of the Malaysian coast, stopping at Melaka and the island of Penang to discover historic sites and a multicultural melting pot that’s evident in the region’s cuisine. Continue to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Sabang for an introduction to the unique and intriguing Saman Dance, designated by UNESCO as in need of safeguarding for future generations. Indonesia also offers geothermal wonders and the chance to snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters of Pulau Weh.

Next stop is exotic and colourful Sri Lanka, where an overnight stay ashore in Yala National Park offers the chance to encounter elephants, leopards and crocodiles in the wild. Uncover Portuguese and Dutch history at Fort Galle before continuing your cruise to the incredible aquatic landscape of the Maldives, home to a wealth of marine wildlife. Enjoy some remarkable snorkelling, diving or kayaking experiences here before heading on to your final destination, the Seychelles. Explore the Seychelles’ beautiful northernmost islands, revealing a wealth of birdlife, giant tortoises, unique rock formations, and a fascinating history.

Your onboard expedition team will be on hand throughout the voyage, sharing their knowledge and enhancing your experience with the chance to enjoy a greater understanding of the wildlife, landscapes and cultures around you.

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Prices & Dates

2021 Departures - Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Prices from (pp)
06 Jan 2021 26 days Coral Geographer £12,008

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • House beer and wine with lunch and dinner
  • Welcome and farewell drinks
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All excursions and transfers by Xplorer expedition vessel & Zodiacs
  • Kayaking excursions
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • Entry fees to marine and national parks
  • Port fees and taxes
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Embarkation in Singapore

Enjoy a relaxed morning exploring Singapore before boarding early afternoon. After a delicious afternoon tea the ship will pull out of the harbour, leaving behind the lights of the Singapore skyline.

Day 2: Melaka, Malaysia

Kota Melaka, or Malacca City, has a long and illustrious history of trade and influence due to its significant location on the Strait of Malacca – one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. Colonial influences, a long and rich history, and the peaceful coexistence of many different peoples make Malacca a fascinating destination.

Day 3: Penang, Malaysia

Follow the scenic coast of Malaysia north, enjoying lectures on the history and culture of the region. This evening arrive at the lively city of Georgetown, on the island of Penang. Georgetown is famous for its fascinating blend of colonial, Indian, Malay and Chinese culture and food, and tonight there will be a chance to soak up this lively atmosphere over a traditional dinner ashore.

Day 4: Penang, Malaysia

Wander through the architectural heritage of Georgetown, with its spectacular Chinese temples and guildhalls. The city has a sense of being frozen in time, with the historical centre home to 12,000 year old buildings which have earned Georgetown the status of UNESCO World Heritage site. Incredible street art and street food provide add to the mix to provide a feast for the senses.

Day 5: At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea en route for Indonesia.

Day 6: Sabang, Indonesia

Sabang is the most westerly part of Indonesia, and lies in an important location at the entrance to the Malacca Strait. Dutch colonial buildings dot this sleepy little city, and the small group of islands is known for its picturesque beaches and prolific marine life. Ride a becak (rickshaw) from the harbour to see heritage architecture and enjoy a performance by the local children. You will also have time to visit the geothermal Jaboi Valley, with its otherworldly bubbling pools and pervading smell of sulphur, and to explore the amazing dive sites around Pulau Weh, where schools of fish flock around coral walls in crystal clear water.

Day 7: Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Banda Aceh was sadly hit hard by the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004, as detailed in the thought-provoking museum and memorial park. After paying your respects, tour the Grand Mosque, taste some traditional cooking and enjoy a display of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Practice of the Saman Dance.

Days 8-11: At Sea, Indian Ocean

Continuing west across the Indian Ocean towards Sri Lanka you can take in some informative lectures, join a cooking demonstration, or simply relax on deck.

Day 11: Hambantota, Sri Lanka

Arrive in Sri Lanka, where you will explore small villages en route to Yala National Park. Here you will take part in a an unforgettable dusk safari experience with the chance to spot wild elephants and perhaps elusive leopards, before enjoying an elaborate Sri Lankan feast. You will spend the night in a wilderness resort on the edge of the national park.

Day 12: Galle, Sri Lanka

Continue overland to Galle, through the scenic landscape of southern Sri Lanka. Along the way, enjoy stops at pristine beaches, a village market, and one of Sri Lanka’s iconic tea plantations. Explore the city of Galle and its historic 16th century fort before reboarding the ship in time for dinner.

Day 13: Galle, Sri Lanka

There will be further time to explore Galle and the surrounding area this morning – take a guided tour, visit the temple, cycle through paddy fields or perhaps try your hand at making traditional Sri Lankan curry. This afternoon you will depart Sri Lanka for the Maldives.

Day 14: At Sea

Relax on board while we steam towards our next destination. Listen to lectures from our expert team and reflect on your experiences.

Day 15: Kulhudhuffushi, Maldives

Today you will have the opportunity to explore the exquisite coral atolls that comprise the nation of the Maldives. From the dazzling white sand beaches of a stunning atoll island you can snorkel over underwater coral gardens, stroll under the palm trees, and meet the kind and courteous Maldivian locals.

Day 16: Hanifaru Bay & Olhugiri, Baa Atoll, Maldives

Enjoy a morning swim at Hanifaru Bay, a protected reserve renowned for its marine life. Later continue to the island of Olhugiri where you may encounter breeding red-billed tropicbirds and nesting turtles.

Day 17: Maalhaveli, Meemu Atoll, Maldives

Explore Meemu Atoll and the uninhabited island of Maalhaveli today. This atoll is home to rich marine bio-diversity, best encountered on a diving or snorkelling expedition. Enjoy wall and drift dives over colourful reefs, with the opportunity to spot fish, manta rays and reef sharks.

Day 18: Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll, Maldives

Spend an afternoon in Hithadhoo, Addu Atoll - explore the city, shop for souvenirs and enjoy Maldivian cuisine before reboarding the ship and setting sail for the Seychelles.

Days 19-22: At Sea

As your journey continues from the Maldives to the Seychelles keep your eyes peeled for marine wildlife.

Day 23: Praslin, Seychelles

Head ashore and follow the scenic coastal road through quaint fishing villages and dense forest to the UNESCO World Heritage Vallee de Mai Nature Reserves. Here you will find an immense forest of over 6000 Coco de Mer palms, with their enormous fan-shaped fronds and famously suggestive double-coconut seeds. Later relax at the coast with time for a swim or a walk at the Cote d’Or.

Day 24: La Digue, Seychelles

Awake to the amazing sight of La Digue. This is the most well-known island of the Seychelles, famed for its spectacular rock formations and huge granite boulders. Head ashore to visit L’Union estate, a former coconut and vanilla plantation which provides an interesting insight into the colonial history of the island. Encounter giant tortoises, enjoy strolling around the grounds of the majestic plantation house, and spend time relaxing on the beautiful beach of Anse Source d’Argent. Later visit Curieuse Island. This island has a tragic history, having been home to a leper colony, and still bears the marks of a 1771 fire. Today, giant tortoises roam freely here and the Seychelles black parrot can be spotted amongst the protected Coco de Mer trees.

Day 25: Aride, Seychelles

Aride is the northernmost island of the Seychelles, and is home to some of the most important seabird populations in the Indian Ocean. With eighteen species of native bird, including the world’s largest colonies of lesser noddy and tropical shearwater, the island provides fantastic birdwatching opportunities. Enjoy a nature walk along the beach, looking out for sooty terns, roseate terns, red-tailed tropicbird, frigatebirds, brown noddy, white tern and wedge-tailed shearwater.

Day 26: Disembarkation in Mahe, Seychelles

After a final breakfast on board it’s time to say farewell to your expedition team and fellow-travellers, as you disembark in Mahe.

Notes

All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on wildlife sightings and weather/sea conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential!

Coral Geographer

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

The Coral Geographer has been designed specifically for expedition-style cruising, getting closer to nature with a warm and professional Australian service.

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