I travelled with Emirates – Service & connections were excellent as always.
We had an arrival transfer booked through Silversea in Colombo. I would recommend this as Colombo Airport isn’t really a spot to walk outside & jump in a taxi. The Port wasn’t far away however, due to traffic conditions took over an hour. It was all very seamless & they were in constant communication with the ship.
On arrival we checked in immediately on the “Discoverer Ship” without any delays & were greeted with glasses of champagne & shown around. It was all very quick & easy.
The Discoverer Ship is a small expedition, yacht-type cruise ship with a 116 guest capacity & about the same again for the crew. The smaller numbers made it great & everyone socialized & mixed. Service is impeccable from all staff & crew & you even have your own butler! It’s more casual than some of the other Silversea product. I would class the itinerary soft adventure as you are active all the time, snorkeling & walking & all the landings are by zodiacs which are pretty rough at times, We got soaked on almost every one! (it was fun!)
Dining is excellent – there are 3 options which was more than enough. Main dining room had a different 5 course degustation menu every night. For more casual there is hot rocks where you cook your own meat on hot granite stone & of course there is room service. All divine!
All the rooms types are very nicely appointed in the same classic style. We had a picture window which was great, but the ones staying on deck 3 with a porthole – during rough seas & the major crossings we did, the portholes are closed up which then turns those cabins into inside cabins.
The expedition team of 11 on board are incredible group of experts, expedition leaders, marine biologists, historians & Naturalists. They coordinate the shore excursions, operate the zodiacs, are with you on the shore, implement last minute changes to excursions with ever changing weather conditions. They give a recap every night over a beverage on what we have seen that day & what’s on the agenda the next day. They are all very friendly & I learnt a lot more about nature, bugs & rocks than I thought. Everything is very well organized & you are very well informed.
The itinerary had no time in Colombo, If you have time I would recommend to do a few nights pre.
Day 2: Galle – We visited Tea Plantation, Had seafood lunch at Unawatuna Beach Resort, Walking tour around Galle showing a lot of Dutch architecture, Tuk Tuk ride. The Forte has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site & is surrounded by sea on 3 sides.
Day 3: Hambantota – This was a 4am start to have the day in Lunugamvehera National Park on safari. We did not see the allusive Leopard but we were lucky enough to see Elephant, lots of Peacocks & other wildlife.
Day 5: Uligamu Island – After a full day at sea we arrive at one of the most northern inhabited islands of the Maldives. We are greeted with traditional village dancing & stunning blue water, a walking tour around the town & the first of many swims.
Day 6 – 11: is spent jumping from Island to Island making our way south. Generally stopping for 3 hours in the morning for swimming & snorkeling & moving to the next while we are back on board having lunch & then stopping for the afternoon of more exploring, swimming & more snorkeling. Lots of great sea life to be seen but the coral is quite bleached & reef shoes are a must!
Male was great, a lot bigger/busier than I thought. We did a walking tour around the city taking in Mosques, fish market & local produce market & a bit of shopping. Is a very busy little hub. 3.5 days at sea to cross over to the Seychelles. There are numerous lectures on, the gym is small but good, a day spa, cooking demos & lots of drinking cocktails & playing cards.
Day 12: We spent the day on La Digue Island. It’s known to be one of the prettiest islands in the Seychelles. No cars! everyone is on foot or bikes. We spent the day exploring the island by push bike which was so fun. La Dique is loaded with so much personality, lots of Creole vibes, coconut factory, Vanilla Plantation, Giant tortoises & lots of lush green vegetation. The beaches were incredible, soft powder white with the gorgeous turquoise water surrounded by granite boulders all over the island & they are very dramatic. We found lots of little beach hut shops & bars all over.
Day 13: 2 more island hopping stops for swimming, snorkeling & exploring Day 14: we disembark at about 9am & out flight wasn’t till very late that evening.
Silversea organized a day trip for 7 of us to explore the highlights of Mahe for the day. Such a gorgeous part of the world, visited local market, botanical gardens, Rum factory & lots more Euros & USD are accepted throughout Maldives & Seychelles – however both spots are incredibly expensive. For a holiday All-inclusive would be the only way to go.
On the way home – we had a 22 hour stopover in Dubai, due to the connections. We stayed at the Rove downtown which was very good, hip little hotel & conveniently located across the road from the Dubai Mall. We did the Dessert Safari dinner which was fantastic & lots of fun. I can see why all our clients enjoy this.
This was an awesome trip! We met some fantastic people & saw some incredible parts of the world. Silversea has an excellent product which I would highly recommend.