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Explore the Islands of Indonesia
There are thousands of islands in the nation of Indonesia and with this 15-day Indonesia cruise from Yangon (or Rangoon) in Myanmar (Burma) to Bali, you’ll visit both some that are legendary and others that remain largely off-the-beaten-path, known only be the most intrepid of travelers—like you. You’ll stop at Java, the world’s most populous island, and Sumatra, the world’s fourth largest in area. On other days you’ll call at ports which feel like they have been untouched by time, like India’s South Cinque Island and tropical Nias Island. Your trip will begin in the fabled city of Rangoon and end in the celebrated island paradise of Bali. 

This 15-day journey will take you to atolls long inhabited by fierce headhunters and islands where magic is still an element of daily life. The cultural highlights of this trip are indelible and authentic, as you’ll be setting foot in places where tourism and contemporary civilization have barely made a mark. Natural beauty abounds too and you’ll get to snorkel in blue lagoons as well as springs known as blue holes. 

It’s appropriate that as you follow in the wake of Spanish explorers and the legendary Captain Cook, you’ll be doing so aboard Silver Discoverer. This 120-guest expedition ship will take you to untamed landscapes while offering all the comforts of civilization.
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    Day 1
    Yangon (Rangoon)
    You’ll start your cruise through Indonesia in another country, namely Myanmar or Burma, and its largest city, Yangon (better known to most English-speakers by its former name, Rangoon). The city is an intoxicating mix of traditional Burmese culture and relics from the days of British colonial rule. Presiding over the city is the Shwedagon Pagoda, the golden stupa that dominates the skyline. Today, Yangon stands on the edge of a new era, with the forces of democracy leading to a new openness in this nation that had been isolated for decades.
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    Day 2
    At Sea
    The next day gives you time to bask in life aboard Silver Discoverer. You may want to take advantage of the lecture series covering the natural and human histories of the islands of Asia. The expedition team is comprised of experts from a variety of backgrounds and their entertaining presentations, rich with images and videos gathered over the length of their long careers, typically spark thoughtful discussions. There are also less cerebral activities to choose from: wine tastings, spa treatments, or borrowing a DVD from the library to watch in your suite.
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    Day 3
    Port Blair, Andaman Islands
    Today you’ll call at a portion of India that is little visited by foreigners, or even other Indians, though they were once on one of the world’s most important trade routes connecting the subcontinent and the Far East. They were known to mariners from as early as the seventh century. Among the first Western visitors was Marco Polo, who called here in the 13th century and who wrote of the inhabitants that they were a “hostile people who would kill and eat any outsider that ventured onto the islands.” However, it was later established that cannibalism was not a practice in the islands.
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    Day 4
    South Cinque Island, Andaman Islands
    South Cinque is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the Andaman Islands. A 0.6-mile wide sand bar connects South Cinque to North Cinque Island and the two are sometimes referred to as being a single Cinque Island. The Cinque Island Wildlife Sanctuary is a specially designated National Park Area with many coral bommies fringing the island. South Cinque Island also belongs to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park where more than forty coral species have been recorded in an impressive example of the biodiversity of this region.
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    Day 5
    Sail to Banda Aceh
    Enjoy this day at sea as a perfect opportunity to relax, unwind, and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. Whether that is scanning the horizon for islands and marine life from Silver Discoverer's Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones, or simply working on your tan by the pool, blue sea days are the perfect balance to others spent exploring the ports of Indonesia.
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    Day 6
    Banda Aceh
    Today Silver Discoverer will call at Banda Aceh, the capital of Banda Province with a population of over 200,000 people. The island was severely hit by a tsunami in 2004. Since this tragedy, the community has resurged both in terms of rebuilding its infrastructure, and its culture as well. The Blang Padang Park and Tsunami Museum were constructed as memorials to all the nations that helped Aceh after the earthquake and tsunami. The city was originally built in the late 15th century and was a stop for hajj pilgrims traveling by sea to Mecca. It has been a thriving and strategic port in the Indian Ocean ever since.
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    Day 7
    Simuele Island
    With some of the highest biodiversity of anywhere in the entire Asia-Pacific region, the small island group of Simeulue is as yet unspoiled and undeveloped. Located at the northern tip of Sumatra off the west coast, the islands are part of Aceh province. Several earthquakes have rocked this region in recent years; one in particular is reported to have raised part of the islands about two meters, or six feet, up out of the water. Increasingly the islands are drawing travelers, and especially surfers, interested in exploring this relatively untouched corner of Indonesia. While the islands are increasing in popularity, it is still easy to find quiet beaches and fishing villages where life goes on as it has for centuries.
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    Day 8
    Nias Island
    Nias is a heavily green island with thick tropical forests edging into the settlements along the narrow roads that skirt the coast. The terrain is hilly, green, lush, with frequent steep river valleys draining water from the interior’s highlands, crossed by numerous bridges. From the air and from the ground, the sea around the island can appear murky from the runoff of all the rivers and the fertile soils they run through. Roughly 75 percent of the population is farmers and there are open-air markets selling fresh produce all along the roads.
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    Day 9
    Padang Sumatra
    Padang is part old port town, and part modern capital of West Sumatra. Dutch colonialists traded coffee and spices from the harbor starting in the 17th century. Driving out from Padang one can reach Cupek, a Minangkabau village in Sumatra’s interior. The ancestral homelands of the Minangkabau, devout Muslims, are centered in West Sumatra’s lush highlands and stretch as far as the seashore. They claim the world’s largest matrilineal society and ownership of a family’s property—their homes, rice paddies, and the like—passes from mother to daughter.
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    Day 10
    Sail to Java
    As you make your way towards Java, the world’s most populous island, you’ll pass countless smaller islands. You likely will want to spend part of the day of the deck of the Silver Discoverer, watching the pageant unfold. With a full day, however, you’ll also have time to book a spa treatment, enjoy a good book, or catch up new friends made on board the ship.
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    Day 11
    Ujung Kulon National Park, Java and Anak Krakatoa
    The UNESCO World Heritage site of Ujung Kulon National Park rests at the southwestern tip of Java. The National Park includes the Ujung Kulon Peninsula that contains the largest remaining lowland rain forest on the Java plain, as well as the Natural Reserve of Krakatoa. Birds that flourish in these habitats include Asian pied Hornbill, Caspian and Bridled terns, as well as white-bellied sea eagles, tiger shrikes, Sunda minivets, and Javan kingfishers. Hundreds of barking deer can also be found in the dense tropical forest, along with macaques, monitor lizards and wild boars.

    Later you will visit an area that was witness to one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in history. In 1883, Krakatoa emitted ash clouds that spread over much of the region and the explosions were so loud they were heard as far away as Perth, Australia (a distance of almost 2,000 miles). While the volcanic activity subsided, it continues. In 1927, the island of Anak Krakatoa first emerged from the sea and has grown continuously since then. Based on the level of activity, the captain of Silver Discoverer will determine whether or not a landing can be made on the black-sand beaches of the island. Krakatoa’s active fumaroles, lava flows, beautifully colored rocks and the volcano itself are all stunning.
  • Day 12
    Final Day at Sea
    As your final ports of call lie in the next few days, this is an ideal time to swap photos, and addresses, with friends you have made on Silver Discoverer. Any questions you have been meaning to ask to the lecturers, now is the time to ask them. And perhaps an ideal way to spend some of your time on this day of cruising through Indonesia is to ponder where you will travel to next.
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    Day 13
    Your port of call today is an idyllic location, established in 1999 under Swedish ownership and management, on one of the 27 tropical islands in the Karimunjawa archipelago. Covered by coconut trees and surrounded by white sandy beaches, Menyawakan Island lies some 64 nautical miles off Java’s coast. This tranquil and secluded setting attracts discerning guests who appreciate the tropical and laidback ambiance.
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    Day 14
    Sumenep is sleepy town located on the eastern side of the island of Madura. Sumenep and the surrounding areas are home to a number of traditional arts and crafts—among them the production of Keris (daggers), batik, Karduluk-style woodcarvings, and Muang Sangkal dances. Sumenep is also known for timeworn villas and historic buildings including the Sumenep Great Mosque and the Palace (Keraton) of Sumenep. The island of Madura may be most famous for its bull races, which are opened with a performance of Saronen, a traditional Madurese music.
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    Day 15
    The first island you will call it on your journey through Indonesia’s islands is the world’s most populous island, Java. Your port of call today is Probolinggo, a beautiful and enchanting city on the island’s northern coast. It is located on one of the major highways across Java, has a harbor filled with fishing vessels, and is surrounded on the landward side by the Probolinggo Regency (although the city itself is not part of the regency). Probolinggo is home to Javanese, Maduranese, Pendalungan (descents of Java and Maduranese) and Tenggerese, who still practice their centuries-old customs and traditions. Probolinggo is bordered by the imposing Mount Semeru, and the Bromo and Argopuro mountain group, and is lined with lovely beaches to the north.

    Silversea offers several different ways to explore Probolinggo. A highlights excursion includes sights like the Red Church, which dates from 1862 during the Dutch control of Indonesia, and the Tri Dharma Sumber Naga Temple, another 19th century house of worship, in this case a Chinese temple. Another excursion offers an opportunity to learn about one of Java’s principal crops on a tour of the nearby Wonosari Tea Plantation.
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    Day 16
    Bali is one of those islands that lives up to its legendary reputation. It really is as alluring as everyone says. Slightly bigger than Delaware, Bali has it all: beaches, volcanoes, terraced rice fields, forests, renowned resorts, surfing, golf, and world-class dive sites. But what sets Bali apart from other nearby tropical destinations is Balinese tradition, and villagers dedicated to celebrating it. The hundreds of temples, dances, rituals, and crafts linked to their ancient Hindu faith aren't a show for tourists, but a living, breathing culture in which visitors are warmly received by the Balinese, who cherish their own identities. You will likely want to schedule some additional time to explore the island after your arrival and disembarkation, and Silversea is prepared to assist with a post-cruise extension.