Embark the Silver Explorer for an exciting Caribbean Isle Adventure. Relax on idyllic beaches of powdery white sand. See Virgin GordaÂ’s famous Baths and MontserratÂ’s live volcano. Watch for whales and dolphins. Explore dense evergreen rainforest and geothermal landscapes. Learn about the endangered Hawksbill turtle. Visit a Kuna Indian village and CartagenaÂ’s old walled city. Snorkel, swim and kayak amidst colorful fish and coral. Throughout the days filled with extraordinary culture, history and wildlife, enjoy the luxurious Silver Explorer with expert guides and staff to enrich the experience from Netherlands Antilles to Panama.
Day 1: Philipsburg, St Maarten
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on an exciting Caribbean Isle Adventure. This evening, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and receive a Zodiac briefing.
Day 2: Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda, British Overseas Territory
Tortola's smaller sister island, Virgin Gorda, boasts one of the British Virgin Islands' main attractions. Between powdery white sand, giant boulders poised atop one another in seemingly precarious positions create a series of spectacular pools and grottoes Â– the famous Baths. Explore this unusual formation with the onboard geologist and learn how it shows evidence of the islandÂ’s volcanic origins.
Day 3: Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Gorda
This rugged island welcomes with a picturesque village of wooden houses and restaurants set on a sandy beach. Explore the many small sheltered bays with Zodiacs, finding just the perfect stretch of pristine beach and spend a relaxing day snorkeling and kayaking.
Day 4: Montserrat, British Overseas Territory
Named by Christopher Columbus after its Catalonia namesake, Montserrat is often referred to as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean due to its resemblance to coastal Ireland as well as the many early European settlers of Irish descent. The adventures today allow for exploring some untouched areas surrounding the islandÂ’s spectacular live volcano. Montserrat rises 3,000 feet in the air spewing forth steam and ash. Also, learn how the islanders cope with volcanic eruptions.
Day 5: Roseau, Dominica
Begin the dayÂ’s adventure by following a walking trail through tropical rainforest and past a delicate cascade that plunges off the edge of a cliff into an emerald pool. Descend to the Salybia village to visit a historical church where the altar is made of a Carib canoe and primitive murals decorate the walls. A short talk will be given on the way of life of the Carib people, after which a school choir will sing. There will be displays of basketwork featuring styles and patterns that have been handed down for centuries. The final stop is at Horseback Ridge, so named for its distinctive shape. Your guide will point out the Carib Territory boundaries and you will have a panoramic view of distant mountain ranges. Alternatively, join members of the Expedition Team for an ocean kayak and snorkeling excursion. From the village of Scottshead, kayak across the bay to a small pebble beach where you will leave the kayaks for a short time to snorkel over the beautiful reef formations. During snorkeling, you may see parrot fish, octopus, puffers, colorful trumpet fish, sea cucumbers and many more sea creatures, including the occasional turtle or stingray. After a couple of hours swimming and snorkeling in the clear blue waters, re-board the kayaks and return to Scottshead.
Day 6: Bequia, Grenadines
Bequia is the largest island in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain and home to the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary. Visit this nursery for young Hawksbill turtles run by islander Orton Â“BrotherÂ” King with the goal of preventing the extinction of this beautiful ocean species. Take in the sights from atop Mount Pleasant, the highest accessible point in Bequia and then head back down to one of BequiaÂ’s stunning white beaches for an afternoon of swimming, snorkeling, or simply relaxing with a refreshing cocktail. In the afternoon, a historian/folklorist will delight with tales of the island depicted in true Caribbean fashion. Hear the beat of the drum as the slaves toiled daily. Watch the French Quadrille and feel the infectious rhythms calypso and soca. The presentation is infused with poetry, drama, music and a touch of humour, allowing guests to easily get lost in the spirit of the island.
Day 7: At Sea
Become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found onboard the Silver Explorer. Gather in The Theater to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the regionÂ’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. The knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Center, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Day 8: Los Roques, Venezuela
Los Roques Archipelago National Park was created to protect a marine ecosystem of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. The park covers 221,120 hectares (546 acres), making it the largest marine park in the Caribbean Sea. Its coral reefs host incredible underwater fauna and flora, and its beautiful beaches of white sand and crystalline waters make it a diving paradise. These waters contain 61 species of corals, 200 species of crustaceans, 140 species of mollusks, 45 species of echinoderms, 60 species of sponges, and 280 species of fish. In addition, 92 bird species, 50 of which are migratory, can be seen in the park. Four globally endangered sea turtle species nest regularly on the islands.
Day 9: Oranjestad, Aruba
Begin the day in Aruba with a scenic drive along Eagle Beach, past the resort hotels to the oldest lighthouse on the island. See the Alto Vista Chapel, where the Spanish missionaries are said to have converted the islandÂ’s Indians into Christians. The route continues along the north coast to the beautiful Baby Natural Bridge, right next to the Natural Bridge, which collapsed in 2005. This spot demonstrates the powerful forces of the sea, which over the years have carved through coral and limestone. Continuing on the journey, pass the Bushiribana gold smelter ruins, close to where gold was discovered in 1824, and arrive at the Casibari Rock formation, a group of large diorite and granite boulders. Conclude the tour by heading to the south coast to see the worldÂ’s largest water desalination plant. Alternatively, you can choose to experience turquoise waters and spectacular marine life by motorized catamaran. Gorgeously colored fish perform their water ballet as you cruise smoothly by rugged and beautiful coral rock formations. A leisurely tour of the islandÂ’s best snorkeling spots includes the 397-foot-long Antilla shipwreck, the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. Afterwards, enjoy sweet tropical drinks, bask in the sun and delicious breeze on deck, and relax to the pulse of island rhythms.
Day 10: At Sea
Binoculars in hand, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and marine mammals. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the upcoming ports-of-call and the many possible unscheduled adventures that lie ahead. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs at the ConnoisseurÂ’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship.
Day 11: Cartagena, Colombia
With its fascinating history, old walled city, formidable fortresses and colonial architecture, Cartagena is considered one of the most captivating ports in the Caribbean. Enjoy a guided walking tour that goes past stately colonial buildings to Bolivar Square, to Customs Square, and finally to Plaza San Pedro Claver with his namesake church. In the Old City, see Las Bovedas (the Â“dungeonsÂ”) that were used as military barracks and munitions depot in colonial times. Today, local artisans display their handicraft and souvenir items here. Also, stop at the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, an important military fort built to protect the city in the 17th and 18th centuries. Alternatively, join Expedition Team members for a scenic speedboat ride to visit the offshore Rosario Islands. Your destination is Hotel San Pedro de Majagua on Isla Grande, one of the 27 mainly private islands that make up the National Natural Park Corales del Rosario. In this peaceful environment, find a great variety of flora and fauna, two white sand beaches, an enchanting lagoon and ecological paths that traverse the island. Also, visit the Aquarium San Martin de Pajarales, an impressive open-water aquarium, where you will see a dolphin show, sharks, giant turtles, and a variety of tropical reef fauna.
Day 12: San Blas Islands, Panama
Today, you are given a rare opportunity to experience the Caribbean as it was before the European explorers came here. The San Blas Islands, or Kuna Yala Reserve, is home to the Kuna natives, who are believed to be descendants of the Caribs. Visit a Kuna community and observe their intriguing lifestyle and gain insight into their colorful traditions, which are passed from one generation to the next through dances and chants. During a morning walk around Wacha Wala Island, learn more about local culture and see presentations of traditional dances. Perhaps get a henna tattoo or traditional ankle bracelet made by one of the Kuna women. This afternoon, the Silver Explorer will reposition to Wali-dup Island, where you are free to shop for local handicrafts, or swim, kayak or snorkel off the pristine, white-sand beaches. This idyllic island is surrounded by coral reef and comprised of coral topped with a light sprinkling of topsoil. September and October are the best months for snorkeling because the waters are the clearest due to a lesser amount of rainfall during these months. Join the onboard Marine Biologist for a lazy drift snorkel and watch the underwater water world go by. These protected islands and reefs shelter a dazzling diversity of marine life, and it is yours to encounter.
Day 13: ColÃ³n, Panama
Arrive at ColÃ³n in the morning. Following breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer.