Board your independent flight to India.
Arrive late evening and transfer to our hotel for overnight.
Enjoy a morning at leisure before a welcome brunch at the hotel. Afterward, explore this vibrant city that has been dubbed the “cultural capital of India.” Visit the 17th-century Fort St. George and the Kapaleeshwarar Temple. This afternoon, embark the newly refurbished Silver Discoverer.
Attend informative lectures on the natural history and culture of the region, or relax by the pool while cruising the world’s largest bay.
With a history stretching back to the 6th century AD, Visakhapatnam (or Vizag) boasts the only natural harbor on the east coast of India, along with splendid beaches. Visit the fascinating Visakha Heritage Museum where artifacts from the region are on display, then get a glimpse into life aboard a Soviet-built I-641 class submarine that is now an impressive museum. Your final stop of the day is the splendid Kali Temple, set on a beautiful stretch of Ramakrishna Beach.
Gopalpur is the gateway to Mangalajodi Nature Reserve, a rich wetland tucked along the northeastern fringe of Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lake in Asia. From October to March, this region is home to around 150 species of migratory birds, as well as 40 resident species. Join naturalists to search for a variety of gotwits, ducks, storks, egrets, herons, sandpipers, plovers, and raptors. Or, choose to visit a nearby beach where olive ridley sea turtles congregate to breed.
Disembark in Paradeep and head overland for the ancient sites of Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri, part of The Buddhist Triangle of Odisha. These large religious complexes were in use from the 3rd to 13th centuries AD, and today you may wander the extensive ruins of monasteries and shrines, interspersed with stupas, statues, and stone tablets.
Our lecture series continues as the ship sails for Bangladesh.
Sundarbans is the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world. Not only notable for magnificent scenic beauty, this area is also renowned for its high biodiversity of flora and fauna. Board Zodiacs to explore the reserve’s mosaic of islands and labyrinthine water channels. Excursions may reveal Ganges and Irrawaddy dolphins, monkeys, estuarine crocodiles, and water monitors. A wide variety of birds can be found here, including brahminy kites, white-bellied sea eagles, lesser adjutant storks, Indian pond herons, and collared, Black-capped, and Stork-billed kingfishers. Get a different perspective from one of the park’s watch towers, take a walk along the extensive boardwalk, visit a crocodile hatchery, and observe fisherfolk using trained otters to chase fish into their nets.
Enjoy a rare look into rural Bangladeshi life on Maheskhali Island. Rickshaws and motorized tuk-tuks putter through tiny Thakur Tala village; Adinath Temple, set atop its highest hill, houses saffron-robed monks and holy ponds, while a small Rakhain community produces traditional textiles at the weaving center.
An ancient seaport in westernmost Myanmar, Thandwe boasts a series of 8th-century stupas that hold sacred relics of the Buddha. Every type of ware is on display at the town’s market, held in the former colonial prison. The main attraction, though, is the soft white sand of four-mile-long Nagapali Beach, Myanmar’s main resort destination and the perfect perch for swimming, snorkeling, and beachcombing.
Enjoy a day at sea to attend lectures, relax, and prepare for the final days of your adventure.
Myanmar’s fourth largest city was once known as Moulmein, the administrative capital of British Lower Burma. Visit the lovely Kyaik Than Lan pagoda, built in 875 AD, its hillside setting offers spectacular views over the city.
Formerly known as Rangoon, Myanmar’s largest city is a mélange of wide boulevards and twisting alleyways, colonial architecture, and modern high-rises. Gold-leafed Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most important Buddhist site, enshrines eight hairs from the Buddha’s head beneath its 325-foot-high, diamond-encrusted spire. Not to be outshined, the smaller Sule Pagoda is equally gilded while Chauk-htat-gyi Temple showcases a 213-foot-long reclining Buddha
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your independent flight home, arriving in the USA the same day.