CRUIS­ING: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

A new world awaits on board the Sil­ver Dis­cov­erer from Bali to Broome.

Vacations & Travel - - Contents - BY AN­THONY GAL­LAGHER

A new world awaits on board the Sil­ver Dis­cov­erer from Bali to Broome.

What do a Ko­modo dragon, ham­mer­head shark and croc­o­dile have in com­mon? Other than be­ing very dan­ger­ous, they’re all part of the ad­ven­ture on a Bali to Broome Silversea Ex­pe­di­tion.

Com­pared to the new su­per­lin­ers, where you can get lost on board, our cruise was an in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence with 96 crew and 120 fel­low guests quickly be­com­ing friends, fol­low­ing daily off-ship ad­ven­tures and open-seat din­ing. Not sur­pris­ingly, the ac­tion and so­cia­bil­ity of ex­pe­di­tion cruis­ing was in­fec­tious. Rest as­sured, if you pre­fer pri­vacy, there’s plenty of seat­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing 24-hour in-suite menus.

To­day, small lux­ury pas­sen­ger ships reg­u­larly ac­cess re­mote, pris­tine lo­ca­tions, pre­vi­ously vis­ited by ba­sic ships or the most in­de­pen­dent of pri­vate ad­ven­tur­ers. Lux­ury in these far-flung des­ti­na­tions was not thought fea­si­ble by cruise lines. Silversea Cruises, Ital­ian-based and in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed for their im­pec­ca­ble style and un­ri­valled of­fer­ings, were the first to jump into these new wa­ters.

Our 10-day jour­ney man­aged to blend zo­diac ac­tion, end­less ad­ven­ture and ex­treme com­fort with sig­na­ture Silversea style and el­e­gance. Toss into the equa­tion fine cui­sine, wine and ex­cep­tional ser­vice, then pos­si­bly heaven is a place on earth, or at least afloat.

With the help of large zo­di­acs and ex­pert ad­ven­ture spe­cial­ist crew, Ko­modo drag­ons, po­lar bears, Gala­pa­gos igua­nas and re­mote in­ac­ces­si­ble tribes are now cap­tured by the lenses of en­thralled pas­sen­gers. The lux­u­ri­ous of­fer­ings were al­ready part of their ex­pe­ri­ence so it wasn’t such a leap of faith from their ac­claimed larger ves­sels to smaller ships, al­low­ing ac­cess to places big­ger ships can­not get to.

Our 10-day cruise started in the Ba­li­nese port of Benoa, with our per­sonal but­ler un­pack­ing the lug­gage in our siz­able suite with pri­vate bal­cony. Fol­low­ing the oblig­a­tory safety brief­ing, we be­came ac­quainted with fel­low pas­sen­gers, the Sil­ver Dis­cov­erer’s crew and on board fa­cil­i­ties.

Af­ter drinks and the first of 10 spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets, we re­tired early, en­joy­ing a four-course din­ner and wines in the

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