Port of call & excursions
Los Haitises exploration
- Port of call : Santa Bárbara de Samaná
- Length : 4h00
From the ship, you will board a speedboat to Los Haitises, 45-minute sail.
After a safety briefing, you will cross the turquoise bay to Los Haitises National Park, a sanctuary known for having one of the lushest rainforests and mangrove reserves in the entire Caribbean Sea.
Once arriving in the National Park, you will start your exploration cruising around the small islet named “Bird Island”, where your guide will explain you the importance of the migratory and indigenous birds that inhabit the island.
Then, your captain will dock near a series of captivating caves.
After disembarking, you will visit one of them where you could see some cave drawings representing the gods and the daily life of the Taíno Indians. This will give you a glimpse into the life of this ancient civilization. You will also admire stalagmites and stalactites which have formed over centuries.
Finally, board the speedboat for your return sail to the ship, 45-minute sail.
- This tour involves 300 yards of walking over uneven, rocky and sandy trails with some steps. We recommend you to wear comfortable shoes, light casual clothing, repellent lotion and protect yourself from the sun. Participants must be in good physical condition and must be able to embark and disembark without assistance. This tour is not recommended for guests suffering from back or neck problems. Depending on the sea conditions, the boat ride can we choppy.
Dominican countryside adventure
- Port of call : Puerto Plata
- Length : 3h30
From the pier, follow your guide to your open-air truck and start your adventure through the lush and tropical countryside of the Dominican Republic. During your trip, learn about the Dominican’s history, culture, customs, gastronomy, flora, fauna and their way of life over the past 100 years.
Your first visit will be made to a typical countryside home. Meet the family living there and discover the coffee and chocolate production process. You will learn about the harvest and preparation of these beverages and taste the local production made from home-grown coffee beans.
Then, you will walk to the fruit plantation and taste fresh fruits.
Finally, re-board your open-air truck and pass through local towns and villages before reaching a local school. During your visit, you will meet the children and learn more about the local education system.
- This tour is not recommended for guests with any mobility challenges or suffering from back or neck conditions. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. This tour involves some walking over uneven terrain. Refreshment is included. A minimum of 20 participants is required to operate the tour, and it is limited to 80. The visit of the local school is subject to local holidays.
The Baths tour
- Port of call : Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda
- Length : 3h30
After disembarking by tender, you will board on an open-air safari bus for a short drive through the quaint village of Spanish Town to the Baths. These intimate beaches and giant boulders that form intricate grottos, caverns and sea pools are probably the most striking geological feature of the Caribbean.
Follow your guide on a winding foot path down to the beach to discover and explore this geological wonder. Explore sea caves formed by mammoth boulders, and bask in the shafts of sunlight pouring through the natural ceiling into the pools below. Listen to the theories on the origin of the boulders and curious names given to the rock formations. Swim, relax and enjoy the ambiance of this paradise.
Your tour continues to Spanish Town. A stop is made at the Catholic Church before returning to your ship repositioned at Gorda Sound.
- This tour is only recommended for guests in good physical condition. This excursion includes 300 yards (300 m) of walking on trails, sand, rocks and over tree roots. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes, wear your swimsuit under your clothes, bring a towel from the ship and protect yourself from the sun. Lockers are available at the beach at the extra cost of USD 5, not included in the price of this tour. Due to the sandy bottom, it is not recommended for snorkelling as there is very little sea life. This tour is conducted in English only.
Jost Van Dyke sail
- Port of call : Jost Van Dyke
- Length : 3h00
From the pier, board a sleek vessel and enjoy motorboat across the channel towards Tortola. The vessel will anchor off one of the surrounding islands (Little Thatch) or at Smugglers Cove, where you can snorkel and swim.
Then its "aweigh anchor" and set navigate to Sandy Cay, a tiny islet completely surrounded by powdery white sand, azure blue waters and an underwater world filled with colourful marine life. This island was purchased by Nelson Rockefeller for the preservation of wild bird life. You can swim, snorkel or sun on a very private beach.
Your tour continues to the eastern tip of Jost van Dyke which returns you to the ship's anchorage.
- This tour involves some walking times. We recommend you wear your swimsuit under your clothes, bring a towel from the ship and protect yourself from the sun. Snorkel gear is included: vest, mask, snorkel and fins. The snorkel and swimming destinations may vary according to sea and weather conditions. A snack will be served on-board the boat. Participants must be at least 6 years old, be able to swim and accompanied by a parent. A signed waiver is required to participate. Passengers must be able to go on and off the boat without assistance. Please note that the tour may be operated on motor catamaran rather than sailing catamaran in case the sailing boat is unavailable. This tour is only conducted in English. This tour is limited to 35 participants.
Discover La Digue
- Port of call : La Digue Island
- Length : 3h30
Experience the Old-World beauty and charm of the Seychelles during an orientation tour of picturesque La Digue, one of the prettiest islands in the Seychelles. During the scenic drive from La Passe Harbour to L'Union Estate, you will find daily life here to be punctuated by oxcarts and a relaxed pace. Upon arrival at L'Union Estate, you will see the old Creole house and coconut factory that serve as a distinct reminder of life on the island many years ago.
Next, you will proceed for a visit to La Digue's beaches. The island's beaches are considered to be amongst the finest in the world, especially Anse Source d'Argent; a bather's paradise and photographer's dream. For centuries, the soft white sands and dramatic granite boulders have enchanted visitors to the island.
- Please be prepared for a bumpy ride as the road on La Digue is packed sand.
Stilt Fisherman & Virgin White Tea
- Port of call : Galle
- Length : 3h30
The only producer of Virgin White tea in Sri Lanka resides about 45 minutes away from the port city of Galle at the Handunugoda Tea Estate. While originally produced in China for the Imperial Emperor, the estate has taken on the task of recreating the exact recipe and following the tradition that ensures that the only human part that comes into contact with the tea is the lips.
On arrival, make your way to the owner’s bungalow, sit and enjoy a cup of tea and cake while asking him about the tea process and plantation. After tea, make your way down to the plantation itself where you are able to watch the plucking process while listening to an informative explanation on the culture of tea. Then, head into the factory, where you are able to see the old machinery still in use.
From here, make your way to Koggala to experience the ever-famous stilt fishermen engaging in their daily catch. Stilt fishing is an age-old fishing method in Sri Lanka and remains as a scenic icon in the southern coastal belt today. Notice how carefully balanced the fishermen are as they position themselves on the thin stilt during the low tide to fish in the rising waters of the high tide. It is a picturesque sight
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun. It is possible to purchase souvenirs inside the Tea shop in the estate. Please note that only Sri Lankan Rupees and USD will be accepted.
Galle City Tour
- Port of call : Galle
- Length : 4h00
From the pier, board your coach and travel to Koggala for a visit to the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum. The museum currently holds over a thousand artifacts of Sri Lankan rural life, providing a vast and unique storehouse of knowledge of local folk culture and technology going back several centuries. Sections are dedicated to Buddhist religious artifacts, the evolution of the Sinhala alphabet, an agricultural village, musical instruments and much, much more.
From here, you will make your way back to Galle to explore the fort which was originally built by the Portuguese and then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Even today, after 400 years of existence, it looks new and polished with reconstruction work done by the Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.
Step back in time, as your guide brings the colourful history of the fort to life, during a guided walking tour. Weave your way along the narrow lanes, pass through the courtyard to the Dutch Hospital shopping complex, before viewing the Lighthouse, Clock Tower and the Ramparts.
Before heading back to the pier, enjoy some time at leisure inside the Galle fort premises. You may like to purchase some souvenirs.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun.
Turtles & mangroves
- Port of call : Galle
- Length : 7h00
From the pier, board your coach for the one-hour drive to Balapitiya. From here, start your river safari along the Madhu, famous for its bio-diversity as well as being an Eco-reserve. Embark on small boats which will take you past the mangroves and locals collecting prawns in their traditional method. You may catch a glimpse of the numerous varieties of different amphibian and avian species.
Madhu Ganga River has one of the most diverse biomes, including different vegetation types, such as the predominating mangroves and the marshlands. The Madhu Ganga wetland consists of 10 major vegetation types; these comprise a total of 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families. The total plant species include 19 endemic and nationally threatened species and 9 invasive alien species. Disembark on one of the islands where you will be able to witness a display of traditional Sri Lankan cottage industries, such as cinnamon farming, coir making and coconut weaving. You will also have the opportunity to explore some of the other islands on the Madhu River and visit a Sri Lankan temple on one of them.
Head to Kosgoda and visit the turtle hatchery. Kosgoda is famous for its sea turtle conservation project, operated by the Wild Life Protection Society of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1988 to protect Sri Lanka’s turtles from extinction. Since then, it has released about 3.5 million baby turtles into the wild. The hatchery pays fishermen for eggs that they collect at night along the long sandy beach. Although October to April is the main laying season, some eggs (mostly green turtles) can be found at Kosgoda throughout the year. The hatchery buries the eggs in the sand, and when they hatch, around 50 days later, the baby turtles are released into the sea at night. Only about one in 1,000 turtles survive to maturity.
Later, you will be moved to a hotel for lunch.
After lunch take, the 1 ½ hour drive back to the pier.
- This tour does not involve much walking; however, participants must be able to get in and out of a local boat. Wear comfortable walking shoes and protect yourself from the sun.
- Port of call : Trincomalee
- Length : 9h00
Depart from the pier and drive to Dambulla to visit the Golden Cave Temple, which is Sri Lanka's largest and best-preserved Temple.
Dating back to the First Century BC, the Golden Temple of Dambulla has been the center of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus alike for 22 centuries. The Cave monastery, home to Buddhist monks, is covered with exquisite 2,000-year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15-meter-long reclining Buddha, and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest antique painted surface in the world.
The largest and most impressive of the caves, the Temple of the Great King, is 52 meters from one side to another, and 23 meters from the entrance to the back, with the sloping ceiling seven meters at its highest point. The entire surface of the cave is a mosaic of frescoes with so many themes and styles that it is easy to be overwhelmed. The paintings at Dambulla are representative of many different epochs of Sinhalese Buddhist art, although the classical school of Sinhalese painting (which ceased at the end of the 12th century) is not represented. The “New School”, supposedly influenced by the contemporary South Indian Deccan School, is less successful than the earlier indigenous art forms, using brilliant colour schemes in predominately red and yellow. It is not possible to date the Dambulla paintings precisely, since they have been painted over throughout the centuries. Some, however, were originally done by Kandyan artists during the 17th century. It is no wonder the Rock Temple has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After the climb, drive to Cinnamon Lodge Hotel for lunch before returning to Trincomalee.
- The drive to/from Dambulla takes approximately 3 hours in each direction. This tour involves approximately 0.5 mile / 700 m of walking on uneven ground. There are 365 steps to reach the caves, or a long pathway with long steps. This tour is not advised for guests with limited mobility. For this excursion, you will need to wear appropriate clothing to visit the religious sites (shoulders and knees should be covered). You should remove your shoes when entering a Buddhist or Hindu temple and hats at all religious places. We recommend that you wear or bring socks. Bring along a sweater or light jacket in case the air-conditioning in the coach is too cold.
Taking in the sun, sea and sand
- Port of call : Trincomalee
- Length : 5h30
The amazing beaches of the East Coast of Sri Lanka have a unique character, with bays, sheltered coves with white sandy beaches and clear waters. Immersed in myth and rich in history, Trincomalee or locally known as ‘Trinco’, stand out from the rest as having one of the finest natural harbors in the world, even dating back to ancient historical times, and picturesque beaches.
For the ardent ‘sun worshippers’, this excursion to the Nilaveli Beach Hotel, located on the ever famous Nilaveli beach, would undoubtedly be one of the best sea experiences during this visit to the East Coast of this Island. Relax and enjoy the surroundings of this amazing beach destination, which boasts being one of the first few beach hotels built in Trincomalee, and which managed to preserve its charm.
- We advise you wear flat comfortable shoes and protect yourself from the sun. This tour includes the roundtrip transfer from the pier to the hotel, a welcome drink on arrival, use of hotel facilities, such as pool, beach towel and access to beach chairs (though not guaranteed). The drive to the hotel takes approximately 45 minutes.
* Subject to availability.