Silversea Expedition Cruises - Exotic Journeys Focus on "The Journey" - Silver Discoverer Indonesia/Myanmar Expedition: Part VI (What is an Expedition Cruise" Why am I Here") - Travels Blogs

Silversea Expedition Cruises - Exotic Journeys Focus on "The Journey" - Silver Discoverer Indonesia/Myanmar Expedition: Part VI (What is an Expedition Cruise" Why am I Here")

The Silversea Silver Discoverer departed the port city of Belawan, Indonesia for the northern tip of North Sumatra and the city of Banda Aceh, Indonesia which was devastated by the tsunami on December 26, 2004; effectively destroying most of it and claiming an estimate 250,000 lives.  Our short time in Banda Aceh was eye-opening, but not for the reason you might think.
Silversea Expedition's Silver Discoverer at sunriseBefore I talk about Banda Aceh, I want to briefly discuss what is meant by ?Expedition? cruising.  The definition is not so dissimilar to how one defines ?Luxury?, to wit:  It means something different to everyone.  And, as this Silversea Expedition cruise is showing, ?expedition? does not mean you must don hiking boots, a backpack and anti-malaria tablets (though they might be worthwhile to have on some trips!). It can be more typical cruise tours, just in areas where tourism is just developing and where exposure is very limited.
Alas, ?Expedition Cruising?, regardless of your definition, requires a mind-set more than anything else.  So one thing is certain, at least to my mind:  If you are focused on a specific event or a strict itinerary or for everything to go perfectly as planned, expedition cruising is not for you.  
And on this cruise there are a number of guests wondering, "Why am I here"  This is not a Silversea cruise. This is not organized as it should be!"  
Well, I think that question is better asked of one's travel agent than of Silversea Expeditions because it is the travel agent's responsibility not to merely take a booking (and a commission), but to assure your client's expectations are met or that your client choose an alternative cruise.  (Just in case some of you think I go on these cruises as a "perk", the reality is it is work so that I can properly advise my clients and readers.  OK, it isn't terrible work, but it is work.) Typical Indonesian fishing vesselsSo far on this cruise
-       The ship was a day late (extra time to explore Singapore?or my trip is already ruined and I want a partial refund)
-       The time in the orangutan reserve was somewhat shortened (I got to observe orangutans ? very cool ? or I didn?t have the opportunity to see monkeys and it was a bit staged)
-       The port of Banda Aceh was eliminated and then it wasn?t (creative planning vs. Make up your mind; it isn?t that difficult)
-       Weh Island was eliminated and now is back on the itinerary (my spa appointment now conflicts)
-       Our clearance upon arrival in Myanmar may take four or more hours so we may not be able to see the port town of Kawthoung, and Hastings Island has been eliminated.  (I wonder what the tension is about vs. Shouldn?t this have been anticipated")
As I und...
Source: Goldring Travel

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