On Expedition with Conrad: Unveiling the Diverse Indian Ocean

It may “just” be the planet’s third largest ocean, but with approximately 20% of the Earth’s water surface over an area of 73,556,000 km2, the Indian Ocean is a world all unto itself. Bordering 38 countries and spanning three continents from Cape Agulhas in southwestern South Africa to the southernmost tip of Tasmania, calling this region diverse feels like an understatement. Ancient cities, vast natural preserves, endemic wildlife, pristine atolls, and historical marvels are just a few of the attractions in this vast region that’s ripe for exploration. And Silversea’s Indian Ocean expedition cruises are designed to offer a comprehensive overview of this vast and dynamic region of the world.

“I have a love affair with the Indian Ocean,” confesses Conrad Combrink, Silversea Cruises’ Senior Vice President of Expeditions, Turnaround Operations and Destination Management and a native of South Africa. “It’s got a fascinating mix of natural and cultural history. It’s an area that doesn’t get nearly enough exposure for expedition cruising, and it allows for phenomenal itineraries.”

Three new itineraries in 2022 —Cape Town to Zanzibar, Zanzibar to Mahe and Colombo to Singapore— mark Silversea Expeditions’ return to the Indian Ocean, as well as the debut of expedition vessel Silver Explorer in this region of the world. “She’s a nimble, highly maneuverable and very popular expedition ship. Her small size in both physical terms and passenger capacity, allows us to go to these destinations with small numbers of guests. And she has a large fleet of zodiacs, enabling us to bring all the guests to shore at the same time.”

From March 29 to May 19, 2022, Silver Explorer will spend nearly two months completing the three itineraries. She will sail to cosmopolitan cities like Cape Town and Singapore, visit historical jewels like the Island of Mozambique, the marvelously eclectic Zanzibar or Sri Lanka’s Dutch-flavored city of Galle, and explore natural wonders like the Aldabra atoll in the Seychelles and the rich endemic diversity of Madagascar. As the architect who masterminded Silversea’s return to the region, Combrink takes us on a virtual tour of these exotic, often overlooked and always surprising destinations.

The dunes of Bazaruto with the backdrop of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique/Shutterstock