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South Asian Odyssey

  • 19 days
  • December 14, 2012 - January 2, 2013

 

  • Exotic flowers fill the forests of every destination on this extraordinary voyage.

An expedition perfect for history buffs, nature enthusiasts, birders, snorkelers and photographers alike. Begin your journey by touring the bustling city of Chennai, the set sail for the Andaman Islands for two days of exploration above and below the warm waters. In Myanmar, visit ancient Pagan, home to over 2,000 pagodas and temples, and Yangon, to see the Shwedagon Pagoda. Discover idyllic islands off the coast of Thailand. In Malaysia, visit Langkawi, a UNESCO designated Geopark, and two World Heritage Sites, Georgetown in Palau Panang and Malacca.

Clipper Odyssey

Clipper Odyssey Ship

The Clipper Odyssey is a 110-passenger luxury expedition vessel.

View Ship Details & Deck Plan

Itinerary

Friday – Sunday, December 14 – 16, 2012: USA / Chennai, India
Fly on your own to Chennai, crossing the International Date Line and “losing a day,” arriving Sunday morning. Transfer to the hotel, where you’ll have the morning at leisure. After lunch, embark on an introductory tour of the bustling metropolis and return to the hotel for a welcome dinner and to spend the night. (L, D)

Monday, December 17: Chennai / Embark Clipper Odyssey
With its long history and rich cultural heritage, Chennai showcases both colonial history and the dynamic energy of modern life. Visit the National Art Gallery and Museum, San Thome Cathedral, the South Indian Temple, and Fort St. George Museum. Enjoy lunch and take a drive along Marina Beach before embarking the Clipper Odyssey and beginning your voyage through the Bay of Bengal. (B,L,D)

Tuesday & Wednesday, December 18 & 19: At Sea
Sail eastward as the lecture team introduces you to the Andaman Islands. (B,L,D, daily)

Thursday & Friday, December 20 & 21: Andaman Islands
Made up of 572 islands in total, the Andaman and Nicobar archipelagos are mountainous and isolated, with the majority of the residents being aboriginal tribes who shy away from mainstream ways of life. Just a handful of the islands are open to foreign tourists, and we’ll have an opportunity to explore some of their natural settings and cultural spots. Part of a marine park, Cinque Island is ideal for nature explorations, with a variety of endemic bird species, including the East Andaman serpent eagle, East Andaman wood pigeon, East Andaman coucal, and East Narcondam hornbill. Walk along the unspoiled beach, perhaps crossing the unique sandbar that connects the twin islands of North and South Cinque.\ Conditions permitting, snorkel here or at a nearby island. The laid-back capital of the Andaman and Nicobar island group is Port Blair, where its Anthropological Museum spotlights the history and archaeology of local tribes. The nearby Cellular Jail, meanwhile, is a reminder of the dark days of forced labor endured by India’s freedom fighters against colonial rule in the early 1900s. Stalls line the streets at the islands’ primary marketplace, the Aberdeen Bazaar. (B,L,D, daily)

Saturday, December 22: Cruising the Andaman Sea
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea as the lecturers introduce you to the natural and cultural riches of Myanmar. (B,L,D)

Sunday, December 23: Yangon, Myanmar
Arrive in the morning in Myanmar’s capital city, Yangon. Tour several spots that are important to the city’s Buddhist traditions, including the 2,000-year-old Sule Pagoda, whose gold dome houses a single hair of Buddha, and Chauk Htat Gyi (a colossal reclining Buddha). Take time to wander through the Bogyoke Aung San crafts market. You’ll have the honor of visiting a local monastery to observe ritual and participate in a food donation ceremony. (Buddhist monks eat twice daily and rely solely on the generosity of the community for their food.) As twilight descends upon the city, explore the region’s most sacred Buddhist pagoda, called Shwedagon. After dinner and a cultural performance, return to the ship, which will remain docked overnight. (B, L, D)

Monday, December 24: Bagan
After an early breakfast, fly to the ancient capital of Bagan. Its 2,000 pagodas, temples, and monasteries make this one of the world’s most enchanting places. Begin your exploration with a stunning view across the city from one of the temples, then visit the lively Nyaung Oo daily produce market. Th e Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s largest and most venerated reliquary shrine, is distinguished by its huge, gold bell-shaped stupa. After lunch, visit a workshop for a lacquerware demonstration. Temple explorations continue at the Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture. Also visit Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple covered with superb frescoes, before fl ying back to Yangon to reboard the ship. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, December 25: Yangon / At Sea
Time and tides permitting, spend the morning exploring Yangon before setting sail for the remote Mergui Archipelago. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, December 26: At Sea
Lecturers recap your cultural experiences in Myanmar and prepare you for the natural wonders you’ll experience in the Mergui Archipelago. (B, L, D)

Thursday & Friday, December 27 & 28: Mergui Archipelago
More than 800 islands comprise the southern Myanmar archipelago. In true expeditionary style, we’ll keep our schedule flexible as we explore several of the islands and surrounding waters over the next two days. At Lampi Island, for example, see thick mangroves and the bird species that abound – Nicobar megapodes, green imperial pigeons, herons, and emerald doves among them. Monitor lizards, civet cats, mouse deer, and monkeys reside on the lush islands, too. Spend time with the naturalist guides learning how a recent coral bleaching event has affected some of the area’s shallow reefs and how they are recovering. Go snorkeling or diving along undersea rock walls that attract surgeonfish, cardinalfish, triggerfish, and hawksbill turtles. Step ashore on isolated islands to beach comb along pristine whites and beaches. (B,L,D, daily)

Saturday, December 29: Koh Rawi, Thailand
Many of the islands in this region are isolated and not built up with large-scale tourist development. Koh Rawi is one of them. The mountainous island has steep cliff s and boulders spilling onto pure white sandy beaches and is surrounded by clear waters that are ideal for a day of snorkeling and diving. (B, L, D)

Sunday, December 30: Langkawi, Malaysia
Arrive today in Langkawi, a 104-island archipelago off the northwest coast of mainland Malaysia. Visit the large namesake island, which was declared a UNESCO geopark in 2007 because of the community’s efforts to protect and live in harmony with its bird and wildlife-filled forests. With a variety of ecosystems comes great diversity in wildlife: Monitor lizards, sea otters, and macaques reside here, as do such bird species as oriental pied hornbills, black drongos, and Asian fairy bluebirds. Nature walks may take you by waterfalls, too. This afternoon, explore the watery passageways and some of the islands that make up the Langkawi Archipelago. (B,L,D)

Monday, December 31: Pulau Penang
This morning, arrive at Pulau Penang. Choose from one of three half-day tours. The first option is an in-depth exploration of Georgetown, also a World Heritage Site. A tour along “the road of harmony” highlights many houses of worship, the impeccably restored Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion Hotel, majestic Khoo Clan Ancestral House with its ornate wood and granite carvings, and the brightly-painted Wat Chayamangkalaram, which houses a 108-foot-long Buddha. Th e second tour option is a visit to a tropical spice garden, where you’ll learn about various spices and their functional and medicinal uses, attend a cooking demonstration to learn traditional techniques for grinding dried spices, and sample traditional dishes. A third tour option takes you to a 120-year-old tropical botanical garden in the foothills. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013: Malacca
Go ashore at Malacca, a World Heritage Site, for a full-day exploration of this 14th-century port city. Learn about the city’s tumultuous history at the Ethnographic Museum. Visit the former official residence of the Dutch governor, Christ Church, and the 16th-century Portuguese fortress known as A’Famosa. The Baba Nyonya Museum showcases the traditions and lifestyle of the Chinese social elite, who once entertained the colonial leaders. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, January 2: Singapore / Disembark / USA
Singapore / Disembark / USA
Arrive in Singapore for your independent flight home, arriving in the USA the same day. (B)

Call (888) 993 – 8687 to book your spot on this tour. Questions? Email us at travel@wwfus.org.
South Asian Odyssey South Asian Odyssey Brochure

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