Silversea Expeditions has announced that Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas will join Silver Discoverer's October 18, 2016, expedition cruise as a guest lecturer. Dr. Galdikas is famous for her studies and work with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat and is considered the world's foremost authority on the orangutan.
This 11-day voyage (#9623), sailing from Balikpapan to Singapore, will explore the islands of Indonesia, spending more than two full days in the port of Kumai, gateway to Tanjung Puting National Park and Camp Leakey. Operated by Dr. Galdikas' non-profit Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), Camp Leakey is the site of the primatologist's pioneering research in the wild.
During an onboard presentation, Dr. Galdikas will share insights from her 45 years devoted to the study, care and preservation of endangered orangutans. Additionally, she will lead a private tour to Camp Leakey, where guests can experience close-up encounters with orangutans. Along the way, guests will be immersed in magnificent tropical scenery where they may spot proboscis monkeys, gibbons, and macaques, as well as birds from more than 200 species.
In the company of Dr. Galdikas, Silversea guests will also be granted rare access to the OFI's Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine facility in the village of Pasir Panjang. The rehabilitation center is home to numerous orphaned, sick or injured orangutans. Normally closed to the public, it has occasionally opened its doors to a select group of visitors, including former President Bill Clinton.
Throughout her life, Dr. Galdikas has fought tirelessly for orangutan conservation. After meeting with Kenyan anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey in 1969, she expressed her desire to study the orangutan in the wild. It took three years for Dr. Leakey to secure the funding and support for Dr. Galdikas to begin her research. To honor her mentor, she named her first camp after him. Among her many awards, Dr. Galdikas is the only non-Indonesian born person to have been given the prestigious Kalpataru award, the highest honor given by Indonesia for outstanding environmental leadership.
For each guest on this voyage of Silver Discoverer, Silversea Expeditions will donate $100 to the non-profit Orangutan Foundation International, a 501(c) (3) charity (Orangutan.org).