Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is toasting the New Year with an enticing new collection of 11 Wine Series voyages for 2009.
On each wine-themed cruise, discerning travelers with a passion for fine wines will enjoy sampling great vintages and learning about the tradition and art of winemaking in special tastings and lectures conducted by wine professionals, vineyard owners, winemakers and other epicurean specialists from renowned establishments, including California's Justin and Wente wineries, Italy's Castello Banfi and Chile's Santa Alicia Winery, to name a few. On many voyages, guests will also have the chance to explore some of the world's most celebrated wine regions on guided shore excursions.
Of special note is the participation of Salvatore Ferragamo, grandson of the Italian fashion visionary. Renowned for their signature handbags and footwear, the Ferragamo family also owns Il Borro, an acclaimed wine-producing estate in Tuscany. Ferragamo is slated to host Silver Wind's July 6 wine-themed sailing from Lisbon to Monte Carlo.
"Our Wine Series cruises are a great way for guests to broaden their understanding and appreciation for one of life's most cherished luxuries - fine wine," said David Morris, Silversea's executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "We've invited top experts from some of the world's most acclaimed vineyards and wineries to visit and interact with our guests, guiding them through entertaining tastings and lectures that add a unique and enriching dimension to their cruise experience."
Listed below are the 2009 Wine Series cruises (rates are per person, double occupancy and do not include port charges):
Alaska & Pacific Coast
-- Silver Shadow departs July 20 on a 12-day, roundtrip voyage (#3917) from San Francisco with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria. WINE SERIES HOSTS: Eric and Arel Wente, owners of California's Wente Vineyards. Silver Sailing fares start at $6,646.
-- Silver Shadow departs August 25 on a 9-day, roundtrip voyage (#3921) from Vancouver with calls in Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Wrangell and Victoria. WINE SERIES HOST: Master Sommelier Joe Spellman of California's Justin Vineyards and Winery. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $5,775.
-- Silver Wind departs May 28 on a 9-day voyage (#2917) from Monte Carlo to Athens with calls in Livorno, Sorrento, Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi and Bodrum. WINE SERIES HOST: Stanislas Marchal, public relations representative for Vranken-Pommery Monopole. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $7,305.
-- Silver Whisper departs July 4 on a 7-day voyage (#4918) from Venice to Athens with calls in Split, Kotor, Corfu and Itea. WINE SERIES HOST: Georges Muller of Riedel Crystal (the wine glass company), expert on pairing wines with stemware. Silver Sailing fares start at $4,896.
-- Silver Wind departs July 6 on a 12-day voyage (#2921) from Lisbon to Monte Carlo with calls in Cadiz, Malaga, Ibiza, Barcelona (overnight), Cannes, Menton, Livorno and Corsica. WINE SERIES HOST: Salvatore Ferragamo, owner and managing director of Il Borro estate, Tuscany, Italy. Silver Sailing fares start at $5,797.
-- Silver Wind departs August 14 on a 7-day voyage (#2925) from Venice to Athens with calls in Hvar, Sibenik, Dubrovnik and Santorini. WINE SERIES HOST: Philip di Belardino, Castello Banfi Vineyard Estate & Winery, Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $6,115.
Northern Europe & The Baltic
-- Silver Cloud departs June 25 on a 9-day, roundtrip voyage (#1914) from Stockholm with calls in Helsinki, St. Petersburg (3 days, 2 nights), Tallinn and Gdansk. WINE SERIES HOST: Gary Eberle, owner of California's Eberle Winery (will co-host with a European winery, exploring Old and New World wines). Silver Sailing fares start at $6,646.
-- Silver Cloud departs August 26 on a 10-day, roundtrip voyage (#1921) from London with calls in Edinburgh (overnight), Invergordon, Oban, Dublin, Cork and Fowey. WINE SERIES HOST: Gordon Bell, brand ambassador and master of Scotch whisky. Silver Sailing fares start at $7,486.
-- Silver Cloud departs January 4 on a 16-day voyage (#1901) from Santiago to Buenos Aires with calls in Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco, Laguna San Rafael, Punta Arenas (overnight), Falkland Islands, Puerto Madryn, Punta del Este and Montevideo. WINE SERIES HOST: Daniel Soto, Santa Alicia Winery, Santiago, Chile. Voyage co-hosted by GUEST CHEF Luis Gonzalez Morales, chef/owner of El Remezon restaurant in Punta Arenas, Chile, specializing in traditional Patagonian cuisine. Silver Sailing fares start at $8,606.
-- Silver Cloud departs February 5 on a 16-day voyage (#1903) from Santiago to Buenos Aires with calls in Puerto Montt, Laguna San Rafael, Punta Arenas (overnight), Ushuaia, Puerto Madryn and Montevideo. WINE SERIES HOSTS: Silvina Barros of Trivento Winery and Vineyards, Mendoza, Argentina; Fernando Mediano of Emiliana Vineyards, Casablanca Valley, Chile; and Jofre Duran of Concha y Toro Vineyards, Maipo Valley, Chile. Early Booking Incentive fares start at $10,450.
-- Silver Cloud departs April 15 on a 15-day voyage (#1910) from Barbados to London with calls in St. Lucia, Antigua, La Horta, Ponta Delgada, Falmouth and Cherbourg. WINE SERIES HOST: Trevor Burnett, brand ambassador for Grey Goose Vodka. Voyage co-hosted by GUEST CHEF of the Viking Cooking School. Silver Sailing fares start at $5,337.
Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents.
In the U.S., Silversea has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (nine times) and Travel + Leisure (seven times), and rated Number-One luxury cruise line by high-net-worth consumers in the 2008 Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI). International awards include "World's Leading Luxury Cruise Line" from World Travel Awards (2007); "Five Star Diamond Award" from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (2007); "Number One" small-ship line in the Readers' Choice" survey conducted by Britain's Condé Nast Traveller magazine (2007); "Best Luxury Cruise Line" by Spain's Cruceros & Destinos magazine (2008); "Best Luxury Cruise Line" by Australia's Luxury Travel & Style Magazine (2009); and "Best Luxury Cruise Operator" according to Asia's Travel Weekly (2008).