For the cultural traveler who strives to achieve intimacy with far-off places, your ship has come in. In 2012, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is adding 19 new mid-voyage land adventures.
In total, the company will offer more than 50 specially tailored overland excursions next year. Unlike a partial-day shore tour, these single- or multiple-day inland adventures offer inquisitive travelers more time to enjoy an interactive and immersive experience with the people, history, wildlife and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call.
"These extended off-ship programs are life-enriching opportunities that enable our guests to spend more time discovering the true culture, heritage and uniqueness of the places they visit," said Darius Mehta, Silversea's vice president of air and land programs.
From the Amazon to Zululand, glaciers to deserts, ancient ruins to modern wonders, Silversea offers an eclectic collection of overland adventures. You can witness the spectacular sand dunes of the Namib Desert, climb the steps of the Potala Palace in Tibet, or observe a passing herd of elephants while you sip tea on the veranda of a colonial manor house in South Africa. A small selection of the many new mid-voyage land adventures offered in 2012 follows.
"Venture into Amazonia" -- Immerse yourself in the ecological heart of the planet, home to the world's largest collection of birds, freshwater fish and butterflies. Visit exotic and bustling Manaus surrounded by a lush green wall of jungle and witness the amazing natural phenomenon of the Meeting of the Waters, the point where the dark-colored waters of the Rio Negro converge with the sandy-colored Solimoes River. This five-day sojourn, priced at $3,899 per guest, includes two nights at the Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge and is offered from Belém on Silver Whisper's January 7 voyage (#4202), sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro (a segment of World Cruise 2012). Guests rejoin the voyage in Salvador de Bahia.
"Gorah Elephant Camp" -- Experience an authentic safari adventure during your stay at the exclusive Gorah Elephant Camp. A member of Relais & Châteaux, the luxurious tented camp is located in the middle of the Addo Elephant National Park, a sanctuary for over 450 elephants, the highest density of elephants on Earth. The three-day package, priced at $3,199 per guest, is offered on Silver Wind voyages of January 14, 24 and February 3 (#2202, 2203 and 2204), sailing roundtrip from Cape Town. Guests depart from Richards Bay and rejoin the ship in East London, South Africa.
"Perito Moreno & El Calafate" -- Glaciers National Park covers a staggering 8,500 square miles in Patagonia. Of its 47 major glaciers, the giant Perito Moreno is one of the world's few remaining advancing glaciers. Explore this glacial wonderland and glimpse nature's spectacular display of a thousand blue tones. Thrill to the experience of infinite peace, pure air and tranquillity, only interrupted when immense blocks of ice break off the glacier with a tremendous roar. Silver Spirit's January 27 voyage (#5203), Santiago to Buenos Aires, offers guests the chance to embark from Punta Arenas on this eleven-and-a-half-hour adventure, priced at $2,157.
"Sossusvlei Desert Lodge" -- Discover one of the most spectacular sights in Namibia -- the sand dunes of Sossusvlei (pronounced SOSS-oo-vlay) in the Namib Desert. The overnight stay at the deluxe Sossusvlei Desert Lodge affords the best time to view the beauty of the dunes at sunset and sunrise. Priced at $1,599 per guest, this two-day adventure is offered during the overnight stay in Walvis Bay on Silver Wind's February 13 voyage (#2205), sailing Cape Town to Las Palmas.
"Chengdu Pandas & Tibet" -- China's giant pandas are not only a national treasure, they are beloved the world over. Only about 1,000 pandas remain in the wild and at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center, you can observe these endearing animals close up. Then fly to Lhasa, capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Tibet, to explore the fabulous Potala Palace, the Drepung Monastery and more. This five-day package, priced at $3,999 per guest, is offered from Hong Kong to in-transit guests on Silver Whisper's March 3 sailing (#4206), Hong Kong to Shanghai. Guests depart from Hong Kong and rejoin the ship in Shanghai to continue on the following voyage (#4207), all part of World Cruise 2012.
"Greeks, Romans & The Pharaohs" -- Immerse yourself in the culture of ancient and modern Egypt. In the bustling metropolis of Cairo, visit the Royal Mummies Room and admire King Tut's gold mask in the Egyptian Museum; at Giza, marvel at the wonders of the Great Pyramids. Discover the relics of Greek and Roman civilization in Alexandria, and learn about the past at the New Bibliotheca Alexandrina, built on the site of the original great library of the ancient world. This two-day package, priced at $999 per guest, includes an overnight stay at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel and is offered on Silver Wind voyages of March 27, October 19 and 31 (#2208, 2233 and 2234). Guests depart from Port Said and rejoin the ship in Alexandria, or the reverse, depending on the itinerary that commences/concludes in either Athens or Istanbul.
"A Tale of Three Cities" -- Explore three of Germany's most historical and celebrated cities – Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. Travel to Berlin, widely acclaimed as a city of culture and politics; historic Dresden, once the royal residence of the Kings of Saxony and site of the famous Semper Opera House; and Leipzig, whose musical roots go back to the 13th century. Priced at $2,799 per guest, the three-day program is offered on Silver Cloud's July 10 voyage (#1218), sailing Copenhagen to London. Guests depart from Warnemünde and rejoin the ship in Hamburg.
"Ayers Rock & The Red Centre" -- Venture into one of Australia's most remote areas, the Red Centre, famous for its rugged beauty and the iconic monolith of changing colors, Uluru (Ayers Rock). Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is the spiritual heart of the Outback and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore this living museum and one of the world's last frontiers during a two-night stay at the Longitude 131˚ luxury wilderness camp. This four-and-a-half-day adventure, priced at $7,199 per guest, is offered on Silver Shadow's December 20 sailing (#3237) from Singapore to Sydney. Guests depart from Darwin and rejoin the ship Cairns.
The prices listed above are per person, based on double occupancy. The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals.