Indulge in the wild wonders of Carnival in Rio on Silversea’s new mystical Muse

museOne of my most memorable experiences was a cruise to Rio de Janeiro that began with a fast flight from Miami on the since defunct Concord,  and included three booze-soaked, fun filled days attending Carnival. The cruise line, which is long gone, had secured tickets to the balls for passengers to attend. It was surreal with people partying day and night, scantily-clad carioca women dancing on tables, and many next morning hangovers.

Although a flight on the SST is no longer on the table, you can indulge in the wild wonders of Carnival in Rio on Silversea’s new, super sonic Muse which is heading south from Fort Lauderdale on a 69-day Grand Voyage on Jan, 3, 2018. The spiffy vessel will completely circumnavigate South America, visiting 34 ports in 14 countries, while experiencing the mystery and pulsating rhythm of this vast continent on an intimate, ultra-luxury voyage that is Simply Divine™.

The  Grand Voyage 2018 combines the luxury of sailing aboard an intimate, elegant ship with the excitement of discovering fascinating destinations. Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Canal, cruising Chile’s majestic fjords, a three-day stopover in Rio de Janeiro in time for Carnival, plus overnight calls in Valparaiso, Punta Arenas, Buenos Aires, and Manaus, nestled in the heart of the Amazon.

“Grand Voyage 2018 is perfectly tailored to travelers who have the time and passion to indulge in travel on a grand scale. It combines adventure and immersive cultural experiences with leisurely days wrapped in the exquisite luxury and impeccable service of our beautiful new Silver Muse,” said Mark Conroy, Silversea’s managing director for the Americas.  As usual passengers will enjoy free drinks from Champagnes and cognacs an beyond, have tips covered, get transportation in ports,  and savor culinary experiences. Through Silversea’s association with Slow Food Italy, a selection of Ark of Taste products, such as Ecuador’s Nacional cacao, Peru’s native potatoes, Chile’s Merkén chili peppers, and sugarcane products from Santa Rita, Brazil, will be sourced locally by Silversea chefs to introduce guests to the remarkable flavors of these cultural treasures, which are being catalogued by the Ark of Taste to help ensure their preservation.

Exclusive Added-Value Benefits

In addition to a gala Bon Voyage dinner and overnight stay at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Fort Lauderdale on January 2; a unique “Panama Hat Party” event at the Montecristi Golf Club in Manta, Ecuador on January 12, showcasing the talents of local artisans; and a box-seat view of the Carnival Winners’ Parade at the Sambadrome in Rio on February 17, full-voyage guests will enjoy a generous array of benefits, including:

–$2,000 Onboard Spending Credit (per suite)

–Free unlimited Wi-Fi

–Baggage valet service

–Visa service (U.S., Canada and select markets)

–Commemorative gifts

Fares for Grand Voyage 2018 start at $36,955 per guest, based on double occupancy. For further information and the complete itinerary, please visit Silversea.com/destinations/grand-voyages-cruise/grand-voyage-2018-south-america.

 

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The savvy seafarer’s cruise album

By  Richard and Patti Pietschmann

We’ve taken cruises on ships of every size and style from mega liners to small luxury vessels and written about  them in newspapers,magazines and on the web (most recently  www.cruiseable.com) and here are a few good photos from our voyages:

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Spa  time

Crystal Cruises deck and butler for our  penthouse stateroom

 Morning buckwheat pancakes on Crystal Cruises 

 A birthday/anniversary celebration on Silversea

 Dining on the deck of the Seabourn Quest

 A seafood fest on board Regent Seven Seas Mariner Alaska Cruise

 Regent SS Mariner stateroom stewardess

 A veal chop  on RSSC Mariner

Seabourn

 A veal chop at  Silversea Hot Rocks

Dining a Le Champagne on Silversea

 Leaving Bora Bora

Paddle  tennis  on Crystal Serenity

 Happiness is having room service breakfast on Crystal Cruisses

 Bora Bora

 The mighty Amazon from Seabourn Quest

French Polynesia from a Princess Cruise

Ruby Princess

And it doesn’t end here, next trip Queen Mary2 from New York to Southampton, England; Seabourn Encore, Silversea Muse, RSSC Explorer and others. Stay tuned.

A definitive guide to picking the right ship

The last thing you want to do is get on the wrong ship. To prevent this from happen and have a happy cruise you may want to consider your priorities and match them with this handy guide I wrote for Examiner.com, really it will save you time and anquish and there’s lots of photos like these:

Engin our butler
Engin our butler

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Me
Me

breakfst patti

Silversea adds options for shorter cruises

Image

 

Super swank Silversea Cruises has just announced a new collection of eight shorter cruises for 2013. These convenient four- to seven-day voyages to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean are designed for time-strapped working professionals, travellers who want to combine a cruise with a land program, and individuals who may be new to luxury cruising and would like a taste of Silversea’s award-winning, all-inclusive experience.

“Many travellers today have busy schedules that make it difficult to fit in time for an extended luxury cruise vacation,” said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas. “It’s important for us to offer options that cater to these consumers as well as those who have time for longer voyages.”

Silversea’s new four, five, six and seven day cruises  for 2013 include:

Northern Europe Voyage 1318B: Silver Cloud, June 15 – 19, Hamburg to Copenhagen, with calls in Warnemünde (Rostock) and Helsingborg. Silver Privilege fares start at $1,830.

Mediterranean Voyage 2307C: Silver Wind, March 16 – 20, Barcelona to Rome, with calls in Monte Carlo and Livorno. Silver Privilege fares start at $1,360.

Mediterranean Voyage 2314A: Silver Wind, May 14 – 18, Rome to Monte Carlo, with calls in Bonifacio, Calvi, and Livorno. Silver Privilege fares start at $1,590.

Mediterranean Voyage 2307B: Silver Wind, March 11 – 16, Lisbon to Barcelona, with calls in Málaga, Cartagena, and Valencia. Silver Privilege fares start at $1,560.

Mediterranean Voyage 2314B: Silver Wind, May 18 – 23, Monte Carlo to Barcelona, with calls in Sóller de Mallorca, Ibiza, and Valencia. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,170.

Northern Europe Voyage 1318A: Silver Cloud, June 9 – 15, Southampton to Hamburg, with calls in Honfleur, Oostende, Antwerp, and Amsterdam. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,610.

Mediterranean Voyage 5309B: Silver Spirit, April 16 – 23, Lisbon to Barcelona, with calls in Portimão, Cádiz, Málaga, Ibiza, and Valencia. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,730.

Mediterranean Voyage 5314B: Silver Spirit, May 25 – June 1, Athens to Rome, with calls in Katakolon, Corfu, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and Sorrento. Silver Privilege fares start at $2,810.

 

Silversea’s all-inclusive fare-based voyages offer passengers extra spacious ocean-view accommodations (many with balconies), sumptuous gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and all gratuities. Fares listed above are cruise-only rates per guest, based on double occupancy for a Vista Suite.

 

 

Outback, Great Barrier Reef, koalas, emus, wombats and wallabies

Tie me kangaroo down, for the first time ever super swank Silversea Cruises is offering a 30-day circle Australia cruise with starting fares at just $17,637 per person–which is a steal for this all-inclusive voyage.

Highlighted by excursions to the  Great Barrier Reef, and possible sightings of  koalas, emus, wombats and wallabies the 30-day voyage which completely circumnavigates Australia sails roundtrip from Sydney on January 19. 

The ship follows a counterclockwise course around the vast island continent with calls in Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Port Douglas, Cooktown, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth, Albany, Port Lincoln, Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne and Hobart (Tasmania).

 “It’s not often you have the chance to explore an entire continent on one voyage,” said Steve Tucker, Silversea’s vice president of field sales for North America. “This itinerary will hold great appeal for those who seek unique travel experiences off the beaten path.”

 During the cruise, passengers can attend  am enrichment program, headlined by distinguished speakers from the worlds of film, art, nature, academia, winemaking and cuisine:  For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit www.silversea.com .

The Savvyseafarer Loves Life Aboard Silvesea Cruises

The Grand Suite Life on Silversea

For me cruising on a Silversea ship is about as good as it gets. Particularly when it’s the 1,434 square foot Grand suite—a concert of marble and mahogany mini mansion– aboard the Silver Whisper on a 33-day voyage from Los Angeles to Sydney. Configured for comfort, the two room suite houses a large bedroom with king size bed covered in fine linen with Piumi Salpi down pillows and comforters; lots of drawers and storage space and high windows that accommodate afternoon naps. The adjacent Italian marble bathroom has a full-size Jacuzzi tub, twin sinks, and separate shower. It is well stocked with lavish soaps, shampoos, conditioners and toiletries (which change sporadically), Frette robes and slippers. The walk-in closet can hold two steamer trunks worth of clothing—at least mine wardrobe fit fine.

The living room represents the heart of the suite with a

Flat screen plasma television (of which we made good use from videos available in the library), a Bang & Olufsen or Nakamichi entertainment center (on which we played many CDs), and a really comfy sofa and recliner (on which we sprawled to enjoy the aforementioned amenities).

A mahogany dining table (on which we ate several breakfasts and even dinners is set by the floor to ceiling windows that open to a large private balcony. Across from there is the bar stocked with Schott-Zwiesel crystal and mini fridge filled with complimentary beverages (Philipponnat Royale Reserve champagne, wines, liquor and soft drinks). There’s an ISIS (In Suite information system) from which you can email (we opted to go to the Internet Center instead).

Our major conundrum only was feeling too comfortable to leave our suite. In fact Silversea provides such excellent room service, we dined en suite more than half the 33 nights we spent onboard. Our waiters set elegant candle lit tables with Christofle silverware and Bernardeau Limoges china. 

We did go to The Bar most nights. This is where most passengers congregate and socialize before dinner. And we took in a few shows, which were entertaining. But Silversea is more about

 

Sidebar

The company that redefined old-world elegance to contemporary cruising when its first ships debuted in 1994, Silversea is composed of four stylishly refined luxury liners: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow.

Each dazzling ship from the 16,800 ton-296 passenger Cloud and Wind to the 28,000 ton, 388 passenger Silver Shadow and Whisper are compact enough for intimacy yet large enough to provide ample space, the ultimate cruise ship perquisite of a private teak deck attached to 75 percent (an unheard of 80% on the Shadow and Whisper) of the cabins, single-seating dining with no assigned tables, incredible food, a vast selection of serviceable wines served at no charge, and a staff that pampers without intrusion.

 Silversea’s obsession to details from free flowing French champagne, afternoon canapés and Godiva chocolates to leather ticket cases, inviting public rooms and amenities such as the outstanding Mandara Spa, The Restaurant with its dramatic glasswork art, black cherry wood chairs and superb, leisurely multi-course meals served by tuxedo-clad provide a sublime, understated elegant ambiance.

For additional information call: 800-722-9055,  fax in the U.S. to 954-522-4499, or visit the website at: http://www.silverseacruises.com

2777 La Castana Drive, L.A.  CA 90046

323-851-1780; ppietschma@aol.com

The Grand Suite Life on Silversea

I  squealed with glee as the steward let us into our Grand suite—a 1,434 square foot concert of marble and mahogany mini mansion—which would be our floating home onboard Silversea Cruises’ Silver Whisper for 33 glorious days on a voyage from Los Angeles to Sydney. I’d been in shipboard suites before, but this went outside the box. The bedroom was huge with an exquisite vanity and a king size bed covered in fine linen with Piumi Salpi down pillows and comforters. I couldn’t get over all the storage space, and the walk-in closet large enough for two steamer trunks and more. The Italian marble bathroom dazzled with a Jacuzzi tub, twin sinks, and separate shower.  Lavish soaps, shampoos, conditioners and toiletries lined the glass shelves. Thick Frette terry robes hang on the door.

The living room was so inviting we eased into a nightly routine sprawled out on the comfy sofa or recliner room watching movies on the Flat screen plasma television, or listening to CDs playing on the Bang & Olufsen or Nakamichi entertainment center. While we love the dining venues on the ship, the suite proved so comfortable that we opted to for room service about half the nights of the cruise. The waiters set our mahogany dining table elegantly with candles, Christofle silverware and Bernardeau Limoges china. We dined on truffles from Rome, foie gras from France, Italian-style pasta, filet mignon, and luscious desserts like Viennese tortes. 

A beautiful wood bar, stocked with Schott-Zwiesel crystal, and complimentary beverages (Philipponnat Royale Reserve champagne, wines, liquor and soft drinks) proved perfect for entertaining new friends we made during the voyage. Our steward always ensured sure we had plenty of hors d’oeuvres for our soirees.

The suite sports a large private teak balcony where we ate breakfast by day and sat sipping champagne at night.

We did manage to wrest ourselves from our suite to work out in the nicely equipped gym, take free Pilates and exercise classes, and swim in the 30 feet by 12 feet lap pool. We also got out to explore the ports of call.  

 

Sidebar

The company that redefined old-world elegance to contemporary cruising when its first two ships debuted in 1994, Silversea’s four stylishly refined luxury liners: the 16,800 ton, 296-passenger Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, and the 28,000, 388-passenger Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow—are compact enough for intimacy yet large enough for comfort. Each provides ample space, and 75 to 80% stateroom balconies, single, open-seating dining in The Restaurant with its dramatic glasswork art, black cherry wood chairs where leisurely multi-course meals are served by a tuxedo-clad wait staff.

The cruise line’s obsession to details is displayed by free flowing French champagne, afternoon canapés and Godiva chocolates delivered to your suite, leather ticket cases, inviting public rooms and amenities such as the outstanding Mandara Spa. 

For additional information call: 800-722-9055, fax in the U.S. to 954-522-4499, or visit the website at: www.silverseacruises.com