By Michael Coleman
It’s Down Under like never before.
Silversea Cruises is offering a 30-day counterclockwise course around Australia with calls in Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Port Douglas, Cooktown, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth, Albany, Port Lincoln, Adelaide, Geelong, Melbourne and Hobart (Tasmania).
The Sydney to Sydney offering aboard the ultra-luxurious 382-guest Silver Shadow Jan. 19-Feb. 19 2011, also features onboard enrichment programming headlined by distinguished speakers from the worlds of film, art, nature, academia, winemaking and cuisine.
â€¨â€¨Prof. Geoffrey Blainey, one of Australia’s best-known historians and commentators, will share his interesting perspectives on the Sydney-to-Darwin segment, January 19 to 29; Mathew Macartney, executive chef of the Yarra Valley’s famed Chateau Yering will join the ship January 25 to 29, Port Douglas to Darwin, to host culinary presentations; Prof. Craig Franklin, professor of zoology at the University of Queensland, will discuss Australian marine wildlife, January 29 to February 11, Darwin to Adelaide; and Noel Miller, artist renowned for his landscapes of the Australian outback, will discuss Aboriginal art, January 29 to February 11, Darwin to Adelaide.
Meanwhile, Lyn Farmer, wine consultant for Silversea and James Beard Foundation Award-winning wine and food writer, will share his expertise, Darwin to Port Lincoln, January 29 to February 10; Jamie Sach, chief spokesperson for the iconic Penfolds Wines, will share his extensive knowledge of the wine industry, February 6 to 10, Perth to Port Lincoln; Simon Johnson, epicurean expert, will provide insight into Australia’s rich abundance of artisan produce, February 11 to 14, Adelaide to Melbourne; George Francisco, executive chef of Jonah’s, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected hospitality establishments, will present cooking demonstrations, February 13 to 18, Geelong to Sydney and John Stainton, the director and producer who directed all of naturalist Steve Irwin’s documentaries, will lecture on Australian film, February 14 to 18, Melbourne to Sydney.
Dr. Mark Elovitz, government advisor, historian and director of the Center for Strategic Geopolitics, will share his insights into world affairs throughout the 30-day voyage while Ian Denton, a native Australian and world explorer, will also be on board the entire voyage to host lectures as Silversea’s destination consultant.
â€¨â€¨If that isn’t enough to immerse oneself in the country’s culture, dramatic natural beauty and exotic wildlife, look for two optional mid-voyage shore excursions to do the trick.
The line is offering a “Kangaroo Island Luxury Eco Expedition”. Widely regarded as Australia’s Galapagos, Kangaroo Island is brimming with diverse wildlife and natural beauty. Enjoy luxurious accommodation at the South Ocean Lodge and a staff of naturalist guides to lead your exploration of the island’s unique attractions. Memorable sightings might include kangaroos, rare Cape Barron Geese, koalas and sea lions. This three-day adventure is offered from Adelaide. Guests then rejoin the ship in Melbourne. â€¨â€¨
Look also for an “Australian Frontiers & Train Journey”. Guests will discover the heart of the Australian outback by rail aboard the glamorous Indian Pacific train as the country’s unique landscapes unfold. Visit the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, then travel to Adelaide to enjoy a culinary and wine adventure that takes in the famous Barossa Valley. This six-day adventure is offered from Fremantle (Perth). Guests would then rejoin the ship in Adelaide. â€¨â€¨
The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. Â â€¨â€¨
Aboard the elegant Silver Shadow, guests enjoy an all-inclusive policy that includes a premium assortment of wines and spirits, impeccable service from a courteous and efficient staff, and luxurious onboard amenities. The ship’s all-suite accommodations include ocean views, butler service, 24-hour room service and fine dining.
On the web: silverseacruises.com