The Outback, Great Barrier Reef, koala bears, emus, wombats, wallabies—the places and words conjure up images in my mind of adventure, romance, and the exotic. And "Crocodile Dundee," of course.
While they might not meet the famous croc-hunting star of the film (he lives in the U.S. these day) those places and sights Down Under are all on the menu for guests sailing aboard Silversea's first-ever voyage to completely circumnavigate Australia. Next year, Silver Shadow will sail on a 30-day, Sydney-to-Sydney voyage. From Jan 19 to Feb 18, the 382-guest, ultra-luxury ship will follow 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."
Throughout this special voyage, guests will enjoy an exciting enrichment program, headlined by distinguished speakers from the worlds of film, art, nature, academia, winemaking and cuisine:
· Prof. Geoffrey Blainey, one of Australia's best-known historians and commentators, will share his interesting perspectives on the Sydney-to-Darwin segment, Jan 19 to 29;
· Mathew Macartney, executive chef of the Yarra Valley's famed Chateau Yering (a Relais & Châteaux member property), will join the ship Jan 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, Jan 29 to Feb 11, Darwin to Adelaide;
· Noel Miller, artist renowned for his landscapes of the Australian outback, will discuss Aboriginal art, Jan 29 to Feb 11, Darwin to Adelaide;
· Lyn Farmer, wine consultant for Silversea and James Beard Foundation Award-winning wine and food writer, will share his expertise, Darwin to Port Lincoln, Jan 29 to Feb 10;
· Jamie Sach, chief spokesperson for the iconic Penfolds Wines, will share his extensive knowledge of the wine industry, Feb 6 to 10, Perth to Port Lincoln;
· Simon Johnson, epicurean expert, will provide insight into Australia's rich abundance of artisan produce, Feb 11 to 14, Adelaide to Melbourne;
· George Francisco, executive chef of Jonah's, one of Australia's oldest and most respected hospitality establishments and a Relais & Châteaux member property, will present cooking demonstrations, Feb 13 to 18, Geelong to Sydney;
· John Stainton, the director and producer who directed all of naturalist Steve Irwin's documentaries, will lecture on Australian film, Feb 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;
· Ian Denton, a native Australian and world explorer, will also be on board the entire voyage to host lectures as Silversea's destination consultant.
And to further showcase the region's intriguing cultures, dramatic natural beauty and exotic wildlife, the line is offering two new optional mid-voyage excursions:
** "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 3-day adventure is offered from Adelaide. Rejoin ship in Melbourne.
** "Australian Frontiers & Train Journey": Discover the heart of the Australian outback by rail aboard the glamorous Indian Pacific train as you watch 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 6-day adventure is offered from Fremantle (Perth). Rejoin ship in Adelaide.
Aboard one of Cruise Diva's favorite ships, the elegant Silver Shadow, guests enjoy a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one, 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 features signature dishes by Relais & Châteaux. Silver Savings fares for this special 30-day Australia voyage are available. The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. For more information, contact your travel agent or visit Silversea.com.