CHARLOTTE, N.C. It took Phileas Phogg 80 days to circumnavigate the globe. In 2020 however, passengers sailing on the Silversea Cruise Line will accomplish the task in 140 days visiting 62 ports and 32 countries. With a capacity of only 382 people, Silversea’s Silver Whisper has no intentions of challenging Mr. Phogg. Rather, luxury is the order of the day. That’s the outstanding difference distinguishing its upcoming cruise, the first to call at every continent on the planet.
The spectacular re-launch of the Silversea Silver Whisper
Setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale on January 5, 2020, Silversea says this unique Silver Whisper voyage will be the first ever cruise to visit the seven continents in a single itinerary. The price tag won’t be inexpensive. That number checks in at $62,000 per passenger on the newly refurbished ship. Then again, you have a bit more than an entire year to save your shekels before embarking on this deluxe adventure.
(Of course, it you really want to splurge, you can go top of the line for a mere $250,000.)
As of now, Silversea is not selling segments of the cruise. That will come later, when the entire Silver Whisper itinerary is broken into 9 separate itineraries. Ports of call will include many traditional destinations combined with some exotic, lesser traveled sites around the world.
Highlights of the Silver Whisper Around-the-World voyage
Highlights of this spectacular Silver Whisper voyage include a stop at Pitcairn Island, the remote setting for Mutiny on the Bounty; a visit to Vanuatu in the South Pacific, featuring a water dance festival on Champagne Beach; and a three-day visit to remote Antarctica. That visit to our most remote continent includes glacial expeditions conducted by nine Antarctic specialists.
Embarking from the Silver Whisper, Zodiac tours will speed passengers along to encounter the stunning frozen beauty of the world’s final frontier. Zodiacs are small, inflatable raft-like boats ideally suited for navigating the icy waters of Antarctica.
The “Legends of Cruising” extravaganza ends as the Silver Whisper docks in Edinburgh, Scotland. There, the adventure a concludes with a farewell dinner at Mansfield Traquair, the Scottish version of the Sistine Chapel.
Segment #1: Florida to Buenos Airies and everywhere in-between
On the opposite end, the first segment of this very special Silver Whisper cruise travels from Ft. Lauderdale to Buenos Aires. En route, the ship stops in Puerto Rico, Barbados, Brazil and Uruguay before concluding the segment in Argentina.
Among the first-leg highlights is a call at the discarded key-shaped island off the coast of French Guiana known as Devil’s Island, site of one of history’s most infamous and feared prisons, and the setting for the book Papillon, later made into a pair of films. The prison now lies dormant after being closed in 1953. It currently exists as a grimly isolated suggestion of what Purgatory must be like.
Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, with Antarctica in between
The second leg of the Silver Whisper cruise sails on from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile. It’s this segment that includes ports of call in Antarctica. The Falkland Islands are also part of the itinerary, during which passengers will sails around the Cape Horn, which marks the southern tip of the South American continent.
Antarctica’s breathtaking iceberg sculptures are captivating and spectacular. Add in up-close-and-personal encounters with a variety of marine mammals and colonies of penguins in their remote native habitat. You’ll experience a sense of time traveling nearly two centuries into the past, when the only visitors here were courageous explorers, whalers, sealers and scientists.
Heading back north, voyagers will next encounter the winding expanses of the Chilean fjords. These are filled with seals, dolphins, waterfalls and plant-life that clings to the barren rocks. Here, small fishing boats from Punta Arenas ply the local waters in search of king crab and other fish.
Leg #3 include five exotic Pacific ports
Though Leg #3 only docks at five ports. Yet they boast perhaps the most exotic collection of sites on the extensive Silver Whisper cruise itinerary.
Even the name of one of those destinations, Robinson Crusoe Island, conjures romantic images of much earlier voyages. That holds true if for no other reason than one’s recollection of Daniel Defoe’s classic 1719 adventure novel, Robinson Crusoe. Many readers believe the tales are so realistic that Crusoe was a real person and his travelogue accounts are true. The novel is, in fact, based on what’s at least purported to be a true story of shipwreck and survival.
Nestled roughly 400 miles off the coast of Chile, this rugged island of volcanic origin is a UNESCO site and is the largest of a tiny archipelago known as the Juan Fernandez Islands.
The mystery of Easter Island
Ever wonder how Easter Island got its name? The answer is simple, really. The island was discovered on Easter Sunday, 1722. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the most remote places on Earth. It is situated approximately 1,700 miles off the coast of Chile.
Easter Island is perhaps most famous for its eerie Moai stone statues. Archaeologists continue with their attempts to unlock the mysteries of the island’s ancient Rapa Nui language. It was written on what are called “rongo rongo tablets.”
More Polynesian than South American in character, Silver Whisper passengers should note that Easter Island also features stunningly beautiful beaches, coral reefs and crystal clear waters.
Tahiti to Sydney
Embarking from Papeete, Tahiti to Sydney, Australia with ports of call in Bora Bora, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Vanuatu among others, this segment of the Silver Whisper itinerary is among the most active legs of the cruise.
For most of us, Papeete and Fiji, another port of call on this leg, would be off-the-beaten path enough. But not on this special Silversea itinerary. Silversea decided to add Bora Bora and Tonga to the growing Silver Whisper list of ports-of-call.
Just the double name Bora Bora captures one’s imagination. Indeed, it lives up to expectations with its thatched wooden huts standing out over shallow seas and vivid schools of fish swimming just beneath the surface of its tropical waters.
Elsewhere on this segment, the Silver Whisper visits Tonga. This archipelago consisting of 169 islands. Humans inhabit only 36.
Uoleva Island is one of the most beautiful anchorages in Tonga. Except for three small resorts, it is largely uninhabited. Talk about getting away from it all. Uoleva is also one of the best places in the world for sighting humpback whales, while snorkelers enjoy the underwater sites and colorful marine life cavorting about the clear blue waters.
Next week, the next half of 2020’s upcoming Silversea Silver Whisper voyage around the world
Now that we are half way around the world, doing Jules Verne and Phileas Phogg proud, we’ll take a break from our seagoing adventure aboard the Silver Whisper. We’ll return next week to detail the final five segments of Silversea’s unique “Legends of Cruising” world cruise in 2020.
— Headline image: The famous Moais on Isla da Pacua are just one of many destinations on the Silversea “Legends of Cruising” World Cruise in 2020 (Photo: Horacio_Fernandez. Link: https://www.panoramio.com/photo/107053120, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime
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