Silver Spirit, the newest ultra-luxury ship from Silversea Cruses, will make her maiden voyage next January a memorable one. The 91-day Grand Voyage will certainly be special, as any maiden voyage is, but to celebrate the arrival of its new ship, Silversea is lining up an array of celebrity guest speakers for onboard presentations, complimentary excursions and other exclusive onshore events designed to showcase local cultures as well as entertain guests.
Highlighting the entertainment and enrichment roster, John Cleese will sail with the Silver Spirit on the segment from Buenos Aires to Santiago starting Feb. 20. A writer, actor and comedian, Cleese is probably best known for his madcap television work on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the series Fawlty Towers. Cleese will share insights and anecdotes from his long career and will entertain guests.
For the trip from Los Angeles to New York starting April 2, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the first female Astronaut to walk in space and a veteran of three space shuttle missions, will provide her perspective on her space career during the voyage.
The Silver Spirit will depart Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 21. The voyage will take her down one side of South America and up the other, to the Mexican Riviera and through the Panama Canal before heading back up the Atlantic Coast to finish in New York. During the 91-day voyage, she will explore more than 20 countries and 45 ports. Of course, travelers who would like to see the new ship can sign up for any one of several shorter segments if they cannot commit to the full three-month adventure.
For guests who can sail 70 or more days, Silversea has arranged four complimentary onshore events to kindle the spirit of celebration:
- Naming Ceremony Gala — In Fort Lauderdale, on January 20, the evening before departing on the Grand Inaugural Voyage, guests will enjoy a welcoming gala dinner and overnight accommodations aboard Silver Spirit. The following day, guests are invited to attend the Naming Ceremony festivities including a special VIP luncheon.
- Spirit Cup Polo Match — During the ship’s call in Barbados on January 30, a special polo match has been arranged for Grand Inaugural Voyage guests. Spectators can cheer on two fast-paced chukkas (a seven-minute playing period), have some fun “stomping the divots” (a tradition of smoothing the field) while sipping champagne, and at the end of the match applaud the victorious team as they are awarded the Spirit Cup.
- Carnaval! — The centerpiece of this Grand Inaugural Voyage is the ship’s arrival in Rio de Janeiro on February 14, at the height of Carnaval. Following an early dinner, guests will have the chance to experience the magic of the Rio Carnaval parade from prime seats reserved for them at the Sambadrome. The atmosphere promises to be electric, the floats and colorful costumes spectacular and the thousands of dancers and drummers passionate as they exert every ounce of energy in competition with rival samba schools.
- Panama Hat Party — The historic and picturesque city of Montecristi, birthplace of the original Panama hat, is the setting for an event arranged exclusively for Silversea guests during the March 16 visit to Manta, Ecuador. Guests will experience the unique culture of this colonial town as they enjoy local dances and demonstrations of hat-making by master weavers. As a memento, each guest will receive a traditional hat rolled into the customary balsa wood box.
Additionally, all guests aboard the Grand Inaugural Voyage will enjoy three complimentary Silversea Experiences including an innovative children’s ballet performance at the grand Teatro José de Alencar in Fortaleza, Brazil; a visit to one of the world’s largest Magellanic penguin colonies, home to thousands of penguins, near Camarones, Argentina; and a delightful folkloric presentation of dances that portray the history of Panama, staged at one of the country’s most treasured landmarks, the National Theater of Panama, during the ship’s call in Fort Amador.
Additional services and amenities available to guests sailing 70 or more days aboard the Grand Inaugural Voyage include complimentary perks such as private car transfers, luggage forwarding service, business class air upgrade, a commemorative gift, and Onboard Spending Credits of up to $2,000 per suite.