Today, I embark on a 15-day journey on Silver Spirit. From the outset, Voyage 5109 has been the topic of much conversation, as I’ve told friends that I will be sailing in a region that has been making headlines for quite some time now.
Silver Spirit is scheduled to call in Jordan and in Egypt, and on the way, she crosses the Gulf of Aden, notorious for pirates.
Of course, I am aware of the risks that one could encounter on such a journey, but I’m also confident in Captain Angelo Corsaro’s command of Silver Spirit (he’s been with Silversea Cruises since its inception). I expect to emerge two weeks from now at the other end of this cruise enlightened and enriched by experiences that require a small sense of daring.
I step aboard Silver Spirit mid-afternoon today and will begin my daily reports here on Avid Cruiser and at Avid Cruiser’s Facebook page. There will be days when I will be unable to communicate, so “mind the gap.” I encourage you to participate. Ask questions, and I will answer them.
Silver Spirit overnights tonight in Dubai, setting sail Tuesday afternoon for Muscat, Oman, where she’ll spend the day before setting sail on a long sea journey beginning Wednesday night.
We will be at sea from Thursday, April 21, until Tuesday, April 26, when we call on Safaga, Egypt, overnighting there, then cruising to Aqaba, Jordan, where we’ll spend the day Thursday.
On Friday, we’ll spend the better part of the day in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and on Saturday, Silver Spirit transits the Suez Canal.
Sunday, May 1, we call on Alexandria, Egypt, followed by another day at sea before ending in Piraeus, the port for Athens, Greece.
To get to Silver Spirit, I traveled on Air France from Copenhagen to Paris (1:50 hours) then onto to Dubai (nearly seven hours from Paris).
Being 6’5″ and willing to pay a little extra for legroom, I booked myself in Air France’s Premium Voyageur class, which was very much like Business Class, but with fewer bells and whistles — and a much lower price tag.
In seats that offered 40 percent more space than seats in economy class, we were served champagne, good wine, a tasty dinner and a snack. Cost of my travel from Asheville (NC) – Paris – Copenhagen – Paris – Dubai – Copenhagen – Asheville was $1600, for comfort all the way on that zig-zaggy routing.
Make note avid cruisers: Silversea offers complimentary roundtrip Business Class airfare on select Northern Europe and Mediterranean voyages this summer, plus $1,000 Onboard Spending Credits. Be sure to check out Silversea Adds Complimentary Business Class Air to Select Voyages on Avid Cruiser’s companion website, From the Deck Chair.
The Ritz-Carlton at Dubai’s International Financial Center had been open only for a few months when I arrived last night. Situated in the heart of the financial district, the hotel is an excellent choice for business travelers or for those with a predisposition to shopping. There is a second Ritz-Carlton property situated in the heart of the marina and on a beach that may better meet the needs of leisure travelers. At any rate, combine Arabian hospitality with five-star Ritz-Carlton service, and you’ve got the perfect seque to a Silversea cruise.
Let’s go cruising.