Sailing the Red Sea with Silversea
Position as of 15:05 L: 18° 14’32” N, 39° 55’24” E
Speed: 16.9 knots
Wind: 10 km/h / Seas: less than 1 metre
Friday, April 10, 2015
Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports
It’s Day Three of four straight days at sea here onboard Silversea’s Silver Wind as we wind our way towards Safaga, Egypt and the start of a major port-of-call stretch that will last for six straight days. Aside from the transit of the Suez Canal, after tomorrow our next true Sea Day won’t occur until nearly the end of the voyage as we make our way to Kusadasi, Turkey and then eventually on to Piraeus – the Greek port city that is the gateway to Athens.
Truth be told, I don’t mind long stretches at sea – but then, I like Transatlantic Crossings, where the main feature is sea days that stretch on forever. Tonight, we even get to set our clocks back another hour, which means an extra hour of sleep. It’s a good thing, too – we might need it. There’s a surprising amount of things going on today that I aim to take part in.
A look at what’s up today onboard the Silver Wind, courtesy of the Silversea Chronicles:
- 0700: Morning Walk with Fitness Instructor Konstantinos. Aerobics Room, 9.
- 0730: Stretch and Surrender with Fitness Instructor Konstantinos. Aerobics Room, 9.
- 0800: ABS Class with Fitness Instructor Konstantinos. Aerobics Room, 9.
- 0800: The Silver Quiz, Crossword, and Sudoku are available. Shore Concierge, 6.
- 0900: International Desk. Elonora is available to assist International Guests. Lobby, 6.
- 0930: Starting Bridge from Scratch with Genevieve Wilson. Card Room, 6.
- 0930: Bridge for Novice Players by Albert Wilson. Card Room, 6.
- 1000: International Desk. Bianca is available to assist International Guests. Lobby, 6.
- 1000: Jigsaw Puzzle. Come along and add a few pieces. Card Room, 6.
- 1015: Coffee Chat with Voice of Silversea Melanie. Panorama Lounge, 8.
- 1030: Bridge for Intermediate Players by Albert Wilson. Card Room, 6.
- 1030: Sudoku Challenge for prize points with International Hostess Elonora. Panorama Lounge, 8.
- 1030: Enrichment Lecture with Guest Lecturer Peter Damisch. Today’s Topic: Upper Egypt: Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Parisian Lounge, 6.
- 1100: Watch Seminar: Jaeger Le Coultre with Watch and Jewellery Specialist Murat. The Boutique, 5.
- 1100: Have a game with your fellow guests hosted by Luperci. Pool Deck, 8.
- 1130: Bar Tricks and Magic with our talented Bar Staff. Pool Bar, 8.
- 1200: Pub Lunch. Come along and enjoy the congeniality of an English Pub. The Bar, 5.
- 1400: Duplicate and Informal Bridge Play with Albert and Genevieve Wilson. Card Room, 6.
- 1400: Dance Class with Gentlemen Hosts Joe and Howard.
- 1500: Blackjack Tournament. The time has come to find Silver Wind’s best Blackjack player! The Casino, 5.
- 1500: Water Volleyball with the Voices of Silversea. Pool Deck, 8.
- 1530: Arts & Crafts: Make your own big envelope gift bags with International Hostess Elonora. Panorama Lounge, 8.
- 1600: Afternoon Tea is served to the delightful music of Lou. La Terrazza, 7.
- 1615: Enrichment Lecture with Guest Lecturer Dr. Gunter Mulack. Today’s Topic: The Arab Peninsula: Only Gas and Oil – or Is There More? Parisian Lounge, 6.
- 1700: Team Trivia for prize points with Cruise Director Colin. The Bar, 5.
- 1730: Golf Putting for prize points and fun hosted by Philippa. Lobby, 4.
- 1830: Sabbath Service conducted by Rabbi Ben Morrow. Card Room, 6.
- 1830: The Silver Wind Quartet plays for Guests’ listening and dancing pleasure. The Bar, 5.
- 1845: Lou plays for Guests’ listening pleasure. Panorama Lounge, 8.
- 1845: Pre-dinner Entertainment: Silversea Proudly Presents ‘Un Soiree Musicale’ starring Cruise Director Pianist Colin Barbiere-Brown, Soprano Ashley Slater and Tenor Luperci De Souza. Parisian Lounge, 6.
- 2130: The Silver Wind Quartet plays for Guests’ listening and dancing pleasure. The Bar, 5.
- 2145: Lou plays for Guests’ listening pleasure. Panorama Lounge, 8.
- 2145: Silversea Proudly Presents: Multi-Award-Winning Magician Marc Oberon returns with a brand-new show. Parisian Lounge, 6.
That’s a lot going on for a single day at sea on a small ship. Two production shows, two lectures by two different guest lecturers, all the games of Bridge that card players could ever want, an English-style Pub Lunch, high tea, and the usual bloodbath that is Team Trivia for prize points and bragging rights.
Pub Lunch in The Bar was tremendous, and my only complaint is that my fellow guests failed to show up in the numbers I have seen on other voyages. Usually, it’s standing-room only here, but on this sailing finding a seat wasn’t a problem. On the menu: Fish & Chips, Steak & Kidney Pie, split pea soup, and bread pudding for dessert. To wash it down, a pint of Guinness was never far from reach, and the Voices of Silversea performed hits from The Beatles along with the Silver Wind Quartet. International Hostesses Elonora and Bianca greeted and chatted with guests, and Cruise Director Colin worked the room as well. The level of personal attention on any Silversea cruise is very high, and this sailing is no exception.
As a little geography lesson, we’re now sailing the Red Sea, sandwiched in between Saudi Arabia to the north; and Eritrea to the south. Later this evening, Eritrea will give way to the coast of Sudan, which will then change to Egypt.
Being an access point for the Suez Canal, I had the (mistaken) impression that this waterway would be chocked with ships of every conceivable shape and size. I’m learning that, at least at this point, that assumption is incorrect. When we passed a Hapag-Lloyd container ship this afternoon only a few nautical miles off our starboard side; it was like seeing a unicorn. The waterway is that quiet.
Then, there’s the temperature today – a sweat-inducing 44 degrees Celsius. It’s driven me complete indoors today, though I am fully aware I’ll have to put up with the heat when I am on Silversea’s shore excursions in Egypt. Still, coupled with the humidity in the air, it’s enough to make you feel the near-constant need to shower.
It’s also hot enough to seriously dehydrate you. An hour’s worth of sitting on my balcony sipping a cocktail was enough to make me feel none too pleasant as afternoon turned into evening. To be fair, the fault is mine: slamming back a cocktail after two beers at pub lunch without having much in the way of water was a recipe for disaster.
Since I didn’t feel well, I took dinner in my suite tonight after watching our very own Cruise Director, Colin, perform a fabulous pre-dinner show along with Voices of Silversea Ashley and Luperci.
On Silversea, you can order off the in-room dining menu, or even select courses from the daily menu that’s served in The Restaurant – ensuring you never miss your favorite meal, even if you decide to have a quiet night in. My own order – chicken consume, followed by the penne pasta, with a selection of breads and a Ginger Ale – was delivered just 20 minutes after I placed the order, and came with the full dinner setting, beautifully laid out on my dining room table.
I’m also happy to report that after a brief internet outage yesterday, the internet is back and connectivity is better than ever. It’s speedier and faster than it was, and it now works in the comfort of my suite. Before, access in my suite was impossible. Now, access is quite responsive and rivals some of the megaships I’ve sailed on in terms of bandwidth.
Silversea’s new internet system, operated by MTN Communications, even allows for complimentary streaming video-on-demand to your laptop or Apple mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. There’s literally dozens of films to choose from, and you don’t need to purchase an internet package to watch them. While I found the quality of older titles like The Prestige (2006) was somewhat suspect, with lots of MPEG compression and digital artifact ing visible, newer titles like Gravity (2013) were displayed properly in Widescreen and had little in the way of visible compression. If you don’t understand that technical analysis, know this: newer movies look best on the system. Older ones are a bit dodgy.
I, however, popped down to The Library on Deck 4 and grabbed a DVD copy of one of my favorite movies, P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia. In Silversea’s classic fleet, only Silver Spirit features in-room-television video-on-demand. Here onboard Silver Wind, there’s no shortage of choice for those who want to catch up on their cinema.
Tomorrow, we have one final day at sea as we arrive ever-closer to Safaga. We’ll hit the ground running on our first day in Egypt, taking Silversea’s 13-hour Luxor & the Valley of the Kings shore excursion. But until then, it’s another relaxing day with Silversea!
Silver Wind Middle East Adventure
|April 5, 2015||Muscat, Oman||Embark Silver Wind||19:00|
|April 6||Day at Sea|
|April 7||Salalah, Oman||13:00||23:00|
|April 8||At Sea|
|April 9||At Sea|
|April 10||At Sea|
|April 11||At Sea|
|April 12||Safaga, Egypt||07:00||21:00|
|April 13||Aqaba, Jordan||09:30||21:00|
|April 14||Transiting the Suez Canal|
|April 15||Port Said, Egypt||08:00||17:00|
|April 16||Ashdod, Israel||08:00||23:00|
|April 17||Haifa, Israel||07:00||18:00|
|April 18||At Sea|
|April 19||Kusadasi, Turkey||08:00||17:00|
|April 20||Piraeus (Athens), Greece||07:00||Disembark; Live Voyage Recap|
Our Live Voyage Report aboard Silversea’s elegant Silver Wind continues tomorrow as we spend one last day at sea en-route to our first Egyptian port of call of Safaga – gateway to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog or the hashtag #LiveVoyageReport.