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Silversea Launches 2020/21 Grand Voyages, Including Three Grand Expeditions



Silversea has just announced a new, unprecedented collection of Grand Voyages, including three extraordinary Grand Expeditions, for late 2020 and 2021.

These immersive journeys combine Silversea’s signature brand of luxury while sailing aboard the line’s intimate, all-suite ships with extraordinary, in-depth encounters that bring travelers up-close to their destination’s authentic beauty.

From the Arctic and Antarctica, to Australia, South America, the Caribbean and Mediterranean, Silversea’s Grand Voyages collection offers incredible, firsthand encounters from out of some the world’s most iconic ports, and whisks travelers away on life-altering expeditions to exotic destinations and to off-the-beaten-path locales.

“Our Grand Voyages perfectly exemplify our commitment to traveling deeper to discover the world’s authentic beauty,” said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s Chief Marketing Officer. “You can sail completely around Australia for 51 days, cross the Arctic Circle and the ancient monuments of Egypt on a 64-day voyage, or step foot onto the frozen continent of Antarctica and swim in the tropical waters of Bora Bora on the same 52-day voyage. Each journey will unlock amazing experiences, events and destinations, and deliver them to guests in superlative comfort.”

Silversea’s Newest Grand Voyages and Expeditions

Grand Australia 2020

Silver Muse embarks from Sydney on a 51-day circumnavigation that takes travelers to 30 ports in three countries—an up-close exploration of the modern metropolises and infinite natural wonders of Australia, New Zealand and the isles of Indonesia. Cruise-goers are invited to snorkel through Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, witness the awe-inspiring dragons of Komodo Island, cruise the majestic, glacier-carved fjords of New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, and discover sacred temples in the mystical paradise of Bali.

Grand South America 2021

Round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, the Silver Moon will make her inaugural journey to South America, putting in at 37 ports in 20 countries during her 70-day circumnavigation of the continent. Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Canal, cruising the Chilean fjords, extended stays in the vibrant cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and a visit to the Falkland Islands for possible sightings of penguins. Rounding out the trip are stops at tropical Caribbean island jewels, including Barbados, Saint Lucia, Antigua, Puerto Rico, and more

Grand Southern Expedition 2021

Silver Cloud departs from Ushuaia, Argentina on a 52-day exploration of such bucket-list destinations as Antarctica, the Chilean fjords, Easter Island, and the exotic South Pacific isles; putting in at 26 ports in eight countries along the way and culminating at Lautoka, Fiji. This diverse itinerary takes travelers on a sweeping voyage from snow-covered mountains, icebergs and glaciers to sun-kissed beaches dotted with swaying palm trees.

Grand Tropical Expedition 2021

From Lautoka, Fiji to Cochin, India, this 53-day, adventure-laden journey of Silver Cloud introduces guests to a slew of South Pacific enchantments, stopping in 36 ports in nine countries. Guests can savor the beauty of Vanuatu’s Champagne Beach, witness the death-defying land divers of Pentecost Island, and come face to face with orangutans in their natural habitat at the UNESCO-listed Gunung Leuser National Park in Indonesia. They’ll also explore Western Australia’s astounding Kimberley Coast, with its thundering waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art, and untamed wilderness where crocodiles roam.

Grand Northern Expedition 2021

Silver Cloud will sail a leisurely course from Cochin, India to Tromsø, Norway on this 64-day voyage that traces ancient Asian trading routes and outposts of Western civilization. Participants will be brought face-to-face with such antiquities as the Egyptian temples of Luxor, the impressive Roman amphitheater of Thysdrus in Tunisia, and the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi in Greece. The sights in Europe include a one-of-a-kind immersion into London’s historic past, with special access to the city’s iconic Tower Bridge, as well as the opportunity to visit WWII beaches in Normandy, walk part of Spain’s Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, stroll the monastery at Mont St-Michel, and discover the natural treasures of Norway’s North Cape and the Svalbard archipelago.

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AmaWaterways’ Rudi Schreiner Optimistic About River Cruising’s Rebound



AmaWaterways President and Co-Founder Rudi Schreiner is optimistic that the river cruise industry will rebound once the coronavirus outbreak dissipates.

“Once everything is over people often forget quickly,” he told TravelPulse. “There will be pent-up demand, but the question now is when does it start up again?”

AmaWaterways has suspended river cruise operations until May 31 but is protecting travel agent commissions on canceled departures and paying 10 percent again when the agents’ clients rebook using future cruise credits (valued at 115 percent of the initial payments). That commitment is valued, especially since this is one of the direst situations in memory for travel.

“This is for sure one of the most severe situations we’ve ever had,” Schreiner said. “It is worse than 9/11 and worse than some of the terrorist attacks.”

For river cruising, this situation is worse than 9/11 because that attack occurred in September when most of the river cruise season was over – not at the beginning of the season like it is now.

“So, 9/11 was huge but didn’t affect European river cruising as strongly,” he said. “The most intense time for us personally was the first two weeks of March this year. Ships were ready, crews were onboard, provisions were ready” and then the virus spread across parts of Europe. The season was suspended.

“Once that was done, you at least had a clear picture ahead of you,” Schreiner said.

That doesn’t mean work is over for the time being. Schreiner is working out of his home in Westlake Village, Calif., and “right now we are busy on daily conference calls with the management team, individual calls with departments and so on. It’s very busy, and it’s getting organized, sorting through the whole thing. If we don’t cruise this entire season, we’ll make it through.”

That’s because Schreiner said AmaWaterways’ 25 ships are all paid off and funding in place will carry the company through.

“My worst-case scenario over the last 6-7 years, when our fleet became bigger, was because of such extreme low water we cannot cruise for a season,” he said. “In 2018, we had low water through the whole season. If it would get to an extreme level and we couldn’t cruise for a season, that’s why I always wanted to be as debt-free as possible. For many, many years, every penny we made went back into the company and our last 12 ships were completely paid in cash. Now everything is paid off.”

The company also is focused on its staff members. “We’re trying to maintain pretty much all our staff in our offices in Calabasas (Calif.), Dallas, Basel (Switzerland), and London,” Schreiner said. But European nations often operate differently. In Switzerland, for example, the government wants people to continue working and will pay 80 percent of the workers’ salaries, he explained.

When river cruise does rebound, it likely won’t get the same kind of fear that ocean companies are likely to face – such as being quarantined or turned away from countries. River ships are always close to land and don’t sail in international waters, so can’t be turned away from a country.

“On the river, you’re always within a country, you’re not coming from international waters,” he said. “It’s a different environment. Small-ship cruising will continue, and expedition cruising will continue. Ocean cruising may take longer, but I think it will also come back.”

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