A world cruise doesn’t have to be limited to experiencing the oceans. A new program from luxury line Silversea Cruises offers cruisers the unique opportunity to spend some time off the ship with a series of overland adventures and then rejoin the vessel and continue on with the voyage.
Departing in Jan. 5, and sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Venice, the 382-passenger Silver Whisper will visit 51 ports in 31 countries over 115 days. Twenty optional land programs will escort guests inland to witness natural wonders such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay; ancient landmarks in India, Arabia, and Israel, and the legendary kingdoms of Bhutan and Kandy.
“Our destination experts have specially crafted an inventive selection of overland explorations to enhance our guests’ world cruise experience,” says Darius Mehta, Silversea’s vice president of air and land programs. “These unique programs blend together the luxury and comfort of fine lodgings with the authenticity of hands-on exciting adventures to reveal the amazing cultures, wildlife, and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call.”
Here’s a sampling of the overland adventures:
Cloud Forest at Mashpi Lodge
(4 Days / 3 Nights — Depart: Manta / Rejoin Ship: Callao)
Mashpi is a nature sanctuary perched at 3,116 feet (900 meters) above sea level on the western slope of the Andes Mountains, in one of the world’s most celebrated bioregions. It will delight the most avid nature lover with picturesque waterfalls, verdant hills, and a staggering 500 species of birds. Guests might spot monkeys and even pumas, which make their home in the reserve.
Great Barrier Reef Retreat
(1 1/2 Days / 1 Night — Depart / Rejoin Ship: Cairns)
Considered one of the most idyllic places in the southern hemisphere, the Green Island Resort is located on an ancient coral cay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Its rainforest is home to over 120 species of native plants, colorful bird and marine life, and coral gardens. Guests may snorkel, take a stroll in the rainforest, gaze under the sea by glass-bottom boat, or simply relax.
(2 1/2 Days / 2 Nights — Depart: Ho Chi Minh City / Rejoin Ship: Bangkok)
Between the 9th and 13th centuries, Angkor was the capital of the Khmer empire, a colossal city renowned for its superb architecture and sculptures, vast lakes and temples. Hidden in the jungles of Cambodia until the late 19th century, it’s one of the world’s greatest wonders, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
(1 1/2 Days / 1 Night — Depart / Rejoin Ship: Yangon )
Situated on the Irrawaddy River is Myanmar’s former capital, the legendary city of Mandalay. Now the country’s second largest city, Mandalay is a rich cultural center famous for its monasteries, pagodas, temples, and the remains of its royal palace. The panoramic view from Mandalay Hill at sunset is an unforgettable experience.
In Search of Tigers
(5 Days / 4 Nights — Depart: Mumbai / Rejoin Ship: Dubai)
Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, is a wildlife sanctuary renowned for its royal Bengal tigers. Morning and afternoon game drives offer guests the chance to witness these remarkable animals in their natural habitat, along with jackals, leopards, gazelles, and numerous species of birds.
Starting at $999 per person, the optional overland programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. The full world cruise fares start at about $60,000 per person, double, but shorter segments can be booked.