Culture-seeking seafarers will have a rare opportunity to experience the Festival of Akwasidae on a Silversea Silver Cloud voyage on March 16, 2016. The luxury cruise line is offering a chance o gain unique insights into the culture, history, and people of Ghana on a 16-day West Africa cruise from Tema (Accra) to Barcelona. To enhance the experience they are also providing an optional six-day pre-cruise “Accra & the Ashanti Kingdom” land adventure set within the walls of the royal palace in Kumasi—an authentic, centuries-old ceremony, honoring the community’s ancestors, is presided over by the king of the Ashanti people.
In a press release received today, Nov. 12, Silversea pointed out that “One of the most powerful nations in Africa until the British annexation at the end of the 19th century, the traditions of the Ashanti empire still live on in Kumasi, a city of nearly one million inhabitants that features one of the largest central markets in Africa. Beginning in Accra, Silversea guests will have the opportunity to extensively tour this fascinating cultural hub with a three-night stay in Kumasi.”
The Akwasidae Festival, presided over by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th ruler of the Ashanti people, takes place beneath a colorful umbrella and adorned in gold ornaments and ceremonial dress, the king’s dignitaries are assembled at his feet, surrounded by elders and advisers under the authority of the royal speaker. During the ceremony, griots tell stories of past Ashanti rulers while drum and ivory-horn players serve as the inspiration for traditional dance performances. “In addition to being an amazing journey, this unique program provides our guests with the exclusive opportunity to participate in the Akwasidae Festival in Kumasi,” said Darius Mehta, Silversea’s vice president of air and land programs. “Like all of our overland adventures, this exciting program has been hand-crafted to enhance our guests’ experiences ashore, and to provide them with cultural immersion opportunities that would simply not be possible otherwise.”
During the event participants can learn how the traditional adinkra textile, developed by the Ashanti people, is made. A traditional hand-painted fabric used by royalty in religious ceremonies, the people of Ghana decorate this cloth with Ashanti symbols by using a black dye made of bark called adinkra aduru. The workshop chosen for this event is one of the most important in the country, sought-after by international scholars and students. Included in the tour are two nights’ accommodation at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, along with a three-night stay at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi, daily breakfasts, five lunches, four dinners, and all ground transportation. The price for this six-day pre-cruise excursion starts at $3,979 per person.
The mostly-inclusive (tips, wines and spirits are free) Silver Cloud March 16 sailing calls in Las Palmas, Arrecife, Agadir, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Cartagena, and Valencia. For complete voyage details, click here.