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SILVERSEA CRUISE OF SOUTH AFRICA, THE SEYCHELLES ISLANDS, ZANZIBAR AND MADAGASCAR

DECEMBER 13-28,2023

WITH OPTIONAL FOUR NIGHT POST CRUISE NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION IN CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA
(Rated 1 of the top 7 places in the world to celebrate New year’s Eve…See below for the other 6)

ENJOY TWO DAYS IN RICHARD’S BAY SOUTH AFRICA FOR
A SPECTACULAR INCLUDED SAFARI EXCURSION EACH DAY
A SAFARI EXCURSION TO SEE THE BIG FIVE WILDLIFE
Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and African Buffalo.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/Big_five_gam.jpg/300px-Big_five_gam.jpg

SEE THE BIG FIVE ON AN INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION

&

A HIPPO AND CROCODILE WILDLIFE EXCURSION

 

ALSO ENJOY ON OUR CRUISE

A NATIVE LEMUR WILDLIFE EXCURSION IN MADGASCAR
A BEACH DAY IN THE STUNNING SEYCHELLES ISLANDS
SPICE PLANTATIONS AND RARE RED COLOBUS MONKEYS on ZANZIBAR
PLUS A CABLE CAR RIDE TO THE TOP OF TABLE MOUNTAIN
 IN CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA
AND SO MUCH MORE FUN IN THE SUN! 

Join us on a holiday cruise of epic sightseeing experiences.  We will cruise on the Silver Spirit of high end luxury Silversea cruise line.  The ship only holds 600 people so you will never feel in a crowd.

EVERYTHING IS INCLUDED ON SILVERSEA CRUISES

  • AIRFARE IS INCLUDED FROM YOUR HOME CITY ROUND TRIP
  • ONE NIGHT PRE CRUISE HOTEL ARRANGED BY SILVERSEA IS INCLUDED
  • ALL AIRPORT TRANSFERS - TRANSPORT FROM YOUR HOME TO THE AIRPORT, THEN FROM THE ARRIVAL AIRPORT TO THE PRE-CRUISE HOTEL, FROM THE HOTEL TO THE SHIP; FROM THE SHIP TO THE AIRPORT AT CRUISE END AND FROM YOUR HOME AIRPORT BACK TO YOUR HOME

ONBOARD – ITS ALL  INCLUDED TOO !

  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Personalized service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, beer, select wines & spirits
  • 24-hour dining service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Onboard gratuities
  • AND a shore excursion is included in each port. (The list of excursions you can choose form in each port, is listed under each port of call so just scroll down this page to view each port of call and its  included shore excursion choices.

All cabins are suites and all are a minimum of 335 square feet for ocean view cabins or a minimum of 375 square feet for ocean view with private balcony cabins.

The weather is perfect in December in the Seychelles island and the other ports on our Southern Hemisphere Summer itinerary with average highs in the mid 80s and warm sunny days to go along with the soothingly cool ocean breezes..

 

TRIP ITINERARY:

 

December 11, 2023 – You will be picked up at your home by a sedan transport service and transported to your home city airport by Blacklane Limousine Service, by arrangement from Silversea Cruise Line.
You will fly today from your home city on an overnight flight to Mahe in the exotic Seychelles islands on flights arranged by Silversea Cruise Line and included in your trip cost.

December  12, 2023  Mahe Seychelles islands
 Arrive today in Mahe in the exotic and spectacular Seychelles islands.  You will be met by a rep. from Silversea Cruise Line in the airport’s arrivals hall after claiming your bags and clearing customs formalities and you will be assisted with your bags and then transferred on their shuttle bus to their hotel for your included one night Pre cruise stay here on Mahe in the stunning Seychelles islands.

Relax on the glorious beach, or by the pool and then watch an incredible sunset like none you have seen before.  The evening is at your leisure.  If you wish, go into the town to enjoy dinner on the town.

Mahe SEYCHELLES ISLANDS

Few places on Earth can claim to have been as blessed by nature as Mahe. Set in the remote Seychelles archipelago over 1,500 kilometers east of Mombasa, Mahe is largest of the 115 islands and is home to so many stunning attractions you won’t know where to begin. For many the Seychelles are the destination of a lifetime. Cerulean seas, miles and miles of beach, lush, tropical jungle and surreal, natural beauty as far as the eye can see. Not only does Mahe boast 68 pristine beaches, it is dominated by the towering peaks of the Morne Seychellois National Park.

This splendid National Park takes up over 20% of the island and is home to a vast amount of endemic flora and fauna, including the ultra-rare Seychelles Scops-owl. Unsurprisingly, the crystal clear waters are a diver’s heaven, promising a colorful cornucopia of underwater life, regardless of how experienced you are.

Mahé is the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago, in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. Its terrain is defined by white-sand beaches such as those in the popular resort area of Beau Vallon, and granite peaks.

Seychelles 003.JPG
Beaches on Mahe featured golden sand and crystal clear waters
with expensive views of the mountains ringing the island

December 13, 2023  You will check out of the hotel and be assisted with your bags by Silversea’s rep. onto their awaiting shuttle bus to take you to their stunning luxury cruise ship, the Silver Spirit for boarding your luxury floating hotel for your two week Christmas holiday cruise.

Our Ship – The Silver Spirit

With one of the highest space to guest ratios in the business and eight superlative luxury dining options, Silver Spirit offers its guests one of the most complete cruise experiences available. Spacious decks leave plenty of room for relaxation, yet the cozy niches make sure that there is something for everyone. Meet like-minded friends; enjoy first class dining and relax in what is possibly the best place between sea and sky.

The ship has 8 restaurants, pools, Jacuzzis, casino, spa, boutiques, gym and much more.

EVERYTHING IS ALSO INCLUDED ONBOARD YOUR SILVERSEA CRUISES SHIP

  • Butler service in every suite
  • Unlimited Free Wi-Fi
  • Personalized service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  • Multiple restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • 24-hour dining service
  • Onboard entertainment
  • Complimentary transportation into town in most ports
  • Onboard gratuities
  • AND a shore excursion is included in each port. (The list of excursions you can choose form in each port, is listed under each port of call so just scroll down this page to view each port of call and its  included shore excursion choices.

All cabins are suites and all are a minimum of 335 square feet for ocean view cabins or a minimum of 375 square feet for ocean view with private balcony cabins.

The ship’s capacity is only 608 passengers, so you will never feel crowded at anything you do on this ship.

This evening we will have a welcome orientation for our group on the ship.

 

December 14th and 15th, 2023  DAY AT SEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.  The weather December in the Seychelles and the other ports on our itinerary is an average high of 85 degrees F, so relax and enjoy the sunshine and the sea breezes – as well as the all included free drinks and dining options!

We will also have group activities on the sea days, including trivia games where we will split into teams for a fun event.

 

December 15th and 16th  2023  Zanzibar Tanzania Africa

A tropical paradise, with swathes of long white sand and flanked by tall palm trees, Zanzibar sits in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Part of the Zanzibar archipelago, the island – also called Zanzibar – is found just 22 miles from mainland Tanzania. Visitors will find vestiges of both Arabic and Portuguese colonialism amid the picture perfect landscape. But there is much more to Zanzibar than meets the eye. With just one step off the ship, you are already breathing the smooth scents of nutmeg, cinnamon & vanilla. Zanzibar is Rightfully known as the Spice Isle.  .

The influences of the various colonies are glamorously reflected in the main city’s architecture. The epicenter for trade was in the Market Square, in the heart of Stone Town, a melting pot of Arabic, African and European history that today is one of the world’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Zanzibar is also known for its rare Colobus Monkeys. 

The Zanzibar Red Colobus is a species of red colobus monkey endemic to Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar Archipelago, off the coast of Tanzania. It is now classified as an endangered species and in the mid-1990s was adopted as the flagship species for conservation in Zanzibar.  This Old World monkey's coat ranges from dark red to black, accented with a black stripe along the shoulders and arms, and a pale underside. Its black face is crowned with long, white hair, and features a distinguishing pink mark on its lips and nose. Also, the Zanzibar red colobus has a long tail used only for balancing 

Piliocolobus kirkii 7.jpg
The rare red colobus monkeys on Zanzibar

 

4 Included  Shore Excursions choices – all are so good, that having two days here, its so nice that you can pick twice!



Excursion choice #1  Stone Town - A UNESCO's World Heritage Site

        Discover the highlights of Stone Town (a UNESCO's World Heritage Site), Zanzibar's major port and town. Your introduction begins town.  Your tour begins with a visit to the city Market where you experience the hustle and bustle of morning activities. See and smell the tropical fruits piled high and the
freshly ground spices neatly packed for sale.

Slave Market
     Proceed to the Anglican Church built in 1874 by Bishop Steer on the site of the Great Slave Market, once the hub of the slave trade for the whole of East Africa. At its peak, up to 60,000 slaves passed through the market each year. You also visit the underground chambers where the slaves were held before being taken to the market. The site hosts a recently commissioned photo exhibition showcasing the slave trade and its abolition.

Palace Museum
     Proceed to the Sultan Palace Museum, which was the Sultans residence. During your visit you can view a collection of portraits of past sultans and relics of early explorers, including Dr. Livingstone's medicine chest.

Old Fort
     Overlooking a small square and the ocean, the fort was established by the Portuguese as a trading depot in the 16th century. It has been recently restored and now houses a number of craft and souvenir shops around the inner courtyard. From the fort, your guide leads you on a short walking tour through the narrow alleys that lead to the heart of Stone Town, passing the Roman Catholic Church, some extraordinary Zanzibar doors and glimpses of typical Zanzibar life.   We will then Re-join your coach for the return drive to the pier.

 

Excursion Choice #2  Maharubi Palace Ruins & Spice Plantation

       Taking a spice tour in Zanzibar provides a good way to understand why Zanzibar and spices are Synonymous. In the 19th century, the Sultan of Oman introduced cloves to the island, which today is Zanzibar's main export product.

Depart from the pier and drive past the house of Dr. David Livingstone, where he stayed while planning his explorations into the interior of Africa
 
You will visit the ruins of Maruhubi Palace, built by Sultan Barghash, the third Arab sultan of Zanzibar, who used the building to accommodate his wife and concubines. The sultan himself lived in a separate palace in Zanzibar Town. In 1899 the Maruhubi Palace was destroyed by a fire.


Proceed to the countryside, where we offer the visitor a look at and taste of the spices grown mostly in off-road regions not easily accessible. You will stop in a luscious green clearing, where examples of spice plants are available for you to smell, taste, touch and see. You will get to see what the products you normally buy in packets or jars in supermarkets look and taste like fresh off the plant. The great variety of spices and plants grown here is used in food flavoring and preparation, cosmetics,
dyes and traditional medicines.

A local boy will climb up a tall coconut tree while you are walking through the spice area, to reach the plants situated high off the ground, as he then uses his legs to shimmy back down the swaying palm. It is possible depending upon the season to sample some of the edible fruits. Spice packets are available for sale on the rustic tables set up whenever visitors are spotted.

After this experience, you will continue with a visit to the Persian baths at Kidichi, before going back to the ship.


EXCURSION CHOICE #3      The Monkey Business of Jozani Forest


Indulge your senses with the splendid beauty and wildlife of Zanzibar's only National Park during this memorable, half-day excursion to the Jozani Nature Reserve.


Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately one-hour drive to the Jozani Forest Nature Reserve, The only mature forest on the island of Zanzibar. With mangrove forests and saltmarshes to the north of the park, the area is an extremely rich mosaic of Zanzibar's diverse natural habitat, and a haven for rare, endemic and endangered wildlife species such as the red Colobus monkey.

Other game found in this area includes the Sykes monkey, bush babies, Ader's duikers and hydraxes. More than 40 bird species and over 50 butterfly species have also been recorded in this park.


Upon arrival, take a guided trek along a nature trail lined with eucalyptus and mahogany trees. Along the way, learn about the medicinal properties of various plants, and marvel at the abundant animals, reptiles, birds and butterflies that inhabit this tropical rainforest. The mangrove boardwalk takes you over the swamps where, depending upon the tide, you may be fortunate to see some of the tropical fish and crabs between the mangrove roots.


At the conclusion of your rainforest trek, some free time is made available to relax before re-boarding your coach and commencing the approximately one-hour drive back to the pier.

 

EXCURSION CHOICE #4

ZANZIBAR INSIGHT FEATURING PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER JAVED JAFFERJI

 

Zanzibar is not only about pristine beaches washed by gentle ocean in all shades of blue. The beauty of the archipelago lies also in is people and their culture. Music in Zanzibar is a living tradition, telling stories of the past days and present.


Dhow Countries Music Academy

Start your day with a short drive to visit the Dhow Countries Music Academy which is the only music school on the island. Particular emphasis being placed on teaching traditional music styles, such as taarab, kidumbak and ngoma. They promote and preserve the islands' musical traditions of the Swahili Coast along the Indian Ocean. We will be able to spot several performers practicing and classes going on at the time of the visit.


Waterfront Forodhani Gardens

rom the Music Academy Centre, proceed with a short walk to the waterfront Forodhani gardens where we shall pause for photos. We will be able to see the House of Wonder building, as well at the Palace museum which was the Sultans residence where are displayed the collection of portraits of past sultans and relics of early explorers, including Dr. Livingstone's medicine chest are found therein.

 

Old Fort

Another short walk will take to the old fort, known as 'Ngome Kongwe' in Swahili. It was built by Omani Arabs after expelling the Portuguese in 1699 and used as a garrison and prison in the 19th century, and as a terminal of the Zanzibar railways. Its courtyard has been adapted to serve as a cultural center with curio shops selling tourist-oriented merchandise such as 'tinga tinga' paintings. Spend your time browsing for the unique pieces of art or engage yourself on a painting session. Heena art gallery can also be spotted at the same place. A centuries old tradition of adorning women's hands and feet for celebrations such as weddings and festivals, the artists translate the patterns of the body art onto canvas creating a new and soon to be iconic art style through their elaborate paintings.


Freddy Mercury Museum and Javed Jafferji

Visit the Freddy Mercury Museum where you will have an opportunity to meet Javed Jafferji, a professional photographer who has captured images of Zanzibar and has published over 90 coffee table books. He has received the Almanacs Top 100 Africans of 2000 for his work in promoting Africa worldwide and is also an award-winning filmmaker. As you enjoy a cup of spiced tea or coffee, juice or soda in a nearby restaurant, Javed will present you with an autographed book for you to remember and cherish your visit to Zanzibar on this Silversea World Cruise.

 

Monday December 18th DAY AT SEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.  The weather December in the Seychelles and the other ports on our itinerary is an average high of 85 degrees F, so relax and enjoy the sunshine and the sea breezes – as well as the all included free drinks and dining options!

 

Tuesday December 19th  Nosy Be - MADAGASCAR ISLAND

If you have ever wanted to go to somewhere that is remote and exotic, then you have come to the right place. The two right places in fact, as the islands of Nosy Be and Nosy Komba offer a chance to revel in nature that is uncommon, even in the Indian Ocean. There is a saying in Madagascar “same, same but different” and nothing could be more illustrative when describing Nosy Be and Nosy Komba. Both feature fertile forests sheltering endemic species but while Nosy Be (meaning Big Island) attracts holiday makers in search of a rustic, unhurried destination, Nosy Komba literally translates as Lemur Island, leaving nothing to the imagination when considering its main attractions.

The aforementioned forests are without a doubt the jewel in both the islands’ crowns. The heady scent of ylang-ylang trees, vanilla and pepper gave Madagascar its moniker of the perfumed isle, and exports of spices and scents continue to be a pivotal part of the island’s economy.

The island is French speaking.

If taking the 20-minute boat trip excursion to Nosy Komba and the lemur park, then be prepared to be enchanted. The arboreal primates, with their enormous eyes, soft fur and long curling tails are both charismatic and friendly. Add cheeky to the list too, especially if you have any fruit in your hands. They’ll jump right out of the trees and take it from you.

 

3 INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS

INCLUDED EXCURSION CHOICE # 1 - NOSY KIMBA ISLAND DISCOVERY

Madagascar is known for its unique assortment of flora and fauna. The best known endemic animal is the lemur of which a colony is found on the island of Nosy Komba. This tour offers the opportunity to see the animals in their natural habitat on the secluded island of Nosy Kemba, which is only accessible by boat.

Madagascar is world-famous for its lemurs—primates that look something like a cat crossed with a squirrel and a dog. These animals are unique to thIS island and display a range of interesting behaviors from singing like a whale (the indri) to sashaying across the sand like a ballet dancer (the sifaka).

https://www.lemurconservationnetwork.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/l3-400x267.jpg
 The rare Lemurs on Madagascar ISLAND

     The boat trip to Nosy Komba takes approximately 30 minutes and cruises along the east coast of Nosy Bé and the Lokobe Forest arriving at beautiful Ampangorina Beach. Walk to the local fishing village and then to the 'lemur garden' to view the amazing black lemurs. The lemurs may come right up to you and even touch you or you may find them relaxing in the trees. Don't be alarmed if you see them jump onto visitors' arms or onto their shoulders or yours!


     The tour continues for an uphill hike to the former missionaries’ homes where you will also be able to see great views before walking down to the beach and enjoying a refreshment and appetizers in the Nosy Komba village.

     Local women show their skills making tablecloths and offer souvenirs for sale such as pottery, wood carvings and embroideries. The local boats are on stand-by for the return trip to the ship.

 

INCLUDED EXCURSION CHOICE 2    MARODOKA - OLD SWAHILI VILLAGE

     Explore the storied history of the old Swahili village of Marodoka during this scenic, half-day sightseeing excursion.


Nosy Be, Marodoka Village, Traditional Singing & Dancing Performance
    
     Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute drive to Marodoka. The Sakalava people were the first inhabitants of Ambanoro (Marodoka). This old Swahili village was founded in the 15th century by the first Arab and Indian emigrants trading in gold, spice, turtle shells, and slaves. Today in ruins, this historic village still retains vestiges of that era, thereby providing a better understanding of the traditions and culture of Nosy Be. Upon arrival in Marodoka, you are welcomed with a traditional dancing and singing performance.

Karim Djikak House, First Port of Nosy Be, Indian Box, First Mosque of Madagascar
    
     Afterward, take a guided walking tour of the village. Your first stop is at the house of Karim Djikak, who was the richest Indian in Marodoka. Following your visit, stop by the first port of Nosy Be. Built with marine coral, this port once served to facilitate slave trade with Africa. Leaving the port, head to the Indian Box. One of the old houses built by 15th-century Indian traders, it features carved doors, windows, and verandas. Next, head to the First Mosque of Madagascar. Built around 1700, the mosque is surrounded by the tombs of those who built it.


Indian Cemetery, Cocoa Farm, Cocoa & Medicinal Plants, Panoramic View, Refreshments

     From here, walk over to the Indian Cemetery. This is the final resting-place of the Indians who had resided in Marodoka since at least 1850, a date that is marked on one of the tombs and confirms the existence of Indians in Marodoka. Leaving the Indian Cemetery, take a guided walking tour of a local cocoa farm. See and learn about the cocoa and medicinal plants grown here, and take in a lovely panoramic view of your surrounds. Following your cocoa farm tour, return to the village for refreshments consisting of Comorian or Sakalava tea served with local pudding. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 30-minute drive back to the pier.

 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION CHOICE 3   TANIKELY SUBMARINE RESERVE

     Explore the spectacular Underwater Park at the Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve during this half-day, swimming and snorkeling excursion via local boat.


Nosy Be, Local Boat-Ride, Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve, Underwater Park

    Depart the pier aboard a local boat for the scenic, approximately 30-minute ride to the Nosy Tanikely Marine Reserve, a small island famous for its coral reef and white-sand beach. The Underwater Park here is a splendid aquarium where an abundance of colorful fish and marine life, including parrot fish, angelfish, marlin and sea turtles, co-exist peacefully.


Snorkeling, Coral Beds, Tropical Fish, Marine Life, Swimming, Beachcombing, Channel, Africa

 

     Upon arrival and after a wet landing, approximately 2.5 hours of free time is made available here for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing at your leisure. During a guided snorkeling session, explore the coral beds, tropical fish and marine life that thrive in this undersea paradise. You may also take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters, stroll along the beautiful beach, take in splendid views of the Mozambique Channel and the continent of Africa, and/or simply relax with a cool, refreshing beverage whilst soaking up the warm, tropical sun. At the conclusion of your visit, embark the local boat and commence the approximately 30-minute ride back to the pier

 

DECEMBER 20-22, 2023   DAY AT SEA

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching from the top deck, catching up on your reading on the sun deck or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.  The weather December in the Seychelles and the other ports on our cruise itinerary is an average high of 85 degrees F, so relax and enjoy the sunshine and the sea breezes – as well as the all included free drinks and dining options!

We will also have group activities on the sea days, including trivia games where we will split into teams for a fun event.

 

DECEMBER 23 AND 24  RICHARDS BAY SOUTH AFRICA

Here is your chance to do a true African safari excursion and to truly witness the big five African Safari wildlife in their natural habitat.

We will have two full days here for you to choose two different included safari adventures, one visiting the big five land animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and African buffalo) on a traditional safari drive at an amazing wildlife game reserve.

And the other excursion visiting the aquatic animals (hippos and crocodiles at a beautiful nature reserve).

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/Big_five_gam.jpg/300px-Big_five_gam.jpg

See the Big Five Wildlife on an included shore excursion from the port of Richard’s Bay South Africa.

There are other shore excursions for those wishing a different pastime, such as the serenity of bird watching or beach pursuits.

Considered as the official gateway to Zululand, Richard’s Bay has morphed from being a tiny fishing village into a bustling harbor town. Today, the lagoon is the major port of the region (and also the deepest in Africa), a growth spurred on by the significant mineral deposits, wonderful wetland scenery, unspoiled beaches and safari game reserves.

The town’s Zulu heritage is omnipresent so be sure to look out for the local arts and crafts. Nearby Zulu village Dumazulu is the only Zulu village to be opened up to tourism by King Goodwill Zwelithini, and the only authentic example of Zulu traditions that foreigners are allowed into.

If African culture is not your cup of tea, the hinterland offers fascinating flora and fauna, including a chance to see the incredibly rare white rhino along with the bucket list Big Five on an included shore excursion here.

Richards Bay’s attractions can be found closer to port too – the 350 kilometers of coastland, also known as “Dolphin coast”, are a joy for divers and beach lovers alike.

Choose 2 from this list of 6 included shore excursions to enjoy over our 2 days here.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION SHOICE #1

HLUHLUWE SAFARI

Discover the breath-taking natural beauty and abundant wildlife of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve during this panoramic, full-day game-drive excursion.


National Road, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, Memorial Gate

Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 1.5-hour drive north along the National Road en route to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. Truly one of the most fascinating parts of Africa, this expansive reserve preserves the wildlife of Zululand, along with the beauty, charm and tradition of its natural surrounds. Upon arrival at the Memorial Gate and after a brief comfort stop, receive your safety and tour instructions, then begin your guided safari adventure aboard an open-air, 4WD safari vehicle.


Guided Morning Game-Drive, White Rhinos, Abundant Bird and Animal Species

Your panoramic, approximately two-hour game-drive traverses the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve.

The reserve has become renowned for its population of rare, white rhino, along with a spectacular variety of bird and animal species, including the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, mountain reedbuck, kudu and warthog.

 

SEE THE BIG FIVE ON THIS INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/Big_five_gam.jpg/300px-Big_five_gam.jpg
During your SAFARI drive, you may have the opportunity to encounter many of these beautiful animals up-close.

 

At the end of your safari drive, you will be returned to Memorial Gate, enjoy a beverage & locally prepared finger snack, peruse the curio shop (time permitting) and re-board the vehicles for your one and a half hour transfer back to the pier in Richard's Bay.

This excursion can also be done in the afternoon, with the only difference being after the safari drive, the beverage and local snack and brief shopping stop is replaced with a stop for a private picnic featuring gin & tonics (or similar drinks) and local finger foods.

 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION CHOICE #2  


ST. LUCIA NATURE RESERVE - HIPPO HAVEN

Take a journey in to a haven for gigantic hippopotamus and fierce crocodiles during this half-day boat cruise on Lake St. Lucia.


St. Lucia Lake & Wetland Park

South Africa's abundant bird and wildlife species are yours to discover during this scenic cruise at the St. Lucia Wetland Park now known as iSimangaliso Wetland Park.


Boat Cruise and Finger Food Snacks

Depart the pier for the drive north to the beautiful iSimangaliso Wetland. Upon arrival, embark your boat for a leisurely two-hour cruise on Lake St Lucia. Along the way see mangrove swamps, prolific birdlife, oyster banks with stories of days gone by, the second highest vegetated Dunes in the World.

You can also watch for the sight of the basking and nesting sites of the Nile crocodile and the hippos that make their homes in the estuary - the greatest confluence of crocodiles and hippos in South Africa.


The St Lucia Estuary is home to an impressive 800 Hippos. This is the largest population of Hippos in South Africa. Hippos are seen during the day in town however this is not a regular occurrence.

Largest Population of Hippos in South Africa has to be St ...
View hippos grazing in the water from your shore excursion boat

 

Along the cruise enjoy some finger food snacks. Disembark the boat and re-board your coach for the return drive to the pier.

THESE ARE THE TWO MOST POPULAR SHORE EXCURSIONS CHOICES HERE IN RICHARDS’ BAY – AS THEY GIVE YOU THE CHANCE TO SEE THE BIG FIVE WILDLIFE ONE DAY AND THEN SEE THE HIPPOS AND CROCS THE NEXT DAY…AND SINCE WE HAVE TWO FULL DAYS HERE – ITS SO NICE THAT YOU CAN PICK TWICE (DOING BOTH OF THESE INCREDIBLE AND INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS, ONE ON EACH OF OUR TWO DAYS HERE

 

Other included excursion choices on our two days here in Richards’s Bay are:

Bird Watching Walking Exploration – View up to 420 species of birds on a guided walk in St. Lucia Wetlands Park

Marine Beach Walking – Guided bird watching along the beach

Dumazulu Cultural Village - Explore the culture and traditions of the Zulu tribe at the largest Zulu village of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere !

 

DECEMBER 25 AND 26 DAY AT SEA

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Enjoy Christmas with your new friends!

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching from the top deck, catching up on your reading on the sun deck or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.  The weather December in the Seychelles and the other ports on our cruise itinerary is an average high of 85 degrees F, so relax and enjoy the sunshine and the sea breezes – as well as the all included free drinks and dining options!

We will also have group activities on the sea days, including trivia games where we will split into teams for a fun event.

 

DECEMBER 28TH – CAPE TOWN

Sprawling across endless, staggeringly blue coastline, and watched over by the iconic plane of Table Mountain, Cape Town is without doubt one of the world’s most beautiful cities. A blend of spectacular mountain scenery, multiculturalism and relaxed ocean charm awaits in the Mother City, where you can venture out to rolling vineyards, dine in laid back sea suburbs, or spend days exploring cool urban culture.

Cape Town’s natural splendor fully reveals itself as the cable car rears sharply to the top of Table Mountain. From the summit, 3,500 feet above sea level, you can let the scale of the panoramic vistas of the city rolling down towards the ocean wash over you.

Nearby, journey to the end of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, where you can stand at the bottom of this mighty continent, watching out over the merging waves of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Cape Town’s beauty is counterpointed by the ominous island form, which sits four miles offshore from the bustling restaurants and lazy seals of the lively V&A Waterfront. A living history lesson, you can sail in the ships that transported prisoners out to Robben Island, before a former prisoner tells of the traumas of life on this offshore prison. Your guide will show you the cramped cells, and render Mandela’s long walk to freedom in heartbreaking, visceral clarity.

We have Six Included shore excursion choices here in Cape Town

Included excursion choice #1  TABLE MOUNTAIN CABLE CAR ASCENT

Depart from the pier and travel for approximately 30 minute drive up Kloof Nek towards Table Mountain.


Table Mountain and Cable Car Ride

On arrival at Lower Table Mountain Road, ascend the mountain by cable car and explore the mountain top, offering phenomenal views of the 'Mother City', Robben Island and more. Table Mountain gets her name from the flat topped central massif of the mountain, which viewed from the city, is surrounded by Devil's Peak on the left, Lion's Head on the right and Signal Hill in the foreground. They form a sort of amphitheater that encloses the city center and some of the older suburbs. Other earlier suburbs are on either side of the chain of mountains, which run like a spine through the Cape Peninsula, from Table Mountain to Cape Point - the cape from which Cape Town gets its name. From the summit, the natural protected area stretching from Signal Hill to Cape Point has been managed under the custodianship of the National Parks Board. This area has one of the highest concentrations of endemic plant and animal species in any area of its size, containing a staggering 2 285 plant species - more than the entire U.K.


When the top of this spectacular land mark has been explored, the Cable Car awaits to descend you down Table Mountain.

Table Mountain’s summit offers up breathtaking views of the entire city and coastline, stretching as far as the eye can see. The best part is, you don’t have to hike your way to the top to enjoy these views either.

Upon return to your vehicle, you will be driven through the city, receiving enlightening and historic information from your qualified tour guide, and onto Blouberg Beach for the perfect 'post card' view of Table Mountain. Take the opportunity to capture some unforgettable photo memories of your stay in Cape Town.

table mountain cable car
Looming over Cape Town from every angle – the majestic flat-topped mountain is an unmissable stop on any tour of the Mother City. 
The Cableway
 takes you to the summit quickly and because the cable car floor slowly rotates, everyone gets to enjoy the view from all sides

 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION CHOICE #2

STELLENBOSCH & WATERFORD WINE TASTING


Depart the pier and travel for approximately one hour drive to Stellenbosch. Named after its founder, Governor Simon van der Stel who discovered the broad fertile valley of the Eerste River in 1680, today Stellenbosch is a major university town, characterized by Cape Dutch-style architecture and streets lined with oak trees, some of which have been declared national monuments.


Stellenbosch Orientation Tour

Enjoy a brief orientation drive through Stellenbosch, followed by time at leisure to explore the town. It is recommended to pay a visit to the Stellenbosch Museum, which comprises four different houses depicting different eras - Schreuder House, 1709; Bletterman House, 1788; Grosvenor House, 1800 to 1830 and the OM Bergh House, 1850 (optional & for own account). Alternatively, you may wish to browse through the variety of curio shops.


Waterford Wine Estate and Premium Wine Tasting

Following leisurely time in this quaint university town, embark on a short transfer to Waterford Wine Estate. Take a curated guided tour of the Estate and enjoy a premium wine tasting pared with SALT snacks and chocolate. SALT restaurant is run by Craig Cormack and Beau Du Toit and they have designed a SALT Tasting menu to perfectly compliment Waterford's wines.


INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSION CHOICE #3 CHAPMAN'S PEAK & SCENIC DRIVE

Take in the views of the Atlantic seaboard, the southern Peninsula and Chapman's Peak on this scenic and memorable half-day panoramic coach tour, considered to be one of the best marine drives in the world.


Southern Peninsula Scenic Drive

Depart the pier and begin this awe-inspiring look at Cape Town's coastline with a scenic drive along the Atlantic coast, passing through Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay. Stop at Maiden's Cove to enjoy the magnificent views onto Camps Bay Beach and the Twelve Apostles, before continuing along the coastal road, past the upmarket suburb of Llandudno, and on towards the fishing village of Hout Bay.


Chapman's Peak

From here you will travel along one of the world's most spectacular routes, Chapman's Peak Drive, with its numerous look out points, which offer magnificent views over the ocean towards Hout Bay and the Sentinel. The road, carved out between 1915 and 1922 hugs the near-vertical face of the mountain. At the time it was constructed, this roadway was regarded as a major feat of engineering. Even today, the drive along this beautiful coastline takes your breath away. Pass the pristine white sands of Noordhoek Beach, before continuing over the scenic Ou Kaapse Weg (Old Cape Road), taking in the views over the southern Peninsula, Cape Flats, and False Bay.

Included shore excursion #4    KIRSTENBOSCH GARDENS WITH BOTANIST

Depart from the Cape Town Cruise Terminal and travel towards Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, skirting the slopes of Devil's Peak.


Kirstenbosch Gardens

One of the world's most famous Botanical Gardens, Kirstenbosch Gardens is spread over 560 ha on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and contains over 8,500 species of indigenous plants. Take a leisurely stroll through these beautiful surroundings. The magnificent landscape of Kirstenbosch is also a perfect setting for art. The Garden presents a variety of art exhibitions, both outdoor exhibitions of long and short-term duration, as well as indoor art shows and exhibitions in the various venues at Kirstenbosch.


Embark on a guided tour led by a professional horticulturist or botanist (subject to availability). There will also be some time at leisure available for browsing in the well-stocked curio shop.

 

Thursday December 28th - - Today our cruise ends and we will disembark the ship.

Those choosing our optional four night Post cruise New Year’s Eve Celebration land package will be met and taken to our hotel for the four night stay. 

Those not choosing this option can purchase a transfer to the airport from the cruise line.

FOUR NIGHT POST CRUISE NEW YEAR’S EVE LAND PACKAGE

THURSDAY DECEMBER 28, 2023 – MONDAY JANUARY 1ST, 2024

Join us in RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR WITH A CELEBRATION

We will enjoy four nights in Cape Town with an included full day excursion to see the unique Warm Weather Penguins frolicking on Boulder Beach, a visit to the Cape of Good Hope – The point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, a visit to Chapman’s Peak and many more stops along our scenic drive tour.

We will also have two free days with options to do more excursions based on your specific interests, featuring:

  • A Sunset Hike up to the viewpoint at “Lion’s Head”

  • A visit to Robben’s Island where Mandela was held captive for over 25 years

  • A unique Shark Cage Diving experience, where you can view sharks from the safety of a cage lowered into the water.

  • A Marine Wildlife cruise and visit to a marine Wildlife Sanctuary/Rehabilitation center
  • A visit to the Stellenbosch Winelands
  • A Safari game drive at Aguila Game Reserve


PLUS WE WILL ALL ENJOY RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE WITH CELEBRATIONS, FIREWORKS AND MORE!

The biggest public party in Cape Town on New Years Eve takes place at the city's famous Victoria and Albert Waterfront, more commonly known locally just as the V & A. The New Years party gets underway from 6.30pm and features live entertainment with bands, dancers and various performers, with plentiful food and drink stands to roam through.

The iconic waterfront development includes a clock tower (convenient for the midnight countdown), fantastic harbor views, an observation wheel plus of course the fantastic backdrop of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most prominent feature making for a definite wow as the midnight fireworks are launched over the water.. Each year the New Years Eve party has a special theme, we'll confirm this years as soon as it's announced.

As well as hosting fireworks over the harbor, the V&A Waterfront has a large promenade area for mixing and mingling with friends and family and a wide selection of bars and restaurants to fuel yourself for the evening's festivities.

A July 2022 article rated Cape Town as one of the Seven Best Places to View New year’s Eve Fireworks!  (along with NYC, Las Vegas, Rio, London, Sydney Australia, and Bangkok Thailand)

VA-Waterfront-New-Years-Eve
NEW YEARS EVE FIREWORK’S OVER CAPE TOWN

See the source image

See the source image
A SIGN OVER THE V & A  HARBOR IN CAPE TOWN GREETS THE NEW YEAR

Fireworks on New Years Eve in Cape Town, South Africa
Fireworks over Cape Town extend from the waterfront all the way to the edge of Table Mountain
(seen on the right of this photo from their 2019 celebration)

 

OUR 4 NIGHT “RING IN THE NEW YEAR IN STYLE CELEBRATION PACKAGE

December 28, 2023-JANUARY 1, 2024.

INCLUDES

  • 4 NIGHTS ACCOMMODATIONS AT EITHER THE RADISSON, MARRIOTT, BEST WESTERN, DOUBLE TREE OR OTHER SIMILAR NAME BRAND HOTEL, IN CENTRAL LOCATION IDEAL FOR GETTING TO AND FROM THE NEW YEAR’S EVE FESTIVITIES
  • A FULL DAY EXCURSION TO SEE THE UNIQUE WARM WEATHER PENGUINS AT BOULDER BEACH, THE CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, CHAPMAN’S PEAK AND MUCH MORE
  • GROUP TRANSPORT FROM OUR SHIP TO OUR HOTEL.

 

THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION 4 NIGHT PROGRAM IS ONLY $1449 Per person based on double occupancy

Optional single supplement: $549

 

CRUISE PRICING OPTIONS;

INCLUDING ;

  • AIR FROM YOUR HOME CITY TO MAHE SEYCHELLES ISLANDS AND HOME FROM CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA
  • AIRPORT TRANSFER FROM YOUR HOME ADDRESS TO YOUR HOME AIRPORT BY LUXURY SEDAN
  • CRUISE ON THE 5 STAR SILVERSEA CRUISE LINE’S SILVER SPIRIT WITH ONLY 600 CAPACITY PASSENGERS
  • UNLIMITED DRINKS
  • YOUR CHOICE OF ONE OF THE INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS EACH DAY IN PORT
  • UNLIMITED WIFI
  • ALL GRATUITIES
  • ONE NIGHT PRE CRUISE HOTEL STAY IN MAHE SEYCHELLES WITH TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE HOTEL AND FROM THE HOTEL TO THE SHIP THE NEXT DAY.
  • TRANSPORT FROM THE SHIP BACK TO THE AIRPORT IN CAPE TOWN AT THE END OF THE CRUISE (FOR THOSE NOT DOING OUR OPTIONAL POST CRUISE NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION)


BASED ON YOUR CHOICE OF CABIN CATEGORIES:

OCEAN VIEW ROOM IN Vista category: $9200 Per person in double occupancy

OCEAN VIEW PANORAMA CATEGORY CABINS $10,300 Per person in dbl occ.

CLASSIC VERANDAH BALCONY CATEGORY CABINS: $11,100 p.p. in dbl occ
 
BONUS – EACH GUEST RECEIVES $150 PP IN SHIP BOARD CREDIT SPENDING MONEY FOR ON BOARD PURCHASES.

OPTIONAL SINGLE CABIN SUPPLEMENT: BETWEEN 25-50 PERCENT BASED ON AVAILABILITY AT THE TIME OF REQUEST.

A DEPOSIT OF 25% OF THE CRUISE FARE IN THE CABIN CATEGORY YOU SELECT IS REQUIRED BY SILVERSEA CRUISE LINE WITHIN 7 DAYS OF MAKING YOUR RESERVATION

 

CANCEL POLICY FOR THIS CRUISE:

IF YOU CANCEL BY APRIL 15TH, 2023 THIS DEPOSIT IS  FULLY REFUNDABLE LESS SILVERSEA’S ADMIN FEE OF $250.

AFTER APRIL15TH, YOUR DEPOSIT IS NON REFUNDABLE UNLESS A REPLACEMENT IS FOUND FOR YOU BEFORE JULY 15TH, 2023

AFTER JULY 15TH 2023 YOUR DEPOSIT IS NON REFUNDABLE

BALANCE PAYMENTS ARE DUE JULY 5TH,2023.

BALANCE PAYMENTS ARE ALSO NON REFUNDABLE UNLESS REPLACED BY AUGUST 1ST LESS A 15% ADMIN FEE THAT WILL BE RETAINED BY SILVERSEA CRUISE LINE.

TRAVEL INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.  ASK FOR RATES AND COVERAGES.

BOOK ME A SPACE ON THIS TRIP

 

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