36 Night Cruise sailing from Ft Lauderdale to Auckland onboard Silver Whisper.
Taking Silversea's award-winning concept of all-suite luxury to the next level, these two sister ships - Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper - are slightly larger, yet retain the familiarity and intimacy of Silversea's two earlier ships. Aboard the Silver Whisper cruise ship, savour a convivial cosmopolitan ambience and many special amenities usually found only on larger ships, including boutique shopping a wellness spa with beauty salon, fitness centre and sauna full-scale productions in a multi-tiered show lounge an Internet Caf and WiFi service from stem to stern.
Highlights of this cruise:
Ft Lauderdale, U.S
In the 1960s Fort Lauderdale's beachfront was lined with T-shirt shops interspersed with quickie-food outlets, and downtown consisted of a lone office tower, some dilapidated government buildings, and motley other structures waiting to be razed. Today the beach is home to upscale shops and restaurants, while downtown has exploded with new office and luxury residential development. The entertainment and shopping areas-Las Olas Boulevard, Las Olas Riverfront, and Himmarshee Village-are thriving. And Port Everglades is giving Miami a run for its money in passenger cruising, with a dozen cruise-ship terminals, including the world's largest, hosting more than 20 cruise ships with some 3,000 departures annually. A captivating shoreline with wide ribbons of sand for beachcombing and sunbathing makes Fort Lauderdale and Broward County a major draw for visitors, and often tempts cruise-ship passengers to spend an extra day or two in the sun. Fort Lauderdale's 2-mile (3-km) stretch of unobstructed beachfront has been further enhanced with a sparkling promenade designed more for the pleasure of pedestrians than vehicles.
Belize City, Belize
Diverse and joyously discordant, Belize City is a place of beachside luxury, colonial pomp and authentic ramshackle streets. While no longer the official capital of Belize, it remains the country's busiest and most populated city. Listen closely to the hum of chatter from the locals, and chances are you'll only pick out fragments of the sentences exchanged, as the languages in this diverse location have merged and diverged over the years. Various creoles are spoken, adding extra colour and vitality to this lively, multicultural destination. Belize Tourism Village's leaning wooden huts and swaying palm trees invite you ashore, and you can share a welcome drink by the waves, or shop for hand-carved souvenirs. Offshore, gorgeous beaches and sparkling marine life await at the gorgeous Turneffe Atoll.
Panama Canal Transit, Panama
The Panama Canal bisects the country just to the west of Panama City, which enjoys excellent views of the monumental waterway. Between the canal and the rain forest that covers its islands, banks, and adjacent national parks, there is enough to see and do to fill several days. Central Panama stretches out from the canal across three provinces and into two oceans to comprise everything from the mountains of the Cordillera Central to the west, to the Caribbean coral reefs and colonial fortresses in the north, to the beaches of the Pearl Islands in the Baha de Panam (Bay of Panama) in the south. Most of this region can be visited on day trips from Panama City, but the hotels in gorgeous natural settings outside the city will make you want to do some overnights.
The second major jumping off point for the Galapagos Islands after Quito, this is a little city with a big heart. A sea port first and foremost, the city's personality has been founded on that, and all the better it is for it too. Almost Caribbean in feeling, the clement climate coupled with the intermingling rhythms floating from the windows and abundance of fresh seafood make this a very tropical destination. Once not even considered by the travel books as a potential destination in its own right, the city has undergone something of a resurgence in the past few years. Proud Guayaquileos will not hestitate to point out the Malecn or the exciting new riverfront promenade, once a no-go area after dark, now happily (and hippily) lined with museums, restaurants, shops, and ongoing entertainment. The new airport and urban transportation network are also lauded to the happy tourists who find themselves here.
Callao (Lima), Peru
Founded along the banks of the Rimac River by Francisco Pizarro in 1535, Lima served as the capital of Spain's South American empire for 300 years, and no other colonial city enjoyed such power and prestige during this period. The City of Kings has a regal history that lingers on in its sophistication, the decaying beauty of its boulevards, and the liveliness of its intellectual life. Many of the colonial-era buildings around the Plaza de Armas can still be seen today. Walk a few blocks in any direction to find graceful churches and elegant houses that reveal just how wealthy this city once was. Today, Lima's riches are cultural the city contains Peru's finest museums, swankiest shops, and most dazzling restaurants. Callao, a part of the greater Lima metroplitan area, is 9 mi south and west of El Centro.
Easter Island, Chile
Discovered (by the Western world) on Easter Sunday, 1722, Easter Island is one of the most isolated places on the face of the Earth, some 2,300 miles from the Chilean mainland. Although more Polynesian than South American in character, the 64-square mile island was annexed by Chile in 1888, and is now famous as the world's largest 'open air museum' on account of the Moai, or human-like stone statues, that can be found on the island. The island's national park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Moai remain very much a mystery, which archaeologists are still trying to unlock. The ancient language of the Rapa Nui is one of the keys to understanding this culture. One of the other mysteries are the texts written on the so called 'rongo rongo tablets'. The island owes its origin to three volcanoes: Poike and Rano Kau had erupted first and were later connected with Maunga Terevaka's eruption.
Papeete (Tahiti), French Polynesia
Papeete is the center of the tropical paradise of French Polynesia, where islands fringed with gorgeous beaches and turquoise ocean await to soothe the soul. This spirited city is the capital of French Polynesia, and serves as a superb base for onward exploration of Tahiti - an island of breathtaking landscapes and oceanic vistas. A wonderful lagoon of crisp, clear water begs to be snorkelled, stunning black beaches and blowholes pay tribute to the island's volcanic heritage, and lush green mountains beckon you inland on adventures, as you explore extraordinary Tahiti. Visit to relax and settle into the intoxicating rhythm of life in this Polynesian paradise.
Bora Bora (Society Islands), French Polynesia
Simply saying the name Bora Bora is usually enough to induce gasps of jealousy, as images of milky blue water, sparkling white beaches and casually leaning palm trees immediately spring to mind. The imagination doesn't lie, either, and if you visit, you'll soon realise this island is every bit as gorgeous as you ever imagined. Thatched wooden huts stand out over shallow, sparkling seawater, with vivid fish swirling just below. Soak up the sun and relax on Matira Beach. If blissful inactivity doesn't appeal, then get active, and hike the greenery of the sharp Mount Pahia, circle the island by Le Truck or go snorkeling with rays and sharks.
Rarotonga Island, Cook Islands
Life is laid back on Rarotonga, the most populous of the Cook Islands, but the residents are still an active bunch. Though there are plenty of white sandy beaches on which to laze - and people do, with plenty of napping - locals love to get out and move. Join them in snorkeling, diving, riding - bikes, horses, scooters - fishing, bush walking, and playing squash and tennis. Another popular, if odd, and favorite activity is lining up along the sea wall adjacent to the airport's runway to be jetblasted.
Auckland, New Zealand
Blending beachy recreation with all the delights of a modern, diverse and thoroughly multicultural city, Auckland sits on the lucid blue-green waters of New Zealand's north island. Known as the 'City of Sails', its two harbours will tempt you with waterfront walks, and the chance to breathe fresh sea air deep into your lungs while absorbing spectacular views of Auckland's grand harbour bridge's span. Take in the true scale of Auckland's magnificent cityscape by ascending 192 metres to the Sky Tower, and looking out over the city's gleaming silver towers, which reflect on the abundant waters below. Views over the bay and adjacent islands await, and you can share elegant cocktails at this dizzying height, above the mingling yachts of Viaduct Harbour. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the area at Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tmaki.