(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Beginning 2018, Silversea will launch a new Couture Collection of small-group, pre- and post-cruise tours to remote destinations around the globe.
Not your ordinary land tours, the Couture Collection are marked by ultra-luxe or even specially built accommodations, private transportation and exclusive activities and culinary events. They are custom designed by Silversea's team of expedition and destination experts, and each trip will be escorted by Silversea personnel. The nine tour itineraries debuting 2018 also will be available for customization by each traveler.
"Our guests are seasoned luxury travelers looking to discover the least accessible corners of our planet, where nature can still astound with its untouched beauty," said Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Silversea's Executive Chairman, in a statement. "The Couture Collection reveals the most exotic places, cultures and people on carefully curated journeys that feature all the extraordinary touches of comfort and luxury for which Silversea is renowned."
To determine the inaugural tour destinations, Silversea surveyed its North American travelers about their dream destinations and most-desired cultural experiences.
Couture Collection tours range in length from five to 11 days. Prices average $34,000 per person (with the full range from $11,299 for a six-day Namibia trip up to $78,000 per person for a South Pole adventure). All focus on areas far from the ocean coastline.
Bookings open October 10 for the following trips:
- Rwanda and Serengeti (eight days): Spend two days searching for gorillas in Rwanda followed by a game drive in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Combinable with Silver Discoverer's November 16 and 27 cruises.
- White Desert and South Pole (11 days): Skip the Drake Passage and fly to Antarctica on a Gulfstream jet, then sleep in "igloos" in a luxury camp by night and explore ice caves and meet penguins by day. Combinable with Silver Spirit's December 18 cruise.
- Namibia and Rovos Rail (six days): Flightsee in the Namibian desert, stay at award-winning Little Kulala Camp then ride "the most luxurious train in the world" from Pretoria to Cape Town. Combinable with Silver Spirit's January 15 cruise or Silver Cloud's March 21 cruise.
- India (six days): Travel by private plane or vintage railway to the Ranthambore wildlife reserve, Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur and the ancient city of Jaisalmer. Combinable with Silver Muse's October 8 cruise.
- Australian Outback (five days): Fly to Darwin for an outback adventure complete with visits to Aboriginal rock art sites, a cruise through the Bullo River Gorge and a swim in natural rock pools. Combinable with Silver Discoverer's July 19 and 29 cruises.
- Iceland (five days): Take private helicopters to remote locations, where you can eat lunch on a glacier-capped volcano or trek through an ice tunnel. Combinable with Silver Cloud's July 27 and August 8 cruises.
- Tibet (five days): Visit a Buddhist nunnery and the holy Jokhang Temple, meditate with monks and tour the former summer palace of the Dalai Lama. Combinable with Silver Shadow's September 28 and October 14 cruises.
- Mongolia (six or seven days): Visit reindeer herders, learn about the Kazakh people and attend the Naadam Festival with its horse racing, archery and wrestling. Combinable with Silver Shadow's April 25 and May 10 cruises.
- Bolivia (eight or 10 days): Sleep on Salar de Uyuni salt flats in luxurious geodesic dome tents, hike to the cave of the Coquesa mummies and visit volcanoes and hot springs. Combinable with Silver Cloud's October 15 and 26 cruises.
--By Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor