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27 February 2012

Silversea Voted 'Best Small Luxury Cruise Line' by China's 'Travel & Leisure'

We're pleased to report that Silversea has just been voted "Best Small Luxury Cruise Line" by China’s influential "Travel & Leisure" magazine in the publication’s 2011 Tourism Awards.

Our general sales agent in Shanghai, Ms Nicky Lu (third from left in above picture), received the award from Counsellor Glaucio José Nogueira Veloso (far left), representing the Deputy Consul General of Brazil in Shanghai.

The top accolade was awarded in conjunction with sister publication "Travel & Leisure Golf" and website www.travelleisure.com.cn.

The 10th anniversary of the travel awards recognised high-end hotels, domestic and international travel destinations, and tourism-related sectors including airlines, as well as cruise lines.

All of us at Silversea are truly honoured to receive this outstanding award.

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15 February 2012

Tomono Kawamura Voted Entertainer of the Year!

Silversea guests have voted loud and clear. Their favourite star entertainer for 2011 is classical pianist Tomono Kawamura.

After tallying up the guest questionnaires, Ms Kawamura scored the highest marks of all entertainers performing on Silversea ships over the past year.

On 5 February, she was presented with the award at the gala cocktail reception hosted by Captain Cataldo De Stefano to welcome guests aboard Silver Shadow. Cruise Director Kirk Detweiler stands next to Ms Kawamura in above picture, as she accepts her award from the Captain.

This is just the latest achievement in this pianist's distinguished career. She has won a number of competitions in her native Japan, including first prize at the PTC Piano Competition. As a result of these prizes, she played at a number of gala concerts in the major halls of Tokyo, including Casals Hall and Orchard Hall.

She has written over twenty pieces, including a piano concerto. She has performed her compositions all over Japan. Her performances of those pieces were broadcast on television and also recorded on CD by Yamaha.

In 2000, Ms Kawamura was awarded a scholarship by the Yamaha Music Foundation to study with Christopher Elton and visiting professor Maria Curcio at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded scholarships and won numerous prizes.

In recent years, Ms Kawamura has appeared both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe and the UK, in such venues as the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk, and the Wigmore Hall, London. Most recently she has performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No 4 and Mozart Piano Concerto K491 in Draper's Hall, London, as well as successful recitals in Japan.

We are honoured to have artists of such exceptional calibre performing on Silversea stages ... and to the enormous delight of our guests.

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10 February 2012

A Taste of South Africa

The sweet aroma of barbecue (or braai, as it's called in Afrikaans) permeated the outdoor air as Silver Whisper, sailing on her 115-day World Cruise, hosted a special poolside lunch on Wednesday that gave guests a chance to sample authentic South African cuisine before the ship departed East London.

The culinary tradition of South Africa is rich and varied, and reflects not only its African roots, but its historical connection with Dutch, British, Malaysian, Indian and other cultures, resulting in uniquely flavourful delicacies.

As it so happens, Silver Whisper's very own executive chef, Anne-Mari Cornelius (pictured above), hails from South Africa and was delighted to personally introduce our guests to the fascinating cuisine of her homeland.

Presiding over the barbecue, Chef Anne-Mari skillfully cooked up such local delicacies as boerewors (pronounced bor-eh-vors ). This homemade sausage -- whether served with a traditional porridge called pap (pronounced pop), or a sweet and spicy chakalaka sauce, or placed in a bun in the style of a hot dog -- is a signature food cherished throughout the African nation.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a few bottles of Mrs H.S. Ball's Original Chutney on hand, also a popular accompaniment for boerewors, or any braai. Probably the most famous South African chutney, it's made in Johannesburg using a 19th-century recipe of dried fruits and spices. A favourite among South Africans living abroad and looking for a taste of home, it's exported to England, Germany, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.

And what South African barbecue would be complete without a few handcrafted ritual dolls to adorn the table? The ones pictured above are from the Ndebele tribe. Their presence created an atmosphere of authenticity and a connection with Africa's spiritual heritage that we hope resulted in a culinary experience that was not just culturally enriching for our World Cruise guests, but maybe a bit enchanting.

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01 February 2012

'Tinker, Tailor' Fans: Meet Our 'Spy'

Well, our spy expert, that is. If you've seen the new espionage thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (nominated for multiple Oscars and BAFTA film awards), or read the 1974 classic novel by former British intelligence officer John le Carré, on which the film is based, you'll be pleased … and maybe a bit intrigued … to know that one of our guest lecturers is none other than Nigel West, a renowned military historian specialising in intelligence, counterintelligence, and security issues.

His many books include At Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Chiefs of Britain's Intelligence Agency, MI6, the Historical Dictionary of World War II Intelligence, and the Historical Dictionary of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. His latest book, the Historical Dictionary of Naval Intelligence, was published last March.

The Sunday Times has commented: “His information is so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories.”

During 1987-1997, West was a member of Britain's House of Commons, representing a parliamentary constituency in Devon, contributing to official secrets legislation and the statutes authorising the security and intelligence services. He is currently European Editor of the Washington, DC-based International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence and a lecturer at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Alexandria, Virginia.

Nigel West is scheduled to host an enrichment programme on the following voyages in 2012:

Voyage 4205: Silver Whisper, Mauritius to Singapore, 16 February - 3 March

Voyage 1213: Silver Cloud, Monte Carlo to Monte Carlo, 8 - 20 May

Voyage 1228: Silver Cloud, Las Palmas to Barbados, 1 - 13 November

Voyage 2235: Silver Wind, Athens to Dubai, 12 - 28 November

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