12 October 2009
This new blog series takes a look at the talented people responsible for putting the “Grand” in Silver Spirit’s Grand Inaugural Voyage 2010.
Interview with Darius Mehta: “Grand Event Planner”
As Silversea's Director of Land Programmes, Darius Mehta is responsible for designing the shore excursions, multiple-day land programmes and hotel packages that enhance overall the Silversea experience.
In addition to the variety of complimentary events and excursions, what is one of the most exciting optional excursions available to Grand Inaugural Voyage guests?
When Silver Spirit visits Punta Arenas, Chile, guests will have the opportunity to join an Antarctic Expedition. A chartered flight takes guests to King George Island on the Antarctic Peninsula, where they can discover some of the White Continent’s natural wonders including penguins, icebergs and scientific research stations. The 13-hour adventure is a once in a lifetime experience.
What are your goals when planning excursions for Silver Spirit's 91-day voyage?
Variety and diversity. Silver Spirit is set to explore over 20 countries and 45 ports on her 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage, and I want to ensure our guests have the opportunity to experience as much as they can in each and every port-of-call. With the right excursion, memorable experiences can be taken away from the most unexpected places.
What are luxury travellers looking for in shore excursions these days?
Since the Grand Inaugural Voyage is attracting travellers from many different demographic groups, guests are looking for the whole gamut of shore excursion options. However, everyone these days is looking for unique and off-the-beaten-track travel experiences. They want to experience things that they can share with their family and friends back home. They also want exclusive access to places that they normally wouldn't be able to enjoy on their own.
What are the greatest challenges you face in your job?
Dealing with local port infrastructures can be very challenging. At Silversea, we operate excursions in over 300 different ports. Not every port will have the type of transportation, dining options and quality tour guides that our well-travelled guests expect. As a result, we're always very careful to manage guest expectations correctly.
In your opinion, what is one of the greatest advantages of a leisurely cruise like the Grand Inaugural Voyage?
I truly believe cruising is the best vacation option available today. Cruising gives you incredible access with great convenience to see amazing places that are often very difficult to experience independently.
How are you able to accomplish all the work that goes into planning 91 days and 45 ports of interesting, enticing excursions and events?
There are 5 people working with me in Silversea’s Fort Lauderdale offices. They are a wonderful team of extremely talented individuals who are experts in their fields. They also have a love of travel and are dedicated to making sure our guests have the most memorable vacation experience possible.
On a personal note, where haven't you gone yet that you want to visit?
I've never been to Antarctica and it's been a dream of mine to go. I may just need to join our upcoming Antarctica Expedition for some research...yes research.