Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced its collaboration with San Francisco-based World Leaders Travel to host the 2011 World Leaders Symposium, featuring a Middle East voyage aboard Silver Wind. Highlighting the program are such distinguished guest speakers as former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, former Egyptian first lady Jehan Sadat, veteran journalist Bill Moyers, and a team of other leading figures in Middle East politics, culture, history, religion, journalism and human rights.
This customized travel event, December 29, 2010—January 12, 2011, departs from Amman, Jordan, and ends in Dubai, U.A.E. An all-inclusive itinerary includes a comprehensive educational program, a Persian Gulf cruise aboard the exclusively chartered Silver Wind, five-star hotel accommodations, and specially arranged events and excursions in Jordan, U.A.E., Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Optional program extensions include Christmas in Bethlehem, as well as Iran and Oman.
“We’re delighted to have the pleasure of hosting another World Leaders Symposium aboard our elegant Silver Wind,” said Steve Tucker, Silversea’s vice president of field sales for North America. “Through our collaboration with World Leaders Travel, we’re able to offer inquisitive travelers an unmatched educational experience featuring some of the world’s most sought-after speakers.”
Tucker further noted that travel agents will be able to book through World Leaders Travel at their usual Silversea commission level—just as if the agent booked directly with Silversea—and the commission level will be applicable to the entire program starting in Amman and ending in Dubai.
Symposium participants will go beyond the headlines as they engage in dynamic intellectual discussions with keynote speakers, special guests, local experts, and fellow travelers who offer a range of perspectives and personal insights. A seven-night Gulf cruise from Dubai offers opportunities for further exploration in exotic Kuwait City, Dammam, and Doha. Travelers will enjoy the freedom to customize their experience by choosing from a menu of optional, small-group excursions.
Among the highlights are a special New Year’s Eve celebration on the shore of the Dead Sea; the rare opportunity to experience the magic of Petra by candlelight; an engaging discussion with female students at Dubai’s Zayed University; a private visit to the impressive Arab Organizations Headquarters Building in Kuwait; behind-the-scenes access at the Al Jazeera media complex, the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Arts, and the Al Shaqab Arabian horse stables in Qatar; and a meeting with Aramco executives during an excursion to the source of Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth, the famous Well #7.
In addition to Baker, Sadat, and Moyers, the educational team also includes Karen Armstrong, best-selling author and expert on world religions; Joan Brown Campbell, director of the department of religion at the Chautauqua Institution; Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Afghanistan and Iraq; Aaron David Miller, Middle East policy expert and advisor to six U.S. secretaries of state; and Crocker Snow, Jr., director of the Edward R. Murrow Center for Public Diplomacy. Special guests will join the Symposium for various lengths of time. Other notable experts and scholars, including a lineup of local speakers, will be confirmed prior to departure.
Aboard the award-winning Silver Wind, guests will enjoy a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one, an all-inclusive policy that includes a premium assortment of wines and spirits, impeccable service from a courteous and efficient staff, and luxurious onboard amenities. The ship’s all-suite accommodations include ocean views, butler service, 24-hour room service; and fine dining features signature dishes by Relais & Châteaux. Of the ship’s 149 suites, 115 feature private verandas. There are eight suite categories, ranging in size from the 240 square-foot Vista Suites to the 1,314 square-foot Grand Suites.
Symposium sponsors include the Association of Rice Alumni, Chautauqua Institution, Foreign Affairs magazine, Smithsonian Journeys, Tufts Travel-Learn, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and World Affairs Council.