Building on the past success of World Leaders Symposium cruises in Asia and the Middle East, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced its collaboration with San Francisco-based World Leaders Travel to host the 2010 World Leaders Symposium, a Black Sea voyage aboard Silver Wind headlined by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other dignitaries.
This one-of-a-kind travel event from August 30 to September 15, 2010, includes a 10-night cruise aboard the award-winning, all-suite Silver Wind and a range of specially arranged shore excursions in Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, and Turkey. In addition to former Secretary of State Rice, featured speakers include former Secretary of Defense William Perry, former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, and leading figures in fields ranging from technology and the U.S.-Russian space race to cultural history and global affairs.
“It’s a great honor for us to host this year’s 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. It’s such a great program for our guests that we’re already looking at possibly hosting additional Symposium cruises in the future.”
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 Moscow and ending after the hotel stay in Istanbul.
“We’re pleased to be able to bring a distinguished array of leaders and experts to the ships of Silversea,” said Bill Diebenow, president of World Leaders Travel. “Their intimate vessels, offering spacious accommodations and exotic itineraries, are the perfect complement to these compelling, leader-driven and customized travel events. We look forward to developing future educational travel events with Silversea.”
Focusing on the cultural, historical, and political highlights of the Black Sea region, the Symposium begins in Moscow with three nights at The Ritz-Carlton. Travelers will experience a Moscow rarely seen by visitors and attend a gala dinner with Gorbachev. Participants then fly by chartered jet to Istanbul, Turkey, to board the luxurious Silver Wind, which serves as the primary venue for presentations by Rice and others. The ship, among the highest-rated small cruise vessels afloat, will circumnavigate the Black Sea with visits to Batumi, Georgia; Sochi, Russia; Baku, Azerbaijan; and Yalta, Sevastopol, and Odessa in Ukraine before returning to Istanbul. After disembarking the Silver Wind, guests will move in to Istanbul’s elegant Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel for two nights, and enjoy special excursions and lectures during the trip’s final days. Optional extensions to Kiev, Chernobyl, and Moscow, and to Istanbul and Ephesus, are also available.
An unparalleled educational program includes off-the-record discussions with globally significant leaders and valuable context and insight provided by a team of scholars from sponsoring organizations. Featured speakers include Librarian of Congress James Billington; Google’s Vinton G. Cerf, widely regarded as one of the “fathers of the Internet”; former diplomatic correspondent Marvin Kalb; EastWest Institute president John Mroz; and astrophysicist Michael Shara, among others.
Aboard Silver Wind, guests will enjoy a generous all-inclusive shipboard policy (all beverages, including a premium assortment of wines, champagne and spirits are complimentary), impeccable service from a courteous and efficient staff, and unparalleled onboard amenities. The ship’s all-suite accommodations include butler service, ocean views and a wide range of features, from walk-in closets and flat-screen televisions to 24-hour room service and Wi-Fi Internet access. All bathrooms have marble tiles, shower/bathtub combinations, hair dryers, and plush robes. 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.
Silver Wind’s public venues include the top-deck Observation Lounge, offering spectacular ocean views, and the two-deck-high Show Lounge. There is a small, well-stocked library, Internet Center, card room, gym with stair climbers and treadmills, a pool and two whirlpools, jogging track, full-service spa, and beauty salon. Dining options include The Restaurant, the ship’s main dining venue featuring signature dishes by Relais & Châteaux; Le Champagne, the Wine Restaurant by Relais & Châteaux, where some of the world’s rarest vintages are paired with a six-course menu; and La Terrazza, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine.
Symposium sponsors include American Museum of Natural History Expeditions, Chautauqua Institution, Foreign Affairs magazine, Harvard Alumni Association Travels, Princeton Journeys, Alumnae Association of Smith College, Smithsonian Journeys, and Yale Educational Travel.