Our next Live Voyage Reports will take us to Alaska and the Danube

Now that I’m back from my Australian adventure aboard Silversea’s newest luxury expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer, I’ve been spending an enormous amount of time sifting through all the emails and reader comments that have backed up in my absence. And there’s a single question that keeps cropping up:

Where (and when) are you going next?

Here’s what adventures are coming up in just a few short weeks:

Gliding through Glaciers in Alaska with Silversea and the Silver Shadow

Silversea's Silver Shadow, shown here summering in Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s Silver Shadow, shown here summering in Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

On June 19, I’ll be back onboard a Silversea ship once more, sailing to Alaska aboard the gorgeous Silver Shadow as she sails Voyage 3417a unique, 11-day sailing to the Last Frontier.

The full itinerary, both here and onboard:

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The itinerary alone is exciting in its own right. The vast majority of Alaskan cruises are only seven days in length, and tend to visit the same repository of Alaskan ports. But Voyage 3417 is one of only three voyages that will operate roundtrip from Vancouver this year, and one of only two voyages to span 11 days in length.

The general street arrangement in Skagway hasn't changed in a century. Note the Red Onion Saloon at left. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

The general street arrangement in Skagway hasn’t changed in a century. Note the Red Onion Saloon at left. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

On this luxurious journey, we’ll visit popular Alaskan stapes like Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway. But Silver Shadow Voyage 3417 also throws some of Alaska’s most picturesque and off-the-beaten path ports into the mix as well.

Finally, Silver Shadow will call on a port I’ve been trying to get back to ever since I first visited back in 2005: Wrangell, Alaska. Home to the ancient Petroglyph Beach and just over 2,000 inhabitants, Wrangell looked like it would be the next up-and-coming port of call a decade ago. But the town grew weary of the megaliners that called between 2004 and 2006, and this year, Silver Shadow makes her only call on Wrangell on this voyage. In fact, only a total of three ships – including Silver Shadow – will make 10 calls on the secluded port.

Beautiful Wrangell, Alaska is well known for its historic Petroglyph Beach.

Beautiful Wrangell, Alaska is well known for its historic Petroglyph Beach. Photo © Aaron Saunders

Perhaps more importantly, this Silver Shadow sailing gives me the unique opportunity to do two Silversea Live Voyage Reports back-to-back. Last time, we highlighted the company’s newest luxury expediton ship. This time, we get to experience what most Silversea cruisers refer to as their “favorite” ship – the 382-guest Silver Shadow.

Built in 2000 at the T. Mariotti Shipyards in Genoa, Silver Shadow and her sister Silver Whisper are the “middle” ships in terms of size in Silversea’s classic luxury fleet. Smaller than the 2009 Silver Spirit but larger and more amenity-laden than the smaller Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, they are the only class of Silversea ship that I have toured, but never sailed aboard, and I am looking forward to learning what makes Silver Shadow tick over the course of 11 days.

The Bar received a complete makeover during Silver Shadow's recent drydock. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Silver Shadow received a complete makeover in 2011 to more closely align her with Silversea’s flagship, Silver Spirit. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

With our expedition aboard Silver Discoverer in Australia fresh in mind, it will also provide us with an excellent opportunity to compare Silversea’s classic luxury product with their Expeditions product back-to-back.

Our Live Voyage Report coverage onboard Silver Shadow runs from June 19 – 30, 2014. And just a week and a half later, we’re off again…

Danube Delights aboard Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Sky

In July, we'll join the brand-new Emerald Sky for a trip along the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

In July, we’ll join the brand-new Emerald Sky for a trip along the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

The Danube is arguably my favorite of all Europe’s rivers, and on July 12, I’ll be arriving on a Lufthansa flight into one of my favorite cities – Budapest – to embark a very new ship operating for a brand-new river cruise line: Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Sky.

For those who haven’t heard of river cruising’s newest company, Emerald Waterways began operations just this spring with two brand-new, purpose-built river cruise ships: Emerald Sky and Emerald Star.

Emerald Sky and her sister, Emerald Star, feature a swimming pool that converts into a cinema each evening. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Emerald Sky and her sister, Emerald Star, feature a swimming pool that converts into a cinema each evening. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

An offshoot of popular Australian company Scenic Tours, Emerald is taking an entirely new approach to river cruising: with a lower price point, they’re targeting younger, more price-conscious consumers. Both ships feature some uncommon amenities, like a solarium-style swimming pool that becomes a cinema at night, and while Emerald doesn’t include quite as many bells-and-whistles as the ships of parent company Scenic, they still thrown an awful lot in. All airport transfers are provided complimentary, and beer, wine and soft drinks are provided gratis during lunch and dinner. Tips are also included – a rarity for river cruises starting at this price point, and a huge bonus feature.

Staterooms aboard Emerald Waterways are crisp and modern. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Staterooms aboard Emerald Waterways are crisp and modern. Photo courtesy of Emerald Waterways

Their interior décor is as unique as the product, with a hip, trendy interior design that would feel right at home at a swank W Hotel. I caught a tantalising glimpse of Emerald Star in port in Amsterdam earlier this year, and I can’t wait to see what Emerald Waterways is all about, and how they stack up in the competitive river cruise market.

I’ll be sailing aboard the new Emerald Sky from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany on one of my absolute favorite runs. Their 8-day Danube Delights itinerary calls on some truly fabulous places, including Bratislava, Melk, Durnstein, Vienna, Passau, and Regensburg.

The full itinerary, both here and onboard:

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Coverage from onboard Emerald Sky will run from July 12 – 19, 2014.

Bratislava's "Old Town" is a wonderful, pedestrian-only section of the city. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Bratislava’s “Old Town” is a wonderful, pedestrian-only section of the city. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

There’s plenty of other voyages coming later this summer, including a very Un-Cruise return to Alaska; an adventure from Greenland to Newfoundland; and – closer to my own home – a sailing adventure through British Columbia’s Haida Gwaii islands.

Stay tuned – there’s more Live Voyage Reports to come this summer here on From the Deck Chair and our new Live Voyage Reports website.

 

 

3 Responses to Where to next?

  1. […] post Where to next? appeared first on From The Deck […]

  2. Vanny says:

    Amazing! I have to catch up on your latest adventure first though. Looking forward to following along in Alaska and on your Emerald Waterways river cruise on the Danube.

  3. […] Join us in three weeks as we sail aboard Silversea’s Silver Shadow on a spectacular 11-night itinerary that includes stops in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Wrangell, and the British Columbian ports of Prince Rupert and Victoria. In late August, we’ll return again, this time aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Endeavour for a weeklong Expedition Cruise that explores the far reaches of Glacier Bay roundtrip from Juneau! […]

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