December 4, 2015

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Silversea Cruises is recognised as an innovator in the luxury cruise line industry. This mid-sized luxury line, with eight ships in their award winning fleet, offers guests large ship amenities aboard their intimate, all-suite vessels, which are designed to offer an atmosphere of casual elegance.

An exciting optional six day pre-cruise “Accra & the Ashanti Kingdom” land adventure is available for guests travelling on board Silver Cloud’s sixteen day West African cruise departing on 16 March 2016 from Tema (Accra) to Barcelona. Guests who choose to take this optional land adventure prior to sailing will gain unique insights into the culture, history and people of Ghana. The highlight will be the rare opportunity to participate in the Festival of Akwasidae. Set within the walls of the royal palace in Kumasi, this authentic, centuries old ceremony, honouring the community’s ancestors, is presided over by the king of the Ashanti people.

Ghana Coastline

Ghana Coastline

One of the most powerful nations in Africa until the British annexation at the end of the 19th century, the traditions of the Ashanti empire still live on in Kumasi, a city of nearly one million inhabitants, that features one of the largest central markets in Africa. Beginning in Accra, Silversea guests will have the opportunity to extensively tour this fascinating cultural hub, with a three night stay in Kumasi.

The Akwasidae Festival is presided over by Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the 16th ruler of the Ashanti people. Perched beneath a colourful umbrella and adorned in gold ornaments and ceremonial dress, the king’s dignitaries are assembled at his feet, surrounded by elders and advisers under the authority of the royal speaker. During the ceremony, griots tell stories of past Ashanti rulers, while drum and ivory horn players serve as the inspiration for traditional dance performances.

“Like all of our overland adventures, this exciting programme has been hand crafted to enhance our guests’ experiences ashore and to provide them with cultural immersion opportunities that would simply not be possible otherwise” said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager and Director Sales/Marketing, Australasia.

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Programme participants will also be able to roll up their sleeves and learn how the traditional adinkra textile, developed by the Ashanti people, is made. A traditional hand painted fabric used by royalty in religious ceremonies, the people of Ghana decorate this cloth with Ashanti symbols by using a black dye made of bark called adinkra aduru. The workshop chosen for this event is one of the most important in the country, sought after by international scholars and students.

Guests on the “Accra & the Ashanti Kingdom” land adventure will enjoy two nights’ accommodation at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, along with a three night stay at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi. Daily breakfast is included, along with five lunches, four dinners and all ground transportation.

In addition to West Africa, Silver Cloud’s itinerary will feature calls in Las Palmas, Arrecife, Agadir, Casablanca, Gibraltar, Cartagena and Valencia.

Sandra Tiltman



December 4, 2015

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Its now Australia’s turn in early 2016 to experience Ghost The Musical, which will be live on stage in a stunning production showcasing breathtaking illusions, special effects and the power of love, brought to the stage by Tony Award winning Director Matthew Warchus and based on the Oscar winning film Ghost,

After successful international seasons on Broadway and London’s West End, the Australian season of Ghost The Musical will star Rob Mills as Sam Wheat, Jemma Rix as Molly Jensen and Alex Rathgeber as Carl Bruner, direct from his Helpmann Award Winning performance in Anything Goes. Wendy Mae Brown, the British theatrical and television actress, will play Oda Mae Brown, the role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg.

Set in modern day New York City, Ghost The Musical is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night after a romantic dinner, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam dead on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly, whom he learns is in grave danger. With the help of Oda Mae a phony storefront psychic, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving and protecting her.

Employing special effects never before seen in a stage musical, Ghost The Musical features an incredible array of illusions. Sam as a ghost walks through a solid door, inanimate objects take on a life of their own while spirits ascend to the heavens and subway passengers are thrown in the air and people disappear and reappear.

Written by Oscar award winner Bruce Joel Rubin, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Dave Stewart & Glenn Ballard, the musical score will also feature the song “Unchained Melody”, made famous by The Righteous Brothers.

Ghost The Musical will play at Sydney’s Theatre Royal from Friday 18 March 2016 with performances on Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Matinees on Wednesday at 1pm, Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm.

Sandra Tiltman