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.
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.
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.