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Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: Gems of Australia - Opals & Wine

Tour description

Discover world famous attractions in the heart of South Australia - the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, also known for its unique style of underground living, and the picturesque Barossa Valley, Australia's premier winemaking region.  

02MIDMEL-K Australian Opal & Wine Treasures

Offered on Voyage 4503

Departure: Melbourne, February 1, 2015

Duration: 3 Days/2 Nights

Re-join ship: Adelaide, February 3, 2015

Reserve by: November 1, 2014

This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by November 1, 2014. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis and the programme price is subject to change. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing.  A minimum number of participants is required to operate this programme.  

Discover Australia's amazing contrasts during this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure that takes you into the undulating hills of the verdant Barossa Valley wine region and the red outback landscape of Coober Pedy, home to the world's foremost opal mining industry. The Barossa Valley delights with charming small towns and visits to some of the best known wineries. There is time to get acquainted with Adelaide, a city of picturesque parks and gardens, and streets lined with historic buildings.

DAY ONE - Sunday, February 1, 2015 - Melbourne/Coober Pedy

Depart the ship in Melbourne and transfer to the airport for a scheduled flight to Coober Pedy via Adelaide. Coober Pedy is situated in the heart of the South Australia outback. The opal-mining town's name was quite appropriately coined by the Aborigines as 'white fellow's hole in the ground', since nearly half of the population live underground to escape the area's soaring summer temperatures. As the plane begins its descent, get your fist glimpse of the 'painted desert', pock-marked with craterlike surface diggings that are reminiscent of a lunar landscape. It is the first sign of Coober Pedy's claim to fame as the Opal Capital of the world.

Since 1915, Coober Pedy has lured those who seek the elusive gemstone to be found below layers of rock and jasper. Today there are hundreds of mines producing the world's most colourful and fascinating gemstone. Upon arrival, board the coach and drive directly to the Desert Cave Hotel for a late gourmet BBQ lunch on arrival.  Check-in and freshen up in preparation for this afternoon's touring program.

The Desert Cave Hotel allows you to experience dug-out style living, underground shops, bar and opal display areas - all within sandstone surrounds in the heart of Coober Pedy. Rooms are available above and below the ground. The room allocation is at the hotel's discretion. Requests can be made, but not guaranteed.  Sleeping underground is a unique experience. Quiet, cool, dark and airy - the rooms are spacious with high ceilings.

Tour the town, learn its history, and listen to the facts surrounding its precious water supplies and power generation. Every element of life is hard-won in Coober Pedy. Visit a working opal field to see the various mining methods.  Venture down a former working mine to see opal traces embedded in the sandstone. Wonder at 'The Breakaways', a range of colourful exposed sandstone outcrops - spectacular views over the Moon Plain - once an inland sea. This dramatically beautiful area has been the set for many internationally known movies. Next, proceed to the famous Dog Fence (dingo fence), stretching nearly 3,300 miles (5,300 km) across Australia. The last stop is at a genuine underground home or 'Dugout', to see how the locals live.

Return to the hotel for about an hour of free time before re-joining the group for a sunset look at Coober Pedy. Watching the sun set at 'The Breakaways', while sipping some sparkling wine is sure to be a highlight.

Later re-gather at the hotel's restaurant for a three-course dinner and spend the remainder of the evening at your leisure.

Overnight accommodation at the Desert Cave Hotel - Coober Pedy.  

DAY TWO - Monday, February 2, 2015 - Coober Pedy/Adelaide/Barossa

After a hearty breakfast and check-out, embark on a 'Down & Dirty' tour that will introduce you to the treasures that lie below the ground and made Coober Pedy famous. At the Quest Mine, watch an informative and entertaining video, introducing you to the mysterious world of the stone of fire, known as 'The Coober Pedy Opal'. Then, fitted with a hard hat, torch and handpick, you have a chance of 'fossicking' (mining) your own opal. Ramps provide easy and safe access into the mine, where your visit will be a fun experience. After returning to above ground, proceed with a transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Adelaide.

Arrive in Adelaide, collect you baggage and board your awaiting coach.  Head out and into Australia's premier wine growing region, the Barossa Valley, home to some 50 wineries ranging from boutique to world recognised names. Charming old towns are notable for their multitude of historic buildings, reflecting the history and culture of German emigrants.

Begin your exploration of Barossa with a stop at Seppeltsfield Winery. With a proud and priceless legacy dating back to 1851, Seppeltsfield is Australia's iconic wine estate. Seppeltsfield is famed for the Centennial Collection - an irreplaceable and unbroken lineage of Tawny of every vintage from 1878 to current year. Seppeltsfield remains the only winery in the world to release a 100 year old, single vintage wine each year.

Enjoy a late lunch of Barossa's finest produce; including an assortment of locally-smoked Barossa meats, locally-grown beef, and freshly-baked breads with local olive oil. Then, begin your in-depth look at this historic winery. Step inside the Seppelt family homestead, followed by a private tasting of super-premium fortified wines in the estate's Trophy Cellar. In the 1878 Centennial Cellar, we offer you a taste your birth year Tawny (direct from barrel) as well as the legendary 100 Year Old Para Vintage Tawny.

As the afternoon draws to a close, board your coach for the drive to the hotel, The Louise. Situated in the heart of the legendary Barossa wine country in South Australia, The Louise offers lovely vineyard views and its restaurant Appellation is highly regarded as one of Australia's finest dining destinations.  Check-in and explore the property before meeting at the appointed time for dinner.  Tonight's meal of local fare is served in Appellation.

Overnight accommodation at The Louise - Barossa Valley  

DAY THREE - Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - Barossa Valley/Adelaide

Ask for an early wake-up call and rise for a unique experience only available to guests of The Louise. The Barossa is adjacent to a large conservation park, teeming with native Australian flora and fauna. The Louise has developed a unique guest experience that offers you the opportunity of seeing kangaroos up close while in their natural habitat.  Depart on a private, escorted, early morning, easy walking tour of a nearby conservation park with a local guide. Spread on a picnic blanket or arranged on a massive tree stump, and enjoy a valley-type breakfast of tart of smoked salmon, fresh baked scones with Jersey cream, rice pudding with seasonal fruit, a bowl of fresh seasonal berries, juices and a lightly sparkling Moscato.

Walk back to the hotel for check-out before boarding the coach for the drive to Jacob's Creek Winery. Today, Jacob's Creek remains one of the most well-known, trusted and enjoyed Australian wines around the world. It delivers fresh, elegant and great tasting wines that show true varietal character. Learn more about what goes into making great wines through participating in a walking tour of their new interpretive vineyard. Listen as your host provides an overview of the 14 different grapes varieties grown in the vineyard that are featured in some of Australia's most famous wines. A tutored tasting incorporating seven wines and basic wine education on the sensory evaluation process will be followed by lunch.

Depart Jacob's Creek for your next stop at Penfold's Magill Estate Cellar Door. Nestled in the foothills of Adelaide and only 15 minutes its Central Business District (CBD), the historic Penfolds Magill Estate is the original home of Penfolds wines and of Australia's most prized wine, the famous Grange.

This winery exudes the charm and character of its founders, whose pioneering spirit brought their family name into the homes of the Australian people more than 165 years ago. A visit allows you the chance to immerse yourself in the history, philosophy and spirit of Penfolds, at the first home of Penfolds. Join one of the Penfolds team on a personalised and fascinating journey through the underground tunnels, Grange cottage - the original home of Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold, the heritage-listed bluestone cellars and Still House, before taste-testing your way through the famous Penfolds wines. Followed by a tasting of six Penfolds luxury wines, including the iconic Penfolds Grange, enjoy a plate of South Australian cheese.

Afterwards, journey into Adelaide's CBD, where you will have free time before re-joining the ship.

Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires a moderate amount of walking, some of which is on uneven ground and with steps to negotiate. All guests must be able to climb the steps onto/out of the coaches unassisted.  This Land Adventure is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Coober Pedy is a frontier-style, opal mining town that requires a certain sense of adventure to ensure its enjoyment. We recommend wearing comfortable, lightweight clothing and sturdy walking shoes. Remember to bring your camera, sunscreen, and a sunhat. Due to luggage restrictions on domestic flights, particularly the flight to/from Coober Pedy, it is suggested to keep luggage to a minimum. Regional Express requires baggage weigh no more than 33 lb. (15 kg).  Cabin baggage may include two small bags, each not exceeding: depth 9" (23 cm), height 13" (34 cm), length 19" (48 cm) or weighing over 15 lb. (7 kg). Transfers and sightseeing in Coober Pedy are provided by the Desert Cave Hotel and may not be exclusive for Silversea guests.  The order of sights seen may vary and the tour 'sequence may be amended in case of flight changes or other unforeseen factors.  

Programme Includes:

·        One-night stay at the Desert Cave Hotel (or similar) - Coober Pedy

·        One-night stay at The Louise (or similar) - Adelaide

·        Two breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners (regular lunches and dinners include choice of two beverages - soft drinks, mineral water or wine.

·        Scheduled domestic flights Melbourne/Adelaide/Coober Pedy and Coober Pedy/Adelaide in Economy Class

·        All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary

Not Included:

Any meals and drinks not specified above, gratuities to drivers and tour guides, charges incurred by the airlines for excess or overweight luggage, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance, and other personal items.

All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described.  If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure.  Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect.  All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea.   Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years of age and older.  This description is a general overview of this programme.  Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays, changes made by airlines, government activities, and weather, require.  The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.