(Ft. Lauderdale, FL — May 29, 2007) Historian and travel writer Corey Sandler’s new book, Henry Hudson: Dreams and Obsession, offers an engrossing portrait of the life and travels of the 17th-century English ship captain and explorer. One of the least understood explorers of the Age of Discovery, Hudson is probably best known for being the first European to sail up the New York river that now bears his name. In an artful blending of past and present, a full chapter in the book allows readers to experience one of Hudson’s most daring adventures — a pioneering voyage across the Arctic Circle — from the perspective of a modern cruise ship.
In 1607, Hudson embarked on a mission to find a Northeast, all-water route from Europe to Asia by sailing to the top of the North Pole in a 40-ton, wooden ship, the Hopewell. To recreate the thrill of that journey for his readers, in July 2005 Sandler booked passage on the 16,800-ton Silver Cloud — decidedly larger than the Hopewell, but small enough to navigate the inland waterways and channels that are inaccessible to most of today’s mega-ships.
When Henry Hudson reached the northernmost point on his trek, he claimed a navigational position 80 degrees north of the equator (the North Pole lies at a latitude of 90 degrees), achieving a record “for the farthest north exploration by any captain, a mark that would not be broken for 166 years,” according to Sandler.
The author also introduces readers to Marco Sangiacomo, Silver Cloud’s captain, and provides an engaging behind-the-scenes account of the preparations and excitement on the ship’s bridge as the young Italian mariner positions his 21st-century ship in Hudson’s historic waters for what would be Sangiacomo’s first-ever visit to the polar ice barrier.
Readers are treated to vivid descriptions of breathtaking scenery as the Silversea ship sails into Magdalenefjord and drops anchor, allowing guests to go ashore and explore the unique landscape of Spitsbergen, an island in the Svalbard archipelago renowned for the beauty of its mountains and glaciers, and once a spectacle of wonder for Hudson and the Hopewell crew.
Highlights of Silver Cloud’s visit included “The Northernmost Bar in the World,” a refreshment stand set up on the beach by the ship’s staff where Silversea guests enjoyed “champagne, wine and mixed drinks served in crystal glasses from a silver platter” — as they absorbed the natural beauty of their surroundings.
“A journey to the top of the world is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” says Silversea captain Sangiacomo. “And I was honored to have Mr. Sandler on board to write about our voyage for his book. We always want our cruises to be a very special experience for our guests, and now Mr. Sandler’s readers can get a taste of what it’s like to explore the world’s less-traveled, more intriguing destinations aboard an ultra-luxury cruise ship.”
In his book, Sandler says that in retracing Hudson’s four voyages he traveled by jumbo jet, luxury cruise ship, Spartan icebreaker, cold inflatable raft, freighter canoe, shallow-draft riverboat, twin-engine bush plane, car, ferry, train, bus, subway, taxi, and in the backseat of a police paddy wagon. “Every way I traveled was exciting, and contributed to the retelling of Hudson’s four voyages. Sailing to the ice barrier of the North Pole on Silversea’s Silver Cloud was thrilling . . . and luxurious beyond anything Hudson could ever imagined.”
Adds Sandler, “I am indebted to Captain Sangiacomo for sharing his time, knowledge and enthusiasm in helping me to bring to life the almost-forgotten story of Henry Hudson. We were together in waters little known by explorers then and now.”
World adventurers, history enthusiasts and those who appreciate luxury travel will have the opportunity to embark on a similar odyssey through the land of the midnight sun when Silver Cloud’s sister ship, Silver Wind, sets sail July 21, 2008 on a 15-day, roundtrip cruise from Copenhagen to explore some of Norway’s most majestic landscapes, fjords and glaciers in the Arctic Circle. Destinations include Alesund, Gravdal, Honningsvag, Longyearbyen, Magdalene Bay, Tromso, Geiranger and Bergen. Advance Payment Bonus fares start at $10,496 per person, double occupancy.
Corey Sandler is the author of more than one hundred books on history, travel, sports, and business with more than two million copies in print. He has appeared on NBC’s Today show, the Travel Channel, and National Public Radio, and has been profiled on CNN. His fascination with the mysteries surrounding the life of Henry Hudson took him on a yearlong, 25,000-mile journey to England, Norway, the North Pole, up the Hudson River to its source, and deep into Canadian wilderness areas accessible only by boat or bush plane. Henry Hudson: Dreams and Obsession (from Citadel Press) is now available at bookstores or online. A website about the book is at www.hudsondreams.com.
Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For the ninth year, Silversea was named “Number One” small-ship line in the 2005 “Readers’ Choice” survey conducted by CondÃƒÂ© Nast Traveler magazine. For the sixth time, Silversea was selected “World’s Best” small-ship line in the 2004 Travel + Leisure readers’ poll.