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Visions of South Africa

BY ISABELLA OVEREND, Caribbean/Atlantic Islands Chargée de Presse Provincial/Nassau Bailli

THE CHAÎNE’S “VISIONS of South Africa” cruise from February 17-27, 2017 was a resounding success. Participants met in Cape Town, South Africa, for this adventure aboard the Silversea ship Silver Cloud. Those who arrived early enjoyed superb wines and breathtaking landscapes on vineyard tours arranged by South Africa Bailli Délégué Honoraire Allison Rutowitz. At Ernie Els Vineyard, Caribbean/Atlantic Islands Bailli Provincial Ron Overend and Far West Bailli Provincial Bryan Stirrat reunited with Cape Town Professionnel du Vin Andrew Harris, whom the two U.S. officers had inducted into the Chaîne in 2012.
Confrères stayed overnight at the Cullinan Hotel on Table Bay, where General Manager/Cape Town Bailli Garry Reed hosted a formal dinner for them. It was then time for the U.S. contingent to board the ship. After a restful day at sea, the Silver Cloud docked in Port Elizabeth. No trip to South Africa is complete without visiting Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. There, the group viewed a poignant homage to Nelson Mandela: metal sculptures of black and white South Africans walking to cast their votes for the man who negotiated the end of apartheid and served as the country’s first black president. This author had the singular privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela in 1993.
South Africa Bailli Délégué Honoraire Francoise Ferreira, assisted by students from his eponymous culinary academy, prepared a spectacular luncheon that showcased ingredients representative of South Africa’s rich culinary heritage. Bailli Délégué Honoraire Rutowitz thanked Chef Ferreira and his team, and Hillsborough Bailli Lois Gogol presented a certificate to the chef’s friends, Piet and Llne Roux, who graciously opened their home for the occasion in Port Elizabeth. 
After stops in Mozambique and Richards Bay, the group arrived in Durban, where South Africa Bailli Délégué Philip Mostert, along with confrères from South Africa chapters near and far, hosted them at Jeera Restaurant. Kwazulu Natal Bailli Shaun Munro, who is an executive chef, prepared a delicious array of Indian dishes. Bailli Gogol made a special presentation to Bailli Munro, and Bailli Délégué Honoraire Rutowitz and Johannesburg Bailli Honoraire Mark Kretschmer extended their thanks and kudos. Baillis Provinciaux Stirrat and Overend expressed appreciation to the professional staff.
Trips to Zulu villages, safari reserves, and a hippo haven were also on the itinerary. Life on the Silver Cloud was an unmitigated pleasure, as Captain Michele Palmieri and his team catered to attendees 24/7, ensuring entertainment, fine dining, and impeccable service. 
At the farewell reception for Captain Palmieri and his officers, Bailli Gogol bestowed certificates of appreciation. As with all Chaîne cruises, this one closed with a traditional cake. The nineteenth annual Hillsborough “Floating Assemblage” was both an adventure and a celebration of international Chaîne friendship, meticulously arranged by Bailli Gogol, Bailli Délégué Honoraire Rutowitz, and Bailli Honoraire Kretschmer.

C/AI Bailli Provincial Ron Overend, C/AI Chargée de Presse Provincial/Nassau Bailli Isabella Overend, South Africa Bailli Délégué Hon. Allison Rutowitz, Cape Town Professionnel du Vin Andrew Harris, Dame Jeanne Stirrat, and FW Bailli Provincial Bryan Stirrat