The tour, offered during the recent calls of Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, is part of Silversea's immersive culinary program Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.).
S.A.L.T. enables travelers to discover the world’s richest cultures and to 'truly understand the soul of a destination' through immersive culinary experiences onboard and ashore. With its S.A.L.T. excursion, Cartagena joined destinations including Greece, Ecuador and Sicily that have crafted distinctive programs for Silversea.
Gastronomy and Granitos de Paz
Cartagena's full-day tour explored the food scene and Colombian culture and included tastings and a chance to see the programs for locals of all ages in a vulnerable neighborhood served by Foundation Granitos de Paz.
The tour began in Bazurto Market to discover Colombian fruits, vegetables and spices and get in touch with the locals. The next stop, at Granitos de Paz, showed the foundation's work in a community of 13,000 people across areas from education and training to housing, health, sports and culture.
10-course menu at Celele
A scenic drive through Cartagena, past community gardens, historic Old Town and San Felipe Fortress, took S.A.L.T. participants to Getsemaní, home to Celele, a restaurant owned by the award-winning Colombian chefs Jaime Rodríguez Camacho y Sebastián Pinzón Giraldo and recently named one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The participants were treated to a 10-course menu designed to showcase Colombian-Caribbean cuisine through local products, ancestral recipes and traditional techniques from a contemporary point of view.
The excursion ended with a drive back to the pier through the modern areas of Bocagrande, Castillogrande and Manga.
'Colombia’s tourism strategy seeks to offer its visitors meaningful travel experiences as they immerse in our biodiversity and where our local communities are the protagonists,' said Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia, the promotion agency that's part of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism.
Cruising called pivotal for tourism recovery
According to ProColombia, the cruise industry has been pivotal for tourism recovery in the country as it leaves revenues of up to US$60m per season, generates over 1,000 jobs in Cartagena and has the potential to make a more impactful employment contribution in the coming years.
For the current 2022/23 season, Colombia will receive around 626,900 cruise passengers, an increase of 221% compared to the 2019/20 season. Some 227 calls by 26 cruise lines are scheduled.
This is why ProColombia welcomes cruise lines, Caballero said, adding: 'We are thrilled with [the Silversea calls] in particular' since the S.A.L.T. program supports the circular economy for the benefit of the locals and offers new ways for international visitors to discover the wonders of Colombia.