Silvereas Cruises Overview
In 1994, lots of cruise industry insiders scoffed at the idea of the
new niche line Silversea, which flaunted its own Uncompromising
Commitment to Service, surviving in the face of cruising's having
become more and more a recreation of ordinary people. There were
already plenty of yacht-like, all-suite luxury ships at sea.
Silversea's adding private verandas to 75% of its staterooms and
instituting an everything-included, all-frills-all-the-time policy
changed few minds.
Nobody's scoffing now. Such was the success of the line's two
original ships, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, that the line built the
larger, 28,000-ton 382-passenger Silver Shadow, which entered service
in September 2000, followed less than a year hence by Silver Whisper.
Silver Wind underwent a major refit after being withdrawn from service
another year after that. An intimate new specialty restaurant was
added, spa facilities were expanded to include a Tranquility Room, and
the Fitness Center was moved to the Observation Deck, Silversea having
noted that people enjoy a panoramic view while working out.
At first, these ships were jaw-droppingly expensive -- approximately
$850 per person per day. When many passengers, noting that several
lines offered comparably small ships, open single seating, and all-
inclusivity, agreed that was too much, the company responded by
reconceiving its fare
structure. Since 2002, it has offered discounted fares and a variety of
promotional programs. Today, many of the most well heeled cruisers
believe Silversea offers unmatched value, most deserving of it
reputation as the cruise line for people who want the best at any price.
The Personalized Voyages program, introduced in 2003, allows
voyagers to design their own itinerary and vacation experience by
electing, for instance, to change the ports they want to embark and
disembark from despite what the brochure describes as the beginning and
end dates of the given itinerary. On the seven-day sailing of the
Silver Wind between Bonifacio (Corsica) and Valletta (Malta), for
instance, you might elect to tack on three days from the following cruise
between Valletta and Corfu (Greece) by disembarking in Rome, or in
Sorrento the following day. The extra time onboard is charged at a
per-day rate dependent on the ports and the stateroom category chosen.
The Silversea Experience:
Dream of being the crown of a small but much-admired, very rich
European principality? Silversea is your cruise line, the most
exclusive luxury vessels afloat offering the best of the best of
everything. Dining tables, to give you some idea, are set with
Christofle silver and Schott-Zwiesel crystal. The ships' cuisine? One
word: sublime. Philipponnat Royale Reserve champagne flows like water.
All cabins are suites, three-quarters with their own verandas, all
gorgeously appointed. Silver Whisper's staterooms are bigger than
Seabourn's and Crystal's, and the marble bathrooms are, along with
Seven Seas Navigator's and Voyager's, the most elegant at sea.
Walk-in closets, TV/DVD, small refrigerators stocked with your own
favorite beverages (including spiritous, and all included in the price)
and snacks, and a separate seating area with sofa and desk are all
standard. All gratuities and beverages, including select wines,
champagnes and spirits, are included. Its passengers may be assured
they'll have a choice of several lounges, a good amount of deck space,
spacious dining facilities, and a theater big enough to accommodate
Silversea excels at itinerary-planning, perfectly balancing time in
port and at sea. They offer extensive onboard concierge services should
you like a car reserved for you in an upcoming port, for example, just
ask and it will be done. Another treat is the line's never-ending quest
to create shore experiences for their passengers that will not be found
anywhere else, be it on another ship, or even on your own. Included
with most cruises is a complimentary shore excursion called the
Silversea Experience. On a recent Italian cruise, quests were treated
to a private dinner, prepared and served by the shipboard culinary
experts, inside a medieval stone monastery cut high in the Amalfi Coast.
Because they offer some of the highest passenger-space ratios at
sea, many voyagers liken Silversea's to the smaller 204-passenger
vessels of Seabourn Cruise Line. The vast majority favor Silversea's
warm, friendly service to their rival line's much more formal
deportment. Indeed, the eagerness of the staff to observe and learn its
passengers' preferences is one of the key reasons Silversea's patrons
keep coming back for additional cruises.
Several new programs intended to emphasize the line's Italian
heritage debuted in 2005. Silversea's in-suite bath amenities are from
the Italian fragrance house Acqua di Parma produces. Paintings by noted
Italian artists are proudly featured. Italian luxury brand Loro Piana
opened aboard each ship, offering accessories, gifts and
made-to-measure products. But not all is from the land of Leonardo,
Galileo, and Verdi; the first Viking Cooking School at sea, held in the
new Viking culinary theatres, offers cooking classes led by the
unmistakably Gallic chefs Relais & Chateaux.
In 2007, the line acquired the 6,072-ton vessel Lloyd's Register 1A
ice-class expedition ship, the World Discoverer and gave it a
multi-million dollar renovation to bring it up to Silversea standards.
The ship was renamed the Prinec Albert II in honor of the Prince of Monaco,
a pioneer in oceanographic science and exploration. The ship set sail
from London in June, 2008, first sailing north to the Arctic circle and
then to the southern hemisphere. The ship spend the winter months
sailing in the warm South Pacific islands of Tahiti, the Marquesas and
some of the lesser known, most remote islands in the world. Summer
months, the ship explores Antarctica, traverses Drake's passage and
explores the Chilean Fjords.
Rich, over-55 veterans of many cruises, looking to sail to exotic places in incomparable luxury.
excursions are well thought out and comprehensive; to cite one example,
an overnight plane trip to Moscow for passengers docked in St.
Petersburg. The line hires some of the most expert and articulate
spoken guides extant. Plus they offer enhanced programs of shore
excursions such one free special event for all passengers every cruise
called Silversea Experiences where they treat the entire ship to a
private cultural events or access to key historical sites arranged
exclusively for Silversea by various national historical and cultural
societies of the world.
Taking The Kids:
Children are allowed on these cruises, but they are not likely to
appreciate it, or add to the experience the adults are having. Take
them on your next vacation.
Past Passenger Program:
Silversea's exemplary Venetian Society past-passengers program offers
five to 10 percent off brochure rates on year-round special sailings,
with special activities like a golf tournament in Boca Raton,
an exquisite private dinner in New Orleans, unforgettable private
dinners in a separate dining room created by guest Relais &
Chateaux chefs, and special shore excursions and a wonderful program of
Formal nights are scheduled during days at sea, with a tux mandatory
for gentlemen and lavish bejeweledness the unwritten law for ladies.
But those who can't be bothered -- and who don't care about being
turned away from the entertainment lounges -- are welcome to dine in
their less-than-formal attire in the Lido restaurant and to enjoy
cocktails and after-dinner drinks in a designated lounge. On a
ten-night cruise there are three formal, four informal and three casual
nights. Daytime attire is casual.
Theme Cruises & Special Programs:
Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow both offer the Silver Links 365 Golf
Program, with a golf pro giving instruction and leading golf excursions
to courses in each port. Using the latest V1 video-computer teaching
technology, he'll make a VHS video of your on-board lesson to take home
The Silversea Experience Cruises:
These voyages include complimentary Cultural Adventures like dinner in
the Namib Dessert, ballet in Odessa, or a classical concert at Ephesus.
The Spirit of Exploration Cruises:
Notable explorers and scientists give lectures, confer individually
with passengers, and even accompany them on some shore tours.
Silversea offers Relais & Chateaux Culinary Cruises and Wine
Series voyages. See our theme cruise page for a list of currently
Everything's included in your fare.