Silversea will celebrate 10 years of luxury expedition cruising in June 2018.
Since becoming the world’s first luxury cruise line to launch a range of expedition voyages in 2008, Silversea has continuously redefined notions of travel with its pioneering itineraries; the unmatched quality of its expedition team; and its fleet of deluxe, intimate ships. In the past decade, many milestones have been reached by Silversea, establishing the cruise line as a world-leading travel authority and leader in the field of expedition.
Each destination on all expedition itineraries is individually scouted by Silversea’s knowledgeable team of travel experts – a process that often takes a number of years – in order to ensure guests’ safety and comfort, and to guarantee the potential for an enriching travel experience. It is through these comprehensive scouting missions that Silversea has discerned itself as an artisan of experiences, unlocking the world’s most remote and captivating destinations for guests.
“A decade ago, we set out to unlock the world’s most authentic travelling experiences for those with a sense of curiosity,” explains Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s chairman. “In superlative comfort, we have enabled our expedition guests to enjoy the planet’s remotest, most beautiful destinations – many of which were previously unvisited by any cruise line. Whether visited by land or sea, there exists an endless number of stunning places to explore. I look forward to discovering these destinations with our guests in the future.”
The first of these spectacular expedition destinations was Svalbard, an isolated Norwegian archipelago that is rich in natural wonders. Intimate in its proportions and with true go-anywhere capabilities, Silversea’s Silver Explorer left London for the remote northern waters on 3 June 2008, passing under Tower Bridge to commence a dawning age of expedition in the cruise line’s identity. Later in the same year, Silversea enabled guests to explore Antarctica in unprecedented comfort. Silversea’s breakthrough range of expedition cruises was instantly popular with those in search of an authentic new adventure.
In 2012, after an extended scouting period, the cruise line became the first ever to launch itineraries to the Russian Arctic and along the West Coast of Africa. Utilising the expertise of its team and on-the-ground knowledge, Silversea was able to elevate the concept of six-star expedition.
The following year, Silversea acquired Silver Galapagos and became the first company to bring an ultra-luxury product to the Galapagos Islands. It then recruited and began familiarising local tour guides with the concept of luxury travel in order to combine regional knowledge with ultimate onboard service. This principle was representative of the cruise line’s commitment to exceptional standards of comfort and explorative authenticity, which continues to this day. In 2014, Silversea welcomed guests on expeditions to the Galapagos Islands, which have proved to be consistently popular.
In the same year, Silversea acquired Silver Discoverer, which enabled the company to expand its expedition offering into new territories, such as the Northwest Passage and the Russian Far East. Both expeditions took a great deal of planning and sold out instantly due to the innovative nature of the challenging itineraries. Silver Explorer was one of the only ships to successfully navigate through a particularly treacherous Northwest Passage in 2014, with many others failing to battle the icy conditions.
Last year, Silversea continued to challenge conventions to deliver new experiences. Ahead of the conversion of Silver Cloud – a crossover vessel which encapsulates the union of ultra-luxury and go-anywhere adventure – Silversea added Bangladesh to its extending list of destinations – a world-first.
The latest destination to be announced by Silversea is the Philippines; here, guests will have a chance to snorkel with whale sharks, visit rice terraces, and explore the country’s beautiful landscape in a jeep. Guests of Silversea can expect plenty of new, interesting destinations to come.
At the end of 2015, Silversea launched the Shackleton expedition collection, which was built around the sailing routes taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team. Now, providing guests with access to the path less travelled, Silversea announces nine new itineraries that will form the Explorer’s Collection. Following the routes of famous expeditions from bygone times, these nine cruises will feature special onboard lectures from historians, archeologists, and VIP speakers from the Royal Geographical Society; a fascinating collection of documentation, which is on loan from the same source; exclusively crafted menus that capture the camaraderie of historic expeditions; and various onshore activities to sites of historic interest.
Silversea has brought innovation to the cruise industry in many forms, yet it is through the expertise of its onboard expedition team that the cruise line excels. Each expedition carries a knowledgeable team of trained experts that enriches the travel experience for guests. They share insights on local culture, history, ornithology, marine biology and numerous other topics. With a dedicated expedition training manager and a mentoring scheme for new expedition staff, the depth of knowledge and professionalism attained is unparalleled.
“It seems like only yesterday that Mr. Lefebvre d’Ovidio and I had our first discussion,”comments Conrad Combrink, SVP strategic development expeditions and experiences of Silversea. “After a few minutes of conversation, I knew that this outlandish idea was going to be extremely successful. The experiences that we have delivered to our guests were once considered untenable in a luxurious context. Yet we have transformed the industry to enable travellers to reach the world’s most beautiful and secluded destinations in utmost comfort. Our new Explorer’s Collection is the ultimate in Silversea expedition and I am excited to share these experiences with our guests.”