Ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises celebrated the inaugural arrival of its flagship, Silver Muse, into Sydney Harbour on Sunday 6 January 2019. The arrival of Silver Muse marks the first time in a decade that Silversea has brought one of its new vessels to Australia. Muse launched for the first time in April 2017. The ship was greeted by the Australian Girls’ Choir, singing at the pier at White Bay Cruise Passenger Terminal.
“Welcoming Silver Muse to Australia and New Zealand is very special and something we have been eagerly anticipating for some time now. As the newest, most spacious and most luxurious ship to call Australia home this year, her deployment reflects our strong commitment to the local market and we are absolutely delighted that Silver Muse will return again next summer for an expanded season,” said Silversea Cruises’ Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand, Adam Armstrong.
“This is, of course, the newest ship in our fleet, and Silver Muse truly is one of the most luxurious, boutique vessels in the world; therefore I can’t think of a better way to explore the authentic natural beauty of Australia and New Zealand.”
Following her arrival in Darwin on 26 December 2018, Silver Muse’s itinerary has visited many Australian maiden ports of call as she has travelled towards Sydney. Guests aboard have enjoyed a journey down the east coast of Australia, making maiden ports of call at Cairns, Townsville, the Whitsunday Islands and Brisbane before arriving into Sydney for the very first time a few weeks ago.
The arrival of Silver Muse to Sydney was celebrated on board with Roberto Martinoli, CE. He reflected on the 2018 season which saw Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd invest in the ultra-luxury cruise company.
Martinoli admitted that the arrangement with Royal Caribbean had involved “very demanding negotiations” over a window of more than 12 months. But once finalised, he said the “serious business” discussions were able to be undertaken.
“The good thing is the first question I had from Richard Fain, the Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean, was ‘What can we do better at Silversea? Do you have [a] wishlist?‘ And of course my wishlist was very long, and I was expecting a negotiation on that. And when I presented the list of product enhancement that we’re hoping for, he said ‘Yes, that’s fine. Go ahead.’ So we started the ‘Invictus’ project that has brought a very important product enhancement to all of our fleet.”
Between now and 2023, Silversea will be adding five newbuild ships, a “sizeable increase in our capacity, and enlarging even further the number of destinations that we are already visiting,” Martinoli said, adding that Australia is a “very important market”.
“We are very close to making Australia our second largest source market, and hopefully this will happen very soon. Adam Armstrong, I am sure, will want to have this sooner rather than later, so we are very excited about being here,” he added.
Without detailing exact figures, Armstrong himself said Australia was “not very far off” becoming the second biggest market for Silversea, with the goal to achieve the position in the next two to three years.
“We are going to do that with Muse and with Silver Explorer, and we are going to do that by sending more Australians on all of our ships around the world,” Armstrong said.
Joining Marinoli was Barbara Muckermann, CMO, attending from Monaco. They gathered to welcome friends and travel partners of Silversea to the magnificent vessel. Stephen Mahoney, GM Destination NSW, received a print of a 1744 RGS map of Australia surveyed by Abel Tasman by Emanuel Bowen, considered to be the first map published in England wholly devoted to Australia. The gift to Destination NSW was presented by Silversea Cruises and its partner, the Royal Geographical Society.
The ship offers uncompromising levels of comfort, service and quality for the world’s most discerning travellers. On board, guests experience enhanced small-ship intimacy, spacious all-suite accommodations, expansive outdoor spaces and the most comprehensive choice of dining options at sea with eight venues – including specialty choices such as Kaiseki and Indochine – plus 24-hour, complimentary dining options throughout the ship. The vessel carries up to 596 guests in all-inclusive luxury with butler service in all suites.
Silver Muse departed Sydney on 7 January for a 14-night cruise to Tasmania and New Zealand, culminating in her maiden visit to Auckland on 19 January 2019. After offering a number of sailings between Australia and New Zealand, Silver Muse will depart on her Grand Asia Pacific Voyage (Sydney to Tokyo – 74 days) and then commence her maiden season of Alaska cruises. Silver Muse will return to Sydney in 2019/20 and stay for over four months (late November to end of March).
Lead image: Some of the Silversea Cruises’ Australasia team onboard Silver Muse: Julian Perri, Anne Weinert, Megan Peterie, Adam Armstrong, Leanne Fonagy and Jessica England.