Silversea to shed Endeavour’s toys for more suites

Helicopter and submarine excursions offloaded by ultra-luxury cruise line

Silversea Cruises will shelve the helicopter and submarine experiences offered aboard the former Crystal Endeavor, and add new suites, the cruise line’s President and CEO, Roberto Martinoli, has confirmed.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean Group revealed it was the successful party bidding for Crystal Cruises’ expedition ship, acquiring the 200-passenger vessel for US$275 million which will be operated under its ultra-luxury cruise brand as Silver Endeavour.

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Aboard the 183-metre expedition ship, Crystal Cruises operated a two-guest (plus pilot) submersible in Antarctica in its debut (and only) Antarctica season in late 2021/early 2022 before the brand’s collapse in February. The ship also came equipped with 18 Zodiac boats, 14 kayaks, a remote operational vehicle (ROV) that offered underwater views to guests from the comfort of the ship and had two helicopters assigned to it, though it is unclear if they had been delivered as yet.

On the subject of “toys”, Martinoli said Silversea would not carry the submarine or helicopters “for a couple of reasons”.

“One is that cold weather waters are typically quite murky, so you can’t see much in a submarine. We don’t feel the need to have toys that can used by just a portion of guests.

Aerial view of Crystal Endeavor (with its heli-pad) making a landing on ice in Wilhelmina Bay, Antarctica

“And they’re actually only useful in a very limited number of places. Finally, there’s more than enough to do and see on Silversea’s cruises,” Martinoli said.

“We will, however, incorporate the ROV. Remote operational vehicles allow us to explore even deeper beneath the surface and to share insights and learnings with our guests,” he said.

Crystal Endeavor in Antarctica | Source: Facebook

Without the need for onboard private aircraft, the helipad and helicopter hangar will be assessed for conversion into additional luxury accommodations. The same applies to the casino which Silversea doesn’t offer on its other expedition vessels.

“In both cases, we’re considering adding suites as the ship is very large compared to its capacity,” Martinoli remarked.

Having viewed the rebranded Silver Endeavour firsthand, Martinoli said he was impressed with the build quality of what is considered the most expensive expedition vessel ever built.

“The ship is very well built, designed and conceived. There are so many similarities it made me wonder if they used the Silversea design platform,” he quipped.

Martinoli noted that the ship is very luxurious and “far and above the other Crystal vessels”.

Crystal Endeavor launched in July 2021. It rebrands as Silver Endeavour later this year.

“She perfectly fits our needs. Suites sizes and configurations, and her layout, open decks, dining options – you name it – it’s a perfect, suitable design for Silversea”.

He said that a number of tweaks requiring the polar class vessel to go into dry dock would be necessary, such as the livery, branding and “small touches” to the dining experiences to align with Silversea’s other expedition fleet, namely the venues found on Silver Cloud and Silver Wind.

Silver Endeavour will launch under Silversea Cruises in November in Antarctica, operating the Antarctica Bridge program which eliminates sailing across the notorious Drake Passage. Sailings will go live from 24 August 2022.

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