Luxury Cruising: Silversea celebrates silver jubilee
Silversea Cruises serves 25 years as a luxury cruise line. Silversea has unlocked the authentic beauty of the world for almost half a million guests on approximately 4,100 voyages. Silversea’s ships have completed an accumulated total of over 47,800 cruise days, while the cruise line’s guests have travelled deeper on a combined total of more than 9.4 million cruise days.
Bringing innovation to the cruise industry with a truly pioneering concept, Silversea was the world’s first all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruise line when it launched in 1994. Purpose-built Silver Cloud – the cruise line’s first ship, which was unique insomuch as almost all suites included a personal balcony – was christened in Monaco on May 30, 1994, in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Since then, Silversea’s guests have travelled to the world’s most remarkable destinations in unparalleled comfort, enjoying personalised service and an intimate atmosphere on board. Many aspects of the cruise line have evolved in the past 25 years, but these core principles have remained and today make a Silversea cruise unique.
When Silversea was founded by the Lefebvre family 25 years ago, the vision was to launch a cruise line that had a truly global reach, in the sense that guests from across the globe would discover the world’s remotest and most iconic regions in superlative comfort, with a broad spectrum of destination versatility. This vision has been successfully realised, as Silversea today unlocks immersive travel experiences for guests in over 900 destinations, from pole to pole – more than any other cruise line.
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Destination expertise has long differentiated Silversea Cruises, but it was the launch of Silversea Expeditions in 2008 that pushed the boundaries of discovery further than the ultra-luxury industry had previously seen: milestone voyages include Antarctica in 2008; the West Coast of Africa and the Russian Arctic in 2012; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in 2013; the Galapagos Islands, the Russian Far East, the Kimberley Coast, and the first Northwest Passage crossing in 2014; and Bangladesh in 2017. In 2019, Silversea’s guests will traverse the Northeast Passage for the first time, while the cruise line will undertake the world’s first ever Expedition World Cruise in 2021. Silversea’s destination leadership in more iconic regions, such as the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, also remains as strong as ever and is predicated on deep travel experiences.
From just one ship in 1994, Silversea’s guests today enjoy a fleet of nine ultra-luxury, intimate ships—and an additional five ships are on order. Following the launch of Silver Cloud in 1994, Silver Wind doubled the cruise line’s capacity in 1995. Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper were launched in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Silver Explorer, the cruise line’s first ice-class ship, unlocked expedition experiences around the world for guests from 2008. Silver Spirit joined the fleet in 2009, followed by Silver Galapagos in 2013 and Silver Discoverer in 2014. The cruise line’s flagship, Silver Muse, was launched in 2017 and inspired a fleet-wide ‘Musification’—the systematic refurbishment of Silversea’s ships, which is ongoing. In 2020, Silver Origin – the most elegant ship to ever sail the Galapagos – and Silver Moon will join the fleet, followed by Silver Dawn in 2021 and the first of two Evolution Class ships in 2022.
Fine food from around the world, complimentary drinks throughout the ship, and a butler for each suite are just some of the many luxurious amenities that Silversea’s guests have enjoyed since the launch of the cruise line in 1994. Since Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s acquisition of Silversea in 2018, these icons of luxury – and many others – have been further enhanced by Project Invictus, a long-term plan to grow and enhance Silversea’s fleet of ships: guests enjoy complimentary, chilled champagne in their suites upon arrival and throughout the ship; complimentary sustainable caviar, available 24 hours per day; an enriched offering of canapes, seafood, berries, and fine steak cuts; and an enhanced wine list, which already comprises the largest complimentary offering at sea.
Silversea Cruises is proud to foster a family-like atmosphere and takes the opportunity of its 25th anniversary to recognise its loyal-most guests and crew—each of whom has made it possible to reach this significant milestone. The most loyal of Silversea’s guests have each accumulated more than 2,300 Venetian Sail days already, which equates to almost seven years spent aboard Silversea’s vessels. At its launch, Silversea began with just 25 land-based employees in Fort Lauderdale; at the end of 2018, there were 2,571 employees—comprising onboard crew and land-based employees in offices around the world.
“I feel so proud when I consider what we have achieved in 25 years,” says Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea’s Executive Chairman. “From just one ship in 1994 to a fleet of nine vessels with at least five to come, we will soon realise the vision set out by my father when he brought innovation to our industry and founded our cruise line. I am grateful to our loyal guests, our travel advisors, and to our crew and employees—they have made this great achievement possible. We continuously work to push boundaries of travel; rest assured that this is just the beginning.”
“I joined Silversea Cruises in 1994 – almost 25 years ago – when the company was six months old and had only one ship. I’ve been here ever since,” says Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, Silversea’s Chairman’s Ambassador to the Venetian Society. “I feel at home. And the guests feel the same—we are a family. We want our guests to feel as though they are a part of something special. Our ships are their home away from home, as we’ve managed to create a wonderful atmosphere on board. A very important part of my job is to socialise with our guests and I have developed strong bonds. In fact, many guests have come to stay with my family and me in Portugal over the past 25 years, and I have stayed with them. Now, when guests come aboard, they ask if certain members of the team – from bartenders to waiters, butlers, and pool stewards – are also on the ship, as our people are as important as the destinations we visit. For me, it’s easy to understand why Silversea is so special to so many people: friendliness, luxury, and service.”
“I knew a Captain at Silversea and he reached out to me. I’m now in my twentieth year at the company,” says Captain Alessandro Zanello, who joined Silversea Cruises in 1999. “At the time, Silversea had a fleet of just two ships, but the feeling on board was different from other cruise lines. There was a strong sense of family – among both the guests and the crew; because the ships were so intimate, there was closer interaction. This remains unchanged today. I actually met my wife on Silver Spirit in 2009, so I attach great sentimental value to the company. It’s very special. One of my proudest moments at Silversea was when I got to be Captain of Silver Muse for her inauguration in 2017—I’ll never forget this achievement.”