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Ultra-luxe Silversea Cruises bills its newest expedition ship, Silver Endeavour, as “one of the world’s most luxurious expedition ships.” It’s not hyperbole – Silversea is right on the mark with that statement.
The company acquired the former Crystal Endeavor for $275 million a few months after Crystal Cruises shut down in early 2022. Silversea updated the ship, which was christened in Antarctica in November 2022. It offers Silversea’s trademark gracious and friendly service, a 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio, butler service throughout and sumptuous dining.
Silver Endeavour has the same luxurious decor as the line’s traditional cruise ships but is built to PC6 polar class specifications to handle rough seas and the sometimes unrelenting weather in polar regions.
The ship carries an expedition crew of 22 who give lectures, pilot the Zodiac motorized rubber rafts, guide kayak tours and check for crevasses while mapping out walking paths in Antarctica. Silversea provides Antarctica cruisers with parkas and waterproof pants to wear on excursions and to take home; boots are provided during the voyage.
The highlight of any Antarctica cruise, of course, is the continent itself. The icy cliffs and dramatic landscapes are awe-inspiring, and the penguins are so much fun to watch. They waddle around, chirping and squeaking constantly, sometimes falling and sliding on their bellies.
Those who’d rather skip the Drake Passage due to limited time or to avoid its oft-rough seas can take Silver Endeavour’s “Antarctica Bridge” program with roundtrip flights between Puerto Arenas, Chile, and King George Island, Antarctica. The business-class flights are operated by DAP Antarctic Airways, which has flown in the region for over four decades.
Silver Endeavour has 100 suites, 90 of which are Premium, Deluxe, Superior and Classic Veranda Suites, measuring 356 square feet with a roomy balcony. The suites have a kingsize bed and a sofa bed that can accommodate a third person. All suites include butler service, refrigerator and bar, bathrobe and slippers, marble bathrooms with luxury amenities, Wi-Fi and a TV with interactive media library.
The eight Silver Suites measure 535 square feet and have floor-to-ceiling windows, a large balcony, a spacious living area, walk-in wardrobes, and a bathroom with a large walk-in shower, vanity and separate lavatory. This level also includes complimentary laundry and pressing, daily canape service and an espresso machine.
The one Owner’s Suite measures 1,868 square feet, while the single Grand Suite measures 1,668 square feet.
Silver Endeavour entered drydock in April and will re-enter service in July with 10 additional suites, including two new categories. Six suites on Deck 8 will replace the former helicopter hangar amidships, and four Classic Veranda Suites on Deck 5 will replace the medical center, which will move to the former casino space on Deck 4.
On Deck 8, new categories will include two 1,163-squarefoot Master Suites and four Signature Suites that measure 721 to 850 square feet.
Upon completion, the ship will accommodate 220 guests and the crew will grow from 200 to 207.
Silversea includes private transfers to and from the airport and flights with its “Door-to-Door” service. The less-expensive “Port-to-Port” option doesn’t include transfers or air. Fares include butler service, premium alcoholic beverages, a daily shore excursion and gratuities. When required by the itinerary, in-country flights and hotel nights are included. Spa services and dinner at the La Dame French restaurant cost extra.
There are six dining options, including 24-hour room service and the upscale coffee shop Arts Café. The Restaurant offers open-seating dining for up to 192 guests with an a la carte menu that changes daily to reflect regional specialties.
Il Terrazzino is a streamlined version of the line’s Italian restaurant La Terrazza concept. Open for dinner, it offers an a la carte menu for up to 36 guests. Reservations are recommended.
The casual Grill, which accommodates 80 for breakfast and lunch and 48 for dinner, features an a la carte menu. The tables surround the indoor pool, which can be covered in rough seas.
The most upscale dining venue is La Dame, Silversea’s reservations-only signature French restaurant, which accommodates 20 guests for $60 per person. It offers an a la carte menu and a sixcourse wine-pairing menu.
The Explorer’s Lounge is where guests gather daily before dinner to learn about the next day’s excursion. Also used for lectures, the room is equipped with large LED screens. The Observation Lounge atop the ship is the spot for afternoon tea, enrichment presentations, and pre- and post-dinner cocktails. The ship also has the Otivm Spa, a salon, a fitness center, a library and a cigar lounge.
Silversea attracts a mix of affluent travelers mostly aged 55-plus, although it is drawing a younger demographic on expedition voyages. But the target market is Baby Boomers who seek luxury and all-inclusive value.
The line offers marketing and sales assistance at its Travel Partner Resource Center on its website. It includes a booking engine, a Selling Silversea guide, webinars, the Silversea Academy and customizable promotional material.
Theresa Norton, editor in chief of AGENTatHOME Magazine, covers the cruise industry for TravelPulse.com.
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