Silversea – an alternative supplier that’s defines Luxury

In our post about Alternative suppliers, we mention Silversea.  This post discusses Silversea in some depth.

Silver Cloud Expedition


Who is Silversea?

Silversea is a luxury ocean cruise ship line that offers some great itineraries and a very young fleet.  Silversea started in 1988 with two ships and has now grown to 9 ships which travel to all 7 continents. They are still privately held. Things that distinguish Silversea:

  • Small ships and large cabin sizes,
  • Inclusions
  • Luxury grade food and service
  • Unique itineraries including expedition sailing


The Silversea fleet are small to mid ship in size with very low passenger to crew ratios.  And they are a very young / recently refurbished fleet.  The 6 classic ships (Wind, Discoverer, Whisper, Shadow,Explorer, Cloud  (19 zodiacs, largest suites, 5 dining options with 260 guests) and Galapagos) were refurbished between 2016 and 2017.  The three new ships were all built in 2017 and 2018:  Muse, (all suite, all balcony, 8 dining options (no main dining room), the Spirit , and the Galapagos. You can see these are all small ships with excellent passenger to crew ratios.

Silver… Passengers Crew Ratio
Wind 296 222 1.33
Discoverer 116 100 1.16
Whisper 382 302 1.26
Shadow 382 302 1.26
Explorer 144 118 1.22
Cloud 254 223 1.14
Muse 596 411 1.45
Spririt 608 412 1.48
Galapagos 100 75 1.33
  Fleet 2878 2165 1.33

Luxury accommodations on SilverseasCabins

Silver Muse, Panorama SuiteSilversea refers to all cabins as suites since they really are.    The smallest suite is an ample 186 sq ft while the more typical  Veranda Suites are 280 sq ft, though much larger suites are available on all ships.  All suites include stocked refrigerator and bar, sitting areas, high end amenities and linens and marble bathrooms and all suites have butler service, even the fixed window variety.  Large cabins on small ships – a nice combination!

Itineraries and destinations

In 2017, Silversea will visit over 900 destinations including Alaska, Galapagos Islands, Central / South America, the Arctic, Antarctic, Africa and Indian Ocean, Asia, Russian Far East, Micronesia and Polynesia, Australian/ New Zealand.  Because of the small ship size, they go to destinations that others simply don’t go to.  For example, on the Mediterranean Barcelona to Rome itinerary,  Silversea will stop in places like Ibiza Spain, Palma De Mallorca, Calvi Carsica, Saint Tropez.  Others don’t.  They have some unique and highly desirable itineraries.

Expedition cruising

Typically expedition cruising conjurs up remote regions which are difficult to get to.  Silverseas has four expedition ships.  Some highlights from Silver Cloud include:  daily multiple shore excursions of less than 14 people, wildlife and nature encounters, daily presentations and lectures by on board experts, the ability to cut through ice floes and pack ice, a fleet of Zodiacs on board.

The difference here is that you are pairing expedition cruising with luxury cruising.  Which is a real exciting combination.  No more roughing it – at least when you’re back on the ship.

Destinations include the Antartica the Artic and Greenland, remote Canada, the West coast of Africa, The Galapagos,.


Lectures on board Silverseas

Silverseas – explaining the hike

What’s included?

  • Beverage package (select wines, premium spirits, coffees as well as bottled water, juices and soft drinks are included.
  • Gratuities are fully included
  • Butler service in each suite
  • Gourmet dining at all venues
  • On board lectures




Silversea ships

Silversea ships

It’s easy to compare Silversea to other luxury brands like Regent, Crystal or Seabourn.

But how does Silversea compare to premium brands like Celebrity, Princess or Oceania? At first blush, the Silverseas base price will seem quite a bit higher.  Yet, when you price in the inclusions like air fare, drink packages and gratuities, they price out remarkably similarly.  And when you include Silversea’s discounted upgrades to business class, suddenly Silversea looks to be a good value. Especially considering that the ship is much smaller and more luxurious over all.

We are comparing at a very high level of course and your specific comparison will be different depending on promotions available, specific sailing occupancy, and whether or not you value things like beverage packages and business class air seats.  The point is, however that  Silversea can be your best overall value option relative to other cruise or tour products.

Who does Silversea appeal to:

Silversea Galapgaos always an adventure

Silversea Galapagos

Who does Silversea appeal to?  Luxury travelers of course.  But as mentioned above, customers who enjoy Oceania or Celebrity (premium cruises) can easily move over to Silversea.  River cruise customers will find Silversea to be of great interest since both are highly inclusive, feature unique destinations and have small ships.  Silversea will also appeal to customers of  escorted land tours like Collette or Tauck.  And anyone looking for new destinations as well as that small ship experience will enjoy Silversea.


A good travel agent will help you decide if Silversea is for you.



Susan Wolfson
My goal is to Make Your Next Vacation Your Best Vacation!®