Silversea’s Silver Galapagos Sets Sail

Silver Galapagos  Photo courtesy of Silverseas
Silver Galapagos
Photo courtesy of Silverseas

Prior to setting sail, a christening ceremony was held on board, attended by local dignitaries and company executives. Highlighting the occasion were speeches by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s chairman; Santiago Dunn, vice president of Silversea, Ecuador; and Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s director of expedition cruises. Following the traditional blessing by a priest, the chairman’s daughter, Costanza Lefebvre d’Ovidio, the ship’s godmother, officially welcomed Silver Galapagos into the Silversea fleet by cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

The all-suite Silver Galapagos has just completed a major stem-to-stern refurbishment. All public spaces and guest suites have been refreshed with new upholstery, carpeting, curtains, and wall treatments. Each suite is highlighted by a totally renovated bathroom, enhanced with rich marble detailing. Besides a new walk-in rainforest shower, each bathroom features a new vanity, shelving, mirrors, lighting fixtures, and wood flooring. Plus, all guest suites have been outfitted with new flat screen TVs, new mattresses (custom-made exclusively for Silversea), and luxurious Pratesi bed linens.

Other ship enhancements include the installation of Wi-Fi access throughout the ship (including all suites) and a new complimentary service providing streaming movies and live television news broadcasts for guests to enjoy on their portable devices.

And rounding out the renovations are a new fitness center, massage room, beauty salon, outdoor Jacuzzi, outdoor furniture, and Silversea’s signature outdoor dining venue, The Grill.

In his remarks at the christening ceremony, Lefebvre d’Ovidio stated, “It is our aim that this ship will not only offer our guests the highest level of comfort and service, but also enlighten them to the rarity and beauty of the Galápagos Islands.”

Silver Galapagos sails Saturday to Saturday on seven-day roundtrip voyages from Baltra Island, following either a western or north central route. These expedition cruises offer adventurous travelers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea’s guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colorful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin’s famous finches.

For more information go to Silverseas.com

Silver Seas Presents “Music Under the Stars”

Silverseas is know for offering unique entertainment and according to travel industry experts, Vicky Garcia, Pat Ford and Catherine Adde, Silversea Cruise Lines, “hit it out of the park” with their inaugural newly released, fall 2013 “Music under the Stars” itineraries on Silversea Spirit.

Headlined by two-time Grammy® winner Paul Brown from December 13-23, 2013, for the Caribbean round trip Ft. Lauderdale voyage, as well as Smooth Jazz Awards’ “International Artist of the Year” Marc Antoine on November 2-9, 2013 from Rome to Barcelona, these two Smooth Jazz guitarists bring that stunning wow factor to the line’s first music themed voyages.

Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners-American Express Travel, a Florida-based, national franchise company of over 900 professional travel advisors across the country, really knows her cruises. While her business model is full service travel planning, 70% of their bookings involve cruises.

“Brown and Antoine with their chart-topping music and personal style, attract the perfect demographic for these voyages,” reflected Garcia, those who love fine jazz, fine dining and fine wines in an intimate and sophisticated, yet informal environment. Silversea provides the ‘best of the best’ in truly all-inclusive vacations, down to the tipping and every beverage across the ship. All our clients have come back happy and raring to rebook on Silversea.”

Pat Ford, a longtime certified CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) Luxury Cruise Specialist (LCS), represents Montrose Travel, a Travel Weekly “Power List National Top 50 Agency”. She is always confident to recommend Silversea. “The well-traveled elite client has already been on the mass market, premium and river cruises,” she pointed out. “They’re looking for something new and unusual to add to their bucket list.”

Ford’s ultra luxury clients want to be “engaged with interesting, high quality entertainment, experiences and fun when at sea. They definitely don’t want to be bored!” She continued, “This Music under the Stars” concept provides that extraordinary opportunity to not only hear fabulous music, but to mingle with the artists in a way that only a small cruise ship can provide.”

Catherine Adde, CTC, brings a strong cruise line background, with experience on both the management and travel planner sides of the table, and is affiliated with employee-owned Travelstore, California’s largest award winning travel agency. Adde spent ten years as district sales manager for three cruise lines, and holds a master’s degree in Tourism Management from London.

Adde, who also hosts a weekly radio talk show called Our Travel Affair, enthusiastically covered the release of these voyages on her show, and has booked Paul Brown for a September guest segment. “For the luxury client who wants an over the top vacation and an intimate experience, it’s an enticement in itself to have two world renowned artists headlining the voyages.” She added, “I get goose bumps imagining their sailaway concerts out on deck as the city lights sparkle on the water and the ship glides to its next port of call.”

“Seasoned travelers love it when a well known lecturer or soloist is performing just for them. Joining Brown and Antoine on Silversea’s ‘Music under the Stars’ will be like sitting with friends in the living room at home, and having them play for you. You can’t get much better than that!” Cruise industry sales veteran Karen Crisci from Crisci Cruises in Arcadia, CA welcomes music lovers to book early since these special Silversea voyages will sell out.

For more information, and to connect with Garcia’s, Ford’s, Crisci’s or Addé’s agencies about this cruise, visit www.cruising2013.com/Silversea powered by The Destination Group, a Travel Weekly Magellan GOLD winner.

Siverseas Cruises Announces 2015 World Cruise

Silver Whisper Photo Courtesy of Siverseas Cruises
Silver Whisper photo courtesy of Siverseas Cruises

Siverseas cruises announced their 2015 World Cruise starting on January 5, 2015, when the elegant, all-suite Silver Whisper is set to embark on a 115-day epic voyage, encircling the world and embracing the cultures of five continents, 30 countries and 50 unique destinations.

Departing Los Angeles with no more than 382 guests on board, Silver Whisper will sail the warm waters of the South Pacific to explore the idyllic isles of French Polynesia, then head west to the scenic wonders of Australia, and north to the marvels of the South China Sea. From there, the journey continues to Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and across the Indian Ocean to the glistening sands of the Seychelles. Silver Whisper then traces a course to some of Africa’s most intriguing destinations, including Mombasa, Zanzibar, Cape Town, Walvis Bay and Dakar. The voyage concludes with a leisurely Atlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, highlighted by stopovers in the sunny Caribbean islands of St. Lucia, St. Bart’s and Puerto Rico.

World Cruise 2015 offers travelers the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in local culture with late-night departures in eight ports, plus overnight calls in Papeete, Sydney, Fremantle, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Singapore, Mombasa, and Cape Town.

“This exceptional voyage has been crafted to appeal to luxury travel’s most discerning clientele,” said Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas. “Our World Cruise guests will visit the most exotic places and fascinating cultures on Earth — all while enjoying the pampering luxury of Silver Whisper.”

Silversea is offering guests the option to extend their World Cruise by adding a pre-cruise Panama Canal voyage from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles (17 days), or continue on board from Fort Lauderdale to New York (3 days) or Southampton (15 days).

Full World Cruise guests will enjoy a variety of special amenities, including a gala Bon Voyage reception, dinner and overnight stay at a luxury hotel, baggage valet service, complimentary Business Class air (or air credit) and transfers (between home, airport, and Silver Whisper), a $4,000 onboard spending credit (per suite), complimentary laundry service, Internet package and commemorative gifts.

For guests sailing the full 115 days, there will also be two complimentary Silversea Experiences, including one in Walvis Bay, offering the rare opportunity to dine under the stars in the Namib Desert, plus three exclusive complimentary World Cruise shoreside events. These include an elegant cocktail reception and evening performance at Sydney’s famous Opera House, and a scenic journey by vintage train in Sri Lanka to explore the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, renowned for its conservancy work. Plus, guests will be treated to a tour of Cape Town’s magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, followed by a visit to the historic Résidence de France for a sumptuous lunch set in its beautiful garden, with Table Mountain providing a stunning backdrop.

Guests will also have the chance to meet and mingle with distinguished destination experts, academics, journalists, diplomats and other specialists. Local entertainment, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and regional specialties will provide further immersion in each global destination.

Fares for World Cruise 2015 start at $58,950 per person, based on double occupancy. For more information contact your travel agent or go to http://www.silversea.com

Silversea buys the Galapagos Explorer II, will be refurbished and renamed

The Silversea Group has purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galapagos Islands, and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II.

Silversea plans to add Galapagos Explorer II to its ultra-luxury fleet of six ships next year, after the all-suite, 100-guest vessel undergoes a major refurbishment in September 2013 and is given a new name, steps that will ensure consistency with the standards of the Silversea fleet.

Until that time, Galapagos Explorer II will continue on its planned schedule of cruises and will continue to be operated by Canodros, which is based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Canodros will also continue handling reservations for Galapagos Explorer II, as well as sales and marketing through its established network of travel companies and tour operators.

Its existing expedition ship, Silver Explorer, is regularly deployed in the polar regions, and the addition of a second vessel, offering year-round unique luxury expedition cruises in the Galapagos archipelago, means Silversea will have the opportunity to offer the adventure traveler a broader portfolio of itineraries, encompassing some of the world’s most desired and least explored regions.

The 4077-ton Galapagos Explorer II offers the stylish elegance of a mega-yacht, attentive onboard service and an enriching naturalist education program. All of its 50 spacious suites feature ocean views and 24 include private balconies. Public spaces include a restaurant, piano bar, library and Internet station, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpools, and a marine observation deck.

Guests sailing aboard Galapagos Explorer II will continue to enjoy the same exciting itineraries, luxury accommodations, shipboard amenities, informative lectures and sustainable tourism for which Canodros is known.

Potential guests and travel agents interested in booking a Galapagos Explorer II voyage should visit galapagosexplorer.com for more information.

Guests currently booked on Galapagos Explorer II, and travel agents or tour operators with clients booked on the ship, should continue to liaise through their normal channels with Canodros for any needed assistance with their reservation.

In the coming months, Silversea will announce more details concerning plans for the ship after it is renovated and renamed.

Silversea captures Spirit of Caribbean

Guests aboard the ultra-luxurious Silver Spirit – gleaming white ship is docked in the background - have been enjoying the best the Caribbean has to offer, this time heading out on a snorkeling adventure off the coast of Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos. Photos by Michael Coleman.

By Michael Coleman

Snorkeling the turquoise waters is but one of many Caribbean shore excursion opportunities offered aboard the 540-guest Silver Spirit.
AT SEA, Eastern Caribbean, Sunday April 1, 2012 – Island hopping under sunny skies may have been the norm for cruise passengers here in the Caribbean this past winter but guests presently aboard Silver Spirit have been in the midst of a 10-night journey not commonly enjoyed in these parts.

Silversea Cruises’ flagship, the 540-guest Spirit, oozes unpretentious luxury and features a warm, sophisticated décor in its public spaces where the overriding onboard ambience has clearly been created by its 1930s Art Deco feel.

The Suite Life

Guests are living comfortably, too. There are 270 ocean view suites in seven categories ranging in size from 312 to 1,668 square feet, 95 percent of which feature private teak balconies plus all suites enjoy the services of a butler.

Guests can enjoy seven suite categories aboard Silver Spirit including the 742-square-foot Silver Suite featuring a spacious, 118-square-foot veranda.
Food is never far from reach and choices aboard the intimate vessel abound. Guests have been enjoying six restaurants – The Grill, a casual, outdoor steak and seafood venue under the stars; La Terrazza (Italian); Seishin (Asian); and Le Champagne (fine dining) are among the runaway favorites – plus there’s an 8,300-square-foot spa, fitness center and resort-style pool to keep the calories in check.

Spirit shore excursion opportunities have made the most of this sun-drenched region – sailing and snorkeling to beach breaks and horse back riding were big hits – as guests enjoyed port calls on Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Gustavia, St. Bart’s, St. John’s, Antigua; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Road Town, British Virgin Islands.

Today, however, is where Spirit and its cosmopolitan clientele shine brightest. It’s the first of two lazy, back-to-back sea days where shipboard ambience and memorable port tales collide for enlightening banter around the pool deck.

Later this week – We’ll take a closer look at Silver Spirit.

Iconic Gustavia, St. Bart’s, was one of five port calls this week for the cosmopolitan guests aboard Silver Spirit.

Silver Spirit charts Eastern Caribbean course

Silversea Cruises unveiled the ultra-luxurious, 540-guest Silver Spirit just two years ago amidst much praise and fanfare. It was, after all, the line’s first newly-constructed vessel since 2001. This week, ship guests like this gentleman outside the vessel’s Observation Lounge, are in the midst of a 10-night Eastern Caribbean voyage and Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is onboard. Look for Coleman’s ship dispatches here later this week.

Photo by Michael Coleman

Follow us aboard the Disney Fantasy and Silver Spirit

We’re back and headed to two different ships this next week. This weekend we’ll be previewing Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Fantasy. And over the next week we’ll be posting updates from SilverSea’s Silver Spirit.

We’ll have our full reviews and posts here, but to follow us live from the ship, you’ll want to follow our Twitter account and like our Facebook page.

You can find us on Twitter at Twitter.com/CruiseGuide

You can like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CruiseNews

Silversea renames expedition ship

Image courtesy Silversea Cruises — The Prince Albert II expedition ship is being renamed the Silver Explorer by parent company, luxury operator Silversea Cruises.

By Michael Coleman

Silversea Cruises is renaming its globetrotting expedition ship.

The ultra-luxury cruise operator is changing the name of its Prince Albert II expedition vessel to Silver Explorer.

The change will occur later this month while the vessel is in dry dock at the Lisnave shipyard in Setubal, Portugal, undergoing routine maintenance prior to commencing a summer program of Northern Europe and Arctic voyages.

“Our expansion into adventure travel has turned out quite successful and we have to prepare for the possibility of adding more ships,” said Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea’s chairman. “To reinforce the Silversea luxury brand image for the expedition segment, we decided to change the name of our first expedition ship to Silver Explorer and anticipate any future expedition ships will bear similar names that evoke a sense of luxurious adventure.”

Lefebvre added, “It has been an absolute privilege to have a ship in our fleet named in tribute to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II. We will continue to honor his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation through our support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and look forward to hosting future onboard fundraising events to benefit the Foundation’s projects.”

The company is committed to raising awareness of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of the global environment. Its focus is on three major challenges: climate change and developing renewable energies; the loss of biodiversity; improving universal access to clean water and fighting desertification. For more information, visit www.fpa2.com.

Silver Explorer offers full-scale exploring from an ultra-luxury base at sea, in true Silversea style. With the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship, guests enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations (many with French balconies or large private verandas), butler service, gourmet cuisine, warm hospitality and personalized service (with a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one).

Look also for Silversea’s generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, bottled water, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.

The Lloyd’s Register 1A ice-rated vessel explores the world from top to bottom, including Central and South America and Africa.

The company also operates five other intimate, all-suite vessels. Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit. Company itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both polar regions and some 450 destinations in between.

On the web: www.silversea.com

Silver Whisper pegged for 2012 world cruise

The ultra-luxurious and recently refurbished 382-guest Silver Whisper will host Silversea Cruises world cruise in 2012. Image courtesy Michael Coleman

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard the luxurious 382-guest Silver Whisper this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

SPANISH TOWN, VIRGIN GORDA, B.V.I, March 10, 2011 — It should come as no surprise that the 382-guest Silver Whisper has been pegged by its owners to host their 2012 world cruise.

The Black Rock Grill, a convivial dining concept which enables guests to cook their preferences on heated lava rocks tableside under the stars on the pool deck, is but one culinary option aboard Silver Whisper. Image courtesy Silversea
Silversea Cruises’ intimate vessel, anchored here today in the midst of a 7-night Caribbean voyage, is aglow following a recent stem to stern makeover and may be more inviting than at any time in its 10-year-history of seamless, luxury globetrotting.

Guests will embark on the 115-night, Fort Lauderdale to Monte Carlo odyssey Jan. 16, 2012 discovering hidden jewels ranging from the Amazon and Africa to Asia and Arabia en route.

This is a cozy vessel oozing European charm and ambience and the onboard atmosphere here is relaxed and unpretentious.

Open bars, ocean view suites (most feature private teak deck verandas) complete with double vanities in the bathroom, walk-in wardrobe closets and separate sitting areas for entertaining or in-suite dining, will easily make for comfortable passage.

Butler service will be offered in every suite.

While the company’s six ships feature some 200 voyages to 450 destinations in more than 100 countries next year, across seven continents, it is Silver Whisper that has been pegged for the world adventure.

She will visit 45 ports in 27 countries stretching from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, the Far East, Arabia and Europe. Along the way guests will enjoy 13 overnight visits in various ports — look for such longer dalliances in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hong Kong; Shanghai; Bangkok; and Mumbai, India.

Silver Whisper’s cosmopolitan ambience and charm might best be reflected at La Terrazza, where breakfast, lunch and reservations-only dinner is served. Image courtesy Michael Coleman
While traversing the globe in pampered style, the ship’s culinary team will offer a host of choices in a number of venues to whet anyone’s gastronomic fancy. Dining options include The Restaurant, the ship’s main dining room (breakfast, lunch and dinner); La Terrazza (breakfast and lunch buffet, reservations-only Italian fare in the evening) and the reservation’s only Le Champagne, a specialty restaurant where dishes are expertly prepared and exclusive wines, paired with each course, flow freely.

Look for Silver Whisper to also offer a unique, under the stars dining experience on the pool deck. The Black Rock Grill, a convivial dining concept which enables guests to cook their preferences on heated lava rocks tableside, is perhaps the ship’s most casual and guiltiest of pleasures.

Rounding out the culinary component is grilled fare served daily on the pool deck, an elegant afternoon tea at 4 pm, and 24 hour room service.

Silver Whisper will spend the summer in Northern Europe and the fall foliage season in Canada and New England. In late fall she’ll return to the Caribbean and South America before ringing in the New Year with the commencement of her global journey.

Among the cozy bars aboard Silver Whisper, The Bar, is the place to see and be seen especially for pre-dinner cocktails.

Living the good life aboard Silver Whisper

Guests aboard Silver Whisper, presently in the midst of a week-long Caribbean journey, are enjoying the spoils of ultra-luxury travel at sea.
Images courtesy Michael Coleman

Cruise News Weekly Editor Michael Coleman is aboard the luxurious 382-guest Silver Whisper this week. Here’s his latest dispatch:

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, March 8, 2011 — The pampering began immediately.

Weary travelers boarding the 382-guest Silver Whisper, just a few short days ago in Barbados, were greeted by a smiling, receptive crew and a glass of perfectly-chilled champagne.

It’s been all uphill ever since.

Despite a visit yesterday to jet-set-friendly St. Bart’s, the gem of the Caribbean, it’s almost a wonder why anyone would even consider debarking Silver Whisper in the first place.

All 382 guests aboard the luxurious Silver Whisper enjoy butler service.
Each and every guest enjoys the spoils of butler service. I knew mine would be particularly efficient – and pleasant — the very moment we met given the fact his name is “Sunny’’. Breakfast served on a sun-drenched balcony, daily, is just one of many butler-assisted perks as is the prompt delivery of late afternoon canapés with a setting Caribbean sun as a backdrop.

And there’s more. Much more for those enjoying the spoils of this ship. From comfortable, spacious suites to world-class cuisine, Silver Whisper has been wowing guests first since 2001 and now since a recent, sparkling refurbishment.

There are 194 ocean-view suites ranging in size from 287 to 1,435 square feet and some 80 percent of all suites feature private teak balconies. Suites include twin-to-queen-sized beds, walk-in wardrobe closets, sitting areas with writing desks, dressing tables with hair dryers and plush robes and slippers. Italian marble bathrooms, complete with double basin vanities, feature choice of Salvatore Ferragamo, Bvlgari or Neutrogena bath amenities. Suites also include full baths and separate showers, refrigerators and cocktail bars, remote-controlled flat screen televisions with DVD and satellite reception, a personal safe, fresh fruit and flowers.

Idyllic St. Bart’s was one of several port calls this week aboard Silver Whisper. Guests are set to enjoy St. John’s, Antigua, today followed by calls on Marigot Bay, St. Martin; Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
If one does venture away from his/her butler and the friendly confines of well-appointed suites, Silver Whisper will still pamper the mind, body and soul.

The Spa at Silversea, operated by Steiner, offers massages, facials, aroma stone therapy, teeth whitening and for those truly inclined a 150-minute anti-arthritic healing ceremony. Later, the ship’s sommelier might offer any number of complimentary wine selections pairing the best of the vine with a host of culinary options.

Taste buds, meanwhile, will not be ignored in the aptly-named The Restaurant, the ship’s main dining room, or in reservations-only La Terrazza (Italian fare) or Le Champagne, a specialty restaurant where one might indulge in a Relais & Chateaux lobster spectacle.

Guests have also been enjoying onboard boutique shopping, a beauty salon, fitness centre and sauna, production shows, casino, an Internet Café and WiFi service from stem to stern.

Lounging on comfortable pool-side chairs, where wait staff remember your name and perhaps more importantly your drink preference, has for years been a Silversea staple. As is the open bar concept, an essential component when island hopping under sunny skies here in the Caribbean.