On location with Silversea: Celebrating 10 years of Expeditions

On location with Silversea: Celebrating 10 years of Expeditions

ONBOARD SILVER CLOUD — In the 10 years that Silversea Cruises has offered its Expeditions voyages, two words have largely driven its success: “Why not?”

Why not go to the Northwest Passage? Why not sail to Bangladesh? With careful planning and extensive scouting, the cruise line not only pulled off both voyages but has ventured to all corners of the globe, placing it firmly at the forefront of the increasingly competitive market of expedition cruising.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Silversea Expeditions, the cruise line is currently hosting top explorers, travel agents, industry partners and media, including Travelweek, on a commemorative two-day cruise onboard the recently refurbished Silver Cloud.

On June 3, exactly 10 years after its inaugural Expeditions voyage onboard the Prince Albert II (now the Silver Explorer), the ship sailed through London’s Tower Bridge on a beautiful sunny day.

On location with Silversea: Celebrating 10 years of Expeditions

The feeling onboard is celebratory, with many repeat clients sharing entertaining stories of past trips. Ginnie Bleier, for example, once had an orangutan in Indonesia play with her eyes for 10 minutes, while Darla Smith fondly recalled the time she declined live grub worms from a village chief in Papua New Guinea.

In total, there are 15 of Silversea’s top Expeditions clients who are being honoured on the cruise. In all, they have spent a cumulative 1,484 days on Expeditions ships.

Their extensive time on these adventure cruises is testament to how successful the line has become, and how quickly it has grown.

In an exclusive interview with Travelweek, Silversea Cruises’ CEO Roberto Martinoli said Expeditions accounts for approximately 30% of the company’s business, growing from just one ship in 2008 to four today. In fact, the Silver Cloud was converted into an Expeditions ship just last November at a cost of US$40 million.

On location with Silversea: Celebrating 10 years of Expeditions

When asked where he sees Silversea and Expeditions in the next 10 years, Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of Silversea Cruises, said he hopes to see the company’s fleet grow to 12 ships (both Classic and Expeditions ships). “We’ll hit that number very soon. We want to be ahead in every segment, including expedition cruising,” he said.

As for where the line will sail to in the near future, the options are limitless, said Barbara Muckermann, Chief Marketing Officer of Silversea Cruises. “72% of the planet is covered in water and there are only 1,028 ports, or places, that we go. So there’s still a lot to see.”

On location with Silversea: Celebrating 10 years of Expeditions

For now, Silversea Expeditions is gearing up for its return to Bangladesh in 2019 following its entry into the destination in 2017. With that first voyage, it became the first cruise company to ever sail to the country.

“People didn’t think Bangladesh could be done in a luxurious way, but we did it,” Stefan Kredel, Director Expedition Shore Programs tells Travelweek. “We may not be the first cruise line to offer expedition cruising, but we were the first to combine it with luxury. In that way, we were unique in the market when we launched 10 years ago.”

For more coverage of Silversea Cruises’ 10-year anniversary of Silversea Expeditions, check out the upcoming June 21 issue of Travelweek.

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