More expedition ships in the pipeline for Silversea

Silversea’s president and chief executive Roberto Martinoli has confirmed that the line intends to add more expedition and destination-specific ships in the future.

The line’s expedition fleet currently includes Silver Cloud, Silver Explorer, Silver Wind and new ship Silver Origin (pictured), which was purpose-built for the Galapagos Islands and launched last June.

Asked whether agents could expect to see more destination-specific or expedition ships in the future, Martinoli said: “The answer is yes. We [at parent company Royal Caribbean Group] are all fighting for resources allocation, which means that we need to present our plans and they need to be competitive with [sister lines] Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean so it’s very tough because these guys have incredible returns.

More: Silversea capacity forecast to increase by 56% by 2024

“We need to generate similar returns and we will do our best to convince [Royal Caribbean Group chief executive] Jason [Liberty]. We definitely want to [have] more ships and we want to [have] more expedition ships and more destination-specific [ships]. The Origin has been a great example of what a ship that is [of a] destination-specific design and build can do.”

Speaking during a press conference on board new ship Silver Dawn, Liberty added: “It is a competitive environment because we have incredible brands and incredible ships, but we are very committed to Silversea – we are very committed to our classic product and we are very committed to the expedition product as well.

“We believe that Silversea is the crown jewel of experience. And in that experience, we know that that destination is a critical part of that and in many cases that requires purpose-designed vessels to be able to put on that experience.”

Silversea has launched three new ships in the last nine months. Alongside Silver Origin, the line unveiled its second Muse-class vessel, Silver Moon, in June 2021, followed by a third, Silver Dawn, last month.

The first vessel in a new Nova-class series is expected to join the fleet next year, followed by a second in 2024.

Speaking to Aspire, Silversea’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Peter Shanks, said the line’s rapid growth plans would not be slowing.

He said: “I expect it [expansion] will continue. It’s really exciting for us and for our travel agent partners because there’s more Silversea to sell, more destinations, more ships and more choice. We’re enjoying fantastic support at the moment from our travel agent partners.”

Alongside new ships, Silversea has introduced a number of new expedition itineraries, including an Antarctica Bridge sailing on Silver Explorer which it launched in 2020.

The itinerary sees the line charter a plane from Punta Arenas in Chile to King George Island in Antarctica, allowing guests to skip the notoriously choppy Drake’s Passage.

“Antarctica Bridge is the way to offer Antarctica to that customer who wants to go to [the destination] and have a bucket-list experience but doesn’t want to do Drake’s Passage,” said Silversea’s chief commercial officer Barbara Muckermann.

“Antarctica Bridge will offer you the same days on ice in the peninsula as the regular 10/11-day Antarctica cruise because in a regular Antarctica cruise you have four days of Drake’s Passage – two to come down and two to come up.

“I sincerely believe that this is going to be the new Galapagos. We have seen a new demographic of customers coming in – successful 45-year-olds who really want to go to Antarctica but don’t have the time or are afraid of oceans and are not worried about spending a little more to get the ultimate product.”

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