Silver Discoverer is Silversea Expeditions' third expedition vessel, joining Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos. It's also the eighth ship in the Silversea fleet. In March 2014, just before its official naming in Singapore, the former Zeagrahm Expeditions-operated Clipper Odyssey underwent extensive refurbishments to bring it in line with its beautifully appointed Silversea fleetmates.
The intent for the passengers staying in one of the five categories of suites is to combine the line's reputation for luxury with voyages to remote destinations. The ship's small size and shallow draft allow up-close exploration of rugged coastlines, islands and archipelagos -- like Australia's vast Kimberley area in the northwest; the culturally diverse islands of Borneo, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia; the Russian Far East; and New Zealand's sub-Antarctic islands -- that are inaccessible to bigger ships.
With a maximum of 120 passengers, the ship is small but offers enough public space to give it a spacious feel. The decor throughout the ship is understated, and the walls are hung with inspirational photographs of rare birds, animals, landscapes and tribal peoples -- many of them taken by members of the expedition teams. The pool deck (complete with pool, bar and grill) is a major bonus on a ship that travels extensively in warm-climate regions. No other expedition ship operating in the Asia-Pacific region has an onboard pool.
As many of the destinations offer superb diving and snorkeling, the ship is equipped with some scuba gear (weight belts and tanks), masks, fins and snorkels, as well as a glass-bottom boat for those who don't wish to go under water. The expedition team members are experienced snorkelers, and some are qualified scuba masters. Passengers have to be fully certified advanced-level divers to participate in dives.
Silversea Expeditions partners with the Royal Geographic Society, and expedition teams are made up of 11 experts whose specialized knowledge adds another dimension to each voyage. These experts lead tours, drive the ship's Zodiacs, and give lectures and briefings on destinations visited: "Travel, not tourism" is the company's focus.