• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Silver Endeavour: What Makes This Ship Unique

Tim Johnson

Mar 13, 2023

Read time
7 min read

Sponsored by Silversea

In the past, sailing and steaming to the world’s most remote locations required a rugged voyage. Even in recent years, it was only, or at least mostly, austere ships that accessed the High Arctic and Antarctica, severe vessels that usually spent most of their lives as research ships.

They still felt every bit as rough and ready as they did when they provided just the basics to those gathering data all day long, before laying their heads on hard bunks at night.

But now, we’ve entered the golden age of luxury expedition cruising. And the jewel in the crown is Silver Endeavour, the most luxurious expedition ship ever built. Read on to find out why.

Silver Endeavour is a Unique Vessel

Silver Endeavour is a graceful and lovely vessel. Luxurious suites, all with big balconies. A domed pool and whirlpool, where you can literally spot whales while reclining in warm, roiling waters. The Roman-inspired Otium Spa; and caviar and champagne, anytime you like.

But it turns out that the ship’s most serious luxuries are unseen. Super-charged stabilizers and top-end engines, that will take you further, faster. An ice-strengthened hull to open channels into frozen worlds. And a dynamic positioning system that allows the ship to turn (almost) on a dime (more on that below).

Yes, you’ll love being on board. But what’s truly special is where this ship will be able to take you.

Silversea purchased the vessel in 2022. It was the first ship to be christened in Antarctica's spectacular Lemaire Channel, with godmother Felicity Aston (the first person to ski solo across Antarctica) smashing a magnum of ice across the bow last November.

Silversea Endeavour Is Built for the Polar Regions

Since this ship will spend the majority of its time in polar waters, it has a number of features that give the vessel unique abilities to excel in harsh environments. For starters: the hull. Strengthened to a Polar Class 6 rating, the ship can push quite a lot of ice out of the way (up to one meter of first-year ice).

This makes it possible for the vessel to safely go deeper and further into bays and inlet and straits and other waterways that would force other ships to turn back (and indeed will be doing that next season). It also expands the season, meaning Silver Endeavour can get there first, and stay longer, than most.

Add to that: its stabilizers and thrusters. The famously tempestuous Drake Passage, which separates South America from Antarctica, can deliver up heaving swell and whipping winds unseen anywhere else on earth. Similarly, the Davis Strait and other seas in the High Arctic can quickly become a maelstrom. But state-of-the-art stabilizers help tremendously, evening out the journey, and making the voyage a lot more comfortable, without extracting any of the thrill that comes with such wild conditions.

The ship is also equipped with twin Azipod propulsion thrusters, which can rotate a full 360 degrees. These give Silver Endeavour the power to turn (almost) on a dime, whether in Antarctica’s Neumayer Channel or a fjord in Greenland’s Prince Christian Sound. And its positioning system means that the ship doesn’t have to drop anchor into potentially fragile environments.

It is also very fast, with a top speed of 19 knots, meaning Silver Endeavour can outrun many storm systems and deliver you south of the Antarctic Circle, or to Svalbard, very swiftly.

Silver Endeavour Has Plenty of Viewing Spots

But beyond the engine room: this is a ship where you there are plenty of excellent viewing spots. The polar regions are all about being outdoors, in the elements, as often as possible, no matter what the conditions. That photo of a big white bear hunting along an ice floe, or a humpback showing you her fluke, just doesn’t work unless you’re out there.

And this vessel has plenty of it, with open-air viewing platforms on multiple decks. Including a whirlpool, situated on the bow. Plus, every suite on board comes with a balcony. So, you may be able to snap that photo, while still in your morning robe, coffee in hand.

This is a very bright ship. Public spaces are bigger than most (the ship has the largest space-to-guest ratio in the industry) and is spread over eight passenger decks. Multiple places on board bring the outdoors inside. On the stern, Deck 5, The Grill is set next to a pool and hot tub, the whole area enclosed in a soaring glass dome, giving 270-degree views of whatever bigger-than-life landscape is out there, at the moment.

Both the full-service Otium Spa (complete with steam room and sauna); and fitness center are located in bright spaces on the fifth deck, not tucked away behind portholes, like on many ships. And in the Observation Lounge (above), which crowns the ship on Deck 9, floor-to-ceiling windows face out on three sides. It’s a favorite spot to grab a pre-dinner drink. Or come late to enjoy a little time bathed in the midnight sun, settling into a cushy seat, maybe a piano tinkling in the background, playing a soundtrack to nature’s show, just outside.

Silver Endeavour Has the Highest Zodiac-Guest Ratio in the Industry

On regular cruises, disembarking for a shore excursion or a shopping trip in port is a simple affair, just a simple walk down the gangway and you’re on your way. In the polar regions, your primary means of transportation is by Zodiac, steered by experienced guides. With a fast-loading deck and twin mud rooms located nearby, Silver Endeavour makes it simple to get out into the wilds quickly and easily. The ship also has the best Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the industry, meaning you don't have to wait long for your ride. And you’ll have more flexibility when it comes to excursions and time on shore.

You will either “Zodiac cruise,” zooming around icebergs and along cliffs and glaciers to spot wildlife. Or perform a landing, the Zodiacs acting as shuttles to deliver you onto preselected sites to spend time with penguins or wandering albatross or fur seals or arctic foxes, depending on where you are in the world.

And a unique feature: the ship is equipped with a remote-controlled gimbal camera system. This relays images in real time, magnified about 90x, to an Ultra-HD screen in the Explorer’s Lounge, the primary space for briefings, lectures and evening films. There’s a bar there, too, so you can grab a negroni or a glass of champagne and settle in for some of the best nature documentaries on the planet.

Silver Endeavour Brings Luxury to the Ends of the World

Silversea brings its usual standard of luxury to its expedition ships, which is welcome -- a little personal attention and a soft landing are welcome after a wind-blown day of exploration. Silver Endeavour is an all-suite ship, and each suite comes with butler service. In addition, the vessel offers the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the industry, a true one-to-one.

Even casual spaces feel posh, including the cozy library on Deck 9, all dark woods and brushed leather. The suites are huge, and include a number of upscale features. Even the entry-level Veranda Suite offers 356 square feet of space, including the balcony (which is accessed through floor-to-ceiling glass doors).

There’s a cushy seating area slightly separated from the main bedroom, with a sofa, a big flat-screen TV equipped with media library that includes selections related to your current location, including docs and nature programming. Plus a bathroom with a huge vanity, twin faucet, and a walk-in shower. Grand Suites top out at more than 2,000 square feet and add wrap-around balconies, a whirlpool bath, and large living/dining area. And the Owner’s Suite has three large-screen televisions and a walk-in wardrobe (and a lot more).

In addition to 24-hour room service (and upscale coffee and treats at Arts Cafe), the ship features four dining venues: The Restaurant, which can seat all guests in one sitting; the more intimate Il Terrazzino, specializing in Italian food for a maximum 36 guests, and a nod to Il Terraza on the larger ships; La Dame (pictured above) for fine French cuisine, by reservation only, for 20 guests; and The Grill, a stunning two-deck, floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed space boasting 270-degree views at the ship’s aft.

Updated March 13, 2023
How was this article?
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

International Sites

© 1995—2023, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map