2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was ... Read More
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was all AA's fault,but Silversea really stepped up to make the cruise a roaring success for us. They waited for us at the EZE airport for over an hour while I argued with the baggage people. They also pitched in! We got to our hotel after midnight. I needed to run a bag to another hotel for our Iguazu falls trip at the end of the cruise. The silversea agent got in a cab with me and took me to the other hotel--way beyond the call of duty. Next day we flew to Ushuaia and confirmed we were missing half our luggage. Silversea arranged to take us shopping in Ushuaia to pickup necessary gear to enjoy the cruise. Between our shore purchases, the ship's store, and the laundry on board (gratis due to our luggage issues), we managed just fine. Once my blood pressure got back down to normal, the cruise was exceptional. We had an easy Drake passage--so fast that we were able to add a stop to Fort Point on the second day of the cruise.Captain Eric Saint Plancat was very friendly and pushed to give us the maximum experience. We went past the Antarctic Circle all the way to Stonington Island. We saw 3 kinds of penguins, 5 types of seals, and 100's of Humpback whales. The weather was in the 30's and largely sunny. JD, the expedition leader, was outstanding and really worked to maximize all the passengers experiences. Her staff was very knowledgeable about animals, birds, geology, and history. The ship itself was very nice and well maintained. Silversea likes to call the cabins suites, but in my opinion, they we pretty much cabins. That said, they were clean and very functional. We were in a Vista Suite and the shower didn't have a door--just 6 inches of plexiglass. Poor design which leaded water all over the floor. The butlers and cabin stewards provided excellent service, although there really isn't much for a butler to do on an expedition sailing. The food was very good and all the waitstaff were very friendly and helpful. We drank the included wine and found most of them to be quite drinkable. We've cruised more than 30 times and this was the best yet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships with a low ice rating never do. It would not be safe. So based on our research and our good experience on the Silver Galapagos in 2016 we booked a Silver Seas Expedition cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in January 2018 on the Silver Cloud, but I became ill and was hospitalized just before our scheduled departure and had to cancel. (Fortunately we had full insurance coverage.) We rebooked for this January 2019, which turned out for the best. This was BY FAR the best cruise experience ever. Thanks to the Explorer's 1A ice rating, the skill of the captain, and the unusually good weather we were able to travel further south than any other commercial ship in the last couple of years. (Only one crew member had ever been that far south.) We made multiple wet landings, explored old, abandoned research stations and one active station, got some great wildlife photos and videos on shore and from the Zodiacs. The Expedition leaders, who also piloted the Zodiacs, were very knowledgable and greatly enhanced the experience. We even got to slide down a hill on Antarctic snow and my wife took the "polar plunge" into ocean water very slightly warmed by geo-thermally heated fresh water coming up through the ground and flowing down the beach into the bay. The views, sunsets, and the wild life (penguins, whales, seals, sea lions, and birds) were spectacular. A final note on the expedition leaders. It is hard to imagine a more educated and experienced group. Most had several years of experience and included a PhD in geology, professional ornithologist (PhD), and a Harvard educated marine biologist who was also the first women to ever SCUBA dive below the Antarctic ice pack. All-in-all it was the experience of a life time. WARNING - WARNING - WARNING - as with all expedition cruises to the Antarctic - and the Arctic for that matter - activities and landings are ALWAYS dependent on the weather and ice conditions. We were told the long stretch of great weather we encountered is rare. If your goal is to cross the Antarctic circle read the itinerary VERY carefully to make sure that crossing will be attempted. Again, never guaranteed the ship will make it to the circle because of weather. Also, you will be crossing the Drake passage. Even if you are not susceptible to motion sickness, get the "patch" AND put it on 24 hours before embarkation! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just ... Read More
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just in awe of the beauty and power of nature. We arrived independently so I can not speak to the travel arrangements made by SilverSeas. The port of Ushuaia is a working port and does not allow taxis, which we were unaware of but we did make it to the ship! The ship was beautifully maintained. Our suite 503 was kept spotless by our wonderful cabin attendant and butler. The daily "debriefing" and numerous lectures were held in The Exploder's Lounge. The maître d' Julia was incredible. I really believe she had memorized nearly everyone's name by the second day! There was buffet service for breakfast and lunch. Always some special to order at both meals. Plentiful staff to carry your plate. I don't drink but plenty of wine was being poured at lunch and dinner. The wine steward was more then happy to supply us with ice tea. I am a vegetarian and found the food varied and very good. All the staff knew you by your name by day three or four! The Expedition staff was well trained and had many varied areas of expertise.. Led ably by JD, we were placed in four colored groups and rotated our times to go ashore via zodiacs or go for a zodiac ride. Gearing up and heading out was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The weather was amazing and the seas were mainly very calm. Due to the weather, ice and skill of the Captain we sailed across the Antarctic Circle.We attempted to visit the Vernadsky Station but the ice stopped us. We did visit the harbor in Zodiacs. We saw so much wildlife! Penguins, Albatross, whales and seals. The icebergs were incredible and the clouds! I can not say enough about the service onboard SilverSeas. I would not hesitate to take another SilverSeas cruise. We disembarked ourselves at 900 am. SilverSeas provided a shuttle to Ushuaia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I am active travel and a luxury travel fan, but I also look for good value in both. When I went to research this particular itinerary, I compared three of the top brands and for me, Silversea was a hands-down winner. In addition, because I ... Read More
I am active travel and a luxury travel fan, but I also look for good value in both. When I went to research this particular itinerary, I compared three of the top brands and for me, Silversea was a hands-down winner. In addition, because I booked early, I was bumped to Business Class on my flights - nice. I also blog about my travel experiences as a hobby, so if you'd like to see a more photos and a comprehensive review of this ship and its services , go to the Cruise Critic boards/forums under a similar title and you can read more about why I think this cruise line, this ship, and particular itinerary is top-notch. The Rooms: I loved the all-suites concept. I had a View Suite with a large window on the 3rd floor and it was close to 200SF. I was impressed by the decor, the luxury details in the bathroom (rain shower head with great water pressure, bath sheets, nice robes), as well as the pre-stocked mini-fridge The Service: this is where Silversea crushed it. Pretty much every staff member knew me by name by the 3rd day and I can't say enough about how awesome it was to have a butler and 24 hr room service The Food: from my research, many of the top cruise lines are doing menu item/ non-buffet for dinner meals. So this in itself was not what set them apart. But the fact that I can't remember ever repeating a dish in 17 days does. From fresh fish to lamb and even king crab and chateaubriand one night, lets just say.... I gained 7 pounds on this trip and I'm kind of a health nut. The excursions: IMO, if are going to haul yourself all the way that far south, do the longer trip and go to South Georgia and the Falklands - incredible! The guides were excellent and I felt like I had earned a degree in 'Penguin' by the end, due to all the great education they offered. You can see more photos and read more our excursions in the forum under similar title. Value: overall, when I compared price for what I got, room size and airfare incentives, Silversea still came in 2nd (of the 3 I looked at) in cost but gave me everything I expected and so much more. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
It was absolutely wonderful. The crew were fabulous and I most impressed by the expedition leaders' knowledge and excitement to share with us. I learned so much and am looking forward to my next trip with Silversea!!! The dining ... Read More
It was absolutely wonderful. The crew were fabulous and I most impressed by the expedition leaders' knowledge and excitement to share with us. I learned so much and am looking forward to my next trip with Silversea!!! The dining staff and valet service staff were incredible knowing our names from day 1! I was a widow traveling alone, yet I never felt left out at all and felt completely safe. I knew I was in good hands with a capable staff. The lectures were amazing. that is whereI learned so much that I could barely take it all in. the leaders were not only highly trained, but very good at their lectures and video presentations. it was far more than I dreamed of. Silversea seems to have covered all the bases to make your trip a memorable one. My thanks to all on Silver Sea Explorer for a fantastic experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was to be a "cruise of a lifetime." I hope it is, because I never want to experience something so bad again, ever. The cruise was to be Nome to Nome, up to Wrangell Island, and along the Russian Arctic coast. 19 days of ... Read More
This was to be a "cruise of a lifetime." I hope it is, because I never want to experience something so bad again, ever. The cruise was to be Nome to Nome, up to Wrangell Island, and along the Russian Arctic coast. 19 days of "nobody else gets here" cruising. The itinerary was changed a few days before we were to leave, for reasons of "fuel supplier restrictions" but the new itinerary was as cool as the old, so fine. What we got was ice blocking us from three quarters of our destinations. The ice conditions were known by Silversea before we left Nome. We never made it to Wrangell Island. The ship got to 8 nautical miles away, we got to six nm away, in zodiacs. We diverted for a medical emergency, spending more than two full days doing nothing but high speed in open sea to meet the helicopter, and then get back to someplace desired. Then, having been foiled at Wrangell, we had to steam to Anadyr for fuel. (The refueling was added to the schedule partway through the cruise, the schedule couldn't be changed, we paid for it with our time.) As a result, we ended up in Nome a day early, simply due to the need to leave Russia and enter the USA, where the timing for refueling and the paperwork cut our cruise short by a day. Silversea never lost an opportunity to leave us in the dark, or blame Russian intransigence. We do not begrudge the medical evacuation. People need a doctor, you get them to a doctor. But we had to leave Wrangell to do it, and we had been steaming at top speed for several hours on the new heading before the ship bothered to tell us about the changed plans. Every question was met with "we're doing all we can" and "that is above my pay grade" and never once did Silversea treat us like adults. On a 19 day cruise, we saw the Captain on the first and last day. no ship's officer ever explained to us what was going on. The cruise was such a disappointment that passengers are asking for their money back. Silversea was late in offering anything, paltry in their offer, and has stalled us at every step. I'll swim to my destination before I ever set foot on a Silversea deck again. One good thing: despite the cruise, expedition team and management being disappointments (each in their own way) the hotel and food service were exemplary. But still not good enough to lure me onto a Silversea ship again. Ever. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were also on the Nome to Nome cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. it was an expedition that could not do what it planned for a number of good reasons, the main one being a totally unpredicted and unusual amount of sea ice off ... Read More
We were also on the Nome to Nome cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. it was an expedition that could not do what it planned for a number of good reasons, the main one being a totally unpredicted and unusual amount of sea ice off the north east Siberian coast due to Siberian forest fires. This meant we were unable to land on Wrangel island, nor reach the planned refuelling port of Plevek which was closed due to sea ice. But we went on this cruise to see whales, birds, polar bears and walrus and had wonderful sightings of grey whales, humpbacks, walrus both on ice and in a massive haul out and some amazing bird cliffs. The closure of Plevek meant a diversion to Anadyr where we had the fantastic bonus of the ship being surrounded by beluga whales while in port. The only disappointment was that we did not have better or closer sightings of polar bears but, with the amount of sea ice around allowing them to disperse, that was unlikely anyway. We have now done seven cruises on Silver Explorer and continue to love the ship and the expedition experience. There were a few people aboard whose unreasonable displeasure was a poison and helped to create a sense of dissatisfaction in a number of other passengers. But a generous credit has been given by Silversea to all the passengers and we look forward to travelling with them again So if that was the worst experience of I know who's life, all I can say is they've had a magically charmed existence. This was our first cruise since the refurbishment and the cabins are now much lighter and a very pleasant environment. The bar has been improved by the removal of the high long table and the boutique is now large with excellent stock And as a bonus, the chef gave us the best food we have had on any cruise. He was the first I've known to be unafraid of spicing things up to give them a solid flavour. Not everybody's taste, but for one I relish the abandonment of bland. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I wanted to land on Wrangell Island, see polar bears, and be in the ice. All of which SS promised would occur. Starting in Anchorage, SS couldn't get its act together and the rest of the cruise went downhill from there. Silversea knew ... Read More
I wanted to land on Wrangell Island, see polar bears, and be in the ice. All of which SS promised would occur. Starting in Anchorage, SS couldn't get its act together and the rest of the cruise went downhill from there. Silversea knew that the ice conditions were never going to allow us to land on Wrangell, yet declined to inform us, the passengers who had invested considerable sums of money in good faith to do precisely that. The crew on board, directed by the Corporate heads, continued to paint a rosey picture of our chances to get to Wrangell, as the Ice Pilot was telling us no one would get into Wrangell until the end of August. And to top everything off, Management decided it could just shrug and say it had tried and that would be the end of the passenger complaints. Several of us asked for a full refund, operating under the illusion that Silversea is a reputable, first class expedition cruise line. FALSE. Silversea's reply was essentially tough! Take the 40% discount which I refused to do. I have written the CEO of Royal Caribbean, no reply, chairman of Silversea, no reply, CEO of Silversea and had the VP of Guest relations replying that it would be unfair to the rest of the passengers to give me a full refund - once again demonstrating the absolute disdain which SS has for its passengers and a complete unwillingness to accept any responsibility for what happened on that miserable cruise. And the final insult for me was that I got covered in bug bites on the ship - bed bugs???? A truly terrible cruise. I could never recommend anyone subject themselves to such a horror. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific ... Read More
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific service, wonderful food and interesting lectures - and lecturers. Put on 3 KG even without deserts... Booze flowed as freely as one could want. Great you say but wait:: The less good: 1) The weather - so much mist and fog in the morning (and we usually arrived at the next location in the early morning). I would question if this is a good time (June) to go on such a cruise. The resulted in the cancellation of several landings onshore. 2) In US waters (and others I heard) Silversea cannot use zodiacs for near shore exploration. This was only communicated to us a few weeks before the cruise. They tried to make up for this as best they could - using a large catamaran (saw good amount of sea life) - and a float plane cruise over Zodiac island (wow saw a bear in the distance...) I predict that this limitation will severly impact such cruises in the future. 3) We had to be contented with seeing ww2 ruins (instead of wildlife) on several occasions. Not turned on by that at all. 4) The wild life was VERY sparce yet the effort by the guides to lead us to where they would be was equally lacking. If there ain't much wildlife then please guide people to it instead of encouraging random walks. 5) On one walk we were given the option of joining one of three walks - yet all three had long since departed and were far in the distance. So much for a guided walk. It was'nt all bad by any means. I would say that on 4 days we saw a decent amount of wild life - and on another three days experienced very nice scenery i.e,.volcanoes. But that is out of 18 days..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just finishing our Alaska to Eastern Russia and Japan cruise on the explorer. Probably the worst cruise of my life. The ship was very nice, crew and ship's staff great. The expedition team for the most part was good with the exception ... Read More
Just finishing our Alaska to Eastern Russia and Japan cruise on the explorer. Probably the worst cruise of my life. The ship was very nice, crew and ship's staff great. The expedition team for the most part was good with the exception of the expedition leader, who was dysfunctional. The expedition staff members failed to work together, we booked this specifically for the chance to see Bears and wildlife in Alaska and Eastern Russia. No Bears seen on the entire trip. Saw more wildlife in the short visit to Dutch Harbor than any of the Zodiac excursions. The zodiac excursions were about an hour long at most, in the morning when it was foggy, then back to the boat with nothing to do but use the gym, eat, drink and nap. The expedition team attempted to fill the "down" time with a few lectures some were good, most were boring and not very informative. The weather didn't help, we skirted a cyclone off of Alaska and had to miss some excursions there, We were told that they were not allowed to use the Zodiacs for excursions in Alaska anymore, just as tenders. In Russia the excuse was that the Russian authorities would not let them land or get close to any wildlife. Many others onboard felt the same way, a good deal of people had multiple trips on the Explorer and said this was unusual and poorly run. They said most of the other trips were better with multiple excursions each day and actually saw wildlife up close. The hot tubs were closed for most of the trip and only opened after I complained to the hotel manager. Room was nice, service was good. food good, most of the time the outside restaurant was closed due to "weather" Transfer from Anchorage was about 3 hours by motor coach, no stops, no water, no food. On arrival about 2 PM an incredibly slow check in process with no food available. We were told to call room service when we got to our room or get something ashore but be back onboard by 4PM when the ship sailed. We called room service and were told it was not available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise to sail among the small islands of the Sea of Cortez with abundance of marine, birds, and reptiles. Professional team with Kit Masters leading. She made every effort to insure that everyone needs were met. There were ... Read More
We chose this cruise to sail among the small islands of the Sea of Cortez with abundance of marine, birds, and reptiles. Professional team with Kit Masters leading. She made every effort to insure that everyone needs were met. There were many opportunities to snorkel, hike and view birds/landscapes from Zodiacs. Our cabin was very comfortable with Butler/attendant on call. The food could be better, Particularly the fish - not fresh. Lack of fresh vegetables, lots of salad greens instead. Lots of desserts. The wait staff were friendly and attentive. Travel to Copper Canyon was too long 16 hours there and back. The landscape was beautiful from our balcony view of the can tonight. Shipboard credit $1000 per person only if you ask.. other couples which we met told us so, you had to ask. As first timers, this is a ridiculous offer. To get with Silverseas again is questionable. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Its the only way to see the Chilean coast inlets and scenery short of having your own boat. There are no roads or habitation in most of the areas we visited. Excursions by zodiac to see wildlife and glaciers were amazing. The ship was ... Read More
Its the only way to see the Chilean coast inlets and scenery short of having your own boat. There are no roads or habitation in most of the areas we visited. Excursions by zodiac to see wildlife and glaciers were amazing. The ship was small by cruise ship standards but was therefore able to sail in confined fiords and through narrow passes. The food and service was excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The ships captain was informative and approachable. The company issued everyone with appropriate clothing which was just as well because that part of the world has heavy weather at most times of the year. If you needed items of clothing or spares for your photography the ships shop was well stocked. Improvements are possible in some detailed areas. The graphic display of the ships position was poor. The exterior of the window could have been cleaned. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see this part of the world. A better name would have been Patagonia and Chilean Fjords. Antarctica was not really covered. Ushuaia was a loveley port, but the ship did not provide an overnight or ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see this part of the world. A better name would have been Patagonia and Chilean Fjords. Antarctica was not really covered. Ushuaia was a loveley port, but the ship did not provide an overnight or even an option to discover Antarctica. Luckily I decided to stay an extra day and forgo the charter flight from BA on the same day. Silversea provided an excellent lunch and a great checkin option in Ushuaia and I had no problem joining the ship there. Embarkation was quick and efficient. My cabin was a Vista Suite and I had much space and lots of storage. The bathroom was good, except for the smell of urine....they changed my room within a few days of embarkation... a little late but it seemed to have been a known problem. The ship is lovely for a purpose-built ship and the staff was excellent. Initially, they did not exceed expectations, but during the course of the cruise I came to the realization that they were excellent, if not low key, and came to appreciate the service. I had no real complaints. Hilman and Elisa did a wonderful job of caring for me. Reception exceeded expectations, handling everything from any issues to room service, Maria stands out and Carlos was also excellent. Dining staff were wonderful ... Robert and his team are so professional and fun.... bar staff.... thank you Shannah Kay et al for your attention every day with a smile! The Expedition Team were amazing....Luke was superb at keeping everything on time and everyone in the know. While some who had been on expeditions before thought this was "Expedition Lite", I didn't have much frame of reference and thought things were good. I could have used a little more "action" but overall was happy with what I learned ... or DIDN'T learn ... sorry Luke.... about flora and fauna .... that's what google is for! LOL Chef Ross tried hard but the food choices didn't provide a lot of "local" stuff even though it was snow crab season. Everything was tasty and we spent a few nights braving the environs upstairs in the Grill! I am not a "sheeple" tour person and some stuff was a little too much herding about for me. Loved the recap nightly and info next day. Captain Piers was approachable, fun, present and informative always. After hundreds of cruises, it was amazing to see a Captain so inclusive and approachable. And interesting, LOL The public rooms are spacious and accommodating. Dining rooms are lovely. Room service always whenever, wherever and attention to detail on every level exceeding expectations.... including martini service in laundrette and morning green smoothie service following me wherever I went to get away from it! Thank you Zoran! What a team. Ports were interesting....saw amazing things. Attention to time on deck looking for things to see .... excellent. I can make my own fun wherever I go....but I was really happy to have been looked after so well from a personal standpoint and was appreciative for the Captains constant attention to advise us of everything! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
The date indicated on the form for this review states it is a 14 night Antartica cruise. In fact it was the Patagonia and Chilean Fjord Cruise. This was on an expedition ship and advertised as an expedition cruise. WE have been on two ... Read More
The date indicated on the form for this review states it is a 14 night Antartica cruise. In fact it was the Patagonia and Chilean Fjord Cruise. This was on an expedition ship and advertised as an expedition cruise. WE have been on two previous Silversea expedition cruises (Galapagos an Sub Antarctic islands of New Zealand) and two Linblad expedition cruises (Alaska and Arctic). This cruise was not by any stretch of the imagination an expedition cruise. During the fourteen days we were out on zodiacs only three times (not counting transport into a couple of ports) for any kind of wildlife or nature (glaciers) viewing . In fairness we did a great deal of cruising through the fjords and saw wonderful scenery which could only have been seen from a ship. This however was true on the other expedition cruises as well. What was missing here was getting out into nature on the zodiacs to view animals and birds or on land hikes. Instead when we were not cruising we were dumped at uninteresting ports and taken on buses to see "made up" activities (e.g. sheep shearing, so called "rodeos", and made up local dance exhibitions-all tourist ready) or dumped into a nondescript town in the rain and told the bus would pick us up in an hour-our only option was to go to a local bar to get out of the rain. The bus trips were all conducted by local guides who clearly didn't know the difference between an expedition cruise and any other tourists however they may have arrived. While a couple of ship expedition team members were on the buses they largely acted as "keepers' not as guides. The one bus trip which was justified was to Torres del Paine. While the park was a bit of a disappointment it was justified to go there given the fact we were nearby and it is well known. Otherwise the bus trips, the activities and destinations were insufferable. There were certainly others on the ship that were as frustrated as were we and I assume there were some that were happy to be dumped on buses. While the trip description disclosed some of the bus trips it did not do so in sufficient detail to commuicate the frequency or uselessness of them. As on of the naturilist said -this was more like a "traditional cruise" than an expedition cruise. I assume the itinerary is developed at the head office where is easy to sub out to local guide companies and the on board naturalist had no ability to modify the schedule. Most of them were very talented and it was a complete waste that we were only able to avail ourselves of their knowledge during presentations and not out in nature. We will be very skeptical of future SIlversea cruise descriptions of so called "expedition cruises " in the future. It is just unfortunate that Linblad doesn't have a more extensive itinerary. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Chose the cruise to see Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and the flora and fauna associated with that area. We did not sign up for extended bus tours with local guides to go see antique cars, sheep shearing, local dancing or to be dumped in ... Read More
Chose the cruise to see Patagonia, the Chilean fjords and the flora and fauna associated with that area. We did not sign up for extended bus tours with local guides to go see antique cars, sheep shearing, local dancing or to be dumped in a town in the pouring rain. This was simply a repositioning of the ship with a lot of filler that was very uninteresting. Would definitely not recommend this cruise. The expedition guides, when they got the chance, were knowledgeable, interesting and personable. Unfortunately, they got little opportunity to share their expertise because of the itinerary. Lunch was the best meal. At dinner the main course, especially the fish, was often overcooked. Staff was very sensitive to my gluten allergy but they could have had a better quality of gluten free bread. Service in the suite and in the bar and dining room was generally excellent. People considering this trip should be aware of the excessive amount of rain at this time of year which seriously impedes visibility. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Overall, it was a great cruise. Silversea did very well with the cruise portion of our trip. Expedition leaders were excellent, ship staff very attentive, food was great and service was terrific. Two big disappointments: we had 3 hours of ... Read More
Overall, it was a great cruise. Silversea did very well with the cruise portion of our trip. Expedition leaders were excellent, ship staff very attentive, food was great and service was terrific. Two big disappointments: we had 3 hours of dead time in Ushusia our first day with the tour. They should have arranged to take us into town. and on our return to Usushia, we had nearly 3 hours in the town - however, it was sunday morning and no museums were open and very few shops and cafes. We also had to pay for the city tour in Buenos Aires. Other tour companies we've traveled with have paid for that excurision. The biggest disappointment was the number of young children on our tour. We had about 10 children under the age of 16. Many were left to run free on the ship with no parental supervision. and the even the very young ones took the zodiac cruises in very rough seas. The ship staff should have stepped in and advised the parents to control their children. It was a complete distraction from what should have been a peaceful trip. Sadly, I won't use Silversea again because of these challenges. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The sights, both from the ship and on shore, were absolutely spectacular. The natives - Penguins - were very friendly and would approach us without any fear. I took over 800 pictures (I'm glad we are not shooting with film any ... Read More
The sights, both from the ship and on shore, were absolutely spectacular. The natives - Penguins - were very friendly and would approach us without any fear. I took over 800 pictures (I'm glad we are not shooting with film any more), one new friend took over 1,200 pictures. It is almost impossible to describe the scenery and the surroundings in pictures and/or words - you have to see it to truly appreciate it. The ship is one of the nicest we have been on. The cabin (317) was perfectly sized for us. The housekeeping was fantastic (Thanks, Elisa!). The room service (my wife wanted breakfast in bed every day) was perfect (Thanks, Hilman). The service in the dining room was excellent and the food was very good. One of the most amazing things about the service staff was that they knew our name within 24 hours after meeting us - even the guy would made the toast at breakfast called me by name the first day! The tour staff was very knowledgeable about the native plant (there are only two plant native to Antarctica - Thanks, HP) and animal species that we encountered. This was a trip of a lifetime and possibly one worth considering for a repeat. I had some issues with the office personnel (not on the ship) which I will resolve separately. If you are thinking about it, get off of you --- and book it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding ... Read More
A cruise aboard a luxury ship is a first. Everything went fine and beyond all expectations. Two things that we have appreciated especially was the quality of the conference room and accompanying services during the outstanding presentations and daily wrap-ups and the room service available for food at night (since we don’t drink alcohol or wine at all, we really appreciate being able to dine quietly at night [butler service being perfect]). The buffet style for breakfast and lunch was also very good. One more thing that was well managed was the mandatory fire and evacuation exercises at the beginning of the cruise. The instructions given to reach the muster station were clear and the training in how to put on our life saving jackets correctly were comprehensive. Altogether, you seem to take our safety seriously. We choosed this cruise because of its expedition features. We made 7 interesting visits in Antarctica despite some harsh weather. The expedition team was beyond dreams for the scientific people that we are. Some employees directly in contact with us were outstanding: Antidya (Butler), Robert Lamond (Head, Dining room), Maria Ladron (Head Receptionist) and above all Luke Kenny (Expedition leader) and all his crew of qualified scientists that made the expeditions and conferences of the highest quality level and way beyond our expectations. Of course, the captain Maggi Ettlin merits all our respect for her countenance and resolute decision making process. However, we must notice that the decision taken to strand the crew at Port Lockroy because of the risk to damage the zodiacs while retrieving them inside the boat (at least, we were told it was the rationale) costed us one day of exploration. Two little flaws: Communication with the passengers while eight members of the expedition team were stranded on Port Lockroy was poor. The captain or someone in charge should have reassured us and explained more clearly what was going on. When we arrived at Buenos Aires airport coming from Ushuaia on the 25th, the transit was not comfortable. We felt rushed by your attendant to cover the distance that we had to walk within the airport while carrying our luggage. Moreover, the bus picking point was quite far. So the ride was not comfortable, especially for our cruise fellow older companions. You can be assured that we really have enjoyed our cruise and we thank you for your constant efforts to make us comfortable during this trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our first Silversea cruise. We were a little nervous about the dress code as it seemed a little crazy to be on an "expedition" cruise and have to go to dinner in a jacket for the men. Fortunately they were not strict - ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise. We were a little nervous about the dress code as it seemed a little crazy to be on an "expedition" cruise and have to go to dinner in a jacket for the men. Fortunately they were not strict - not that we went in shorts or anything. We wore dress pants and dress shirts. The service and staff was excellent. The expeditions were wonderful (why wouldn't they be, this is Antarctica). The guides were very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The presentations were also good. The ship had been in dry dock as of recent so the interior was very nice and up to date. The food was very good and eating outside at Hot Rocks (especially in Antarctica) was quite the experience. We are actually considering going on another expedition cruise with Silversea in the near future as we really enjoyed our time and experience on this cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I wanted to make sure i was on the best possible ship for comfort food and experience. From meeting at the airport and flight to Ushiuia to the short sightseeing to the wonderful lunch in a fabulous hotel above the town to the smooth ... Read More
I wanted to make sure i was on the best possible ship for comfort food and experience. From meeting at the airport and flight to Ushiuia to the short sightseeing to the wonderful lunch in a fabulous hotel above the town to the smooth transition to Explorer.nothing was missing. muck room was small but worked Fabulous and stylish jacket and puffer given on first day. Food continued to be good though not fantastic always there was something to satisfy. as soon as the zodiac transfers started I realised how well run this ship is we had at least 5 people getting us on the zodiac and 4 at the arrival end to help get us off. always someones hand to help especially for a novice snow walker. always a smiling face even when we were late to the zodiac to get on from the muck room because we forgot one piece of layering/gloves or camera. the wait staff were exceptional addressing us by name from the first night-amazing!! our ever smiling cabin man and butler always there to help and keep the cabin spotless. lots of rough weather on way to and from sandwich islands and across Drake.but to be expected being at the end of the world. I could not fault the well run cruise and wonder if the other ships doing Antarctica are as well run. Disembarcation was smooth and transfer to airport easy cabin 410 Vista suite Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
As retired Biologists, we wanted an extensive Antarctica cruise that catered to our interests in wildlife and wilderness habitats. We also wanted an science-oriented trip shared with adults. We were not disappointed! This cruise was ... Read More
As retired Biologists, we wanted an extensive Antarctica cruise that catered to our interests in wildlife and wilderness habitats. We also wanted an science-oriented trip shared with adults. We were not disappointed! This cruise was billed as 'The Grand Southern Expedition'. There were 110 guests and 118 crew. In Antarctica regulations limit the number of tourists ashore to 100, so we never had to wait long for zodiac trips. The guests were divided into 4-groups for off-ship excursions. These included guided beach walks, overland hikes, and zodiac cruises along shores too rough to land on. We covered 4,200 nautical miles around the Scotia Sea, including 18-zodiac excursions, and the seldom visited South Sandwich Islands. The Silver Explorer is a venerable expedition cruise ship with an accomplished and professional crew. It is tastefully decorated and has been recently upgraded and modernized. We were impressed by the quality of the expedition staff, who are experts in their right, but very approachable to guests. While not ashore and on sea days, staff presented informative, high-quality lectures on wildlife, fisheries, oceanography, geology, and history of the region. Captain Maggie and Expedition Leader Stefan were first rate. They made every effort to maintain the advertised itinerary and position the ship close to shore, even resorting to zodiac hydrographic surveys in anchorages where soundings were minimal. In Antarctica, weather and ice dominate. At all times, we felt our safety was priority. We were pleased that most of our shipmates had a mutual share of love of nature and adventure. A voyage of this breadth is not for those who desire a quick, and/or cheap Antarctica touch. We chose our suite on the middle-3rd deck, starboard side to minimize the 'motion-of-the-ocean'. As experienced sailors, we are not prone to seasickness. Many guests resorted to various mal-de-mer remedies, but few complained. The 2-day Drake Passage lived up to its reputation. The Silver Explorer has a lively but solid motion. Silversea expedition cruises are all-inclusive with no tipping and no additional charges for drinks, room service, etc. Quality outdoor gear was furnished and boots are available for rent. We brought our own rubber boots, which are better to hike in than ship fare. The quality and choice of food and drink is very good and the service is impeccable. We appreciated our butler stocked the mini-fridge with our favorite wine and served breakfast in our suite each morning. Silversea seems to treat their employees well and have a high retention rate. It is not unusual to reacquaint with staff from former cruises, and they all make a point to greet you by name. This is our second Silversea expedition cruise...it won't be the last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because it was an "Expedition" cruise to the Antarctic, including stops in the Falklands and South Georgia before reaching over to the Antarctic Peninsula. Everyone knows that expedition cruise might be a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was an "Expedition" cruise to the Antarctic, including stops in the Falklands and South Georgia before reaching over to the Antarctic Peninsula. Everyone knows that expedition cruise might be a little rugged, both at sea and in the landings. You don't book an expedition cruise unless you're prepared for some discomfort, including rough sea passages -- that's the price you pay to travel on a smaller boat and to get to unusual and glorious landings. The first two legs were terrific, and both the landings and the expedition team -- Apex Expeditions -- could not have been better. All landings except one were "wet" -- how could they be otherwise? -- and resources and capabilities that the Apex team provided were superb. They are stars. But the cautiousness of the captain and, presumably, the Silversea line, started to show itself as we left S Georgia for the Peninsula. There were strong-ish winds to the south west, so the ship proceeded due west to let the storm pass, then south Elephant Island. That tack meant a loss of some six or so hours, and so no chance of seeing the Shackleton site on Elephant -- we arrived at the SW part of the island for a late landing instead, then headed off to Antarctica.... We were scheduled for four full days on the Peninsula, but got an abbreviated two and half days instead. Strong winds were projected to come across the Drake Passage -- as they regularly do! -- and the captain (and Silversea?) were presumably worried about discomfort to the passengers. We were prepared! Everyone knew the Drake could be tricky, we were already 2 weeks out at sea, and everyone had their medications underway. Instead of providing the publicized expedition trip, the ship proceeded back nearly two days early "out of precaution," which meant we did not get to (for example) Paradise Bay or the Lemaire Channel even though they were almost next door. Instead we had a very sorry early morning hour at Deception and a last landing on the Shetlands before hurrying back across the Drake and arriving a day and half early in Ushuaia. We were told that other ships also decided to head back early, but that wasn't what I saw. Instead, I saw the Ponant Soleal arrive in Ushuaia in the glorious evening sun on time and unscathed and will a lot of happy passengers whose experiences on the Peninsula were much fuller then ours. Many people, including us, had paid several tens of thousands of dollars and carved out three weeks time for a unique experience. We did not get it. Never again an "expedition" cruise with Silversea for us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Why this cruise? Bucket list item, been many other places, last continent to visit, friends going, too! It was a great trip blessed with incredible weather - both crossings of the Drake Passage were fairly easy - a little roll ... Read More
Why this cruise? Bucket list item, been many other places, last continent to visit, friends going, too! It was a great trip blessed with incredible weather - both crossings of the Drake Passage were fairly easy - a little roll southbound and some occassional moderate pitch on the return. Check-in was fast & easy, luggage waiting for us in our cabin. Our cabin was spacious with plenty of storage with easy access to shore gear. Even the bathroom was roomy and well appointed. The window was huge and what a view! Nice lighting with a mini light option on each nightstand (with the full bedside lamps). The gentle movement of the ship reminded us that we were at sea. Nice! Public space aboard was plentiful and varied, both indoor and outside. Plenty of locations for a little quiet time alone if one wished. Well stocked library, games and puzzles. The dining room was large enough to accommodate all at one sitting if needed. It had a romantic 'period' feel to it with rich wood paneling and nice lighting with windows around three sides - a real plus with such breathtaking scenery everywhere all the time. The shore excursion staff was knowledgeable and effective in enhancing our time ashore. I believe the leader was surprised (and I hope, a bit embarrassed) at his gross underestimation of my 'shipmates' enthusiasm and endurance. The young whippersnapper! Fun times! Service in the dining room was, in a very few instances, inexplicably slow. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We'd been on a National Geographic expedition cruise to Alaska with our family this summer. Though we enjoyed that a great deal, we wanted to try another cruise line just for the experience. This was a cruise to Antarctica. Silversea ... Read More
We'd been on a National Geographic expedition cruise to Alaska with our family this summer. Though we enjoyed that a great deal, we wanted to try another cruise line just for the experience. This was a cruise to Antarctica. Silversea came highly recommended, and, as this was to be a trip with just the two of us, we decided to REALLY splurge and take the Silver Explorer, another expedition ship. It was a great choice all around. All the pre-trip arrangements were well done, including the Buenos Aires hotel (The Park Tower) and the charter flight to Ushuaia. The welcome aboard was very efficient, indeed, and our cabin (500) just right for us. We liked the size of the ship and met many fellow travelers from different areas of the world, some of whom we expect to keep in touch with well into the future. Food was very good, the only downside being weight gain! The Naturalists on board were, on average, an even higher calibre than those on the National Geographic cruise: knowledgeable, experienced, interesting and humorous. Loved all of the lectures. The only real complaint we had was the requirement, after each of our zodiac landings and hikes, to meticulously clean our boots so as not to transfer foreign matter from one place to another. We have no complaint with the requirement, but it is simply out of character with an all-inclusive super-luxury cruise with personal butlers and champagne flowing everywhere to have the passengers doing this. The little mud room in which to do this was super-cramped. It was the one thing all the passengers felt was out of place and, though we conjured up a few reasons why this was imposed upon all 140 passengers (ensuring ecology awareness being the tops), we all agreed it should be re-thought. But that's it. We hope to take Silversea again. The entire crew was incredibly professional and polite."Entertainment" is rated "3" below to be fair-there is no entertainment (save the very good lectures) and a piano player, who was fine. N one takes an expedition cruise for entertainment, but rather for enrichment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first time cruising with Silversea, and we were impressed by the highly organized program, comfortable ship, delicious food, and terrific crew. Our fellow passengers were almost uniformly smart, interesting, and friendly. It ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Silversea, and we were impressed by the highly organized program, comfortable ship, delicious food, and terrific crew. Our fellow passengers were almost uniformly smart, interesting, and friendly. It seemed that the majority were repeat customers with Silversea, and I was inspired by both their loyalty to the brand and how well-traveled they were. We chose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary along the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile. The activities ranged from bird-watching from a Zodiac to long bus trips up into the Andes. Some excursions were amazing; some were a bit more elaborate and lengthy than would be ideal. The on-board experts were terrific; my husband and I really enjoyed the lectures we attended, and felt we learned a lot about wildlife, geology, botany, and archaeology. I only wished the Silversea guides had a more active role in the bus excursions, as the quality of the local guides was hit or miss. But the on-board lectures matched up well with the excursions, so we had enough information to enjoy the local trips regardless of guide quality. This sailing was a culinary cruise, and I thought that was a great bonus. The local chefs and wine experts worked with the cruise line's culinary instructor on some entertaining cooking demos (with tastings!). A cheese expert was the dark-horse star of the show: her cheese talks and tastings were funny and illuminating. This delicious culinary focus translated to the dining room, as well. The local experts contributed to some interesting dinner menus. There were a la minute cooking options for lunch on several days, and we got to see the chefs at work during some dinners, too. Experiencing local food traditions is always a highlight of travel for me; having that experience in such a refined setting was a real treat. Overall, I thought the food and beverage offerings were excellent. I noticed comments in other reviews about lukewarm offerings at the buffet; I experienced that at times, but I always had the option of ordering something else if food temperature mattered. I had cooked to order breakfast every day, and we ate at the outside grill for numerous lunches. The menus were so interesting and appealing, the only difficulty was deciding what not to order. Service was also top-notch--very personal and attentive (though dinners could be a bit drawn out, which I know is not to everyone's liking). The ship is well-maintained and very comfortable. I was pleasantly surprised by how uniformly happy the crew members seemed. They did so much to make sure we had a great cruise. Thanks to all of them, and to Silversea for a memorable adventure! Read Less
Silver Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 2.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.9

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