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Silversea Cruises

Silversea fosters an upscale yet casual atmosphere. Expect stellar service and no waiting in line for meals or activities. Extraordinary dining experiences are offered on all Silversea vessels. The all-inclusive policy, which covers gratuities and unlimited beverages, is appealing.

Silversea Cruise Highlights

Why Go?

All-suite, all-inclusive cruise line

True luxury in suites, service, food and wine - even in remote regions

Itineraries blend exotic ports and mainstream locales

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Silversea offers both luxury cruises and expedition voyages on purpose-built ships that navigate polar and exotic regions. Crew members on all ships in the fleet receive the same training and are held to the same rigorous standards. Passengers, on both luxury and expedition ships, enjoy spacious suites, personal service, gourmet cuisine and complimentary wines, spirits, beer and other beverages. The vibe is upscale yet friendly. No matter the type of voyage, passengers can expect a mix of popular ports and rarely visited destinations on destination-intensive itineraries.

Accommodations aboard both the luxury and expedition ships are spacious and elegant, with a range of suites with panoramic windows or walkout balconies. Entry-level suites on the luxury ships start at 287 square feet (expedition accommodations are more snug) while the most high-end accommodations span 1,389 square feet. Every suite, from the least expensive to the top Owner's Suites, receive attention from a personal butler. Expect high-end touches like Pratesi linens and amenities such as a choice of soap, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner from Ferragamo, Bvlgari or SebaMed.

On most of Silversea's luxury ocean cruise ships -- Silver Shadow, Spirit, Wind and Whisper -- meals are served open seating in the main dining room. Alternative evening dining is available in La Terrazza (an indoor/outdoor dining room featuring breakfast and lunch buffets along with evening Italian menus) and in the small, upscale (even by Silversea standards) La Dame By Relais & Chateaux. Additional dining options, from Asian to pizza to a casual grill, are found on the fleet's larger ships. Silver Muse, the cruise line's flagship, doesn't have a main dining room and instead passengers can choose to dine at any of eight onboard restaurants. Unlike on many luxury cruise lines, a few of Silversea's alternative dining venues carry surcharges.

There is less dining choice on most of the line's expedition ships: Silver Cloud, Discoverer, Explorer and Galapagos. Each vessel offers both The Grill and The Restaurant. The only exception to that is Silver Cloud, which is outfitted with those venues as well as La Terrazza and La Dame.

There are lecturers on virtually all cruises, offering insights into the nature and cultures of the destinations visited. Some cruises bring onboard a bridge instructor and/or a golf pro to offer lessons onboard. But, partly as a function of size and relatively low passenger capacity, there are few major educational opportunities on Silversea vessels. Each has a well-stocked library and a Steiner-managed spa and fitness center.

Silversea Expeditions cruises have an additional secret weapon: the ships' expedition staff of highly trained guides and naturalists. They give lectures and accompany shore excursions so they can impart everything you need to know about the region's flora, fauna and indigenous culture. In addition, voyages are often built around visiting experts, such as scientist, conservationist and educator Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas (who is to the orangutan what Jane Goodall is to the chimpanzee) and dancers Daria Khokhlova and Artemy Belyakov from Russia's Bolshoi Ballet. It's this level of access to experts that typifies Silversea voyages.

Each luxury cruise ship has a pool and hot tubs but that's not the case on the expedition ships. If a pool is important to you, select Silver Discoverer or Silver Cloud; Silver Galapagos has a hot tub only, while Silver Explorer has neither.

Overall, the two expedition ships that most closely approximate Silversea's traditional luxury experience are Silver Explorer and Silver Cloud, due to the extras like a theater, selection of bars, and full spa complexes with a gym and beauty salon. Silver Discoverer and Silver Galapagos both have a gym and salon, and Silver Galapagos is only the ship sailing the region that offers spa treatments via one massage treatment room.

As there are no organized children's programs on most ships in the fleet, Silversea is not appropriate for most families with young kids. However, the line's newest ship, Silver Muse, does have a kid's play room and counselors sail on any itinerary on which 12 or more children have been booked. Families who do choose to bring children onboard should be prepared to entertain them and aware that good behavior is expected in public areas.

Fellow Passengers

Silversea passengers are affluent. Many passengers are retirees -- former doctors, lawyers, CEOs and accountants -- with the leisure and the resources to make Silversea their cruise line of choice. You might encounter a slightly younger crowd on some expedition voyages as well as Silver Muse and Silver Spirit, the line's largest luxury ships in the fleet. Shorter voyages also tend to draw younger passengers.

While the cruise ships tend to draw an older crowd, Silversea Expeditions appeals to that demographic as well as younger professionals with a desire for active cruising that includes posh cabins and stellar service alongside Zodiac expeditions, snorkeling excursions and in-port hikes.

In terms of nationality, usually about 50 percent are from North America, with the other half coming from all over the world (predominantly the U.K., Europe and Australia).

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