Silversea Included Values

  • + value-added Silversea extras!

    ♦ All Suite Ships ♦ Butler Service ♦ Open-seating in The Restaurant – no assigned time, no assigned table ♦ Multiple additional restaurants ♦ Complimentary transportation into town in most ports of call ♦ FREE gratuities ♦ FREE bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees and teas ♦ FREE fine wines and premium spirits in bars, restaurants, on deck ♦ FREE in-suite mini bar stocked with your preferred selections
Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises - Cruise Line Reviews

Created in the early 1990s by the Italian family behind legendary Sitmar Cruises, Silversea Cruises operates five luxury cruise ships and three luxury expedition ship, all built to the highest standards and with service, dining, and itineraries to match. There’s nothing showy here: no dramatic architectural features, no overabundance of detail, no glitz. Instead, everything is quiet, refined and precise.

Carrying between 296 and 540 guests, the line’s five cruise ships are the ideal size for luxury — not so big that crowds form, not so small that you feel obligated to socialize if you don’t want to. The luxury cruise operator also has an expedition vessel, the Silver Explorer, which carries 132 guests, to the Arctic and Antarctic and points between.

Life On Board Silversea Cruises
From the smallest (but definitely not small) to the largest suite, all accommodations come with the service of a butler who’ll draw you a bath, arrange a cocktail party, clean your luggage with an eco-friendly solution, and act as your concierge, securing dinner or spa reservations or a car at the next port.

As aboard all true luxury lines, gratuities and unlimited wines, spirits, and other drinks are included in your fare.

And at the end of the day, you’ll find a fine Pierre Marcolini chocolate propped on the pillow you’ve chosen from a nine-option pillow menu, while a scent you’ve chosen from an aromatherapy fragrance menu by Italian perfumer Laura Tonatto wafts subtly around your suite.

Life on board proceeds at a relaxed, private pace, and those activities that are programmed tend toward the cerebral. Guest lecturers are featured aboard every sailing — often noted authors, historians, chefs, or experts in contemporary affairs — and often speak topics related to the region being visited.

There are also wine-tastings, language classes, golf instruction, exercise and computer classes, treatments at the bliss-inducing spa, and galley brunches in which guests tour the ship’s galley, sample from more than 100 dishes, and chat with the chef.

Special Culinary Arts Voyages, offered in partnership with Relais & Châteaux, offer an even deeper dive into Silversea’s culinary universe, with cooking demonstrations and tastings hosted by Relais master chefs.

Silversea DiningDining On Silversea Cruises
Special voyage or not, cuisine at Silversea’s restaurants ranks among the best at sea: artistically prepared and presented, using the finest ingredients, and with taste to die for.

Each ship has one formal, open-seating dining room (called simply “The Restaurant”) serving a varied menu along with wines selected for the meal. You can also order (at extra cost) off an extensive premium wine list. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

All Silversea ships also have at least three alternative dining choices: La Terrazza, which serves as a buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch with indoor or al fresco seating and is transformed into an intimate Italian restaurant for dinner, and the excellent Le Champagne, developed in partnership with Relais & Châteaux and serving six-course menus created especially to bring out the flavors in the day’s six wine selections. Dining at La Champagne entails an extra charge.

The Pool Bar & Grill serves casual lunches and dinners, the latter featuring the fun “Black Rock Dining” experience, in which guests can grill their own meat or seafood at their table on a preheated volcanic rock. You can also order lunch and dinner served course by course in your cabin, from the day’s menu at the Restaurant.

The line’s newest ship, 2009’s Silver Spirit, offers six alternative dining choices — a remarkable number considering the vessel’s relatively small size.

Each Silversea ship also afternoon tea in the Panorama Lounge.

Entertainment On Silversea Cruises
After dinner, guests can take in newly introduced (2011) Broadway-style shows or performances by a guest acts in the show lounge, gamble in the small casino, enjoy a pianist or musical group in various lounges, go dancing, or watch a movie back in their suites.

Silversea - breakfast on the balconyAccommodations On Silversea Cruises
Those suites, of course, more than live up to Silversea’s overall standard, offering tons of space, elegant furnishings, Italian marble bathrooms, champagne upon request, fresh flowers, refrigerator and bar set up with your preferences, European bath amenities, down duvets and Egyptian cotton linens, premium mattresses, a pillow menu, personalized stationary, binoculars, umbrella and WiFi.

Note that these ships are not for children, and offer no facilities or programs to entertain them, although families with small children are occasionally seen on Silversea vessels.

Another note: Silver Explorer, the line’s small expedition ship, offers a completely different experience, mixing luxury service, cuisine, and accommodations with an exploratory vibe.

Silversea passengers

‘Spirited’ Competitor In The Luxury Sector

For those who follow such developments, Silversea’s newest vessel begs the question: How will it compare to the other luxury launch of the year, Seabourn Odyssey? The short answer is “favorably.” For the explanation, read on.

Spirit’s Slightly Larger Suites

For starters, Spirit is the larger vessel, carrying 540 guests, compared to Odyssey’s 450. Spirit’s Veranda Suites also are a tad larger than the comparable category suite on Odyssey. On Spirit, the Veranda Suite measures 376 square feet with a 65-square-foot veranda, giving Spirit 11 square feet more interior living space than Odyssey.

Spirit’s Veranda Suites also feature, not one, but two 26-inch, flat-panel televisions (one in the bedroom area, the other in the living area) with more than 400 movies available free of charge. The bedroom television will hide behind a mirror when not in use, a nice touch.

By contrast, Odyssey’s televisions were small for the room, 21 inches being my best estimate, with tinny sound.

With the introduction of Spirit, and extending fleetwide, Silversea will offer new services, including an expanded pillow menu featuring a selection of nine pillows. Also new: “luggage freshening.” Guest luggage will be washed and wrapped in a ribbon, clean for the ride home.

Six Dining Venues

The larger Spirit features six restaurants compared to Odyssey’s four. Two of Silver Spirit’s restaurants are reservations-only.

Spirit will introduce Seishin, an Asian fusion restaurant, where the signature item will be Kobe beef, served with sushi, sashimi, exotic sakes (the rice wine), and more. Pricing has not yet been established for the reservations-only restaurant, but it will likely be in line with Le Champagne, at $200 per person.

Silversea execs are aware of Odyssey’s frustrating reservations procedure with regard to dining, and they vow to avoid the frustrations, though how they intend to do so is not yet clear. Execs on the Spirit sea trials say they plan to bring the reservations process online, but no firm timeline was given.

On my Odyssey sailing, guests could reserve at specialty restaurants 48 hours in advance -beginning at 7:30 p.m., and only by phone. Imagine the switchboard. Lines were busy on several nights when I dialed.

Nonetheless, Odyssey’s restaurants are stunning, and its main restaurant is exceptionally attractive, with flowing sheer curtains that serve as separators to create cozy areas, reminiscent of South Beach’s Delano Hotel. Odyssey’s main restaurant also features a couple of attractive high tables for those who prefer a more casual dining experience in the formal dining room.

South Beach/Palm Beach Meets Old World/New World

If Odyssey is a bit like South Beach meets Palm Beach (as Seabourn strives to appeal to both young and mature guests) Spirit is a bit more Old World meets New World. Service and cuisine will be in the European style, with a twist that the line hopes will please its largest passenger demographic, North Americans.

With its reception area, Spirit has matched Seabourn Square (Odyssey’s library/internet cafe/coffee shop/purser’s desk/shore excursions and attractive public room), by integrating a bar and dining area for light snacks.

Clearly, both Odyssey and Spirit are top contenders in a segment where the differences between ships and service is as thin as a razor’s edge. Spirit’s six restaurants, slightly larger staterooms, larger televisions, and additional pampering (i.e., luggage freshening) can indeed make a difference to discerning clients. The innovation and improvements taking place on both ships, however, are ratcheting up the proverbial bar, and for connoisseurs of luxury, ‘spirited’ competition can only be a a good thing.

Silversea Cruise Ship Reviews