Silversea Expedition Cruises.4 Key Watch-Outs And Must-Knows

Silversea Expedition Cruises.4 Key Watch-Outs And Must-Knows

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You’re about to discover the most
important watch outs and things you need to know if you’re interested in, or
considering, cruising with Silversea Expedition cruises. I’m Gary
Bembridge and this is another of my tips for travellers. I’m going to explore
Silversea Expedition Cruises. First of all, who or what exactly is Silversea
Expedition Cruises? Silversea Cruises has two parts. They have the classic cruising
fleet and they have the expedition fleet. Silversea
itself is part of the Royal
Caribbean group who have Royal Caribbean line, which is their sort
of more mass-market line, t Celebrity ,which is their premium line,
Azamara which is a small ship destination line and they have Silversea Cruise line within the overall group.
Silversea have a classic fleet which has ships up to around about 600 guests, and then they have the expedition fleet which is constantly growing and
expanding. Theyhave such ships as the Silver Cloud, which I’m on now, they have
the Silver Explorer which I’ve been on. They also have the Silver Galapagos and
they’ll soon add to that to the Silver Origin Galapagos, they have Silver
Discoverer and they’re constantly converting and bringing other ships onto
their expedition fleet because it’s constantly growing. In terms of where
they cover in expeditions, they cover the Galapagos, they cover
Antarctica, they cover the Arctic and in between those periods they cover other
parts of the world like Africa, Russia, Australia, New
Zealand, South Pacific and South America. The next key watch-outs are around what
they do better than other expedition brands, and what they do the same or
worse than another expedition brands. Let’s start by taking a look and what I think
they do really well or do better. First of all, what they do phenomenally well is
luxury expedition cruising. They have luxurious ships which are
five-star premium ships with plush interiors and butler service in every
single suite. They have lots of attention to detail, incredible food, very high
level of service and high passenger to crew ratio, and all the
trimmings you’d expect of a luxury brand with champagne and caviar. So, basically taking their classic luxury service and features and
putting that into their expedition ships and product. They also offer our surprisingly
large amount of choice onboard the expedition ships. For example, on
Silver Cloud there are four dining options. You have the main restaurant,
you’ve got La Terrazza which is a buffet for breakfast and lunch and then turns
into an Italian restaurant, you have La Dame which is very premium epicurean
dining experience and then you have the grill, which is an outdoor area which for
lunch time will serve things like burgers and hot dogs and at night has
the Silversea signature Hot Rocks. They also have a wide range of bars, and for
example again on the Silver Cloud you’ve got the Grill Bar outside, Dolce Vita,
you have the Panorama Lounge. t You have facilities like a fitness
centre, a spa, guest laundry, library and Observation Lounge. So, again lots of
facilities and lots of choice. Surprising large amount for a relatively small ship.
One of the things they do phenomenally well, and they put a huge amount of
resource against, is the Expedition Team. Expedition cruises will have some kind
of expedition team , but on Silversea its is a very big team. On
Silver Cloud there were 28 people in the expedition team. You have the
expedition leader and a wide range of experts like historians, botanists,
some experts and wildlife birds – a huge range of expertise. They
run briefings before you do landings, they do recaps where they’ll talk
about what you’ve seen and they’ll do various lectures across the course of
the expedition. One of them will then drive your zodiac everyday, so as you move
around the different zodiacs you have different experts with you all the time.
The expedition team, I would say, is definitely something they do very well. A fantastic
innovation on Silversea
Expedition Cruises is the Photo Studio. They have a
photographer and often a photographer and a videographer. The
videographer goes out on all the expeditions and captures unique footage on
what you’ve seen and creates a video. At the end you can then buy it. What the
photographer does is help people improve their photographic skills. In the
Photo Studio there’s a huge amount of computers for both for Mac and PC
users. On these are loaded programs like Lightroom and Photoshop. So, when you’ve been
out an excursion, you can go in there you can use the facilities to edit, crop and
improve your photos. For a fee you can then print those out. Use of the
equipment is totally within your fare. T Then what the photographer does is also run a series of courses. Some are free courses and
they also run a series of paid-for courses on everything from how to
shoot manual and how to use things like Lightroom. They are often free to chat about photographs and you
can get tips advice. I think that’s a huge huge big plus and definitely
something that they do phenomenally well. What do Silversea
Expedition Cruises do
the same as other expedition brands? One of the things that is pretty much
the same is the fares are largely all- inclusive. Even on a more basic line the
fares, because the nature of expeditions, tend to be relatively all-inclusive. The Silversea
Expedition Cruises fare includes accommodation, all of your food, gratuities and
some limited Wi-Fi. What’s very important is all your excursions are included – all your zodiac trips and landings. However, that’s
consistent across expedition brands no matter what level they are. They do you
have kayaks onboard which are included, so you don’t pay to use the kayaks. Some
other expedition brands do have kayaks but there’s fees associated with them
The only things that are not included on Silversea
Expedition Cruises are if you want
to go and have some spa treatments, if you’re eating in La Dame or if you use laundry (although that is included within some fares) and of course if you do things like buy things in the
boutique. Basic Wi-Fi is included. It’s not very high allowance, so if you want
something faster and want to be connected all the time there is a fee to
get a better internet package. The other thing that they do is they do require
you to bring your own gear. There is some limited stuff on board in terms of boots,
but you do have to buy or rent your own gear. On expeditions,
particularly Arctic and Antarctica, there’s a lot of gear that you need to
bring. What Silversea
Expedition Cruises do like many of the more premium expedition lines,
they have relationships with different providers.In Silversea
Expedition Cruises case it’s
with a company called Ship- to- shore-traveler and they have a very
specific Silversea section where you can go in and you can order your gear
and then that gets delivered to the ship. You can either rent it or
buy it. The other thing that Silversea do, which is again pretty consistent
across expedition brands, is they give you a Parka, and expedition cruise lines
normally give this to their passengers because it helps you stand out when
you’re on land. They also give you a reusable water bottle and they give you
a backpack as well. One thing that is very similar is the format. The format
of expedition cruising is fairly consistent. What that tends to be is
there is three basic things that happen: (1) some cruising around
in the ship where you’ll go through different sites or you might be wildlife
spotting, (2) zodiac tours
again looking at scenery or up close to whales or you’ll go and check out
wildlife and (3) is landings where you go on zodiacs and your land in
certain areas and you then go on hikes to look at wildlife or scenery or
some historic aspects. The format of expedition cruising is very similar no
matter who you go with. You have briefing sessions, you have
zodiac tours or landings and then you have recap briefings. The
format and structure is pretty similar. Who in my view is Silversea
Expedition Cruises best suited for? First of all you need to be relatively
affluent, because it is a premium luxury experience and the fares are on the
higher side versus more basic expedition cruise lines. You’ll find most of the
passengers tend to be in their 50s 60s and 70s, many of them are retired or
professional people. Guests will generally be quite active and fit you, as you
have to be quite fit to go on many of the expedition cruises. For example,
both in the Arctic and Antarctica you have to be getting on and off of zodiacs,
you’re going to be going on hikes up some very big hills and mountains with rough terrain so you do need to be pretty fit and active.
There is some capacity for people with mobility issues and there are some
accessible cabins. But, very important, if you do have accessibility issues have a
discussion with Silversea first. Of course you’ll find in some of the areas,
particularly Antarctica, you will find a much bigger spread
because there are younger people who have the money or resources or just
really want to do it and will go. For example, we had some people in their late
20s who were on their honeymoon because and they wanted to do
Antarctica. The expeditions are managed and run in English, however on the various
expeditions I have been on they have been other language passengers. They normally come as
a group. For example on the cruise I’ve just done, there was a
sizeable Russian group and they’d bought a Russian translator along. If you want to
come and do it another language, you need to come as part of an organised group. The groups
are organizing the translations rather than Silversea itself. If you’re a
solo traveler, the good news is that Silversea do various promotions on
certain expeditions across the year. If you take a look at their website
under the offers section there’s an specific section for solo travellers.
Sometimes there will be no surcharge or there may be a 15% to 25% surcharge. You’ll find quite a lot of solo travellers then on those
cruises. I was on this particular cruise as a solo traveller, but certainly
as a solo traveller it was very sociable and easy to mix with people. It
was great that they do have those deals for solo travellers. Silversea Expeditions is
a great product. It’s a premium product and a pretty expensive product, but
there’s a lot they offer. They have a huge expedition team, you travel with luxury
with butlers and all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premium
luxury experience. There’s a number of things that they do really well like that premium experience. I think the expedition team is phenomenal. The
Photo Studio is great and then the other things they do are fairly similar to the others. The
format and structure is fairly similar. I’d love it you watched many more of my tips of
travellers videos as they’re designed to help you make much more of your
precious travel time and money whether on land, at sea or on the rivers of the
world.

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22 Comments

  1. Very nice video explaining the experience aboard expedition cruises. Thank you for sharing. 😀

  2. Silversea is worth every penny. The quality of the experts on board is superior so one learns a great deal.

  3. I enjoy your videos because it is a peek into a world I know nothing of. Thank you for another interesting one!

  4. Again, an excellent video: great production values, very succinct, and interesting and engaging.

  5. Great info Gary, would love to do Antarctica or Galapagos they look stunning. Going on Azamara Pursuit in August can't wait.

  6. Hi very good and very intresting. Have a good time and be joining. I wish l were there for working . l love southpoll and sheeping in winter by snow . sh a v 50 y tehran 🌹👍✌

  7. Forgive a question from the cheap seats, but how big a deal is a butler for all rooms? (I.e. upper-end suites on many lines have them but Silversea is rare/unique to have them for an entry-level room.) One one hand, I don't need one, don't have one in the 3/4 star hotels I stay in on land. And it is not like Seabourn or even Viking, Oceania, Celebrity are Carnival and Carnival can be more fun than some snobs say. OTOH, it does seem like a cool indulgence for a vacation. In your opinion, is this a trivial nice-to-have or a noticeable upgrade for a lower-tier room? How much would it affect your decision amongst lines (assuming you were relegated to a lower-tier room)?

  8. Great video. Would have loved to see you discuss Silversea’s competition on the same price category.

  9. What would be a good upscale line for cruises for folks in their early 50’s that want to learn things, aren’t interested in all the shows and bar scenes, but love luxury but also don’t want everyone on the cruise to be toooo geriatric. Been on three Princess, a Carnival, two Holland America and the QE2.

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