Silversea Expeditions’ 10th birthday party in Sydney

Conrad Combrink at the 10th anniversary celebrations for Silversea Expeditions at the Sydney Opera House Conrad Combrink at the 10th anniversary celebrations for Silversea Expeditions at the Sydney Opera House PHOTO: Helen Hutcheon

On a glorious sunny winter's day at the Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House, with its sweeping views over the harbour, Silversea celebrated the 10th anniversary of Silversea Expeditions.


Guest of honour was Conrad Combrink, svp strategic development expeditions & experiences, who made his first promotional trip Down Under in 2010.

During his second trip the following year he said Australia was the No. 2 market, after the US, for the fledgling company.

However, this year he said Australia had slipped back to No. 3, after a resurgence in bookings from the UK 

Tom Russell, a member of Silversea Cruises’ founding executive team who helped establish Silversea in 1992, rejoined the company in 2007 to coordinate a new luxury expedition product.

Acquisitions and upgrades

This followed Silversea’s acquisition of World Discoverer 11 which was named Prince Albert 11 in tribute to Prince Albert of Monaco.

The ship arrived at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Trieste for an extensive upgrade and in May 2008 its inaugural Arctic and Antarctic brochure was released to the Australian industry.

Paving the way to luxury expedition fleet

The company changed the ship’s named to Silver Explorer to ‘pave the way for an expanded luxury expedition fleet.’

In 2012 Silversea bought Ecuadorian tourism company Canodros S.A. and its 100-passenger Galapagos Explorer 11.

After an extensive refit it was renamed Silver Galapagos and joined Silversea Expeditions in 2013.

The company’s next expedition ship, the former 128-passenger Clipper Odyssey, was renamed Silver Discoverer and made her inaugural voyage on March 1, 2014, from Bali to Cairns, then Broome, for a maiden season in the Kimberley.

Combrink said she has been under charter and will be returned to her owner in July next year.

Last year Silversea’s first ship, Silver Cloud, that launched in 1994, underwent a massive makeover that included an ice-strengthened hull, to join Silversea Expeditions.

Carrying 254 passengers and a crew of 223, she boasts the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising, with the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant in Antarctica.

When he was Silversea’s president Europe and Asia Pacific, Steve Odell summed up the success of Silversea Expeditions when he said:  'We broke the mould with Silver Explorer. We offered a luxury product for expedition cruising.’


Posted 09 August 2018

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Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent