All-inclusive luxury cruise pioneer
Silversea pioneered the all-inclusive luxury cruise concept with Silver Cloud, an all-suite ship with most accommodations offering balconies. Silver Cloud was christened in Monaco on May 30, 1994, in the presence of Prince Albert II.
The Lefebvre family founded Silversea with a vision for a line with a global reach, carrying travelers from across the globe to destinations around the world in superlative comfort. Today Silversea visits more than 900 destinations, from pole to pole — probably more than any other cruise line.
Launching Silversea Expeditions in 2008 pushed the boundaries of discovery with milestone voyages including Antarctica that year, Africa's West Coast and the Russian Arctic in 2012; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in 2013; the Galápagos Islands, the Russian Far East, the Kimberley Coast and the Northwest Passage in 2014; and Bangladesh in 2017.
In 2019, Silversea will traverse the Northeast Passage for the first time, and an expedition world cruise is to follow in 2021.
From that one ship in 1994, Silversea grew to nine vessels today, and five newbuilds are on order. Silver Muse, which debuted in 2017, inspired a fleetwide ‘Musification’ — the systematic refurbishment of Silversea’s ships, which is ongoing. In 2020, Silver Origin will take over the Galápagos program and Silver Moon will join the fleet, followed by Silver Dawn in 2021 and the first of two Evolution-class ships in 2022.
Fine food from around the world, drinks included throughout the ship and butler service for every suite are some of the amenities Silversea guests have enjoyed since the start.
Acquired by Royal Caribbean
Following the line's acquisition by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in 2018, Project Invictus was announced to provide enhancements such as champagne in suites at embarkation and throughout the ship; complimentary sustainable caviar, available 24 hours a day; an enriched offering of canapés, seafood, berries and fine steak cuts; and an enhanced wine list.
The most loyal Silversea travelers have each accumulated more than 2,300 Venetian Sail days, which equates to almost seven years spent on board.
Silversea began with just 25 land-based employees in Fort Lauderdale; at the end of 2018, there were 2,571 employees — counting crew and land-based employees in offices around the world.
'I feel so proud when I consider what we have achieved in 25 years,' Executive Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre said. 'From just one ship in 1994 to a fleet of nine vessels with at least five to come, we will soon realize the vision set out by my father when he brought innovation to our industry and founded our cruise line. I am grateful to our loyal guests, our travel advisors and to our crew and employees. They have made this great achievement possible. We continuously work to push boundaries of travel; rest assured that this is just the beginning.'
'We are a family'
Fernando Barroso de Oliveira, Silversea’s chairman’s ambassador to the Venetian Society, joined the company as cruise director when it was six months old. 'I feel at home. And the guests feel the same — we are a family,' he said. 'We want our guests to feel as though they are a part of something special. Our ships are their home away from home, as we’ve managed to create a wonderful atmosphere on board.'
An important part of de Oliveira's job is to socialize with the guests and he has developed strong bonds. 'In fact, many guests have come to stay with my family and me in Portugal over the past 25 years, and I have stayed with them. Now, when guests come aboard, they ask if certain members of the team — from bartenders to waiters, butlers, and pool stewards — are also on the ship, as our people are as important as the destinations we visit. For me, it’s easy to understand why Silversea is so special to so many people: friendliness, luxury, and service.'
Capt. Alessandro Zanello joined Silversea in 1999, recruited by a captain he knew at the lime.
'There was a strong sense of family, among both the guests and the crew. Because the ships were so intimate, there was closer interaction. This remains unchanged today,' Zanello said. He met his future wife on Silver Spirit in 2009, and one of his proudest moments was being selected as the master of Silver Muse its inauguration in 2017.
Some Silversea trivia: the number of active travelers since the company's launch is approximately 400, and there are about 490,000 Venetian Society members.
Fifteen employees have been with Silversea since 1994/1995, some continuously.
Initial fleet capacity was 296. Today it is 2,896.
There have been 14 ship refurbishments in the last 25 years, including the conversion of Silver Cloud into an ice-class ship in 2017 and the lengthening of Silver Spirit in 2018. Refurbishments are scheduled upgrades for Silver Shadow in 2019 and Silver Wind in 2020.
Fifteen captains are in rotation. Besides Zanello, they are Vincent Taillard, Cosimo Pontillo, Georgiev Chavdar, Gennaro Arma, Michele Macarone Palmieri, Luigi Rutigliano, Cataldo Destefano, Samuele Failla, Marco Sangiacomo, Eric Saint, Plancat, Andrey Domanin, Dariusz Grzelak, Tomasz Kulas and Adam Boczek.
Silversea has operated 14 world cruises.