In 1994 a cruise company with a different concept was born, creating boutique experiences for the luxury market. The Lefebvre family of Rome and V-Ships of Monaco started with a ship, Silver Cloud and named the company Silversea Cruises. Today they have 9 cruisers and they all have names that start with Silver.
The trend in cruises is the bigger the better, almost becoming floating cities. Silversea Cruises goes against this trend. Their ships have capacity for 100 to 596 passengers. John Bland, the first President of the company in the nineties, explains “… we have a different boat design. It’s bigger, very navigable and very comfortable for ocean crossings, but small enough to do the things you want a small luxury boat to do, to get to small islands where big boats can not go, to travel in rivers like the Thames (in England). “
Everything included with a lot of luxury
Silversea Cruises is for those who like to travel on boats in a more exclusive way. Cruises do not have cabins, only suites. 100% of the suites have ocean views and 90% private balconies.
The service on board is impeccable. There is a ratio of 1 to 1.3 guests to employee; almost an employee per guest.
“We are focused on offering experiences, there are many ways to travel, but we want to offer something unique. All categories have butlers, who can help guests with everything from unpacking to preparing a tub full of salts and bubbles, after returning from a day trip,” Mauricio Chacon, the GSA for Central America, says.
The concept is all-inclusive luxury, where guests do not have to spend on anything additional. Rates include gratuities, unlimited beverages (including Champagne), meals, port charges, Internet plan and one or more activities at the stops.
There are special travel itineraries, such as opera tours with the Academy Theater allá Scala and ballet trips with the Paris Opera and the Bólshoi State Academic Theater from Russia.
Silversea Cruises offers an unforgettable dining experience
All trips offer gastronomic experiences. They are ideal for foodies. When you travel in Silversea Cruises there are no lines or dinner shifts. You can eat at any time you want and you don’t have to share a table with people you don’t know. The newest ship, the Muse, has 8 restaurant options. The cruise line made an alliance with Relais & Châteaux, an exclusive collection of 520 of the best gourmet hotels and restaurants in 60 countries. Its “Grand Chefs” offer exclusive dishes in the main restaurant of all cruises. Another restaurant on board, La Dame, focuses on celebrating wine.
Do not expect to find large entertainment centers or slides. The boats all have swimming pools and gyms with personal trainer. The spa was voted by Condé Nast readers as the best spa in a luxury cruise line. Ships also have a casino.
Offers for Panamanians
A promotion was recently launched with a 30% exclusive discount for Panamanians. If you visit the website of the cruise line you will find only offers with a 10% discount for advance payment. Contactos is the company that represents them in Panama. To apply for the promotion you can review a list of departures on different circuits including the Mediterranean, which is the most popular and some of the Expeditions.
Silversea Cruises also forms an alliance with the Lufthansa airlines, which has direct flights from Panama to Frankfurt, Germany. Mauricio tells us “we want to unite both brands so that Silversea and Lufthansa both offer excelent rates, lower than what would be found anywhere. This is how the passenger benefits from the best price options.” There will be airplane fares in business, economy and premium economy (a class in between).
“We share the same passion for excellence in service and for a premium concept. Both companies offer an individualized and unique travel experience,” says Felipe Bonifatti, General Manager of the Lufthansa Group airlines for Panama, Central America and the Caribbean.
“We have many ports in Europe, we are talking about Athens, Rome, Copenhagen and others,” says Mauricio. The Mediterranean route is offered from April to October. Another route that is well liked is that of the Baltic which spends the night in St. Petersburg, Russia. It takes more than one day to get to know this city.
Routes that include Panama
Silversea Cruises passes through the Panama Canal, but does not stop at the port of Colon. Currently Explorer is finishing a route in Colon and starts the new route on April 4, but it cannot be promoted because they do not have the segment open for sale. In the future they hope to have the possibility of disembarking passengers in Panama.
In 2018, they offer a route that crosses the Panama Canal (without stopping in the country) leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and returning to San Francisco, California. While in 2019, they are going to stop in Bocas del Toro and Colón, then transit through the Panama Canal.
Expeditions for the more adventurous
Expeditions are made on smaller ships taking passengers on more exotic routes like Silver Galapagos; Explorer in Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic; Cloud visits Central and South America, Canada, New England, the British Isles and Discover with further destinations such as Eastern Russia. Together they cover all possible routes in the world.
In June 2012, Silverseas bought Canodros S.A., the most luxurious Ecuadorian tourism company operating in the Galapagos Islands. This new route was completely filled its first two years, with a long waiting list. It is already possible to get space. Due to its popularity, the cruise is dedicated exclusively to the route all year round.
The people who do the Expeditions are younger than in the rest of the tours. They must have moderate physical conditions in order to go out to see orangutans in Africa or natives in the Papua New Guinea Islands. All itineraries Expeditions include tours at the stops.
Photographs courtesy of Silversea Cruises.