Chalk up January 13 as another cruise ‘first’ for Silversea. That was the date the boutique little Silver Cloud crossed the 66th parallel on a recent sailing, taking the ship into genuine Antarctic waters for the first time on her furthest-ever voyage South.
Ever since the demand for their distinctive adventurous voyaging has only increased, and the programme of cruises has expanded accordingly. No longer do the likes of original duo Silver Wind and Cloud stick to the tried-and-tested routes around the Mediterranean and Caribbean, but now they venture as far afield as the fringes of Antarctica, Cape Town, Reykjavik and Nova Scotia.
And that’s before you consider the trio of out-and-out expedition vessels, Silver Discoverer, Silver Galapagos and Silver Explorer (with the all-new Silver Origin due to make her debut in the Galapagos next year), which take Silversea on some of the most evocative cruises in the world.
So, with all that in mind, we thought it would be worth highlighting our a selection of our favourite voyages with Silversea Expeditions in 2019, counting down to something genuinely new and exciting:
Christmas in Antarctica
For a guaranteed White Christmas, this 18-night voyage – sailing December 17 round-trip from Ushuaia in Argentina – really takes some beating as it includes seven full days in Antarctica as well as visits to South Georgia, the Sandwich Islands and the Falklands, with their huge King Penguin colonies and extensive whaling history. The Silver Explorer is the ideal vessel to enjoy the vast panorama of the Southern Continent in maximum comfort, as it includes a fleet of 12 Zodiac boats for landing ashore as well as onboard amenities like a state-of-the-art Spa and fitness centre, two restaurants and superbly spacious staterooms (including some huge suites).
If you’re captivated by those wildlife programmes by David Attenborough that always look like they were filmed on a different planet, this is the cruise for you, taking in the likes of Zanzibar, Madagascar and Namibia in one, long 14-day jaunt from Mombasa in Kenya. The gorgeous Silver Whisper sets sail on April 3 and embraces lush rainforest, plentiful wildlife (including Africa’s ‘Big Five’) and the other-worldly experience of the Indian Ocean’s main island. Best of all, it finishes in Cape Town, which is simply one of THE great ports to sail into.
An Easter Treat
Robinson Crusoe was a richly detailed story of shipwreck and survival on a South American island, and Silversea has their own version of it (just without the shipwreck and survival part) with this enticing trip from Valparaiso, Chile, to Easter Island, on 7th March. The Silver Explorer visits the remote bastions of Robinson Crusoe Island and Alexander Selkirk Island, as well as seabird-strewn Isla Salas y Gomez before arriving in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Rapa Nui National Park. Along the way, guests will use the ship’s fleet of Zodiacs to explore some of the most remote corners of this natural idyll – and learn why Crusoe would have been right at home among its tropical grandeur.
Stand by for a major Silver Explorer expedition on this 25-day extravaganza that sails across the ‘top of the world’ from August 10 on one of the rarest voyages in the vast cruise compendium. Starting from Nome, Alaska, it heads westward for a grand Russian tour in Arctic waters before concluding in Tromso, Norway, sailing as far north as the summer season allows but also touching on huge stretches of little-known islands and archipelagos in the wake of a host of genuine Arctic explorers. It offers a wealth of cultural, geological and wildlife experiences, all with that essential six-star Silversea style.
If there is one major region that has been little explored by the cruise world until relatively recently, it is the planet’s largest island. But Greenland is now firmly on the map for a handful of lines, and Silversea’s 12-day sailing on the Silver Cloud on August 14 provides an epic opportunity to get up close and personal with this magnificent vista of glaciers, mountains and rugged coastline. By the time you add in wonderful wildlife in the form of whales and seabirds, and the lure of intriguing, welcoming village communities, this is a voyage that ticks a LOT of boxes when it comes to maritime adventuring.
A Galapagos Expedition
This is not so much a specific opportunity as a year-round invitation to experience the wildlife that changed the course of scientific thinking when Charles Darwin arrived in 1835 and was inspired to write his ground-breaking book, On the Origin of Species. Much of the multi-splendoured wildlife that so captivated Darwin is still on offer today, and the islands remain a natural wonderland for eco-adventurers and those who enjoy a chance to see the world without many man-made distractions. Silversea’s charming Silver Galapagos features 7-day itineraries from Baltra to San Cristobal, visiting up to seven islands (weather permitting) each week.
Down Under Attraction
Quick – who knows a lot about the Bungle Bungles? You know, the mountain range in north-western Australia. Thought so. Unless you’re a geography professor or Trivial Pursuit aficionado, you’re unlikely to be able to place one of the world’s most startling mountainous regions. But take a chance on Silversea’s latest adventure option and you are heading for a genuinely memorable adventure along the Kimberley coast, full of immensely spectacular coastlines, eye-catching beaches, ancient Aboriginal art and the great wildlife for which Australia is justly renowned. From April to June, the ultra-chic Silver Discoverer plies her first-ever 10-day voyages from Broome to Darwin (and vice versa), taking in the heart of this fabulous new frontier in modern cruising. Not only will you enjoy thundering waterfalls and a multitude of birdlife, all brought to vivid life by the onboard Expedition team, but the ship’s ability to investigate little-travelled byways and up-close scenery will ensure a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with an area that remains completely unspoiled by any modern influences. Oh, and the weather is pretty good, too!
What most interests you about expedition-style cruising? Have you tried a voyage with Silversea Expeditions? Give us your thoughts in the Comments section below.