Fail to plan, plan to fail… It’s a phrase i’ve heard time and time again during my career in marketing and management and it’s entirely appropriate when applied to the niche cruise marketplace.
With the larger ships these days, it doesn’t really matter where they go, which ports they visit or how long they spend there as the ships themselves are the destination, but with the smaller ships, it’s all about the itinerary and differentiating from the competition.
Silversea cruises, under the supervision of Conrad Combrink, Director of Expedition Cruises, has turned the whole proposition on its head. Not only has it created a new type of ship in Silver Discoverer, an expedition vessel that you’d actually want to spend time on, with elegant lounges, butler pampering, pool decks, libraries and even fitness centres. But the whole approach to planning is something very new, very bold and incredibly exciting.
The forthcoming programme for Silver Discoverer has seemingly looked at the world from a completely different perspective. For example, Russia is approached from its Far East, not the traditional cruise route through the Baltic regions. On Silver Discoverer, you will get right into the heart of one of the world’s least-explored and most biologically productive seas, the Sea of Okhotsk. This region is the true land of fire and ice and the opportunities for seeing wildlife and birdlife are simply beyond the realms of the imagination. Sea Otters, brown bears, Sea Eagles and whales are all resident in this extraordinary land.
Other spectacular regions visited by the ship include Australia – Kimberley. These voyages will depart from Darwin in Northern Australia and take in some of the most inaccessible, ancient and overwhelming places on the planet. Only accessible by boat, this remains a true untamed wilderness with narrow channels, thundering waterfalls and incredible wildlife. Or how about a new take on Antarctica via the Sub-Antarctic. Accessed via New Zealand rather than South America, you can see eight species of penguin, seals, and albatross and be one of the very privileged few to visit as the reserves are so heavily protected.
As standard, Silver Discoverer offers a glass bottomed boat, zodiacs to take you to these incredibly remote and unseen shores, snorkelling and scuba gear and some remarkable free shore excursions. This product has doubled its budget on land tours to ensure they are even more unique, its guests are becoming true ambassadors as they are almost pioneering travel to these remote places, meeting tribal elders, seeing things so very few do and there is always a comfortable, elegant and beautifully appointed hotel waiting for them at the end of the day of discovery.
Most cruise companies that visit, still market Antarctica as the ‘wilderness destination’, but with 30,000 visitors last year via around 35 different ships, it’s simply not the case. There is a clear way to explore the true wilderness destinations, the remote and pristine beauty of the planet and that is both by ship and with Silversea Expeditions.
You can visit our dedicated Silversea Expeditions page here.