The christening of Silver Discoverer, the latest addition to luxury cruise line Silversea’s expedition fleet, came complete with its own godmother, maritime lawyer Elda Turco Bulgherini. It is an incredibly exciting period for this fast-paced cruising company, having welcomed Silver Galapagos just a few months ago.
Silversea first noticed a growing interest in travel to the world’s most remote regions a few years ago, as well as an emerging interest in ecotourism. At that time, there was clearly a void in the adventure travel options available to upscale travellers. It became their mission to develop a product that would appeal to the luxury segment of this growing market.
“We took our first major step in that direction with the launch of Silver Explorer in 2008, an ice-class ship that spends a good part of the year exploring the Earth’s polar regions and we have been extremely pleased with the results,” says company chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio. “Following the successful launch of Silver Explorer, and our new brand, Silversea Expeditions, we started planning ahead for other expedition ships that could introduce luxury adventure travellers to other rarely seen corners of our world. The expeditions portfolio includes a ship based in the Galápagos year-round and now the Silver Discoverer, the third expedition ship that will navigate the Pacific.”
The expedition team is headed by Conrad Combrink, director expedition planning and strategic development, whose passion for the new ship and its destinations is infectious. “We have been able to create an outstanding expedition programme that is certain to excite, educate and inspire our guests.”
Zodiac excursions and interactive walks ashore will be led by experts in their field – marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, botanists, historians, and anthropologists.
Silversea has partnered with the Royal Geographical Society, responsible for providing much of the detailed enrichment content that will enhance the educational experience of the expedition’s guests.
The ship has just completed a major stem-to-stern refurbishment of all the public spaces. Guest suites have been renovated and there is a new Fitness Center, Massage Room, Beauty Salon, plus Silversea’s signature outdoor dining venue, The Grill.
“It is our aim that this ship will not only offer our guests the highest level of comfort and service, but also enlighten them to the rarity and beauty of the five remote regions where we will sail: the Kimberley, the Russian Far East, Micronesia, Melanesia, the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic and Southeast Asia,” says Lefebvre d’Ovidio. “As a global corporate citizen, we recognise the importance of supporting communities and protecting the earth’s natural and cultural treasures and this most certainly will be evident on our Pacific expedition cruises. We feel privileged and honoured to operate in these territories, and we will work to preserve and protect the environment by promoting responsible, well-regulated, low-impact travel.”
The interest in adventure cruises is definitely on the rise, with more inquisitive and adventurous travellers wanting to explore some of the world’s most hidden and unspoiled regions, offering authentic, close-up encounters with nature.
During the christening ceremony of the Silver Discoverer traditional Chinese lion dance performances and Bhangra folk dancers provided colourful local entertainment for the quayside event. Following a blessing, honorary godmother Elda Turco Bulgherini, professor of navigation law at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, officially welcomed Silver Discoverer to the Silversea Expedition Fleet by cutting a ceremonial ribbon. The 5218-tonne Silver Discoverer also has walls lined with stunning photography by New Zealand photographer Richard Sidey. Up to 120 guests are accommodated in 62 fully renovated ocean-view suites, redecorated and outfitted with reupholstered furniture, new flat screen TVs and new mattresses topped with luxurious Pratesi bed linens. Select suites benefit from a small private balcony. Public areas include a restaurant, main lounge (also the lecture room) and The Discoverer Lounge. Silver Discoverer will embark on her maiden voyage from Broome to Darwin on April 2, exploring Australia’s spectacular Kimberley Coast.