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Silversea is a leader in the luxury, small-ship cruising market. These cruises typically appeal to the high-end traveler looking for personalized service, upscale dining and accommodations, access to smaller ports and a top-notch vacation experience.
If you're in the market for a high-end cruise vacation, here's everything you need to know about Silversea.
You won't find waterslides, kids clubs or roller coasters on a Silversea cruise.
Instead, expect an elevated experience designed for those looking for a relaxing yet entertaining sailing. Here are a few key features of Silversea cruises:
Every one of Silversea's cabins has an ocean view, and they're all designated as suites with a high space-to-guest ratio. For guests' needs throughout the cruise, butler service is available in every room.
Some suites are more luxurious — smaller suites only have windows overlooking the ocean, while classic veranda suites and many others come with a balcony.
Some room categories, such as the ultra-luxurious Otium Suite, are exclusive to Silversea's newest ship, Silver Nova. Others are found across the fleet, although accommodations on board each vessel may differ slightly.
Many cruise lines charge their passengers a base fare for the trip, allowing them to choose various add-ons — such as beverages, specialty restaurants, internet access and port excursions — for an additional cost.
Silversea does away with this. It advertises an all-inclusive cruise package, which includes everything from shore excursions and alcoholic drinks to butler service and gratuities.
Primary U.S. ports
Silversea ships span the globe, but travelers that don't want to venture too far from home will find many cruises departing from Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Trips also depart from New York City for destinations in Canada.
Those wishing to depart from the West Coast can set sail from San Francisco or Los Angeles. Ships from these ports travel to the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada and other far-flung destinations.
Where does Silversea sail?
Silversea's destination map is extensive, with over 900 ports on all seven continents. Sailings are at least six days long, but trips can last several weeks to a month or more.
For those with the time and the money, Silversea offers World Cruises that travel from continent to continent in a global adventure that can take as many as 140 days.
» Learn more: How to get the best deal on your next cruise
How much does a Silversea cruise cost?
Silversea sailings are no discount venture, but the all-inclusive nature of each cruise adds value.
Meals, drinks, entertainment and onboard special events are all part of the price. The rates vary based on demand, destination and time of year.
There are two types of prices: "door-to-door," which includes airport transfers and airfare, or "port-to-port," which is the cruise fare without any transportation to or from the port.
Rates can vary from as low as $2,800 for a seven-day trip from Colombia to Florida to $94,700 for a 125-day expedition cruise from Chile to Norway.
Silversea also offers special fares for single travelers on select excursions, which provides a discount instead of paying the full cost of a double-occupancy cabin.
» Learn more: The best cruise lines
What is the best Silversea ship?
There are 13 ships in the Silversea fleet — with more scheduled for delivery in the coming years — ranging in size from 51 to 364 cabins. The best ship, however, will depend on the type of sailing you want.
The smallest ships are typically expedition ships that sail itineraries like the Galapagos or Antarctica. For example, the 100-passenger Silver Origin was Silversea's first purpose-built destination ship, built explicitly for cruising in the Galapagos. It is also the most environmentally-friendly ship built by Silversea.
Another small ship is the Silver Explorer, with a capacity for 144 guests and a strengthened hull to sail in Antarctica and the Arctic safely.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have larger ships such as Silver Spirit, which was renovated in 2018. With space for 608 passengers, it spends much of its time sailing around Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.
Ships like Silver Spirit look more like cruise ships, with amenities that include larger pools, lounges and plentiful dining options. Expedition ships are smaller by nature and therefore have fewer onboard facilities.
The best Silversea ship depends on the type of traveler you are, the destinations you want to visit, and the amenities you desire.
What is the newest Silversea ship?
Silver Nova is Silversea's newest ship, with plans to set sail later this summer. It will also be the largest ship in the Silversea fleet, with space for 728 passengers. Coming in 2024 is a second ship of the same size, the Silver Ray.
These ships feature a new asymmetrical design that gives their interiors a more spacious feel. Additionally, they'll have the largest pools in the Silversea fleet, and every suite will have a balcony.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
What's included in a Silversea cruise
As mentioned above, Silversea advertises its cruises as all-inclusive, and compared to many cruise lines, this is pretty accurate. Here's what's included with all Silversea cruises:
24-hour butler service.
Complimentary beverages, including alcohol, around the ship and in minibars.
Gourmet meals, including room service and specialty restaurants.
Select shore excursions.
Onboard lectures and entertainment.
Passengers who opt for the door-to-door all-inclusive option will also receive the following:
Private transfers to and from their home airport.
Airfare to and from the port city, including international flights.
Transfers between the ship and the airport.
Overnight hotel stays in the port city on arrival or before returning home, if needed.
A few items are not included in the fare and will incur an additional cost:
Meals or accommodations while on shore.
Some shore excursions.
Reservation fees for select restaurants.
Personal spa or beauty services.
» Learn more: The best ways to book a cruise
Silversea loyalty program: Venetian Society
Unlike other cruise loyalty programs, Silversea's program — the Venetian Society — does not award points. It doesn't have elite status tiers, either. Instead, members earn "days" based on the length of each sailing. The more days they accrue, the more benefits they can receive.
Here's what Venetian Society members can expect to receive based on the number of days accrued:
All members. By joining the program and completing your first sailing, you're eligible for 5% savings on certain upcoming sailings. This can represent great value on expensive cruises, meaning signing up makes sense even if you only plan to sail occasionally.
100+ days. 5% savings on all future door-to-door sailings.
250+ days. 10% savings on all future door-to-door sailings.
350 days. Once you reach this level, you are eligible for one complimentary seven-day sailing.
500 days. Reaching this milestone means enjoying a complimentary 14-day trip.
500+ days. After this landmark, members will receive one complimentary seven-day trip for each additional 150 days they sail.
How to redeem Silversea days
The best part about the Venetian Society is that the benefits are cumulative. It's not similar to a points program where once you redeem points, your balance gets lower until you earn more. With Venetian Society, you can take advantage of that perk once you hit the next milestone while enjoying previous bonuses.
For example, once you hit 350 days, you are eligible for a complimentary seven-day voyage. But, you can also take 10% off any door-to-door cruises — a perk you receive after reaching 250 days — you book after that.
(Top photo courtesy of Silversea)
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card