I have just completed some Virtuoso LEAP (learning engagement advisor process) training on Silversea. As a Virtuoso travel advisor, I focus on fantastic product and luxury services, and Silversea doesn’t disappoint.
You have to remember that price often dictates quality. And there are a lot of intangible goods with Silversea that goes into the purchase.
The power of the partnership between Silversea and Virtuoso (the world’s largest luxury line) cannot be underestimated. Silversea’s market is mostly international guests who are looking for the next destination – yet the currency is US, and the official language is English. So, North Americans will feel at home onboard.
Many think Silversea cruises are only for multi-millionaires like Lovey & Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island. But that’s not true. Sure, most onboard have generally reached the point in their lives where they’ve accumulated some level of comfort. But, Silversea clients aren’t defined by that. They want insider access, but without the flash. If you choose to dress up, you can; but it is not required. Silversea guests want to learn when they travel – and the cruise line offers highly personalized and highly customized travel.
The Silversea guest wants to be engaged while travelling. It’s all about choice. Silversea now has 7 ships with the numbers onboard ranging from 100 guests to 540 guests. There are different dining venues, etc. And guests can even choose to personalize their voyage too (you don’t have to purchase 7 day, or a back-to-back – you can join mid-voyage or pick 10 days to suit, working with your travel advisor and the Silversea team to deliver the appropriate experience for you.)
Service is key onboard Silversea. Exceptional. Unobtrusive. It is about having your shoes shined, without you asking. It is about the waiter at the pool running down to main dining room to get your favourite pistachio ice cream for you when it’s not available at the pool.
Silversea also stands out because they have butlers for everyone, regardless of the suite category. The butlers give personal attention, and they are trained to anticipate your needs. Butlers assist with room service, restaurant recommendations, liaise with shore team, pack and unpack, polish your shoes, clean your glasses, clean luggage, completes laundry list. (On the training call, the rep told her story of getting tea and cookies each day at 4. One day, she saw her butler elsewhere on the ship, and said “don’t worry about today, I won’t be back until after 5.” When she got in her room at 5, hot tea greeted her, along with a note “just in case.”)
Silversea has a higher average guest space ratio too. Their 66.84 is the highest of the luxury cruise ships. Everything about the ship says luxury – from the ship, its decor, linens, bathroom amenities, its partnership with relais & chateaux for l’ecole de chef (attend a workshop, shop with the chef, prepare a meal together – its Silversea’s version of “Iron Chef.”) Silversea is also affiliated with the Slow Food organization. Its “La Terrazza” restaurant features it. This organization focuses on good food and food consumption – everything should taste good, be healthy, and be produced in a way that doesn’t harm the world. Silversea is a good neighbour to the environment
But everything is about destination, destination, destination too. Luxury guests want the bragging rights of being to a new spot, and the access to things they cannot get on their own, and Virtuoso travel advisors such as myself can deliver. With 7 ships, Silversea is able to cover the world year-round. They are continuing to offer new destinations, in hand with the older ones too. 2013 had 32 new ports added, with a lot of overnight stays too. In 2014, there will be 95 new ports – most of those in the expedition sailings (with year-round sailings to the Galapagos, Russia far east, Northwest passage, Japan, South Pacific and French Polynesia. And the smaller ships gets you to spots the larger ships cannot reach – like being able to sail under the Tower Bridge in London during the Olympics.)
Silversea offers the only true luxury expedition product, and they also partner with The Royal Geographical Society. They offer back-to-back cruises without repeating ports. And they have expert destination consultants, with renown guest lecturers (and feature sailings with themes- e.g., wine and culinary voyages, or dedicated bridge sailings).
And Silversea offers silver shore couture (guests don’t want to be on a large motor coach – so they are offered unregimented, and unhampered experiences – such as in Dubai, dinner with a sheik; in Israel, dinner with a rabbi; or in Italy, Italian cooking with countess.). They offer wheelchair accessible tours, and we can call the concierge to arrange something special. They also have a “good citizen” initiative with a focus on sustainable travel, animal protection protocol, and delivering supplies for local schools. Overland trips are also possible midway thru some journeys (e.g., the Gorah elephant camp in South Africa).
Another really unique feature is that Silversea offers unbundled “cruise only” fares. Clients can buy with confidence, and buy early with their fare guarantee. So that if Silversea reprices, they will reimburse the client in form of obc, or an upgrade if possible, and they have an anti-rebating policy. I can assure you this is not commonplace in the market.
The main thing to remember with Silversea is that the price is so worth it! Let’s look at your next cruise, and consider Silversea. After all, aren’t you worth a little pampering?
Remember: The bitterness of low quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price!
And… Silversea also favours the single passenger. Watch this interview I did with Margarita Peloso of Cruise Strategies.
And then call me to book your next cruise on Silversea!