Silversea is a cruise company reflecting generations of maritime and travel experience. In the early 1990s, the Lefebvre family of Rome, former owners of Sitmar Cruises, conceived and organised a unique cruise company pledging to build and operate the highest quality ships in the ultra-luxury segment. The name "Silversea" was chosen because it connotes quality and luxury as well as capturing the romance and special sensations of the sea.
Silversea launched its first ship, Silver Cloud in 1994, followed by Silver Wind in 1995, Silver Shadow in 2000, and Silver Whisper in 2001. The fleet was purpose-built for the ultra-luxury market, establishing a new class of smaller, intimate vessels that could slip into more exotic ports off the beaten path. These elite vessels were specifically designed for fewer guests, more space and the highest levels of personalised service, delivered by mainly Italian and other European officers overseeing an international staff.
The company's first expedition ship, Silver Explorer (formerly Prince Albert II), debuted in June 2008, heralding the beginning of a new mode in exploration cruising -- where an ultra-luxurious ambience is just as important as an exotic and enriching itinerary.
In December 2009, Silversea took delivery of its newest ultra-luxury vessel, Silver Spirit. At 36,000 tons, and accommodating just 540 guests, this intimate ship has the largest suites in the Silversea fleet -- with 95% featuring a private veranda -- and one of the highest space-to-guest ratios at sea today. The onboard decor lends a sophisticated 1930s Art Deco ambience to the public spaces, highlights of which include an indoor/outdoor spa measuring over 8,300 square feet (770 square metres), a resort-style pool, four whirlpools, and a choice of six dining venues including Seishin, showcasing Asian-fusion cuisine, and the innovative Stars Supper Club, offering trendsetting menus and all-night entertainment.
In June 2012, Silversea purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galápagos Islands, and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II. When the ship joins the company's current fleet of six ships in late September 2013, the all-suite, 100-guest vessel will have completed a major refurbishment and be renamed Silver Galapagos -- steps that will ensure consistency with the standards of the Silversea fleet.
Today, Silversea is recognised as the defining elite luxury experience and is regularly lauded by leading consumer and trade publications. In the US, Silversea has been voted "World's Best" by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (nine times) and Travel + Leisure (seven times), and awarded "Best Luxury Cruise Line" by CruiseReport.com (2012) and "Best Small Ship Cruise Line" by Global Traveler (2013).
Additionally, the line has won numerous international awards, including "Five Star Diamond Award" from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (2013); "Best Small Ship Cruise Line" in the Readers' Choice survey conducted by Britain's Condé Nast Traveller magazine (2012); "Best Luxury Cruise Line" by Australia's Cruise Passenger magazine (2012); "Best Small Luxury Cruise Line" by China's Travel + Leisure (2012); and "Best Luxury Cruise Company" according to the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association (2012).
Silversea caters to the cosmopolitan world traveller and maintains branch offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore. The company's headquarters are based in Monaco.