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Backgrounders

Silversea is a luxury 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 for its all inclusive cruises. 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.

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.

RELAIS & CHÂTEAUX

Silversea’s cuisine is a celebration not just of hospitality, service, convivial friends and the luxury of open-seating dining, it is unquestionably the fine art of flavour. Menu items are carefully chosen to complement one another effortlessly and feature the gentle touch of Relais & Châteaux, an exclusive collection of 500 of the finest hotels and gourmet restaurants in 60 countries. Relais & Châteaux is also a family of hoteliers and Grands Chefs from all over the world who share a passion for and a personal commitment to ensuring their guests are privy to moments of exceptional harmony.

As Silversea’s preferred culinary partner, Relais & Châteaux has collaborated on an exclusive collection of inspired dishes, culinary-themed cruises, a specialty wine restaurant, and customised land programmes, all designed to provide a more enriching and flavourful travel experience for today’s luxury traveller.

La Collection du Monde
A highlight of the partnership is La Collection du Monde, the exclusive signature dishes presented in partnership with Relais & Châteaux that are not available on any other ship. Years of epicurean experience is brought to the table with items such as roasted wild boar with porcini mushrooms; breast of pigeon slow-cooked with foie gras and truffle shavings; and baby turbot cooked in Madras curry and coconut milk with fresh coriander, to name a few.

Culinary Arts Voyages
Guests can join the Grands Chefs of Relais & Châteaux, embodying the finest gastronomic traditions, for entertaining demonstrations, lectures and a grand gourmet dinner. On each culinary sailing, the distinguished guest chefs display their epicurean artistry during informative and entertaining cooking demonstrations.

The Culinary Arts enrichment voyages also feature escorted provisioning trips to international markets (when the itinerary permits), food and wine pairings, creative regional dishes, and a five-course grand gourmet dinner. Throughout these special voyages, the featured guest chef and Silversea’s executive chef are on hand to share their culinary expertise and answer any questions.

Le Champagne by Relais & Châteaux
The only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea can be found aboard the ships of Silversea. Indulge in an evening of seasonally and regionally inspired dishes, featuring the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and finest artisan products available. This specialty restaurant fosters a cosy ambience perfectly suited for private dinner parties.

L’Ecole des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux
Launched in 2010, the “L’Ecole des Chefs by Relais & Châteaux” interactive cooking school offers guests on designated voyages a special culinary curriculum and entertaining events hosted by Silversea executive chef David Bilsland. Educated in classic French cooking, Bilsland’s career includes several years as a chef instructor at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in London. He presents a programme developed in collaboration with Jacques Thorel, a consulting Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

Every day Silversea ships navigate the world’s oceans to connect people with distant lands and cultures. Along the way, we hope our guests make new friends and collect memories of unique experiences and spectacular sceneries that will promote a deeper understanding of our planet.

As a global corporate citizen, we recognise the importance of supporting communities and protecting the earth’s natural and cultural treasures.

By working with like-minded tour operators, we strive to offer a variety of optional shore experiences that educate and promote interest in the welfare of local cultures and indigenous species. For instance, our guests can visit and learn about endangered animals in their natural habitats, such as Alaska’s brown bears at the Fortress of the Bear rescue centre for orphaned cubs in Sitka, and Madagascar’s black lemurs at their sanctuary on the island of Nosy Komba.

With a profound appreciation of our special dependence on the health of the world’s seas, we are devoted to ensuring the safe operation of our vessels, maintaining full compliance with international environmental regulations, and developing plans for preventing pollution.

Some of the steps we take include:

  • Employing latest diesel-electric propulsion design on Silver Spirit th

at will allow much of the engine power to shut down when power demand is less, reducing fuel usage and air emissions;

  • Equipping Silver Spirit, Silver Whisper and Silver Shadow with state-of-the-art navigation systems that feature a speed pilot mechanism for automatic optimal control of speed in varying sea conditions, thereby achieving greater fuel conservation;
  • Maximising the use of LED illumination on Silver Spirit to reduce energy consumption;
  • Using TBT-free, non-toxic hull coatings, such as silicone-based paints, to lessen frictional resistance and reduce fuel usage and emissions;
  • Implementing a stringent waste management plan on all ships with crew members specially trained and responsible for sorting, processing, storing, recycling and disposing of rubbish;
  • Using environmentally friendly cleaning products on all ships;
  • Placing “Conserve Water and Energy” instruction cards in all suites enabling guests to notify their suite attendant when bed linens and towels need to be replaced, reducing the need for daily washings;
  • Encouraging guests to keep their veranda doors closed to conserve energy;
  • Providing waste bins on open decks and informing guests of our strict policy against throwing any rubbish overboard;
  • Donating unneeded beds, furniture and linens to charitable organisations to avoid creating more waste, while also extending a helping hand to those in need.

Silversea Cruises has received Port Metro Vancouver’s Blue Circle Award three times (2012, 2010 & 2009) for efforts to reduce air emissions.

Moreover, Silversea is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic. The company has also joined the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). This important organisation promotes and practises safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica.

And Silversea is a member of the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA), which works to preserve and protect the Galápagos Islands by promoting responsible, well-regulated, low-impact travel in the archipelago and by supporting critical conservation initiatives and scientific research there.

But we also take our social responsibility further by partnering with groups that share our commitment to serving the public good. Through a variety of joint programmes and fundraising efforts, we’re proud to support the following organisations:

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