Since its inception in the early 90s, Silversea Cruises has been recognised as the gold standard in luxury cruising, acclaimed both for its legendary European lifestyle and global reach of destinations. The cruise line was the brainchild of Antonio Lefebvre d’Ovidio, a respected Italian jurist and maritime law professor. His idea was to create a new class of elite vessels designed with more space for fewer guests and with the highest levels of personalised service. Lefebvre’s maritime background led to his involvement in shipping and eventually the cruise industry.
In 1988, Antonio Lefebvre purchased the majority of Sitmar Cruises, merging it with P&O's Princess Cruises a year later, and in 1994 founded Silversea Cruises with two ships purpose-built for the line. His son Manfredi Lefebvre, who had been involved in the family's businesses from an early age, managed Silversea’s ship operations and became chairman of Silversea Cruises in 2001. Under his chairmanship the company was expanded from a 4 vessel company to an eight- (and soon nine-) ship fleet. Manfredi Lefebvre is a well-respected businessman active in many different fields, but travel has always been his primary passion, both on a personal as well as on a professional level. Thanks to the Lefebvre family’s commitment, Silversea Cruises is one of the last cruise companies still privately owned. In addition to his role at Silversea Mr. Lefebvre is a member of the World Economic Forum, is Vice-Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council and is a member of the Executive Committee of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). In 2007, he received the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint Charles and Grimaldi from Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Mr Lefebvre has been a resident of the Principality of Monaco for 25 years.
With the debut of luxury cruise ship Silver Explorer in 2008, Silversea introduced expedition cruising — Silversea style, adding yet another unique niche in the luxury cruise market. Now more intrepid travellers could experience adventurous voyages to the most remote regions of the planet while enjoying Silversea’s brand of signature distinctions, including ocean-view suites, a superb culinary experience, and an incomparable level of service with a crew to guest ratio of nearly one to one. In 2017 came the incredible transformation of Silversea’s first oceangoing ship Silver Cloud into becoming an ice-class vessel, allowing even more guests to travel pole to pole in superlative style. Along with both polar extremes, Silversea’s four expedition ships sail to the islands of Oceania, Southeast Asia, the Russian Far East, Australia’s remote Kimberley Coast, Central and South America (including the Galápagos Islands), and the exotic western coast of Africa.
Silver Muse’s addition to the fleet in 2017 brought the total number of ships to nine, and with the ground-breaking lengthening of Silver Spirit in 2018, now up to 608 guests can travel in ultra-luxury along almost every coast of the planet. Silversea is also looking forward to the launch of two new ultra-luxury ships: Silver Moon is due to join the fleet in 2020, and Silver Dawn is scheduled to be delivered in late 2021. Both will be sister ships to flagship Silver Muse, maintaining the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodation.
2018 saw the exciting partnership with Royal Caribbean, with RCL acquiring two-thirds of Silversea. The strength and expertise of Royal Caribbean’s portfolio coupled with Silversea’s strive for excellence aboard means superlative sailing for guests, across all four corners of the globe. “This partnership enables us to realise our vision of being the uncontested leader in ultra-luxury cruising and expedition, taking our guests to more than 900 destinations aboard some of the world’s most luxurious vessels.” Says Lefebvre of the partnership.
Today, Silversea Cruises operates a global portfolio of itineraries to all seven continents and over 900 destinations worldwide. The cruise line’s headquarters are based in Monaco, and the company maintains branch offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio was born in Rome in 1953, the son of the renowned entrepreneur and lawmaker Antonio Lefebvre de Clunieres di Balsorano. Lefebvre started his career working in family companies but moved swiftly to build his own companies. In 2001, he took control of Silversea Cruises, a family company and global leader in luxury cruising and became Executive Chairman. He transformed Silversea from a cruise line with three vessels to the market leader with 9 ships cruising to over 900 destinations worldwide. The fleet continues to expand and is currently building its tenth ship, Silver Moon, with four more in the pipeline. Further, he expanded the product range of the company by adding the Expedition fleet, quickly becoming leader in luxury expedition cruising as well. The expedition fleet is able to reach unique, remote destinations including the Galápagos Islands, Antarctica and the Arctic.
Mr. Lefebvre is a recognised leader of the global cruise Industry and has held key roles in CLIA, including European Chairman, Member of the Global Executive Committee, and Chairman from 2007-2013.
Roberto Martinoli is the CEO of Silversea, having been a member of the Board of Directors since 2013. Before joining Silversea, Martinoli was the Chairman and CEO of Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), a leading Ferry Company in the western Mediterranean.
He currently retains his position of Chairman at Grandi Navi Veloci. Prior to this, he was President and COO of Norwegian Cruise Line (2009-2010) as well as Advisor to Apollo Management (2008 – 2009). Martinoli served as EVP Operations at Carnival Cruise Lines (2000 – 2008) and SVP at Costa Crociere (1997 – 2000).
He also owned and operated Martinoli SAM (1976 – 1997), a ship management and consulting company. Martinoli holds a master's degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Genoa and attended an Executive Advanced Program at Kellogg Northwestern University, Illinois in 2006. He currently sits on the Boards of Directors, is a Member of the Executive Committee of Confitarma, Rome.