Fodor’s Expert Review
Silversea’s latest acquisition for expedition cruising, Silver Discoverer seeks out seldom-visited regions from Alaska and Russia to the South Seas and Australia for voyages of true discovery. Once again, Silversea departed from their usual custom of building brand-new ships from the keel up and added this older expedition vessel to the fleet in 2014. Fully transformed for luxury soft-adventure cruises, Silver Discoverer is ideally suited for sailing in the regions it covers. With a shallow draft, the ship can follow close to shorelines and reach remote coves where big ships cannot go. The understated decor is highlighted by inspiring photos of landscapes, rare birds, and tribal peoples, many of which are the works of Expedition Team members.Read More
Zodiacs whisk guests and guides on adventurous excursions that are included in the fare. Each evening guests attend a briefing about plans for the next day, including what the excursion will entail and even the weather forecast. You should be realistic about your physical condition and abilities when booking a cruise like this, but the Expedition Team members are on hand to help you determine if you are capable of a hike over rocky terrain or a lengthy Zodiac ride that can be hours long. Onboard, intriguing lectures are presented by noted historians, and scientific theories are examined by geologists and biologists. Guided field studies are led by eminent ornithologists and naturalists. The ship’s library shelves contain current best sellers and volumes devoted to travel throughout the regions the ship visits. Outside, life revolves around the pool deck and partially covered sundeck, which are ideal spots to relax while viewing the scenery.
Silversea’s smallest ship, Silver Discoverer, is an expedition vessel that is dispatched to explore the more inaccessible locations in such destinations as the Galápagos, Alaska, and the South Pacific. The yachtlike vessel has a shallow draft and carries a dozen inflatable Zodiac landing craft. While cabins have the same style as those on a full-size Silversea ship, they are generally smaller, and fewer have balconies. Given the ship’s size, there are fewer dining options.
In 2018 Royal Caribbean International purchased a large stake in Silversea Cruises, adding a new luxury option to their portfolio. Intimate ships with spacious suites, exclusive amenities, and unparalleled hospitality are the hallmarks of the line. Every suite is assigned a butler, so you can expect even the most unusual requests to be fulfilled. In addition, your all-inclusive air-and-sea fares can be customized to include not just round-trip airfare but all transfers, porterage, and deluxe pre-cruise accommodations as well.
Personalization is a Silversea maxim. Their ships offer more activities than other comparably sized luxury vessels. Take part in those that interest you, or opt instead for a good book and any number of quiet spots to read or snooze in the shade.
Silversea’s third generation of ships introduced even more luxurious features when the 36,000-ton Silver Spirit launched late in 2010 and the 40,700-ton Silver Muse entered service in 2017. Silversea’s fleet of exploration ships are the top choice for luxurious soft adventure expedition cruising, includingSilver Galapagos that sails exclusively in the Galápagos Islands.
- 5 passenger decks
- dining room
- Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator
- gym, spa
- 2 bars
- laundry service
- no kids under 1, no-smoking cabins
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
What to expect on board
Staterooms & Cabins
Champagne on ice awaits in all suites upon arrival, and your refrigerator and bar are stocked with your preferences and replenished as requested. To complete the luxury appointments are a selection of European-designer bath amenities from which to choose, down duvets, fine bed and bath linens, premium mattresses, a selection from a pillow menu, personalized stationery, a flat-screen TV with on-demand movies and satellite news programming, a combination radio/alarm clock with a docking station, hair dryer, and plush slippers and robe. Beds are twins that can be combined to form a queen with storage drawers beneath them. In addition to daily service and nightly turndown, butlers are on hand to assist guests in all five accommodations categories.
All suites are decorated in soothing neutral tones but are on the small side when compared with the other luxury ships in the Silversea fleet. Only Medallion and Veranda suites have balconies, and they measure 27 and 35 square feet respectively. All accommodations have a sitting area with a writing desk, but only the Medallion suite is an actual two-room suite with a bedroom separate from the living room and an additional TV. The sitting area in four of the Veranda suites has a sofa bed to accommodate a third guest, who must be age 14 or under. All marble bathrooms feature a walk-in shower. Explorer suites have two portholes, while View and Vista suites feature picture windows.
There are no accommodations designed for wheelchair accessibility.
Food & Drink
The Restaurant, which is the main dining room, is only in service for dinner; all meals are open seating, which allows you to dine when you please and with whom you wish. Menus feature international classical and modern cuisine along with dishes prepared from locally sourced ingredients and accompanied by wine to complement the meal. Vegetarian, low-calorie, and low-carb options are available upon request. Breakfast and lunch buffets, afternoon tea, and snacks are served in the Discoverer Lounge, where a self-service coffee, tea, and juice bar is always available. Located poolside, The Grill serves light breakfast and lunch selections and is transformed in the evening into the Hot Rock dining spot, where you can grill your own fresh seafood and steaks on heated volcanic plates. Room service is available from 6 am until 11 pm.
As on other expedition vessels, formal entertainment on Silver Discoverer is limited to a pianist who plays in the Explorer Lounge before and after dinner. With its expansive views, the lounge also serves as the venue for daily briefings and recaps by the Expedition Team, lectures, and social gatherings.
Spa & Fitness
The small spa has one treatment room and offers a limited range of massages.