Silver Explorer Ship Review
Built in 1989 as World Discoverer II of now-defunct Society Expeditions, this 6,072-ton, 132-guest vessel was acquired by Silversea in 2007 and put through a multi-million-dollar renovation and upgrade before emerging in 2008 as the luxurious Prince Albert II. Silversea changed her name to Silver Explorer in April 2011.
A real expedition ship with a Lloyd’s Register 1A ice-rated hull, Silver Explorer is also a first-class luxury vessel offering all the finesse and good taste for which Silversea is known. Sailing Antarctic expeditions November through March and Arctic expeditions June through August, with a series of repositioning legs through Central/South America and Europe/Africa in between, the vessel is the top choice for those who wish to visit geographic extremes without sacrificing one iota of comfort.
Like all real expedition vessels, Silver Explorer is outfitted to give its passengers an up-close view into the world outside. Zodiac landing boats are employed to ferry passengers ashore and take them out for closer views of wildlife and geographic features, and all such off-vessel trips are accompanied by members of the typically six-person expedition team, comprised of naturalists, geologists, biologists, historians, ornithologists, and the like. Team members also present numerous onboard lectures, along with a daily evening debrief and preview of the next day’s activities. Cabins are outfitted with binoculars for nature- and wildlife viewing from on board, and there’s a high-powered telescope in the Observation Lounge if you need to focus in closer.
Lectures and other onboard activities (which might include slideshows and other destination-specific activities, or completely unrelated ones like cooking demos, wine tastings, afternoon teas, dancing, etc.) are presented in three public rooms: the Observation Lounge on Deck 6, which provides great views forward over the bow; the Panorama Lounge on Deck 5, with views over the stern; and the Theatre, which provides no views at all save what’s on stage.
Other public rooms include a library/Internet center stocked with books on the ship’s destinations; the woody, inviting Connoisseur’s Corner for relaxing with a cognac and/or cigar; and a changing room where you can doff your boots and expedition togs and slip into something more comfortable. The Bridge is also a de-facto public room, open for visits and chats with the captain and crew.
For physical culture, Silver Explorer has several options: a tiny, cabin-size fitness center on Deck 4, stocked with a treadmill, bike, elliptical trainer, weight machine, and dumbbells; a single treatment room for massages and other spa treatments; sauna and steam rooms; a tiny beauty salon; and two on-deck hot tubs.
All three meals are served on fine china in the ship’s elegant, window-rimmed dining room, The Restaurant. Breakfasts and lunch are buffet-style, though you can also order from a waiter if you choose.
Dinner, as aboard Silversea’s more traditional cruise ships, is a sumptuous feast with multiple courses served by skilled waitstaff. Menus feature signature dishes created for Silversea by the chefs of Relais & Châteaux; complementary wine flows freely; and expedition team members dine with passengers, providing a nice kick to the dinner conversation.
Other dining options include a continental breakfast in the Observation Lounge; lunch at the outdoor grill; and room service, which gives you the option of having a full lunch or dinner served course-by-course in your stateroom (during Restaurant hours) or ordering off the regular room-service menu.
Accommodations on Silver Explorer range from the smallish, 154- to 163-square-foot Adventurer Class staterooms (with two portholes for views) to the 675-square-foot Grand Suites, the latter with forward-facing views, a teak veranda, separate bedroom and living room, and marble bathroom. The vast majority of staterooms aboard are View, Vista, and Veranda staterooms, all virtually identical at 230 square feet, with the only difference being the presence or absence of a private balcony. All accommodations on board come with butler service, a bar setup stocked with your preferences, wifi access, European bath amenities, fine linens and down duvets, and a choice of nine types of pillows.
Read about cruising Antarctica on Silver Explorer
- Day 1 – Arriving At The End Of The World: Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 2 – Sailing The Dreaded Drake
- Day 3 – Today, A Big Surprise
- Day 4 — Destination: Mainland Antarctica, It Only Gets Better
- Day 5 – Brilliant Sunlight, Beautiful Bay, Awesome Antarctica
- Day 6 – The Polar Plunge & Vodka At A Remote Outpost
- Day 7 – Change Of Plans: Ice-Choked Channel Causes Us To Miss Port Lockroy, But …
- Day 8 – Visiting A Volcano & A Rough Ride Ahead?
- Day 9 – Drake Passage Redux: Calm Before The Storm?
- Day 10 – The Race To Beat The Storm Through The Drake Passage
- Day 11 – Back In Ushuaia, End Of A Voyage & Our Recap
Silversea Cruises ReviewsTo read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
Avid Cruiser Posts Featuring Silver Explorer:
- A Decade On, Silversea’s Luxury Expedition Cruises Continue To Expand
- Alaska By Small Ship
- South African Cruise Q&A
- My Favorite Ocean Cruises of 2015, Part I
- Silversea Introduces Early Booking Bonus Promotion
- Video: A Father & Son In Greenland On Silver Explorer
- Silversea’s Silver Cloud to Join Expedition Fleet in 2017
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Wrapping Up
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 7, A Surprise, And Then Something Amazing Happened
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 6, Ilulissat & Icebergs
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 5, Coming Ashore In Saqqaq & A Tour Of Our Suite
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 4, Qilakitsoq & Uummannaq, Mummies & A Rigorous Hike
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 3, Qeqertarsuaq & A Teen’s Hike To The Waterfalls
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 2, Sisimiut, Sled Dogs & Room Service
- Silver Explorer: Greenland, Day 1, Boarding In Kangerlussuaq
- Next Up, On Crystal Symphony With The President & Exploring Greenland With Silversea
- Silver Explorer: Luxury Expedition Cruising Pioneer
- Recapping Our Arctic Adventure Aboard Silversea’s Silver Explorer
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 12: The Upside of Delays
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 11: Stuck in Longyearbyen
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 10: Ny London
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 9: Polar Bear Hunting
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 8: Fakesvagen, Svalbard
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 7: Torellneset, Svalbard
- In Progress, Live Voyage Report: Exploring Svalbard On Silver Explorer
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 6: The Polar Ice Cap
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 5: Magdalenafjorden
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 3: Bear Island
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 2: Sailing the Norwegian Sea
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 1: Tromso, Norway
- Silver Explorer Arctic Adventure, Day 0: Oslo, Norway
- No Excuse To Stay Home: Silversea To Roll Out Free Wi-Fi, Plus Extra Amenities For Asia Cruises
- Join Me On A Silversea Voyage To Greenland On Silver Explorer
- A Memorable Barge Experience, Plus Reports From Our Voyages, Past, Present & Future
- Silversea Launches New Silver Select Program
- Silversea’s New Collection Of Specialty Expedition Cruises
- Silver Discoverer Day 1 – Boarding In Nome To Cruise Russia’s Far East
- Watch 30 Seconds & You’ll Be Hooked: Our Video, ‘Epic’ Antarctica On Silver Explorer
- The Cuban Missive Crisis, Big Ships, & Defining ‘The Seabourn Difference’ — In Video
- Final Posts On Antarctica: Summing Up The Trip Of A Lifetime & Why You Should Go
- Five Reasons To Cruise Antarctica On Silver Explorer
- Avid Cruiser Voyages: Expedition Antarctica
- Recap Of An Antarctic Adventure & Four Reasons To Consider An Antarctic Cruise
- On Live Voyage Reports: The Race To Beat The Storm Through The Drake Passage
- On Live Voyage Reports: Drake Passage Redux: Calm Before The Storm?
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 8 – Visiting A Volcano & A Rough Ride Ahead?
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 7 – Ice-Choked Channel Causes Us To Miss Port Lockroy, But …
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 6 – The Polar Plunge & Vodka At A Remote Outpost
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 5 – Brilliant Sunlight, Beautiful Bay, Awesome Antarctica
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 4 — Destination: Mainland Antarctica, It Only Gets Better
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 3 – Today, A Big Surprise
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 2 – Sailing The Dreaded Drake
- On Live Voyage Reports: Day 1 – Arriving At The End Of The World: Ushuaia, Argentina
- I’m Off To Antarctica, But First A Stop At The Christmas Markets In Germany On A-ROSA
- Penguinology 101: Preparing For A Voyage To Antarctica
- Antarctica On Silver Explorer
- Something New, Live Voyage Reports Launches This Week
- Featherweights: Best Small Ships Carrying 600 Or Fewer Passengers
- Is Silversea Becoming An Expedition Company? Plus Windstar’s New Tack & Designed In 2008? Regent’s New Ship
- Updated: Our Luxury Cruise Reviews
- An Avid Cruiser Favorite: Luxury Expedition Cruising On Silver Explorer
- Toward Further Enrichment: Silversea Partners With Royal Geographic Society
- The Avid Cruiser’s Top 5 Arctic Cruises
- Avid Cruiser Video Sunday Featuring Silversea Cruises: Silver Explorer Ship Review
- Silversea Vision: An Interview with Ellen Bettridge, President of the Americas
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- New On Avid Cruiser: CruiseBuzz, Photography Tips, Our Team Of Intrepid Travelers & A Few Thoughts About Quirky Sweden
- Avid Cruisers Here, There, Everywhere: What Are Your Summer Plans?
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- Silversea Opens The Books On 2013 & Offers Savings For 2012 Sailings
- UPDATED Video Ship TOUR! Silver Explorer, Explored
- Summing Up Silver Explorer: On Zodiacs, Adventures Ashore & Opportunities For You To Experience An Expedition, Silversea Style
- Silver Explorer Shows Us Cartagena & The San Blas Islands
- 24 Photos: Exploring Silver Explorer
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- Cruising Europe 2010