Few words can adequately describe the feelings that came over me when I stepped aboard ultra-luxury line Silversea’s elegant and beautiful Silver Spirit in December 2010. It was like seeing colours for the first time; smelling a field of lavender; or being the first man to stand on the moon. In short, it was like rediscovering cruising all over again. The entire Silversea experience – from the initial documentation that arrived in a maroon leather folder nestled inside a silver box to the final heartfelt goodbyes of disembarkation – was breathtaking.
I recently had the privilege and extremely good fortune to sit down with Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s new President of the Americas, to talk about all things Silversea: what sets the company apart from its competitors; their acquisition of an expedition ship to serve the line in the Galapagos; destinations; social media, and more.
Most recently Vice President with the American Express Retail Travel Network in the United States, Bettridge spent the last two decades garnering both experience and accolades in her roles as a travel counsellor, account development executive, field performance manager, and director of account development services.
Even better, she was already a fan of Silversea when she was offered the job, having sailed aboard the Silver Cloud and Silver Spirit.
“I remember I was out in the sun and my butler came by and he said, ‘Ms. Ellen, I’m going to get your glasses.’ And he goes up and gets my glasses and he takes out [a lens cloth] and he cleans them right in front of me, and then he hands them to me. And it was so amazing,” said Bettridge of her last Silversea experience prior to starting with the line on April 9th.
I told her of a similar experience I had – having my shoes polished without even having to ask – and she concurred. After sailing with Silversea four times, my onboard experience has always been top-notch. But naturally, keeping that quality that sets Silversea apart requires a lot of hard work.
Read the rest of Aaron’s interview with Ellen Bettridge here.