Editor's Note: Silver Discoverer will sail its final cruise in July 2019; the ship has been purchased by CroisiEurope and will operate as the line's second oceangoing ship under the new name, La Belle Des Oceans, beginning in October 2019.
Silver Discoverer is Silversea Expeditions' third expedition vessel, joining Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos. It's also the eighth ship in the Silversea fleet. In March 2014, just before its official naming in Singapore, the former Zeagrahm Expeditions-operated Clipper Odyssey underwent extensive refurbishments to bring it in line with its beautifully appointed Silversea fleetmates.
The intent for the passengers staying in one of the five categories of suites is to combine the line's reputation for luxury with voyages to remote destinations. The ship's small size and shallow draft allow up-close exploration of rugged coastlines, islands and archipelagos -- like Australia's vast Kimberley area in the northwest; the culturally diverse islands of Borneo, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia; the Russian Far East; and New Zealand's sub-Antarctic islands -- that are inaccessible to bigger ships.
With a maximum of 120 passengers, the ship is small but offers enough public space to give it a spacious feel. The decor throughout the ship is understated, and the walls are hung with inspirational photographs of rare birds, animals, landscapes and tribal peoples -- many of them taken by members of the expedition teams. The pool deck (complete with pool, bar and grill) is a major bonus on a ship that travels extensively in warm-climate regions. No other expedition ship operating in the Asia-Pacific region has an onboard pool.
As many of the destinations offer superb diving and snorkeling, the ship is equipped with some scuba gear (weight belts and tanks), masks, fins and snorkels, as well as a glass-bottom boat for those who don't wish to go under water. The expedition team members are experienced snorkelers, and some are qualified scuba masters. Passengers have to be fully certified advanced-level divers to participate in dives.
Silversea Expeditions partners with the Royal Geographic Society, and expedition teams are made up of 11 experts whose specialized knowledge adds another dimension to each voyage. These experts lead tours, drive the ship's Zodiacs, and give lectures and briefings on destinations visited: "Travel, not tourism" is the company's focus.
Passengers are well traveled, well heeled couples and singles who range in age from late 30s to 70s. They need to be fit enough to climb in and out of Zodiacs, snorkel and take sometimes challenging hikes. They are interested in understanding more about remote regions and tribal people and consider themselves travelers, rather than tourists. About 50 percent of passengers are expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region (the rest from the U.S. and Europe). About 90 percent of Kimberley cruises will be filled with Australians.
There are no formal nights, and casual resort/country club attire is the norm onboard and ashore during the day. Shoes should be flat or low-heeled for deck activities. On casual evenings, open-neck shirts, trousers and casual footwear are acceptable.
Eveningwear is also casual with the exception of the Captain's Welmce Aboard and Farewell dinners, when jackets are recommended for men; women typically wear dresses or pantsuits.
The region passengers are visiting will affect what they pack; layers are recommended to keep warm and dry. Passengers can order expedition gear appropriate to the regions they are visiting online from silversea.com/gearshop.
The 382-passenger Silver Shadow delivers a fine balance of onboard service and outstanding shore experiences.
Luxury cruise ship with suite accommodation for 382 passengers; onboard attractions include four restaurants, fitness centre, swimming pool, library, casino, beauty salon and internet cafe.
Expedition cruising with a posh twist from butler service to gourmet cuisine and five-star service; daily included excursions feature hikes, Zodiac sightseeing and museum visits.
With excellent cuisine, intuitive service, inclusive fares and butlers for all, this 540-person luxury ship sports an Art Deco design and an adults-only vibe.
The newest, and largest, ship in the Silversea fleet, Silver Muse effortlessly ticks the ultra-luxury box with sumptuous suites, high-end hotel-style fittings, fine dining and personalized service.
A twin to Silver Muse, this 596-passenger ship will offer multiple restaurants and lounges, inclusive fares and all-balcony suites with butlers when it debuts in 2020.
The ultimate luxury expedition ship, this 254-passenger vessel offers all-suite rooms with butlers, five upscale restaurants, an outdoor heated pool, spa and photo studio.
The 596-passenger Silver Dawn will be the third luxury ship in Silversea's Muse Class, featuring multiple restaurants (but no main dining room) and all-suite, all-balcony cabins.
The first purpose-built ship in the Galapagos for luxury line Silversea, all-new Silver Origin will replace the line's existing 1990-built Silver Galapagos when it enters service in summer 2020. Carrying 100 passengers and a fully qualified expedition staff, Silver Origin will introduce several new concepts for Silversea, including the onboard edutainment hub known as "Basecamp."