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Silver Explorer

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.

In 2017, Silver Explorer underwent a refurbishment that dramatically altered the decor and color scheme onboard. All suites and public rooms were updated with brighter tones of white, grey and blue, and some venues were renamed in order to better align them to the recently-launched Silver Muse.

In addition, the ship’s Fitness Center was dramatically expanded, and the Boutique was moved up one deck to reside in the space formerly occupied by the internet center and library. The library was relocated to the forward observation lounge on Deck 6, which has been renamed Tor’s Observation Lounge.

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.

Silver Explorer’s refitted forward viewpoint, Tor’s Observation Lounge. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises

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.

The Panorama Lounge, as seen after Silver Explorer’s 2017 refit. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises

Other public rooms include  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 recently-expanded 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.

Daily briefings are held in the Explorer’s Lounge. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises

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.

The Restaurant, 2017. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises

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.

As part of Silver Explorer’s 2017 refit, The Grill was given a new awning. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises

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.

Silver Explorer features two Jacuzzis on the Pool Deck.
Two levels of deck for sunbathers. There’s also a walk-around promenade for those who prefer to exercise outside.
There’s no competition for deck chairs for those who want to enjoy the sun.
Silver Explorer features a sauna and steamroom.
Spa treatments, and salon services, are available on Silver Explorer.
Just like on its big sisters, Silver Explorer offers afternoon tea in the Panorama Lounge.
Smallish, but well-equipped, the Fitiness Center on Silver Explorer.
Silver Explorer’s boutique offers a broad selection of goods, from logo wear to various sundries.
Silver Explorer’s bridge is nearly always open for visitors.
On the bridge, Captain Alexander Golubev, master of m/s Silver Explorer
Brandy and a good cigar? The Humidor is situated next to the Panorama Lounge.
A comfortable retreat for cigar aficionados, The Humidor.
Situated aft with windows all around, The Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As on other Silversea vessels, wine (and other beverages) are offered on a complimentary basis on Silver Explorer.
The Avid Cruiser, a Silver Explorer

Read about cruising Antarctica on Silver Explorer

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Silversea Cruises Reviews

To 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.
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Silver Explorer Review• Antarctica
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• Arctic
• British Isles
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• Australia's Kimberley Coast
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Silver Muse Review• Keel Laying

Avid Cruiser Posts Featuring Silver Explorer:

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  • we cruised on the Silver Explorer this past spring….it was awful. Tasteless food, poor menu selections, boring excursions and a crummy suite with no reading lights. Thankfully, the A/C worked well and our Butler and Room Attendant were terrific. We will not be cruising with SilverSea again, that’s for sure. And when we wrote to them, they never answered our letter. Boy, that’s rude.

  • We spend 70% of our year travelling very often on Silver Seas and it’s. competitors. Silver Explorer is my favourite for the fun, wild life and the extraordinary expedition teams. I have never been bored on the multitude of trips we have done and find there are always interesting fellow passengers. The food has been a little up and down but in the past year has been excellent. Cannot understand the lack of reading lights, never had this problem and I am an avid reader. Perhaps the large liners would suit you better like the Queen Mary.


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