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Silver Explorer
Exploring in Silversea Style

by Linda Coffman

March 2008 Mention "Monaco" and most people probably remember American-born Princess Grace or envision a yacht-strewn harbor, the legendary Monte Carlo Casino, or well-dressed spectators sipping champagne while Grand Prix race cars whiz past. What they might not think of is its superb Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium, founded in 1910 by Prince Albert I.

Aside from being a world hub of wealth and indulgence, the Principality of Monaco has long been recognized as a leader in marine environment research. In addition to founding the museum, Prince Albert I, a pioneer in oceanographic science and exploration, first explored the Arctic's Svalbard archipelago in the early part of the last century. In an effort to add to the scientific body of work started by his ancestor, the principality's current ruler, Prince Albert II plotted a similar course during part of his 2006 journey to the North Pole. As a result, the Prince is the first incumbent head of state to have reached the northern most point on Earth.

It comes as no surprise that Silversea Cruises chose to name their latest vesselan exploration shipfor Prince Albert II of Monaco. Known worldwide for ultra luxurious cruises, Silversea's Prince Albert II, which has now been renamed Silver Explorer, will set an adventurous course on June 12, following a naming ceremony in Monte Carlo. Launching at the same time is the introduction of a new mode in exploration cruisingwhere a luxurious ambiance is just as important as the eye-opening educational experiences it will provide.

To ensure the 6,072-ton Lloyd's Register 1A ice-rated ship will deliver expedition cruise experiences consistent with Silversea's luxury standards, extensive rebuilding of the vessel includes exterior design modifications, state-of-the-art technological enhancements, and a comprehensive upgrade of all guest accommodations and public spaces.

Luxury Accommodations
A 413-sq ft Silver Suite
Verandah Suite at 215-sq ft

Silver Explorer carries just 132 guests in 66 ocean-view accommodations, many featuring private verandas or French balconies. With staterooms and suites offered in eleven categories ranging from almost 200 to 650 square feet, the ship provides some of the largest accommodations found on any expedition vessel. Eighteen suites that afford third passenger capacity feature more than 400 square feet. Six Silver Suites (at 430 square feet) can be combined with an adjacent Verandah Suite (215 square feet) to create two-bedroom 645 square feet suites, which sounds huge until you consider that the ship's two Owners Suites (540 square feet) can be combined with adjacent Medallion Suites (358 square feet) to total a whopping 898 square feet. All accommodations feature flat screen, interactive televisions with video options.

Luxurious Spaces

Guests will also enjoy many of the amenities found on Silversea's larger ships, such as an elegant single-seating main dining room, library with computers and Internet access, boutique, beauty salon, fitness center, and full-service spa. The ship also has lounges for enjoying drinks, music, and entertainment, including a cigar lounge like the Humidor on the line's other ships. The only thing missing is a swimming pool, although two Jacuzzi pools offer superior sea views from their stern-facing location.

Library, with computers and Internet Cafe

The Silver Explorer is also equipped with state-of-the-art satellite communication systems, providing bow-to-stern wireless Internet access, enabling guests with Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and PDAs to surf the Internet and check for email from the comfort of their suites as well as public areas. Cellular phone service allows guests to stay in touch using their own cell phones even when the ship is miles away from land.

In the ship's lounges, the latest audio-visual equipment, complete with high-definition video screens, displays live lectures hosted by the ship's world-class expedition and lecture staff as well as visiting destination experts.

Observation Lounge

A new fleet of eight, latest-model Zodiac boats with Yamaha four-stroke engines (for lowest possible emissions), enable Silver Explorer's guests to get up-close for exploration and access to some of the world's most remote landscapes.

With a crew to passenger ratio of nearly one-to-one, superlative service aboard Silver Explorer is assured. Complimentary perks include hosted adventures ashore, a parka (on polar voyages), and a backpack. Those extras are, naturally, in addition to what Silversea guests have come to expect, such as gratuities included in the fare, complimentary wines, champagnes, and spirits served throughout the ship, exquisite cuisine, and 24-hour room service.

A World of Discovery

Guests aboard Silversea's Silver Explorer will be inspired by the varied and constantly adapted itineraries that will make the most of the natural opportunities created by the landscapes around them. There is so much to explore that they can sail for up to 48 days on back-to-back voyages without repeating a Zodiac landing site. This is not soft adventure; this is full scale exploring from an ultra-luxury base at sea, in true Silversea style.

Additional Information:

Silversea Cruise Line Profile

Silversea Cruise Reviews

Computer-generated artist's renderings of Silver Explorer are courtesy of Silversea Cruises

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