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Silversea Cruises Passes Muster at Home & Abroad

Russian President Vladimir Putin Honors Silver Whisper

Silver Whisper docked on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia

She's sleek and stylish and turns heads wherever she sails. Silversea Cruises' Silver Whisper is accustomed to attention. Some of the world's most prestigious organizations have praised her perfection and she recently passed a routine Vessel Sanitation Program inspection with flying colors, earning the highest possible score of 100 from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With accolades such as those, it stood to reason that when Russian President Vladimir Putin needed presidential-class accommodations and service to host visiting heads of state for celebrations marking the tricentennial of the founding of St. Petersburg, he would look to Silversea Cruises' fleet and hand-pick the Silver Whisper. Docked in Russia's cultural capital on the Neva River for three days in May 2003, the ultra-luxury, 382-guest ship hosted world leaders from the G8 countries, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

During the St. Petersburg festivities, Silver Whisper hosted a Russian state dinner for 46 presidents and prime ministers, plus another 46 ambassadors and ministers, arguably the largest number of heads of state ever gathered on a cruise ship. Months of preparation preceded the event, including on-site training of Silversea staff at the Kremlin. Weeks later when I sailed the Baltic on Silver Whisper, her staff and crew still basked in the reflected glow of world-wide attention and spoke in hushed tones about the preparations for the majestic Russian dinner party.

Dimitri Skarga (left) presents the award to Manfredi Lefebvre (right)

In recognition of the exceptional performance extended last spring during President Putin's private charter of Silver Whisper, Silversea Cruises Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre, and its Chief Executive Officer, Albert Peter, in addition to 22 other employees, were honored during a special awards ceremony held aboard Silversea's flagship, Silver Cloud, in Monte Carlo on April 2nd. 

On behalf of President Putin, Dimitry Skarga, President and Chief Executive of SOVCOMFLOT, the Russian state-owned shipping fleet, presented Silversea with the prestigious trophies, bearing the Russian state emblem.

"We are very gratified to receive this special recognition from President Putin," said Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's Chairman. "We knew that a project of this magnitude would present new challenges for us, but we also knew our team of outstanding professionals would ensure its success."

"This is a very special honor for Silversea," said Albert Peter, Silversea's Chief Executive Officer. "We are known for treating our guests like royalty and heads of state, so it was a special pleasure to actually have an entire ship's guest list comprised of global dignitaries. I know our staff truly went 'above and beyond' to accommodate the exceptional needs of President Putin and his distinguished roster of world leaders, and I'm very proud of their efforts."

It comes as no surprise to any past guest that Silversea Cruises sets the standard in hospitality by which all other cruise lines are rated.

Silversea Cruises is recognized as a luxury cruise innovator, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. For seven consecutive years, Silversea Cruises was named best small-ship line in the readers' survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Plus, Silversea was selected "Number One" small-ship line in Travel + Leisure  2003 World's Best Awards.

2004 will be an exciting year as Silversea Cruises celebrates its 10th anniversary. Look for upcoming announcements about gala events and special programs to celebrate the line's ten years of excellence. For more information on Silversea Cruises, please contact a travel agent. For a complimentary brochure, call toll-free (877) 215-9986 or visit their website at

Images Courtesy Silversea Cruises

Cruise Line Profile - Silversea Cruises

Fun Facts about Silver Whisper

Silver Whisper Baltic Cruise Diary

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