If you haven’t yet made the jump to an ultra-luxury cruise, Silversea’s latest offerings just might prove irresistible. The ultra-luxury line announced yesterday that it has reduced fares on a number of popular itineraries around the world, including the spectacular Voyage 2230 aboard Silver Wind. Departing Athens on September 24, 2012, this seven-day voyage to Venice calls on Monemvasia, Corfu, Kotor and Split, Croatia.

Silversea's sleek Silver Wind is offering an itinerary - and a price point - that are too good to pass up. Photo courtesy of Silversea Cruises.

But the real reason to write home on this one is the price: fares start at just $1,999 per person and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $500 per suite, something that will take you farther than you think, thanks to the line’s all-inclusive drinks and gratuities policy.  Couple that with Free Economy Class Airfare from select gateways on select itineraries, and luxury has never looked so affordable.

I’m not just being effusive for the sake of it; Silversea is a class-act all the way, and the line made a huge personal impression on me. If you’ve never experienced an ultra-luxury voyage, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. The two times I’ve been fortunate to have sailed with the line have been like rediscovering cruising all over again; you keep telling yourself, ‘surely this can’t be real?’

The separate bedroom aboard Silver Spirit in Silver Suite 1106. Photo © Aaron Saunders

But it is.  Aboard a Silversea ship, your wishes really are anticipated before you’ve even realized them, putting into practice what merely exists as lip service on other lines. I scuffed my dress shoes one evening climbing some exterior stairs; the next morning they had been polished, wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with a sticker.  Sunglasses are cleaned and left with a Silversea-branded cloth.  And after a long day ashore, our butler (every stateroom, right down to the ocean-views on the lowest deck has one) prepared a champagne bubblebath and politely excused himself.  All without any kind of prompting.

Luxury - true luxury - is about always getting that favorite breakfast spot by the railing, every day. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The staff enquire how your day is, and if there’s anything they can do to help.  They might suggest where to dine that evening (there’s plenty of culinary options onboard each ship), or help you find some out of the way place in the line’s worldwide collection of ports.

To really appreciate Silversea, however, is to consider the sum of its parts. The experience is far from the stuffy, regimented regime you might expect from a luxury line. In fact, with ships that only carry a few hundred passengers apiece, sailing with Silversea can be vastly more freeing than on many mainstream lines.  There’s no waiting in lines at any point of the voyage, and I can think of maybe only a single day when we arrived at La Terrazza, Silver Spirit’s casual dining venue, to find there were no available tables outdoors on the terrace.  Ditto for deck chairs by the pool, which is rarely crowded and always populated with helpful, friendly staff who can get you a refreshing drink (they’re complimentary), or a light snack, like chips and salsa (made fresh onboard).

Dine outdoors with Silversea's unique Black Rock Dining concept. It's delicious and a heck of a lot of fun, too. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

In fact, the crew may be my favorite part of sailing with Silversea.  They’re some of the most fascinating and diverse people you can hope to meet.  They’ve usually all began their careers on other lines, but many have stayed with Silversea for years.  Best of all, you’ll get to know them all, thanks to the low passenger counts and intimate design of the ships.  It’s truly a special event when you can return to Silversea, perhaps months or years later, and are greeted warmly and personably by the crew.

Sailing with Silversea wasn’t just a cruise. It was an experience, one that changed my outlook on travel and my life forever.  I think that’s the crux of luxury cruising: it’s the point where a trip stops being a vacation and starts becoming a defining moment in your life.

The relaxing Spa at Silversea aboard the Silver Spirit. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

I love all kinds of cruises.  Big and small, affordable and luxurious, exclusive and mainstream, they all represent a fantastic oceangoing experience in their own right. But I promise you this: you’ll never forget your first voyage with Silversea. And it most certainly will not be your last.

Here’s a shortlist of some of the great experiences you can have aboard this luxurious line, all at newly-reduced prices:

ALASKA

  • Voyage 3215: Silver Shadow departs Vancouver June 7 on a 7-day sailing to Seward with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Sitka. Fares start at $3,199 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $500 per suite.

ASIA

  • Voyage 3211: Silver Shadow departs Tokyo April 25 on an 11-day sailing to Shanghai with calls in Hiroshima, Busan, Jeju, Dalian and Tianjin (Beijing). Fares start at $3,899 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $1,000 per suite.

CARIBBEAN

  • Voyage 5209: Silver Spirit departs Fort Lauderdale April 3 on a 9-day sailing to Barbados with calls in Tortola, St. Barts, Grenada, St. Lucia and Kingstown. Fares start at $2,499 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $1,000 per suite.
  • Voyage 7209: Silver Explorer departs Colón, Panama April 4 on a 10-day expedition cruise to Barbados with calls in San Blas Island, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Los Roques, Port of Spain and Bequia. Fares start at $2,999 per person.

MEDITERRANEAN

  • Voyage 5211A: Silver Spirit departs May 5 on a 12-day voyage sailing roundtrip from Monte Carlo with calls in Malta, Crete, Rhodes, Bodrum, Santorini, Sicily, Sorrento and Elba. Fares start at $3,899 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $1,000 per suite.
  • Voyage 1213: Silver Cloud departs Monte Carlo May 8 on a 12-day sailing to Rouen (Paris) with calls in Cartagena, Málaga, Portimão, Lisbon, Santander, Bordeaux and Guernsey. Fares start at $3,499 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $1,000 per suite.
  • Voyage 2230: Silver Wind departs Athens September 24 on a 7-day sailing to Venice with calls in Monemvasia, Corfu, Kotor and Split. Fares start at $1,999 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $500 per suite.

NORTHERN EUROPE

  • Voyage 1214: Silver Cloud departs Rouen (Paris) May 20 on a 10-day sailing to Copenhagen with calls in Oostende, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Travemünde (Lübeck), Warnemünde (Rostock) and Rønne (Bornholm). Fares start at $3,199 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $1,000 per suite.
  • Voyage 4222: Silver Whisper departs Stockholm August 23 on a 7-day sailing to Copenhagen with calls in Tallinn, St. Petersburg (3-day/2-night stopover) and Helsinki. Fares start at $2,999 per person, and include an Onboard Spending Credit of $500 per suite.

The Bar aboard Silver Shadow. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

For a firsthand look at what makes Silversea so special, be sure to read our complete Live Voyage Report from aboard the stunning Silver Spirit in the Med, then pay a visit to Silversea’s website to plan your own luxury cruise adventure! Tune in from April 10 to 26 as we re-join Silversea’s flagship for a Transatlantic Crossing from Barbados to Lisbon, Portugal.

 

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