Sail Date: January 2019
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was ... Read More
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was all AA's fault,but Silversea really stepped up to make the cruise a roaring success for us. They waited for us at the EZE airport for over an hour while I argued with the baggage people. They also pitched in! We got to our hotel after midnight. I needed to run a bag to another hotel for our Iguazu falls trip at the end of the cruise. The silversea agent got in a cab with me and took me to the other hotel--way beyond the call of duty. Next day we flew to Ushuaia and confirmed we were missing half our luggage. Silversea arranged to take us shopping in Ushuaia to pickup necessary gear to enjoy the cruise. Between our shore purchases, the ship's store, and the laundry on board (gratis due to our luggage issues), we managed just fine. Once my blood pressure got back down to normal, the cruise was exceptional. We had an easy Drake passage--so fast that we were able to add a stop to Fort Point on the second day of the cruise.Captain Eric Saint Plancat was very friendly and pushed to give us the maximum experience. We went past the Antarctic Circle all the way to Stonington Island. We saw 3 kinds of penguins, 5 types of seals, and 100's of Humpback whales. The weather was in the 30's and largely sunny. JD, the expedition leader, was outstanding and really worked to maximize all the passengers experiences. Her staff was very knowledgeable about animals, birds, geology, and history. The ship itself was very nice and well maintained. Silversea likes to call the cabins suites, but in my opinion, they we pretty much cabins. That said, they were clean and very functional. We were in a Vista Suite and the shower didn't have a door--just 6 inches of plexiglass. Poor design which leaded water all over the floor. The butlers and cabin stewards provided excellent service, although there really isn't much for a butler to do on an expedition sailing. The food was very good and all the waitstaff were very friendly and helpful. We drank the included wine and found most of them to be quite drinkable. We've cruised more than 30 times and this was the best yet. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships with a low ice rating never do. It would not be safe. So based on our research and our good experience on the Silver Galapagos in 2016 we booked a Silver Seas Expedition cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in January 2018 on the Silver Cloud, but I became ill and was hospitalized just before our scheduled departure and had to cancel. (Fortunately we had full insurance coverage.) We rebooked for this January 2019, which turned out for the best. This was BY FAR the best cruise experience ever. Thanks to the Explorer's 1A ice rating, the skill of the captain, and the unusually good weather we were able to travel further south than any other commercial ship in the last couple of years. (Only one crew member had ever been that far south.) We made multiple wet landings, explored old, abandoned research stations and one active station, got some great wildlife photos and videos on shore and from the Zodiacs. The Expedition leaders, who also piloted the Zodiacs, were very knowledgable and greatly enhanced the experience. We even got to slide down a hill on Antarctic snow and my wife took the "polar plunge" into ocean water very slightly warmed by geo-thermally heated fresh water coming up through the ground and flowing down the beach into the bay. The views, sunsets, and the wild life (penguins, whales, seals, sea lions, and birds) were spectacular. A final note on the expedition leaders. It is hard to imagine a more educated and experienced group. Most had several years of experience and included a PhD in geology, professional ornithologist (PhD), and a Harvard educated marine biologist who was also the first women to ever SCUBA dive below the Antarctic ice pack. All-in-all it was the experience of a life time. WARNING - WARNING - WARNING - as with all expedition cruises to the Antarctic - and the Arctic for that matter - activities and landings are ALWAYS dependent on the weather and ice conditions. We were told the long stretch of great weather we encountered is rare. If your goal is to cross the Antarctic circle read the itinerary VERY carefully to make sure that crossing will be attempted. Again, never guaranteed the ship will make it to the circle because of weather. Also, you will be crossing the Drake passage. Even if you are not susceptible to motion sickness, get the "patch" AND put it on 24 hours before embarkation! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just ... Read More
Our cruise onboard the SilverSeas Explorer was spectacular from start to finish. The ship, crew, food, Captain and Expedition staff were all first rate. It is very hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting Antarctica. I was just in awe of the beauty and power of nature. We arrived independently so I can not speak to the travel arrangements made by SilverSeas. The port of Ushuaia is a working port and does not allow taxis, which we were unaware of but we did make it to the ship! The ship was beautifully maintained. Our suite 503 was kept spotless by our wonderful cabin attendant and butler. The daily "debriefing" and numerous lectures were held in The Exploder's Lounge. The maƮtre d' Julia was incredible. I really believe she had memorized nearly everyone's name by the second day! There was buffet service for breakfast and lunch. Always some special to order at both meals. Plentiful staff to carry your plate. I don't drink but plenty of wine was being poured at lunch and dinner. The wine steward was more then happy to supply us with ice tea. I am a vegetarian and found the food varied and very good. All the staff knew you by your name by day three or four! The Expedition staff was well trained and had many varied areas of expertise.. Led ably by JD, we were placed in four colored groups and rotated our times to go ashore via zodiacs or go for a zodiac ride. Gearing up and heading out was unlike anything I have ever experienced. The weather was amazing and the seas were mainly very calm. Due to the weather, ice and skill of the Captain we sailed across the Antarctic Circle.We attempted to visit the Vernadsky Station but the ice stopped us. We did visit the harbor in Zodiacs. We saw so much wildlife! Penguins, Albatross, whales and seals. The icebergs were incredible and the clouds! I can not say enough about the service onboard SilverSeas. I would not hesitate to take another SilverSeas cruise. We disembarked ourselves at 900 am. SilverSeas provided a shuttle to Ushuaia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I am active travel and a luxury travel fan, but I also look for good value in both. When I went to research this particular itinerary, I compared three of the top brands and for me, Silversea was a hands-down winner. In addition, because I ... Read More
I am active travel and a luxury travel fan, but I also look for good value in both. When I went to research this particular itinerary, I compared three of the top brands and for me, Silversea was a hands-down winner. In addition, because I booked early, I was bumped to Business Class on my flights - nice. I also blog about my travel experiences as a hobby, so if you'd like to see a more photos and a comprehensive review of this ship and its services , go to the Cruise Critic boards/forums under a similar title and you can read more about why I think this cruise line, this ship, and particular itinerary is top-notch. The Rooms: I loved the all-suites concept. I had a View Suite with a large window on the 3rd floor and it was close to 200SF. I was impressed by the decor, the luxury details in the bathroom (rain shower head with great water pressure, bath sheets, nice robes), as well as the pre-stocked mini-fridge The Service: this is where Silversea crushed it. Pretty much every staff member knew me by name by the 3rd day and I can't say enough about how awesome it was to have a butler and 24 hr room service The Food: from my research, many of the top cruise lines are doing menu item/ non-buffet for dinner meals. So this in itself was not what set them apart. But the fact that I can't remember ever repeating a dish in 17 days does. From fresh fish to lamb and even king crab and chateaubriand one night, lets just say.... I gained 7 pounds on this trip and I'm kind of a health nut. The excursions: IMO, if are going to haul yourself all the way that far south, do the longer trip and go to South Georgia and the Falklands - incredible! The guides were excellent and I felt like I had earned a degree in 'Penguin' by the end, due to all the great education they offered. You can see more photos and read more our excursions in the forum under similar title. Value: overall, when I compared price for what I got, room size and airfare incentives, Silversea still came in 2nd (of the 3 I looked at) in cost but gave me everything I expected and so much more. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
It was absolutely wonderful. The crew were fabulous and I most impressed by the expedition leaders' knowledge and excitement to share with us. I learned so much and am looking forward to my next trip with Silversea!!! The dining ... Read More
It was absolutely wonderful. The crew were fabulous and I most impressed by the expedition leaders' knowledge and excitement to share with us. I learned so much and am looking forward to my next trip with Silversea!!! The dining staff and valet service staff were incredible knowing our names from day 1! I was a widow traveling alone, yet I never felt left out at all and felt completely safe. I knew I was in good hands with a capable staff. The lectures were amazing. that is whereI learned so much that I could barely take it all in. the leaders were not only highly trained, but very good at their lectures and video presentations. it was far more than I dreamed of. Silversea seems to have covered all the bases to make your trip a memorable one. My thanks to all on Silver Sea Explorer for a fantastic experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was to be a "cruise of a lifetime." I hope it is, because I never want to experience something so bad again, ever. The cruise was to be Nome to Nome, up to Wrangell Island, and along the Russian Arctic coast. 19 days of ... Read More
This was to be a "cruise of a lifetime." I hope it is, because I never want to experience something so bad again, ever. The cruise was to be Nome to Nome, up to Wrangell Island, and along the Russian Arctic coast. 19 days of "nobody else gets here" cruising. The itinerary was changed a few days before we were to leave, for reasons of "fuel supplier restrictions" but the new itinerary was as cool as the old, so fine. What we got was ice blocking us from three quarters of our destinations. The ice conditions were known by Silversea before we left Nome. We never made it to Wrangell Island. The ship got to 8 nautical miles away, we got to six nm away, in zodiacs. We diverted for a medical emergency, spending more than two full days doing nothing but high speed in open sea to meet the helicopter, and then get back to someplace desired. Then, having been foiled at Wrangell, we had to steam to Anadyr for fuel. (The refueling was added to the schedule partway through the cruise, the schedule couldn't be changed, we paid for it with our time.) As a result, we ended up in Nome a day early, simply due to the need to leave Russia and enter the USA, where the timing for refueling and the paperwork cut our cruise short by a day. Silversea never lost an opportunity to leave us in the dark, or blame Russian intransigence. We do not begrudge the medical evacuation. People need a doctor, you get them to a doctor. But we had to leave Wrangell to do it, and we had been steaming at top speed for several hours on the new heading before the ship bothered to tell us about the changed plans. Every question was met with "we're doing all we can" and "that is above my pay grade" and never once did Silversea treat us like adults. On a 19 day cruise, we saw the Captain on the first and last day. no ship's officer ever explained to us what was going on. The cruise was such a disappointment that passengers are asking for their money back. Silversea was late in offering anything, paltry in their offer, and has stalled us at every step. I'll swim to my destination before I ever set foot on a Silversea deck again. One good thing: despite the cruise, expedition team and management being disappointments (each in their own way) the hotel and food service were exemplary. But still not good enough to lure me onto a Silversea ship again. Ever. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were also on the Nome to Nome cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. it was an expedition that could not do what it planned for a number of good reasons, the main one being a totally unpredicted and unusual amount of sea ice off ... Read More
We were also on the Nome to Nome cruise and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. it was an expedition that could not do what it planned for a number of good reasons, the main one being a totally unpredicted and unusual amount of sea ice off the north east Siberian coast due to Siberian forest fires. This meant we were unable to land on Wrangel island, nor reach the planned refuelling port of Plevek which was closed due to sea ice. But we went on this cruise to see whales, birds, polar bears and walrus and had wonderful sightings of grey whales, humpbacks, walrus both on ice and in a massive haul out and some amazing bird cliffs. The closure of Plevek meant a diversion to Anadyr where we had the fantastic bonus of the ship being surrounded by beluga whales while in port. The only disappointment was that we did not have better or closer sightings of polar bears but, with the amount of sea ice around allowing them to disperse, that was unlikely anyway. We have now done seven cruises on Silver Explorer and continue to love the ship and the expedition experience. There were a few people aboard whose unreasonable displeasure was a poison and helped to create a sense of dissatisfaction in a number of other passengers. But a generous credit has been given by Silversea to all the passengers and we look forward to travelling with them again So if that was the worst experience of I know who's life, all I can say is they've had a magically charmed existence. This was our first cruise since the refurbishment and the cabins are now much lighter and a very pleasant environment. The bar has been improved by the removal of the high long table and the boutique is now large with excellent stock And as a bonus, the chef gave us the best food we have had on any cruise. He was the first I've known to be unafraid of spicing things up to give them a solid flavour. Not everybody's taste, but for one I relish the abandonment of bland. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I wanted to land on Wrangell Island, see polar bears, and be in the ice. All of which SS promised would occur. Starting in Anchorage, SS couldn't get its act together and the rest of the cruise went downhill from there. Silversea knew ... Read More
I wanted to land on Wrangell Island, see polar bears, and be in the ice. All of which SS promised would occur. Starting in Anchorage, SS couldn't get its act together and the rest of the cruise went downhill from there. Silversea knew that the ice conditions were never going to allow us to land on Wrangell, yet declined to inform us, the passengers who had invested considerable sums of money in good faith to do precisely that. The crew on board, directed by the Corporate heads, continued to paint a rosey picture of our chances to get to Wrangell, as the Ice Pilot was telling us no one would get into Wrangell until the end of August. And to top everything off, Management decided it could just shrug and say it had tried and that would be the end of the passenger complaints. Several of us asked for a full refund, operating under the illusion that Silversea is a reputable, first class expedition cruise line. FALSE. Silversea's reply was essentially tough! Take the 40% discount which I refused to do. I have written the CEO of Royal Caribbean, no reply, chairman of Silversea, no reply, CEO of Silversea and had the VP of Guest relations replying that it would be unfair to the rest of the passengers to give me a full refund - once again demonstrating the absolute disdain which SS has for its passengers and a complete unwillingness to accept any responsibility for what happened on that miserable cruise. And the final insult for me was that I got covered in bug bites on the ship - bed bugs???? A truly terrible cruise. I could never recommend anyone subject themselves to such a horror. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific ... Read More
We chose the cruise because a previous trip to Antarctica has been great - luxurious, such wonderful and unique landscape and plenty of wildlife (albeit emphasis on penguins). The good points of this cruise were great luxury, terrific service, wonderful food and interesting lectures - and lecturers. Put on 3 KG even without deserts... Booze flowed as freely as one could want. Great you say but wait:: The less good: 1) The weather - so much mist and fog in the morning (and we usually arrived at the next location in the early morning). I would question if this is a good time (June) to go on such a cruise. The resulted in the cancellation of several landings onshore. 2) In US waters (and others I heard) Silversea cannot use zodiacs for near shore exploration. This was only communicated to us a few weeks before the cruise. They tried to make up for this as best they could - using a large catamaran (saw good amount of sea life) - and a float plane cruise over Zodiac island (wow saw a bear in the distance...) I predict that this limitation will severly impact such cruises in the future. 3) We had to be contented with seeing ww2 ruins (instead of wildlife) on several occasions. Not turned on by that at all. 4) The wild life was VERY sparce yet the effort by the guides to lead us to where they would be was equally lacking. If there ain't much wildlife then please guide people to it instead of encouraging random walks. 5) On one walk we were given the option of joining one of three walks - yet all three had long since departed and were far in the distance. So much for a guided walk. It was'nt all bad by any means. I would say that on 4 days we saw a decent amount of wild life - and on another three days experienced very nice scenery i.e,.volcanoes. But that is out of 18 days..... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just finishing our Alaska to Eastern Russia and Japan cruise on the explorer. Probably the worst cruise of my life. The ship was very nice, crew and ship's staff great. The expedition team for the most part was good with the exception ... Read More
Just finishing our Alaska to Eastern Russia and Japan cruise on the explorer. Probably the worst cruise of my life. The ship was very nice, crew and ship's staff great. The expedition team for the most part was good with the exception of the expedition leader, who was dysfunctional. The expedition staff members failed to work together, we booked this specifically for the chance to see Bears and wildlife in Alaska and Eastern Russia. No Bears seen on the entire trip. Saw more wildlife in the short visit to Dutch Harbor than any of the Zodiac excursions. The zodiac excursions were about an hour long at most, in the morning when it was foggy, then back to the boat with nothing to do but use the gym, eat, drink and nap. The expedition team attempted to fill the "down" time with a few lectures some were good, most were boring and not very informative. The weather didn't help, we skirted a cyclone off of Alaska and had to miss some excursions there, We were told that they were not allowed to use the Zodiacs for excursions in Alaska anymore, just as tenders. In Russia the excuse was that the Russian authorities would not let them land or get close to any wildlife. Many others onboard felt the same way, a good deal of people had multiple trips on the Explorer and said this was unusual and poorly run. They said most of the other trips were better with multiple excursions each day and actually saw wildlife up close. The hot tubs were closed for most of the trip and only opened after I complained to the hotel manager. Room was nice, service was good. food good, most of the time the outside restaurant was closed due to "weather" Transfer from Anchorage was about 3 hours by motor coach, no stops, no water, no food. On arrival about 2 PM an incredibly slow check in process with no food available. We were told to call room service when we got to our room or get something ashore but be back onboard by 4PM when the ship sailed. We called room service and were told it was not available. Read Less
Silver Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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