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Farewell To Silver Explorer


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I’m told that she will leave the fleet in September this year, very sad, but I can understand the two Cloud and Wind are a lot more economical to run now, and with a plethora of new expedition ships entering the market I guess her days were numbered.

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Posted (edited)

Yikes! - you got me there, since we are fully paid for next year.  Saved by the follow-up post.  But certainly like the cabin size, walk-in closet and storage a lot better for the other expedition ships than the more basic Explorer. 

 

Shall keep things open since often sales get made, regardless if the willing buyer shows up to make it happen, regardless of prior scheduling.  Recently had more than one favorite older ship and booked cruises sold out from under us on another cruise line. So in this current crazy world and cruising re-set, one does need to stay alert. 

 

You got my attention!

Edited by OlsSalt
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We will be sad to  see her leave the SS fleet.  The Explorer was our first  Silverseas cruise  ( known as the Prince Albert II back  then ) in August 2010.  Since then  we have spent   144 days on the Silver Explorer - so  you can see we love that little ship  - met some great people too.  Great memories !!

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My favourite ship ;  a true  luxury adventure chariot compared to the boring, soft and cosseting tubs replacing it.
They are, of course , channeling market demands and economies of scale… 

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Another quite sad at her departure.For her size she was remarkably stable.We went through 3 Force 12 Atlantic gales on her.Some spilt wine,broken plates but the next morning most were at breakfast.

The crew were fantastic especially the lads on the side gate.Several we have now met on the larger ships.

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1 hour ago, drron29 said:

Another quite sad at her departure.For her size she was remarkably stable.We went through 3 Force 12 Atlantic gales on her.Some spilt wine,broken plates but the next morning most were at breakfast.

The crew were fantastic especially the lads on the side gate.Several we have now met on the larger ships.

We were there too.  Fun times.  George particularly loved that little ship.  He loved standing out front on that forward deck in freezing cold blowing gales.

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Posted (edited)

We will miss her indeed. Some of our best cruising memories were made on PAII/Silver Explorer. Like Ann and Ron, our first SS cruise was on PAII in December 2009. Though we've only done 4 voyages on board, so we are nowhere close to 144 days like those professionals are!

 

That ship has so many cute little quirks and hidden areas. The forward balcony hidden away on deck 7. The stairs on the wraparound promenade so you didn't get bored doing laps. The other hidden balcony high up in the back, where they used to keep the spare propeller blades, which was always sheltered from the wind.

 

And that crazy circular stairway between the DR and the bar, one flight up, but always a challenge after a long dinner - with rolling seas, a glass of wine in hand, and a few more in the belly.

 

Will have to check some itineraries to see if we can grab another voyage on board before she leaves the fleet. Though we loved Wind and Cloud as classic ships, and we've had nice Expedition cruises on Cloud since her conversion, Explorer is in a class of her own. The vibe is different. And we really like it!

 

  

16 hours ago, drron29 said:

Some spilt wine

 

Just to be clear, Ron, I did NOT like this part of your post. The "like" only applies to the rest of it!

Edited by jpalbny
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This is the only Silversea ship that we have been on and we loved the small number of passengers.  We're booked for Nov. 2022 so we'll see if it's a go.

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7 hours ago, jpalbny said:

And that crazy circular stairway between the DR and the bar, one flight up, but always a challenge after a long dinner - with rolling seas, a glass of wine in hand, and a few more in the belly.

I will seriously miss that bar--restaurant linking staircase! It's so retro and glam on such a sweet and unassuming ship; I just love the juxtaposition. And the position 🙂

 

I am really a fan of the Explorer and really felt at home while aboard. It's always so easy to make friends, a few of whom are pictured here as we worked on the perpetual jigsaw puzzle in the Observation Lounge.

IMG_20200311_105553.jpg

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I loved going up to the observation lounge for my morning cup of tea and to write on my blog before anyone was up.  When we had good butlers, they would figure out my schedule and have the tea ready and waiting for me.

 

loved that curvy staircase as well between restaurant and bar.

 

remember the day when we were crossing between northern Canada and Greenland and the entire salad buffet ended up on the floor.  Also remember a couple of times when it was just me and George and 2 other couples in the dining room for dinner as it was so rough.  Dr Ron and Rojaan were also there as I recall. I had to wear flats as it was impossible to walk in heels.

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We too will be so sad when Explorer goes.   We did our first trip on her in 2011 and have done nearly 100 days over the ensuing years.   She is just the loveliest little ship with, as others have said, so many comfy spots to settle down in peace and enjoy the relaxed ambience.   A real expedition feel to her which is not replicated on the Cloud.   The small number of passengers ensures you get to speak to everyone and make many friends in a very short space of time.  She will be a great loss.

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I was on her 2019 from Fort Lauderdale on a reworked itinerary that no longer included Cuba. I really enjoyed the size and passengers; plus great water activates off Belize, Roatan, Cartagena, San Blas, Darien rainforest tribe, and Costa Rica. 

 

I was on the Silver Galapagos for my first Silversea experience in 2014. Then the Silver Discoverer along Indonesia in 2018. Both gone now.

 

November 10, 2021 I hope to be getting on board in Puerto Williams, Chile for another 18 nights of Falkands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Silver Explorer was our 4th Silversea ship (Cloud (New Zealand), Shadow (Alaska), Discoverer (Kimberly Coast), and Explorer (Antarctic Peninsula)), and we're booked on the Cloud Expedition for 2022 - but I'm worried that without a 200-passenger vessel, Silversea will lose out to the likes of Scenic Eclipse, Seabourn Venture, Crystal Endeavour etc for expedition cruises. 

 

I genuinely hope that Silversea have plans for a new small vessel. We were hoping to return to Antarctica (this time to the Ross Shelf) in 2024 on the Explorer, but no such cruise is available - so now we're booked on the Crystal Endeavour.

 

Silversea's expedition teams are great (Leader Luke, James the Geologist, and both Oscars get particular mentions), the Circular Staircase, crossing Drake's Passage (on a "shake" rather than a "lake" day)  and desperately trying to eat a piece of dry toast for breakfast in a virtually empty dining room). Wonderful Times.

 

The true heroes on that trip though go to "the lads on the side gate" coming back in a zodiac after one trip,  we waited near the ship for more than half an hour - going back and forth from one side to the other - until "Aussie Oscar" got us alongside and with four crew (two on the zodiac, and two on the ship) they managed to get us off - wonderful.

 

Thanks Explorer, we'll miss you. 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, GaryFreeman said:

Thanks Explorer, we'll miss you. 

 

Well, she's still around for at least the next two, possibly three, years, so she's not gone yet!

 

As for whether Explorer will be replaced with a modern, small, expedition ship, I don't think anyone knows. They have invested a lot of money in three new ships this year, plus the overhaul of the Wind, in the midst of the massive cash burn from the pandemic. I would think that there might be a lull in signing new contracts for ships until they get back to a state of generating positive income; there are a lot of debts to pay off.

 

On the other hand, two new small expedition ships for Seabourn, one for Silversea, six now for Ponant,  2 new for National Geographic, 3 from Ritz Carlton, etc. creates a lot of competition in the small expedition ship category, and it's yet to be seen if all these ships can be constantly filled at their very high cruise prices. Perhaps Silversea will decide that two renovated older ships (Cloud and Wind) sailing at a slightly lower price point is their niche for the immediate future. 

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I always think with 7 billion people on the planet, with a growing global millionaire and billionaire class, a 200 passenger ship even at premium prices should still be able to fill those berths.  Needing only a total of a few thousand new paying passengers a year,  out of that 7 plus billion?

 

(Overlooking of course that perhaps 6 billion could only dream of a SS cruise, but I hope you get the larger  point - there is a pretty large affluent customer base out there who do prefer smaller ships.)

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I agree that the base of people who can afford a luxury cruise at the price point of a 200-passenger ship has grown; I was just noting that the number of cruise lines and ships to serve this market has also been growing dramatically over the past few years. It's yet to be seen if all the cruise lines can fill all these ships at premium prices.

 

The other fact is whether they have the capital to invest in new ships right now. As I noted, Silversea has just spent an estimated $1 billion dollars on Moon, Origin, and Dawn. And the two new Evolution-class vessels which will likely cost another $1 billion combined when they are delivered in 2023 and 2024. Add to that the massive losses of the past 18 months, and the slow build-up of new revenue over the next 12 months, and you can see why it's far from clear whether the finance people at Royal Caribbean are ready to sign off on more new ships in the near future. 

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:34 AM, mspjerry said:

I was on her 2019 from Fort Lauderdale on a reworked itinerary that no longer included Cuba. I really enjoyed the size and passengers; plus great water activates off Belize, Roatan, Cartagena, San Blas, Darien rainforest tribe, and Costa Rica. 

 

I was on the Silver Galapagos for my first Silversea experience in 2014. Then the Silver Discoverer along Indonesia in 2018. Both gone now.

 

November 10, 2021 I hope to be getting on board in Puerto Williams, Chile for another 18 nights of Falkands, South Georgia, and Antarctica. 

I just checked and Explorer has moved from Turkey, heading south towards Greece...Just waiting to see if she turns and heads west towards exiting the Med?  If she does, then I assume she's heading towards Chile??

We are on the Cloud Nov 14th, so I'm watching the Could's movements in the next couple of weeks, to see if she departs Marseille.

Fingers crossed.

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On 8/18/2021 at 10:22 PM, cruiseej said:

 

Well, she's still around for at least the next two, possibly three, years, so she's not gone yet!

 

As for whether Explorer will be replaced with a modern, small, expedition ship, I don't think anyone knows. They have invested a lot of money in three new ships this year, plus the overhaul of the Wind, in the midst of the massive cash burn from the pandemic. I would think that there might be a lull in signing new contracts for ships until they get back to a state of generating positive income; there are a lot of debts to pay off.

 

On the other hand, two new small expedition ships for Seabourn, one for Silversea, six now for Ponant,  2 new for National Geographic, 3 from Ritz Carlton, etc. creates a lot of competition in the small expedition ship category, and it's yet to be seen if all these ships can be constantly filled at their very high cruise prices. Perhaps Silversea will decide that two renovated older ships (Cloud and Wind) sailing at a slightly lower price point is their niche for the immediate future. 

I agree with both your points:

 

1) She's still around [for a while], and I'm pleased about that. For my wife and I, though, she's not got a cruise scheduled that whet's our appetite - we're usually looking for something new, and seldom repeat a trip. For those who haven't cruised with her though, I'd certainly recommend it.

 

2) The past few years have seen all cruise line's budgets badly hit, and I'd be surprised if any of the cruise lines (i.e. not just Royal Caribbean) have not been / are not taking stock and reassessing their future roll-out plans.

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10 hours ago, kimanjo said:

I just checked and Explorer has moved from Turkey, heading south towards Greece...Just waiting to see if she turns and heads west towards exiting the Med?  If she does, then I assume she's heading towards Chile??

We are on the Cloud Nov 14th, so I'm watching the Could's movements in the next couple of weeks, to see if she departs Marseille.

Fingers crossed.

 

Explorer was just repositioning to Crete. From there, who knows. I'd guess they need to take on some crew and provisions before heading for South America -- plus they may not yet have clearance from Chile or Argentina.

 

In any case, with the first cruise on the Explorer not until November 10, and it taking approximately a month to travel from the Mediterranean to the South Atlantic, there's no reason for her to be heading towards Puerto Williams for another month or so. Same for Cloud (currently in Marseille) and Wind (currently in Gdansk, Poland).

 

Fingers crossed for all three!

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