It's official! One of the top brands in luxury cruising and luxury expedition cruising has acquired the Crystal Endeavor. Silversea Cruises is renaming the luxury expedition ship Silver Endeavour (with British spelling) and the ship will become the cruise line's fifth expedition ship in its total fleet of 11 vessels.
You may recall I had just shared the news that the sadly-defunct Crystal Cruises' two ocean ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, were recently purchased by the same company that owns Abercrombie & Kent luxury tours. That company is planning to sail those ships under a revived Crystal Cruises banner. To make matters more interesting, one partner in that new Crystal Cruises is the former head of Silversea!
But it hadn't been confirmed what was happening with the rest of Crystal Cruises ships, which include its fleet of European river cruise ships and its newest ship, the luxury expedition ship Crystal Endeavor, although rumors had been swirling around the industry that Silversea was a likely buyer for the expedition ship.
And so it was. Designed specifically to take travellers to the world’s most remote corners, including both Polar Regions, Silver Endeavour will begin sailing this November, 2022. It will sail the Antarctic 2022-23 season, including Silversea's popular Antarctica Bridge sailings, which fly the guests of a sailing straight to an Antarctic port of departure. (Rather than everyone making their own way to a port further north, and taking precious sailing days to transit to the Antarctic.)
Silversea says the demand for luxury, remote expedition cruises is so high it made perfect sense to buy the former Crystal ship. The two companies were on par in terms of luxurious design, amenities, and service, so the Endeavor/ Endeavour would have been a close-to turnkey transition to becoming part of the Silversea fleet (even though they usually custom-build all their new ships.)
The Silver Endeavour is built to “PC6” polar class specifications. That's the highest ice-class rating for a passenger vessel, making Silver Endeavour designed for polar exploration. She carries state-of-the-art amenities, with an industry-leading Zodiac-to-guest ratio; kayaks; and cutting-edge navigation and exploration technology, including a remote gimbal camera system, which can capture high-quality images from 5km, among other amenities. She will maintain Silversea’s trademark level of luxury, with a crew-to-guest ratio of about 1:1. Yes, that's one crew member for every guest.
The all-suite Silver Endeavour offers guests what the cruise line says is the most spacious accommodations in expedition cruising. Assuming she'll maintain her configuration, the Silver Endeavour will be an exploration-by-sea home to 200 guests in 100 suites. Over 8 public decks, guests will also find multiple restaurants, bars and lounges; an expansive spa; a two-storied solarium with a swimming pool and whirlpool; and an array of indoor and outdoor observation areas. With only 200 guests and the renowned Silversea style, guests enjoy an intimate onboard atmosphere, enabling you to discover destinations like Antarctica in depth, with great interaction between travellers and Silversea’s expedition experts.
I'm also delighted to see that the cruise line has even sent out the word that it wants to give the ship's former crew members their jobs back, saying they'll get priority to be hired to crew the ship under Silversea's flag. What a boon that will be! Crew who are already fully familiar with the ship, will have work in the industry again, and able to translate their prestigious Crystal training to an equally-luxurious cruise line.
Sounds like great news for Silversea and its guests, and ship's crew, as well as for cruising overall. Welcome, Silver Endeavour!
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