Why selling a Silversea Expeditions cruise is easier than you might think

29/05/2024
Home » Why selling a Silversea Expeditions cruise is easier than you might think

Expedition cruises are booming, with more people wanting authentic, off-the-beaten track these days. Many people want to do it in style and luxury, and for these clients, a Silversea Expeditions cruise is perfect.

The ships are small, carrying between 100 to 274 guests. There’s a personal butler for every suite, with a staff-to-guest ratio of no more than 1:1.5 and often 1:1.

The expedition staff-to-guest ratio is around 1:9, while the Zodiac-to-guest ratio is 1:11 and there are up to two landings per day.

The potential for boosting commission is huge. And the good news is that you’re highly likely to have the perfect candidates for a Silversea Expeditions cruise among your current list of clients.

Type of client

If you have sophisticated, well-educated and affluent clients, aged 44+ with a strong desire to travel and a keen curiosity about the world, you’ve got yourself the perfect Silversea Expeditions guest.

Clients might be looking for a trip of a lifetime, or have previously been on a river cruise, where they’ve enjoyed a small ship experience and understand the value of all-inclusive luxury. They may never have cruised before, not fancying the mass-market options out there, but not realising there are other options. Don’t discount solo travellers either, as Silversea offers low single supplements.

Customers will likely be keen on wildlife, seek immersive cultural experiences, enjoy lectures on destinations and nature, will be happy to get up to start early for wildlife spotting and will need to be able to comfortably get in and out of a Zodiac watercraft.  

What’s on offer

The main Silversea Expeditions destinations are the Arctic, Antarctica and the Galapagos, with new Northern Europe itineraries launched for 2025.

The classic Antarctic ‘Peninsula’ programme crosses the Drake Passage from Puerto Williams explores the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Guests can add extra days to their voyage to discover the Falklands and South Georgia, known as the Serengeti of the Southern Ocean.

There’s also the option from Punta Arenas to Antarctica, skipping the Drake Passage. This is an ideal way to see more of otherworldly Antarctica in less time.

Arctic highlights include Svalbard, an ice-clad archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole; Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice, with its bubbling lava fields, breaching whales, grassy bird islands and thundering waterfalls; Greenland’s ice-fjords, Inuit villages and remote isolation, while across Baffin Bay is Canada’s High Arctic and labyrinthine straits of the Northwest Passage.

Silversea offers year-round expeditions in the Galapagos, a unique destination explored on two alternating seven-day itineraries – one to the west where giant tortoises and land iguanas thrive; the other to the north where Galapagos penguins and lava lizards live – which can be combined to offer a 14-day expedition.

For summer 2025, Silversea has announced 10 new Silver Wind voyages for travellers in the UK and Ireland looking to experience expedition cruising, sailing from Portsmouth and Dublin. Sailings include Portsmouth to Copenhagen, taking in the British Isles, including Sark Island and the Isles of Scilly before hearing to Irish ports such as the Aaran Islands, Cliffs of Moher and Tory Island, then to Scotland, the fjords of Norway and Copenhagen.

A Dublin roundtrip explores the wild and remote British Isles and Iceland, while a Dublin to Copenhagen cruise takes in Scotland and Norway on route to the Danish capital.

Meet Silversea Expedition Leader Peter Bergman

What type of people go on expedition cruises?

People who are interested in visiting remote parts of the world that aren’t so easily accessed by traditional means of travel. Places that expedition ships go to don’t necessarily have the tourism infrastructure necessary to fly in and travel around by road, so often exploring by ship is the best way. Most people that go on expedition cruises share a curiosity to learn about and observe cultures, natural history, and wildlife that’s different to where they come from. 

How does an expedition cruise differ from other cruises? 

Expedition ships are usually smaller and carry less passengers than classic cruise ships and tend to go to parts of the world that are considered remote and harder to access. Zodiacs (rigid inflatable boats) are used to get passengers on and off the ship as often there is no place for the ship to come alongside in these remote regions. On board is an Expedition Team whose job is to impart their immense knowledge of the region to passengers by giving lectures, and providing interpretation on the Zodiacs and also shoreside on excursions. 

What can people expect from the onboard and offboard experience? 

We like to keep our guests quite busy on an expedition cruise even though they are technically ‘on holiday’. Onboard we provide lectures on different topics relative to the region we’re visiting, spend time on the decks searching for wildlife, host trivia and other social events, plus there are spa services available. Guests also enjoy finely appointed suites that are amongst the most spacious in expedition cruising, plus butler service for every suite category. On every Silversea expedition, comfort and luxury go hand-in-hand with discovery and adventure. Off the ship we offer expertly led Zodiac landings, where we go looking for wildlife and other nearby features of interest, kayaking adventures, or we make a landing shoreside and explore the area by foot or using local transport. We like to start the day relatively early so we can make the most of each place we visit. 

What’s your favourite expedition/port/excursion?

South Georgia (a sub-Antarctic island near to the Antarctic Peninsula) is a wildlife mecca and a favourite destination for many expeditioners. The island is abundant with King penguins, Antarctic fur seals, Elephant seals and many seabirds. If anyone is planning on visiting Antarctica on an expedition ship, I would encourage them to consider South Georgia as well. 

How did you get into your job and how long have you been doing it?

I studied marine biology and spent a lot of time working and researching on boats which helped me get employed in the industry. I’ve been with Silversea for six years.

What does your job entail?

As an Expedition Leader my main responsibilities are managing the Expedition team and coordinating the excursions we offer, briefing the guests on our planned activities each day, overseeing the safety of everyone involved in our operations, and ensuring guests who come on board for an expedition cruise have a memorable experience and leave wanting to do more and more in the future. 

Find out more about Silversea Expedition cruises on the website here

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