Silversea Cruises Review

U.S. News Travel
  • Overall Rating: 4.5stars 4.4 4.4
  • Expert Rating:5.0stars 4.8
  • Traveler Rating:4.0stars 4.2
    • Couples: 3.9
    • Families w/ young children: N/A
    • Families w/ older children: 3.0
    • Singles/Friends: 4.0
    • Groups: 3.0
  • Health Rating:

Silversea Cruises Overview

How it Ranks: Silversea has been ranked based on an expert evaluation of the line's level of luxury, as well as an assessment of user reviews and health ratings. Silversea Cruises appears on the following ranking lists:

Silversea Cruises has built a reputation for exclusivity and exemplary service with staples like spacious suites, diverse onboard activities and gourmet Relais & Châteaux cuisine. The line's eight small luxury ships — carrying between 100 and 540 guests — foster an intimate experience, with nearly one crew member for every passenger. These small-scale vessels can sail to remote ports in more than 450 destinations across the globe, enabling you to choose unique excursions like hiking in the Arctic or wildlife-watching in the Galápagos. Silversea cruises can last anywhere from five to 115 days, with popular 2015-16 itineraries covering Europe, Mexico, South AmericaAlaska, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, South Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. During your voyage, you'll be able to soak up the scenery from your private suite, since all Silversea's accommodations offer ocean views, either by porthole, picture window or spacious veranda. When you're not relaxing in your suite, you'll find plenty of onboard activities and amenities to keep you entertained. Silversea ships come equipped with fitness centers, pools, theaters, beauty salons, spas and casinos. You can also take advantage of enrichment programs like guest lecture series — Silversea hosts experts leading discussions on subjects like art, music, history and law. Plus, with Silversea's flexible dining schedule (which allows you to eat whenever and with whomever) and upscale culinary options (including Le Champagne, the only Relais & Châteaux-affiliated restaurant on a cruise ship), you'll be able to cater meals to your personal preferences.

Pros & Cons

  • Smaller ships sail to off-the-beaten path destinations
  • All-suite accommodations offer expansive sea views
  • You can dine whenever and with whomever you want
  • No activities or programs are available for children or teens
  • Cruise fares come attached to high price tags year-round
  • It's hard to research shore excursions online prior to booking your cruise

On Board

On Silversea, you can expect to find affluent travelers — including solo cruisers, couples and groups — who are willing to pay for an extravagant vacation. With smaller, sleeker ships that offer activities like bridge and cigar sampling, Silversea particularly caters to the 50-plus crowd.

More about the onboard experience»

On Shore

With an emphasis on personalized cruising, Silversea has dedicated "Destination Consultants" to help you find shore excursions that meet your interests. Available shore excursions are broken into three categories by activity level and atmosphere: Silver Shore Collection (unique trips to survey the shore), Silver Shore Expeditions (activities designed for active ...

More about the on shore experience»

Before You Book

  • Cruise fares are based on double occupancy and cover all meals in the main restaurant, all beverages, butler service, onboard gratuities, taxes and government fees, in-room bar and minifridge items, 24-hour room service and in-suite dining. Your fare also covers transportation into town at most ports of call.
  • You must be 18 years or older to cruise with Silversea. Passengers younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult older than 21. Infants younger than 6 months are not permitted on Silversea voyages, and Silversea reserves the right to limit the number of children allowed on board. Women in their 24th week of pregnancy or later are also prohibited from sailing with Silversea.
  • You must pay a deposit (equal to 25 percent of your full cruise fare) within seven days of booking. You will incur a $200 fee if you cancel your cruise reservation more than 120 days prior to your scheduled sail date. If you cancel your cruise 91 to 120 days prior to departure, you'll forfeit 15 percent of the total cruise fare; if you cancel 46 to 90 days prior to departure, you'll forfeit 50 percent; if you cancel 31 to 45 days prior to departure, you'll forfeit 75 percent; and if you cancel within 30 days prior to departure, you'll receive no refund.
  • If you cancel your cruise 90 days in advance of your sail date, you will also incur a $100 per person processing fee.

Before You Board

  • You must present all essential travel documents (ticket, passport and medical cards) upon embarkation and obtain necessary visas prior to departure. Consult the U.S. State Department's website for required visa and passport information based on your cruise itinerary.
  • Your cruise embarkation time and when you will be required to arrive at the port will be noted in your final cruise documents, which you'll receive via mail about 21 to 30 days before your sailing date. Typically, passengers should arrive at the ship no earlier than noon and no later than two hours before departure to ensure a smooth embarkation process.
  • For vaccination information, visit the World Health Organization, which provides a list of standard vaccines for travelers, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides a list of current regulations.
  • Each ship has a doctor and nurse on board and on call at all times. You must inform Silversea of any physical or mental conditions that may require onboard medical or professional attention upon booking your reservation. You must supply your own wheelchair and not all shore excursions are handicap-accessible.
  • You can pre-book shore excursions 120 days before your cruise by accessing the My Voyage page on Silversea's website. Within seven days of departure, you may no longer book or cancel tours with My Voyage. You can also book shore excursions once on board.
  • Excursions canceled within 36 hours of the tour departure are not refundable, and cancellation fees vary by excursion.
  • You may reserve spa appointments 60 days prior to your cruise departure for most ships. You may also choose to reserve your spa treatments once you're on board. If you need to cancel or reschedule, you must do so at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment to avoid cancellation fees.
  • Dining reservations may only be made once on board, though reservations at Le Champagne may be reserved prior to departure if you're planning a private dinner.

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Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship's Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship's Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.