By James Shillinglaw, Nov 21, 2022
Silversea Cruises officially named its third new ship in just nine months, hosting the first ultra-luxury ship christening in Antarctica in the spectacularly scenic Lemaire Channel. Silver Endeavour, arguably one of the world’s most luxurious expedition ships, was named on Nov. 19 as guests gathered in Zodiacs in front of the ship toast the new ship.
Silver Endeavour is the 11th ship in Silversea’s fleet, and its fifth expedition ship, broadening one of the most diverse polar offerings in luxury travel. Executives from Silversea, the ship’s godmother, Felicity Aston MBE, and select members of the cruise line’s extended family were in attendance as an ice-sculpted champagne magnum (with water, not champagne inside) smashed against Silver Endeavour’s hull to mark the cruise line’s third naming ceremony in just nine months.
The christening was actually held on a rolling basis starting Nov. 14, when an intimate blessing ceremony was held at the Cape Horn Sub-Antarctic Center in Puerto Williams, on Nov. 15. Local dignitaries from Puerto Williams joined the festivities, which honored maritime traditions. After the Royal Caribbean Group’s customary bagpipe performance, singers sang the Chilean and American national anthems, a video depicted a religious figure blessing the ship, and Aston was formally introduced as the vessel’s godmother.
Unable to attend in person, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, and Roberto Martinoli, president and CEO of Silversea Cruises, sent a video message to thank the community, the crew and all employees involved in the milestone achievement, while Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s chief commercial officer, and Aston each addressed attendees.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, Silver Endeavour became the first-ever ship to be named in the Lemaire Channel, one of the continent’s most scenic straits, located off the Antarctic Peninsula. Aston blessed Silver Endeavour for good fortune, cutting a ribbon as she stood alongside Captain Niklas Peterstam and Master of Ceremonies Peter Greenberg, CBS travel editor, on one of the ship’s outer decks to trigger an ice-sculpted, magnum-sized bottle to smash against the hull. Guests and other Silversea executives witnessed the historic moment from Zodiacs just in front of the ship.
“We are excited to officially welcome Silver Endeavour to the Royal Caribbean Group fleet, bringing our global fleet to 64 ships,” said Liberty. “Silver Endeavour will continue to strengthen Silversea’s position as the leading ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line, allowing us to grow capacity while building upon Royal Caribbean Group’s mission of delivering the best vacations in the world responsibly.”
“We are incredibly proud to have hosted ultra-luxury cruising’s first Antarctica naming ceremony for Silver Endeavour, our third ship to be named in just nine months,” said Martinoli. “I would like to thank Captain Niklas Peterstam and the ship’s crew, the entire Silversea team, Jason Liberty and all those involved at Royal Caribbean Group for their invaluable support in reaching this momentous milestone. Silver Endeavour strengthens our position as the industry’s leading cruise line, broadening our diverse polar offering for our guests’ enjoyment. A source of great inspiration for our guests, we are honored to name Felicity Aston as the ship’s godmother. Felicity is the perfect ambassador for Silversea. She shares the same unwavering sense of curiosity and adventure that unites all of our guests.”
Silversea named polar explorer and climate scientist Felicity Aston as Silver Endeavour’s Godmother in October 2022. Aston became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica in 2012, as well as the first person to traverse the continent by muscle power alone.
“Being among the first to sail aboard Silver Endeavour, naming the ship in the company of such esteemed guests, and assuming the role of godmother makes me incredibly proud,” said Aston. “She shares her name with the ship on which Captain Cook set forth for the ends of the earth, but exploration has of course evolved in the centuries since Cook departed. Today, exploration is not only about geographical discovery, it is also about finding new ideas, new inspiration and new perspectives. Silver Endeavour will allow more people to become explorers and return home with new outlooks. She will be a source of self-enrichment, as people connect with the planet and each other. Fair winds and following seas to all those who sail on her.”
Built to PC6 polar class specifications, the 200-guest Silver Endeavour, which was originally built by Crystal Cruises in 2021 before the former owners of Crystal declared insolvency, is designed for polar exploration and will extend Silversea’s polar seasons. 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 maintains Silversea’s trademark level of comfort, with a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1 and the cruise line’s hallmarks of luxury, including butler service for every suite and some of the most spacious accommodations in expedition cruising.
Building on the extended polar season announced for Silver Endeavour for 2023-2024, Silversea recently unveiled 27 new voyages for the vessel calling on more than 125 of the world’s most remote destinations between summer 2024 and winter 2024-2025. Featuring a wide array of departures, itineraries and voyage lengths, with sailings ranging from six to 21 days, the new sailings include four new voyages to the British Isles and Iceland, nine additional sailings to the Arctic, and 14 voyages to Antarctica. For more information, visit www.silversea.com.