On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Silver Discoverer: Exotic expeditions for adventure travelers
As the third expedition vessel in the Silversea expeditions fleet, Silver Discoverer was built specifically to navigate the shallow waters of the remote archipelagos found in the Pacific. Her small size and shallow draft allow close-up access to rugged coasts well beyond the reach of ordinary vessels.
The ship has the feel of a large private yacht, and in 2014 she underwent a multimillion-dollar makeover to help guests maximize their experience and build a genuine connection with the regions they visit.
With room for 128 guests, Silver Discoverer has plenty of space for adventure travelers to unwind after a long day hiking on shore, snorkeling, swimming in the onboard pool, exploring craggy inlets aboard one the ship's Zodiac boats or observing a pristine coral reef through the ship's glass-bottom boat.
On board you'll find 96 friendly crew members (who'll even remember your name!), free in-suite bar and butler service, classy lounges and an open bar where travelers gather to shares stories about their day's adventures. Another highlight is the excellent cuisine Silversea is known for.
Silver Discoverer offers a different kind of experience than the traditional Silversea sailings: The small ship is designed to help guests get close to marine life and wildlife and experience stunning scenery while being guided by local experts. When you return from your explorations, you'll be treated to fine dining, champagne, over-the-top service and personal attention — all part of the Silversea experience. As one passenger put it: “Trust me, the champagne tastes even better after a day of hiking and bird-watching.”
Who will like sailing on Silver Discoverer
Upscale adventures who enjoy off-the-beaten-path discoveries in relative comfort — and who consider themselves travelers rather than tourists — will like Silver Discoverer. The typical passenger is late 30s to 70s in age, well heeled and well traveled, with about half coming from Australia and Asia and half from Europe and the U.S. (English is spoken on the ship). Keep in mind that you need to be in shape to climb in and out of Zodiacs and manage an occasionally challenging hike. The ship may not be a good choice for those who are easily prone to seasickness or looking for an abundance of onboard activities.
Where Silver Discoverer sails
Silver Discoverer sails in and around Australia, Asia and the South Pacific. The ship follows routes of ancient seafarers to some of the most isolated regions of Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, Melanesia and the Russian Far East. Some of the most popular destinations that this cruise ship visits include New Zealand and eastern Russia.
With its three expedition ships, Silversea Expeditions has become one of the two leading luxury expedition cruise lines in the world (the other is Ponant), enabling passengers to experience epic journeys to remote locales with the guidance of some of the world’s leading expedition experts.
A voyage on Silver Discoverer will be chiefly about the destinations on your itinerary, including captivating wildlife, sea life and extraordinary geological formations.
You won't find any stage productions, casino or organized activities. Entertainment is limited to a piano player, some card games and the flat-panel TV in your cabin. The most intriguing onboard activities may well be the lectures that offer a glimpse of the next day's excursions.
Top dining choices
Dining on Silver Discoverer is far beyond what you might expect on an expedition cruise, but Silversea's reputation for some of the best dining at sea extends to its expedition fleet. Choices include:
- The Restaurant: The Restaurant on deck 3 is the main venue for dinner. Look for contemporary international cuisine with local specialties tied to the voyage destination. The Restaurant offers open-seating dining, which means there are no assigned times and no assigned tables. There are no "formal" nights on Silver Discoverer though you'll spot plenty of jackets in the dining room.
- The Grill: The Grill offers poolside convenience for breakfast and lunch including fresh-from-the-oven pizza and lighter fare. When the stars come out, this popular eatery is transformed into “Hot Rocks,” an al fresco dining experience where guests get to grill fresh seafood and prime cuts own meats on a volcanic stone — a terrifically fun experience.
- Discoverer Lounge: You can enjoy lighter fare for breakfast and lunch while relaxing in the casual atmosphere of the Discoverer Lounge. Large picture windows give way to natural light and passing views of the ever-changing scenery.
- In-suite dining and room service: You can have breakfast delivered to your suite or a formal dinner ordered from The Restaurant menu at no extra charge. Lighter fare is always available from the room service menu from 6 am to 11 pm.
Bars & lounges
- Pool Deck: On warm climate expeditions, outdoor life on board revolves around the Pool Deck located aft. People socialize and lounge at the Pool Bar and around the small but very refreshing swimming pool, perfect for cooling off in the tropics.
- Explorer Lounge: The Explorer Lounge on deck 4 is specially designed to give guests an uninterrupted view of the destination from the comfort of the ship’s interior. This is where all lectures, briefings and social gatherings take place. During cocktail hours and after dinner, a piano player performs.
You'll find five categories of staterooms on Silver Discoverer accommodating 120 to 128 guests. On deck 6 there's a Medallion Suite with balcony, eight Veranda Suites (284 square feet with a balcony) and four Vista Suites with windows. Cabins on the three other passenger decks are called suites but that's stretching the definition. Most are 181-square-foot staterooms with queen beds, dressing tables and compact marbled shower rooms. Only nine of the rooms have balconies.
All cabins feature a seating area with a couch, chair and table, and all come with excellent butler service, which will likely be another highlight of your sailing. Bathrooms are modest in size and feature showers with a fixed glass enclosure.
Spa & fitness
- Beauty Salon: A full range of salon services is available for both men and women including hair styling, manicures, pedicures, massages and other spa treatments.
- Fitness Center: Silver Discoverer is equipped with a large fitness room that is open daily. The fitness center features four stationary bikes, two top machines, two leg extension machines and free weights.
Keep in mind
Silver Discoverer, launched in 1998, is not quite as sumptuous as the brochures make it out to be. And her small size means that from time to time the ship can easily start to roll and pitch quite markedly.
On the upside, remember that Silversea is all-inclusive so gratuities and all expeditions are already included in your fare.
Have you cruised on Silver Discoverer? What was the highlight? We'd love to hear about your experience.
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Interested in a cruise on this ship?
Top highlights on this ship
- Exciting destinations including isolated regions of Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia and the Russian Far East.
- Every Silversea expedition is accompanied by an expert team.
- A fleet of Zodiacs takes you to remote landings or lets you explore from the water.
- Butler service is available for all guests and all the service on board is personalized & excellent
- The excellent expeditions are included in your fare.
- Some of the best fine dining on a cruise ship
Top dining options on board
"The Silver Discoverer offers just 62 all ocean-view suites decked out with amenities like an extensive in-suite bar set-up and Pratesi bed linens, managing to remain an intimate ship with a maximum guest count of 120 passengers."