In the heart of Monte Carlo's harbor this morning, the expedition ship Prince Albert II officially joined the Silversea fleet during a naming ceremony in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. As in the time-honored tradition, the dedication included a blessing of the ship by H.E. Monsignor Fabrice Gallo, Prelate of the Pope of Rome.
Guests listened attentively to heartfelt speeches and then raised their glasses in a toast when the red and white ribbon (representing the heraldic colors of the Grimaldi family) was cut by HSH Prince Albert II, marking the launch of a new era in expedition cruising -- one that will offer authentic and respectful adventures from a base of easy-going luxury.
"This is a very exciting and proud day for Silversea," said Manfredi Lefebvre, chairman of Silversea. "We are extremely honored that His Serene Highness Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, has personally dedicated the ship that will bear his name. May her many journeys of discovery always honor His Serene Highness through a commitment to responsible travel."
Added Silversea President and CEO, Amerigo Perasso, "It is indeed a great privilege that His Serene Highness is here with us today and is the namesake of our new ship. In keeping with his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation, it is our hope that by educating and connecting people with distant cultures and wildlife, the Prince Albert II can open eyes and foster respect and greater care for our planet and its inhabitants."
Fresh from a multimillion dollar renovation, the Prince Albert II boasts the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship. An unmatched selection of 20 premium suites has been created especially for the discriminating traveler with 350 to 675 square feet of luxurious living space, double private French balconies or large private verandas, and additional elite amenities including butler service. All 66 ocean-view accommodations are tastefully appointed and have private marble bathrooms with bathtubs.
The Prince Albert II welcomes her first guests on June 12 as she sets sail from London on an Inaugural Season of voyages of 10 to 22 days focusing on polar adventures. Sailing first to the Arctic Circle, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland for the summer, the ship will then reposition to South America and Antarctica for autumn and winter voyages.
Silversea is a provisional member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic. The company has also joined the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). This important organization promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica. In addition, Silversea plans to voluntarily adopt and apply similar operating procedures in all other destinations where the Prince Albert II will operate.
Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents.