Silversea's latest addition to the fleet, the Prince Albert II, which was originally scheduled to reposition from Antarctica to French Polynesia for the 2009 spring and summer seasons, will now sail back to its inaugural destination – the Arctic – on June 1. The ship will operate nine expeditions in the Arctic before heading south to spend fall and winter exploring Antarctica as well as the remote islands of South Georgia and the Falklands.
"We believe there is a strong market demand for this type of product and we are encouraged by the extremely positive response of our guests who visited the region this past summer during the Prince Albert II's inaugural season," said Amerigo Perasso, Silversea's president and CEO. "With an ice-strengthened hull, the ship is well-suited for polar explorations. Operating our vessel in close reach of our three leading markets (United States, United Kingdom and Continental Europe) is all the more justified given the present economic environment."
The Arctic region, which comprises parts of Canada, Norway, Greenland and Iceland, has become a very sought-after destination. It is the untouched beauty of the terrain, its remoteness and indigenous flora and fauna, which have awakened travelers' sense of wonder.
Guests aboard the Prince Albert II will not only travel to the Arctic, but see, feel and experience up-close all it has to offer. With a veteran expedition team, as well as a panel of lecturers and naturalists, including geologists, ornithologists, biologists, and historians, to accompany and guide them on their travels, every day will bring new adventures, such as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot a polar bear in its natural ice-floe habitat, puffins bathing in the sea, or a family of walruses soaking up the sun.
In fact, with its wide spectrum of Arctic voyages, Silversea should attract all aspiring explorers. Seven-day voyages to either Svalbard or Greenland will provide a great overview of their far-off treasures, be it the early ice of the season or the awakening polar bears, whereas a 10- to 16-day exploration may take you to the farthest corners of the world. On its "Far Side of Svalbard" expedition, the Prince Albert II is set to circumnavigate the archipelago; on its "Frozen Worlds" expedition, plans call for a return visit to the volcanic island of Jan Mayen, whose access was granted to just three vessels in 2008, including Silversea's.
Prior to this Arctic deployment, the Prince Albert II will explore British waters with two equally enticing voyages: an exclusive journey across the Channel Islands, with select stopovers in Cornwall, Brittany and Normandy; next onto secluded parts of Scotland and Ireland, taking in the wonderful sights of "Britain in Bloom" and enabling budding botanists and ornithologists to live their passion to the full. Likewise, the Central and South American expeditions scheduled in autumn, some of which may be combined, will provide yet another opportunity to experience firsthand jungle-scapes, ancient cultures and indigenous sea and wildlife.
With these new itineraries, Silversea is extending a-hard-to-resist travel invitation: some of the world's most secluded and pristine destinations, and a journey both enriching and memorable with all the comfort, amenities and excellent cuisine that are the hallmarks of Silversea.
The complete new itineraries of Prince Albert II will be made available shortly at www.silversea.com.