Silversea Cruises buoyant about expansion
In a news conference aboard Silversea Cruises‘ first new luxury vessel in eight years, company chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Olvidio sounded optimistic that the 596-passenger Silver Muse would eventually be joined by one or more sister ships, to reach an eventual goal of a 12-ship fleet.
“What is a fact is that we have three options for three identical ships, at incredibly good terms,” Lefebvre said. He said the options are for ships to be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2023. He also said that puts Silversea in a good position, given the recent flood of ship orders that has created a backlog at shipyards.
“Now company policy is we announce things when we do them. When we say we’re going to build a ship, it’s going to happen,” Lefebvre said. He did not have any announcements about exercising the options.
The company’s next project after taking delivery of the Silver Muse is the conversion of its first ship, Silver Cloud, to do expedition cruising, including trips to Antarctica.
Lefebvre said the company has earmarked $170 million for upgrading its fleet. “If it’s necessary to do more, we’ll do more. If it’s not necessary, we will not. But we have a goal. We will proceed immediately with the Cloud. Hopefully another ship will be announced soon to have a massive refurbishment and renovation,” he said.
The 596-passenger Muse, delivered on April 3 by the Fincantieri shipyard, has eight restaurants but no main dining room.
“This ship for us sets a new standard. And, of course, it gives me the problem now that I will have to invest more money in the rest of the fleet,” Lefebvre said.
Silversea plans a global brand campaign starting this summer, related to some product announcements, chief marketing officer Barbara Muckermann said. Muckermann told a group of agents on the ship in a presentation that Silversea’s target market are baby boomers, and that most of the millennial generation has yet to build the wealth needed to cruise on Silversea.
Lefebvre said that travel agents will play a key role in Silversea’s eventual growth to 12 ships, telling them,”If you help me fill this ship, I will build three more of these.”