On Royal Caribbean’s (RCL) namesake cruise line, the ship matters as much, if not more, when it comes to people booking a vacation. Yes, the cruise line offers lots of trips filled with interesting ports but that’s almost beside the point when passengers opt to sail on Oasis or Quantum-class ships.
These ships offer so much to do and so many dining options, that many passengers would be happy to spend a week on the boat never actually getting off in a port (and some actually do that). A ship like Wonder of the Seas, the cruise line’s newest, basically takes a huge Las Vegas resort/casino and puts it on the ocean.
Yes, the ship does stop in ports, but at least for sailings from Miami, it’s debatable for many passengers whether it’s worth it to get off in Nassau or Cozumel — two locations that many frequent cruisers have been to many times — when they could simply spend more time exploring the ship.
Not all cruises, however, put the ship over the destinations. Royal Caribbean’s Silversea cruise line offers smaller, luxury ships that can go pretty much anywhere on the planet. Recently, the company added a new ship to that fleet’s line and it’s planning to go someplace that most people have only dreamed of visiting (and many did not know it was even possible to visit.
Royal Caribbean Adds a New Expedition Ship
Since the pandemic hit, Royal Caribbean has been in a challenging place where it has to both conserve cash and build for its future. You can’t order a cruise ship with two-day delivery, so even at a time when cruises were not happening from US ports, the cruise line still had to invest in growing its fleet.
In the case of its latest ship, however, Royal Caribbean took advantage of another company’s misfortune. The cruise line bought the ultra-luxury Endeavour, now named the Silver Endeavour, because its original intended owner, Crystal Cruises went bankrupt in 2021.
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That allowed Royal Caribbean to swoop in and purchase the ship for $275 million, “significantly below the cost of construction,” the company shared in a press release. The company, which financed the purchase on a 15-year term via an unsecured loan, said the “acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings, cash flow and ROIC.”
Basically, Royal Caribbean made a fortuitous move that allowed it to make an addition to its fleet without paying full price.
Silversea Endeavor Sets Its Sights on Antarctica
An expedition ship sails itineraries to destinations that people dream of visiting. Silver Endeavor will live up to that by making 12 “voyages to Antarctica from November 21, 2022, broadening the industry’s most diverse polar offering.” Trips on the ship will range from five to 20 days and will “include Silversea’s Antarctica Bridge fly-cruise sailings, as well as an extended ‘Deep South’ expedition and a new 10-day Antarctic Peninsula voyage.”
“Among the most advanced expedition ships at sea, Silver Endeavor will enhance the expedition experience to all new levels for our guests when she sets sail to Antarctica from November 2022,” said Silverseas Senior Vice President Conrad Combrink.
The ship’s inaugural sailing will be an Antarctica Bridge fly-cruise sailings, which offers the “fastest, most direct route to the White Continent, Silversea’s Antarctica Bridge enables travelers to skip the Drake Passage, flying directly to King George Island in European business-class comfort to embark the ship. Travelers will journey deep into Antarctica on voyages between five and nine days, exploring destinations such as the Antarctic Peninsula, the Antarctic Sound, and the South Shetland Islands,” the company shared in a press release.
Combrink will be accompanying the ship on its maiden voyage.
“I look forward to accompanying our guests on her maiden voyage, as we fly over the Drake Passage to embark Silver Endeavor in King George Island, journeying deep into Antarctica on this milestone voyage,” he added.