Is ultra-luxe ultra-unaffordable? We chat to Adam Armstrong, the new Managing Director of Silversea about how accessible prices are.
It’s been a week since Adam Armstrong has been in his new role as Managing Director of ultra-luxe cruise line Silversea. And he already has mapped out big plans to encourage Aussies to sail with the Italian brand.
He is intent on growing the Australian market to be the line’s number two source of passengers, which means surpassing the UK.
But perhaps surprisingly, he is setting out to convince Australians that Silversea – consider one of the world’s most luxurious brands – is actually better value than the big ship brands like…well, like his former employer’s Royal Caribbean.
It’s a bold claim. But underpinned with a logical argument.
Mr Armstrong stresses Silversea is all inclusive luxury for one price: all meals, shore excursion, drinks as well as a butler for every category of suite.
When you do the numbers of the luxury accommodation on mega liners with exclusive “ship within a ship” areas like Norwegian’s The Haven, Silversea can indeed become a strong value proposition.
Cruise Passenger grabbed a calculator and did a quick calculation:
Norwegian Cruise Line
Departing: September 22 – 29, 2019
Calling at Washington, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria British Vancouver
The Haven 2-bedroom Family Villa with Balcony.
$1,668 pp per night
Symphony of the Seas
Departing: December 28, 2019 – January 4, 2020
Calling at Roatan, Honduras, Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico, Cozumel, Mexico
Junior suite: $1,005pp per night
Departing: June 10 – 17, 2019
Calling at Porto Mahon, Sardinia, Corsica and St Tropez
Stateroom: $964 pp per night
But the big ships aren’t Mr Armstrong’s only target in his quest to raise the Aussie numbers aboard Silversea, control of which was recently acquired by Royal Caribbean.
“There is a high amount of wealth in Australia and there are people who are buying luxury holidays. But they aren’t buying cruises. We’ll be trying to appeal to that market, but also to those who are booking suite accommodation in the large ships,” he said.
“Some of them will be looking to cruise on a smaller ship, but of course, there will be a different environment, and most importantly, a different level of service. Guests, for example, would pay roughly the same amount per day, as they would for a suite on an Oasis-class ship.”
And while Mr Armstrong says there are cruisers who are attracted to the facilities, dining and entertainment, premium accommodation on a large ship and Silversea accommodation works out at around the same price.
“I think when you get down to the detail of what it costs to have that experience when comparing those two types of cruising styles, the luxury brand comes out as quite good value for money because it’s all inclusive. Every Silversea accommodation category gets a butler. The number I have researched is that a Silversea cruise, on average costs around $400-$600 per day per person.”
Mr Armstrong also will be encouraging Aussies to book onboard the new Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, as well as the ships after the lines’ ‘Musification’.
“As part of Project Invictus, we’re upgrading food and beverage selections and from a hardware perspective, we will put the ships in drydock and upgrade the ships, more than we originally planned to bring them to the standard of the Silver Muse which we call the ‘Musification’.
Silversea’s Expedition voyages are truly all inclusive with excursions/Zodiacs included (to destinations such as the Arctic/Russian Far East/Antartica/Kimberley etc).