Steve Odell, Silversea’s president, Europe and Asia Pacific, spoke to Cruise Passenger about the launch of the line’s third expedition ship while on a busy trip to Australia this week.

He said: “Silver Discoverer will leave Bali on March 1 for Cairns and then sail the Kimberley for a short season before going on to Micronesia and Melanesia.”

“The demand for luxury expedition cruises is outstripping supply and we’re expecting a lot of interest from Australian customers, who are the second-largest market for our expedition cruises after North America.”

The 128-passenger Silver Discoverer, which has been leased by Silversea rather than custom-built like the rest of the fleet, has been operating in the Pacific for some years under its previous identity Clipper Odyssey.

Mr Odell says it is a perfect warm-climate vessel and as well as having a swimming pool and a glass-bottom boat, it will be equipped with 12 Zodiacs and scuba-diving will be a big attraction.

There will be an expedition team on board every cruise and as the 11 experts drive the Zodiacs as well as lecture on board, adventurous passengers can expect a thoroughly hands-on educational experience.