Silversea to regionalise line’s fleet, says new president

Silversea’s new president has pledged to regionalise the line’s fleet after admitting he was “horrified” at the inefficiency of some previous itineraries. 

Speaking at the christening of Silver Ray in Lisbon, Bert Hernandez said: “We definitely want to try to regionalise our ships a little bit more so we're not always having to move them from around the world, as that's inefficient.”

By basing ships in a particular region, Silversea can develop a “more destination-intensive set of itineraries", according to Peter Shanks, managing director for the UK, Ireland and Middle East. 

Shanks said the changes would apply mostly to itineraries in 2025 and 2026, particularly those in Australia and New Zealand.

“We'd much rather do that now than end up with operational challenges later on,” he said, adding: “We hate doing a change because it causes extra work for travel advisors but if we execute it well, most will remain booked on an alternative route. I'm now hopeful we will enter a period of stability.”

Shanks said he believed regionalisation of the fleet would in fact benefit agents.

He said: “It would mean our agent partners become much more knowledgeable about ships which are based in their regions as they will sell and hopefully experience them more frequently.” 

The line also hopes to combine itineraries with festivals and events in different regions to offer repeat guests a “totally different” experience. 

This aspect of deployment planning is also aimed at combatting the inefficiency of repositioning cruises, which can be “hard to sell” due to multiple days at sea, said Hernandez. 

Hernandez added that while the line’s Red Sea cancellations in the first quarter of the year were “unavoidable” due to safety concerns, some of the itinerary changes were down to ports being “incapable of taking one of our ships”. 

He said: “[The itineraries] weren’t fully vetted for operational feasibility. We did have to change a lot of our itineraries, and that’s something I despise, but you’re going to see that changing dramatically.”

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