How to Choose Your Cruise: Silversea’s Grand Voyages

The desire to travel dates to the dawn of humankind, but then, it was for survival. For many of us today, it’s about pleasure. For seasoned travelers, time in destination is key to a successful trip.

Silversea’s Grand Voyages focus on one region of the world at a time. It’s the opposite of the each-day-a-new-country approach to travel. Instead, travelers can probe more deeply into the region, experience more cultural immersion and discover its authentic soul.

Silversea’s Grand Voyages, which are scheduled through 2025, home in on such places as the Arctic, the Indian Ocean, South Pacific, Asia, South America, Africa and Arabia and a Pacific-focused voyage that travels from Tokyo to Sydney, Australia. Perhaps the most interesting of all is the Grand Pole to Pole, an expedition voyage, because it travels through seasons and hemispheres between Chile’s Puerto Williams to Antarctica to Svalbard’s Longyearbyen.

Whichever you choose, we promise you this: Travelers will slip into another headspace as they relax into a world beyond the one they know.  

What is a Grand Voyage?

world map
Silversea’s Grand Voyages travel to almost every corner of our world. /Shutterstock.

Longer than a typical cruise but more focused than a circumnavigation of the globe, a Grand Voyage narrows its boundaries to one part of the world and stays there long enough for guests to dig into the destination. These sailings typically center on a single continent, but at other times they include other regions and even stretch across continental divides. Grand Voyages brush broad geographic strokes but also manage to define the finer details of each cultural picture. 

South America Grand Voyages, for example, tend to stick to South American countries but may also include the Central American nations and Caribbean islands bordering them.

The Grand Pacific Voyage draws a ring around Oceania, islands in the Pacific Ocean, then drags it toward Japan for a comprehensive sample of some of the region’s largest island nations.

On voyages of eight to 18 weeks, guests sail a comprehensive itinerary that will take them to globally recognized cities (visions of tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the minarets and spice markets of Casablanca, Morocco) as well as lesser-known spots on a map. The combination of big cities and secluded beaches gives Grand Voyage participants a more complex finish than a single place. 

Here’s another thing: Grand Voyages are offered as both expeditions and classic cruises.

How does a Grand Voyage differ from a World Cruise?

Croatia’s Split, part of Silversea’s Grand Voyage: Grand Mediterranean 2024/Shutterstock

Think of a Grand Voyage as a World Cruise that sticks to one part of the world. World cruises are longer than Grand Voyages and cover more nautical miles and ground to showcase a broader variety of destinations. Many (but not all) World Cruises circumnavigate the Earth, meaning they sail all the way around in one pattern or another, often passing through the Panama Canal. Silversea’s World Cruises are offered once each year and tend to include one-off special events that are available only aboard each specific sailing. 

A Grand Voyage also requires a commitment of a month or more, and guests spend that time within a smaller radius. In other words, they get to see the biblical sites of Israel in depth on a Grand Voyage in the Arabian Peninsula rather than a single stop on a broader itinerary.

Whether you hold a magnifying glass closer to a map or pull it away, the circumference is the same; each type of cruise requires a significant commitment of time, but the difference is in how — and where — the time is spent. 

Unlike a World Cruise, which is a one-off, several Grand Voyage destinations are offered each year, usually including numerous countries in the specified region.

What Grand Voyages have in common with a Silversea World Cruise is perks that typically are offered only to guests on the latter. These include a private transfer from home to airport, an overnight pre-cruise stay at a hotel with a welcome gala event, complimentary laundry service and unlimited WiFi. Silversea’s unique world cruise events also offer the ultimate in insider access in a variety of destinations.

Can’t stay away too long?

Grand Voyages, just like World Cruises, are available in shorter segments (typically 10 or 11 days) so you can choose a shorter part of a Grand Voyage. Where do you want to go? Check out our options for grand voyages through 2025.

Which Grand Voyages are available?

Although Grand Voyages are a separate category from World Cruises, the length and logistics involved in sailing guests to dozens of ports in various countries for unique experiences still takes considerable time to plan and execute.

Silversea continues to innovate, adding new ports of call, experimenting with different routes, even introducing new voyages such as  Grand Africa and Arabia. In this way, Grand Voyages remain exclusive; only a handful are organized and available each year, and they don’t visit every region of the world annually. If you missed the booking window for the 2024 suite of your choice on a certain voyage, you might have to wait two years to sail on a similar itinerary. 

Check out the following for our full list of Grand Voyages planned for 2024 and 2025.

Grand Voyage: South America 2024

On Silversea’s Grand South America 2024 voyage, you’ll spend three days in Rio de Janeiro during its world-famous Carnival. Here, the celebration features colorful streamers known as lembranca at statue of Corcovado mountain in Rio./Shutterstock.

The trip: The 72-day cruise on Silver Nova sails roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from Jan. 4 to March 15, 2024.

The itinerary: On the Grand Voyage South America, Silver Nova travels to 38 ports, five segments and 18 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Highlights: Silver Nova, a new design for Silversea, debuts a few months before this Grand Voyage, so it will still have the new ship “smell.” It also will feature S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) culinary programs and the Otium spa concept.

From an itinerary perspective, this Grand Voyage incorporates a Panama Canal transit, Peru’s west coast, Chilean fjords, and Rio de Janeiro for a three-day stop for Carnival. There’s a foray up the Brazilian Amazon and then on Central America and the Caribbean before returning to Fort Lauderdale.

Grand Voyage: Africa and Arabia 2024

Muscat Oman
Muscat, the capital of Oman, shows a variety of architectural influences, including Portuguese, Arabian, African and Western./Shutterstock

The trip: Silversea’s first Grand Voyage to set sail from Africa departs Cape Town on Jan. 27, 2024, aboard Silver Spirit. It finishes March 29 in Athens’ Piraeus

The Itinerary: The 63-day voyage covers 28 ports and visits 13 countries on three continents. There are four segments for travelers who can’t manage the entire sailing.

Highlights: The Grand Africa and Arabia Grand Voyage sails around the tip of Africa, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban in South Africa, before heading to such islands as the Reunion, Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.

Then it’s into the islands of the Indian Ocean before heading toward the Arabian Peninsula, where some of our favorite ports, including Oman’s Muscat and Salalah, are on the menu. Other stops: United Arab Emirates with an overnight in Abu Dhabi; Jordan’s Aqaba, the kick-off spot for the haunting and beautiful ruins of Petra; a Suez Canal transit; and four days in Egypt.

Grand Voyage: Pole to Pole Expedition 2024

Penguins at Cuverville Island in the Antarctic/Silversea

The trip: The 126-day Pole-to-Pole expedition Grand Voyage begins Feb. 22 in Ushuaia, Argentina, from which it heads to Antarctica and finishes June 26 in the Arctic’s Longyearbyen in Norway’s Svalbard.

The itinerary: Besides the Antarctic and the Arctic, the voyage, on Silver Wind visits 90 ports in 21 countries. You will have eight options to choose as segments within the 126-day trip.

Highlights: We love that you begin in summer in the Southern Hemisphere and conclude with summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This itinerary is meant for travelers who have seen much of the world and want to go back and explore smaller, lesser-known places. For instance, while in South America, the ship stops at such marquee cities as Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, yet there’s also a trek up the Amazon.

Giant water lily in the Amazon River. /Shutterstock

You’ll head across the Atlantic Ocean to Senegal’s Dakar and on to Lisbon and London, and all the ports in between, including Brazil’s Belem; the Bijagos Archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde; Morocco’s Agadir; and France’s Belle Isle. On the final stretch, Silver Wind calls at destinations such as the U.K.’s Isles of Scilly, Iona and Mull before arriving in Reykjavik, Iceland, and the Svalbard Archipelago.

On this journey, exclusive Grand Voyages events will take place on Senegal’s Goree Island and in London, at Tower Bridge.

Grand Voyage: Grand Indian Ocean 2024

In India, Cochin’s magnificent boats/Shutterstock

The trip: Skirting the Indian Ocean, this cruise, on Silver Cloud, offers an expedition experience. It departs from South Africa’s Port Elizabeth and concludes in Australia’s Darwin.

The itinerary: Emphasizing ancient history, geographical wonders, and wildlife diversity, this voyage visits 45 ports of call in 12 countries during a 66-day stretch.

Highlights: You’ll travel deeply into this region of the world, experiencing wildlife on game drives and water-based adventures. The ancient region of Australia’s Kimberley is out of our own world with its gorges. waterfalls, marine life and sense of isolation from the realities of daily life. India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia also are part of this expedition experience. The Exclusive Grand Voyages Events take place in South Africa’s Port Elizabeth and India’s Cochin. On this Grand Voyage, you can choose a two night pre-cruise land experience in Shamwari, a private game reserve on South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

Grand Voyage: Grand Mediterranean 2024

Montenegro’s Kotor/Shutterstock

The trip: From Lisbon, Portugal, to Athens, Greece, Silversea’s Grand Mediterranean 2024 begins April 20 and concludes June 16.

The itinerary: The 58-day trip on Silver Whisper calls at 50 ports in a dozen countries. For those interested in shorter segments, Grand Mediterranean offers six routes.

Highlights: The ultimate Mediterranean tapas cruise, the Grand Voyage heads from Athens to the Greek Isles, Turkey and Jerusalem. Next is north to Venice by way of the Dalmatian Coast, and back around Italy, to Rome and Western Italy, France’s Côte d’Azur, western Spain through Barcelona and along the Spanish coast and Portugal.

Grand Voyage: Grand South Pacific Expedition 2024

Rarely does French Polynesia ever feel crowded./Carolyn Spencer Brown for Silversea

The trip: Like any Silversea expedition voyage, the Grand South Pacific takes you to a few places you’ve been to and to mostly small, off-the-beaten path ports that you haven’t yet experienced. This makes it an explorer’s journey. On this trip aboard Silver Wind, you’ll depart Aug. 25 from Perth, Western Australia, and finish the voyage Nov. 7 in Chile’s Valparaíso.

The itinerary: The 76-day voyage on Silver Wind visits 40 ports in six countries with four dedicated segments for shorter sailings.

Highlights: After several weeks exploring Australia’s lesser-known destinations, Silver Cloud heads east to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. The voyage crosses the Pacific to South America by way of Easter Island and Robinson Crusoe Island.

Grand Voyage: Grand Pacific 2024

In Singapore, the colorful houses of Joo Chiat Road./Shutterstock.

The trip: The 58-day Grand Voyage Pacific on Silver Muse departs from Tokyo and ends in Sydney.

The itinerary: The trip begins Sept. 26 and arrives in Tokyo Nov. 22. It encompasses 27 ports and eight countries, and four segments are available.

Highlights: This is one of 2024’s most eagerly anticipated itineraries, calling at ports that had, for years, been closed to international travel. From Tokyo, the first segment is a Japan-centric voyage that also stops at Korea’s Busan. From Tokyo, again, the next leg spends three days in Shanghai, plus a multiday visit at Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, and a stop in Hong Kong, before winding up in Singapore. From Singapore it’s on to Bali and around Australia’s eastern coast to Brisbane. And the last series of port visits is Australia-intensive, then on to New Zealand before winding up in Sydney.

Grand Voyage: Grand South America 2025

Chilean fjords/Shutterstock stock

The trip: Silversea’s Grand South America voyage, on the brand-new Silver Ray, is a 72-day cruise that begins Jan. 20 and winds up on April 1.

The itinerary: On Silver Ray, the Grand South America sailing calls at 38 ports in 17 countries. Five segments are available. For full Grand Voyage guests, the round-trip itinerary from Fort Lauderdale begins with the Caribbean and Central America, through the Panama Canal, to Peru’s Lima. Then it’s headed south, down the west coast of Peru and Chile, through the latter’s gorgeous fjords. Around the southernmost part of South America, you head next up to Buenos Aires and farther up through Uruguay and Brazil, before crossing to the Caribbean and then north to the U.S.

Pisco in Chile,/Shutterstock

Highlights: This is a thorough tour through Central America, South America and the Caribbean and includes plenty of calls at lesser-known destinations as well as multiday visits to marquee ports. Silver Ray, as the newest ship in the Silversea fleet, is outfitted with all of new aspects of the new, Silver Nova-class of ship, including with an asymmetrical design that makes a great connection between ship and sea, and now legacy S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) programs; don’t miss out on regional piscos served on this itinerary at the S.A.L.T. Bar.

Grand Voyage: Grand Asia 2025

Osaka Castle and full cherry blossom, with Fuji mountain in the background, Japan/Shutterstock

The Trip: In 2025, Grand Asia, on Silversea’s Silver Whisper, travels from Singapore roundtrip, beginning February 15 and ending on April 26.

The itinerary: The 70-day cruise visits 34 destinations in nine countries with calls in Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, Korea and Japan. Calls include marquee ports in each country as well as smaller, offbeat destinations.

Highlights: You won’t want to miss the exclusive events for this Grand Voyage in Bangkok and Manila, Philippines. Visits to major cities in Japan are timed to the cherry blossom season.

Grand Voyage: Grand Africa and Arabia 2025

Walvis Bay, Namibia, where the sand dunes meet the sea/Shutterstock

The trip: From Feb. 22 to April 27, 2025, Silver Spirit travels from Cape Town to Athens (Piraeus).

The itinerary: On Grand Africa and Arabia, you’ll visit 30 ports in 13 countries over a span of 64 days. From Cape Town, explore South Africa’s great cities, and head north to Namibia’s fabulous Walvis Bay, where the sand dunes meet the sea. (Don’t miss the gorgeous pink flamingos.) Madagascar and the Seychelles offer bonding opportunities with natural life, wildlife and pristine beaches. Then it’s on to India before moving into the Red Sea for visits to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. The cruise winds up visiting Egypt and goes through through the Suez Canal.

Highlights: Exclusive Grand Voyages events will be held in Walvis Bay, Namibia, and Ain Sukhna in the Suez Governorate of Egypt.