Since its inception in the early 90s, Silversea Cruises has been recognised as the gold standard in luxury cruising, acclaimed both for its legendary European lifestyle and global reach of destinations. The cruise line was the brainchild of Antonio Lefebvre d'Ovidio, a respected Italian jurist and maritime law professor. His idea was to create a new class of elite vessels designed with more space for fewer guests and with the highest levels of personalised service. Lefebvre's maritime background led to his involvement in shipping and eventually the cruise industry.
In 1988, Antonio Lefebvre purchased the majority of Sitmar Cruises, merging it with P&O's Princess Cruises a year later, and in 1994 founded Silversea Cruises with two ships purpose-built for the line. His son Manfredi Lefebvre, who had been involved in the family's businesses from an early age, managed Silversea's ship operations and became chairman of Silversea Cruises in 2001. Under his chairmanship the company was expanded from a 4 vessel company to an eight- (and soon nine-) ship fleet. Manfredi Lefebvre is a well-respected businessman active in many different fields, but travel has always been his primary passion, both on a personal as well as on a professional level. Thanks to the Lefebvre family's commitment, Silversea Cruises is one of the last cruise companies still privately owned. In addition to his role at Silversea Mr. Lefebvre is a member of the World Economic Forum, is Vice-Chairman of the World Travel & Tourism Council and is a member of the Executive Committee of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). In 2007, he received the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre de Saint Charles and Grimaldi from Albert II, Prince of Monaco. Mr Lefebvre has been a resident of the Principality of Monaco for 25 years.
With the debut of luxury cruise ship Silver Explorer in 2008, Silversea introduced expedition cruising - Silversea style, adding yet another unique niche in the luxury cruise market. Now more intrepid travellers could experience adventurous voyages to the most remote regions of the planet while enjoying Silversea's brand of signature distinctions, including ocean-view suites, a superb culinary experience, and an incomparable level of service with a crew to guest ratio of nearly one to one. Along with both polar extremes, Silversea's three expedition ships sail to the islands of Oceania, Southeast Asia, the Russian Far East, Australia's remote Kimberley Coast, Central and South America (including the Galápagos Islands), and the exotic western coast of Africa.
Today, Silversea Cruises owns and operates eight luxury cruise ships (soon to become nine) from 100 to 540 guests, along with a global portfolio of itineraries to all seven continents and over 900 destinations worldwide. The cruise line's headquarters are based in Monaco, and the company maintains branch offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.