Silversea Vs Seabourn: Which Is Best?

There are a handful of cruise lines that cater to guests looking for the most luxurious experience at sea possible. These cruise ships are not for the mass market – expect the finest food, the best service, and a fairly hefty cruise fare too.

Two of the best options are Silversea and Seabourn, but is there one that’s distinctly better than the other? Are they relatively similar, or are they aimed at slightly different markets?

Comparison image of two luxury cruise ships on the ocean with 'SEABOURN' labeled on the left and 'SILVERSEA' on the right, divided by a bold 'VS' symbol in the center, indicating a versus battle or comparison of the Seabourn and Silversea cruise lines.

Let’s find out.

The fleets for both cruise lines are relatively similar, though Silversea does have more ships.

Each cruise line has its main luxury ships, along with a small selection of expedition ships that are smaller, and designed to visit some of the more remote parts of the world.

Silversea Ships

Silversea has 12 ships in total:

ShipClassYear BuiltSize (Gross Tonnage)Passenger Capacity
Silver ShadowEvolution200028,258392
Silver WhisperEvolution200128,258392
Silver SpiritEvolution200939,519608
Silver MuseEvolution201740,700596
Silver MoonEvolution202040,700596
Silver DawnEvolution202140,700596
Silver NovaEvolution202354,700728
Silver RayEvolution202454,700728
Silver CloudExpedition199417,400254
Silver WindExpedition199517,400274
Silver OriginExpedition20205,400100
Silver EndeavourExpedition202120,649220

Half of the fleet has been built since 2020, but then four of the other six ships are now over 20 years old.

Read More: Silversea Cruise Ships

Seabourn Ships

There are just seven ships in the Seabourn fleet, including two that are expedition ships:

ShipTypeYear BuiltSize (Gross Tonnage)Passenger Capacity
Seabourn OdysseyMain Fleet200932,346450
Seabourn SojournMain Fleet201032,346450
Seabourn QuestMain Fleet201132,348450
Seabourn EncoreMain Fleet201641,865604
Seabourn OvationMain Fleet201841,865604
Seabourn VentureExpedition202223,000264
Seabourn PursuitExpedition202323,000264

Only the expedition ships have been built since 2020, but there are no current Seabourn ships sailing that were built before 2009.

In terms of size and passenger capacity, there’s not a huge world of difference between the two cruise lines.

Silversea’s newest ships are bigger than Seabourn’s, but not by a huge amount. Silversea also has the smallest ship with its 100-passenger Silver Origin.

Luxury cruise lines tend to visit a wider range of destinations than more mainstream cruise lines do. That’s because they know that guests looking for a luxury experience care as much about the destination as they do the onboard experience, and they want to see the world (plus, they have the money to afford the long-haul flights alongside their cruise fare).

Both Silversea and Seabourn, therefore, have a similar range of destination options you can choose from.

DestinationSilverseaSeabourn
Africa & Indian OceanYESYES
AlaskaYESYES
AntarcticaYESYES
Arctic & GreenlandYESYES
AsiaYESYES
Australia & New ZealandYESYES
Canada & New EnglandYESYES
Caribbean & Central AmericaYESYES
French PolynesiaYESYES
Galapagos IslandsYESYES
Kimberley, AustraliaYESYES
MediterraneanYESYES
Northern Europe & BritainYESYES
South AmericaYESYES
TransoceanicYESYES
World CruisesYESYES

Itinerary lengths are very similar between the cruise lines, too. Around a third of the cruises offered by each cruise line are for 7 nights, with half of the itineraries being for 8-21 days in length. The remainder are longer sailings.

Silversea Destinations

The Silver Spirit cruise ship from Silversea Cruises passing under the iconic Tower Bridge in London, which is raised to allow the vessel through, highlighting the grandeur of both the ship and the landmark bridge.
Silver Spirit sailing under Tower Bridge

The main reason to choose a Silversea cruise based on destination would be the smaller ports that some of the ships can visit. This is where the ship size does make a difference, but it’s marginal, as only a handful of ports exclude the Seabourn fleet.

The most notable, perhaps, is the Tower Bridge port in London – it’s quite something to sail along the Thames to begin your cruise on Silver Wind.

Seabourn Destinations

The Seabourn Quest cruise ship docked at a Canadian port, with playful metal sculptures of a bear and a moose in the foreground, blending the marvel of engineering with local art and wildlife themes.
Seabourn Quest in Canada

Seabourn has historically been better known for its more adventurous shore excursions, but Silversea has caught up in that regard.

As a result, Seabourn doesn’t really offer anything destination-wise that Silversea doesn’t, and the differences between the cruise lines are very minimal when selecting an itinerary.

Silversea and Seabourn both offer fine dining across the fleet – each meal truly is a level above what you would expect from a mainstream cruise line. The quality of the ingredients used, and the menu options, really are quite special.

There are some key differences between the two cruise lines though – and this could sway you when booking your cruise.

Silversea Food

There are 14 different restaurant options across the Silversea fleet. 

Atlantide

An elegant grill offering seafood and steak options. Available on Silver Spirit, Silver Muse, Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova.

Inside the Atlantide restaurant on a Silversea cruise ship, featuring elegant velvet rose chairs, crisp white tablecloths, sophisticated wood paneling, and a vibrant abstract painting, all with an ocean view from the large windows.

Il Terrazzino

An authentic Italian restaurant with a cosy, intimate design. Available on Silver Endeavour.

The Il Terrazzino restaurant on board the Silver Endeavour features a luxurious interior with teal velvet chairs, geometric-patterned flooring, grand chandeliers, and a striking white octopus wall art, creating a lavish dining ambiance.

Indochine

A pan-Asian venue serving dishes from India, Thailand, Vietnam and more. Available on Silver Spirit and Silver Muse.

The Indochine restaurant on a Silversea cruise ship, capturing the serene dining atmosphere with plush seating, tables set with fine crystal, and a wall adorned with wooden fish sculptures, complemented by natural light from porthole windows.

Kaiseki

An Asian restaurant that offers sushi, sashimi, and a teppanyaki grill for dinner. Available on Silver Muse, Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova. A $40-80 per person fee applies.

An attentive chef prepares sushi at the Kaiseki restaurant on a Silversea cruise ship, with a view of the elegant sushi bar setting featuring dark chairs, modern decor, and a serene ambiance.

La Dame

Described as “quintessentially Parisian”, this restaurant offers fine French cuisine. Available on all ships except Silver Origin. This is the only Relais & Chateaux restaurant available at sea and a $60-160 per person fee applies.

La Dame restaurant on a Silversea cruise ship offers a luxurious dining experience with its elegant brown chairs, white linen-covered tables, sweeping ocean views from panoramic windows, and a sophisticated ambient lighting design.

La Terraza

An Italian restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating areas. Available on all ships except Silver Origin and Silver Endeavour.

S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table

A private dining experience with food prepared in front of you, paired with fine wines and cocktails. Available on Silver Nova and Silver Ray. A $180 per person fee applies.

A chef at the S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table on a Silversea cruise ship, captured in a dynamic moment of culinary preparation, with flour being expertly sprinkled onto dough amidst a backdrop of ingredients and a professional kitchen setting.

S.A.L.T. Kitchen

A destination-focussed restaurant with an ever-changing menu. Available on Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova.

A gourmet dish is presented at the S.A.L.T. Kitchen on a Silversea cruise ship, with focus on the artfully arranged cuisine, while a smiling guest in the softly blurred background anticipates the dining experience.

Seishin

A pan-Asian restaurant serving fusion cuisine. Available on Silver Spirit. A $40 per person fee applies.

The Seishin restaurant on a Silversea cruise ship exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere with its dark wood tones, shoji screen-inspired windows, and sophisticated sushi bar, all set for a refined dining experience.

Silver Note

A lively venue with jazz and blues music, serving tapas. Available on Silver Spirit, Silver Muse, Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova.

The Silver Note jazz club on a Silversea cruise ship, where soft lighting complements the warm beige tones of the room, a grand piano awaits its next performance, and elegant table settings invite guests for a night of music and dining.

Spaccanapoli

A specialist pizza restaurant. Available on Silver Spirit, Silver Muse, Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn and Silver Nova.

The Spaccanapoli pizzeria on a Silversea cruise ship, captured in the evening with a lineup of freshly baked pizzas ready to be served, evoking a cozy, inviting dining atmosphere with a view of the city lights through the windows.

The Grill

A poolside venue with lava stone cooking at your table. Available on all ships.

A gourmet meal at The Grill on a Silversea cruise ship, showcasing a succulent steak topped with herbs on a hot stone, accompanied by a skewer of grilled vegetables and a selection of sauces, with elegant glassware and wine bottles in the background, inviting an exquisite dining experience.

The Marquee

An outdoor dining venue that houses The Grill and Spaccanapoli but also serves a plant-based menu for breakfast. Available on Silver Nova and Silver Ray.

The Marquee on a Silversea cruise ship radiates a bright, airy ambiance with its high ceilings, abundant natural light, geometric floor patterns, and lush greenery intertwined with the décor, offering an open and elegant dining space with ocean views.

The Restaurant

The main dining room, serving a varied menu. Only available on Silver Whisper, Silver Origin, Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud, Silver Endeavour and Silver Wind.

The Restaurant on the Silver Endeavour features a sophisticated interior with teal and beige chairs, elegant table settings, contemporary art pieces, and panoramic windows offering a glimpse of the snowy landscape outside, providing guests with a refined dining experience at sea.

This means that, if you’re sailing on Silver Spirit, Silver Muse, Silver Moon, Silver Ray, Silver Dawn or Silver Nova, you don’t have a main dining room – instead you’ll choose from the other specialist venues instead.

Silversea allows guests to order from The Restaurant for room service, and on ships without that venue there is still an extensive room service menu.

Seabourn Food

Seabourn has fewer restaurant options than Silversea, with 7 main venues to choose from.

Solis

A new venue that offers modern Mediterranean cuisine all freshly prepared. Available on Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Sojourn.

A delicately plated dish from Solis on a Seabourn cruise ship, featuring vibrant green asparagus spears, thinly sliced zucchini, red pepper accents, and shaved Parmesan cheese on an oversized white plate, embodying culinary elegance and simplicity.

Sushi

As the name suggests, this restaurant offers a sushi-based menu including vegan options. Available on Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation. Some sushi options are served in The Club Lounge on Seabourn Pursuit and Seabourn Venture.

The sleek and modern Sushi restaurant aboard Seabourn Ovation, with its striking black and gold sushi bar, white contemporary chairs, and sophisticated dining ambiance, invites guests to a luxurious sushi experience at sea.

Earth & Ocean

A vibrant restaurant serving destination-focussed menus. Available on Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Sojourn.

A group of cheerful guests enjoying a lively outdoor dinner at Earth & Ocean on a Seabourn cruise ship, toasting with glasses of wine amid a casual yet elegant setting with the ocean's endless horizon as the backdrop.

The Grill By Thomas Keller

A seafood and steakhouse venue with menus tailored by renowned chef Thomas Keller. Available on Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Sojourn. This is extremely popular and reservations fill quickly.

The Colonnade

A buffet restaurant with open kitchens during the day, and a contemporary bistro for dinner, again with Chef Keller inspirations. Available on all ships.

The Colonnade dining area on Seabourn Venture, with a buffet spread in the foreground, offers a warm, inviting space featuring plush seating, elegant table settings, and natural light streaming through large windows, embodying sophisticated comfort.

The Restaurant

The main dining room serving a wide-ranging menu. Available on all ships.

The Restaurant on the Seabourn Venture cruise ship presents an elegant dining space with geometric carpet designs, deep purple chairs, white tablecloths, and an impressive geometric ceiling light feature, all set against ocean views through the large windows.

The Patio

Relaxed poolside dining venue serving burgers, pizzas, salads, soups and more. Signature burgers designed by Chef Keller are an option. Available on Seabourn Quest, Seabourn Encore, Seabourn Ovation and Seabourn Sojourn.

The Patio on a Seabourn cruise ship offers an al fresco dining experience with casual outdoor seating, set against the backdrop of a warmly lit buffet area and the open evening sky, reflecting a relaxed and inviting maritime atmosphere.

Seabourn has also massively expanded its in-suite dining options, and guests can enjoy an amazing menu served course-by-course, even in the middle of the night.

While Silversea has more varied dining options compared to Seabourn, the main difference is that Seabourn never charges extra for its speciality venues, whereas some of the Silversea restaurants have a considerable additional charge.

Seabourn also has better options for casual dining – if you want to enjoy gourmet food, but occasionally grab a burger, then Seabourn would be the better choice.

Luxury cruise lines don’t offer the same range of onboard activities as you’d find on some of the bigger cruise lines aimed more at the mass market.

You’re not going to find bowling, roller coasters, go-karting or climbing walls on these ships – that’s not who they’re aimed at.

Both cruise lines have a similar range of activities to enjoy both during the day and at night, despite that. On these cruise lines, you can look forward to:

  • Cookery demonstrations
  • Movies at the ship’s theatre
  • Spa treatments
  • Use of a large fitness suite
  • Relaxing by the pool or in a whirlpool
  • Enrichment classes and talks
  • Luxury shopping
  • A card room for games
  • Drinks at one of the many bars onboard

Things To Do On A Silversea Cruise 

The grand theater on a Silversea cruise ship, featuring rows of plush red seats, elegant wooden balustrades, and a large stage set for performance, all under warm ambient lighting that creates an inviting space for entertainment at sea.

Silversea offers a selection of evening entertainment options, including a variety of theatrical and musical performances in the onboard lounges. You’ll also find live music in feature bars, adding a lively ambience to the sophisticated evenings onboard.

Things To Do On A Seabourn Cruise 

A captivating live dance performance on a Seabourn cruise ship, with performers gracefully moving on stage under dramatic lighting, while an audience watches intently, immersed in the cultural experience.

Similar to Silversea, Seabourn offers a range of exciting evening entertainment, including live music performances and a musical production exclusive to the cruise line, An Evening with Sir Tim Rice, which is playing on all ships in the fleet.

Occasionally guests can also enjoy Evenings Under The Stars, a dance party with live music on the deck.

Seabourn also offers Marina Days on select cruise itineraries. This is when the ship drops anchor out at sea and opens up the marina to allow guests to enjoy a host of complimentary water sport activities, including canoeing, jet skiing and more.

During Seabourn cruise's Marina Day, the ship is anchored near a rugged coastline, with guests enjoying water sports activities such as riding in red speedboats, creating a sense of adventure against the tranquil blue sea.

Some of the expedition ships even have miniature submarines that carry up to six guests for an amazing undersea experience.

These are only available on select sailings when the conditions are suitable, and are very exclusive – not everyone will have the chance to try them.

It’s always difficult to do a side-by-side comparison of cruise lines, as the itineraries are not identical and will be affected by the ship and the demand.

CruiseSilverseaSeabourn
Lowest PriceHighest Entry-Level PriceLowest PriceHighest Entry-Level Price
7 Night Caribbean£3,950pp£4,600pp£2,999pp£4,909pp
7 Night Alaska£2,900pp£4,500pp£4,099pp£6,374pp
7 Night Mediterranean£2,800pp£6,400pp£3,099pp£4,899pp

The Price of Silversea Cruises

Silversea’s cruises are considered all-inclusive, because you get all of the following included:

  • Food
  • Premium drinks
  • All room service
  • Gratuities
  • Standard internet (some suites have Premium WiFi included, or you can upgrade)
  • In-suite bar with premium liquors

What isn’t included with Silversea is:

  • Speciality dining in select venues
  • Shore excursions

Silversea offers a choice of cruise fares when you book. You can choose port-to-port fares, which covers just the cruise element, or you can choose door-to-door. This not only includes any flights you need, but also includes transfers that pick you up from home – you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get to the airport.

The Price of Seabourn Cruises

Seabourn’s cruises are also all-inclusive, as you get:

  • All food, including speciality dining
  • Premium drinks
  • All room service
  • Gratuities
  • Standard internet (some suites have Premium WiFi included, or you can upgrade)
  • In-suite bar with premium liquors

Just like Silversea, your shore excursions aren’t included in the fare. And while Seabourn offers fares that include flights, you’ll need to pay extra if you also want to book transfers from your home.

Suite Deals

I recommend booking with luxury specialists Panache Cruises for the best service.

The Verdict

The experience that both Silversea and Seabourn offer is not completely dissimilar. Both are extremely special cruise lines that cater to guests who want to enjoy the finest things in life, including on their luxury holidays.

Silversea tends to be slightly more formal in style, with slightly less to do onboard during the day and at night – Seabourn is a little more ‘fun’ but still very much aimed at those who like a relaxed, upscale vibe.

And while Silversea does have more variety of restaurants, including the ever-popular opulence of La Dame, at least with Seabourn you know you can enjoy all the venues onboard without paying anything extra.

In summary, if you really want to feel like you’re enjoying the finest quality of cruise, then choose Silversea. But if you are more adventurous and want your luxury to be slightly more understated, then Seabourn may be the better choice.

Suggested read: My Seabourn Venture Review

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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