Face to Face: Lisa McAuley, managing director, Silversea UK & Ireland


Silversea is about to embark on a mega US$170 million fleet refurbishment plan – why is the time right for this project? 

Lisa McAuley
Lisa McAuley

We take great pride in ensuring our guests experience the highest standards in on board service, amenities and suite facilities. This investment forms part of our commitment to continue to be at the forefront of the ultra-luxury cruise industry.

How will this enhance Silversea’s competitiveness in the UK market?

Silversea offers guests uncompromising all-inclusive luxury. This investment along with the launch of our new ship Silver Muse in April of next year represents a further enhancement which strengthens our position as a leader in the UK luxury cruise sector.

What will be the refurbishment highlights and why?

The refurbishments have largely been influenced by feedback from our guests and include suite facilities, bathrooms, outside decking areas and the furnishings of the restaurants which will have a contemporary glamorous feel in keeping with our core brand values.

What UK booking trends are you noticing for Silversea and how does this compare with general booking trends in the ultra-luxury cruise market?

The UK has always traditionally been a strong and important market for Silversea and this continues to be the case. There has been a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding the arrival of Silver Muse and this has been reflected in the strong booking trends from the UK alone. We also continue to see growth of the Silversea Expedition business as the trend for exploration and authentic experiences increase.

What opportunities are there to grow Silversea’s UK cruise business? Where are the gaps?

If there is a gap then we aim to fill it! I firmly believe that it is vital for us to continue to build strong relationships with the trade as that is at the heart of our business and forms an important part of our growth strategy. In terms of destinations we know the tried and tested voyages such as the Med are popular with the UK market but agents are increasingly benefiting from our ability to access more remote destinations due to the size of our small ships, which means they can offer their customers something off the beaten track.

What role does the travel trade in your UK growth strategy?

Following feedback, we’ve launched a number of initiatives this year including Silversea Advocates our reward and recognition programme, there’s also our new ‘Insight into Expedition’ video which helps agents develop their knowledge as they learn from our Director of Strategy for Expedition who has such in depth of knowledge on this style of cruising and how to target the right type of customer. We’re investing in more local, regional and national advertising campaigns in conjunction with partners, these are just a few examples showing the importance I place upon strengthening our existing ties. However I’m always keen to understand what more we can do to support.

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