2009's Best New Cruise Ships
Courtesy of Silversea Cruises/© P. H. Sébastien Darrasse/Realis
Silversea expeditions, Prince Albert II
Cabins 66, ranging from 175 to 675 square feet (some of the largest of any expedition ship)
Perfect For Adventurous nature lovers.
Unusual Features A fleet of eight Zodiac rafts is available for spontaneous crew-led excursions into otherwise hard-to-reach territory; all 66 rooms have ocean views and private marble bathrooms with bathtubs; the captain announces animal sightings using a shipwide broadcasting system.
Routes Seven- to 17-night itineraries, sailing to Antarctica, the Arctic Circle, and South America.
T+L Tip Spot polar bears and breaching whales from one of two glass-enclosed whirlpools overlooking the ocean, protected from winds and ocean spray. 800/722-9955; silversea.com; seven nights from $4,495 per person.