The Silver Cloud – an impressive Expedition Ship Showcases Beautifully
by Vanessa Lee
Silversea Cruises is growing at an accelerated rate and will welcome two new ships in 2020. The Silver Origin, purpose-built to sail in the Galapagos Islands, will debut in July, while the much-anticipated Silver Moon will sail her inaugural voyage in August.
Main dining room. Brad Ball, Director of Communications, The Americas. Executive Chef middle and Cruise Director 2nd right. Anne Layton, Siren Communications, far right.
In addition, the fleet has undergone some refurbishments in recent years, including theSilver Cloud, which was designated a “hybrid” ship after being refurbished in 2017 into a Polar Class vessel with a major rehaul. Silver Cloud has been part of Silversea’s Classic ultra-luxury fleet since the company’s inception in 1994. Her sister ship, the Silver Wind, will undergo a similar makeover later this year.
As Silver Cloud made her way down the coast from sailing in the Canadian Arctic, seeing beluga whales and polar bears, and before she headed on a series of journeys culminating in the Antarctic for the winter season full of penguin watching, seals and ice floes, I toured her in Quebec City and was most impressed with her stylish look and feel.
Silver Cloud is lovely, with those classic cruise ship lines, a black hull and expansive public rooms that bely the fact she now sails on expeditions around the world, visits both polar regions, can cut through ice, deploy Zodiacs and also sail in warm and tropical waters on fascinating global voyages.
She offers your clients a wonderful bridge between a luxury small ship and a vessel suited for immersive exploration, and her refit has simply enhanced all of her original charming features.
With a 254-guest capacity and a maximum of 200 in polar regions, the space ratio is impressive as are the expansive and comfortable all-suite accommodations on board – each suite being served by a butler and room steward or stewardess. I can personally attest to the fact that any suite on Silversea is a warm and welcoming home-away-from-home with all the amenities one might require.
All the regular features of any Silversea vessel can be found on board, including a show lounge/theatre, several dining options and bars and lounges as well as ample open deck space.
Silver Cloud is a good-looking, well-maintained ship and certainly doesn’t show her 25 years! The US$40 million spent on her transition to the Expedition fleet included a new ice-class hull, engines, and a range of soft furnishing improvements including new carpets, drapes, wall coverings and fabrics.
And the art is fantastic – lots of black and white photographs, showing indigenous peoples, Amundsen on his explorations from 100 years ago and other shots of explorers and intrepid adventurers. It adds an appropriate and enjoyable sensibility to the vessel and her primary itineraries.
Everything one expects from Silversea is here, including the constantly popular La Terrazza for all day dining and an a la carte Italian menu in the evenings. It’s my go-to-spot for a lazy al fresco lunch (unless it’s too chilly outside!) and a favoured place for a lovely dinner. The décor is lovely. The small, beautiful La Dame, seating about 24 guests, offers that quintessential elegant and refined Parisian atmosphere. Reservations are required – and do encourage your guests to dine there once during their voyage. I highly recommend it.
Naturally there is a main restaurant, with the chairs literally locked down to the floor so they don’t distract from fine dining in any kind of inclement weather. We enjoyed a very tasty, charmingly presented lunch here.
Other spots include the Panorama Lounge, attracting guests before and after dinner for cocktails, aperitifs, some dancing perhaps and the enjoyment of a piano player. Tor’s Observation Lounge, up high and forward – offers quiet space for viewing, reading and perhaps checking on maps or other information to assist in a more in-depth understanding of one’s voyage.
Awaiting the arrival of guests
Then there’s the Explorer Lounge, a multi-tiered theatre ideal for lectures, briefings and expedition recaps. On certain itineraries, up to 20 experts in various fields -- naturalists, geologists, scientists and climatologists among them -- will offer their insights.
Other areas of interest: a pool and outdoor casual grill for meals on deck – even in cooler climes; a mud room for those boots and jackets required in chilly weather; a spa, fitness area and salon, and something that was added on the Cloud, a Photo Studio with computer workstations for independent or guided photography classes and for downloading images from guests’ own cameras.
The dress code on the Silver Cloud is country club casual, there are no formal nights and naturally on the more adventurous itineraries, the dress code is even more casual than on a regular cruise. And the onboard experience is totally all-inclusive with gratuities, all liquors, champagne and wine offered along with complimentary Wi-Fi.
Coming soon, the Silver Cloud will embark on Silversea’s first ever Expedition World Cruise in 2021, visiting all seven continents in a journey that promises to be amazing and unforgettable.
Starting on 30JAN, 2021 in Ushuaia and ending in Tromso in mid-July, there’s a choice of ten individual segments that can be combined for a full world cruise.
Vanessa Lee Columnist
An internationally-known luxury cruise expert, Vanessa is publisher and editor of Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine. She appears with Nina on the bi-monthly video Cruise Factor.