SILVER SPIRIT - SILVERSEA
Silver Spirit - Silversea - Luxury Travel Magazine
|By: Maggy Oehlbeck, Issue 41 – Summer 2010|
|((Silver Spirit – Silversea)|
|CRUISING AFICIONADOS ARE THIS MONTH REJOICING THE LAUNCH OF LUXURY CRUISE LINE SIVERSEA’S EAGERLY ANTICIPATED SIXTH SHIP. CRUISE WRITER MAGGY OEHLBECK JOINS THE CELEBRATIONS.|
|To seasoned cruisers and newcomers alike, the prefix silver – when used in the context of luxury cruising means one thing only – Silversea Cruises. Regarded by many as the ‘first family’ of small luxury cruise ships, aficionados believe the line delivers excellence beyond expectation. And if surveys are any indication, so do Luxury Travel & Style Magazine readers. Silversea entered Luxury Travel & Style Magazine’s Platinum Hall of Fame, having been named Best Cruise Line by Australian readers for the past five consecutive years, and for nine consecutive years “Number One Small Ship Line” in the Readers’ Choice survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in the USA.|
It is no surprise then, that one of the most eagerly awaited events on the cruising calendar has been the recent debut of Silversea Cruises’ all-suite ship, Silver Spirit. Like her sisters Silver Whisper, Silver Shadow, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind, Silver Spirit shares the prefix Silver, which indicates she belongs to prestigious Monaco-based Silversea Cruise lines. Silver Spirit becomes the sixth and largest member of the Silversea fleet. According to Silversea’s chairman, Manfredi Lefevre, “Silver Spirit’s design mirrors the distinctive silhouette of our existing ships while offering the same standards of luxury that our guests have come to expect.”
Distinguished by superb contours and a sleek interior which echoes the elegance of the 1930s Art Deco period, Silver Spirit imparts a sophisticated yet casually convivial ambience. To arrive, is to immediately feel embraced by an intimate club of like-minded members. Then factor-in, tasteful appointments such as carefully chosen artworks and soft furnishings, flawless table settings, and all manner of ‘suite’ touches such as fabulous Frette bed linens, pillow choice, spa robes and slippers and simply divine walk-in wardrobes. Other thoughtful touches are Bulgari toiletries, fresh flowers, fruit, and your own butler who will unpack, repack, polish shoes, deliver a platter of canapés to your suite every afternoon, uncork your champagne, and attend to any whim that takes your fancy.
But what distinguishes Silversea from other high-end challengers? Many an avid cruiser will go so far as to say that ‘once you have cruised with Silversea, there is no other’ cruise experience to equal the excellence of the cruise product, the elegance of the ship and the onboard lifestyle. All agree it is the service that places Silversea in a class of its own, so much so, that it reaches art form status. The service is not ostentatious, hovering or intrusive. Rather it is softly-softly, knowing when enough is enough. Yet staff never miss a beat.
Consider the benefits: Silver Spirit has a total of 270 ocean-view suites. Of these 26 are the highly sought-after Silver Suites (always the first to sell), six Grand Suites and two Owner’s Suites. All suites however, offer the largest guest/space ratio in the fleet. 95 per cent have private verandahs offering panoramic views of seascapes, shorelines, and close-ups of colourful ports, butler service, complimentary beverages served throughout the ship including fine wines, top-quality champagne, spirits, bottled water and soft drinks. You will also find your suite refrigerator stocked with your preferred spirits, champagne and assorted soft drinks. Further more, all gratuities are included.
Despite the increase in size, the 36,000-ton 540 passenger ‘Silver Spirit’ carefully retains the intimate, all-inclusive feel that Silversea ships stake their reputation on. Other highlights include an expanded indoor/outdoor spa which offers guests a variety of invigorating and restorative therapies including facials, body wraps, massage and more. There is a spectacular show lounge which features full-scale production shows as well as classical concerts and folkloric performances, the popular Observation Lounge is a perfect bolt-hole for sea dreaming, The Connoisseur’s Corner with a humidor of fine cigars and cognacs to match is an escape for some, while the pool deck grill is a popular meeting spot. Then there is the new Lobby Bar which evokes a coolly casual European hotel bar where you can have an Italian coffee or champagne. Very civilized.
Most importantly, there is a choice of six dining venues all of which offer open-seating dining – in other words, no assigned dining time or tables. The Restaurant serves impeccably created menus by Relais & Chateaux, La Terrazza features indoor/outdoor casual dining, while Le Champagne provides a memorable six-course dining experience with perfectly-matched wines, and – drum roll – for the exciting new Asian fusion restaurant Seishin and the Stars Supper Club.
According to Steve Odell, Silversea’s senior vice president Asia Pacific “The culinary experience is hugely important to our discerning guests, so as well as the regular Silversea restaurants, we are delighted to be introducing these two new dining venues aboard Silver Spirit. “Seishin (the Japanese word for “spirit”) is an Asian fusion restaurant, featuring a ten course degustation menu and à la carte dishes such as: king scallop sashimi with Oscietra caviar; langoustine and sea bass sashimi with traditional condiments; paper wrap of Kamchatka crab; miso marinated black cod; lobster in an oriental nage; tepan grilled Wagyu beef and chocolate and yuzu soufflé”.
Meanwhile, Stars Supper Club which is inspired by the supper clubs of the 1930s, focuses on music, dancing and nightclub-style entertainment. It will however offer small dishes both fragrant and modern. Perfect for a romantic diner a deux. The late-night venue will be open from 8.30pm and guests can come for cocktails, dinner and entertainment, or simply drop in for the show and dessert at midnight, Odell explains.
Built by famous Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri in its Ancona shipyard, on December 23rd, 2009, Silver Spirit sailed from Barcelona to Lisbon on her 11-day maiden voyage with a happy band of merrymakers. Their enthusiasm will no doubt swell to a tsunami of applause on January 21st, 2010, when she heads from New York to Southampton on her grand inaugural voyage titled ‘The Spirit of South America’.
The 91-day voyage will visit 45 ports in 20 different countries. Thrilling events on the itinerary include the centerpiece of the voyage – Rio de Janeiro’s fabulous Carnaval – though some would say sailing in to Rio’s spectacular harbour is a centerpiece in its own right. The ship then rounds Cape Horn up to the Mexican Riviera, passing through the Panama Canal, finally making an unforgettable entrance into New York Harbour sailing past the Statue of Liberty. Headliners on board are comic genius John Cleese of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame, and the first American woman astronaut to walk in space, and 2004 inductee to the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Dr Kathryn D.Sullivan. Thereafter, from May to October 2010, Silver Spirit will offer a range of seven day combinable, non repeated itineraries in the Mediterranean.