CRUISE LINE PROFILE:
By Georgina Cruz
The lap of luxury at sea, Silversea Cruises is a privately owned cruise company reflecting generations of maritime experience.
Created in the early 1990s by the Lefebvre family of Rome, the former owners of Sitmar Cruises, the line personifies the very best -- la crème de la crème -- in the ultra-luxury category of cruising.
The Silver Wind is shown above at sunset.*
The line launched its first ship, the 16,800-ton Silver Cloud in 1994, followed by a twin, Silver Wind the next year. Both serve just 296 guests. Two additional ships, the 28,258-ton Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, were launched in 2000 and 2001 respectively. As those ships are a bit larger, they serve 382 guests.
In addition, the line operates the 36,000-ton, 540-guest Silver Spirit, its newest ship, as well as the expedition vessel, Silver Explorer.
Ambience & Style of Cruising
The line's existing yacht-like vessels, decorated with an understated elegance, can slip into exotic ports off the beaten path. They're staffed by Italian officers and a European staff trained to provide personal, attentive service.
Guests will enjoy worldwide itineraries and gourmet cuisine. The line attracts a sophisticated, well-traveled clientele. On one of our sailings a British countess and her family were guests onboard.
The ships feature all the bells and whistles. All ships offer all ocean-view suites, most with a private veranda, as well as open seating gourmet dining so guests can dine when, where and with whom they choose during posted dining hours.
The ships also feature a show lounge with nightly entertainment, a casino, full-service spa, state-of-the-art fitness facility and an outdoor pool with whirlpools.
The onboard experience is enhanced by partnerships the line has forged with such luxury brands as Acqua di Parma, Davidoff, Loro Piana, Relais & Châteaux and Viking Range.
Silversea's cruise fares include all beverages throughout the ship, including a premium assortment of wine, beer, champagne and spirits; 24-hour room service; stocked in-suite beverage cabinet; all gratuities; and on certain sailings, the Silversea Experience, an exclusive shore-side event. Complimentary butler service is provided in the Grand, Royal, Rossellini and Owner's Suites.
Silver Wind and Silver Cloud feature 148 all-suite accommodations, all with ocean views. The larger Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper feature 194 all-suite accommodations. Silver Spirit has even more accommodations and 93 percent of all suites feature private balconies.
Each is a pampering enclave of luxury and relaxation.
Vista Suites are the base category. They're tastefully decorated and offer a separate living and sleeping area and a large picture window. They are virtually identical to the line's Veranda suites but, of course, without the teak-floored veranda.
All suites have luxurious marble baths; the Silver Wind and Silver Cloud have a tub/shower combination, and the Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper have separate tubs and walk-in showers.
Photo of the spacious Veranda Suite on Silver Wind; Vista Suites are identical but without the balcony.*
The Grand Suite living area on Silver Shadow has a desk area, bar with stools, complete living area and full-size dining table with chairs.*
There are various suite levels within the two types of ship categories. The most luxurious accommodations include Owner's and Grand Suites.
The Restaurant serves culinary delicacies including international cuisine complemented by La Collection du Monde, signature dishes created by Relais & Chateaux in partnership with Silversea. The dishes are prepared by master chefs with fresh, quality ingredients. They're also served impeccably by an attentive staff, along with complimentary wines, spirits and sodas; an extensive stock of rare vintages is also available at an extra charge.
Some evenings, an orchestra plays music for dancing in the Restaurant. On occasion, we asked for variations on offerings - such as garlic bread prepared with olive oil and with no butter added.
Important Note: Every time, the dishes and items were served to us exactly as requested and -- just as important -- subsequently remembered by the staff.
Silversea's elegant restaurant onboard Silver Shadow.*
La Terrazza offers casual, buffet-style breakfast and lunch with indoor/outdoor seating available. On most evenings, it features Italian cuisine dinners at no fee; reservations may be made onboard. Champagnes and wines are paired with regional fares at the line's
Wine Restaurants by Relais & Chateaux are a big hit with the line's passengers. They include Saletta on Silver Cloud and Silver Wind and Le Champagne on Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper . Featured are rare vintages, selected by Relais & Chateaux-trained sommeliers.
The fee for an evening degustation menu with five premium wines in Saletta or Le Champagne is $200 per person or $30 per person for themed dining, exclusive of wine. Reservations may be made onboard.
The two venues may be reserved for private dinner parties at an extra charge. Private arrangements include welcome aperitif, hors d'oeuvres, a six-course menu and paired wines. Advance booking is required.
Sampling fine wines is a popular onboard activity.*
For an intimate dinner in-suite guests might order complimentary 24-hour room service. It will even be served course by course if desired. Guests may order from the room service menu or ask for selections from the Restaurant during dining hours.
Trivia sessions, golf-putting contests, language lessons, cooking demonstrations and lectures by well-known guest speakers are among the the regular activities supplemented by such pursuits as art workshops and computer classes. The lecturers -- including university professors, authors, business and political leaders, artists, photographers and celebrities -- are usually renowned in their field.
Evening entertainment on Silversea might include classical performances, jazz ensembles, cabaret shows and Moonlight Movies.
Special Enrichment Voyages include a Wine Series with lectures, tastings and guided optional excursions to wineries and cellars. Relais & Chateaux Culinary Arts Cruises feature celebrated international chefs offering cooking demonstrations, lectures and tastings. ;
The Silver Links Golf Program -- offered on select voyages aboard Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper -- features golf excursions and PGA-classed golf professionals offering instruction.
Spa and Fitness
The Spa at Silversea offers a wide range of treatments. Its spa concept is a personalized and holistic spa experience that focuses on the guest's individual needs and lifestyle.
The Spa displays a stylish and welcoming ambience with a refurbished décor of artwork and contemporary furnishings.
Spa treatments include a range of therapies including facials, body wraps, and massages. Each ship also has a gym with state-of-the-art equipment such as elliptical machines, treadmills and weights. Additionally, yoga, Pilates and other exercise classes are offered.
The Spa at Silversea is shown above right, while guests enjoy jogging on the open deck above left.*
Silversea also offers a Wellness Program integrating classes in nutrition and exercise, fitness activities, spa therapies and healthy dining options.
Organized Kids' Programs: Silversea does not offer a supervised children's program and does not have an onboard kids' center.
All onboard gratuities are included in the cruise fare.
For More Information
Mailing Address: 110 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Main Office: 954-522-4477
Georgina Cruz writes, along with her husband, Humberto Cruz, a weekly nationally-syndicated column, Retire Smart, often dealing with touring and cruising topics. Her travel articles have appeared in more than four dozen regional, national and international publications and she is the author of a guidebook on cruises.
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