With its newly retrofitted Silver Cloud, Silversea is taking expedition cruising to a new level – offering travellers both adventure and luxury in places like the Arctic and Antarctica, reports assistant editor, Greg Coates in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.
Travel Courier had an opportunity to tour the expedition ship during a recent port call in Quebec City, part of a fall foliage itinerary.
Launched in 1994 as Silversea’s lead ship, Silver Cloud was completely refitted in 2017 into a proper ice-rated luxury polar expedition ship. Most of the US$40 million enhancements were behind the scenes and not readily noticeable to passengers, such as a new bulbous bow, new steel plating in the ship’s hull, new heating systems, new windows, new radars and updated navigation system, new satellite domes and entirely new black and greywater waste treatment facilities.
Silver Cloud is rated to Ice Class 1C, an internationally recognized designation for vessels sailing within polar waters.
Joining the tour in Quebec City was Silversea’s Brad Ball, who noted that the 254-passenger (only 200 in polar waters) Silver Cloud boasts among the highest space-to-guest ratios of any polar expedition ships and a crew to passenger ratio of 1:1.
The ship has 127 all-ocean-view suites (all with butler service), ranging in size from 240 to 1,314 square feet. More than 80% have a private balcony.
Ball likened the ship to a five-star floating hotel that combines luxury and adventure.
“It still has all the grace and beauty of the original vessel,” he said. “The real beauty of it is that with only 200 guests [on sailings that feature polar waters] they basically have the ship to themselves.”