Launched in 1996, Silver Cloud is a veteran of the Silversea fleet. In 2017 she was withdrawn from regular cruise service and put in dry-dock for a major US $40-million refurbishment and refit that saw her re-launched in November as the cruise line’s new expedition cruising flagship. She joins her much smaller expedition fleet mates Silver Discoverer, Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos.
Silversea are billing her as “the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising”. Her guest capacity has been significantly reduced from 296 to just 200 and 80% of her staterooms now have private balconies. By enlarging the existing staterooms and converting inside passenger cabins into crew quarters, the line has made space for a whole extra department of staff – 22 expedition experts.
Silver Cloud also now has 16 zodiacs and 10 kayaks, making it possible for the ship to operate simultaneous explorations in remote waters and she’s been made compliant with ice-class 1C during her refit, meaning that she can cruise through ice flows and areas of water where there is known to be icebergs of a thickness less than 0.4m. 1C is the entry-level ice classification according to the Finnish-Swedish ice class upon which such classifications are based.
In order to bring the ship up to ice-class standards, the steel exterior was extensively reinforced, and the bulbous bow was replaced with a reinforced ice-class bulb to allow for navigation in polar waters. Other polar-related enhancements included the installation of sonar for underwater detection of ice and other impediments, and new windows resistant to polar temperatures.
Elsewhere on-board, Silversea added the Zagara Beauty Spa, which was first introduced on the line’s flagship, Silver Muse and for the first time in the Silversea fleet they have offered a Photo Studio, where cruisers will learn to digitally edit and manage their photos so they can capture their expedition experiences.
The ship retains its small boutique shopping area, but it has been restocked with merchandise more appropriate for an expedition vessel.
There are five dining options board Silver Cloud following her refit. The cruise line can arrange private gourmet dining on one’s private balcony, or guests can dine at one of the four public and specialty restaurants.
The Restaurant – As the name would suggest, this is the ship’s main dining room. It serves contemporary, international cuisine with regional specialities unique to the destinations guests visit on the cruise. During days at sea, guests can eat from a menu called La Collection du Monde, which is a series of signature dishes created exclusively for Silversea cruises by the Grands Chefs Relais & Châteaux.
The Grill – A more casual option aboard one of the most luxurious ships in the world. The Grill features lava stone cooking with volcanic rock placed in an oven to reach a temperature of 400˚C, guests cook their food directly at their table, with the meat, fish or vegetables placed on top of the grill stone or inside a soup bowl. Stone cooking is only available in the evenings, during the day The Grill is a rotisserie and gourmet salad and burger bar, offering build your own burgers.
La Terrazza – Alfresco and a la carte dining at its finest in any remote corner of the world’s oceans. La Terrazza is an elegant Italian restaurant by night and a upscale buffet restaurant during the day, offering both breakfast and lunch.
La Dame by Relais & Châteaux – The ship’s only true specialty restaurant, with a US $60 per head fee. It is the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant at sea with fine wines complemented by a set tasting menu of regionally-inspired dishes in an intimate, elegant setting. A six-course experience is offered celebrating the world’s most distinguished wine regions.
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Lounges & Bars
There are four lounges and bars aboard Silver Cloud. For the most parts they are the same public rooms as one could find aboard pre-refit Silver Cloud, but they’ve been extensively modernized and renamed to capture the new spirit of the ship.
Explorers Lounge – Formerly the show lounge in Silver Cloud’s previous life, the Explorer’s Lounge, as the name suggests, is where the ship’s passengers (aka explorers) can watch presentations, lectures and video screenings, all of which are also live-streamed to staterooms.
Panorama Lounge – This is the ship’s nightclub by night and high-end afternoon tea destination by day, with sweeping views over the aft of the ship.
Tor’s Observation Lounge – As the name suggests, this is the ship’s topmost lounge, with panoramic views over the bow.
Connoisseur’s Corner – The smoking lounge, with cognacs and a premium selection of cigars.
Dolce Vita – The ship’s main bar, where guests mingle and discuss the day’s explorations before dinner, and where music and laughter can be found late into the night.
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There are eight stateroom types aboard Silver Cloud, but only seven are really that different from one another, because the Veranda Suite and Deluxe Veranda Suite are identical, except that the Deluxe versions are located more centrally, near the lobby and elevators.
Vista Suite – The ship’s only stateroom class without a balcony. Features a bedroom and separate sitting area next to the large picture windows.
Veranda Suite and Deluxe Veranda – The smallest of the staterooms with balconies. The Veranda Suite and Deluxe iteration are identical to a Vista except that they have a balcony and a slightly larger sitting area, while the Deluxe ones are more centrally located.
Medallion Suite – There are three of these suites, one on each of the passenger decks near the central lobby. Almost the same size as the silver suites, but located more centrally, they’re a great deal if you can get them before they all sell out on any particular sailing.
Silver Suite – A full 10sqm larger than the Medallion Suites, most of the extra room in these suites is located on the balconies. Like the Medallion Suites, it features a huge walk in wardrobe, a beautiful marbled bathroom and a spacious living area.
Royal Suite – There are two Royal Suites forward on Deck 6, overlooking the bow. Each has its own bedroom and living room with a huge marble bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Both Royal Suites can be combined with an adjoining Veranda Suite to make it a two-bedroom, double-living room suite of apartments.
Grand Suite – The largest suite category on-board, like the Royal Suite, the Grand Suite can be adjoined with a Veranda Suite to create a two-bedroom version. Even on its own though, the Grand Suite is more than 1,000sqft in size. It features a living room, dining room, entirely separate bedroom and a huge walk-in wardrobe and marble bathroom.
Owner’s Suite – Located in the centre of the ship, the Owner’s Suites can be combined with a Vista Suite for two bedrooms, and although it has a living room, dining room and bedroom, its all a lot more squished than the Grand Suite, as its almost half the size in terms of floor area.
Dining Options: 5
Amenities: Spa, Fitness Centre, Boutique Shopping, Beauty Salon
Ice class: 1C