By Michael Coleman
The pending launch of Silver Spirit, Silversea Cruises’ latest vessel, has slightly overshadowed a beautiful, multi-million dollar refurbishment to one of its ageless ships.
Silver Wind, launched in 1995, has a fresh, updated look from bow to stern.
The ship’s main dining venue — The Restaurant – features new upholstery, carpet, wall and window treatments. Suites, too, received new carpets, drapes, bed coverings and furniture.
The biggest facelift, however, was reserved for the addition of a new Observation Lounge, and spa, on Deck 9 forward housing floor-to-ceiling, wrap-around windows.
The ship’s 149 ocean-view suites range in size from 240 to 1,314 square feet, 80 percent of which feature a private veranda.Â Suite modifications included the addition of an Owner’s Suite complete with a connecting second bedroom suite (Deck 7) plus a new Medallion Suite and Vista Suite on Deck 7.
Fixed queen beds in larger suites have been replaced with convertible twin-to-queen beds. Look also for custom-built TV cabinets added to all Vista and Veranda Suites; new flat screen TVs, new sofa, armchair, desk, vanity, night tables and headboards plus new carpets, drapes and bed coverings. Bathrooms received updated fixtures and bathtubs including new marble countertops, walls and flooring.
The expanded spa, which encompasses the beauty salon and fitness center, features a reception area, four massage rooms, one body treatment room, one dry sauna and one steam sauna. The new fitness center includes a body-building room and separate aerobics room, both offering panoramic ocean views.
While the new-look ship is as inviting as ever, guests, meanwhile, were treated this past summer to a trio of exclusive shore-side performances. The line is renowned for offering special, complimentary tours/events, dubbed Silversea Experiences, on certain voyages.
During my Mediterranean sailing, guests enjoyed an exclusive classical music concert at Magazino Wharf in Valletta, Malta.
The 38-member Amadeus Choir performed just steps from the ship in a refurbished 16th Century venue originally built by the Knights of Malta. Stephanie Degiorgio-Wismayer and choir director Brian Cefai headlined the 45-minute show.
Later, at the Naval Officer’s Club in the Ukraine, the award-winning Black Sea Navy Ensemble, established in 1932 in Sevastopol, performed. Guests were wowed by the singing and dancing performances of this world renowned troup.
And, guest senses were further indulged in September at one of history’s most renowned theatres. The line hosted a classical music concert at one of Turkey’s most magical and best-preserved places of antiquity: Ephesus. â€¨â€¨Guests sat in the Odeon, a semi-circular theatre built in the 2nd century A.D., and listened to the music of famous composers such as Vivaldi, Boccherini, Mozart, Bach, and Faure.
Performances like these and impeccable service standards are Silversea staples.
Besides Silver Wind, the line offers large-ship amenities aboard its other intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper. Itineraries span the globe. The line also features an expedition ship, Prince Albert II.
Silversea’s newest ship, Silver Spirit, debuts in December.
On the Web: silversea.com