Due to a broken fuel pump, my voyage to Antarctica aboard Silversea Cruises Silver Cloud Expedition ground to a halt last week before it really had a chance to start. After three days of being stuck in Puerto Madryn, Argentina due to weather and mechanical issues, Silversea made the decision to cancel the cruise, refund everyone, and repatriate them. Wisely.

Silver Cloud in her new expedition livery, docked in Puerto Madryn on November 21, 2017. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

It’s only fair to recognize the herculean efforts of the crew of the Silver Cloud, and the 22-member expedition team, most of whom flew with us from Puerto Madryn back to Buenos Aires, met us at the airport, aided us at our hotels, and saw us off on our flights home. My hat is off to them.

These folks came up with last-minute, complimentary tours for three straight days in Puerto Madryn; a town that we were originally scheduled to be in for just nine hours. They kept us busy. The crew kept us eating multi-course meals and plied us with the finest adult beverages. Silversea’s staff did their best to keep things rolling along until it became apparent that it was time to pull the plug.

As of this writing, Silver Cloud is the proud new recipient of a shiny fuel pump and is scheduled to depart Ushuaia, Argentina on December 1 for what promises to be her new first voyage to Antarctica. And since the season is still ahead of us, it makes sense to take a look, in pictures, at some of the most dramatic changes to this ship that now holds 254 guests on regular voyages, and just 200 when sailing the polar regions.

Suites

Suites aboard the Silver Cloud Expedition have been entirely refitted…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and now sport a lighter colour scheme similar to that found aboard Silver Muse, along with polar photographs. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

A brand new desk and vanity area includes a flat-panel television set…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…an iHome clock with Bluetooth connectivity…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and new USB plug outlets. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Closet space is generous…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and bathrooms retain their Silver Spirit-esque look added during a 2012 refit. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Fully booked during my cruise, I caught a glimpse of one of the new Silver Suites on Deck 7 as I boarded the ship. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Public Rooms

The most new and noteworthy public room is Tor’s Observation Lounge on Deck 9. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

An entirely new, prefabricated structure, it is perched high atop the ship and provides 180-degree views. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Lounge is also stocked with books on polar exploration, and serves up light snacks and self-serve tea and coffee. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The only downside: you have to exit the ship via the forward stairwell…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and cross the deck with the Zodiacs to enter. This area is closed during adverse weather and high seas, which makes the lounge inaccessible. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

On Deck 8 aft, the Panorama Lounge sports an attractive new look, and serves up cocktails by day and dancing and live music by night. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Adjacent, the Humidor is still the vestige of cognacs and cigars that it always was, albeit with somewhat lighter decor. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Public areas have been completely re-upholstered with new soft furnishings…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and Silversea’s trademark expedition colour scheme of dark and light blues. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Future Cruise Desk, Deck 6, forward. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Spanning Deck 6 and Deck 5, the former Venetian Show Lounge is now…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…the Explorer Lounge. Lectures and briefings are held here. The room looks great, but the seating arrangements are awkward and feel cramped. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Great new window treatments. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Our Expedition Staff put on a hilarious presentation on the Beaufort Scale during some particularly unpleasant weather down to Puerto Madryn. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

On Deck 5, the new Photo Academy takes the space formerly occupied by the ship’s Casino. With a collection of Mac and PC workstations…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…additional-cost classes in photography and social media are offered here. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Spa on Deck 7 has also had a major sprucing-up…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and still offers a variety of treatments.

It has been reamed the Zagara Spa in keeping with the branding introduced aboard Silver Muse this past spring. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Silver Cloud also sports a new Fitness Center…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and onboard Boutiques. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Down on Deck 5, The Bar still retains its former look…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…but is now known as Dolce Vita. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

This is the place to be for cocktails…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and evening nightcaps. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

On Deck 4, Le Champagne retains its former look…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…but is now known as La Dame. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The ship’s main Restaurant still looks great on Deck 4…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and sports all-new stemware, flatware and china. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Out On Deck

The Pool Deck has been entirely redone…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and the awful green astroturf decking that used to be on Deck 9 has now been replaced with faux teak non-skid decking by surface provide Bolidt. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Lots of open deck spaces provide for good photographic opportunities…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and the Pool Bar is still open for business, even in the polar regions. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

A look at Silver Cloud’s new profile, from shore. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Silver Cloud sails to Antarctica through February before setting sail for Cape Town, South Africa, Western Europe, Northern Europe, and Arctic Svalbard. She returns to Antarctica again next fall.

 

 

 

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