The spacious corridor on Deck 7, looking aft towards La Terrazza.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Wandering the decks, it doesn’t take long to realize you’re on a very, very spacious ship.  In fact, Silver Shadow boasts a passenger-to-space ratio of 74 – a mind-boggling amount, given that even the most spacious mainstream ships only offer passenger-to-space ratios in the high forties.  
The Connoisseur’s Corner.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Just before you enter La Terrazza, two doorways off to your left offer several possibilities.  The first leads to The Connoisseur’s Corner, the ships clubby cigar and cognac lounge, sponsored by Davidoff.  Boasting a wide selection of cigars and fine cognacs, the first thing that struck me was how little the room actually smelled of cigar smoke.  Thanks to a dedicated ventilation system, the room stays remarkably fresh.
What’ll it be?
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

With its low-slung leather chairs, hardwood flooring and dark wood paneling, twenty people can be comfortably seated here at any given time.  Two large picture windows ensure that the ocean is never out of sight, and a frosted glass door allows for easy access between the Connoisseur Club and the next room aft: Le Champagne.
 Le Champagne plays host to a vast array of indulgences.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

With seating for twenty-four people, Le Champagne offers up a truly impressive list of fine wines, cognacs, grappas, vintage ports, and more – all delivered in an elegant setting and within sight of the ocean speeding past the two large picture windows.  
 Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

At one end, famous quotes relating to wine and champagne are etched into glass panels and illuminated with carefully hidden lighting.  Not only is this visually appealing, but it succeeds in helping the room feel larger than it is.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Sponsored by the prestigious Relais & Châteaux, the heart of Le Champagne lies in offering unique wine and food pairings to guests looking for something a little more…inspired.  Make no mistake about it: these meals are not pre-prepared en masse as on much larger ships.  Everything in Le Champagne is created by scratch by the line’s culinary experts.

Dining at Le Champagne is one of the few additional costs aboard Silversea.  If you don’t plan on indulging in any alcoholic pairings, the price per person is a very reasonable $30.  For the full experience, however, including course pairings with some of the rarest vintages, plan on spending $200 per person to dine here.  Expensive?  No question about it.  But remember: this is where a meal turns into an experience.  I’d personally forgo a shore excursion or two to try it for myself.

 La Terrazza, looking aft.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Heading aft, we come to La Terrazza.  Open for breakfast and lunch, and offering dinner service by reservation, La Terrazza is a magnificent room situated at the stern of Silver Shadow and surrounded on all three sides by floor-to-ceiling windows.  

Enjoy panoramic views from almost every table in La Terrazza.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Focusing on delivering the best Italian regional cuisine, La Terrazza can host up to one hundred and seventy passengers at one time – almost a full half of all passengers aboard!  As with the rest of the ship, it’s not difficult to imagine how enjoyable it would be to dine here while cruising along Alaska’s Inside Passage just before sunset, enjoying the tremendous scenery with the equally tremendous culinary delights on the menu.
 Outdoor dining just aft of La Terrazza.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
If weather permits, why not dine outdoors on the aft deck terrace?  The views here are just as enjoyable as indoors, and in keeping with the Silversea theme of total relaxation, nothing is quite so calming as enjoying a fine meal with the fresh sea air in your face.
 More terrace seating on deck outside 
the Panorama Lounge on Deck 8.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
The little details are clearly important to Silversea – rather than having to go back through La Terrazza to the Atrium staircase and up, I’m able to walk up one of two outdoor staircases that flank either side of La Terrazza and find myself up on Deck 8 outside the Panorama Lounge.  Plenty of outdoor seating is available here as well.
The Panorama Lounge.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

At first glance, the Panorama Lounge appears very nondescript until you notice the large dance floor in the middle, the bar off to the port side, and the multitude of seats once again surrounded by panoramic windows like Le Terrazza one deck below. 
Panorama Lounge: perfect for conversation or dancing.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Over one hundred and sixty passengers can be seated in the Panorama Lounge, making it the perfect venue to take in some after-dinner drinks and dancing, or simply engaging in conversation with new-found friends.  
The Library.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Heading forward on Deck 8, we come to The Library.  At a time when many ships lack a library altogether, or include one merely as an afterthought, it’s nice to see the dedication put into this one.  Passengers can check out a variety of books, and both fiction bestsellers and non-fiction titles are well represented.  
Daily newspapers of your choice can be read
in The Library.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Daily newspapers are available here, too.  In fact, guests have access to over 270 newspapers from around the world, printed daily right aboard the ship.  You might be at sea, but you certainly don’t have to be uninformed.

A small selection of Nintendo Wii games.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
There are also two internet stations set up in The Library, with additional terminals set up in the Internet Center next door.  The Internet Center is honestly the only misstep on this fantastic ship; it’s in a plain, drab room almost triangular in shape and with no windows whatsoever.  I couldn’t wait to get out.  On the other hand, the internet stations in the warm, inviting library seem to go hand-in-hand, and I hope at some point the Library is expanded to include the stations in the Internet Center.
Of course, there are ways to relax, too: a small but comprehensive selection of Nintendo Wii games proved to be the biggest surprise, and you’d be hard pressed to find a movie you didn’t enjoy in the well-stocked DVD section (I found four of my personal favorites, including one French film, were on-hand.)  Audio CD’s may also be borrowed, and of course, The Daily Quiz and Sudoku games can be picked up here.
No shortage of ways to keep busy.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Moving all the way forward, we emerge out onto the Pool Deck.  Featuring two hot tubs and a swimming pool flanked by ample deck chairs, the pool deck also plays host to a bar on the starboard side, and a grill on the port side that serves up the usual but welcome burgers, sandwiches and salads – ensuring you spend more time relaxing and less time running off to a dining room if you absolutely don’t want to.

The main pool and hot tubs aboard Silver Shadow.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Once again, seating is never an issue
aboard Silver Shadow.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
The pool deck itself is positively spacious – there’s no dodging maze-like rows of deck chairs here.  If anything, the deck itself appeared a little empty – something that surely goes away quickly during an outdoor BBQ on-deck.  As I strolled around the deck and ascended the stairs to Deck 9, I noticed the coffee machine located in the Pool Bar.  Coffee aficionados, take note: real beans were placed in a real grinder system, and are made into real coffee.  You won’t find any weak, syrup-based coffees here.
The top decks of Silver Shadow, looking aft.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Teak deck chairs outside the Observation Lounge, Deck 10.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Deck 9 contains the ships jogging track, as well as more opportunities for suntanning or simply watching the ocean pass you by.  A small golf driving net setup can be found all the way aft, and moving forward, a set of stairs take passengers up to Deck 10.  The deck itself wraps around in front of The Observation Lounge all the way forward, and ample seating is available outside on either side of the lounge.
The starboard navigation bridge wing as seen from Deck 10.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
From this area, passengers can also get an excellent glimpse of the ships officers at work on the port and starboard bridge wings.  As the controls on the wings are routinely used while maneuvering in and out of port, Deck 10 is the place to be during departure if you’re at all curious to see what is involved in navigating a 28,000-ton ship.
High atop the ship sits the Observation Lounge.
Deck 10, forward.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Stepping inside, we come face-to-face with the frosted glass doors to the Observation Lounge.  With a capacity of fifty-five passengers, this handsome lounge is the ideal forward-facing lookout.  With its comfortable, plush seating, adjacent bar, and wraparound windows, expect this to be a popular spot during any sort of scenic cruising.
Part lounge, part library, the Observation Lounge
is the best of both worlds.
 Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Immediately to the starboard side of the entrance are two walls of glass-paneled bookcases holding books on just about every destination imaginable.  As one might expect, there are quite a few titles based on the current itinerary, which means lots of books on Alaska, the Inside Passage, and wildlife for this particular cruise.  An oversize atlas of the world, in addition to daily news in multiple languages, can be found here.
Catering to an international audience…
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
More fresh-cut flowers are featured prominently.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Pull up a chair and enjoy your voyage.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
While the Observation Lounge is undoubtedly as cozy and inviting as any public room aboard Silver Shadow, I was a little surprised by its relatively small size in comparison to some of the aft-facing rooms.  Of course, it’s important to keep in perspective that the ship holds less than four hundred people to begin with, but something tells me there might not be a free seat in the house during days spent near the glaciers of Alaska.  
A minor point considering the amount of deck space aboard, as well as the fact that nearly every public room boasts excellent views – not to mention the private verandas that grace almost every stateroom.
The attractive hall leading from the
Observation Lounge to The Spa.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Just aft of The Observation Lounge, we come to a long corridor leading to The Spa.   Once again, the numerous windows allow daylight to flood the hallway and maintain the light, airy atmosphere that is present throughout the ship.
The reception area of The Spa.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
The Spa offers the expected amenities and treatments, and its facilities are on-par with those found on much larger ships.  Treatments are one of the few things aboard that aren’t complimentary, and for those who have ever had a relaxing massage, you’ll understand why: if treatments were complimentary, the passengers would probably never leave the spa!  Prices are in line with similar spa offerings on both mainstream and other upscale lines.
Separate Men’s and Women’s locker rooms include two private showers as well as sauna and steam rooms.  Down the hall is the main Fitness Centre, and a small room adjacent that can be used for aerobics or yoga.  
Fitness equipment in the Fitness Centre.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Also sharing the main spa space the ships onboard Beauty Salon.  Frosted windows that look out onto the brightly-sunlit corridor let in a surprising amount of natural light, while preventing passers-by from gawking at those getting their hair styled.  This full-featured room is equipped to handle just about any styling challenge passengers could throw at the capable, friendly staff.
Fresh towels are a staple of the spa.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Fresh towels are available throughout the spa – another nice touch designed to eliminate stress and anticipate the needs of guests before they even realize it.
Closing Thoughts
The wide, open corridor leading to the public rooms
on Deck 6.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Although Silver Shadow was fully booked when I toured her – meaning I wasn’t able to visit the suite accommodations – I was completely taken with her public rooms, staff, and overall layout.  The Silversea 2011 Voyages Brochure sums it up quite nicely when it states on page six, “there is something uniquely satisfying about ‘small’.” 
While other lines race to see who can build the biggest ship that carries the most passengers, Silversea has steadily built up a loyal following of passengers looking for, well, less: less lines, less passengers, less stress.  They want to relax, unwind, and submit totally to their elegant and luxurious floating resort, a true ‘home-away-from-home’ in a sense.  
Fresh flowers outside The Bar, Deck 7 aft.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders 
As my tour sadly came to a close, I realized passengers had been boarding for the last hour.  I hadn’t even noticed them.  The spaciousness of the ship is such that its easy at times to think that, just maybe, this was all created specially for you.  The “mad rush” of embarkation day doesn’t apply here.  Instead, the focus is on service, food, and discovery – both physical and personal – and the joy of being at sea. 
So is Silver Shadow right for you?  If you’re looking for in-your-face glitz or constant, over the top entertainment, then no.  If, however, you want to experience the benefits of a more intimate ship with fewer passengers, fine cuisine, attentive service, and like-minded passengers, and have no problem keeping yourself entertained for the most part, Silver Shadow will undoubtedly be an excellent fit.  I fall into the latter category –  I felt instantly ‘at home’ aboard the ship.
Funnel sporting the new, text-based Silversea logo.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

As I handed my Visitor’s Pass back, I watched more happy, smiling passengers stream aboard, representing almost every age group.  All were personally greeted by the gracious crew as they set foot on the decks of Silver Shadow.  As they got to know the crew, they began to introduce themselves to each other as well.  More hand shaking, introductions, laughter.  You seldom see that on larger ships.  
It was refreshing.
The advantage of small, indeed.
For more information about Silversea Cruises, their ships, itineraries, and the Silver Shadow herself, be sure to visit the Silversea Cruises website.  A complete gallery with even more photographs will be available later this week. 

 

30 Responses to Focus On…Silver Shadow, Part II

  1. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  2. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  3. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  4. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  5. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  6. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  7. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  8. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  9. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  10. Jonathan Caves says:

    Thanks for posting these: we're taking our first Cruise on Silver Shadow next week and after seening these images we cannot wait.

  11. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  12. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  13. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  14. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  15. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  16. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  17. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  18. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  19. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  20. David says:

    My wife and I just got off of the Shadow just a few hours before you took those pictures. The spaciousness, cleanliness and style shown in your snap shots were very much in evidence during our cruise but I have to say that the incredible attitude of friendly service shown by the staff and crew as well as the sophistication of the other guests combined to make this perhaps the best week of my life. We miss it already.

  21. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  22. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  23. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  24. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  25. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  26. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  27. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  28. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  29. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

  30. Malee says:

    Thank you for this inviting portrait of "my" ship, we sail on August 20 and looking forward to it ia half the fun.

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