Silver Shadow sails into Sydney harbour. Photo courtesy of Silversea.

When I toured the Silver Shadow last year, I found her to be an exceptionally comfortable, well-built ship that launched my love affair with ultra-luxury line Silversea.  At first glance, Silver Shadow doesn’t seem to be all that impressive; her modest exterior profile only hints at the luxury hidden within.  For cruisers used to seeing megaships with hot tubs hanging over the side, massive promenade decks and row upon row of lifeboats suspended from them, Silver Shadow’s small, unobtrusive size might seem a little, well, dull.

But as a famous person once remarked, don’t judge a book by its cover.

This photo isn't going to win any awards, but Silver Shadow is shown here departing Vancouver bound for Alaska on July 7, 2011. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

In fact, Silver Shadow’s understated design is part of her intrinsic brilliance.  Her sleek, yacht-like lines are graceful; her decks terraced and attractively decorated.  Along her bow, the name Silver Shadow is spelled out in powerful block-style lettering; atop her funnel, the word “Silversea” lay suspended as if in mid-air.

Welcome aboard Silver Shadow! Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

When you step aboard Silver Shadow, you’re immediately welcomed both by the décor, and by the fantastically attentive staff.  Enough good cannot be said of the crew aboard the Silver Shadow; even with my day pass clasped obviously to my sport jacket, I received a warm “hello” and “good morning” wherever I went.  Crew members paused from cleaning to ask if I needed directions anywhere, and hoped I was enjoying myself.

The welcoming Atrium Staircase, facing port. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

In fact, getting around Silver Shadow couldn’t be easier: upon entering, you’re greeted by two identical spiral staircases that traverse every deck of the ship.  Two additional staircases are inset into the walls opposite this atrium area, and together they could handle far more than Silver Shadow’s very human 382-guest capacity.

Welcoming public rooms, including this corridor on Deck 6, have become a Silversea hallmark. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Her public rooms are intimate and welcoming, instantly beckoning you to sit and stay a while.  It’s only after a bit of time on the ship that you realize just how smart her design is.  Every public space grows on you; nothing smacks you in the face with bright colors, flashing lights or gimmicky tricks.  Instead, you’re left with public spaces that are inviting during the day, and as soothing as a good drink at night.

Total relaxation.

The Bar received a complete makeover during Silver Shadow's recent drydock. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Best of all, Silver Shadow recently received a sweeping makeover during a two-week drydock in Singapore.  In those two weeks, the line accomplished an impressive amount.  All suites were refurbished and refitted with brand-new carpets, headboards, curtains and even new veranda furniture.  All mattresses were replaced with the incredible dual-side mattresses found aboard Silver Spirit that can be flipped to either soft or firm depending on each guest’s preference.  A new memory pillow top adorns the bed when configured as a queen, and accompanies the line’s extensive pillow menu.

Guests staying in the top-level Owner’s, Grand, Royal and Silver suites will find brand-new Bang & Olufsen audio systems for their listening enjoyment. Bring your favourite tunes with you!

Elegant changes aren't limited to decor; new table settings adorn La Terrazza. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Like the suites, public areas have also been refreshed to reflect the elegant, rich tones present aboard Silver Spirit. So without further ado, let’s go deck-by-deck to see some of the fantastic new changes!

DECK 4

The Restaurant

The Restaurant aboard Silver Shadow was completely reconditioned, and now sports a new color scheme. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The beautiful hardwood floor in The Restaurant, Silver Shadow’s main dining venue, has been completely reconditioned.  The room also underwent a dramatic color change, removing the dark blue upholstery to make way for alternating red and cream-colored chairs.  New dark blue curtains were added to the windows, giving The Restaurant a surprisingly more open, elegant feeling.

Tables of all sizes are here, all sporting fresh, new looks. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The entrance to The Restaurant aboard Silver Shadow. Notice the beautiful hardwood flooring. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The Main Staircase

Let’s use the main staircase to get around.  Ascending from Deck 4 all the way to the pool deck, this area lets in plenty of light thanks to the skylight above.

Looking up through one of two central staircases aboard Silver Shadow. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Descending the port-side central staircase aboard Silver Shadow. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Beautiful paintings help to offset the cream-colored walls, and make for a rather elevating experience.

DECK 5

Lobby

Silver Shadow's attractive Lobby & Reception area also received a new makeover. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Moving up to Deck 5, we arrive at the Lobby.  As the main embarkation deck, locating the Purser’s Office as well as the Shore Excursion desk here makes perfect sense.

Shopping & Casino

One of the Shops aboard Silver Shadow, centrally located just forward of the Lobby. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Just off of the main Lobby, we come to another, smaller rotunda.  This “intersection” contains the entrances to the ship’s boutiques and Casino, all of which are closed during port hours.

The attractive rotunda leading to the Silver Shadow's boutiques and Casino. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

While this area hasn’t changed much from its previous incarnation, it’s easy to see the woodwork and floor have received significant attention, along with the carpeting in the passenger corridor forward of it.

The Bar

Silver Shadow's Bar in June, 2010. Photo © Aaron Saunders

My favourite area aboard the Silver Shadow, the Bar has only grown on me since I last saw it.  Formerly decorated with crimson-red furniture and soft white walls, the Bar has received a complete makeover.

The Bar aboard Silver Shadow in 2011, Spirit-ized. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

When I first entered, I was so struck by the changes that I actually exclaimed, “Oh, wow”, to myself. The red is gone, replaced with the dark woods and rich greens present aboard Silver Spirit’s fantastically decorated Bar.  It works incredibly well aboard Silver Shadow, and instantly made me feel like I was back aboard the Spirit again.  I was worried this area might have lost its warm, inviting feel; I shouldn’t have.  I could have parked myself there and happily sailed away with the ship to Alaska – but I think they may have noticed.

The attractive bar aboard Silver Shadow is the perfect pre-show watering hole. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

On both the aft starboard and port portions of The Bar are frosted glass doors that lead to our next destination:

The Show Lounge

Unlike Silver Spirit, the main Show Lounge aboard Silver Shadow and her sister, Silver Whisper, is a two-story affair that spans decks 5 and 6.  Like Silver Spirit, however, it contains the same warm, inviting feeling – though in a different way.

The Show Lounge aboard Silver Shadow is a two-story affair. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Where Silver Spirit’s theatre holds a very very Parisian theme, the Show Lounge aboard Silver Shadow has the feel of a fine English club, with large, Greek-style murals on both staircases flanking either side of the stage.  It’s cozy, clubby, and perfect for enjoying a night-time show.  Glass tables are present at nearly every seat – a great feature that’s rapidly disappearing from many newer megaships.

The Show Lounge, facing forward on Deck 5. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

The upper levels of the Show Lounge have a clubby feel. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Fans of this room need not worry – it’s largely as it was last year, but with brand-new carpeting and refreshed upholstery throughout.

DECK 6

Let's head on up to Deck 6. Stairs or elevators - the choice is yours. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Aside from the upper level of the Show Lounge, the remainder of Deck 6 is dedicated to Silver Shadow’s luxurious accommodations.  The staff were incredibly hard at work readying all the suites for their Alaska-bound guests, so we don’t have any photos to show you – but Silversea has some great shots and Virtual Tours on their website.

Undaunted, let’s head up to Deck 7!

DECK 7

Card & Games Room

The Card & Games room aboard Silver Shadow. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Just off the main staircase lies the entrance to the Card & Games Room.  A small but no doubt popular space, the room contains comfortable chairs and tables flanked by large picture windows to ensure the sea is never far from sight – even when you’re enjoying your favourite game.  The room has been substantially redone since I was here last year, and it looks fantastic!

Connoisseur’s Club

The intimate, inviting Connoisseur's Club is perfect for a nightcap or fine cigar. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Another strong contender for my favourite public room aboard Silver Shadow is the Connoisseur’s Club.  Located on the starboard side of the ship, the Connoisseur’s Club is a fantastic place to enjoy a fine after-dinner whisky, cognac or port along with a selection of the best cigars.

It doesn't get much more relaxing than this. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

But you don’t have to be a smoker to enjoy this clubby room, with its leather-backed chairs and intimate atmosphere.  In fact, the smell of smoke is barely distinguishable thanks to a dedicated ventilation system that is designed to pull the smell directly out of the room.  Everything here is fresh and sparkles like new.

Le Champagne

Fine dining and wine pairings are on the menu at Le Champagne, Silversea's signature premium dining experience. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Guests looking for a superb dining experience will relish Le Champagne.  As the name suggests, Champagne is the theme here, but it’s influence extends far beyond that.

Dinner settings in Le Champagne, with a selection of aperitif's in the background. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

One of the few things aboard a Silversea ship to sport an additional cost (which, let’s face it, is rendered moot by the generous Onboard Spending Credits offered on many voyages), Le Champagne is a fine, multi-course dining experience known as a degustation.

Dining here is always intimate, and the room received a fresh new look during the recent refit. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Each course is paired with an exquisite, rare, or vintage wine designed to complement the menu, and of course, plenty of bubbly is available as well.  You might want to skip lunch!  Don’t drink?  Don’t worry – you can still dine here without the wine pairings for a substantially-reduced surcharge.

Backlit etched glass sports Champagne-related quotes. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

While this room hasn’t changed structurally, the new table settings and color scheme give this room a more welcoming appearance than its previous incarnation.  It feels decidedly more open, and the red-orange upholstery adds a splash of color to this elegant room.  I was also pleased to see my favourite wall of glass-etched panels sporting famous Champagne quotes was untouched!

Artwork on display in Le Champagne. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

La Terrazza

Located all the way aft on Deck 7, La Terrazza is Silver Shadow’s casual-dining venue by day, and dedicated Italian restaurant by night.

The entrance to La Terrazza has also been revitalized. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

180-degree windows let in plenty of light and passing scenery. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Sporting new carpeting, window and wall treatments, La Terrazza boasts the same attractive color scheme given to The Restaurant and Le Champagne.  The room also boasts brand-new dinner settings that help to enhance the elegance of this comfortable, bright room.

Table settings and murals in La Terrazza reflect Silversea's proudly European heritage. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

While there’s plenty of seating inside, with 180-degree views, there’s additional seating – and improvements – outside.  Not only are the teak tables and chairs new, they’re also protected from the elements by a new awning that extends right to the aft railing.  This allows guests to dine outdoors regardless of the weather conditions – a great feature when Silver Shadow is sailing the beautiful but often wet waters of Alaska.

A new awning covers tables and chairs in the aft outdoor seating area for La Terrazza. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Tune in tomorrow for the second and final instalment of our Silver Shadow Revisited tour, where we’ll tour Decks 8, 9 and 10!

For more information on Silver Shadow, be sure to visit the Silversea Cruises website, or check out the extensive overview on our sister-site, Avid Cruiser.

Curious to see how Silver Shadow used to look?  Have a peek at our extensive photo-tour from last June and get to know this interesting, comfortable and elegant ship.

 

 

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