A Day at Sea with Silversea

Kick back and relax aboard Silversea's luxurious Silver Shadow as she makes her way towards Yangon, Myanmar on November 4, 2016. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Kick back and relax aboard Silversea’s luxurious Silver Shadow as she makes her way towards Yangon, Myanmar on November 4, 2016. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

I’ve decided that if there is a problem with Silversea, it is that the onboard experience is so good that ports of call are almost a nicety. Today was a great example of that, as guests aboard Silver Shadow spent their first full day at sea en-route from Thailand to Yangon, Myanmar.

If you’re used to the dizzying array of activities offered aboard a huge megaship, you might look at the Silversea Chronicles for today and decide that you’d be bored. But boredom just isn’t an option aboard the Silver Shadow. In fact, today alone I got a hot stone massage at the Spa at Silversea; toured the ship’s galley; enjoyed afternoon tea; watched a classical Italian operatic performance in the Athenian Lounge; dined out under the stars at The Grill featuring Hot Rock Dining; and learned about the expedition led by director James Cameron to photograph and document the RMS Titanic from the man who helped make the movie Ghosts of the Abyss possible, cinematographer Piet de Vries.

From onboard lectures...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

From onboard lectures…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...to tours of the ship's galley, there really are no shortage of options to pass your time onboard. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…to tours of the ship’s galley, there really are no shortage of options to pass your time onboard. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

And that’s just half of what I could have done. Today, I could have: learned Italian or Portuguese; taken part in beginner’s Bridge; enjoyed a cooking class or a martini tasting; taken a tour of Silver Shadow’s onboard art collection; putted my way around the atrium in Mini-Golf this afternoon; done a Scavenger Hunt; or even learned how to line dance.

Of course, on Silversea, you’re free to do as much or as little as you’d like. Some guests sat in the Panorama Lounge, reading a good book and enjoying the always-free cocktails and beverages. Many sat out by the pool, reading the latest thriller or working on their tan. Some worked out in the ship’s Fitness Center, while others enjoyed conversation with newfound friends.

Personally, I love the personal development aspect of a Silversea cruise. I love that I can learn a new language or try something that maybe I wouldn’t get to do at home. If big ships are manufactured fun, a Silversea ship offers real, honest, intellectually-stimulating onboard experiences.

Calm seas and clear skies ahead of Silver Shadow today. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Calm seas and clear skies ahead of Silver Shadow today. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

The high point of my day today (aside from my hot stone massage, which really was superb) was the lecture by guest lecturer Piet de Vries. De Vries actually got to dive down to the Titanic to photograph the 2003 documentary, Ghosts of the Abyss. He told a packed Athenian Lounge how he had to light the wreck using a massive HMI lighting rig known as “The Medusa”, and about the logistics of diving down to Titanic, which lies 13,000 feet below the surface of the Atlantic.

In my former life, I used to work in the film and television industry. I also am a lifelong amateur Titanic historian. And, I like ships. So this afternoon was fairly sensory overload for yours truly.

Indulging in a little reading this afternoon: the new 2017 Silversea Classic and Expedition Cruise brochure. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Indulging in a little reading this afternoon: the new 2017 Silversea Classic and Expedition Cruise brochure. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

On an equally exciting note, my butler Catalino quietly removed the 2016 Silversea brochures from my suite this morning. Just as I was going to ask where they were, a new, shiny, 2017 Silversea brochure arrived, detailing the line’s exciting lineup of classic luxury voyages and expedition cruises for the coming year.

Silversea has a lot of cool things lined up in 2017. To start with, the brand-new 596-guest Silver Muse will set sail next spring. The largest ship ever constructed for Silversea, she’s also the company’s first new, purpose-built ship in eight years. She’s a slightly larger, near-sister-ship to the line’s current flagship, the 2009-built, 540-guest Silver Spirit.

Where did I read that new brochure? Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Where did I read that new brochure? Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

In the beautiful - though often underused - Observation Lounge on Deck 10! Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

In the beautiful – though often underused – Observation Lounge on Deck 10! Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Even though Silver Muse will look similar in appearance to Silver Spirit (with the exception of her new dual-funnel arrangement), don’t be fooled: Silversea has added a ton of new features to this exciting new ship. Chief among these: a new restaurant concept that eschews the former main dining space known as The Restaurant in favor of two more intimate dining venues, Atlantide and Indochine. They’re just two of the eight dining venues that will be onboard.

Also noteworthy: Silver Muse says goodbye to the often-underused Casino for the first time in the company’s history – and I don’t think many travellers will miss it. The Casino on a Silversea ship is something of a ghost town. In its place: an expanded, aft-facing library situated adjacent to a larger and more expansive Connoisseur’s Club. I like that, too: here aboard Silver Shadow, there’s almost too little space in the Connoisseur’s Club, particularly on evenings at sea.

Of course, there is always time for a cruise ship favorite...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Of course, there is always time for a cruise ship favorite…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...High Tea, served daily on Sea Days between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…High Tea, served daily on Sea Days between 4:00pm and 5:00pm. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Suites aboard Silver Muse will be larger on average, with a starting size of 387 square feet. Compare that to 376 square feet for Veranda staterooms on the Silver Spirit, and 312 square feet for their counterparts here aboard Silver Shadow and her sister, Silver Whisper. Suites aboard Silver Muse will also benefit from a new colour palette and altered furnishings, along with more power outlet options and USB chargers.

Silver Muse will also boast more Silver Suites than Silver Spirit, but will retain the latter’s fabulous design and layout. I still feel that Silversea’s Silver Suites are the absolute best choice, and a great happy-medium for those looking for a bigger suite without the costs associated with the Grand and Owner’s Suites.

One of the great things about all Silversea ships is the fantastic amount of open deck space onboard. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

One of the great things about all Silversea ships is the fantastic amount of open deck space onboard. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Perfect for viewing spectacular sunsets at sea. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Perfect for viewing spectacular sunsets at sea. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Also noteworthy next year is the refit of Silver Cloud, which will be completely transformed in the fall of 2017 into a purpose-built expedition ship. She’ll be given a new black hull colour to match Silversea’s existing expedition fleet, and will easily become the most luxurious ship in the line’s expedition fleet when she sets out on her first voyage to Antarctica in November of 2017.

To end the evening, I indulged in one of my favorite Silversea dining experiences...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

To end the evening, I indulged in one of my favorite Silversea dining experiences…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...the Grill, featuring Hot Rock Dining. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…the Grill, featuring Hot Rock Dining. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

First introduced aboard Silver Spirit, this interactive cooking experience became so popular that Silversea now offers it on its entire fleet. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

First introduced aboard Silver Spirit, this interactive cooking experience became so popular that Silversea now offers it on its entire fleet. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Noteworthy additions to the Silver Cloud include a fleet of Zodiac rafts; the conversion of the fitness center into an observation lounge; the addition of six new Silver Suites; and a proper, ice-strengthened hull rated to Ice Class 1C, which makes the new Silver Cloud Expedition suitable to navigating polar waters of Antarctica and the Far Arctic. She’ll also carry fewer guests: just 200 in Antarctica and up to 260 on other destinations. Considering she only carries 296 guests now and is remarkably spacious, this will be one very luxurious expedition ship at the ends of the Earth.

Ending the night with a classic steak, grilled to perfection under the stars at The Grill. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Ending the night with a classic steak, grilled to perfection under the stars at The Grill. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

So as I dream of future Silversea voyages to come, Silver Shadow continues to sail on through the night towards the mystical, magical land that is Myanmar. Most ships never come here, and those that do might only stay for a day. Instead, Silversea is giving us three full days to explore Yangon before our adventures in Southeast Asia continue.

Our Live Voyage Report aboard Silversea’s elegant Silver Shadow continues tomorrow as we explore Yangon, Myanmar! Be sure to follow along on twitter by following @deckchairblog.

DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
October 31, 2016SingaporeEmbark1800
November 1Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia08001900
November 2Penang, Georgetown, Malaysia08001800
November 3Phuket, Thailand08001400
November 4At Sea
November 5Yangon, Myanmar0600Overnight
November 6Yangon, MyanmarOvernightOvernight
November 7Yangon, MyanmarOvernight1900
November 8At Sea
November 9 At Sea

November 10Langkawi, Malaysia08001500
November 11Malacca, Malaysia13001900
November 12Singapore0700Onward Journey Home
 

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