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- About FTDC
Silver Explorer Photo Tour
In 2007, ultra-luxury line Silversea made a bold move: it acquired a small, unassuming vessel built nearly 20 years earlier as the Sally Clipper before being passed around to various cruise lines. But after an extensive multi-million dollar refit, she emerged prouder than ever as the lead vessel in Silversea’s new Expeditions product: Prince Albert II.
Quickly winning praise for her diverse itineraries and the same kind of onboard luxury and elegance that Silversea is known for, the line elected to bring her name in line with the rest of the fleet, renaming her Silver Explorer in 2011.
With an ice-class rating of 1A, there are few places on earth that this intimate, 132-passenger vessel cannot sail to. She is every bit the modern-day explorer, going where few ships before her have gone and managing to turn heads in the process. With her sleek black hull, red pin striping and white superstructure, she is an ambassador not just for the Monaco-based luxury line, but for modern-day adventurers everywhere.
Equipped with a fleet of inflatable Zodiac rafts, guests aboard Silver Explorer can literally come ashore in some of the most remote regions of the world, going where even their nimble “mother ship” cannot. Far from simply acting as a mode of transportation, the Zodiacs are an adventure in their own right, and the dedicated Expedition Team aboard the Silver Explorer takes every opportunity they can to ensure that you are wowed and amazed during your time aboard them.
This isn’t just a ship to take a vacation on. This is a ship that will whisk you to places that will change you forever, with a sense of style and sophistication that is undeniably Silversea. Make no mistake about it; you’re not on a cruise aboard Silver Explorer.
You are on an Expedition.
The lowest-accessible passenger deck, Deck 3 is home to Silver Explorer’s Lobby and Reception area, medical centre, and changing, or “mud” room. As Silver Explorer was fully booked during our expedition, we were unable to take photographs of other stateroom categories.
Lobby and Reception
The hub and centre of the ship, you’ll get to know this area well during your Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation, as there are shell doors that open on both the port and starboard sides of this unassuming area.
Flanked by the aft staircase and elevator, the Reception Desk is your go-to destination for questions related to your onboard account, or to perhaps sign-up for your choice of adventures ashore for the next day, all of which are included in your cruise fare.
Because of Silver Explorer’s intimate size, your calls to room service will be routed here, to be answered by the extremely knowledgeable and friendly Front Desk staff.
Across from the Reception Desk, a wall of video monitors shows your current position or highlights from past expeditions.
Located all the way aft on Deck 4 is Silver Explorer’s attractive, wood-panelled Restaurant. Serving up buffet breakfast and lunch and elegant, multi-course dinners, the Restaurant is always open-seating and no assigned dining times are enforced.
Instead, guests are invited to dine with whom they want and when they want, anywhere inside the Restaurant’s opening hours, all of which are listed in the daily Silversea Chronicles that is delivered to your suite every evening.
There’s some fantastic little touches in this intimate room. A spiral staircase near the aft of the room leads up one deck, emerging in the Panorama Lounge, and tables at the very aft end of the room offer spectacular views over the ship’s wake.
Meals here are all of the same high quality found onboard other Silversea vessels; impressive, considering galley space onboard such a small ship must naturally be at a premium. Still, Silversea pulls it off with the panache and ease the line is known for.
Fitness Centre and Boutique
Just forward of the Restaurant on the starboard side is the Silver Explorer’s small but very functional Fitness Centre, and directly across from it is a surprisingly well-stocked Boutique that has just about everything you could need – and then some.
When I developed a nasty cold during my expedition, I was able to get both pain relievers for my headache and lozenges for my sore throat, and all with a smile and a wish that I got better soon.
Deck 5 is arguably Silver Explorer’s main entertainment deck, thanks to the presence of the Panorama Lounge, the Library and Internet Café, the Connoisseur’s Club, and a large selection of suite accommodations. All the way forward, the ship’s Navigation Bridge can be visited if time and regulations permit.
The Panorama Lounge
A staple on Silversea ships, the Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Explorer is no less inviting. Done in shades of grey with soft accents and trim, the Panorama Lounge is a major gathering spot by day or night.
During the day, lattes, coffee, tea and bar service are offered along with bouillon at 11am sharp; the perfect companion to a chilly morning of exploration. In the afternoon, tea and petit sandwiches are offered.
But it is evening when the Panorama Lounge really comes alive, serving as a gathering place for the entire ship’s compliment of guests coming here to relax for a pre-or-post dinner drink.
Monitors show the ship’s current position and play relevant expedition videos, sporting events and other “must-see” TV.
The Connoisseur’s Club
Just off the Panorama Lounge on the starboard side lies the Connoisseur’s club, Silver Explorer’s dedicated Cigar lounge.
Separated by glass walls and a fully-closing glass door, the Connoisseur’s Club is the perfect venue to enjoy a fine cigar or just a glass of cognac. Because it’s separated from the Panorama Lounge, it’s also a great gathering spot for small groups looking for a little more privacy.
Impressively, for a room that’s designed primarily for the pursuit of smoking, the Connoisseur’s Club smells remarkably fresh and is extremely well-ventilated.
Library & Internet Café
Forward of the Panorama Lounge is the dual-purpose Library and Internet Café. Done in the same warm tones found aboard the larger Silver Spirit, the room displays the nautical touches that are present throughout this adventuresome ship, including a selection of naval artifacts and models in glass display cases spread throughout the room.
Daily news briefs from around the world are available here in the mornings, along with a selection of pastries and coffee or tea.
Several internet stations are clustered in the centre of the room, and internet time can be purchased by the minute or via one of several time-duration packages – by far the wiser option. The Silver Explorer is equipped with Wi-Fi internet access throughout.
As the name suggests, books are a major component of the Library and Internet Café, and a wide variety of titles can be found on subjects related to Silver Explorer’s itineraries, including numerous titles on polar exploration.
Outdoor Deck Space
One of the best things about Silver Explorer is the amount of open deck space that is available for a ship her size.
Exiting from the forward or aft staircases on Deck 6 brings you to a wraparound deck viewing area that can function as a promenade deck, though the middle section of this deck contains several cranes and hoists used to lower the Zodiac rafts into the water.
All the way aft is the Outdoor Grill, a spectacular area containing a bar, several tables, plenty of deck chairs and two soothing hot tubs.
When weather permits, lunch and even dinner can be served back here, in full view of the spectacular scenery Silver Explorer is sailing by.
All the way aft, flanking staircases lead down to another small observation deck on Deck 5. You can also enter in to the Panorama Lounge from here.
Just inside the door opposite the Outdoor Grill Bar is Silver Explorer’s small but functional Spa, where many of the treatments you’d find on Silversea’s other vessels are available. Across the hall, a steam and sauna room are also present – a great way to unwind after an adventurous day ashore!
The Theatre is both the entertainment and informational hub aboard the Silver Explorer. Each evening, the dedicated Expedition Team will brief you on your excursion options and tour information for the coming day, while recapping what you’ve seen that day. It’s an amazing opportunity to clarify something you’ve seen, or ask a question that you hadn’t thought of, or to simply enquire about your best options for tomorrow.
Other events, like the Captain’s Welcome Aboard reception, are also held in this warm, intimate room.
A bar at the back of the Theatre offers up full drink service, and plenty of overhead monitors allow even guests at the back of the room to see the presentations on-screen at the front of the room with ease. The window shades can also be opened or closed with the push of a button.
The Observation Lounge
All the way forward on Deck 6 is Silver Explorer’s Observation Lounge, featuring comfortable seating, plenty of books, and glorious 180-degree views.
In the morning, coffee, tea, pastries and juices are served up here by one of Silver Explorer’s affable crew members, making this forward-facing room a relaxing start to any morning.
If the Library on Deck 5 didn’t satisfy your craving for knowledge, the expanded selection of books in the Observation Lounge are sure to please, with an extraordinarily well-stocked number of titles on polar exploration, early seafarers and, of course, plenty of destination guides centered around Silver Explorer’s diverse expedition itineraries.
THE SILVER EXPLORER
Intimate, moderately-sized yet just as luxurious as her fleetmates, Silversea’s Silver Explorer is blazing new trails for the line and her passengers, many of whom have accumulated hundreds of days aboard her.
She’s the only ship that wasn’t purpose-built for Silversea, yet you’d never know it: throughout Silver Explorer, numerous design elements recall the interiors of fleetmates Silver Spirit, Silver Shadow, and others through the use of cleverly-designed interior accents and décor.
After spending nearly two decades being passed around from region to region, shipowner to shipowner, it’s no stretch to say the former Sally Clipper has finally come into her own as Silversea Expeditions’ flagship.
If you’re seeking a modern-day adventure but don’t want to leave the luxurious amenities of a traditional cruise behind, Silver Explorer offers no shortage of either.
Read our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silver Explorer as we sailed through the British Isles from Portsmouth, England to Glasgow, Scotland or visit the Silversea Expeditions’ website to plan your very own modern-day adventure!
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