Silver Wind Photo Tour

Silver Wind in Richards Bay, South Africa as evening falls on January 21, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind in Richards Bay, South Africa as evening falls on January 21, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

As the second vessel ever constructed for ultra-luxury line Silversea, the Silver Wind still looks like she’s fresh out of the shipyard thanks to a series of thoughtful refits and updates. Sleek, yacht-like and wonderfully intimate, there’s nothing about Silver Wind that will immediately knock your socks off – and that’s just the way Silversea guests like it.

Click here to read our full Live Voyage Report from onboard Silver Wind in South Africa!

Instead, she carries the warm ambiance and friendly atmosphere Silversea has successfully cultivated for nearly 30 years now. Public rooms are comfortable and inviting, done with elegant accents and a dash of vibrant red upholstery throughout. With just 296 guests onboard, crowding is never an issue here. Your favorite onboard spot remains just that, as if magically reserved just for you.

Today, I was able to visit Silver Wind's navigational bridge, shown here. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The elegant, swept-back forward superstructure of the Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

In a nod to the “new” Silversea, there are also healthy touches of the line’s flagship, the 540-guest Silver Spirit, that were added throughout during a 2008 refit. New additions included a glass-enclosed Observation Lounge on Deck 9 that remains wonderfully deserted throughout much of the day, and a completely redone La Terrazza aft on Deck 7.

For the nostalgic, a few public rooms offer a glimpse at her mid-1990’s roots, including the Panorama Lounge on Deck 8 aft, with its polished brass and sea-foam green accents. Rather than being a negative, it’s actually a positive. As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Made In Italy: for a ship that is approaxhing it's 18th birthday, Silver Wind is in fantastic shape. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Made In Italy: for a ship that is approaxhing it’s 18th birthday, Silver Wind is in fantastic shape. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The best quality of the Silver Wind, though, lies in her similarity to other Silversea vessels: public rooms are clustered aft, and flow innovatively into one another. Nothing is far from reach here.

It is paradise, the way cruising should be.

UNIQUE SUITES

Friday, January 18th was a relaxing day of sailing the Indian Ocean aboard Silversea's Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Looking for a great deal? Silver Wind boasts two suites that fit that bill. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind boasts some fantastic “hidden” suites, thanks to her 2008 refit.  Of special note, Suite 738 is classified as a Vista Suite, but is located high up on Deck 7, just forward of the aft elevator lobby. At 325 square feet, it’s also substantially larger than those on Deck 4.

Medallion Suite 741 is located just across the hall, and is the second stateroom to watch if you like a great deal. Although this room lacks the balcony that those on Deck 8 offer, it is larger at 667 square feet, with oversized picture windows providing plenty of light into the separate living, dining and sleeping areas. The bathroom is also bigger than most of the top-level suites!

DECK 4

The central Staircase aboard Silversea's Silver Wind runs from Deck 8 to Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The central Staircase aboard Silversea’s Silver Wind runs from Deck 8 to Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The lowest-accessible passenger deck aboard the Silver Wind, Deck 4 is home to 24 Oceanview Vista Suites. But don’t discount these just because they lack balconies; at 240 square feet, they’re some of the most spacious Oceanview staterooms afloat. Did we mention they – like every stateroom aboard Silver Wind – include butler service?

Library

Books, DVD's and CD's can be rented for the duration of the voyage from the Library on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Books, DVD’s and CD’s can be rented for the duration of the voyage from the Library on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Just forward of the aft elevator lobby and its adjacent sweeping dual staircases is the Silver Wind’s lobby. Not only can you kick up your heels and relax with a good book here in the room’s clubby ambiance, you can take it with you, too! Well, perhaps not home – but you can take it poolside or enjoy it in your suite.

The Library aboard the Silver Wind is also just an excellent place to relax! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Library aboard the Silver Wind is also just an excellent place to relax! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

There’s also a fantastic collection of audio cd’s and DVD movies that can be rented free of charge and utilised in your suite’s DVD player or audio system. Simply take the empty case up to the Reception Desk, and the appropriate disc will be given to you. When you’re done with them, just return it to reception. Voila!

The selection of both is better than I would have expected, with a great mix of contemporary titles and classic favorites.

Le Champagne

It's a Good Thing There's Still a Week Left: I have to make a point to dine in Le Champagne, Silversea's signature venue in partership with Relais & Chateaux. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Spacious dining in Le Champagne, Silversea’s signature venue in partership with Relais & Chateaux. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

A Silversea hallmark, Le Champagne is situated just aft of the aft elevator lobby in a spacious anteroom just off The Restaurant.

Elegant dinner settings in Le Champagne on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Elegant dinner settings in Le Champagne on Deck 4. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Dining here is exquisite and highly affordable, though the line still offers the pricy-but-worth-it degustation package that pairs a different kind of rare vintage wine with each course. My only complaint about Le Champagne aboard the Silver Wind: it’s so popular you have to make reservations well in advance!

The Restaurant

Tonight, guests aboard Silver Wind were invited to dine in The Restaraunt (above) on Deck 4 and help themselves to food arranged in the ship's galley. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Restarant on Deck 4 Aft is striking in design. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

This is probably my favorite main dining room on the entire fleet. The Restaurant aboard the Silver Wind features sweeping, wave-like ceilings adorned with coloured accent lighting that gives the room the feeling of being larger than it really is.

Seating is intimate and never cramped, and tables are offered on both port and starboard sides as well as in a rather cozy section in the middle of the room. Surrounded by serving stations, food here seems to magically appear before your eyes – and that’s never a bad thing.

The Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner unless otherwise noted. My personal favorite: dinners here are almost universally fantastic.

DECK 5

Silver Wind has two Lobbies: one on Deck 5 (shown), and another on Deck 6 where Reception and Shore Excursion decks are. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind has two Lobbies: one on Deck 5 (shown), and another on Deck 6 where Reception and Shore Excursion decks are. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Like all Silversea ships, the forward half of Deck 5 is devoted to guest suites, while the after section contains the ship’s public rooms. Those on Deck 5, however, are some of my favorites.

The Bar

Entry doors to The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Entry doors to The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Without a doubt my favorite public room aboard the Silver Wind, The Bar is an absolutely gorgeous affair that will make you want to spend your entire day here – and not just because of the generously-poured drinks, either.

Amble up to the bar at The Bar, Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Amble up to the bar at The Bar, Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Decorated in earthy hues of yellow and gold, seating in The Bar is clustered in a horseshoe shape around the main bar area. Intimate wings extend aft down both port and starboard sides of the ship for quiet conversation and drinks held après-dinner, while you can always be a part of the action by ambling up to the highly-polished wooden bar and sliding into one of the comfortable leather seats.

Enjoying a rewarding Espresso Martini in The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Enjoying a rewarding Espresso Martini in The Bar on Deck 5. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Aboard other Silversea ships, The Bar is gradually being retrofitted to sport the same distinctive (and equally-attractive) Art Deco look found aboard the Silver Spirit, which means someday I may have to travel to an Italian shipyard to prevent them from doing that to this bar, because it is truly one of the nicest public rooms afloat. Period.

DECK 6

Silver Wind Tour: the Reception area on Deck 6 also houses the International Hostess' desk and the Future Cruise Consultant. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind Tour: the Reception area on Deck 6 also houses the International Hostess’ desk and the Future Cruise Consultant. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Evenings aboard the Silver Wind are always clustered around three main decks, one of which is Deck 6. The ship’s Reception and Shore Excursion desks, along with the Future Cruise Consultant, can also be found here.

Parisian Lounge

The Parisian Lounge is a two-story affair, and larger than you might expect for a ship the size of the Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Parisian Lounge is a two-story affair, and larger than you might expect for a ship the size of the Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Parisian Lounge aboard the Silver Wind is something of a surprise for a ship her size: a surprisingly large, elegant venue spanning two decks in height and featuring gorgeous gold accents accompanied by rich upholstery that recalls the room’s French namesake.

Sight lines tend to be excellent, with only a few locations with minimal obstructions. My personal favorite seating location, though, is on the room’s upper wings, giving you a breathtaking view of the stage and seating areas below.

Absolutely fascinating: attending a lecture on aviation safety in the Parisian Lounge, Deck 6. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Absolutely fascinating: attending a lecture on aviation safety in the Parisian Lounge, Deck 6. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

One thing I truly like about this room: there’s still plenty of dinner-theatre-style seating, with comfortable chairs and couches clustered around small tables.

DECK 7

The Grand Suite

Grand Suite 702 aboard the Silver Wind, seen here at night. So big, it doesn't all fit in a single shot! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Grand Suite 702 aboard the Silver Wind, seen here at night. So big, it doesn’t all fit in a single shot! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

In what could also be appropriately titled the “I’ve Died and Gone to Heaven” Suite, Silver Wind’s two Grand Suites are some of the largest aboard the ship, spanning 1,019 square feet and including two balconies: one facing the port or starboard side, and one facing forward that overlooks Silver Wind’s bow.

The Grand Suite bedroom; note the balcony adjacent to it. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Grand Suite bedroom; note the balcony adjacent to it. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Photographs truly can’t do this room justice. They don’t tell you, for example, that the upper portion of all walls in the suite are covered in a rich, olive-green-coloured fabric, bordered by attractive wooden panelling. Light switches are backed by brass panels, as are the room’s electrical outlets (which, curiously, are all European-style two-prong plug sockets).

Suite Sunset. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Suite Sunset. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

After entering, a quick turn will bring you to your very own private hallway separating the bathroom from the bedroom and the walk-in-closet that’s big enough for a person to sleep in. All told, the room has five interior doors that can be opened or closed to partition off the room, perfect for entertaining or when travelling with more than two people in the suite.

The marble-clad bathroom (or part of it) in the Grand Suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The marble-clad bathroom (or part of it) in the Grand Suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

In fact, nothing has been left out of this room: amenities like Bvlgari Silver toiletries (or Ferragamo); a Bang & Olufsen sound system; an Illy Espresso machine; two flat-panel television screens with DVD players; and a fabulous desk area with its own fixed window make it a joy to spend time here.

Now that's a walk-in closet! Outside is a small hallway connecting the bedroom with the bathroom, closet and entryway. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Now that’s a walk-in closet! Outside is a small hallway connecting the bedroom with the bathroom, closet and entryway. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Guests booking a Grand Suite can also look forward to some addition amenities, like a complimentary daily newspaper printout delivered to your room; 240 minutes of free internet access; 120 minutes of free telephone calls; and complimentary laundry throughout the voyage. You can even dine in Le Champagne once per voyage segment for free.

Fresh fruit in the Grand Suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Fresh fruit in the Grand Suite. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Looking for a truly special experience? You can book the Grand Suite with an adjacent Veranda Suite for a grand total of 1,314 square feet, including a private, keycard-access-restricted entrance foyer.

On a personal note, staying in Grand Suite 702 was like the Mount Everest of cruising: it’s all downhill after that!

La Terrazza

La Terrazza aboard Silver Wind; Deck 7 aft. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

La Terrazza aboard Silver Wind; Deck 7 aft. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s trademark Italian eatery focuses on the core elements of the Slow Food movement: providing a pleasurable, quality dining experience that highlights the rich Italian heritage of La Terrazza. Here, you can rediscover the joys of eating – and eating well – with a menu of Italian specialties paired with fabulous wines. What’s more, if the weather allows, there’s nothing like a great meal here taken outdoor on the terrace.

Few things are quite as nice as breakfast outside on the Veranda at La Terrazza, Deck 7 aft. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Few things are quite as nice as breakfast outside on the Veranda at La Terrazza, Deck 7 aft. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Buffet breakfast and lunch are served here, while at night La Terrazza becomes a reservations-required (though free of charge) specialty restaurant. Personally, it’s one of my absolute favorite venues on any Silversea ship; I can’t get enough of it.

DECK 8

Pool Deck

With the sun out again, Silver Wind's pool deck wouldn't remain deserted for long. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silver Wind’s ample, uncrowded pool deck. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Deck 8 is sun-bathing country, home to Silver Wind’s expansive pool deck, swimming pool, and hot tubs. Because the ship only holds 296 guests, finding your favorite deck chair poolside is never an issue. Nor is space in the two hot tubs. Or the pool…or the…well, you get the idea.

It's all about choice, and there's nothing quite like cooking your meal atop a slab of volcanic rock under the stars at The Grill! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

It’s all about choice, and there’s nothing quite like cooking your meal atop a slab of volcanic rock under the stars at The Grill! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

At night, the pool deck is transformed into The Grill featuring Hot Rocks, a culinary “must” on any Silversea voyage. Here, you can dine under the stars on a variety of beef and seafood cooked atop your very own slab of volcanic rock. Pair it with an assortment of red or white wines, and you have the recipe for a magical night aboard the Silver Wind.

The Panorama Lounge

The Deck 8 corridor outside the Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Deck 8 corridor outside the Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Wind. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Located all the way aft on Deck 8, the Panorama Lounge offers events like Trivia and High Tea by day, and soothing live Piano music and dancing by night. It is one of the few public areas onboard that has remained largely untouched since the ship’s 1995 launch, which can be either a positive or a negative depending on your view of mid-90’s cruise ship design.

The Panorama Lounge on Deck 8 aft offers fantastic views. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The Panorama Lounge on Deck 8 aft offers fantastic views. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

While it’s more understated and subdued than its counterpart aboard the newer Silver Spirit, there’s nothing like the 180-degree views from this wraparound lounge, which remains one of the ship’s most popular spaces by day and night.

DECK 9

Return to luxury at night. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Return to luxury at night. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

High atop Deck 9, more outdoor deck space is offered, along with a collection of deck chairs that can be positioned along both port and starboard sides of the ship, sheltered from the wind by the higher bulkhead walls. But it is also home to one of Silver Wind’s most distinctive features.

The Observation Lounge

An Observation Lounge was added to Deck 9 aboard the Silver Wind during a refit a few years back. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

An Observation Lounge was added to Deck 9 aboard the Silver Wind during a refit a few years back. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Added during the ship’s 2008 refit, the forward-facing Observation Lounge offers fantastic views overlooking the bow of the Silver Wind. Done in the same soothing, almost study-like style found aboard the 2009 Silver Spirit, it’s no problem to lose yourself here among one of the lounge’s many books, or to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while admiring the ocean ahead.

Once again: it's tough to beat the Observation Lounge, with its Silver Spirit-esque design. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Once again: it’s tough to beat the Observation Lounge, with its Silver Spirit-esque design. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

On my voyage, I always seemed to be the only person in here, which suited me just fine. Think of the Observation Lounge as your very own slice of paradise, onboard paradise.

The Spa at Silversea

The gymnasium aboard Silver Wind was added during her 2010 refit. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

The gymnasium aboard Silver Wind offers plenty of equipment to stay in shape while at sea. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

During the refit, a new Spa and Gymnasium area was added just aft of the Observation Lounge, and is accessible via the forward staircase or from an exterior door on the starboard side of Deck 9. Like the rest of the Silver Wind, it seems perfectly proportioned and offers nearly all the treatments and services of Silversea’s larger ships.

THE SILVER WIND

Silversea's beautiful Silver Wind docked in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday, January 25, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s beautiful Silver Wind docked in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday, January 25, 2013. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

In writing this Photo Tour, I have to admit I felt pangs of serious emotion when I think about the Silver Wind. If you look hard enough, you’ll find signs of her age: some bent steel in the hull plating, or an area of carpeting that doesn’t quite come flush with the walls. In other words, signs of a working ship.

Sailing the turbulent Indian Ocean on our way back to Cape Town! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Sailing the turbulent Indian Ocean on our way back to Cape Town! Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

But there was something special, even magical about sailing aboard this ship. To stand on her upper decks, with the spray of the Indian Ocean whipping in your face, you feel a great sense of pride. Pride at sailing aboard such a sleek, intimate ship that never failed to turn heads wherever we went; pride at meeting so many interesting passengers and crew, all of whom are universally fantastic.

Silver Wind is the backbone on which Silversea cruises was built. She is the ship that, together with her earlier sister Silver Cloud, turned a dream into reality and launched one of the most successful luxury cruise lines in the world.

Silversea's stunning Silver Wind may have been built in 1995, but she looks fantastic both inside and out. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s stunning Silver Wind may have been built in 1995, but she looks fantastic both inside and out. Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

But most of all, Silver Wind captured my heart the way she’s done for countless guests since her debut in 1995: with her service, her welcoming nature, and her decidedly human size.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks her heels together and exclaims, “There’s no place like home.” But to me, there’s no place like the Silver Wind – a true home away from home.

Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Photo © 2013 Aaron Saunders

Read our Live Voyage Report from onboard Silver Wind as we sailed to South Africa on a safari-cruise adventure that changed our lives. Not to be missed!

 

10 Responses to Silver Wind Photo Tour

  1. Fran says:

    Fantastic review. I will be on her in october. :-)

  2. Gary Cohen says:

    identical to the newly refurbished Silver Cloud which we were on over the past week in the Caribbean. Fantasy experience in every way..need I say more. Looking towards a repeat experience annually.

  3. Jason says:

    Wow! Great photos. My partner and I stayed onboard in the Grand Suite 702 last September. Brought back wonderful memories!

  4. […] from the historic city of Rome as we prepare to set sail aboard Silversea‘s ultra-luxurious Silver Windon an itinerary that will take us through the very heart of the Mediterranean. Along the way, […]

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