In less than a month's time, Silversea's completely-refurbished Silver Cloud Expedition will set sail from Buenos Aires, Argentina on her first-ever expedition voyage to Antarctica. Her conversion from a luxury cruise ship into a luxury, ice-strengthened expedition ships is the most expensive and technologically-advanced refits in the history of Silversea.
While her conversion is still in progress, the new Silver Cloud Expedition is already poised to become Silversea's largest and most opulent expedition vessel to-date. She will join the smaller Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos in offering uncompromising, adventurous journeys around the world – and there is plenty to look forward to.
To start with, Silver Cloud Expedition will make her home in the world's polar regions, dividing her time between Antarctica and the High Arctic.
In this respect, she will be taking over for the 130-guest Silver Explorer, which has historically cruises the polar routes for Silversea. Silver Explorer will be able to offer guests more personal space, larger suites, and more choice when it comes to public rooms, dining venues, and outer decks than the smaller Silver Explorer can. She will make her new home in Russia's Far East, the South Pacific, and Alaska – the perfect runs for a ship of her size.
To Silver Cloud Expedition go the prestige runs. Her inaugural season in Antarctica will run from November 15, 2017 until her February 28, 2018 voyage from Ushuaia, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa. She will then cruise Africa and the Indian Ocean before moving in late April of 2018 to the British Isles.
Silver Cloud Expedition's Arctic season begins on June 12, 2018, with six distinct voyages that explore Norway, Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland. It is from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, that Silver Cloud Expedition sets sail for expedition cruises to Canada and New England, followed by Central and South America, before finally returning to Antarctica again on November 11, 2018.
The most obvious changes that guests are likely to notice aboard Silver Cloud Expedition is her new look. From stem-to-stern, the ship will be refurbished to reflect the lighter, brighter tone of décor set by Silversea's Silver Muse, which entered service earlier this year.
From the Panorama Lounge to the ship's suites, guests will find the color palette introduced by the Silver Muse, which trades Silversea's more traditional reds and dark woods for lighter wood textures, earth tones, and plenty of oceanic blues.
Suites will be upgraded with new furniture and bedding, while public rooms will receive fresh décor, new furniture, and a new look – perhaps the boldest of which will be reserved for the ship's former two-storey show lounge, which will now function as a lecture hall and briefing room.
Silversea is adding a number of enhancements and improvements to Silver Cloud Expedition. Some of these – like the new, expanded Observation Lounge all the way forward on Deck 9 – will be easily-spotted by past guests.
Other enhancements will be harder to see. Silversea is spending millions of dollars to refit Silver Cloud Expedition into a proper, ice-class-rated ship capable of handling the harsh conditions sometimes present at the world's polar regions. With a newly-acquired 1C Ice Class Rating, her bow will be reinforced to allow her to break through young ice, while a newly-constructed Mud Room will allow guests to change into and out of their expedition gear outside of their suites.
Silver Cloud Expedition will also feature a fleet of Zodiac rafts, which will be installed on Deck 9 aft of the Observation Lounge.
As new as she will seem, Silver Cloud Expedition will still feature many of the things that Silversea's past guests have come to love about the ship. This includes the Relais & Chateaux restaurant Le Champagne; the Hot Rocks outdoor grilling experience; The Bar, which will be renamed Dolce Vita to better align this popular space with the new Silver Muse; and even a beauty salon, spa and onboard library.
For guests who are interested in cruising the world's most remote regions, Silver Cloud Expedition will bring new levels of luxury and class to expedition cruising. A decade ago, most ships in this field were ex-Russian icebreakers with few creature comforts. In turning Silver Cloud into a purpose-built expedition ship, Silversea may be on the verge of launching an entirely new chapter in this adventurous type of voyage.
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