The Silversea cruise ship Silver Wind is being converted into an ice-class, ultra-luxury expedition ship, ready for Antarctic voyages and the solar eclipse in December. The conversion will effectively add a fourth expedition vessel to its fleet of nine ultra-luxury ships, enabling an increased number of voyages to the ever-popular Antarctic expeditions.
The ship is currently undergoing refurbishments at the Remontowa shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, following a major upgrade in 2018. The re-design includes an ice-strengthened hull for cruising in polar waters and state-of-the-art technology upgrades. Adding to her sustainability credentials, Silver Wind will be outfitted with a new advanced wastewater treatment plant, new food waste treatment facilities, and new fuel-saving boilers.
Marking her maiden voyage on 20 November 2021, Silver Wind is slated to set sail on a 22-day journey to Antarctica, coinciding with the solar eclipse on 4 December 2021.
“We are converting our beloved Silver Wind into one of the most luxurious expedition ships at sea to further expand and diversify our cold-water cruise offering,” says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s President and CEO. “With the backing of the Royal Caribbean Group, we are significantly investing in our ultra-luxury fleet to meet the burgeoning guest demand for voyage options in such breath-taking, remote destinations as Antarctica, and we have more exciting enhancements to come.”
Silver Wind will benefit from a set of enhancements that will enable immersive expedition cruising in both Polar Regions, as well as in the world’s most remote tropical waters. Taking guests closer to the action with on-water discovery, the ship will be fitted with a strengthened hull; ice-detector sonars, designed for use on icebreaker vessels; 24 Zodiacs; and 14 kayaks, all with a reduced guest capacity of 274. Silver Wind will carry up to 28 expedition experts who will share their knowledge during onboard lectures, on guided Zodiac tours, and on experiences ashore. There will also be a Photo Studio (formerly the Casino) with state-of-the-art equipment, a Mudroom, and a special water heating system in the ship’s swimming pool will highlight Silver Wind’s new amenities.
The interior is getting a full upgrade too, despite the last refurbishment only taking place in 2018. Silver Wind’s upper suites will be entirely refurbished, with new furniture and carpets, as well as new walk-in showers to complement the bathtubs. Silver Wind’s Vista and Veranda suites will also be updated, including the installation of new walk-in showers. Many of the ship’s public areas will also be refreshed, with re-painted walls and ceilings in La Dame, La Terrazza, the Observation Lounge, the Panorama Lounge, and the Reception area. The Gym & Beauty Salon will be refreshed too.
The maiden voyage
For her maiden voyage as an expedition ship, Silver Wind is scheduled to depart on a 22-day sailing to Antarctica on 20 November 2021, spending her inaugural season exploring the White Continent. The voyage will include the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica, as well as (hopefully) the perfect viewing spot for the solar eclipse on December 4.