By Simon & Susan Veness
Anyone who is a regular reader of this blog will already know we are big fans of the current Silversea Cruises flagship Silver Muse.
We took an extensive look at the 40,000-ton paragon for The Cruise Line last year, including a 3-part video series (which hopefully you all saw – and, if not, you can watch it here).
With the truly magnificent array of dining, the elegant refinement of the public rooms, and the sumptuous feel of the onboard vibe with the likes of the Silver Note jazz bar/restaurant and the Arts Café coffee house, it is absolutely chock-full of the classic maritime atmosphere of easy-going sophistication.
Good enough, you might think, for one of the original ultra-luxe cruise operators who have long commanded a premier position in the great ocean-going expanses of the world. But, in this case, you’d think wrong.
Because here comes sister ship, Silver Moon, in August 2020, with a whole raft of enhancements and additional touches that promise to raise the Silversea experience even further into the rarefied air of super-luxury.
The newcomer will still carry the same number of guests – 596 – in the kind of cosseted indulgence well established by the Muse and her earlier siblings and will maintain the small-ship intimacy with a more expansive choice that the current flagship has made her hallmark.
The all-suite accommodation will also be virtually identical, accompanied by the same attentive European-styled boutique service that has become the watchword for the Monaco-based company since its inception in 1994.
There is still a year to go before the Silver Moon goes into a cruise orbit, but we now have some mouth-watering detail on several key differences between the new vessel and her sister, and the most outstanding one centres around her dining options.
It is not so much a change of venue as an exciting – and potentially exhilarating – change in onboard dining culture, from the traditional to the post-modern, from passive to active.
What do we mean by this? Well, it all starts with a revolutionary new culinary perspective, one that will change from area to area and encompass some of the great regional cuisines of the world. It goes by the name of S.A.L.T. and it means a change of venues as well as a shift in style.
So, what is S.A.L.T, we hear you ask. Good question. It stands for Sea And Land Taste (okay, so it’s a little bit clunky as an acronym, but bear with us), and it signifies that the ship will adapt its menus for key experiences where it travels, including a regionally-inspired wine list.
In the Far East? Prepare for some fine sushi or Vietnamese dishes. In the Mediterranean? Look out for a Tuscan dining experience, or the freshest ingredients from a local French market. According to Silversea, it will “elevate the role of onboard dining to one that travels deeper into the destination,” an extra layer of experiential cruising, if you like.
But that’s not all, not by a long chalk. In order to ensure this brave, new world of sea-going savouring is fully rounded, a number of the ship’s restaurants will be changing, all with the novel branding of this programme.
So, get ready to dine in the S.A.L.T. Kitchen, the first large-scale luxury restaurant on a ship devoted to an ever-changing menu dedicated to where it cruises. It will be completely redesigned from the restaurant space that is currently Indochine on Silver Muse, and be accompanied by the S.A.L.T. Bar. The adjacent Asian themed Kaiseki on the Silver Muse will be further adapted to showcase elements from the best sushi restaurants worldwide.
At the same time, the neighbouring space occupied by the Relais & Chateaux dining of La Dame will become the S.A.L.T. Lab, with die-hard foodies in mind. This combination of demonstration kitchen and culinary laboratory will feature the chance to get fully hands-on with the day’s produce, or just be entertained by the ship’s new array of specialists.
It will also go hand in hand with an innovative programme of shore-based experiences that delve into the unique local delicacies and specialities. Rice paddies in Bali? Check. Coffee plantations in Indonesia? Check. A tripe specialist in a Rome market? Yes, even that.
Silversea brand it as “more Bourdain than Michelin,” and it promises to take guests off into a genuine culinary adventure, a completely immersive cultural expedition as much as a cruise.
Of course, with all those changes in the restaurant architecture of Silver Moon, that means another restructuring elsewhere. Main restaurant Atlantide, next door to S.A.L.T. Kitchen, will be enlarged to seat 230 guests, while La Dame will be completely repositioned in the space that is Arts Café on Silver Muse.
The Café, in turn, will move into the area of cigar bar Connoisseur’s Corner, which will then go up one deck to replace the children’s space, which doesn’t get a lot of use in its current incarnation.
That little exercise in nautical musical chairs isn’t the end of all the enhancements, though. The Deck 5 La Dolce Vita lounge will be reconfigured to have a central bar and add a more sophisticated evening vibe around the piano bar concept. Connoisseur’s Corner will also have its own upgrade and redesign, with a new Wintergarden area adding an outdoor space.
The main pool deck will be adapted to feature a U-shaped bar and extra seating, while the Deck 6 Spa complex is also undergoing a transformation. The treatment areas and fitness centre will both be reshaped to provide outdoor as well as indoor spaces, and there will be larger thermal and relaxation areas.
All in all, it is an eye-catching array of enhancements for a ship design that already sparkles, and it promises to put the new ship in a completely different orbit. But then, that’s all in the name, hey!
NB: be sure to check out the inaugural season of Silver Moon and her voyages on this link.
Are you a regular cruiser with Silversea? Have you sailed on Silver Muse, and are you interested in the forthcoming new Silver Moon? Give us your thoughts in the Comments section below.