I was lucky enough to be invited by Silversea to Palermo in Sicily to see the lengthening of the Silver Spirit. We took a direct flight with BA from Heathrow to Palermo and were transferred to our hotel – Villa Igiea. Restored at the end of the 19th Century this beautiful hotel still has many of its original fixtures and fittings and it overlooks the marina and the shipyard.
On the Saturday morning we were taken to the Fincantieri shipyard which is part of the largest shipbuilders in Europe. Fincantieri have built Silver Muse, Seven Seas Explorer, Seabourn Encore and many more cruise ships and military vessels but their shipyard in Palermo specialises in extensions and repairs. On arrival we had a presentation by several members of Silversea and Fincantieri as well as the mayor of Palermo. We then saw the final cut of the ship and the slow process of separating the two halves. The ship is placed in dry dock on a platform and they slowly move the platform under the front of the ship to separate it, making room for the new section.
On the Sunday afternoon we returned to the shipyard to see the new section inserted. I have to say this was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. The precision required to move this 3,510 tonne section was incredible and the whole thing went without a hitch. You can view the video and photos of this process below. The new section is 49ft wide and comprises of 846,144kg of steel alone, 90,000 meters of cable and has cost in excess of $70million.
Here are a few details regarding how the new section will improve the Silver Spirit:
The restaurants will increase from 6 dining options to 8 bringing it in line with the successful concept on board Silver Muse. La Terazza, the popular Italian restaurant will increase in capacity and will have a new bar area. There will also be increased dining options for breakfast (4) and lunch (5). The Silver Spirit will now have seating for 974 guests but she carries just 608 guests so getting your choice of restaurant should not be a problem.
The ships pool deck will offer more room for guests to relax and the pool will be increased in size.
There will be an additional 34 suites – 26 veranda suites, 6 silver suites and 2 Panorama Suites with all suites being refurbished with a new design similar to that of the Silver Muse, including new state-of-the-art technology, in-suite entertainment and bedding.
To sum up the Silver Spirit lengthening; she was a beautiful ship before this enhancement and I can’t wait to see the improvements once she sets sail from Rome on 6th May 2018.
If you would like to try her for yourself, she still has some availability on her Northern Europe sailings this summer so please call our team of Voyage Consultants on 0800 008 6677, who will make sure you are one of the first guests to try out The All New Silver Spirit!