Ship Review: Silver Muse
Not that everything has been quiet for the line in the interim; Silversea took delivery of two luxury expedition ships (Silver Discoverer and Silver Galapagos); announced an ambitious plan to refit and transfer the 1992-built Silver Cloud over to Silversea’s Expedition fleet; and continued to add new amenities and features to its existing vessels.
But the 596-guest Silver Muse promises to be something worth talking about. She will make her debut in April of 2017, and is based largely upon the exterior profile and general arrangement developed for the Silver Spirit. Rather than being a direct sister-ship, however, the new Silver Muse will represent an evolution of the Silversea product, albeit in a slightly larger package.
Building the ship is famed Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. “We have always had a special relationship with Fincantieri, since my father ordered from them the first cruise vessels for Sitmar Cruises in 1987,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of Silversea. “Both companies have a clear understanding of what today’s affluent traveller seeks, and each approaches the market with originality, creativity and quality.”
Enzo Visone, Silversea’s CEO, remarked that Silver Muse would be evolutionary rather than revolutionary – and the company is okay with that. “With enhanced design specifications and enriched content, the Silver Muse will continue to build on the sophistication, innovative style and ground-breaking concepts for which Silversea ships are renowned,” Visone said. “This ship contributes to our ambitious growth plans that will ensure our continued leadership in ultra-luxury cruising.”
In December, we traveled to Fincantieri’s Genoa shipyard for the keel laying of the Silver Muse. She’s not much to look at now, but all that will change very quickly. By June, it’s expected that Silver Muse will be ready for her first float-out. By the end of the year, she will head out to sea for the first time for her sea trials.
Silver Muse Dining
Visone sat down with us to talk about Silversea’s newest ship, and we were excited in particular to discuss the new dining arrangement aboard the Silver Muse; one that eschews having a large, central dining room. Instead of featuring a single restaurant, that space has been transformed into two unique dining venues: 7 Restaurant and Atlantide Restaurant.
“Historically, cruise ships would have one huge major dining room that had to accommodate 100 percent of the guests onboard,” said Visone. “What we’ve seen over the years is that this tradition … to a greater extent has weakened. Guests are looking for more variety, for more intimacy. If a restaurant is huge, you tend to lose that intimacy. What we decided to do on the Silver Muse was to increase the quality [of the] dining options.”
Those options don’t end with 7 Restaurant and Atlantide. All told, Silver Muse will feature eight dining options, from the casual, cook-it-yourself fun of Hot Rocks by the pool deck to the intimate Restaurant No. 8, the rebranding of the Supper Club aboard Silver Spirit. Despite the new name, Restaurant No. 8 will still offer small, tapas-style dishes and excellent wine and cocktail offerings to pair with the live sounds of jazz and blues at this cozy, lounge-style venue.
Silversea is also introducing a number of rebranded or tweaked dining experiences aboard Silver Muse, including the Japanese-themed Kabuki and the Grand Dame by Relais & Chateaux.
On the subject of The Grand Dame by Relais & Chateaux, Visone confirmed the change isn’t a new restaurant per se, but more calculated rebranding of Le Champagne, Silversea’s already-popular specialty dining experience. “It’s more unique to us to use ‘Le Grand Dame’ as opposed to ‘Le Champagne,’ which is more of a general category name,” said Visone. “But the concept is the same: it’s Relais & Chateaux, we [still] work together with Relais & Chateaux chefs. That’s an exclusive relationship that has been going on now [between Relais & Chateaux and Silversea] for many years, and hopefully will do so for many years to come.”
Silver Muse Suites
When it comes to accommodations, Silversea’s not cutting any corners. The standard size of suites has increased dramatically, to nearly 400 square feet for the Deluxe, Superior and Classic Veranda Suites. Using Virtual Reality goggles at the Fincantieri headquarters in Genoa, we were able to take a virtual “walk” around a Classic Veranda Suite.
If the finished product is even half as good as the renderings, Silversea will have some very desirable accommodations: colors and materials are modern and the room feels lighter and more airy than Silversea’s past accommodations, which leaned heavily toward darker colors and fabrics.
The line is also adding conveniences such as USB ports to charge your electronic devices and generally enhancing the product found aboard Silver Spirit. To that end, the number of Silver Suites is increasing dramatically aboard Silver Muse. Some of Silversea’s most popular suites, these 786-square-foot suites will include separate sleeping and living areas; marble bathrooms, and spacious walk-in closets, plus a private veranda that can be accessed through two sets of sliding glass doors.
Silversea isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with Silver Muse. You won’t see any submarines or helicopters aboard her – and the company makes no apologies for that. The general feeling is that it is better to be evolutionary than revolutionary, particularly when it comes to the life expectancy of a major investment such as this. Visone wouldn’t comment on the exact construction costs, other than to say the project was costing the line, “a lot of money.”
Silver Muse will set sail on her maiden voyage from Monte Carlo, Monaco on April 10, 2017. When she does, she will be the largest, most luxurious, and most technologically-advanced ship that the line has constructed to-date. She’ll also be the ship to carry the Silversea legacy well into the next decade.