Over the next two weeks, we’re going to be bringing you two Live Voyage Reports from two very distinctive cruise ships in Europe. One of them is brand-new; the other is poised to celebrate her seventh birthday. Both deliver some of the most unique cruise experiences afloat – and both are designed for the type of guest that truly loves the inclusiveness and connection with the sea that only small-ship cruising can offer
Our adventures begin on April 26, when we’ll once again join ultra-luxury line Silversea for another exciting voyage through the Mediterranean, this time aboard the beautiful Silver Spirit. It’s a quick journey, at just six days in length, but it’s an excellent opportunity for us to write about the ship and one of Silversea’s shorter (and more accessible) sailings.
Then, we’re off to London to officially welcome Viking Cruises’ brand-new Viking Sea into service during a ceremony on the Thames, followed by a short mini-cruise to one of our absolute favorite places: the picturesque town of Bergen, Norway.
Best of all, you can cruise along with us – virtually – as we embark on these two very exciting journeys.
Our adventures aboard Silversea’s elegant flagship, the 540-guest Silver Spirit, begin in the port of Barcelona, Spain.
Voyage 5609 will take us from Barcelona to Civitavecchia, Italy – the port for Rome – where the elegant Silver Spirit will dock on May 2. In between is a cornucopia of ports that line the French and Italian Riviera.
At just six days in length, Silversea has managed to pack some real gems into this quick voyage. Obscure and off-the-beaten path, these are the ports of call that big ships typically sail right past.. Still, the itinerary has a mix of “big-name” ports of call, too, ensuring that cities like Monte Carlo and Rome aren’t missed.
Voyage 5609 takes us first to Sete, France, where we’ll journey on an overland excursion to the ancient, fortified town of Carcassonne. From Sete, it’s off to Sanary, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Livorno, Italy and Olbia, Italy before our final arrival into Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.
From Monte Carlo, we’ll be touring the seaside town of Eze and the beautiful city of Nice on a half-day excursion with Silversea. In Livorno, we’ll set out on a full-day sightseeing tour of one of my favorite places of all-time: the grand city of Florence, Italy.
But our journey aboard the elegant Silver Spirit is twofold: this time next year, Silversea will take delivery of its newest ultra-luxury cruise ship to-date, and Silver Spirit’s successor: the 596-guest Silver Muse. Under construction at Fincantieri’s Genoa, Italy-based shipyard, she will set sail on her maiden voyage from Monte Carlo on 10 April 2017, ushering in a new era for Silversea as she does so.
This voyage, then, is a great chance to get reacquainted with the lovely Silver Spirit before the launch of her newest fleetmate. We’ll be posting live from the ship, and updating our comprehensive Silver Spirit Photo Tour as we go along.
Have questions about the ship or the itinerary? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to find the answers once we’re onboard in Barcelona.
Of course, once we’ve travelled all the way to Europe, it seems a shame to leave so soon. Which is why, after a few days in Rome, we’re off on another noteworthy cruise adventure…
On Thursday, May 5, 2016, join us from Greenwich, England as Viking Sea is officially christened in a ceremony along the River Thames. Following that illustrious event, we’ll sail with Viking Sea to Bergen, Norway, just as sister-ship Viking Star did when she entered service last year.
Inside and out, Viking Sea will be more similar than not to her older sister. She’ll still 748 feet long. She still carries just 930 guests. And she still offers all of the things that made Viking Star such an unbridled success.
Suites are expansive and well-designed, even at the entry-level categories that still, impressively, feature balconies. Colours are soothing, materials are of an extremely high quality, and the furniture is a cross between Scandinavian and Mid-Century Modern that plays on the senses in a warm, welcoming way.
There are other special touches as well. The windows in the main restaurant and casual buffet can open completely to let the fresh ocean air in. Deck space is plentiful and well-designed, and the midships pool and the adjacent Wintergarden are two of the most attractive examples at sea today.
The LivNordic Spa offers up one of the best thermal suites and hydrotherapy pools for guests to use absolutely free. It’s refreshing to see Viking buck the trend and get off the “me too” train of nickel-and-diming that has become prevalent throughout much of the mainstream cruise industry.
So what will we be writing about? To start, we’ll have a full Photo Tour of this exciting new ship, coupled with fun facts about our voyage and details about the ship and her maiden season of cruises throughout Europe.
We’ll also be on the lookout for any differences – however small – between her and her older sister, Viking Star. With two ocean liners sailing the waters of the world, and more on the way, Viking is establishing itself as a major player in the cruise industry as a whole; one of the few that offers both river and ocean cruises around the globe.