The third member of Silversea’s luxury expeditions arm after Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos, Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Discoverer was christened in Singapore on March 25, 2014 and entered service shortly after in Australia, operating 10-night voyages along the remote Kimberley Coast between Broome and Darwin.
Throughout the rest of the year, Silver Discoverer explores a diverse array of itineraries throughout the Pacific, including voyages to Southeast Asia, the South Pacific, Japan, Russia’s Far East, and even New Zealand and the Sub-Antarctic.
Silver Discoverer started life in 1989 as Oceanic Grace, but is probably more recognizable to cruisers for her long stint for Clipper Cruises as their Clipper Odyssey. She underwent a multi-million-dollar refit before entering service for Silversea, which saw substantial upgrades to her public rooms and accommodations.
Let’s have a look at Silversea’s Silver Discoverer:
This is the lowest passenger-accessible deck onboard Silver Discoverer, and home to nine Explorer Suites.
Accommodating two guests apiece (Suite #310 can hold three guests), these measure 186 square feet and include two porthole windows. There’s also a full-sized writing desk with an interactive flat-panel television featuring complimentary on-demand movies and destination-specific documentaries, as well as live TV channels like BBC, CNN, and SkyNews.
Beds can be positioned as either twin or Queen, and brand-new marble-clad bathrooms reflect the style developed for Silversea’s 2009 flagship, Silver Spirit.
Amidships on Deck 3 is The Restaurant, one of the nicest and most heavily-refitted public rooms aboard Silver Discoverer. Capable of accommodating all of the vessel’s guests at one time, it is unfortunately only used for dinner. Dining is open-seating, and dinner hours typically occur between 7:00pm and 9:00pm, meaning guests can chose to enter the dining room whenever they’d wish during those hours.
While there are a few tables for two, larger tables that feature four, six and eight seats are more common, encouraging guests to mingle and get to know one another.
Nearly identical to the Explorer Suites one deck below, View Suites aboard Silver Discoverer are distinguished by their square picture window in place of the two portholes that are standard on the former. Apart from that, all features and amenities are exactly the same.
Interestingly, the deck plan for Silver Discoverer lists these suites as being five square feet smaller than their Deck 3 counterparts. The difference is imperceptible.
At the heart of Deck 4 is the Reception Lobby. Centrally located around the ship’s midship stairwell and passenger elevator, the Reception Lobby acts as a sort of divider between the passenger accommodations forward and the Explorer Lounge farther aft. Copies of the daily program – the Silversea Chronicles – are available here for those who need an extra, and the daily crossword challenge can be picked up here as well. In addition, all of the standard cruise services like bill payments and inquiries are handled here.
The perfect place for pre-and-post dinner drinks, the Explorer Lounge is arguably the social hub of the Silver Discoverer. Not only do all major onboard lectures and events take place here, but the room is also utilised each day to recap the day’s adventures and outline the days ahead with a Daily Briefing and Cocktail Hour.
Unfortunately, sight lines in the room are poor, which can make seeing information put up on the projection screen rather difficult. Still, there’s little reason to actually see the screen; the Expedition Staff do a tremendous job of describing everything you’ll need to know in detail. And, when the room is not in use for the Daily Briefing, this ceases to be an issue. You don’t need good sight lines to enjoy some of the great complimentary Australian wines Silversea is serving onboard.
As with the line’s classic luxury fleet, nearly all beverages are complimentary onboard Silver Discoverer; only ultra-premium wines and spirits incur an additional cost.
In addition to hosting daily afternoon tea time, the Discoverer Lounge also offers up buffet-style breakfast and lunch. The room is easily the most “un-Silversea” one aboard the Silver Discoverer, with stark white walls and oversized nautical brass lanterns mounted to the walls. However, it’s a cozy room to enjoy a casual bite to eat in, and the afternoon tea service is just as good here as it is in its incarnation in the Panorama Lounge on the line’s classic luxury fleet.
An added bonus: When weather conditions permit, food can be taken from the lounge out to the pool deck just aft of the room.
One huge advantage Silver Discoverer has on her warm climate itineraries is a proper pool deck, complete with a small but very refreshing swimming pool. There are no hot tubs onboard, which might be a downside in the colder climates of New Zealand and Russia’s Far East, but Silver Discoverer spends most of her season in the sweltering heat and humidity of Australia and the South Pacific.
The Pool Deck features a full-service bar where fresh cocktails seemingly appear like magic, and casual pool grill fare like hot dogs and hamburgers is featured at lunch on most days.
By night, the pool deck transforms into The Grill featuring Hot Rock dining. First introduced aboard the line’s flagship – the Silver Spirit – this cook-it-yourself outdoor dining adventure has become so enormously popular that even Silver Discoverer features it. On our sailing through Australia and Indonesia it was a huge hit, so if you’re sailing in warmer climates, you may want to reserve your spot as soon as you get onboard. Like most things on Silversea, reservations at The Grill can be made free of charge.
Deck 6 features four spacious Vista Suites, all of which are clustered aft of the main staircase. While the brochure states these rooms feature obstructed views, the only hindrance to an otherwise picture-perfect view is a small maintenance catwalk situated just outside. Some illustrations and photographs of Silver Discoverer show a large white tender boat mounted aft of the ship’s orange lifeboats in this location; these tender boats have since been removed.
These rooms also feature layouts that differ slightly. Vista Suite 653 has three windows instead of the customary two, and the bed was positioned against the wall rather than against the windows as is common in other Vista Suites.
The great thing about these rooms is that they feature a little additional space over other suites onboard the Silver Discoverer, along with a location farther aft than most of the accommodations. If you’re at all prone to seasickness, you might want to splurge for one of these rooms. On average, Vista Suites measure 269 square feet.
Closet space is more than ample for a 12-day sailing, and bathrooms have been redone across the entire ship to more closely resemble those aboard Silversea’s classic luxury vessels.
Also situated on Deck 6 are the only suites aboard Silver Discoverer to feature private balconies: eight Veranda Suites and a single Medallion Suite. Unfortunately, these accommodations were fully booked on our sailing, so we were unable to take a look at them. However, with Veranda Suites that clock in at 280 square feet and a Medallion Suite that measures 408 square feet, these are some of the most spacious suites on the ship.
High up on Deck 7 are two brand-new additions to the Silver Discoverer: the Spa at Silversea, and the Fitness Center.
Situated on the starboard side of the ship, the Spa at Silversea is essentially a scaled-down version of the spas aboard Silversea’s larger ships. A wide variety of massage treatments are offered, and the spa is equipped for salon and beauty specials as well. It’s a small but well-utilised by Silversea’s guests.
Equally well-used is the Fitness Center, which takes up residence on the port side of the ship next to the Spa. Here, spinning bicycles are offered alongside a variety of weights and exercise equipment. The Fitness Center even has space for yoga balls and mats. During peak times – first thing in the morning or right before dinner – the room can be very well used for a ship that only carries just over 100 guests.
Deck 7 is also the unofficial Jogging Area for the ship. Guests can do laps around the ship’s funnel and on the open decks forward of the radar mast, where additional Zodiac rafts are lashed down when not in use.
Silversea’s newest luxury expedition vessel, Silver Discoverer is more rugged than her sister ships, yet still continues to offer all the charm and luxurious touches that have made Silversea so successful. In fact, that the line can even offer nearly every amenity and feature of its larger vessels aboard the intimate Silver Discoverer in some of the most remote parts of the world is nothing short of astounding.
She’s not as elaborate as the Silver Explorer – Silversea’s first luxury expedition vessel – but that’s not going to be an issue at all when you’re zipping across the ocean onboard a Zodiac raft or enjoying a cocktail as the sun goes down over the stern.
All the important Silversea hallmarks are present aboard Silver Discoverer, the most important of which is her crew. Made up of Silversea veterans and new hires, the onboard atmosphere is every bit as welcoming and pampering as it is aboard the line’s classic luxury fleet.
That’s what keeps guests coming back to the line time and time again. The spirit of Silversea is alive and well on its third – but hopefully not last – luxury expedition ship: the Silver Discoverer.
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