Silver Muse

Ship Review: Silver Muse

Silversea’s new Silver Muse is the company’s largest – and most amenity-filled – ship to-date. Photo courtesy of Silversea

In the spring of 2017, ultra-luxury line Silversea took delivery of its first brand-new ship built since the 540-guest Silver Spirit first set sail back in 2009: the 596-guest Silver Muse.

The largest and most elaborate ship the line has constructed to-date, Silver Muse is a ship worth talking about. Based largely upon the exterior profile and general arrangement developed for the Silver Spirit, she incorporates a number of new concepts for the line, including its first art-themed cafe; a focus on larger suites across the board; and an entirely new dining concept that does away with the outdated main dining room in favor of several smaller, more unique venues.  While she may appear similar to fleetmate Silver Spirit, however, the new Silver Muse represents an evolution of Silversea’s classically-luxurious product.

Everything about Silver Muse has a more high-tech feel, right down to the brand-new Venetian Lounge. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Construction of the ship went to 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.”

Silversea CEO Enzo Visone performs the first weld of the coins into the keel of the Silver Muse. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Former Silversea CEO Enzo Visone performs the first weld of the coins into the keel of the Silver Muse at Fincantieri’s Genoa, Italy shipyard in December of 2015. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Enzo Visone, Silversea’s former 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, and returned in April of 2017 for her first preliminary shakedown cruise. As we discovered, there’s a lot to like about Silversea’s newest baby.

Silver Muse Dining

With eight different dining options onboard, Silver Muse provides more choice with the same great service. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Restaurant, Silversea’s main dining venue aboard all of its ships, isn’t returning to Silver Muse – and we’re not sad to see it go. Why? Aboard nearly all of the vessel’s ships, the main dining room – while gorgeous – was never full. On Silver Spirit in particular, with its myriad of alternative dining options, the main dining room frequently feels empty, particularly on port-intensive days when guests are dining at odd times.

Silver Muse rectifies that by taking the space formerly occupied by The Restaurant and splitting it into two distinct dining venues – each of which will have their own built-in bar to allow guests to mingle over pre-dinner cocktails. During our brief cruise onboard, these new restaurant-embedded cocktail bars quickly became our favorite watering holes. Quiet, intimate and out-of-the-way, they may be one of the best ‘hidden secrets’ aboard the all-new Silver Muse.

The cozy bar inset within Atlantide became one of our favorite watering holes onboard Silver Muse. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The two new venues – Indochine and Atlantide –  feature entirely unique culinary creations. Atlantide will, as the name suggests, feature a bevvy of seafood like royal crab, blue lobster and Verbena infused red snapper in a sea salt crust alongside more traditional steaks. Indochine, on the other hand, will unlock the flavours of Asia, from India to Vietnam.

Also returning to Silver Muse -but renamed – is La Dame by Relais & Chateaux, perhaps better known as Le Champagne, Silversea’s pinnacle dining experience that boasts dishes like Gold Leaf Risotto, Lobster Bisque, and exquisite cuts of meat and fish. Kabuki is the new iteration of Seishin, the Japanese-inspired restaurant introduced aboard Silver Spirit back in 2009. Another Silver Spirit innovation returning (but renamed) aboard Silver Muse is Silver Note, which takes the place of Stars Supper Club but which still offers live jazz music paired with a set evening tasting menu that can be paired with hand-crafted cocktails or fine wines.

Despite its new name, La Dame by Relais & Chateaux is essentially identical to Le Champagne aboard Silver Spirit in terms of design and decor. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Past guest favorites La Terrazza, Hot Rocks, and the Pool Grill all return to Silver Muse. Frankly, we’re happy about that. All three are some of our favorite dining experiences aboard the Silversea fleet. Hot Rocks, introduced aboard Silver Sprit, was so popular with Silversea’s guests that the line retrofitted its four other classic luxury cruise ships (and its three luxury expedition ships) with it. No surprises here, though La Terrazza does sport a substantially better layout aboard Silver Muse than on past ships.

Silver Muse Suites

Suites, like the new Balsorano Suite, are larger overall aboard Silver Muse. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

When it comes to accommodations aboard Silver Muse, Silversea didn’t cut 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.

At every turn, evidence that Silversea has paid attention to its suites: 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.

Top-of-the-line suites aboard Silver Muse feature plush beds from Savoir of England. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Silversea has also added 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 increased dramatically aboard Silver Muse. Some of Silversea’s most popular suites, these 786-square-foot suites  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.

A brand-new addition to Silver Muse is the Balsorano Suite.Designed to reflect the taste of Silversea’s Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Owner’s Suite 944 derives its title from the Chairman’s full name: Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio di Balsorano de Clunieres. But don’t worry: that’s not the super-secret password you’ll need to book this wonderful suite. Instead, this 1,000-plus square foot suite can be booked individually, or in conjunction with an adjoining Vista Suite (946) that features fantastic floor-to-ceiling windows and an interior connection to a shared interior vestibule.

Inside the Balsorano Suite, Mr. Lefebvre has added mementos from his own personal collection, including a small library stocked with a variety of great history books; family photographs; and select pieces of furniture from the Lefebvre home. Mr. Lefebvre has also appointed the suite with its own collection of exquisite port wines.

The Panorama Lounge aboard Silver Muse. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Verdict: Silver Muse

Silversea isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel with Silver Muse. You won’t see any submarines or helicopters aboard her, or gimmicks that other luxury lines are making noise about – 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.

What Silver Muse does, and does well, is continue the legacy that began when Silversea was founded back in 1994. Despite her higher passenger count, Silver Muse adds more open deck space, more dining venues, and more bars and lounges – including the absolutely sprawling Dolce Vita that does double-duty as the newest iteration of the long-popular space known as “The Bar.”

Guests embarking Silver Muse will enter Dolce Vita, the ship’s newest bar and lounge. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Because of that, she feels like one of Silversea’s most spacious ships ever. During our short preview cruise, we walked around the ship wondering where the other 595 guests were.If luxury is all about personal choice and personal space, Silver Muse fulfills that objective perfectly.

Silver Muse isn’t a radical departure for Silversea, but she does usher in a brand-new look and feel for the line. She takes a little getting used to, particularly if you’re used to sailing aboard the smaller Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper, but after a few days onboard, you’ll wonder how you lived without USB chargers and a dedicated cafe on other Silversea ships.

We think Silver Muse is a great addition to Silversea’s luxury fleet. Chances are good  you’ll feel the same way, too.

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