Which ships will suit me best?
The Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yachts
The Scenic Eclipse (joined by Scenic Eclipse II in 2021/2022) is marketed as the ‘World’s First Discovery Yacht’. It accommodates 228 passengers (200 in the polar regions) in all-inclusive luxury. Guests will find a generous number of amenities that you may not expect from a small ship, and more than you would usually find on expedition vessels.
Among the Scenic Eclipse facilities is a theatre to host shows and lectures, a gym, yoga and Pilates studio, indoor and outdoor pools, and the 550 m² (5,920 ft²) Spa Sanctuary complete with saunas and steam rooms. There is a selection of lounges and bars to relax in, including the Observation Lounge equipped with telescopes to take in the views and spot wildlife along the way.
There is up to 10 dining experiences available on the Scenic Eclipse, from Elements main restaurant to the Yacht Club poolside grill, Asian fusion, sushi and Teppanyaki at Koko’s, French fare at Lumière, and relaxed all day grazing at Azure Bar & Café. There is also in-suite dining available 24/7, a cooking school on board, and an invitation-only degustation experience hosted at Chef’s Table @ Elements.
Along with plentiful public spaces, Scenic Eclipse has 114 suites all equipped with a private veranda or terrace. Each has a separate sleeping zone and lounge area, and sizes vary from 32 m² (344 ft²) in a Veranda Suite to 195 m² (2,099 ft²) in the Owner’s Penthouse Suite. Owner’s Penthouse Suites can also be combined with a Spa Suite to create a spacious Two-Bedroom Penthouse Suite with 245 m² (2,637 ft²) of space for larger travelling parties.
Silversea’s Expedition Ships & Classic Fleet
Silversea has five luxury ships used for expedition sailings. Four are dedicated expedition vessels (Silver Origin, Silver Galapagos, Silver Explorer and Silver Cloud) while the versatile Silver Wind will undertake both expedition cruises to remote destinations as well as more traditional cruise routes thanks to the addition of expedition capabilities in her 2020 refurbishment. The two smallest vessels (Silver Origin and Silver Galapagos) accommodate 100 guests apiece, Silver Explorer welcomes 144 passengers, and Silver Cloud and Silver Wind welcome just over 250 guests.
Onboard facilities vary across the expedition fleet, but you can expect to find a beauty salon and spa, fitness centre, and lounge area for presentations, lectures and seminars, video screenings and briefings from the expedition team. The larger ships also come equipped with a shopping boutique, the Connoisseur’s Corner with a selection of cognacs and cigars for purchase, and you will also find a pool deck on Silver Cloud and Silver Wind.
Silversea’s classic fleet consists of larger ships than their expedition vessels, accommodating roughly to 400 – 600 guests. Facilities such as the spa area are more spacious and there are more public areas and dining venues on these ships, including a casino and four to eight dining options. Most dining is offered complimentary, however, there is one for-fee restaurant (La Dame) on every classic ship and a surcharge will also apply for the Seishin Restaurant and Kaiseki Restaurant on select vessels.
Silversea expedition and classic ships are marketed as all-suite, and category choices and sizes vary considerably by vessel. Guests can choose the option that suits their preferences and budget and ,depending on which ship they are cruising, can opt for anything from the smallest suite at 15 m² (167 ft²) with portholes to the largest Owner’s Suite at 160 m² (1,722 ft²) complete with a spacious balcony (found on Silver Origin). The size and configuration differ greatly by ship, and guests will find larger entry level suites on the classic ships (from 27 m² / 287 ft²) as well as on the newer/more recently refurbished expedition vessels.
Destination Specific Considerations
The ship that will suit you best will depend on the features that are most important to you. You might prefer a more intimate ship with fewer passengers, one with extra dining options, or the most spacious suite. However, when it comes to expedition sailings, the most important features may be defined by where your voyage takes you.
If you are cruising somewhere remote, it is important to consider if there is enough onboard programming and activities on sea days for your liking. If you are cruising through notoriously rough passages or seas (such as the Drake Passage) and are concerned about seasickness, then you may prefer a larger ship as these are often more stable.
If you are cruising to Antarctica, it is important to note that no more than 100 passengers can land at one site at any given time, so guests on larger ships take turns going ashore. The rotation is very well organised however to maximise your time ashore you might want to consider a smaller ship for your Antarctic expedition.
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