Sunday, 30 March 2014

Silver Discoverer review

#expeditioncruising

Silver Discoverer at Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

Silver Discoverer feels like a real ship. It’s small, carrying a maximum of 120 passengers and about 96 crew, and while it bears Silversea’s luxury hallmarks it is undeniably a vessel built for exploring.

Stateroom [Sally Macmillan]
The walls are hung with amazing photographs of wildlife and exotic destinations visited by Silversea’s expedition fleet – photographer Richard Sidey took many of them and he was on the ship for the christening and will be part of the upcoming expedition crew. On the top deck, which is a work in progress, were the ship’s Zodiacs and glass-bottomed boat.

There are two good-sized lounges (the Discoverer Lounge on Deck 5 leads on to the aft deck which has a bar and pool) and the main dining room, so even when the ship is carrying a full complement of guests you’d never feel crowded. (Silver Discoverer’s first season in the Kimberley, which starts on April 2, is already sold out.)

Pictured from left Steve Odell, Silversea Cruises President Europe,
Africa, Middle East & Asia-Pacific; Captain Luksa Plecas, Master, Silver Discoverer;
Godmother Elda Turco Bulgherini; and Silversea Cruises Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio.
© 2014 Ralph Grizzle
On the afternoon of the christening, two magnificent buffets were served in the lounges – Japanese cuisine in one, and a selection of Asian dishes in the other.

The inaugural dinner in the main restaurant was a celebratory feast; guests on this luxury expedition vessel will certainly be spoilt by fabulous food, excellent wines and exemplary service.

Our menu included carpaccio of tiger prawns, a foie gras terrine, pasta with caviar and if that wasn’t enough, a choice of lobster medallions or fillet of beef (superb!) for mains. A selection of sweet treats was served on the pool deck.

The cabins are spacious for a small ship; all have picture windows or portholes and nine suites on Deck 6 have balconies. The bathroom in my View Suite on Deck 5 was very boutique – you wouldn’t want to be a “person of size” – but stocked with lovely Bulgari products, large new towels and most importantly, a very efficient shower. The bed and pillows were blissfully comfortable – I wasn’t the only guest who disembarked somewhat reluctantly this morning.

WORDS: Sally Macmillan (The Cruise Director, SMH)
IMAGES: Ralph Grizzle (AvidCruiser), Sally Macmillan