Sil­ver Muse sets new di­rec­tion for Sil­versea

Regina Leader-Post - - TRAVEL - AARON SAUN­DERS

I was in Que­bec City a few weeks ago to hop aboard Sil­versea’s new Sil­ver Muse (cruise.cen­ter/sil­versea) for the day. The 596-guest lux­ury ship was mak­ing its in­au­gu­ral call on Que­bec be­fore head­ing to Montreal at the end of her maiden transat­lantic cross­ing — and prior to em­bark­ing on a voy­age through the Cana­dian Mar­itimes and down the east­ern seaboard of the United States.

I last saw Sil­ver Muse on her “shake­down cruise” — a short, post-de­liv­ery voy­age from the ship­yard in Genoa to Barcelona. Par­tic­u­larly when ships are first de­liv­ered, I al­ways like to come back on board af­ter a few months of op­er­a­tion to see what changes, if any, have been made. Board­ing Sil­ver Muse in Que­bec for a few hours, I was happy to see that Sil­ver Muse is sparkling.

Mi­nor ad­just­ments have been made through­out, from sim­pli­fy­ing the din­ing dress code for the ship’s nine dif­fer­ent din­ing venues (which all fol­low the rec­om­mended daily dress code; pre­vi­ously, each restau­rant had its own in­de­pen­dent dress re­quire­ments) to adding ad­di­tional pieces of art­work around the ship.

Sil­ver Muse ush­ered in an en­tirely new look and feel for Sil­versea. Gone is the dark colour pal­ette that used to dom­i­nate the line’s in­te­rior decor, re­placed in­stead with a fresh, mod­ern look filled with hues of nau­ti­cal blues and greens, cou­pled with blond woods that give the ship an el­e­gant ap­peal.

This is per­haps best re­flected in the decor for the ship’s Panorama Lounge: a sun-filled room with 180-de­gree wrap­around win­dows lo­cated all the way aft on Deck 9. Bright and airy by day, this is the per­fect place for a cock­tail and some scenic cruis­ing — es­pe­cially when trav­el­ling up the St. Lawrence.

I man­aged to en­joy a re­lax­ing drink here be­fore dis­em­bark­ing Sil­ver Muse and get­ting caught in a wicked thun­der­storm; Mother Na­ture’s way of say­ing I should have cruised on to Montreal.

On the ac­com­mo­da­tions front, Sil­ver Muse hits a home run: suites (there are no such thing as state­rooms on board a Sil­versea ship) are more spa­cious than those aboard pre­vi­ous ves­sels, with an en­try-level room start­ing at 334 square feet (31 square me­tres), com­plete with walk-in closet, mar­ble-clad bath­room, a sit­ting area, and a lux­u­ri­ous bed draped with Pratesi linens.

Sil­ver Muse will be get­ting a sis­ter in a few years. Sil­versea re­cently an­nounced that a new ship, Sil­ver Moon, will join its fleet in 2020. The line also just re­vealed that it will put the 296-guest Sil­ver Wind and her larger fleet­mate, Sil­ver Whis­per, through a re­fur­bish­ment pro­gram this win­ter that will “Muse-ize” these two pop­u­lar ships, adding decor touches that bet­ter re­flect the new in­te­rior de­sign that Sil­versea de­buted aboard Sil­ver Muse.

Fi­nally, Sil­versea just an­nounced a mas­sive re­fit project is com­ing next year for the pop­u­lar 540-guest Sil­ver Spirit. I have a soft spot for this ship, which was launched in 2009. She’s a great blend of both past-and-present Sil­versea, with com­fort­able pub­lic ar­eas, loads of open deck space, and spa­cious suites.

Now, Sil­versea is go­ing to be adding even more of those fea­tures by length­en­ing the Sil­ver Spirit next spring.

Here’s how this works: At the Fin­cantieri yard in Palermo, Sil­ver Spirit will be cut in half (lit­er­ally) and a new, pre­fab­ri­cated 49-foot-long (14.9-me­tre) mid­sec­tion will be in­serted and welded to­gether. It’s been done a hand­ful of times be­fore (long­time cruis­ers will re­mem­ber the “stretched” Nor­we­gian Dream and Nor­we­gian Wind in the late 1990s), but the process will be a first for Sil­versea.

Con­tained in this new mid­sec­tion are six brand new Sil­ver Suites (my per­sonal favourite for their ridicu­lous level of spa­cious­ness), along with 26 Veranda Suites and two Panorama Suites. The Sil­ver Spirit will also un­dergo a host of be­hindthe-scenes tech­ni­cal im­prove­ments, and her decor will be re­designed to bet­ter re­flect the style de­buted aboard Sil­ver Muse.

Back in Que­bec, I was pleased to see Sil­ver Muse in ac­tual op­er­a­tion. The brand-new Arts Café was full of guests re­lax­ing over a book and a cup of cof­fee, and I fi­nally saw a guest take ad­van­tage of Sil­versea’s All-Around Din­ing, which al­lows you to call from any house phone on the ship and have food de­liv­ered to your ex­act lo­ca­tion.

That’s lux­ury.

Happy cruis­ing.

Visit port­sand­bows.com, spon­sored by Ex­pe­dia CruiseShipCen­ters, 1-800-707-7327, www.cruiseshipcen­ters.com, for daily up­dates on the lat­est cruise news, best deals and be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries from the industry. You can also sign up for an email news­let­ter on the site for even more cruise in­for­ma­tion. Aaron Saun­ders may be con­tacted di­rectly at port­sand­bowsaaron@gmail.com.

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