Be warned, Seabourn, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas Cruises: One in all your high opponents within the luxurious cruise house, Silversea Cruises, has set a brand new bar for simply how spectacular luxurious ship design could be.
Silversea’s new 728-passenger Silver Nova, which debuted Monday with its first crusing with paying passengers, is filled with public areas that aren’t simply elegant and splendid however oriented towards the ocean (or the vacation spot) in a manner that we have not seen earlier than with luxurious ships.
That is completed in nice half attributable to an all-new, asymmetrical design for the ship’s public decks that reorients their key options towards the perimeters of the ship as an alternative of the middle. Whether or not you are floating within the ship’s essential pool or eating at its new open-air Marquee restaurant, you are looking on the sea (or no matter vacation spot the ship is visiting) such as you’ve by no means been capable of earlier than.
Silversea has been speaking about this new asymmetrical design for months. But it surely was laborious for me to know till I noticed it firsthand just lately throughout a three-night preview occasion for the vessel. What I noticed wowed me, and when you e book a cruise on this ship, you may be wowed, too.
In reorienting Silver Nova’s essential pool and different public areas towards the ocean and the locations the ship visits, Silversea has created a luxurious vessel that, greater than every other, has the texture of the good luxurious resorts on land. Like these resorts, it is constructed to maximise the expertise of its setting.
Or, to place it one other manner, it is a ship with a way of place. This ship is constructed to be a part of its environment, not separate from them, as is usually the case with ocean cruise vessels.
To me, the design of Silver Nova is a game-changer for luxurious cruising. Designwise, at the least, that is now the posh ship to beat.
A surprising pool deck
On the essential pool space on most cruise ships, the pool is correct within the center, with lounge chairs lined up in rows dealing with the pool on all sides. If you’re lounging on one among these chairs, you are thus wanting inward — not on the sea however on the pool and the folks within the pool.
On Silver Nova, this orientation is turned on its head. The principle pool, lengthy and slim, is not in the course of the pool space however offset to its starboard facet, and it is oriented to face outward to the ocean. Almost all of the lounge chairs across the pool face in the identical course towards the ocean, too.
It’s an asymmetrical structure that modifications the whole lot in regards to the expertise.
Whether or not within the pool or one of many lounge chairs surrounding it, you might be dealing with the ocean, not towards the middle of the vessel. It creates a way of being a part of your environment of the kind you get at a well-designed, high-end seashore resort.
A part of what makes this new outward-facing orientation so magical is that no construction rises from the starboard facet of the pool deck. Passengers floating in Silver Nova’s pool or lounging on a close-by lounge chair get an unobstructed view of the ocean off the ship’s starboard facet.
That is extremely uncommon. On virtually all cruise ships, elevated walkways line each side of the primary pool space, one deck above the pool so that folks can stroll between higher-level venues at the back and front of the vessel.
On smaller ships, that are by nature narrower than larger ships, these walkways can lead to a sense that the primary pool is sunk right into a canyon between constructions on each side of it. In different phrases, the realm feels much less open.
By leaving one facet of Silver Nova’s pool deck freed from constructions, the ship’s designers have created a staple-shaped house with the open facet dealing with the ocean, one thing that by no means has been executed earlier than.
If something about naval structure and ship building, that this new pool space design is a real engineering marvel. Because of the huge weight of water relative to different belongings you discover atop ships, the location of swimming pools on vessels should be executed with nice care. Put one within the fallacious place, and a ship could be off stability. Because of this ship swimming pools usually are centered in a pool deck (and comparatively small in comparison with swimming pools at land resorts).
To make this asymmetrical pool deck work, with its off-center pool and lack of walkway construction on one facet, the ship’s designers needed to rethink different parts of the ship’s high deck to verify the vessel can be balanced. This included inserting the ship’s smokestack off heart — one other of Silver Nova’s placing options. It is offset to the port facet of the vessel partially to compensate for the pool being offset to the starboard facet.
The pool deck can be spacious for the ship’s measurement, with 280 lounge chairs unfold round it on decks 10 and 11. The pool itself is larger than every other on a Silversea ship.
A placing new ocean-facing eatery
Silver Nova’s essential pool space is not the one space on the high of the ship the place an asymmetrical design has resulted in an area that’s strikingly open to the ocean. Simply steps away, close to the again of the identical deck, is The Marquee, a brand new open-air eatery that’s oriented to the port facet of the ship and gives commanding views of the ocean — or no matter vacation spot the ship is visiting.
The largely shaded however in any other case open-to-the-elements eating venue is an informal eatery throughout the daytime that mixes the menus of Silversea’s signature The Grill eatery and Spaccanapoli pizzeria. At night time, it takes on an elevated really feel and is house to Silversea’s signature “scorching rocks” eating idea, the place passenger cook dinner their very own meats on heated rocks delivered to their tables.
When Silver Nova is in heat locales such because the Caribbean, eating on the Marquee will really feel like eating at an out of doors seashore resort, due to its location perched alongside the ship’s port facet. You can see the waves within the ocean, odor the salty ocean air and, at night time, possibly even see the celebs above.
Whereas a few of The Marquee’s tables are below a shading cover, others are lined up within the open air subsequent to the glass railings alongside the ship’s port facet. It is a spectacular viewpoint.
Silver Nova is not the primary luxurious cruise vessel to have a decktop eatery with at the least some open-air seating on the fringe of the vessel, after all. Many luxurious ships have informal eateries at their backs which have terrace areas with out of doors seating. However The Marquee eatery feels totally different, partially as a result of it is alongside the facet of the ship and never on the again, and likewise as a result of all the eatery is outdoors and open to the breeze.
There’s, notably, no deck above it, only a partially open slatted ceiling. It is simply sufficient of a protecting to maintain the eatery shaded and funky throughout lunchtime, as I skilled firsthand whereas ordering a home made pizza within the venue.
Simply past The Marquee, behind the ship, The Nightfall Bar is an off-center, open-air bar that gives 270-degree views over the portside nook of the ship. It is one other asymmetrical house designed to convey passengers nearer to the ocean.
Mild-filled inside areas
Silver Nova’s uncommon openness to the ocean extends to its inside public decks, that are full of lounges, eating places and bars lined with massive glass partitions that supply a connection to the skin.
It’s an openness made attainable by extra asymmetry in design. On the coronary heart of those inside areas is a hovering, three-deck-high atriumlike house offset to the ship’s starboard facet. A multifloor glass wall bathes the middle of the ship’s public decks with pure mild — one thing that we have not seen in a major manner on luxurious ships.
It isn’t a brand-new design function for the trade, after all. A rising variety of massive mass-market ships, akin to Carnival’s new Excel-class ships and the soon-to-debut Solar Princess, have been debuting in recent times with massive glass partitions spanning a number of decks. But it surely’s notable within the luxurious house.
On the base of this atriumlike house, on Deck 3, is a Champagne bar known as The Shelter. One deck up, on Deck 4, passengers will discover the Arts Cafe, Silver Nova’s European-style espresso bar and lounge. Another deck up from that, on Deck 5, is Dolce Vita, Silversea’s signature bar and lounge and a central gathering place for passengers for pre- and post-dinner cocktails.
All of those venues both are immediately under the wall of glass or adjoining to it.
Amongst different venues alongside these public decks is the Panorama Lounge, one other central gathering spot behind Deck 5 lined with glass and providing views off the perimeters and again of the ship.
The openness to the ocean of those public decks (and Silver Nova’s cabin decks, too) is additional enhanced by the daring placement of the ship’s elevator banks in glass towers alongside the vessel’s sides as an alternative of at its heart, as is customary. These elevator banks — one on the port facet of the ship towards the entrance of the vessel; one on the starboard facet of the ship towards the again — flood the ship’s inside with much more pure mild.
Some ships prior to now, akin to Royal Caribbean’s Radiance-class ships, have had showcase elevator banks that confronted the ocean. However by no means earlier than has each elevator and elevator ready space on a ship been ocean-facing.
On the Radiance-class vessels, as an illustration, solely a single set of elevators face the ocean, they usually aren’t as near the outer glass partitions as they’re on Silver Nova. Relying on which flooring you are on, you are typically wanting via public walkways and even seating areas to the ocean when using up the ocean-facing elevators on the Radiance-class ships.
The change to all-ocean-facing elevators for Silver Nova might appear to be a small element, however its result’s extraordinary. Irrespective of the place you might be on the ship, when you find yourself ready for an elevator, as you typically are on a cruise ship, you’re looking out to the ocean, not trapped in a windowless inside corridor. When you step aboard one of many elevators, you’ve got what could also be one of the best vantage level on the ship. The outer partitions of the elevators (three in every elevator financial institution) are glass, too.
Critically, they’re so cool that you could be wish to experience them only for the view.
The asymmetrical design of Silver Nova is not the one motive the ship feels extra open than many different luxurious ships. The openness is also a results of a change to a “horizontal” format for cabin and public space decks, one thing that Silversea has by no means executed earlier than on one among its conventional ocean ships.
The definition of a horizontal design for a ship is when complete decks are devoted both to cabins or public areas. That is widespread on massive, mass-market ships however much less widespread on smaller luxurious ships.
Many luxurious ships have a vertical design, with cabins unfold throughout the fronts of each deck and public areas unfold throughout the backs. That is the case for practically all of Silversea’s ships (all however Silver Nova and the just lately launched Galapagos vessel Silver Origin) in addition to all the posh ships operated by Seabourn, Scenic Luxurious Cruises and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Assortment. Luxurious line Regent Seven Seas Cruises additionally has one ship with such a structure.
The vertical association for ship cabins is a structure model that makes it tough structurally to supply hovering areas. By going horizontal within the design, Silversea may insert extra high-ceiling venues throughout the general public inside decks of Silver Nova (decks 3, 4 and 5). This included not solely the atriumlike house in the course of the ship but additionally the house occupied by Silver Nova’s essential showroom, the Venetian Lounge.
The Venetian Lounges on different Silversea ships are usually only one deck excessive and really feel a bit cramped. On Silver Nova, this lounge — constructed for theater and music reveals, movies, lectures and seminars — soars two decks excessive and has an ethereal really feel. Offset from the middle of the entrance of the ship, it additionally has expansive home windows alongside one among its sides that enable in pure mild (via curtains) throughout the day.
A spacious check kitchen
But another hovering inside house on Silver Nova is the S.A.L.T. Lab, a check kitchen on the high of the ship used for cooking lessons and an elaborate chef’s desk expertise that’s new for the road.
With a double-height ceiling and a glass wall overlooking the ocean, the S.A.L.T. Lab often is the most spectacular cooking venue ever constructed. It has a beautiful, marble-topped, horseshoe-shaped counter that envelopes a big cooking station the place Silver Nova cooks lead lessons by day. At night time, it transforms right into a venue for the brand new chef’s desk expertise (known as the S.A.L.T. Chef’s Desk) — a nearly-four-hour, 11-course, $180-per-person culinary marathon that includes Silver Nova cooks making ready the meal proper in entrance of diners, explaining what they’re doing as they go (see the photograph gallery under for scenes from the expertise).
S.A.L.T., which stands for Sea And Land Style, is Silversea’s new immersive culinary program that focuses on the regional delicacies within the locations its ships go. It is discovered solely on the most recent Silversea ships. Former Saveur editor-in-chief Adam Sachs designed this system, which encompasses particular regional food-related land excursions, onboard cooking lessons and particular eating experiences.
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Silver Nova is the third ship with S.A.L.T. programming, becoming a member of the 2-year-old Silver Daybreak and 3-year-old Silver Moon. All three ships have devoted S.A.L.T. eating places and bars serving regionally impressed dishes and drinks.
The excursions accessible as a part of this system are extraordinary, as I noticed firsthand throughout my go to to the ship throughout a small-group S.A.L.T. tour centered on the wine and meals of the Friuli area on the border between Italy and Slovenia. The six-hour outing from Trieste, Italy, included a personal tasting on the family-owned vineyard Le Due Terre, which was opened only for us, adopted by a three-hour, nine-course lunch with wine pairings at chef Antonia Klugmann’s L’Argine a Venco.
Klugmann, one among Italy’s star cooks, cooked for us personally together with her group on the small venue, nestled within the vineyard-lined countryside.
Elegant and repositioned rooms
As is typical for Silversea ships, Silver Nova gives “whispered luxurious” in its suites (and all cabins on Silver Nova are suites, in step with its luxurious positioning), with finishes and furnishings which can be elegant and costly however not flashy.
In bedrooms, you may discover ridiculously snug beds topped with custom-made luxurious mattresses and Egyptian cotton linens from Italian luxurious purveyor Rivolta Carmignani, marble-topped facet tables and built-in desks, tender lighting and a impartial coloration palette all through. Total, the look is clear, fashionable and residential in really feel.
Suite bogs are spacious and marble-lined, with generously massive walk-in showers and Italian-made Nobili fixtures.
Greater suites have separate residing rooms in some instances, plus larger bedrooms and bogs.
As well as, each room on the ship comes with butler service, complimentary in-suite eating across the clock, a minibar stocked with no matter you need (no further cost), plush bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, luxurious bathtub facilities and complimentary limitless Wi-Fi.
That is all par for the course for a Silversea ship. Luxurious is the road’s commerce. However what’s notably new with Silver Nova is that the ship has extra classes of suites than Silversea ships prior to now — and suites which can be higher positioned on the ship for many who could be delicate to movement.
That is one other good thing about Silversea’s change to a horizontal design for Silver Nova’s decks. As a result of its cabins aren’t all clustered at its entrance, as has been the case for Silversea’s larger ships till now, Silversea was capable of construct large aft-facing suites onto the vessel — one thing that Silversea followers lengthy have wished. It additionally was in a position so as to add extra suites clustered across the center of the ship, the place the results of movement are much less noticeable.
The enormous suites behind Silver Nova embody two huge 1,324-square-foot complexes known as Otium suites. Impressed by Silversea’s new wellness program, Otium, they function spacious front room areas, separate massive bedrooms, massive walk-in closets and a showpiece rest room with a whirlpool and walk-in bathe, with floor-to-ceiling home windows all through.
Positioned on the aft starboard corners of decks 6 and seven, the Otium suites even have large out of doors wraparound decks with non-public whirlpools. Every of the suites has 270-degree views.
The big suites behind the ship additionally embody six Grasp suites, one other new class of rear-facing suites for the road. Measuring from 721 to 826 sq. ft, additionally they boast residing rooms and bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling home windows providing gorgeous views. All six suites are at nook areas on the backs of decks 6, 7, 8 and 9, they usually thus have 270-degree views related to what’s discovered within the Otium suites.
Rounding out the most important suites on the ship are two middle-of-the-ship Proprietor’s suites that measure 1,055 sq. ft — good to e book when you’re on the lookout for a large suite however are liable to movement illness. They’re proper on the candy spot on the center of the ship, the place movement is the least noticeable.
Two massive Grand suites measuring 915 sq. ft are positioned on the entrance of the vessel, providing spectacular forward-facing views.
Even the smallest cabins on Silver Nova measure at the least 357 sq. ft, which is unusually massive for an entry-level cruise ship cabin.
Silver Nova is a groundbreaking new vessel within the luxurious house, with public areas oriented to the ocean (and the locations the place the ship will go to) like no different luxurious ship in service. The ship’s outward-facing pool deck is one thing to behold, as is its new S.A.L.T. Lab venue for cooking lessons and elaborate, regionally impressed chef’s desk experiences.
The brand new asymmetrical design of Silver Nova is so totally different from what’s typical for a cruise vessel that it does not really feel like a cruise ship in lots of locations. It has far more of the texture of a land resort. It is a transformational change.
If you happen to’re available in the market for a luxurious cruise and are on the lookout for the most recent and biggest within the house, it’s best to positively put Silver Nova in your shortlist.