Shipboard Life on SS Silversea Explorer

The Silversea Explorer is a 6000 ton expedition ship that charges seriously large sums of money for the privilege of sailing on her. Silversea's own blurb says she " has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer cruise adventure."

I thought that they did deliver value for money and would certainly sail on her again if the right destinations were on offer. The money for Silversea is in offering a taxi service to Antarctica from Ushuaia for the Antarctic summer, then moving to the Arctic for their summer and doing a similar thing up north. Whilst I am not an exponent of "if you have seen one penguin, then you have seen them all", one journey to Antarctica is probably enough for me. That said both the Falklands and South Georgia were fascinating, and different places. And Tristan da Cunha, although we did not land, gave me an insight to the mentality of the 300 people who live there. Finally Cape Town was different yet again, even though it did have penguins.

Life on board was certainly packed with lectures from knowledgeable speakers - some able to impart their knowledge better than others. The food was truly excellent, and it needed a strong will to hold back, particularly on the sweet things. The ship's staff were charming. So, all in all, life aboard was very pleasant. The nature of this trip, a 22 day voyage with 12 days "at sea", meant that the ship's entertainment was important. I will avoid making disparaging remarks about my fellow passengers, partly because there are no disparaging remarks to make, and partly because they may read this and we may meet again on another cruise.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

Boarding at Ushuaia, we were soon nosing out into the channel. The inevitable mandatory safety drill followed,before we were left to our own devices to explore our ship .
As night fell we were still on a calm sea and the sun shone. Back in the cabin, the boys were settling down to a good nights sleep, and woke to another bright new day.
There were new friends to make, and the inevitable "Captains's Welcome Party" to attend. As we headed towards the Falklands lectures started, there was the odd crew .
..show and every day at sea a Trivia with an excellent tea - the traditional layer cake stand with a different specialty each day - holding back was a necessity.
In the dining room we could chose to sit by ourselves or with others, depending on how sociable we felt. The head waiter, I thought, was particularly good at allocating ..
..seats. It was all inclusive, but again a bulging waistline prevented me cramming down to many brandies, but the Irish Coffee was good. Parties took take place every ..
night to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. They seemed to be a good excuse to cram down more calories and alcohol. The management had to keep an eye on me on ..
both counts. Even the boys put on a few pounds without really trying. When not eating or drinking, or listening to lectures, there was the hot tub on deck as we got away
from the Arctic waters. But even then we continued to pass massive icebergs merrily heading north towards the equator. Some people even used the gym. And there..
were weekly crew safety drills (not for passengers). And one could lounge on deck, if not strip off and sunbathe. A cerebral discussion on how to find North with a watch.
Time for a drink for the road, before the inevitable "Captains Farewell Party" . And the boys bade a touching farewell to their new friends. Finally we arrive at Cape Town.

Now for a couple of days in Cape Town before we head off for pastures new in Namibia

 

Silversea Explorer Voyage