Ocean expeditions have come a long way from the days of joining a science and research ship or a freight and supply vessel for part of a journey into territories rarely tread and far from civilisation.
Today, while these regions are more accessible than ever, the standard of comfort in which travellers can see them is all but unrecognisable from these halcyon and roughshod days.
Silversea Cruises – one of the standard bearers of small ship luxury cruising – is responding to the demand for its brand of exploration by making the move to convert one of its ships – the current 296-passenger Silver Cloud – to instead cater to intrepid explorers keen to take in one of the Silversea Expeditions voyages to far-flung corners of the world.
Part of this transformation will see the ship decrease in capacity to 260 and even further to 200 when sailing in the North and South Poles – due to permit restrictions. This capacity cut will see Silversea carry out a major renovation and refurbishment, increasing the size of its existing staterooms in order to add facilities needed for its new expedition needs.
Eighteen new zodiac boats will be added to the ship, each carrying 14 people on off-ship adventures of various duration depending what part of the world it is visiting. While onboard, there will be a number of educational lectures, seminars and presentations held in the ship’s theatre and conducted by a team of 19 experts in different fields including marine biology, photography and much more.
In its first year back in action, the ship will visit nearly 190 ports around the world as part of 11 Antarctic and eight Arctic voyages. The ship will also sail the British Isles, the Norwegian Fjords, the Caribbean, Europe and the Falkland Islands in South America.
Work will begin soon on the conversion of Silver Cloud from a luxury cruiser to an expedition ship. In the meantime, Silversea Expeditions has released these preview renderings showing what travellers will have to look forward to in its passenger accommodations once the ship is returned to service. The upgrade is scheduled to be completed in November 2017.