What to expect onboard Silver Dawn
Cruise clients with deeper pockets will be inspired by the newest addition to Silversea Cruises’ fleet, which started sailing this month. James Litston has a look at some of the ship’s highlights
Silversea Cruises’ new ship, Silver Dawn, the 10th in its fleet, started sailing on April 1. The 298-suite vessel builds on the success of the line’s recent launches, Silver Muse and Silver Moon, by further pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising. In addition to Silversea’s standard all-suite, all-butler-service product, Silver Dawn comes with several innovations of its own. It spends its inaugural season in the Mediterranean, after which it will cross the Atlantic to winter in the Caribbean.
Spacious, well-designed and all ocean-facing, Silver Dawn’s suites are among the most generous in the industry. Done out in neutral shades for an elegant (if rather short on colour) finish, each one comes with comfortable seating areas that swiftly transition for in-suite dining. Sliding doors lead onto terraces for watching the ocean glide by, while heavy drapes can be drawn across to separate the sleeping area. Potted orchids and fruit bowls (replenished daily) add to the home-from-home ambience that’s elevated by butler service that feels attentive and genuine (thoughtful touches include an unrequested polish of my sunglasses). Bathrooms are equipped with separate shower and tub, twin sinks and Bulgari amenities.
The defining characteristic of Silver Dawn’s public spaces is their intimacy. Even the main restaurant, Atlantide, only accommodates 220 and operates an open-seating policy. This is where clients can head for seafood, steak, or surf and turf. Smaller still is La Dame, a high-end French restaurant that, along with Japanese-themed Kaiseki, is the only one commanding a cover charge. La Terrazza’s breakfast buffet felt rather underwhelming, but in its evening guise as an Italian trattoria, it truly shone. As for bars, the largest is central Dolce Vita, smartly decked out with plush upholstery and metallic accents; though I preferred the Observation Library for its maritime palette of navy blue and sunset orange.
One of Silversea’s new initiatives is its SALT (Sea And Land Taste) culinary programme, which brings on board the flavours of the region through which the ship sails. Available only on Silver Moon, Silver Dawn and (when it launches next year) Silver Nova, SALT is billed as a cultural exploration through food. On my Portuguese itinerary, menus in both SALT Bar and SALT Kitchen incorporated port, vinho verde and other local specialities, while cooking classes in SALT Lab featured that local staple, salt cod. It’s all backed up by shore excursions exploring, say, a biodynamic winery in Croatia or Naples’ very best pizza.
Silversea’s other big point of distinction is its spa, which on Silver Dawn delivers a whole new concept: Otium. Referencing the line’s Italian heritage by embodying the Roman Empire’s pleasure-seeking outlook, Otium is all about blurring the boundary between living well and being well by adding an extra element of indulgence to the spa experience. Clients can expect to be offered cocktails, champagne or chocolates after their treatments while reclining in a relaxation area designed to be convivial. I was personally too comatose after a 100-minute Otium Experience massage to engage in conversation with other spa-goers, but it’s certainly an interesting update on a typical at-sea spa.
Clients can also opt to enjoy the Otium ethos in privacy through an all-new, four-strong selection of in-suite experiences, all arranged via the butler. A bathing ritual comes in the form of a bubble bath enhanced with champagne, tasty treats (mine came with macarons), non-flame candles, neck pillows and ambient music. Moments on the balcony can be made extra-special with hot chocolate or a cooling cocktail, depending on the climate that the ship is cruising through. Room service gets an upgrade, too, with the introduction of comfort foods such as lobster rolls or truffle popcorn to enjoy over a movie. High-quality Italian bedding and a pillow menu round off the experience.
Find more information on Silversea’s Silver Dawn.