Some cruises are better than others and this one was outstanding with interesting ports, great entertainment, food and service. Our itinerary took us from London to Edinburgh, the Orkney, Shetland, and Faroe Islands, and over to Akureyi, Isafjordur and Reykjvik, Iceland.
The only downside to this cruise was the 2 formal nights, but we didn't mind dining at either The Grill or La Terraza. In this day and age with luggage restrictions on airplanes having formal attire or dark suits for just two nights is just plain nuts. To avoid checking luggage, I might add that we travel with a carry on and a smaller bag and are sometimes away from home for over 30 days.
Embarkation - We were ferried across the Thames from the Tower of London to the ship. Once onboard the line was long, but considering that there were only two people to handle everyone the line moved along rather well.
Staterooms were not ready so we proceeded to lunch. As a case of first impressions, we were impressed with the food offerings and service.
We embarked from London Tower Bridge and the sail out took us under the Tower Bridge that enabled us to see the Olympic rings by looking up...an interesting view. The view of the Tower of London from the Thames was impressive.
Stateroom 423 was comfortable and across the hall from the laundry that we liked. As typical of cruise ships, it took forever to dry a load, but they were dry enough so that hanging in the cabin had them dry in about an hour.
Dining - The breakfast and lunch buffets were great. All offerings were fresh and nicely presented as were the offerings at the Pool Grill. Dinner in The Restaurant was equally as good. The selection of included wine offerings was good and the wine flowed freely.
It was wonderful to see Terance from the Prince Albert II in his new position as Head Bartender!
Entertainment - The best that we've enjoyed at sea especially "It's Fabbalicious!" with the music of ABBA. Thanks to the artists of Silversea: Kashena Sampson, Jonathan Shade, Anastasia Lane, Jovani McCleary, Katie McConaughy and Ryan Bauer-Walsh. Just goes to show that even on a small ship there can be great entertainment!
Cruise Director, Judie Abbott - They should clone her! Perfect for the job!
Edinburgh - Since we've been to this city many times, we chose a ship's tour out to Scone Palace where we learned of the history of the legendary Scottish kings. Macbeth died on the floor of the Scone Palace. Robert the Bruce was crowned here as well as King Charles II. The tour of the palace is interesting and displays a fabulous collection of 18th & 19th century porcelain. The grounds are beautiful and we wish that we had had time to explore the maze. One could spend a full day here.
Kirkwall, Orney Island - If you haven't been to Balfour Castle on the island of Shapinsay, we can highly recommend this ship's tour. We took a 25 minute ferry ride out to the castle to visit the castle and the extensive gardens. After a tour of the castle that is now a small hotel, we were served scones with clotted cream and jam, cookies, loaf bread and coffee before going outside on our own the enjoy the reflecting pool, maze, and view before going back to the ship. If you want to get away from crowds, this would be a perfect excursion.
On a prior visit to the Orkney's we visited the archaeological wonders of the Ring of Brogdar, Skara Brae and Skaill House that shouldn't be missed.
Lerwick, Shetland Islands - Jarlshof & Scenic Mainland Drive - We wish that we had more time at Jarlshof as there was a lot to see at this archaeological site. Our visit to this site was hurry up, rush, rush. The ruins deserved more time at the site.
Torshavn, Faroe Islands - We were quite pleased that we took the tour by land and sea of Vestmanna Sea Cliffs as they are so dramatic! Driving along the cliffs you get one impression and another when the boat goes inside the crags and under the cliffs. You also see seabirds.
Akureyri, Iceland - Jewels of the North took us out to Godafoss "The Waterfalls of the Gods" that's really worth a look then on to Lake Myvatn that is known for bird life. We would have enjoyed the lake if we had some netting to cover our faces as the black flies were horrendous! The highlight of this excursion was the stop at Namaskard and the geothermal field with the mud pools, steam vents, sulfur deposits, cliffs and more.
Isafjordor, Iceland - Vigur Island by Boat was a pleasant surprise. The island is very small, quiet, peaceful and has an abundance of bird life. We saw puffins, arctic terns, black guillemots and ducks. The family that lives on this island collects the down from the ducks. You can visit the down workshop. We were treated to coffee, pastries, and loaf breads that were very good.
Reykjvik - We disembarked here and were able to collect our luggage and walk to the Hotel Reykjvik Centrum. Great location within easy walking distance to restaurants and sites. While in Reykjvik you might want to go out to the Blue Lagoon. The geothermal pools are worth a visit. Take a towel or pay 6 euros to rent one and I'd recommend water shoes.