The 6,072-ton vessel previously sailed for the now-defunct Society Expeditions company. Its strengthened hull carries the highest Lloyd's Register ice-class notation, appropriate for sailing in Antarctica. World Discoverer will undergo a multi-million dollar makeover before re-entering service as a luxury exploration ship in the spring of 2008.
Though it can currently accommodate 175 guests, that number will be reduced to 140 during the refurbishment in keeping with the line's intimate crew-to-guest ratio. Guests will be accommodated in all oceanview staterooms. These include Owner's Suites and Grand Suites, and 12 to-be-named suites that will mirror the concept of the Silver Suites aboard other ships in Silversea's fleet -- with a separate dining and living room and clubby atmosphere.
Some of the features Silversea cruisers can expect onboard are:
Bow-to-stern Internet access
Cellular phone service
Flat-screen TV's in all suites and staterooms
High-definition video screens in public lounges
A main dining room and specialty restaurant
A cigar lounge like the Humidor on other ships in Silversea's fleet
A beauty salon, fitness center and sauna
Silversea took delivery of World Discoverer last week. Additional details, such as the ship's new name, will be announced in the coming weeks (we'll keep you posted).
This new ship will bring Silversea's fleet count to five -- and a sixth is on the way. The line also has a 36,000-ton, 540-guest new-build on order, which is due out in winter of 2009.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor