June 18, 2001
Silversea Cruises conducted the long-awaited christening of Silver Whisper, its newest vessel, in a ceremony in Genoa. The traditional breaking-the-champagne bottle over the bow was a tad more upscale, as befits the luxury line; the ship’s godmother, according to an announcement, “released a salmanazar of Moet & Chandon onto the bow....” The logical question that arises, of course, is what is a salmanazar -- particularly since it’s not a word you’ll find in the average Merriam-Webster desk dictionary. According to the folks at Silversea, who graciously provided this definition, “a salmanazar is named for the five kings who ruled Assyria from 859-824 BC. It is the fourth largest of the superior champagne bottles and holds the equivalent of 12 bottles.” As part of the christening festivities -- and timed with Genoa’s “A Heart for Africa” charity soccer match, held to benefit kids in Africa -- Silversea president Bill Smith handed over a $10,000 check. Silversea’s Silver Whisper weighs in at 28,000 tons and has a passenger capacity of 382. The Silversea fleet now consists of four ships.