Editors Note: In August 2017, Silver Cloud will be refitted to sail as a polar expedition ship. The vessel will carry only 200 cruisers on Arctic and Antarctic itineraries, allowing the ship to land at a broader range of sites. On non-polar sailings, the ship will sail at the full 260-passenger capacity.
Dining options will remain the same: The Restaurant, Le Champagne (the Relais & Chateaux restaurant), La Terrazza, The Grill and room service. The ship will add expedition staff and a fleet of 18 Zodiac watercrafts for exploration. It will also offer destination lectures, photo presentations and complimentary excursions.
The spiffy little Silver Cloud, a member of Silversea Cruises' fleet of small luxury ships, is the nearly identical twin of Silver Wind; they were launched one after the other back in 1994 and 1995. Like all Silversea ships, the 296-passenger Silver Cloud stands out for its high levels of service, gourmet dining and spacious, all-oceanview suites. Its small size allows it to pull into lesser-visited ports, which is great for far-flung exploration, especially in Africa, where it operates about three months of the year, when it's not in Europe. It's elegant without being too stuffy, fun but not too frivolous and ideal for mature couples that enjoy fine food, sublime service and intimacy.
Silver Cloud has among the highest space-to-passenger ratios in the industry, which is reflected in the spacious all-suite cabins (most with private verandas). The genuine and warm crew members make passengers feel truly at home, and every cabin offers butler service. Many of the onboard staff have been with Silversea for years, demonstrating a true dedication to the personalized cruise experience. The small size of the ship means your name will almost always be remembered by staff.
Plus, Silver Cloud's fares are all-inclusive. Food, alcohol, as well as gratuities, are all included in the fare. (The main exceptions are a meal at the exclusive Relais & Chateaux restaurant and any high-end wines or spirits.) In addition, in select ports, the ship offers free transportation into town; plus, throughout 2016, Silversea is promoting complimentary excursion offerings in every port on many of Silver Cloud's Mediterranean and African voyages.
The elegant ship exudes a faintly Italian-inspired design scheme, with a lot of muted peach hues, wooden furnishings and finishings that subtly tie together one public space to the next, continuing on into most of the guest suites. While Silver Cloud awaits a complete refurbishment later in 2017 (when it'll be absorbed into Silversea's expedition fleet), be forewarned that there are some slight signs of wear and tear in passenger suites and public spaces, since only light, as-needed cosmetic changes are being made ahead of the ship's upcoming transformation.