So what's on tap?
Dining. The additional size of the ship has provided space for two new-to-Silversea eateries. The Stars Supper Club is a traditional supper club featuring live music and dancing along with dinner. The Asian-inspired Seishin Restaurant, available at an additional fee, offers Kobe beef, sushi and Asian seafood specialties.
Other Silversea staples are back, including the simply named Restaurant, offering international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner with menus by Relais & Châteaux; La Terrazza, an indoor/outdoor restaurant with ocean views offering buffet-style dining for breakfast and lunch, and authentic Italian cuisine served a la carte for dinner; Le Champagne, an eatery serving six-course meals with wines in an intimate setting (fee applies); and the Pool Grill, providing poolside dining for lunch and dinner (grilled meats and fresh-from-the-oven pizza).
Accommodations. Cabins on Silver Spirit are all-suite and the largest in the Silversea fleet. All are oceanview, and all but 12 will have balconies. All suites include a separate sitting area, a walk-in closet, a marbled bathroom with a double vanity and full-size tub, flat-screen satellite TV with DVD player, writing desk, hair dryer, walk-in closet(s) and sitting area.
Spa & Fitness. The Spa at Silversea is an 8,300-square-ft. space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, nine treatment rooms, indoor/outdoor relaxation areas, sauna, steam rooms and an outdoor whirlpool. The nearby Fitness Centre offers two aerobic studios and the latest cardio, strength and weight-training equipment including a Kinesis Wall. The standard classes -- aerobics, yoga, Pilates and circuit training -- will be on offer.
Pool Area. The teaked-out Pool Deck boasts two whirlpools and a poolside bar. The resort-style pool will be heated for cooler weather cruises.
Entertainment. Nighttime venues include the Show Lounge featuring production shows and classical soloists, the Humidor cigar parlor, a casino, Panorama Lounge with dancing and live music, and the top-ship Observation lounge. The pool area will also be a nighttime spot for traditional dances by folkloric troupes and movies on deck.
Public Spaces. Silver Spirit will feature a library, Internet cafe, three duty-free shops and a children's program for kids ages 3 to 12.
Itineraries. The new ship will debut on December 23, 2009, with an 11-night maiden voyage from Barcelona to Lisbon. This sailing will be followed by a 16-night transatlantic cruise to Ft. Lauderdale departing January 3. The ship will be officially named on January 21 in Ft. Lauderdale.
Then Silver Spirit sets course on January 21, 2010, for a 91-day South America voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles and back to New York. The voyage will include stops at Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval, a cruise around Cape Horn, and visits to the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal. Overnights are scheduled in Ft. Lauderdale, Rio, Buenos Aires, Punta Arenas, Callao (for Lima), Acapulco and Los Angeles.
The cruise is also available in segments, but passengers on the full voyage get a few bonuses, including an invite to Silver Spirit's naming ceremony, a gala dinner event the night before departure, exclusive shoreside events in select ports of call, and a VIP evening at the Rio Carnaval, as well as commemorative gifts and a $2,000 per-suite onboard credit.
After its inaugural season, Silver Spirit will spend summer in the Mediterranean before repositioning to the Caribbean for autumn and winter cruises.
Silver Spirit is the last of 10 new-builds due out in 2009. Seabourn Odyssey, due out in June 2009, is another hotly anticipated luxury new-build.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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