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9 Silversea Silver Cloud Expedition Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Arctic

This was our first Silversea cruise and unfortunately it will also be our last. We recently took their 17 day cruise to Greenland, which turned out to be very disappointing. The scenery ws nice at first, but very monotonous after a few ... Read More
This was our first Silversea cruise and unfortunately it will also be our last. We recently took their 17 day cruise to Greenland, which turned out to be very disappointing. The scenery ws nice at first, but very monotonous after a few days. If it weren't for the interesting shapes of the icebergs, there would have been little to photograph. The villages on both the Canadian and Greenland side were uninteresting. We had hoped to see wildlife but there were almost no signs of anything living. The one polar bear we saw was so far away that it couldn't be made out with the naked eye and whale spouts were so far away they couldn't be seen either. The most annoying thing was that the cruise director and expedition crew were constantly talking about what an incredible day we had. Maybe riding in zodiacs in below freezing weather and getting soaked while seeing little of interest is exciting for some people, but definitely not for us. Our cabin was nice, but we experienced a flood along with several other cabins in our row. No one attempted to help us with the damage we incurred and we were told that we were lucky since we had minimal damage and others had much worse. The extent of their help was to put a large noisy fan inside our room for a couple of days. Knowing that our cabin was probably going to be affected when it happened, they should have been proactive when they were working in the corridor all night with noisy equipment and warned us to remove items from the floor in the closet. By the time we discovered the problem it was too late to save the things in our backpack, some of which were not replaceable. We bought our own boots for wet landings and tagged and stored them in the mud room as instructed. We wore them once and we went to the mud room after a few days for another excursion we found that someone had helped themselves to one boot from each pair. If you invest in your own boots it would be wise to clean them and keep them in your cabin at night. Already soured on the trip after these experiences, the final straw was the guest relations manager's rudeness. Far from appeasing passengers who were upset, her attitude actually caused us to cancel our already booked Kamchatka cruise and to not book the Antarctica cruise we planned to book while on board. The food in the main dining room is mostly very good, although there were a few days with some big misses. La Terrazza is good, but menu choices for dinner don't offer much variety. The disappointment is La Dame, for which you pay $120. It isn't worth the money. Altogether we can't recommend Silversea based on this experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are experienced travelers (we've done treks in Nepal, independent travel throughout Europe, guided small-group hikes and tours in South America and Africa, and some large and small-ship cruises, including an Antarctica trip on the ... Read More
We are experienced travelers (we've done treks in Nepal, independent travel throughout Europe, guided small-group hikes and tours in South America and Africa, and some large and small-ship cruises, including an Antarctica trip on the MS Fram). We chose the Silver Cloud cruise based primarily on the itinerary; we loved the wildlife and scenery in Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands and wanted to do a trip in the Arctic. The MS Fram was our first experience with a small-ship cruise, and the Silver Cloud Expedition sounded wonderful both because of its small size and amenities--many more than on the Fram. We absolutely loved the Greenland and Canadian Arctic cruise! We found the scenery to be varied and amazing. Sam Ford Fjord in particular was like a cross between the most beautiful Norwegian Fjord and a more-spectacular Yosemite, and we were thrilled every day by the glaciers, icebergs, and remote, unspoiled places we visited. We found the towns to be colorful and interesting, and we enjoyed learning about the culture and history of the people and area both in landings and in the many high-quality lectures provided by the passionate expedition staff. We especially appreciated the opportunity to do some fairly strenuous hikes to beautiful viewpoints, most led by Truls, a very experienced Norwegian expedition staff member. One concern we had had with the cruise was that it would not be active enough, but we were quite pleased to see how many challenging hikes we were able to do. Like other reviewers, we were a little disappointed not to see much wildlife, and we did feel that the staff sometimes over-emphasized how much we had seen when this had not been the case, but we did see many birds, a polar bear, one group of walruses close-up, and a few whales. But for us, the scenery made up for the lack of wildlife. We found the ship to be lovely in almost all respects. Our vista suite cabin was comfortable, though we found the large couch and two chairs to be somewhat crowded and awkward. The MDR food was generally quite good and the service was excellent, and we appreciated the fact that on this expedition cruise, we could relax in one of the bars and then at dinner after a long day hiking or being out on deck or in zodiacs without having to dress up .Fellow travelers we met were generally well-traveled and interesting and we loved the casual, non-pretentious feel we found on the ship in the bars and meal venues. Our only criticism of the food was perhaps the lack of variety in the lunch buffet; I prefer a good sandwich or interesting "entree" salad to hot, casserole-type dishes at lunch, the buffet typically only had the latter (along with a fairly uninteresting salad bar). However, we did enjoy the made-to-order pizza a couple of times. We also found Hot Rocks to be fun, though it was a bit too cold to fully enjoy the experience. I assume that the classic Silversea ships are more formal, but we loved the feel of the Cloud and would definitely travel on her again if the right itinerary were available. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Booked this cruise from Reykjavik to Greenland while onboard Silver Cloud’s first Antarctic cruise (reviewed December 2018). It was great to see familiar faces among the crew. In spite of its refurbishment, the ship already feels a ... Read More
Booked this cruise from Reykjavik to Greenland while onboard Silver Cloud’s first Antarctic cruise (reviewed December 2018). It was great to see familiar faces among the crew. In spite of its refurbishment, the ship already feels a bit dated, with constant creaking and temperatures too high in the suite (spotless), but often too low in public areas (some noticeably dusty). Silver Cloud now has competition in the English-speaking market from Scenic Eclipse, coincidentally in Reykjavik at the same time for her much-delayed maiden voyage. Food was excellent as always, though portions seemed larger. Service was normally very good, but with the odd slip-up, perhaps because waiting staff have new tablets to take orders. We enjoyed every included wine; typically Silversea buys up entire vintages of less well-known varietals from small European vineyards – not the bland New World wines you get on most lines. Silver Cloud now has a Social Director (Moss) who handles zodiac embarkation and hosts fun afternoon and evening quizzes. Some other changes: thinner hand towels (fluffier towels changed less often would be preferable) and unlimited wi-fi (still slow). Thankfully, butlers no longer have to proffer a tray of toiletries when you embark. Exploring was what this cruise was about. Six “zodiac groups” disembarked with rotating departure times, but usually you could go ashore later on a shuttle service. Excursions could be pre-booked through MySilversea, but this was pointless as there was no set schedule. We enjoyed the ship’s passages through the fjords, and zodiac cruises close up to glaciers, but were uncomfortable wandering among people’s houses in small villages. For us, the highlight was two hours in Disko Bay (Ilulissat) on a small boat operated by a local company; under a cloudless sky we saw whales and vast icebergs that looked like islands. A note about clothing: Greenland in August was warmer than Antarctica in December. While we were exceptionally fortunate with the weather, make sure to take some lighter hiking gear, as you may get too hot ashore if you wear thermals under a parka. We skipped the only two “wet” landings so didn’t use the waterproof boots we’d hired at $90 – ordinary gumboots would have sufficed anyway. We would have given this cruise five stars, but for the horrible last day (not covered by Silversea’s onboard questionnaire). For our previous Antarctic cruise we booked our own flights to/from Ushuaia and wish we could have made our own arrangements this time. After vacating the suite by 8.30 am, it was “hurry up and wait, wait, wait” for the charter flight from Kangerlussuaq back to Reykjavik. After disembarking by zodiac group, an interesting bus tour on the tundra was followed by an acceptable BBQ-style lunch at a rowing club on a pretty lake. There we heard that the incoming flight was late due to weather in Iceland and ATC issues, as happens of course, but from then on everything went downhill. Waits for the restrooms at the rowing club were 30-40 minutes. It took 80 minutes for everyone to get through security at the airport, not least because both the ship and the charter company (Omni Air) allowed people three or even four large carry-on cases (in spite of Silversea previously specifying one piece up to 8 kg/ 18 lb plus a purse or laptop). Then we waited as long again in the gate holding area, most of us having to stand, until boarding after 4 pm. Yet another delay was due to the cabin crew being unable to reconcile the boarding cards and having to count passengers FOUR times. The plane itself was a very old 767, with a soggy defrosted snack well below Silversea standard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal ... Read More
We managed to book our cruise/expedition at a very good price due to a late booking, our previous cruise with Scenic Eclipse was cancelled at very short notice. Which was disappointing at the time, but Silverseas have now gained a loyal follower! I can't imagine travel on any other line after the great experience that we had. We were met at Oslo and Tromso by Silverseas agents and professionally looked after till we boarded the ship. We had managed to upgrade to a Silver suite on the Silver Cloud, which is, in effect 2 cabins together, so a separate bedroom/dressing room with two shower rooms/toilets. Our butler was efficient, polite and a real gentleman, "Arun" helped to make this trip memorable. With only about 230 passengers, the voyage is made all the more enjoyable as it is possible to meet more people, who are from all over the world, and we met some very lovely people. The food was of an exceptional standard, real fine dining, and the staff on all levels were polite, friendly and knowledgeable. How they manage to remember all our names is a mystery, but they do, The Zodiac trips were well organised with a priority on safety, which is encouraging given the choppy seas at times, and also the land excursions to see the wildlife were also expertly organised, with forward parties going on shore to check out safety i.e.meaning making sure there were no Polar bears loolking for an early meal! It is the first trip we have had in many years, that we were not wanting it to end. Full credit to Silverseas and the ace team that they have working on the Silver Cloud, they made the expedition into one our our most memorable trips.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They ... Read More
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They varied from 7 am to 10 am to 1 pm to 2 pm departure on the first day. The arrival time in KEF on the return was given as noon, 2 pm and 6 pm. How does a person plan their international flights with such bogus information? The charter flights to and from Kangerlussuaq from KEF were a joke. They should have been scheduled 5-6 hours earlier from KEF on both days. There was nothing to be gained by arriving in Greenland so late in the day on the first day. On the debarkation day after 16 days seeing spectacular things, all 200 passengers were loaded on buses for a tundra tour and a lunch at a lake. When people are leaving on the last day of the cruise just wanting to either get home or on to their next adventure of their vacation, being dragged around on a hokey tour left the guests with a very bad last impression of SIlverseas. Having 200+ passengers sitting in a miserable Kangerlussuaq airport for hours waiting on a “charter” flight is just plain stupid. From our experiences with NatGeo/Lindblad and Ponant, this Expedition crew is the amateur hour of that class of ship. For the first two ship days, virtually no information about procedures in the mud/changing room are explained. Also, the proper procedures for entering and exiting a Zodiac for a wet landing are never explained. There were a number of guests who required assistance from the ship doctor for serious injuries during the cruise. An example of the hapless Expedition crew came at the second port, when one of the staff fell overboard on a Zodiac. It provided an unplanned demonstration of the inflatable life preserver, but it reflected the inexperience of members of the staff. During the first few days of the cruise, the Expedition staff were very difficult to identify. Everyone looks alike, even some of the guests, what with everyone wearing parkas and wet gear. Some of your younger Expedition crew were standoffish while others interfaced with the guests in an inappropriate manner or flippantly. As expected, the reception desk, hotel and food/beverage staff were nothing short of world class. They created a “Four Seasons Hotel” experience on the ocean. The cuisine and beverage quality was world class. The many, daily educational briefings were fabulous, even if some of the presenters were a little hard to understand. The ship interior was great. The exterior could use some more frequent preventative maintenance, re: paint. The smallest cabin was very roomy and the shipboard entertainment and ship information system on the TV monitor was world class. In summary, we cannot recommend Silverseas for the new expedition efforts on the Silver Cloud. The company is trying to capitalize on the superb quality reputation of Silverseas earned for many years by the ship staff. That reputation is badly tarnished by the Expedition staff management and the poor pre- & post- cruise ground planning and execution. We can recommend and continue to recommend the non-expedition ships to our well financed, retired friends. The reputation of those ships are well-sustained, despite the hapless Expedition and shoreside transportation operations. All these comments were shared with Silverseas using their comment system. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines ... Read More
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines for everything--from dinner in the main restaurant, La Terrazza breakfasts and lunches, and boarding the zodiaks. The service was perfunctory, with some exceptions--our assistant butler was wonderful, as were many individual members of the staff. And there were some unique experiences, from the 'polar plunge' to kayaking in dry suits. The captain was welcoming and generally terrific. But the overall experience--from spending hours trying to figure out what appropriate clothing to bring(no, Silversea--not 4 pairs of gloves PLUS glove liners for a 10 day cruise; not hugely difficult-to-pack calf-length waterproof boots for what turned out to be ONE!! wet zodiac landing) to the final day--again, no details til night before,but basically a lovely almost 5 hour excursion offset by standing in way too many lines--did not in any way measure up either to my expectations or Silversea's promises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Fabulous ship. The ship was appointed well, luxurious, clean, well serviced. The crew and management were perfect. The cuisine was remarkable. The Captain was out of the movies elegant and efficient. The expedition staff was uncaring, ... Read More
Fabulous ship. The ship was appointed well, luxurious, clean, well serviced. The crew and management were perfect. The cuisine was remarkable. The Captain was out of the movies elegant and efficient. The expedition staff was uncaring, sloppy, not friendly, poor in execution of excursions. As soon as the ship handed us off to the expedition staff, it became like we at a campground. The expedition staff is indifferent without service attitude. We had no idea which landings were wet and which were dry. As we got to the port, it was clear and the ship could have told us before we boarded. Guess they enjoy their free ride and leave the clients to their own. The last day of the cruise, we left the boat on Zodiacs and were put on a bus enclosed for one hour waiting without direction. No staff accompanied us. We had no direction. Senior citizens were left to figure out where to go on the plains of windy Greenlandon excursions. It’s a miracle no one was seriously injured although a few people fell a bit. As we left the ship, the expedition guide said, “Honestly, I have not heard back from the guide company, so I hope they come.” At lunch, a buffet was set up insufficient creating a large cafeteria line. The bathroom wait was 45 minutes. The excursions on Zodiacs to see the icebergs were brilliant and beautiful. Really unmatchable. The cruise was generally fantastic. It was hard to leave the ship. Only the expedition segment was painful and disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had a bucket list wish to travel to Greenland. We had been to Iceland previously and wanted to experience more of these two beautiful and remote islands. The Silver Cloud is a comfortable and sleek ship with all of the amenities of ... Read More
We had a bucket list wish to travel to Greenland. We had been to Iceland previously and wanted to experience more of these two beautiful and remote islands. The Silver Cloud is a comfortable and sleek ship with all of the amenities of the larger ships (no casino and no shows though). Awesome specialty restaurants to choose from, especially our favorite, the Grille (hot rock cooking at its' best). The crew service was outstanding in every way. Our butler and attendant were especially attentive and provided the best service we have ever received on board any ship. We enjoyed our first use of the spa services and were pleasantly surprised by how nice the service was! We also wanted to suggest that the disembarkation tour of 5 hours, was not the best use of time for us. It was too long and too confined in the rustic artic buses with all of our carry on luggage. Also, restroom facilities were very limited, which made us uncomfortable. We were really spoiled being on the ship and had a rude awakening when we disemabarked. Definitely enjoyed all aspects of the cruise until the very end and when we did our post trip hotel. We had lunch on the 5 hour tour and then our flight was delayed so much that we missed dinner completely and about 50 of us arrived at the hotel both hungry and exhausted, only to find no food available. To top it off, someone neglected to arrange for our transportation to the airport (which was included). We had to find a way on our own and it made our last day of the trip terribly stressful. Even with the end of the trip not going so well, would we do it again? Absolutely! Loved the SilverSea Silver Cloud and it's crew a lot!! Thank you for asking our opinion. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic ... Read More
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic expedition because we wanted to see Arctic wildlife and especially polar bears. We certainly knew there was no guarantee of seeing polar bears, whales, seals, foxes, etc., but we thought there would be a huge effort from the expedition leader and captain to meet our goals since that was our experience with previous expedition ships. They are known for not having a set schedule and route but rather a day by day or moment by moment agenda depending on where they have to go to meet expectations. We found this expedition full of an inexperienced expedition leader and expedition team. It was the first time in this area for all of them. There was very little effort in reaching their passengers goals and we followed a very preplanned route. We knew days in advance of exactly where we were going and there was no variance in that plan. The only expedition experience on this cruise was that you were in zodiacs vs. tenders. We saw very, very few animals and there was no effort in finding them. While they can say we saw a polar bear, it was our very first day and they said there was one on shore. Everyone rushed to see it but even with decent binoculars, most people couldn’t identify it. We were told that what looked like a rock was actually a polar bear laying down with his back towards us. Maybe it was?? I thought at that time the ship would check that off as a sighting and make no effort in finding another. Unfortunately, that proved true. We saw a couple of seals and 1 haul of walrus. We saw reindeer at a reindeer farm...could have done that in a zoo. We did see tons of birds, tons. The other very disturbing situation was that there was a 3 year old child on board. The SS website clearly states that children under 5 will absolutely not be allowed on the zodiacs. This child was on most of the zodiac outings. When we questioned the staff, they responded that they weren’t aware of their policy. Totally unacceptable ...this child endangered himself and everyone in each zodiac. While I voiced my concern, no one at SS responded. Overall, very disappointing in the lack of effort and excitement but I do think some of that is attributed to the inexperienceof the entire team. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Silver Cloud Expedition Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 2.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.8
Enrichment 5.0 3.9
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.7

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