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20 Silversea Silver Cloud Expedition Luxury Cruise Reviews

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
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
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm ... Read More
I chose this expedition because of its’ interesting ports of call and its departure under the Tower Bridge. (Magic!) A bonus was finding ourselves in the Channel on the eve of D Day and in Guernsey on D Day. Unfortunately a big storm came in that night and we had to miss 3 or 4 of the next ports. It was an expedition cruise and this is to be expected. The ship has been updated beautifully - great showers in the bathrooms, even with seats. Deluxe cabins are very comfortable. Public areas attractive and as comfortable as when I first sailed her in 2002. Terrific. The reception, butler/housekeeping staff, bar and dining room staff are as wonderful as Silversea has always produced. They’re great. On this cruise their line let them down. The expedition staff, not so much! As a now solo traveller (widowed) I commend Silversea for making solo travellers comfortable and included in their voyages. There were plumbing/sewage issues from boarding time onwards which affected a number of decks and many passengers. The cruise was brought into Reykjavik a day early (which it seems to have done on other cruises, I see). Disappointingly, Silversea has not responded to my comments and complaints. Very disappointing for a formerly very loyal Silversea cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our ... Read More
The Silversea expedition ship Silver Cloud may be old, but it’s totally modern, attractive and comfortable. My wife and I had a wonderful 34-day cruise in spring 2019 from Capetown to Lisbon, stopping at 17 places in western Africa. Our suite was great, as were the staff and the public areas. Food ranged from good to very good, sometimes excellent. There were shortcomings. Three scheduled ports were dropped before we left because of security issues. People booking this cruise in the future need to know they may not get all the ports they paid for. Also, not all the ship excursions were well-run and supervised. And the enrichment speakers could have been better. The Ship. Built in 1994 and heavily refurbished in 2017, the Cloud looks like a real ship. It’s almost perfectly maintained. Painters were frequently seen doing touch-ups, a sign of a well-run vessel. Suites have pleasant, usable balconies, two chairs, a sofa, a coffee table and a desk, and small but utilitarian bathrooms with a shower. Storage space was okay. We asked to have one chair removed, as it crowded the room and wasn’t needed, but the staff refused. Soundproofing between rooms was inadequate. Basic wifi was free and worked well most of the time. Air conditioning was okay. We had Room 622—a perfect location. The pool area had sufficient lounges, but one of the whirlpools was too cold and sometimes closed and complaints failed to correct the situation. The captain, Vincent Taillard, and the ship officers were cordial but standoffish. The social director, Moss Hills, was delightful. And quietly famous. Years ago, with another company, he helped lead the successful abandonment of a sinking cruise ship. The Food. We’re critical people, and we mostly enjoyed the meals. A few dishes seemed too edgy. The breakfast buffet could have used more variety. And, like seemingly all cruise ships, the Cloud featured awful frozen hash-brown potato patties. A reuben sandwich at lunch was terrible. How about some simple recognizable grilled sandwiches? Overall, we had good choices and found the food at least good and sometimes excellent. I had fillet mignon four times—really good each time. Wine and cocktails flowed freely. We enjoyed every glass of wine we drank, although we realize they don’t serve $40-a-bottle wine. Room service food was good. Waiters were good. The Restaurant, where you don’t need reservations, was the best. La Terrazza, which features Italian in the evening, lacked variety. The Grill, on the outdoor deck, features a grill-your-own meat on a hot volcanic rock. We went once. Never again. I guess some people like the concept. We don’t. Why not just have a good outdoor grill/barbecue? There is a specialty French restaurant that requires a steep extra charge. The Expedition. The Cloud fell short here. Admittedly the itinerary was ambitious, including places were many ships never go, in a difficult environment. We wanted to experience the sights and culture of west Africa first-hand. We did. Every port offered a least one shore excursion covered by the ship fare. Some were great. Some were okay. Some sadly lacking. Some didn’t deliver what was promised when we reserved. Guides were sometimes poor. Supervision from the ship expedition staff was too-frequently lacking. The expedition leader, Nicki D’Souza, was not up to the task. Silversea needs to hire people from Tauck to demonstrate how to run tours. We had one great speaker—a former top assistant to Nelson Mandela. But where were the black professors, journalists or politicians from west Africa? Not on our ship. Conclusion. We’re not sure we’d book the cruise again. It’s really expensive. The missed ports and the shaky shore excursions were irritating. We could and should have gotten more for our money. But we accomplished a lot of our goals and we learned and we had fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia as part of the total cruise fare. And this is where things became odd. We were awakened at 1:30AM in Santiago, Chile, to join the charter flight to Ushuaia that left at around 6 in the morning. We had initially been told by Silversea's agent that because Silversea had chartered the flight, there would really be no issue with baggage. However, when we received our cruise documents, there was a baggage restriction of 50 pounds, per person. That necessitated considerable reorganization of our luggage situation as we had traveled a long way to get to the cruise and had post-cruise safari plans in Africa. The flight left after some delay and we arrived in Ushuaia only to find that we could not go directly to the ship but had to go onto a lunch somewhat out of town. This disappointed us because we were tired and might have preferred to see some of Ushuaia rather than go riding on a bus out of town to a countryside restaurant. Following the luncheon, we returned to the ship at around 2pm and boarded. Oddly enough, though, for all of the effort expended in getting us to Ushuaia very early, the ship did not depart until around 10pm. We feel this issue might have been better handled so as not to drag people out of bed at an unholy hour. We also felt that had we known of the baggage limitation and the hour of departure in advance, we might have made our own flight arrangements from Sao Paulo, our first stop in South America. Further, once on board, we came to learn that there had been a pre-cruise tour offering to Iguazu Falls. We were disappointed to learn this as we truly would have been interested in seeing the falls, having traveled all the way to South America from East Asia. On board, we elected to purchase an upgrade to the free internet provided to every passenger on the ship. This proved to be nothing but a waste of money and I would warn anyone against it. The charge was some $350.00 and the upgrade proved to be just as slow as the free service. The other negative was that we had confusion with a name on the cruise documents. We contacted Silversea's agent about this and he assured us that proper documents were on the way. The head office never managed to send the documents on time and they were not received until we returned home. One last annoyance was the daily briefing held by the expedition staff. This occurred every evening at 6pm, often after a day of going on 2 excursions. Though attendance was not mandatory, one felt compelled to go as details of the next day's activities were spelled out at that time. Perhaps this could be better managed in future. As for the positives, they are many. The food on board was excellent. Our cabin, though smaller than balcony cabins on Seabourn and Regent, was comfortable and functional. The staff on board were superb, especially our valet and the room steward. We felt that anything we needed or wanted was somehow found promptly appeared. The expeditions were excellent and we certainly appreciated the efforts that the expedition staff went through day in and day out - it is no simple matter bringing people safely ashore in isolated places, through sometimes rough surf. And the scenery on shore was spectacular, to say the least. Though two expeditions were done a day and one might have felt tired, they still were worth every minute and any effort. Shore excursions were fine but perhaps, Silversea might let people know the options available for shore excursions in advance of sailing. Would I recommend a Silversea Expedition? Definitely. But be aware of the issues I highlighted as attention to them could make for an even better experience. We did not travel with children and this type of voyage might better be best for people who are mature enough to grasp the significance of what one is experiencing. Would I go again? Yes! But mindful of the negatives that I mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
As experienced cruisers we were looking for something a little different and more energetic so we tried Silver Cloud Expedition. What we got was the same old, same old only on a smaller ship. Embarkation was so-so as we were ... Read More
As experienced cruisers we were looking for something a little different and more energetic so we tried Silver Cloud Expedition. What we got was the same old, same old only on a smaller ship. Embarkation was so-so as we were uncomfortable leaving our bags in the middle of the platform unattended. After a beautiful transit through the Canal we anticipated a variety of interesting expeditions. The first day our rain forest tour at Parida Island was a 40 minute walk of which 20 minutes was spent waiting for members to catch up. The highlights were the two termite nests we saw. If we had seen any termites they would have been the only wildlife encountered. We did have to step over two muddy little streams. When we got back to the beach we found out that we had the best excursion as those who wanted to snorkel met their boat only to find out the boat had no snorkel gear. That expedition became a whale and dolphin watching ride without the whales and dolphins. Because of bad weather our next two stops were changed and we spent two days at Puntarenas. While they handled the change of schedule well there was no effort to replace the expeditions with something similar. For each of the two days we spent over four hours on buses. The first destination was a horse demonstration which was mediocre. The next was "a walk in the clouds" which was a rain forest at 5000 feet. Very interesting, lots of birds and flora. Because there was construction en route and our bus broke down on the way up we were late getting back to the ship and in danger of not making it on time. Swiss Travel, the tour operator called the police. They closed an oncoming lane for over a mile and allowed us to pass stalled traffic and make the ship on time. Everyone on the bus cheered madly. Sadly this was one of the highlights of the cruise. Very surprised that Silversea was unable (or unwilling) to come up with expedition type of options while at Puntarenas. After a nice day at sea our next stop at Isla de la Plata was a true expedition experience with zodiacs to shore and then an extensive walk on the island seeing thousands of birds including the lovable blue footed boobies. What was totally surprising was that both the Silversea expedition person and the local guide totally ignored the rules and regulations they had laid out which were similar to those in the Galapagos: don't leave the paths, no interacting with the fauna, keep a good distance between groups etc. One woman in our group approached boobies three different times with the birds responding aggressively twice and squirting excrement the third time with nothing said by the guide or expedition member. Our group of 8 spread out and ultimately we ended up with several other groups totaling about 40 people. Machala was our next destination with one of the tours through a petrified forest with over a 130 different types of birds per the brochure. Again two hours in a bus each way. In our two hour walk we saw one bird eating a snail and one squirrel so high in a tree that the only way to verify he was there was to greatly enhance the resolution of the picture I took. We fully understand that fauna come and go but to only see two living things? Seems like either Silversea didn't do their homework or the Machala tourism bureau wrote the trip description. Very unsatisfying waste of a day. Isla Lobos was another highlight of the trip as the expedition team spotted numerous whales and the Captain did a great job of positioning the ship and literally turning it in circles so that we could fully enjoy a spectacular display of humpbacks frolicking and two blue whales with their magnificent flukes. Salaverry Peru was our last stop with a short bus ride to the temples of the Moon and Sun. The latter wasn't open but the former was fascinating and an enjoyable half day but not what I'd consider an expedition experience. This turned out to be a classic cruise on a small ship. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. However, on Regent, Seabourn and Oceania their service has also been excellent so it was not a differentiator. The cabin was very cluttered and would have been far more usable if one of the chairs was removed. Everything was in very good shape and kept immaculate by our service team. The wifi was better than on any other cruise we've been on. As you can tell this cruise wasn't what we thought we were getting. The crew and senior officers were all outstanding. Silversea should not have marketed this as an expedition cruise even though Silver Cloud is an expedition ship. There was a Finnish travel agent on board with 14 of his clients who said this was the worst Silversea cruise (out of 10) that he had been on. Numerous other passengers who were more experienced than we concurred. Another passenger said Silversea is really good at the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions but hasn't figured the rest out. We'd consider sailing on Silversea again with the right itinerary but not on an expedition ship. It will be interesting to see how Silversea handles our complaint. The expedition team acknowledged the shortcomings as did the senior officers with both saying they reported this to Silversea corporate.. When we went on Seabourn sponsored tours that were awful they promptly refunded the costs. All-inclusive doesn't remove the obligation to provide the service advertised. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet ... Read More
We flew from Cleveland to Oslo, Norway where we met up with most of the other passengers. Hotel was booked downtown to let us enjoy a bit of Oslo before catching an early charter flight the next morning to Longyearbyen where we would meet the Silver Cloud. We love Level 6 on the Cloud because it is close to the Expedition Desk, the reception desk and on the same level as the auditorium where presentations and briefings are held. The Cloud originally held about 300 passengers but now takes about 200 as it was retrofitted for Expeditions which require zodiacs and kayaks.Our cabin was roomy and had a large screen TV. Unfortunately, the satellite signal in the arctic wasn't strong so often you couldn't get live TV. You could still watch movies. Everything is included on Silversea. We ate in four different restaurants and also had room service. Alcohol is free whether it be hard liquor, wine or beer.Top shelf brands. The expeditions were well planned and offered a variety of options. Most involved zodiacs with both wet and dry landings. Silversea provided personal parka, backpacks and water bottles which you take home with you at the end of the cruise. Butler and maid service are outstanding. They are always there but not under your feet.Food is high quality with choices at every meal. You can always ask for something special and if they can make it you will get it.Our Expedition Team was outstanding. Very knowledgeable, informative and approachable. You are urged to invite them to dinner. Captain Taillard was refreshing. He is outgoing and personable. He worked hard to find ice and bear for us. We ended up having g dinner with him the night that the Silver Cloud went the farthest North that any Silversea ship has gone. We have already booked our next Silversea Cruise. In all we have sailed on four of their ships. All have had high quality of service and staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one ... Read More
Excellent itinerary that included many remote islands; some, like St. Kilda, Lunga and Fair Isle are rarely visited by cruise ships. The food and service staff were both very good in The Restaurant and La Terrazza. We enjoyed one dinner in La Dame; food was excellent, the service was good and the more intimate ambience was appreciated. However, the surcharge of US$60 per person seems excessive, in my opinion. Silver Cloud's size is ideal for an expedition type cruise. Silversea did an excellent job with the recent renovation of the ship. The ship's interior decor is very tasteful, complimented by a superb collection of black and white photographs taken on early expeditions to the Antarctic, such as the one led by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1914. The tasteful interior decor extends into the cabins, where warm wood trim compliments the neutral wall colours and the photographic prints from the Antarctic. Our Deluxe Veranda cabin was well fitted out. Our bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows. Compared to other ships that we have cruised on, our Cabin #526 was the quietest one that we have ever slept in at sea. Our 'Butler' Chokhoni was first class and she was ready to attend to all of our requests, always with a pleasant smile ! Without asking on our part, she even gave our shoes a polish ! This attention to detail was much appreciated ! The Expedition team, superbly led by Tim Amm, was well prepared and their lectures were informative and entertaining. Overall, I would say that the on board lectures were of better quality than any that I have heard aboard other ships, including the much touted ones by Adventure Canada. Getting in and out of the zodiacs was made easy and safe by a very dedicated crew who were always ready to assist passengers. These able crew members ensured that no one was injured, even during some challenging sea conditions. I would have no hesitation in highly recommending Silver Cloud Expedition, but with one caveat. Her tenders are in my opinion unseaworthy and and unfit for duty on the high seas. How Silversea can have these so-called ancient "lifeboats" aboard the Silver Cloud is beyond me. Why were they not replaced during Silver Cloud's recent US$45 million refit ? I have cruised on various expeditions to the high Arctic, Galapagos and Cape Horn, plus cruises on Oceania, Regent and Seabourn. I have never experienced such inadequate tenders on any ship ! If the Captain of the Silver Cloud ever had to order "abandon ship", it would become a calamity, unless the seas were flat calm. Silver Cloud's tenders each have a bow door that leaks water, plus two entry portals on each side, covered by tacky canvas covers. These entry portals, being very close to the waterline, would be breached by the first wave of water hitting the side of the tender. Sea water would eventually swamp the interior of the tender. Imagining 150 people stuffed into each of Silver Cloud's two tenders is unthinkable, especially in locations such as the Antarctic, crossing Drake Passage or mid-Atlantic ! In general, cruise lines tend to provide tenders with minimal seaworthiness. The ones on Silver Cloud are the worst of an already low standard set for life boats. Now that Royal Caribbean has bought out Silversea, perhaps they will pay close attention and replace the inadequate tenders aboard Silver Cloud ? Despite the issue with the tenders, we would have no hesitation in doing another cruise aboard Silver Cloud - she is such a comfortable ship with a very fine crew ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha ... Read More
We reserved this cruise over a year in advance based on the itinerary; we had not visited any of the ports listed. There was a new stop every day between Lisbon and London, including two days in Bordeaux and London and a visit to Omaha Beach. As an expedition cruise, all of the tours, and there were many to choose from, were included. This, and the fact that it was all-inclusive, was enough to sign me up. After that, however, it only got better and better and exceeded our expectations. A person was waiting at the airport for our private car transfer to the hotel (Lisbon Sofitel), which we booked (through Silversea) for a one-day pre-stay. At the hotel, a dedicated hospitality desk was available from 9 to 6 to handle all our questions, advise walking tours, restaurants and sites. On sail day, a luxury bus took us the 20 minute ride to pier and check in at Lisbon was quick. Although it was a our first time in Lisbon, we were never left to feel lost or easy tourist marks. (This was true of the all of the ports we visited). The ship was recently refitted and has furniture and appointments generally similar to the new Silver Muse. Style is subdued and elegant and lacks the Las-Vegas-Disney style glitz so distracting on the 3,000 passenger ships we have previously sailed. Although I knew this was an "expedition" cruise, I did not know until later that it was a "culinary" expedition cruise, with lectures on food, wine and cooking demonstrations. that does not say it all, however, as they also offered highly entertaining talks on military history, medieval cultural history, plants and animals. The tours offered reflected these particular interests. All of the tour guides were local and highly well informed. The passengers ran from about 50 to 80 years of age. I was particularly impressed by the care and attention given by all of the expedition staff on the tours. A crew member was always available to make sure no one got lost and everyone got back to the ship on time. Many ports had courtesy desks set up so that you could strike out on your own. Although Silversea does attract an older crowd (there were no children aboard), many of the tours required an admirable level of fitness, including several walks of several miles over various terrain and bike rides of several miles, and the passengers were more than up to this. They go in all weathers! By evening, passengers were happy to spend a few hours enjoying the evening meal, or a cocktail in the two lounges with pianists/vocalists. We did not miss the absence of broadway song and dance shows, which we usually skip anyway. The level of service was outstanding; you only had to catch the eye of the steward for the merest moment for them to be rushing to your side. Yet, it was not intrusive. Each cabin has a butler as well as a steward for cleaning. In our case, the butler handled in-room dining and assisted with clothing care and was generally always available nearby. About 30% of the passengers were US, the rest were Brits, Aussies and a smattering of others. All communications are in English. A red and white wine is selected every evening for dinner; they are of medium quality but usually locally significant. The cocktails are uniformly imaginative and superb. Although I have no interest in an Antarctic cruise (which is more than 50% of their expedition business), I would definitely sail with Silversea again on another type of expedition cruise. The one thing I would change next time is to make my own flight arrangements. Silversea offered a good price for the flights to and from Europe, but there was an upcharge if you did not want to fly back immediately after the cruise (ie, if you want to stay a day or more in the place of debarkation). It has nothing to do with the day of week on which you were leaving; it was just the mere change of departure date. Further, although you pay for the flights at the same time as the rest of cruise (which could be more than a year in advance), they do not actually "buy" the flight and assign the seats until shortly before you leave. Therefore, whereas you should get a choice of seats months in advance, you get whatever is left only 4 to 6 weeks before you fly. In our case, this meant that we were relegated to the last boarding group and were told we could not bring hand luggage onto the plane because there was no more room. This caused quite a bit of consternation at the outset of the trip. The last thing you want is to be kneeling on the floor at the departure gate trying to move valuables and medication from one bag to another two minutes before boarding.. I suggest that you price the flights before you make your cruise commitment.and see if you want to do your own flights and transfers. One last tip: Silversea has a "My Silversea" link on their website which allows you to review and reserve all tours, specialty dinners and spa services in advance. I did all my reservations on line and was not disappointed once. Many of the tours booked up on the ship and there was only a waitlist. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unusual West African ports of destination. Also, Silverseas is supposed to be a "luxury cruise." What a disappointment! From our hotel in Ghana- where they were supposed to meet the passengers, throughout the cruise- one issue after another. In Ghana we were promised staff to help with getting on buses and to the port. The paperwork in our rooms wasn't correct- it even said "sample letter" on it..... total disorganization getting on the buses- we were left to our own devices. Our luggage was supposed to be picked up from our room. It never was. We heard later that passengers who trusted that to happen NEVER did see their luggage again.... on and on. The ship had problems throughout with both plumbing and AC issues. Our room was hotter than hell, literally. We moved rooms 3 times on the ship. I kept begging for them to just pick me up a fan when we were in port. Even asked the bus driver if he would just stop briefly for me to get a fan when we saw some.... nothing.... For 6 nights I suffered unable to sleep...... Doesn't seem particularly "luxury" to me. Hallways smelling like sewage, rooms without AC. We asked before booking if pirates were an issue in the areas we would be traveling. We were assured that there was no chance of pirates on the West Coast of Africa. Then, after we boarded and were out to sea, we had a letter put on our bed stating that we were in a high pirate caution area, and that we couldn't open our balcony door or curtains, and that the deck restaurant would be closed for the next 4 evenings. All of the other restaurant curtains were tightly closed, and windows and sliders to the deck were taped up with paper covering them. I felt like I was in England during the second world war bombings! They even told us that if pirates were to board the ship to come to the main lobby and lay in the middle covering our heads! For the love of Pete! This WASN'T what we signed up for! Many of the tours were disorganized. Rude tour leaders. It goes on and on and on..... We expected the excursions to have more explanation regarding the area we were going to see, some info on the demographics regarding the people, income, history, etc. We were, once again, disappointed. Days at sea were a total bore. There could have been many more activities offered than were. My husband found a shard of glass in his food one day at lunch. The food, at best, was adequate. No better than an NCL large ship would be, just FAR more expensive. They comped us a few free dinners at their upscale restaurant. I don't think this even begins to compensate for the total lack of "luxury" compared to the price of this cruise. I wrote a letter to Silverseas over 3 weeks ago. I never got any sort of response. Not even an auto-prompt type that said "thanks for your letter." I emailed again a week ago, asking if they received my original letter. Still nothing.... REALLY? I will say, their staff was amazing. They greeted you by name from the first day. They were wonderful. I'm generally very disappointed in Silverseas, and even MORE disappointed in their lack of follow up when there was a problem. I gave them time to address the issues, and make things right, but obviously, customer satisfaction is not important to them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose Silver Sea's trip to Antarctica on the Silver Cloud, as we researched the various ways to go see Antarctica, and even the more austere trips will cost around $10,000 per person with nowhere near the beautiful accommodations, ... Read More
We chose Silver Sea's trip to Antarctica on the Silver Cloud, as we researched the various ways to go see Antarctica, and even the more austere trips will cost around $10,000 per person with nowhere near the beautiful accommodations, expertise of the expedition team, or the ability to go safely ashore nearly every day. We cannot recommend this cruise more highly, and fear we have now set a very high bar of expectation as this has been our one and only cruise! We contacted Silver Seas directly for the cruise and used their agent for all of our booking and travel, including flights, hotel before the trip, transfers, etc. Had a perfect experience with all detail managed well. We laughed at the airport management because it felt like we could not go ten feet without seeing somebody holding a Silver Sea sign, smiling and telling us where to go next. Most welcome. The ship has just been renovated as an ice rated ship, and she is beautiful and felt very safe and secure. For sure we got to experience the shake of the Drake and even moreso during a windstorm in Bransfield Strait, but the captain and crew were excellent navigators, and the ship's crew in the restaurants and rooms just took the swells in stride with relaxing smiles, so we did too. But anti-nausea patches HIGHLY recommended across the passages...which are just gorgeous to cross...the birds and sea life and the sea itself are just remarkable and incomparable, really. We had daily intercom greetings in the morning, and boarded Zodiak rafts according to assigned group once or twice daily for excursions onto land or around the water and icebergs. Plus daily lectures about the history, wildlife, geography of the area. We cannot say enough about the excellent expedition team - about 22 members of the team from all over the world, and highly knowledgeable and excellent presenters in the auditorium and during excursions. We travelled with two of our grown children, and just loved being able to meet daily for meals, cocktail hour, cards, and even an evening of scotch and cigars in a little lounge provided for such an evening. Both piano players played every night in different venues and they know all songs and sing beautifully. Best possible evening entertainment, in our book. Our room was wonderful - highly recommend the terrace - and the butler team amazing. We felt overly pampered. If you are considering a trip to Antarctica, bravo, and absolutely do it! We recommend the Silverseas Silver Cloud cruise without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Overall We had a great cruise on the December 11, 2017 Antarctica departure of SilverSea Expedition's Cloud. Most every aspect of the cruise exceeded our expectations and our expectations were pretty high! Temperatures hovered ... Read More
Overall We had a great cruise on the December 11, 2017 Antarctica departure of SilverSea Expedition's Cloud. Most every aspect of the cruise exceeded our expectations and our expectations were pretty high! Temperatures hovered around freezing while in Antarctica, though we had some sunny days and went about at times without our large coats / gloves. The ship can travel quite fast, and we crossed the Drake Passage in 36 hours, giving us an extra day in Antarctica! Seas were mild to moderate. Many people wore "the patch" to help with motion sickness, and the ship's reception desk handed out pills for those who needed help. We hoped to see wildlife on this cruise and we saw plenty of birds (including penguins), several seals, and one glorious night a few people up late (10pm to midnight) saw 100-200 whales on a bit of a feeding frenzy. Bird sightings began on the crossing, and bird experts were on hand to fill you in on what you were seeing. The scenery was spectacular -- both from the ship and on the shore -- and we always enjoyed our time ashore. You see a lot of penguins, and while some passengers seemed bored by the second landing with yet more penguins, I always found them fascinating and entertaining. For those sensitive to smell, I saw several fellow passengers reacting to the penguin guano as we approached our first landfall. Our landing at the Chilean Antarctic Research Base Gonzalez Videla has us tromping through so much penguin guano that all passengers' boots were power washed as we exited the zodiac and before we could step foot in the ship. We love to kayak, and were fortunate to be selected for an afternoon of kayaking; what a great experience led by a passionate and fun team. Our final stop was at Telefon Bay -- the interior of a volcanic caldera. We hiked to the edge of the latest volcanic cone and were surprised to find a small waterfall! For those souls brave enough, this was the stop for the polar plunge. A storm was blowing through the Drake Passage, with forecast of 12+ meter (36+ foot) seas; the ship's Captain held the ship overnight in a protected bay, allowing the worst of the storm to pass and giving us a milder ride back to South America. All the chairs in the dining rooms are cabled to the floor for a reason;-) I've included below a day-by-day review of where we visited; this changes with every cruise based on weather conditions and agreements with other cruise ships; it may give future cruisers an idea of where they may visit. On the ship, food was generally good, service was excellent, and our cabin met expectations. The ship has just undergone significant work, and some renovations were still underway (particularly to the "Tor's Observation Lounge"). Our cabin steward and our butler were spectacular. We did organize a small party in our cabin on the last night in Antarctica and the butler sorted everything with a smile. Would we sail on SilverSeas again? Absolutely. Would we re-visit Antarctica? We would no re-do this cruise again; we think we'd be disappointed in a return journey as our experience was that good. We would consider Antarctica again if it was a different and compelling promised experience. Now for some specifics...we had several questions ahead of the cruise that included clothing and charter logistics; hopefully this review will help others who are considering or are booked to sail the Cloud to Antarctica. Details We Wish We Would Have Known 1) Clothes to Pack 2) Meeting Up With The Charter 3) Embarkation and Debarkation Days 4) Daily Excursions -- Rotating Passengers to Shore 5) Kayaking 6) How Bad are Drake Passage Seas 7) What's the Video/Image Release For 1) Clothes to Pack. We struggled with how much clothes to bring -- both for the adventures ashore and for life on board the ship. Would the ship be kept so warm we wish we had short sleeve shirts and shorts? What do people really wear to dinner (and, are jeans allowed in the dining room)? What are the clothing layers required and how many of each type of layer did we need to bring? Should we purchase with the travel partner for delivery on board or bring the clothing with us? Should we rent or buy? The ship was kept on the cooler side, so we were fine to walk around in long sleeve shirts and long pants by day/night. If we went on deck, we needed at least a jacket and at times we needed our parkas. Jeans were advertised as not allowed in the dining rooms, and I even called the SilverSea office to confirm this policy before we left for the cruise. I did see a few people wearing jeans. For 2 nights on this 10 night itinerary the attire was "Casually Elegant" -- with men requested to wear jackets (no tie required); the remaining nights were casual. For the excursions, we always wore a base layer and a mid layer; these were covered by our outer layer of waterproof ski pants and the SilverSea parka. The mid layer was a fleece pullover for the top and a pair of windproof cycling fleece thermals; the cycling thermals were warm and did the job though maybe could have been more breathable -- they seemed to collect our sweat. We wore a thick pair of socks inside our rented boots. One of us had lambswool insoles for the boots. We also wore waterproof gloves, a neck gaiter, and a hat (that covered our ears). We brought along hand and foot warmers though abandoned those after about a day because we were otherwise plenty warm. We had two sets of base layer and we washed those mid-way through the cruise. We rented the boots and brought everything else with us. Those who rented waterproof pants seemed happy, as did those who purchased items and had them just delivered to the ship. The Expedition Staff did request to inspect all garments passengers planned to wear ashore to ensure that no foreign objects were transported to Antarctica; any new garments were exempt. 2) Meeting Up With The Charter. We booked our cruise as soon as the itinerary was advertised; charter flights were not even offered. About 6 months before the cruise date, our agent informed us that SilverSea was offering us transport on the charter between Santiago and Ushuaia; we accepted the gracious offer. Logistics were sketchy -- we had a letter that said we were on the charter and we had a flight number. That's about it. No confirmation number, and no record locator code. We were told there would be someone at the airport with a sign or other SilverSea identification. For those people who also stayed at the arranged Santiago hotel, the promise was to drop off your luggage at the hotel and not see it again until Ushuaia. Here's how it worked...there were several check-in desks for the charter. You could spot those only by looking for LATAM check-in counters that showed the charter flight number. These were not so easy to spot. There were a few cruise agents trying to help; they had a small nametag to identify them and were also difficult to spot. Check-in was a minimum of 2 hours before the flight, and the airport was quite busy at 5am. We stayed at the only hotel on the airport grounds, the Holiday Inn, so that we minimized travel time. We'd been to Santiago before so didn't expect to sight see. While we could get up at 4:30am and be at the airport for 5:00am, those who stayed at the Sheraton (the SilverSea arranged hotel) had a very early wake-up and I believe they had to be in the lobby at 3:30am. Apparently it was very disorganized, some guests were charged for their rooms (though they had already paid via SilverSea), and promised food / drink was difficult to find. Once we found the check-in counters at the airport all charter passengers had to check in their luggage at the counter. Even those who stayed at the SilverSea hotel had to manage their bags between the bus and the airport check-in counter. People with the same last name were generally assigned adjacent airplane seats; otherwise, you just got assigned a seat. There were empty rows on the flight, so parties could request re-seating. The flight was all Economy Class, and we were served a sandwich and a beverage on the three hour flight. On arrival in Ushuaia, we had to first clear immigration (took over one hour for those of us at the back of the flight), collect our bags, and clear customs. As you exit the jet-way and await immigration, those folks waiting on the left are passengers who have just finished their cruise -- they're taking the charter back to Santiago. After Customs, SilverSea took the luggage and transported it to the ship. Passengers were put onto buses, taken on a short tour of the city, and brought to a nice hotel on the hillside above the city for lunch. The buses each had a different assigned departure time from the hotel in order to pace passenger boarding. If believe our bus finally made it to the ship at about 4:15pm; we were one of the last buses. 3) Embarkation and Debarkation Days. We received our room keys while at the Ushuaia hotel having lunch. We only had to take a quick photo and have our credit cards swiped once we arrived at the ship. Our parka and any items we ordered / rented were waiting for us on our bed in our cabin. I presume that guests who did not arrive on the charter were able to get onto the ship much earlier than those of us who had a tour / lunch before arriving at the ship. On debarkation day, we had to be off the ship at 8:30am; luggage was collected the night before and we didn't see your luggage again until we landed in Santiago. It was a bit odd travelling with checked luggage and no luggage tag. The airport check-in counter didn't open until 9am. It was a very slow and painful drive to the airport from the ship. The airport is nice but small. A kiosk opened at about 11:00am in the international passenger waiting area for anyone who needed something to eat or drink before they departed. The flight departed a few minutes later than planned and arrived into Santiago on time. While on the flight, fill out the Customs Declaration! The flight crew gave incorrect instructions to transiting passengers. EVERYONE on the charter flight had to collect their luggage in Santiago and go through immigration and customs; if they were then departing for another country, they had to re-check their luggage in the airport lobby, get their boarding passes, and then go back through immigration to exit Chile. Many folks failed to fill out this paperwork on the flight and they were not allowed to go through customs until they had completed the form. We did see a couple arrive in Ushuaia on the charter flight to start their cruise and they were rejected by Immigration; they joined us on the flight back to Santiago and missed their cruise. We presume they didn't have the correct visa for Argentina. What a shame for them, and even more so that they were allowed to fly to Argentina and then had to immediately return to Chile. 4) Daily Excursions / Rotating Passengers to Shore. Passengers each have a colored sticker on the back of their cabin key that designates an excursion group. Only 100 passengers are allowed ashore at one time, so the ships 200 passengers are divided into 4 groups of 50, and those groups are shuttled by schedule. A typical morning excursion would see a schedule like: 8:00am disembarkation for group Green; 8:15am disembarkation for group Brown. These groups are generally ashore for about 1:15-1:30, with the last group returned to the ship by 10:00am. At 10:00am disembarkation occurs for group Red, and 10:15am for group Black. Everyone is back by 12:00. Exit and return to the ship have several process steps: scan out (showing you've departed); collect and put on your boots; wait in the line for a zodiac; travel to shore and get a short brief on the location/wildlife/return time; drop off your life-jacket; tour around; pick up your life-jacket; was off your boots in the surf/board a zodiac; get off at the ship, brush / wash off your boots in the wet area, sanitize the boots, return the boots to their storage area/put on your shoes; and scan back in. 5) Kayaking -- where conditions allow, 10 passengers at any one location are allowed to kayak as a managed group. Any passengers who are interested in kayaking had to attend a scheduled briefing near the start of the cruise. Those who complete the briefing entered into a lottery for kayak spots. We were selected for kayak group 5 or so, and were able to Kayak on about the 3rd day in Antarctica. You must be able to lift yourself from a zodiac into the kayak, and then back to the zodiac when done. SilverSea provide all equipment, including a dry suit and a kayak skirt. The equipment is all fantastic stuff and was plenty warm. The kayak team is crazy good -- so passionate and fun loving. It was really magical to kayak through swimming penguins, be eye to eye with wildlife on icebergs, and (oh were we fortunate) see whales up close. 6) How Bad Are Drake Passage Seas -- they can be bad. Check out passageweather.com for an idea of wave height during your crossing. For us, it was relatively calm on the way over though many passengers were sick. Many passengers wore "the patch" and seemed to avoid sickness on the way to Antarctica. The way back was rougher. I believe we had 4-5 meter (12-15 foot) seas. The photos and videos make the sea look rather calm (no white caps). In reality, the ship would rise and fall, sometimes suddenly, with these large waves. Many folks were sick, even some who wore the patch. Reception did have plenty of motion sickness pills, and folks who took them said they helped. While I generally don't get sick, I did feel the movement on this cruise. I didn't get sick and I didn't take any medication; I'm very fortunate. 7) What's the Video/Image Release Form. At the beginning of the cruise you're asked to sign a release so that any photos or video of you can be used by SilverSea. Maybe I wasn't paying full attention, but I don't think I fully understood that a video of the cruise would be made AND SOLD TO PASSENGERS who wanted to pay about $150 for a copy. I did sign over the video/image release. I was disappointed that this all inclusive cruise didn't include the video as part of the package; had I realized this at the start, I would not have released my image for use by SilverSea. Other Items of Interest. Dining quality and variety was as expected. I heard other passengers with a spectrum of views, from loving the food to very disappointed in the food. We ate one night at the Italian restaurant; I was most disappointed that my fish fillet had at least 25 bones in it. The waiter rushed over and tried to remove all of the bones. The experience didn't make me want to return. The poolside "hot rocks" dinner restaurant was surprising good. My one disappointment in the meals was dessert; nothing seemed extraordinary. The main dining room was our go-to spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tor's Observation Lounge, at the top and front of the ship, was very cold and under-utilized. Work was still underway to complete the renovation of that area. There was no service in the lounge though it would have been nice to have coffee/tea service. Maybe that's planned for the future. Wildlife Viewing. We did see much wildlife, even from the ship. I was most surprised that the ship did not announce major wildlife sightings. For example, one night (10pm-midnight) a few of us, including some expedition staff, watched as 100-200 whales were on a feeding frenzy. Everywhere we looked, we could see whale spouts with fins/tails following. It was an incredible sight. There was no announcement made. Maybe it was because of the time. Expedition Staff. They were generally fantastic. One or two seemed more interested in speaking with each other than in engaging with passengers. Some experts did a great job translating their knowledge into useful stories for us passengers (example, Fritz with his bird info); others provided technical info (glacier size) that included formulas interesting to a scientist but much less interesting to someone wanting to learn the basics. In summary, this was a fantastic cruise that exceeded expectations. SilverSea did an outstanding overall job. I'm attaching an image of our stops in Antarctica. In text form, here's where we visited: Day 0 (extra day as we arrived early): Morning -- Aitcho Island: Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins, whale bones, other birds. Afternoon -- Yankee Harbor, though this was a substitute for a planned stop that weather didn't permit us visiting. Day 1: Morning -- Brown Bluff: Adelie and Gentoo penguins. Afternoon -- cruising through Antarctic Sound and seeing fabulous large tabular icebergs. Day 2: Morning -- Mikkelson Harbor: Gentoo penguins, Argentine refuge hut, and whaling remains. Afternoon -- Cierva Cove -- zodiac cruise in search of wildlife. Day 3: Morning -- Danco Island: Gentoo Penguin colony and frequently visited by snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls, and blue-eyed shags. Afternoon: Cruising the Gerlache Straight, looking for passing wildlife. Day 4: Morning -- Nekko Harbor: breathtaking beauty surround you here. Stunning. Gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, skuas, and seals. Afternoon -- Gonzalez Videla Base, Paradise Bay: Gentoo penguins nest around the Chilean research base. Day 5: Morning -- Halfmoon Island: short uphill climb over a cobble beach to reach a colony of chinstrap penguins. Afternoon -- Telefon Bay: hike 1 KM up to the edge of a crater for some spectacular views. Polar Plunge for those who want to swim. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise and company because of (1) It's a place we have wanted to visit for many years and (2) we had sailed with Silversea before on Silver Whisper 2016 in the Baltic. Of course there was the problem of the ship's fuel pump breaking down and the curtailment/cancellation of her first voyage after her USD40m refit. Problems can happen to anyone at anytime. Silver Cloud had steamed all the way from Malta to the South Atlantic before her fuel pump problem - and we understand a few other cabin problems. But that is in the past and having just returned from her other 'first' Antarctic cruise we both felt we had received more than 'just' value for money. Our stateroom (622) was large and comfortable - with the now almost obligatory balcony. Handy for taking some photographs from, but not the ideal place to sit when the average temperature is only between -1C and +1C. Our room attendant (Joshua) kept the room smart, clean and tidy. Only quibble would be that the laundry didn't keep pace with the facecloth supply. Not a major problem as do have our own! We ate mainly in the main Dining Room and mostly had a table with a great view outside. Each time we had the same waiter (Renaldo) who couldn't do enough to keep us happy and well fed. Three nights we ate in La Terrazza - the Italian themed restaurant and the food and service there were second to non. We found all the staff there to be friendly and welcoming (especially Francesco who is from Portugal though and not Italy!). Breakfast was in L Terrazza as was our Lunch option. The self service buffets were excellent in choice and quality. Though sometimes the service got a bit too 'fussy' - I can carry a plate from the buffet to a table some, oh lets say 2mtrs away. Though it became a game for me to see if I could get to the table before being 'interrupted' by one of the many attentive waiters. They mostly won though! Being an all inclusive voyage the bars were comfortable to sit in and have a Cosmo (or four...) watching the sea outside the bar - though we had to keep opening the blinds as the ever attentive Marta kept them closed - no doubt some official reason or other. Shore excursions were by zodiac to beaches to visit Penguins - lots and lots ... and lots of Penguins. Cute and adorable they maybe but the smell... I don't know how David Attenborough stands it. Remember what goes in the Penguin (Krill) also has to come out! If you want an expedition to the Antarctic then Silver Cloud (Expedition) is THE ship to travel on. She is small enough to get into the remotest places and large enough to be a stable platform in bad sea conditions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I had sailed on the same ship from Beijing to Hong Kong 20 years ago. And we sailed on the Silver Shadow from Vancouver to Alaska to San Francisco. Silversea fares include specialty coffees, standard alcohol, and tips. On their ... Read More
I had sailed on the same ship from Beijing to Hong Kong 20 years ago. And we sailed on the Silver Shadow from Vancouver to Alaska to San Francisco. Silversea fares include specialty coffees, standard alcohol, and tips. On their expedition ships - it includes off shore excursions - and some include a rt flight to the port of Ushuaia; and parkas suitable for Antarctica, backpacks, and water bottles. So when I read that the Silver Cloud was being refitted into an expedition ice class ship - it was a no brainer and I booked far in advanced to assure us a midship cabin without a verandah on its maiden voyage to Antarctica via the Falklands. The owner of the company came on board and wished us well. Quite impressive. Because the ship goes to Antarctica it takes a maximum of only 200 passengers plus crew. The ship used to take over 300 on luxury cruises. A huge plus for us who avoid ships that can carry over 400 passengers plus crew. We also prefer the understated tasteful decor to the glitz and gild of other luxury cruise lines. My two complaints of the ship: 1) Need more self service washing machines. 2) The ventilation system did not work properly- the cigar room filled with smoke and I could smell cigar smoke in the public stair well. It's hopefully fixed by now. Our cabin was on the same floor as the self-service laundry that was available. We had most of our breakfasts as room service - as we were watching our weight and avoided the buffet. Dining: The soy cappuccinos were perfect. Illy coffee. Cuisine slanted towards the European palate - not too much sugar or fat. Flavours were not "in your face." A buffet breakfast and lunch available in The Terrazza. The buffet was never messy and always replenished with fresh food. In fact, on The Silver Shadow - the first breakfast buffet had as much fresh fruit as the last one 10 days later. Did not try the breakfast in the Main Dining Room. We enjoyed the afternoon tea. Homemade pasta everyday. Meats and cheeses from Italy and France. We tried the small French restaurant, La Dame that costs an extra $60 pp. It was nice for one evening. The Grill - enjoyed grilling our seafood and meat on a hot lava rock for dinner - reservations recommended. The Main Dining room did not need reservations - there was always an option to sit with the expedition crew and other guests there. Portions were perfect - not huge. Some ordered two main courses with no problems. Wine list was fine. They do offer a wine list at an extra reasonable cost. With 5 dining options - we never tired of the food. The only complaint I have with the food - is that I wish they stocked better yogurt. Argentina has beautiful buffalo milk yogurt and regular yogurt. Entertainment and Activities: Due to weather delays - we were impressed with the last minute shows they brought on board: In Buenos Aires Tango Show for 30 minutes was perfect. As well as a Gaucho show in Puerta Madryn, Northern Patagonia - when we docked an extra night. We did not attend any lectures by expedition staff but there was a good selection. We did not use the gym as we were on holiday. When the ship remained in port unexpectantly - daytime excursions were added at the last minute: whale watching and town tours. There are choices of off shore excursions for all fitness levels . I enjoyed the short hike and looking at fossils in Northern Patagonia. DRESSCODE Surfed the internet and blogs for any hints as Silversea failed in this area. The Ship to Shore traveller - which supplies the complimentary parkas - provide a good list on what to pack for the expeditions and everyday wear. Evening dress code was more difficult to decipher. So this is what I learned from our experience: At the Expedition level - dress code is smart casual. Definitely no jeans for evening dining. My husband wore chinos. Some men ate in La Dame without a jacket. Tie is not needed. I only packed one cocktail dress. Women - do not pack heels - not appropriate on any expedition cruise. There were some guests in polar fleeces - as packing for warmth is essential and I did not see any guests being refused a table due to dress code in the Main dining room. Service was excellent - never told "no." Always so helpful. The one complaint I have is the photography room. Photography tutorials cost extra. That is one room that I found no need for. And yet it took up a lot of space on the ship. I wish that there were computer terminals we could use for internet access instead - as we don't travel with laptops. Fortunately I had an iPhone. But would have preferred a terminal. From the brochure it looked like they would have some available in the library - but we discovered on board that it was not the case. It was a great disappointment. The Souvenir shop was adequate. I wish I could comment on the Zodiacs - but our expedition cruise was cancelled due to the ship. (Maybe we would have then used the photography expertise.) We were on the maiden expedition cruise that did not make it to the Falklands or Antarctica - and only sailed as far as Puerta Madryn. So instead of 16 days on the ship - it was only 7. And since that experience - we will only cruise with Silversea. Yes - only Silversea. They handled the cancellation way beyond all of our expectations. And that speaks the loudest for any review of a cruise company. How does a company look after you when something major like that happens? (And it's a bucket list trip.) Within 24 hours of being told to place our luggage outside our rooms for disembarkation - they shifted around 200 passengers from Puerta Madryn on to flights to Buenos Aires and into 4 - 5 star hotels there and booked on flights to our starting points. In our case: the South Island of New Zealand. They reimbursed us for the amounts promised - including a per diem while in transit - within two weeks of being back home. The saddest part was saying good-bye to the other passengers whom we would have enjoyed zooming with in zodiacs. And I can honestly say that we really enjoyed them. The biggest difference between luxury and expedition cruises is that the expedition passengers have signed up for adventure. Women were comfortable to not wear make up. We have rebooked another cruise on the Silver Cloud Expedition. And I'm sure we will sign up for many more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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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