CruiseClout score: 95.0
Silver Whisper: Exploring exotic ports in style & comfort
Competing in the ultra-luxury segment alongside lines like Seabourn, Crystal and Regent Seven Seas, Silversea is a small privately owned line with a strong Italian influence and heritage. The focus is on offering a comfortable, stylish and personal approach to cruising with an emphasis on food and service.
The Silver Whisper is a small ship carrying just under 400 guests with a high crew-to-passenger ratio who try to ensure that they get to know and pre-empt the needs of their guests. It attracts guests who are very interested in the destinations and ports of call but want to travel in luxury while doing it.
Cruising on the Silver Whisper I discovered that small ship cruising did not mean doing without facilities and activities. There is everything you need, including choice of restaurants, a fitness centre, shops, spa, pool and quiet spots to hide away in. The ship is also able to dock in towns inaccessible to bigger ships, for example in St. Petersburg and Helsinki we were right in the city while the big ships were some miles away in commercial ports without the scenery of the city.
All-inclusive that means all-inclusive
The fares are all-inclusive which means hardly ever having to get your card out and constantly thinking about the bill you are stacking up. There is no drive to get you to spend on board either and so there is no constant flow promotional leaflets with inches of gold, photograph and portrait offers, cocktail of the day, drinks packages or art auctions. Even the tours are discreetly promoted, with listings of what they are and proper historical and cultural talks on destinations by an expert, not the tour team promoting the tours.
The venues and ship is quieter as there are less people. The pool was never crowded, there were always seats in the show lounge and the tours only had up to 25 people on them, which meant more attention by the tour guides, and loads of room on the bus. Getting on and off the ship was easy as no lines, crowds and was fast once docked. Even on disembarkation day.
There are very few children, as this is not a ship with the facilities that would keep kids and teens entertained.
The luxury touches are subtle but plenty such as the huge range of choice of ways you can have your eggs cooked, the luxury brand names in toiletries, linen, coffee and types of beef and the loungers around the pool are plusher and more comfortable than any I have ever lolled about on. There was concierge service open at every port who could help direct you and give specific tips. They even knew off by heart the exact bus numbers and stops for buses to obscure local beaches when we had a craving for some beach time.
Who will like sailing on Silver Whisper
Cruise guests looking to combine adventure travel with luxury will enjoy a cruise on Silver Whisper. The itineraries and routes are designed to take guests off the beaten path as well as some of the iconic and important ports, and so attract a more adventurous traveler for whom the destination is as important as the way they travel.
The average age is 50s, 60s and 70s in line with the luxury nature and price of the line and are mostly couples. Compared to some of the other ultra-luxury lines they are more focused, in my view, on the ports and so are more adventurous and less concerned with getting dressed up for meals. The overall atmosphere is more relaxed and informal.
The guests are likely to be from many regions but are primarily from the United States. The line operates as an English-speaking line and so guests need to be comfortable in this environment.
Where Silver Whisper sails
Silver Whisper sails to all parts of the world, including in and around Australia, the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Some of the top destinations that Silver Whisper visits are South Africa, St. Petersburg, Russia and Indonesia.
Dining on Silver Whisper
The main dining room, The Restaurant serves up contemporary, international cuisine. Menus feature regional specialties unique to the destinations guests visit on their cruise. For example, roasted Chilean sea bass is served while cruising the Chilean fjords, and Indian chicken korma, while en route to Mumbai. The Restaurant on board this cruise ship offers open-seating dining, which means there are no assigned times and no assigned tables. You are free to dine when, where and with whom you please.
Italian food that embraces the principles of the Slow Food movement, using fresh, sustainable and local ingredients For example, La Terrazza uses buffalo mozzarella from Naples, organic balsamic vinegar and olive oil from Umbria, and air-dried ham out of Parma. The Emilia-Romagna region also produces Silversea’s 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, while the pasta is made daily right on board. La Terrazza is open for casual, buffet-style breakfast and lunch with indoor or al fresco dining on the outdoor terrace. During the evening, the restaurant transforms into an à la carte traditional Italian restaurant which is the only time you need to make a booking.
The only Wine Restaurant by Relais & Chateaux at sea can be found aboard the ships of Silversea including the Silver Whisper. Indulge in an evening where fine wines are complemented by a set tasting menu of regionally inspired dishes in an intimate, elegant setting. Reservations are necessary for dinner. The experience requires a per-guest, reservation fee of $40.
Pool Bar & Grill
Casual and convenient. Poolside menu options feature healthy CruiseLite selections and light fare for lunch and dinner including grilled meats and fresh-from-the-oven pizza. At night, the top deck of the Pool Bar & Grill is transformed into The Grill, an intimate al fresco eatery featuring a fun, interactive Black Rock Grill experience. A preheated volcanic rock is brought to your table, allowing you to cook such delicacies as steak, veal, pork, lamb, salmon, fish or prawns exactly to your liking right at your own table. Reservations are required for dinner.
- Boutiques: Featuring designer collections and duty-free shopping, the onboard Boutiques offer a selection of jewelery, fashions, perfumes and Silversea logo items. Toiletries and convenience items are also available for purchase.
- Card Room/Conference Room: Bridge games and tournaments take place most days in the Card Room. On days at sea, newcomers to the game can learn how to play. Should your group require a conference or meeting space, Silversea is pleased to provide a tailor-made experience, in which audiovisual equipment is available and complimentary.
- Casino: Roulette, blackjack and slot machines are available. It is a small room with limited options.
- Library: The Library has a good selection of hardcover books, magazines, reference materials and newspapers, as well as audio listening stations. Movies are also available and can be viewed on your in-suite entertainment center.
Bars & lounges
Aboard the Silver Whisper, guests will find a wide selection of entertainment ranging from production shows to classical music concerts in The Show Lounge; piano recitals, jazz and cabaret in The Bar; and local performers and folkloric shows that truly complement the wines, cuisine and cultures experienced on your voyage.
- The Bar: Live music and a dance floor.
- Connoisseur's Corner: The Connoisseur's Corner offers cognacs along with a premium selection of cigars for purchase.
- Observation Lounge: A quiet retreat above the bow of the ship invites you to settle in to a comfortable seat and enjoy a beverage while watching the ever-changing view. The Observation Lounge also offers a radar screen, astronomical maps, binoculars, reference books and board games.
- Panorama Lounge: The Panorama Lounge is specially designed to provide an uninterrupted view of the day's destination from the comfort of the ship's interior. This is an ideal place to unwind, enjoy afternoon tea, listen to the pianist and watch the setting sun.
- Pool Deck: Guest can enjoy teak chaise lounges arranged in the sun or shade and bubbling whirlpools on the pool deck. The pool water is refreshing in warmer climates, and heated for cooler weather.
- Internet Café: Headphones, digital camera media readers, and complimentary black and white laser printing are also available.
- Show Lounge: Every seat in this multi-tiered venue enjoys a clear view of the stage. The singers on board provide production shows most evenings along with guest classical soloists to local cultural entertainment and feature films.
Spa & fitness
- Beauty Salon: A full range of salon services is available for both men and women including hairstyling, manicures and pedicures.
- Fitness Center: The small fitness center is equipped with free weights, weight machines, state-of-the-art treadmills, elliptical trainers, and recumbent and upright bicycles. Classes in aerobics, yoga, Pilates and circuit training are led by the onboard fitness trainer and are complimentary.
- The Spa at Silversea: Relax your body and mind in this soothing sanctuary. Indulge in a wide range of invigorating therapies including facials, body wraps and massages.
Gary Bembridge sailed on Silver Whisper on a press/blogger trip as a guest of Silversea. See Cruiseable's Ethics & disclosure policy.
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Top highlights on this ship
- Broadway-style entertainment in the Show Lounge
- Relaxing spa treatments at the Spa at Silversea
- Teak chaise lounges and whirlpools on the pool deck
- Cognacs along with a premium selection of cigars for purchase at Connoisseur's Corner
- All-inclusive fares covering food, drink and gratuities. Only Le Champagne fine dining restaurant has an additional charge.
- Italian inspired decor and food.
- Small ship with all the essential services and facilities but nimble enough to call right into the heart of most cities.