Silversea Silver Cloud Expeditions Shake Down
Silver Cloud shakedown
I recently went on a short trip to South America to experience the refurbished Silver Cloud expedition ship. The sailing was from Montevideo to Buenos Aires to experience the ship before it continued its maiden voyage to the Falklands and Antarctica. From the UK we were a group of around 9 people which included a few tour operators, travel journalists and Silversea staff.
Itinerary and ship information
12th November: We flew overnight from Heathrow to Montevideo in Uruguay via Madrid with Iberia, arriving early morning. Our local representative in Uruguay, Buemes, was there to meet us and along with a Silversea representative they transferred us to our hotel in the city. We were originally supposed to spend one night in Montevideo but due to a storm in the Atlantic the ship was delayed and so we ended up spending 2 nights there.
We had 2 nights at the ocean front Hyatt Centric. It’s quite far from the downtown area but situated in a nice part of the city opposite the waterfront and a good leisure and business hotel option for Montevideo with very spacious rooms. Throughout the day the Silversea hospitality desk was available in the lobby to give advice on what to do in the city and to provide information on a number of excursions we could do in Punta Del Este, where we were due to spend the day on the 14th November. They were very helpful, friendly and informative. A few of us then spent a few hours visiting downtown Montevideo and seeing some of the main sites and having a very delicious lunch in the port area.
In the evening we had a welcome reception with drinks, buffet food and general information on the refurbished Silver Cloud ship at the hotel.
13th November: This morning we were taken by bus to Peñarol train station where we boarded a historical steam train on a short journey to Juanico Winery. It was all very much in Silversea style, with red carpets on the station platform and sparkling wine and snacks on the train. Juanico Winery is a lovely winery not far from Montevideo offering some excellent wines. It’s considered the best and largest winery in Uruguay. We enjoyed a welcome reception with Silversea executives, followed by a typical Uruguayan barbecue and local wine tastings. After a delicious lunch with plenty of wine and port we were taken back to Montevideo by bus.
Peñarol train station
In the evening we were due to board the ship but this was postponed due to the ship arriving late. Considering the very late change in plans Silversea did an excellent job of putting us up for an additional night at the same hotel and arranging dinner for us all.
14th November: After a leisurely morning and short city tour we finally boarded Silver Cloud. Everything was very smooth and efficient. Embarkation was very quick with a welcome glass of champagne before a delicious lunch in the main restaurant. Our bags were waiting for us in our suites along with a number of delightful gifts. From checking out at the hotel and boarding the ship everything was smooth and effortless and there was no need to worry at all about your luggage being transferred from the hotel to the ship.
The food and service on board the ship was excellent. We were offered a choice of steak or fish for lunch and the staff and service throughout lunch was exceptional. Lunch was served in The Restaurant and it was one of the best steaks I have ever tasted - the food and wine choice on board really is excellent.
In the afternoon we had a very quick ship visit to see some of the cabins and main areas of the ship before having a presentation and talk in the afternoon. I found it a little difficult to get a full impression of the ship as they were still doing the final touches to some areas of the ship and not all areas were yet open. Also we didn’t get to experience the ship in full swing as we were only on board for such a short time. Certainly the suites are lovely as well as the restaurants and great service and food.
Silver Cloud details as seen on the ship visit
Silver Cloud has undergone an extensive refurbishment to make her the most spacious and comfortable ice-class vessel in expedition cruising.
Veranda Suite on Silver Cloud
Suites on Silver Cloud
- Veranda Suite. This is the suite I stayed in and was spacious and very comfortable and cosy. The cabins have been tastefully refurbished and there is a seating area and small balcony as well as a separate walk in wardrobe with safe and bathroom. The seating area is a bit cramped and I didn’t really see the need for a sofa and 2 chairs. A very nice feature is personalised stationary for each guest and a number of gifts depending on what category you are in. We all received a small backpack, hat and waterproof wallet.
- Medallion Suite. Larger than the Veranda Suite with separate lounge, dining area and larger balcony. These suites are lovely and very spacious.
- Silver Suite and Royal Suite. Separate living room and dining room with 2 bathrooms. The Royal Suite has 2 bedrooms and one of them has a bath tub as well as shower. These suites are massive and perfect for families.
Steak on Silver Cloud
Dining on Silver Cloud
- The Restaurant. This is the main restaurant on the ship and the largest one so all guests can dine here without making a reservation. There are a lot of staff so you never have to wait long for service or a wine refill! It’s a lovely restaurant and I’d be very happy having most of my meals there.
- La Dame by Relais and Chateaux. This is the only Relais and Chateaux restaurant to be found on an expedition ship. It’s a small restaurant so booking is essential.
- La Terrazza. La Terrazza is an Italian restaurant . Breakfast and lunch can be taken here and in the evening it is necessary to book to ensure getting a table. We had both dinner and breakfast here. There were 2 choices for dinner and for breakfast you can order a la carte or from the buffet area. It’s a lovely restaurant and there is an indoor and outdoor seating area.
Public Areas on Silver Cloud
- Explorer Lounge. This lounge is perfect for presentations and lectures and is beautifully decorated and bright and cheerful. We had a presentation here in the afternoon and staff were on hand with drinks throughout the presentation.
- Panorama Lounge. This is the more informal lounge and the décor was a bit dreary. There is a pleasant outside seating area for the smokers but the inside area felt somewhat drab. This was also where we had to assemble for the muster drill.
- Pool Deck. There’s a medium size pool and whirlpools on the top deck. Due to the brevity of our visit we didn’t really get to experience this area in its best light.
- Fitness Centre. The fitness centre is well equipped with weights, treadmills and bicycles.
- Zagara Spa. We had a short visit to the lovely spa which offers several treatment rooms and appointments can be made prior or on board.
The Photo Studio, Dolce Vita Bar, Observation Lounge and boutiques were not open for us to view yet. The Observation Lounge I was keen to see as it looks like it will be the perfect spot to view the scenery in comfort from the top of the ship. Unfortunately it wasn’t yet quite ready so was completely closed off. Equally the Photo Studio is an excellent and unique concept on an expedition ship. It offers a number of options including classes in editing and taking photos and state of the art equipment for printing photos.
Silver Cloud Expeditions
15th November: After an excellent breakfast we disembarked Silver Cloud in Buenos Aires. Our baggage was all taken care of and we were just required to leave our main bags outside our suites first thing. We were then taken on a city tour which included a behind the scenes visit of the Colon Opera House and the colourful La Boca District. Lunch was at La Cabana Restaurant in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Aires. Puerto Madero is a revamped upmarket area full of bars and restaurants along the river and close to downtown. La Cabana specialises in Argentine cuisine and grills and we enjoyed yet another delicious meal of steak and red wine! From here we were taken to Recoleta, one of the nicest suburbs in the city to be based in, and the Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau is one of our preferred hotels. it’s in a good location and the gardens and Palace building are lovely but the rooms in the tower are a bit dreary.
For our final night Silversea had arranged a fantastic reception and dinner at the fascinating El Zanjon de Granados, which is one of the more unique places in Buenos Aires and an amazing urban architectural site. A series of old tunnels, sewers and cisterns (built from 1730 onwards) were constructed above a river tributary and provided the base for one of Buenos Aires oldest settlements, which later became a family mansion and then tenement housing and some shops.We were treated to a classy tango show before heading back to the hotel for the end of our trip.
- Silver Cloud completes $40m refurbishment
- Silversea launch 2018 Couture Collection of land tours
- Silver Spirit to be stretched by 49 feet