Silversea Cruises has launched its first Nova-class ship, Silver Nova, calling it "one of the most environmentally conscious ultra-luxury cruise ships ever built."
“Silver Nova revolutionizes ultra-luxury cruising and sets the new category standard,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “From her innovative horizontal design to her emphasis on sustainable operations, Silver Nova speaks to Royal Caribbean Group’s commitment to deliver the world’s best vacations, responsibly.”
Silver Nova's outside-the-box design prizes openness over symmetry and incorporates an unprecedented use of glass, immersing guests into the destination from virtually all venues and suites, with far-reaching views at every turn. Her reimagined pool deck overlooks the water on her starboard side, and all-new outdoor venues — the Dusk Bar and the Marquee — display a unique openness to the destination.
Silver Nova has a space-to-guest ratio of 75 GRT-per-guest — the highest in Silversea’s fleet. She offers one of the most personalized levels of service at sea with a crew-to-guest ratio of 1:1.3, including butler service for all suites. Silver Nova hosts up to 728 guests in 13 different suite categories — the largest variety of suites in Silversea’s history, and among the most spacious accommodations of any cruise ship.
Every suite offers guests the use of a private veranda. The largest option is the new 123m2 (1,324ft2) Otium Suite, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing 270-degree views from the ship’s premium aft-corner position. It also features a 40m2 (431ft2) balcony with its own whirlpool.
Further enriching the on-board experience are the largest selection of bars, restaurants, and lounges in ultra-luxury cruising; Otium, the cruise line’s Roman-inspired wellness program, complete with all-new enhancements; and its innovative culinary program, Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.), which comprises an on-board ecosystem of culinary discovery, immersive excursions ashore, food lectures, hands-on culinary experiences, and more.
Following her maiden voyage, Silver Nova will spend the summer in the Mediterranean before heading to the Caribbean and South America in November. On January 4, 2024, she will embark on the 71-day Grand Voyage South America, visiting 38 destinations in 18 countries.
Prior to her maiden voyage embarking on 14AUG, cruise line execs hosted travel partners and media for a 3-day preview cruise.
“It was incredibly emotional to welcome guests aboard Silver Nova ahead of her maiden voyage,” said Barbara Muckermann, president, Silversea Cruises. “Benefiting from an innovative asymmetrical design, she immerses guests into the destination at every turn — a strong expression of our brand mission. As one of the most spacious ships at sea, and with the broadest array of bars, lounges, and restaurants in ultra-luxury cruise travel, Silver Nova elevates the experience for our guests like never before."
Vanessa Lee was among those onboard the three-day preview voyage, and here are her first impressions of the Silver Nova:
I joined the ship in Venice a few days before her inaugural cruise on August 14th and was fortunate enough to spend three nights sailing to Zadar in Croatia and Trieste while cruising in the lap of luxury on this amazing vessel.
The Nova is like no Silversea ship before, and she is in a class by herself until her sister Silver Ray arrives in 2024. And the verdict was unanimous; this beautiful, gorgeous, sophisticated and modern ship offers guests a superb and elevated experience at sea.
Where to start? Well, she has been built in an asymmetrical style, and unlike other Silversea ships, where the suites and public rooms shared decks, the Nova offers four decks of suites from Deck 6 through 9 and public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges are scattered on Decks 3, 4, 5, and 10. The ship offers wide open spaces, and there is glass everywhere, allowing light to come in and for guests (she carries 728) to see across from port to starboard on many decks. The two glass elevator banks are also on the side of the ship. Everything is wide and high, and the space is spectacular.
New features such as the stunning Marquee Grill on Deck 10 combines favourites Spaccanopali Pizza and Hot Rocks plus offers an additional menu and is a magnet for diners at lunch and dinner. A resort feel emanates across this Deck, with the breathtaking pool on one side, ample chaises, couches and seating areas and a pool bar.
The .S.A.L.T. Bar, a favourite of mine and a petite gem on Silver Moon and Dawn, has been moved to this resort deck and now has 42 seats with great views. The .S.A.L.T. Lab for cooking lessons, which turns into The Chef’s Table at night (more on that in my next column), is adjacent. Add the new, delightful Dusk Bar at the ship’s aft (spectacular sunsets), and this Deck becomes the must-go-to-spot on the Nova.
Deck 4 is at the heart of the ship with many of the most popular lounges and venues, and Silversea has added an Atrium here, opening up the Art’s Café, which is essentially the new meeting point.
There is much more to write about and expand upon, and I will do that in the coming days. Suffice it to say, the Nova is a game-changer in the luxury space and with its all-inclusive onboard experience, nine fabulous dining choices, six included in the fare, and a remarkable array of itinerary choices, the ship will be very desirable both to past guests and new-to-Silversea guests and the younger demographic which Silversea desires, will find her irresistible. I certainly did.