A One-Week Shakedown Cruise Introduces the Travel World to Silversea’s 10th Ship
Silver Dawn spent the week of March 25, 2022, entertaining both Travel Agents and Travel Press with a cruise up and down the coast of Portugal. Travelers included no fewer than 25 Australians and 4 New Zealanders who made the 30 hour trek to Lisbon to preview this beautiful new ship. Silver Dawn is the final addition to a trio of sister ships. She joins Silver Muse and Silver Moon in luxurious pursuit of the world’s most fascinating ports of call. At 40,700 tons and carrying just 596 passengers, the ship contains all the necessities of ultra-luxury cruising. Silver Moon’s All-Suite Accommodations, virtually everyone with a balcony, are served by a dedicated team of a Butler and Steward. They are a part of a crew of 411 for an unheard-of crew-to-passenger ratio. The ship has 8 restaurants—familiar favorites of Silversea’s devoted following—La Terrasse, La Dame, Atlantide, Keiseki, the Grill and Spaccanapoli—and a new offering, S.A.L.T. Kitchen. The Arts Café has all-day offerings of coffees, teas and an unending variety of small plates. The public rooms are simply magnificent, full of Italian style that separates Silversea from every other cruise line. The Entertainment is top notch in The Venetian Lounge and the intimate Silver Note. There’s gambling in the small casino. There’s even a place for those who smoke: A cigar lounge features an open deck. What there is not is a ship’s photographer, a charge for caviar or champagne or truffles. La Dame and Keiseki both charge an extra fee. And when you eat at either, you will understand why.
What separates Silver Dawn from her sisters?
For this writer, who has experienced life aboard all three ships, it is like dating three sisters and trying to decide who is the most ravishing. To explain, my first encounter was with Silver Muse as she sailed from Bali to Manilla. The itinerary was breathtaking. But we were there to experience the germ of an idea: That Culinary Adventures could reach new heights in a program called S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Tastes). The arrival of Silver Moon introduced the concept brought to life in all its dimensions. There was S.A.L.T. Kitchen, a restaurant with an ever-changing menu reflecting the ship’s ports of call. And S.A.L.T. Lab where passengers with a culinary bent actually ‘cooked’ local specialties. And S.A.L.T Bar, an intimate space that produced extraordinary cocktails. A second and separate voyage aboard Silver Moon then introduced us to Silversea’s latest concept: Otium (pronounced Oh Tee Um) an entirely unique Spa program that’s simply extraordinary.
Silver Dawn brings to life both Silversea exclusives together in grand fashion.
S.A.L.T. (Sea And Land Taste) was the brainchild of Silversea’s extraordinary Chief Commercial Officer, Barbara Muckermann. She enlisted food authority Adam Sachs to bring her concept to life. Sachs, Former Editor of Saveur Magazine, a James Beard Award-winning Food Writer, is also an inveterate Culinary traveler. The team of Muckermann and Sachs were greatly aided in their invention by the President and C.E.O of Silversea, Roberto Martinoli. Mr. Martinoli just happens to be Ms. Muckermann’s husband. Aboard our cruise on Silver Dawn, the whole scope of S.A.L.T. was on display. With perfect timing, Adam Sachs enlisted Portuguese Food Authority, Miguel Andrade to spend the week aboard ship. Andrade has just published the definitive Portuguese Cookbook: Portugal The Cookbook (Phaidon 2022). Working with Chef Leandro Carreira, a native of Leiria, Portugal, the two explore 550 recipes. Aboard Silver Moon, Andrade gave Silversea guests an entire history of Portuguese food. Ashore, Andrade’s contacts proved invaluable in fascinating shore excursions. When the ship ventured to Portimao in the Algarve, S.A.L.T. took us to an award-winning museum dedicated to Portugal’s devotion to the Sardine. This was followed by a tasting in the most unlikely of stops, a tiny restaurant called “Canned Food”. (Just look at the pictures to see why we went there.) In Lisbon, the shoreside adventures included a class in baking Portugal’s signature Pasteis de Nata. This was held in the Time Out Market, a must stop for foodies in Portugal’s breathtaking capital. The second offering in Lisbon was in an out-of-the-way restaurant presided over by a 31-year-old devotee of traditional Portuguese cooking.
And then there’s Otium.
Another of Chief Commercial Officer Barbara Muckermann’s strokes of genius is Otium.
Described as ‘a new approach to wellness’, it turns any ideas about shipboard spas on their heads. The concept springs from the ancient Romans. The fortunate few could wile away their hours in pursuit of pleasure at spas dedicated to just that. Aboard Silver Dawn, Otium, the spa, includes a relaxation room dominated by an enormous display of champagne on ice. After simply the most amazing 100-minute massage, this writer was offered both sauna and steam and a choice of body polishes to cap off my Otium Experience. But it is in the privacy of their suites that Silversea guests will discover the other dimensions of Otium. Every suite has a spa tub for total relaxation. Drawn by your butler, you bath becomes your private oasis of scent and sensuality. And then there’s the absolutely remarkable menu of…well, to call them ‘snacks’, just doesn’t do this collection of extraordinary delights justice. There’s a Foie Gras Burger. Crabmeat wrapped in Cucumber. Truffled Popcorn. Mounds of Caviar. Sweets galore. There’s even Cauliflower for the vegetarians among us. And there’s even specialties to be enjoyed on your private balcony. This is all at your beck and call anytime of the day or night with one call to your butler.
Otium really has to be experienced to do it justice.
Silver Dawn will spend all Summer and Fall in the Mediterranean.
Silversea’s homeland, the Mediterranean Sea, will be the focus of Silver Dawn’s itineraries until November. Embarking on cruises that last just 7 days or that can be combined for 28 nights, Silver Dawn will then do cruises to Dakar before sailing west for her debut season in the Caribbean and Central America.
Photos courtesy Silversea as noted or courtesy Monte Mathews
Please see sailings here: Silversea Cruises (cruisecompete.com)