Cruise

Photos: TW heads to Italy to watch Silversea ship cut in half

Silversea has cut it’s Silver Spirit ship in two at Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy as part of her planned lengthening, and we were there to witness it.

We also stayed in a pretty jawdropping hotel.

It’s a tough job, going to Italy and staying in a palace to see an insane ship cross-section, but some has to do it.

A prebuilt 15-metre (49-feet) segment has been inserted and the ship is now being reconnected.

With the aim of amplifying guests’ on-board experience, the rare lengthening project will create more space in public areas and will enhance Silver Spirit’s facilities.

Leoluca Orlando, the Mayor of Palermo welcomed the ship, and members of the international press, representatives of Silversea and Fincantieri, and other VIP guests were in attendance at two celebratory ceremonies, as the ship’s transformation got underway in Sicily on 10 and 11 March.

An air of excitement was cast over the shipyard as those present witnessed the dissection of the 36,009-ton ship, as well as the manoeuvering of the vast new mid-section into place.

These important stages of the project ran with military precision, which pays testament to the quality of operations at the world-leading Fincantieri Shipyard.

A rarely performed feat of maritime architecture, this type of lengthening has never before been employed for the extension of a luxury cruise ship.

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“Witnessing these breathtaking phases of the Silver Spirit lengthening project has filled us with pride and excitement,” said Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer of Silversea.

“This ambitious project will amplify the on-board features that matter most to our guests.

“We are taking our flagship, Silver Muse – which was delivered by Fincantieri in April last year – as the point of inspiration for a fleet-wide renovation programme.

“The lengthening and refurbishment of Silver Spirit will replicate the modern elegance of our latest vessel to make for a more luxurious travelling experience.

“We are eager to share the new and improved layout of our cherished ship with our valued guests.”

Over 500 skilled workers will spend approximately 450,000 man hours completing the ambitious project, which is due to conclude on 5 May 2018, and will see Silver Spirit lengthened to 210.7m (691.3 ft.).

Approximately 846 tons of steel, 110,000m (360,892 ft.) of cabling, and 8,000m (26,247 ft.) of piping will be put to use in the lengthening, as Silver Spirit’s capacity increases by roughly 12 per cent, resulting in an overall dining capacity increase of 15 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in outdoor seating (from 200 to 266).

A new 8-restaurant configuration will replace the existing culinary infrastructure, with varying dining concepts introduced: Atlantide, Indochine, Silver Note, Spaccanapoli, will complement the pre-existing Seishin, La Dame, La Terrazza and The Grill.

Outside, the pool area on the sky deck will increase in length (from 30 to 45m / 98 to 148 ft.) to offer additional space for relaxing under the sun and a new aerobics area will also be created.

Inside, the Zagara Spa concept will be installed, as will a new free weights room which will complement the upgraded fitness centre.

The Arts Café and Dolce Vita – two new, sophisticated public spaces – will improve the on-board entertainment options.

All suites will be refurbished to ensure the trademark Silversea level of quality is maintained.

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Prior to Silver Spirit’s arrival in Palermo, the ship docked in Chania, Crete, where Silversea made a charitable donation of used furniture to a number of the island’s worthy causes.

As a destination visited by Silversea’s cruises and as an island in need, Chania was identified as a deserving recipient of the donation.

In total, 11 containers were filled with 4,652 items from the ship – including sofas, chairs, curtains, computers, and more.

The donated articles will be put to use for social welfare purposes in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other institutions across the island.

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Impacting on the lives of many, the gesture from Silversea will strengthen relations between the cruise company and the island’s authorities at a time when Chania’s social structures need all the help they can get.

Not only will Silver Spirit increase in length, but she will also increase in comfort.

From an enhancement and a re-imagination of the ship’s public spaces to an increase in the number and quality of suites, each aspect of the lengthening project has been designed with guest enjoyment in mind.

Based on the chic décor found aboard Silver Muse, Silver Spirit will benefit from beautiful interior design upgrades throughout.

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Departing on 6 May, 2018, Silver Spirit will recommence her service with a seven-day cruise between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Barcelona.

Fares start at AUD$9, 100* per person, based on double occupancy in a Deluxe Veranda Suite with special savings available for those booking before 31 March.

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