QUEBEC CITY — The weather was downright balmy as the Silver Muse made its first journey to Canada during a fall foliage cruise, visiting Quebec City on Sept. 27 before its final stop in Montreal.
It was a grand entrance for Silversea Cruises’ flagship luxury vessel (the first in a decade), which is looking to attract more Canadian passengers. Christened in April at its home base in Monaco, this is the ninth ship (and the largest) in the Silversea fleet, accommodating 596 guests. And it lives up to Silversea’s reputation for delivering large-ship amenities aboard intimate, all-suite vessels (even the entry-level suites have a walk-in closet, verandah and butler service).
“We’re an Italian-based cruise line, our headquarters are in Monaco, but the Canadian market is very important to us,” said Brad Ball, director of media relations for Silversea Cruises, who took media on a tour of the ship in Quebec City. “About 60% of our business is from the Americas and an expanding portion is from the Canadian market.”
There’s a reason why Silversea is targeting Canadians. “Silversea is all-inclusive,” he said. “Silversea is expensive, but Canadians don’t mind spending more if they’re getting more, and on Silversea pretty much everything you can think of is included.”
That includes gratuities, as well as alcohol, with about 60 pouring wines on offer. “Prior to joining the cruise, you’re sent a guest registration form, and on that form you can indicate what you want stocked in your suite,” said Ball. “If you want a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in your suite every day for the seven-day cruise … it will be ready in your suite in addition to your butler delivering a drink whenever you like.”
Excursions are an additional charge, but in ports of call where the ship is a distance from the city, complimentary coach transfers are provided so guests don’t have to purchase an excursion if they want to explore on their own.
The ship has nine dining venues (four require reservations). This includes three restaurants new to the Silversea fleet: Atlantide, a seafood and grill concept; the Asian-themed Indochine; and an Italian-themed poolside restaurant Spaccanapoli, which serves homemade Italian pizzas.
“We offer 24-hour room service that is complimentary, and we have something that’s very cool: all-around dining,” said Ball. “If one of the dining venues is closed in the evening, you can get room service delivered to you wherever you want, the pool or the bar, and that’s all complimentary.”
The ship offers plenty of outdoor spaces, including a large pool deck, as well as a theatre, observation library, lounge areas, gym and exercise studio (yoga, pilates and boot camp classes are complimentary) and Zagara Beauty Spa. And, in true Italian style, there’s a Capri-based cobbler onboard who makes bespoke leather sandals and footwear while you wait.
With its nine ships, Silversea visits more than 800 ports of call each year. Its classic ships include Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, Silver Spirit and Silver Muse, with itineraries in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Asia (this season’s itineraries in the Caribbean may be altered due to hurricane damage). The fleet also includes four expedition ships (Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, Silver Discoverer and the forthcoming Silver Cloud, which is joining the fleet in November), which travel to both polar regions.
Silversea has also announced a new sister ship to Silver Muse, tentatively named Silver Moon, expected to be delivered in 2020; it will also accommodate 596 guests.
Upgrades to Silver Wind and Silver Whisper are planned for this December, as part of a fleet-wide refurbishment program launched in 2016. Silver Whisper will undergo a significant redesign of public areas, taking inspiration from Silver Muse. Silver Wind will also get up an upgrade, with reupholstered chairs and new carpets for the casino and a new floor upgrade in the spa and beauty salon.
For travel agents, Silversea is sweetening the deal with a group sales program launched in May. The program, good for bookings on all 2017 and 2018 voyages, allows one group booking per ship each month, per travel agency.
Incentives include price protection for 90 days; tour conductor requirements as low as one per nine berths; and onboard spending credits of up to $300 per suite (which are also available on its expedition ships). The program is combinable with Silver Select, Early Booking Bonus, Venetian Society Savings, Extended Voyage Savings and Onboard Savings.