On May 30, 2013 I am boarding the Silversea Silver Shadow for a one week Alaska cruise from Vancouver to Seward and then onto Anchorage via the included Alaska Railroad domed wildlife viewing train.
I know that this may not be the perfect time to visit Alaska and a mere week on a cruise seems all to short, but with a busy schedule this cruise was the best fit for my purposes. My purposes, you ask? I am doing my job here!
Silversea has been working hard to improve the consistency of its luxury cruise product and the time has come for me to see first-hand how things are going. Having been to Alaska on pretty much the same itinerary in reverse on Regent Seven Seas Mariner a few years ago, cruised on the Crystal Symphony on the West Coast even more recently and having an intimate knowledge of the Seabourn ships, there are going to be a lot of comparisons. But there is also going to be a focus on what Silversea delivers that is unique; what distinguishes Silversea from the pack.
The Silver Shadow was built in 2000 and sails with 382 guests and 302 crew. The ship is all-suite with the majority of the suites having private balconies (there are a few Oceanview Suites and even fewer Terrace Suites that share a large balcony). I will be sailing in a Veranda 3 Suite on Deck 6.
Note: While there will be some differences, I did a ship inspection of the Silver Whisper, the Shadow’s sister ship, two years ago and am providing some photos of her here for context. During my cruise the photos will only be from the Silver Shadow.
The ship has a number of dining venues ranging from The Restaurant to the more casual La Terrazza to the truly luxurious Le Champagne (including its $200 per person tasting menu)
to the Pool Grill (and its popular Black Rock Gill “hot rocks” concept). My goal is to dine in each venue (though, honestly, the Black Rock Grill – if it is warm enough to be offered – may be given a miss…just a personal choice).
The public areas on the Silver Shadow are more traditional as is her styling as the ship is thirteen years old. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as I do enjoy the warmth of wood as well as the recognition of the fact that you are actually on a ship with a bit of maritime heritage.
|May 30 2013||Thu||Vancouver, Canada|
|May 31 2013||Fri||Cruising the Inside Passage|
|Jun 01 2013||Sat||Ketchikan, Alaska, USA|
|Jun 02 2013||Sun||Cruising Tracyarm/Sawyer Glacier|
|Jun 02 2013||Sun||Juneau, Alaska, USA|
|Jun 03 2013||Mon||Skagway, Alaska, USA|
|Jun 04 2013||Tue||Sitka, Alaska, USA|
|Jun 05 2013||Wed||Cruising the Hubbard Glacier|
|Jun 06 2013||Thu||Seward, Alaska, USA|