All aboard Silver Endeavour! Next stop Antarctica
I was so lucky to win the trip of a lifetime to Antarctica with Silversea Expeditions. I went with my colleague Natalie and we spent one week aboard the brand-new Silver Endeavour. I was nervous at first about the Drake Passage, but in the end we were booked onto an itinerary which skipped the rough seas and took us by a small aeroplane to King George Island where we embarked and disembarked our cruise.
We stayed in one of the Signature suites on board Silver Endeavour and if you are looking for comfort, lots of space and ultra luxury then this is the suite option for you. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first walked in, you feel like you have your own apartment at sea. As you walk in there will be your dining area that follows round to the lounge area with a comfy corner couch looking out to your veranda. Then you will go into the next room which will be your double, open plan walk in wardrobe with plenty of space that connects to the bedroom, which has large floor to ceiling windows, perfect to watch the magical scenes around you. Next to the walk-in wardrobe is the bathroom which has a separate area for the toilet, a large walk-in shower that even has a seat in it, a double vanity sink area and the best part is the whirlpool bath which became my best friend on this cruise.
Our butler on board could not be more friendly, attentive, or helpful if he tried. As soon as we got into our suite, he came to introduce himself, took the time to know a little bit about ourselves, showed us around the suite and how to use things like the speaker, lights, heating etc. He brought us the pillow menu to see which would be our preferred option, checked in the following day to see that the option we chose was right for us. You can select from three different toiletries options on board, one being for sensitive skin. He also checked that the options we had were what we wanted, offered to unpack our case, checked laundry with us each morning, brought hot chocolate after our morning excursion to warm us up, booked our dining reservations when some restaurants were full, canapes and champagne in the afternoon and so much more I really could go on he was just fabulous!
In suite inclusions in the Signature suite are endless from full bottle spirits which can be tailored to your preference upon arrival. Mini bar, which is replenished daily, an iPad which gets updated with all the information you can expect to do that day and menus for each restaurant. Binoculars, bathrobes, slippers, champagne and chocolates on arrival. It was pure luxury as you'd expect from Silversea!
I feel like people don't go on an expedition cruise (especially to Antarctica) with the expectation that the food will be good. But oh my goodness, it was incredible, again absolutely to top Silversea standard.
Silver Endeavour’s Italian restaurant on board is Il Terrazzino, which connects to the main restaurant and does require reservations to dine here that is strongly advised. We ate here on a few occasions as the food was so good. The menu was limited but included authentic dishes which changed every other day. The fresh ingredients have made this dining area a very popular option. The décor in the Terrazzino was beautiful, the crystal chandeliers, velvet blue chairs and artwork to match your surroundings.
The main restaurant which does not require reservations was another favourite, here you can dine for an A la carte Breakfast, Lunch, or dinner. There was plenty of dishes to choose from whether this be one of the regional specials or the timeless classics that never go out of fashion. The décor is very similar to Terrazzino as this connects on. You can order something from the Italian in the main restaurant also if you are dining with other people and would like a mixture this just has to be requested.
The Arts Café was my favourite place to grab a bite to eat after our morning excursion or a hot chocolate to warm me up for the next. The Arts café offered a selection of sandwiches and a warm dish daily, one day they had chilli con carne and it was the best thing I had ever tasted.
The Grill is where we dined on the first evening. This restaurant does require a reservation. This is known as one of the most impressive dining areas at Sea due to its incredible landscape views, perfect to admire the impressive views day or night. This is a more casual dining area which is open for Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner. Here you will have your grilled meats, fish, and vegetarian options.
For those who have cruised aboard other new ships in the Silversea fleet, such as Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, you will know that the most sought-after speciality restaurant on board is La Dame. La Dame is one of the best gastronomic experiences you will ever have on a cruise full stop. This restaurant does come at an additional surcharge and does get booked up very quickly, the restaurant also does not hold many guests at a time, so reservations are required. The fine dining experience comes complete with white gloved silver service, incredible food, and elegant surroundings. Choose from either the a la carte menu or enjoy the perfectly balanced six-course food and wine pairing menu. Whatever you decide, you’ll be gazing upon glaciers and icebergs from the stupendous floor to ceiling windows, while sipping ice-cold champagne and dining on fresh caviar. We unfortunately were too late to experience this, but we spoke to other guests on board that said it was not one to be missed.
The Explorer Lounge is where we would go each evening for our daily briefing, here the expedition leader would go through what we did that day and what we can expect to do and see the following day if weather permitted. Lectures were also held here throughout the day in between your landings and zodiac cruises. We attended a few and found them very fascinating, the expedition team on board are incredible and have so much knowledge about everything so no question would go unanswered and there was always plenty of hands after each lecture.
The Observation Lounge was the place to be to see the best views on board as it is at the very top of the ship. In the evening there would be the resident singers performing or a quiz to get involved in to end the day. Comfortable seating, plus 270-degree surrounding glass windows make this immersive venue ideal whatever time of the day. Offering very spacious interiors, the Observation Lounge is the perfect place to enjoy afternoon tea, an enrichment presentation by day, or pre-and post-dinner cocktails by night.
On board you will also find the Otium Spa, fitness center, two whirlpool Jacuzzis, beauty salon and library for all to enjoy.
In all honesty, while each of the spaces on board Silver Endeavour are absolutely gorgeous and a pleasure to experience, the focus was definitely on the destination and being off the ship. There is so much to tell you about the amazing things we saw and did... from whale watching to photographing penguins, hiking in the snow to kayaking amongst icebergs. My colleague Natalie will be writing more about the incredible things we got up to in Antarctica in her upcoming blog, so stay tuned!
If you're interested in booking an Antarctic adventure please don't hesitate to contact me on 0161 513 8200 and I'll happily tell you all about my time there with Silver Endeavour - and of course book your cruise of a lifetime!