If a yearning for culinary satisfaction dictates your vacation choices you’ll feel deliciously at home on this sophisticated small ship, where fine dining is the cornerstone of the experience. The newest ship in Silversea’s luxury fleet, 36,000-ton Silver Spirit set sail in late 2009 and accommodates 540 guests. Service is stellar and the ambience is classically elegant with contemporary touches.
A key feature of Silver Spirit is that all staterooms are butler- serviced suites and 95 percent have teak verandas. Each has a marble bathroom with separate shower and full-size tub, a walk-in closet and a sitting area with flat-screen TV. Veranda suites, at 376 square feet, are super-comfy, but trading up to a 742-square-foot silver suite is a splurge you won’t regret. Another Silver Spirit plus is that the tariff is all-inclusive, meaning beverages, wine and champagne by the glass, as well as onboard gratuities are included. However, shore excursions, spa treatments and a meal at the two specialty dining venues are extra. Those two specialty venues—in addition to two main restaurants, a poolside grill and a tapasstyle supper club—are not to be missed: Le Champagne for a six-course haute French experience and Seishin for extraordinary Asian fusion fare. You can work off all the extra calories in the fitness center. At the adjacent spa, wind down your day with a soak in any of the four hot tubs.
Photo Courtesy of Silversea Cruises
Top Itinerary: Silver Spirit spends April to October in Europe on a variety of seven-night itineraries—a favorite is Athens (Piraeus) to Istanbul. Begin with a visit to the hilltop Acropolis (the three-year-old New Acropolis Museum just below is also wonderful) and other remnants of the ancient Greeks before exploring the iconic beaches and whitewashed cliff villages on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Enjoy the fascinating Knights of St. John and Minoan history on Rhodes and Crete, before ending your time travels in Istanbul, home to the exquisite Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia and the must-visit Grand Bazaar with its 4,000-plus shops (cabin rates start at $4,199 per person for 7-night sailing, all-inclusive; silversea.com).