By Cindy Chan

It may be called the Silver Explorer but this Arctic vessel is gold medal-worthy.

The Silver Explorer is a high-end luxury cruise vessel, offering trips around the Arctic and Antarctic. According to Paul Hebson, vice-president and general manager of Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock, the Silver Explorer was built so that it could easily and efficiently travel through the ice without suffering any damage. Seaspan, working with a variety other partners, carried out a number of enhancements to this unique vessel in the fall of 2018.

“The structure is stronger than a conventional ship,” Hebson says, adding that one of the major components of the project was the installation of a stabilizer – or duck tail – on the stern of the ship. “The steel structure we pre-manufactured was 35 tons; it is a large structure situated at the back end of the ship. It’s filled with air, increasing the buoyancy and stability of the ship, making the voyage more comfortable for passengers.”

In addition to the ducktail the project also included tank top repairs and changes to some of the tanks functionality, propeller repair and polishing, blast and painting work of the underwater hull. Work on the vessel was completed on Oct. 11, 2018. It was done on time and on budget.

Built for Silversea Expeditions, the ship itself has a guest capacity of 144 and a crew capacity of 118. According to silversea.com, the “strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition Cruise Ship to safely push through ice floes with ease.”

The Silver Explorer has many accommodations, such as the Owner’s Suite, Grand Suite, Silver Suite, Medallion Suite, Veranda Suite, Vista Suite, View Suite, Explorer Suite and Adventurer Suite. All suites include butler service, a refrigerator and bar, a bathrobe, pillows, bath amenities, an alarm clock, personalized stationery, an umbrella, a direct-dial telephone, outlets, complementary Wi-Fi and a flat-screen television set. Guests on board are also able to eat at two of the ship’s eateries called The Grill, which features an outdoor bar, and The Restaurant, which offers ocean views.

The Silver Explorer’s decks also offer many amenities for guests to enjoy. Deck 3 has a reception desk, medical centre, mud room and expedition office. Deck 4 offers a beauty salon, launderette, fitness centre and The Restaurant. Deck 5 features the bridge, a boutique, a cruise consultant, a connoisseur’s corner and panorama lounge. Deck 6 has Tor’s Observation Library, Zagara Beauty Spa, The Grill, an explorer lounge and whirlpools. Deck 7 is the viewing deck.

For more information, visit silversea.com.

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