Silversea will be adding another expedition ship to its fleet next year, but it’s not a new build. Silver Cloud is getting a major makeover, with renovations set to begin in August 2017 and an inaugural voyage to Antarctica planned for November 2017.
The ship will become an ice-class vessel, which involves strengthening the hull so that it can break through ice. Other updates involve reconfiguring the onboard spaces. The ship now holds 296 passengers, but after the renovation that will drop to 260 passengers, with cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica limited to 200 passengers. A section of lower-deck cabins are being removed, while some upper-deck cabins are being combined to create larger suites. The fitness center will also be moved to a smaller space to create a large observation deck at the front of the ship, and a fleet of 18 Zodiacs will be added.
Each sailing will have a team of up to 19 experts who will give lectures and lead expeditions in small groups (no more than 14 passengers each). But, even with the changes, Silver Cloud will remain a luxury ship, and like Silversea's other expedition ships — Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos — will have all ocean-view cabins with include butler service and all-inclusive fares that include alcohol and Wi-Fi.