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Silver Nova Review

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Silver Nova certainly lives up to her name, which was inspired by the Greek word for “new.” This 728-guest ultra-luxury vessel, which set sail in July 2023 as the first ship in Silversea’s Nova class, has a space-to-guest ratio that makes her one of the roomiest ships ever built, while an astounding 43,000 square feet of glass windows provide an abundance of natural light and create an immediate connection to the sea. Silver Nova is also the most-eco-friendly ship in the Silversea fleet (it emits 40% less greenhouse gasses than vessels in the previous class) and features a novel asymmetrical design with a two-level pool deck offering 270-degree uninterrupted ocean views. 

Equally innovative are six ocean-facing glass elevators, which are set forward and aft on opposite sides of the ship and are the only guest elevators. This makes Silver Nova unique among cruise ships (at least until the 2024 debut of Silver Ray), with every ride offering an ocean view. While many of the onboard amenities — such as all-suite accommodations, a  plethora of dining options and the Otium Spa with its extensive treatment menu — will be familiar to fans of Silversea, there are some updates that take the brand’s luxury-focused Italian heritage and elegant tone-on-tone décor to the next level.

What We Love

All New Aft Suites with 270-degree Views: Topping the new suites categories offered on Silver Nova are two Otium Suites: 1,324-square-foot accommodations featuring a 434-square-foot balcony with a whirlpool (the first private one in the Silversea fleet). Their premium aft corner position (on either deck 6 or deck 7) offers 270-degree views. New as well are six Master Suites, also situated on aft corners (on decks 6 to 9), that offer 270-degree views with 721-to-826 square feet of indoor space and 223-to-330 square feet of balcony space. While not aft-facing, 16 Signature Suites, another new category, offer 700 square feet of indoor space and a 172-square-foot balcony with sweeping views from the living room, bedroom, and bathroom. All suite categories, from 357-square-foot Classic Veranda Suites to the expansive Otium Suites, feature butler service. One tip: If you prefer a larger walk-in shower over a bathtub/shower combo, pick your Veranda Suite carefully since both options are offered. 

The Pool Deck: Not only does Silver Nova feature the cruise line’s largest pool, but the ship’s asymmetrical design means it is situated along the starboard side of deck 10 with most of the surrounding loungers facing outward toward the sea with the Pool Bar located just behind. On the pool deck’s upper level, an infinity-edge, glass-fronted hot tub called The Cliff Whirlpool overlooks the port side and is definitely the place to be as Silver Nova slips away from port at sunset or spends a day at sea. 

The Dusk Bar & The S.A.L.T. Bar: Head aft on deck 10 to enjoy the panoramic, open-air Dusk Bar. It’s a terrific spot to lounge by day or evening as Silver Nova cruises tropical and temperate locales, such as the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Caribbean, and South America. For craft cocktails, including classic drinks and novel options custom-created by innovative bartenders, guests can opt for the atmospheric S.A.L.T. Bar.

The Secret Library: Love to delve into a good book in a snug space? Seek out the secret library. Located behind an unmarked door, it features a selection of books, comfortable sofas along its perimeter, and a ceiling painted in blue and gold to resemble a dusky sky with twinkling stars. 

Best Known For

Dining Options: Like its most recent predecessors, Silver Moon and Silver Dawn — both of which carry 596 guests — the slightly larger Silver Nova features an excellent line-up of restaurants. These include Atlantide (for contemporary seafood), La Terrazza (a buffet venue with indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch that transforms into an atmospheric Italian specialty restaurant for dinner), S.A.L.T. Kitchen (a culturally immersive dining experience with menus that change daily based on the ports visited), and Silver Note (for tapas-style bites accompanied by live jazz). New aboard Silver Nova is The Marquee, an inviting deck 10 al fresco venue serving a limited breakfast menu of “health-focused” items and a more extensive lunch menu, as well as Neapolitan-style pizza from Spaccanapoli; for dinner, the space becomes The Grill, where guests can cook steak and seafood on hot rocks tableside. New on board is Arts Café, a social, art-themed venue serving real Italian espresso and light bites. The ship also features three extra-charge dining experiences: La Dame for French fine dining, Kaiseki for Japanese cuisine, and S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table for regionally-themed tasting menus.

Culinary Innovation & Immersion: Silversea’s interactive S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) culinary program has been enhanced aboard Silver Nova with the repositioning and expansion of S.A.L.T. Lab, the hands-on culinary kitchen, to deck 10. Now a light-filled space with cooking stations for up to 18 guests, it’s the setting for both S.A.L.T. Lab classes, where guests learn to prepare a regional dish (the Caribbean johnnycakes lesson was fun and delicious), and the brand new S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table dining experience, both requiring an extra fee. The latter is an informative, 11-course regionally-themed dinner (Mediterranean, Caribbean, Alaska, etc.) led by a chef versed in the cuisine and its preparation. It’s not your usual tasting menu, since you’ll watch each course being prepared and it often incorporates some novel ingredients — making it ideal for curious foodies. It’s also pricy, so inquire about the menu beforehand to ensure it suits your palate (some substitutions are possible). Guests can also sign up for culinary-focused shore excursions to enjoy epicurean experiences in the region.

All-Inclusive Pricing: Yes, Silversea fares can cause some initial sticker shock, but all the inclusions — meals and all beverages, service gratuities, Wi-Fi, at least one shore excursion per port, and door-to-door transfers (including economy-class airfare with an option to upgrade to business class) — offer exceptional convenience and value for a luxury cruise experience.

Who It's Best For

Affluent Retirees and Couples Seeking a Special Occasion Splurge: With global itineraries that range from seven to 47 nights, Silver Nova, like all Silversea ships, attracts niche cruisers (mostly age 60 and older), who have both the time and the funds to cruise for extended periods. Its culture- and food-focused itineraries also make it a great option for couples looking to splurge for a milestone birthday or anniversary experience.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Some Specialty Dining Costs Extra: There are nine dining venues on board Silver Nova and six are included in the cruise fare. The other three — Kaiseki for a multi-course Japanese omakase dinner, La Dame for traditional French fine dining, and the new S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table for an 11-course interactive tasting menu themed to the region you’re sailing — require an $80 to $180 per person cover charge. If you enjoy sushi and sashimi, however, you can eat lunch at Kaiseki without an extra charge.

Bathroom Doors Are Hefty and Loud: Guests traveling with partners who regularly make overnight visits to the bathroom may find themselves awakened by the swift slam of the rather heavy door (or doors as many suites feature a second door to the toilet area). On the positive side, the suites are fairly soundproof, so you won’t hear your neighbors’ doors (or voices), and the bathroom floor is level with the rest of the suite, so tripping hazards are minimized. 

The Ambiance Can be Sedate: Because Silversea delivers an ultra-luxury product focused on gastronomy and culture, guests tend to prioritize enjoying daytime sightseeing and superb onboard dining rather than on nighttime socializing. The vibe after the 10 p.m. show in the Venetian Lounge is generally on the quiet side — although there is a DJ in the Panorama Lounge for those who want to dance off some of the calories they’ve consumed.

Donna Heiderstadt
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger
Cruise Expert