Silversea’s Silver Spirit has been cut in two at Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo as part of her planned Silver Muse-inspired lengthening.
A prebuilt 15-metre (49-feet) section of the ship has been inserted and at the time of writing the ship was being reconnected.
The ‘stretching’ of the 36,009-ton luxury cruise liner is being done with the aim of enhancing guests’ onboard experience. The project will create more space in public areas and has given naval architects the capacity to introduce new features aboard the ship.
The ship lengthening project is a major undertaking for a shipyard and ship owner, often compared to an organ transplant.
The entire ship must first be sliced in half with precision down to the milimetre, the two halves of the ship are then separated and the new section is inserted between them.
The two open sides are then welded back together.
Although the Fincantieri Shipyard has considerable experience in ‘stretching’ cruise ships, according to Silversea, this is the first time the project has been undertaken on a luxury cruise liner.
Some 500 workers will spend around 450,000 man-hours completing the refit, with Silver Spirit due to be handed back to Silversea on May 5th. Her new length will be 210.7m (691.3 ft.) and she’ll carry an extra 846 tons of steel, 110,000m of cabling and 8,000m of piping.
Watch the video below:
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All of this translates into a 12% passenger capacity increase, with a dining capacity increase of 15% and a 20% increase in outdoor seating (from 200 to 266). According to Silversea, the ship will be brought up-to-date with the experience guests enjoy aboard the line’s new flagship Silver Muse.
“Witnessing these breathtaking phases of the Silver Spirit lengthening project has filled us with pride and excitement,” said Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer of Silversea.
“This ambitious project will amplify the onboard features that matter most to our guests. We are taking our flagship, Silver Muse – which was delivered by Fincantieri in April last year – as the point of inspiration for a fleet-wide renovation programme,” she added.
“The lengthening and refurbishment of Silver Spirit will replicate the modern elegance of our latest vessel to make for a more luxurious travelling experience. We are eager to share the new and improved layout of our cherished ship with our valued guests.”
The lengthening is intended to bring Silver Spirit more in-line with the standards of Silversea’s new flagship Silver Muse.
A new 8-restaurant configuration will replace the existing culinary infrastructure, with varying dining concepts introduced. Atlantide, Indochine, Silver Note, and Spaccanapoli, will complement the pre-existing Seishin, La Dame, La Terrazza and The Grill.
Outside, the pool area on the sky deck will increase in length (from 30 to 45m / from 98 to 148 ft.) to offer additional space for relaxing under the sun and a new aerobics area will also be created.
Inside, the Zagara Spa concept will be installed, as will a new free weights room which will complement the upgraded fitness centre.
The Arts Café and Dolce Vita – two new, sophisticated public spaces – will improve the onboard entertainment options.
All suites will be refurbished to ensure the trademark Silversea level of quality is maintained.
Prior to Silver Spirit’s arrival in Palermo, the ship docked in Chania, Crete, where Silversea donated 4,652 items of used furniture to a number of the island’s charities.
The donated articles will be put to use for social welfare purposes in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other institutions across the island.
After her handover back to Silversea on May 5th, Silver Spirit will recommence cruising duties with a 7-night cruise from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Barcelona.
Departing on May 6, 2018, Silver Spirit will recommence her service with a seven-day cruise between Civitavecchia (Rome) and Barcelona.