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Silver-Explorer
Silver Explorer in Puerto Williams at Sunset
Silver Explorer On Deck Hot Tub
Silver Explorer Aft Deck Dining
Initial Briefing by Luke
Silver-Explorer
Silver Explorer in Puerto Williams at Sunset
Silver Explorer On Deck Hot Tub
Silver Explorer Aft Deck Dining
Initial Briefing by Luke
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Size matters. I say it all the time.  And it always does.  As I mentioned in my first Antarctica post, only small ships can make any landings on Antarctica.  That made a big ship a deal breaker.  

Plus I don’t like to do things in large groups. 

Stats:

The Silver Explorer length 107.9m 354ft max 144 passengers, 118 crew vs Titantic 269.1m 882.9ft 2,435 passengers, 900 crew vs Symphony of the Seas 361.011m 1,184.42 ft 6,680 passengers, 2,200 crew. For comparison I edited this image to include the Silver Explorer.
silver-explorer-size-comparison

Surprisingly Silver Explorer wasn’t actually full for our trip.  Due to limited sailings almost all Antarctica cruise sell out regardless of high cost.  In the end we sailed with 90 passengers. This gave us a crew to passenger ratio of 1.3 crew per passenger. 

Oh butler, my butler

But I was finally onboard. Entering on deck 3 we were escorted to our cabin on deck 4 where we met our best butler Rooben. He had a chilled of Heidsieck & Co Monopole Blue Top champagne was waiting for us! Luxury and service indeed! We declined Rooben’s offer to unpack. (Note to self, next time I have a butler, I’ll still unpack myself, but will ask for more room service like fresh berries or a nite cap every day.) One disappointment was only having a shower in the bathroom not a tub. I’d read a blog post about requesting a bubble bath with champagne waiting for after a cold excursion and I wanted it, a lot! I did do a champagne après excursion with a cheese plate and chips one afternoon.
post excursion treats
First order of business transforming the double/queen bed into twins. Followed by mandatory safety video and lifeboat drill.  

With the drill came a welcome briefing, a very good welcome briefing (inside joke) from our Expedition Leader Luke and the Captain Freddie Ligthelm.  Unfortunately the Drake Passage had decided to shake and delay our departure by 24 hours.  Safety is always the first rule.  And due to Chilean COVID quarantine rules we were not allowed off the ship to explore. Puerto Williams is not a traditional cruise port.  There are no tourist shops, no duty free liquor shops, and no services. 
Puerto Williams Dock
Not an auspicious start.  We would have plenty of time to explore the ship, though it took me much longer than I care to admit, to learn the best way around the ship.  And of course to enjoy the fabulous food.

Ooh la lava

Each meal was accompanied by specially selected wines, one white, one red.  Or your favorite cocktail or non-alcoholic creation.  I was pleasantly surprised each meal was accompanied by still and sparkling water.  And luckily for some new friends vegetarian and gluten free options were available at every meal. Like most cruises it was very, VERY easy to overeat.  No rules applied to the meals no set table assignments, no fixed courses, have two appetizers and three deserts if the mood strikes. 😉 Plus 24×7 room service, early coffee, pastries, and fruit in the library, and high tea in the bar.
ooh-la-lava-grilling

While my sailing and diving friends might think a 107.9m 354ft ship is huge, it’s not too big or too small.  The biggest challenge was sometimes you had to go down and over to go up.  There wasn’t a pool, but there were two hot tubs on the aft (rear) of deck 5. Due to weather we managed only one cold and snowy al fresco dinner on the aft deck 5. A fun bonus to cook our own entree on a 500 degree lava stone. I opted for the prawns and filet and they provided the baked potato, grilled veggies, and accompaniments.

The Silver Explorer has dozens of antiques, artifacts and photos from famed British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s early 1900s expeditions on display. It’s a small detail, but appreciated by the historian in me to see what it was like while basking in luxury. A winning combination! Original photo credit Royal Geographic Society.
Endurance_Final_Sinking

CJ

I have visited 7 continents and 80 countries. I have lived in 9 different countries. I speak English, Spanish, French, and Russian. I like to hike, ski, dive, eat, drink, and wander the wonders of the world.

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