Silver Spirit Goes To Palermo For Lengthening – Other Cruise News: Vancouver Considers An Outside Cruise Berth – Delos Shipping Acquires Deutschland

by Kevin Griffin

A week from today, Silversea’s nine-year old 540-berth Silver Spirit will enter dry dock in Palermo to commence her stretching to become a 608-berth Muse-like vessel, with more capacity and updated facilities. With the recent increase in ship size, meanwhile, Vancouver is considering a new facility outside its main port area, which the new mega ships can not access because of the height restiction of the Lion’s Gate Bridge. Elsewhere, little-known Dallas-based Delos Shipping has acquired the Deutschland.


Silver Spirit Goes To Palermo For Lengthening

Silversea’s now 540-berth Silver Spirit will enter dry dock at Fincantieri’s conversion shipyard in Palermo on March 5, where she will undergo lenthening and refurbishment work lasting until May 1.

Silver Spirit (Click to enlarge)

Silver Spirit (Click to enlarge)

This will include the insertion of a new 49-foot midsection that will make her the first ultra-luxury ship to be lengthened since the Royal Viking trio in 1981-1982-1983.

With the aim of augmenting the onboard experience for guests, as well as increasing the ship’s capacity to 608 berths, the project will include enhancing the ship’s public spaces to match the line’s flagship, the 596-berth Silver Muse, delivered last year, and Muse’s sister ship Silver Moon, due in 2020.

The Silver Muse (Click to enlarge)

The Silver Muse (Click to enlarge)

While some on board areas will be expanded, evoking a feeling of spaciousness and enhances comfort, special measures will be taken to retain the ship’s boutique feel and Silversea’s trademark service. The improved Silver Spirit will boast an impressive crew to guest ratio of 1 to 1.48.

Dining options will increase in line with those on the Silver Muse and additional suites will be added, while stylish décor enhancements will be made to existing suites and public areas. The pool deck will also be enlarged and reconfigured.

A new addition to Silver Spirit, the Arts Café, will be in on Deck 8. Offering a relaxed setting for readers and tea and coffee lovers, the new café will offer exhibitions and performances.

The lengthening project will create thirty-four new luxury suites, as well as a Balsorano suite, the pinnacle of onboard accommodation, which will be decorated with items of personal significance to Silversea chairman Manfredi Lefebvre.


Vancouver Considers An Outside Cruise Berth

A recent article in Cruise Industry News quoted Carmen Ortega, manager of trade development at the Port of Vancouver, as saying that “one of the things we are looking at now, and consulting with our cruise line clients about, is a possible new terminal outside the Lion’s Gate Bridge.”

The Island Princess at Vancouver (Click to enlarge)

The Island Princess at Vancouver (Click to enlarge)

Vancouver presently handles about a million cruise passengers a year but the Lion’s Gate Bridge, with its maximum clearance of 200 feet, presents a growing obstacle to larger ships being able to make a call.

Dock facilities located outside Vancouver’s famous Burrard Inet include Horseshoe Bay, where BC Ferries depart for and arrive from Vancouver Island and the upper coast; Squamish, a deepwater port on the way to Whistler; Richmond, on the Fraser River where Vancouver’s airport is located, and man-made terminals furher to the south, such as those at Tsawassen, opened by BC Ferries in 1960, and the deep water Roberts Bank facilities, opened in 1970 to accommodate coal carriers and in 1997 adding container ships at a new facility at Deltaport.

The City of Delta, where these terminals are located, has been mentioned as it could potentially be linked to Vancouver’s SkyTrain public transit system. But it is still about 25 miles from downtown Vancouver.

Celebrity Solstice (Click to enlarge)

Celebrity Solstice (Click to enlarge)

Concerns started to be expressed five years ago, when it was announced that due to the clearance limit on the Lion’s Gate Bridge (which dates to 1938), Celebrity Cruises was modifying the 2,800-berth Celebrity Solstice so that her mast could be telescoped down to allow her to pass under the bridge and sail into Vancouver harbour.
In 2013, the ship had to call at Nanaimo, but she moved to Vancouver in 2014. The Bridge of the America’s over the Panama Canal has a similar useable air draft to the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

Ships such as the 3,114-berth Seattle-based Explorer of the Seas, built eighteen years ago, now cannot make it into Vancouver because of their height. And now two megaships are scheduled for Alaska, starting this year with the 4,000-berth Norwegian Bliss, and in 2019 adding Royal Caribbean International’s 5,000-berth Ovation of the Seas. Both will sail from Seattle, but in a way that helps to preserve the more upmarket trade for Vancouver.

Each cruise ship turnaround at Vancouver brings as much as $3 million to the local economy and the market continues to grow.

Delos Shipping Acquires Deutschland

It was recently announced that the twice-named 552-berth Deutschland (when on charter to Phoenix Reisen) / World Odyssey (when on charter to Semester at Sea) was purchased by Dallas-based private equity firm Delos Shipping LLC from Absolute Nevada LLC following the death last year of Absolute owner Donald Hoffman.

The Deutschland with the colours of Phoenix Reisen (Click to enlarge)

The Deutschland with the colours of Phoenix Reisen (Click to enlarge)

More recently has followed new Delos Shipping LLC have renewed the charter agreement for Deutschland with Phoenix Reisen until 2025 and with Semester at Sea until 2026.

Meanwhile, Delos Shipping co-founder Brian Ladin has recently said, “we are in the process of negotiating the acquisition of other cruise ships.”

(Kevin Griffin is managing director of specialist cruise agency The Cruise People Ltd in London, England. For further information concerning cruises mentioned in this article readers can visit his blog)

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