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BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVER MOON - Silversea Baltic Cruise

Silver Moon

  • Cruise Line: Silversea

  • Year Built: 2020

  • Capacity: 596 passengers

  • Number of Crew: 411

  • Decks: 8

  • Gross Tonnage: 40,700

  • Length: 698 ft

  • Beam: 86 ft

The Silver Moon was departing from Stockholm on a Baltic Cruise, originally the cruise was scheduled to stay for three days in St. Petersburg, which was the big selling point of the itinerary. Mr Putin put paid to the best-laid plans of mice and men and the cruise was rerouted to visit some very interesting Baltic seaports.

Hurdle number one was getting to Stockholm and negotiating the queues and chaos at Heathrow. Having arrived at the airport over three and a half hours early we thought we were in plenty of time. What a nightmare over three hours to check in baggage, clear security and get to the gate with just about 15 minutes to spare before loading.

Arrived in Stockholm and eventually made it to the Silversea representative at the airport to discover we were not on the transfer list. However, we were soon accommodated and were riding through the outskirts of the city with twelve other late passengers and made it to the dock, our little transfer group where the last to embark and we had to make it straight to the lifeboat drill.

Silversea has gone back to holding the drill at the Muster Stations. Masks are now entirely at your discretion, except at the muster station, the Venetian Lounge (theatre) or in the casino. With the ship at less than 50% capacity, social distancing was not a problem. If fact it almost felt like you were on a private yacht with the amount of space available.

Muster station over we headed straight to Art’s Café one of our favourite spots for a cup of tea and a cake. Due to our late arrival, we had completely missed tea. Never mind the Art’s Café serves wonderful little snacks at all times of day and evening and we settled down for some canapes and a glass of champers on the rear deck. Totally spoilt the service on Silversea is top-notch. Art's Cafe - Delicious snacks all-day

Silver Moon has a very large swimming pool for a ship of this size.

Exploring the ship we consequently did not make it to our cabin until it was time to change for dinner. First and last evenings are fairly laid back with casual gear being the order of the day. Other evenings are a little more formal and normally require jackets but not ties at indoor venues. Normally there is at least one formal night when the best bib and tucker comes out and the ball gowns swish around the ship. This cruise was seven nights and in port, every day so the formal night was a little strange as we were in port until 11.00 pm and we had already decided to eat at “Hot Rocks” that evening.

Hot rocks is the deck grill that in the evening turns itself around. Having chosen your meat and side dishes the food arrives and you cook it yourself on a hot stone at your table. Certainly not the evening to wear a dinner jacket. Yes, the food splatters a bit and you do tend to smell a bit like a bonfire by the time you have finished. Thoughtful as ever your waiter arrives with a massive bib to fasten around your neck.

You are never spoilt for choice when it comes to food on Silversea. The main restaurant on most Silversea ships is Atlantide, mainly steaks and seafood. I must admit we did not eat in this restaurant after we discovered S.A.L.T kitchen.

A Delicious main course in S.A.L.T. Kitchen

S.A.L.T. is simple. It stands for Sea And Land Taste and is a new initiative on the two newest ships Silver Moon and Silver Dawn, S.A.L.T. kitchen replaces INDOCHINE on other Silversea ships, also a favourite. The idea behind S.A.L.T. is an immersive experience in the food and drink of the areas you are visiting. Each evening part of the menu offers ever-changing dishes from the country that you have just visited. The second part of the menu stays static for the cruise and offers more general dishes from the region of your cruise. The highlight of my S.A.L.T. experience was a venison dish after visiting Riga in Latvia.

S.A.L.T. bar is a very small cocktail bar seating only about 20 guests and offers cocktails created for Silver Moon by the cocktail barman in this intimate setting.

And finally, S.A.L.T. Lab where guests are invited to take part in creating dishes from the region. Seven days in port did not allow me to participate, but a fellow guest I was chatting to thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We obviously loved S.A.L.T. Kitchen and ate there on a number of occasions.

You cannot talk about Silversea without talking about the crew, who without exception always have a smile and a warm welcome wherever you meet them onboard. It seems like nothing is too much trouble for them and within a couple of days, those who serve you frequently greet you by name that always makes you feel very special. It was nice to be recognised by three crew members who we had sailed with on a previous cruise. Although a great number of different nationalities work onboard, the hotel staff were predominantly from the Philippines or India. Most of the crew we chatted to have had served many contracts with Silversea and know the ships inside out.

The Voices of Silversea

On smaller ships entertainment is more understated. On Silver Moon, there are Six Singers “The Voices of Silversea” who perform a variety of shows, normally after dinner in the Venetian Lounge. On our cruise, the Soprano and Tenor has the strongest voices and tended to carry the other singers along in the shows with an operatic theme. I felt quite sorry for the excellent concert pianist playing mostly in a deserted Dolce Vita lounge. I loved the music of the Silversea trio but their playing mostly clashed with dinner and the evening show and we tended to turn up to listen to their great music just as they were packing up for the evening, making way for the D.J.

Sailing at less than 50% capacity the various venues in the evening were very quiet. On the one evening that a deck event took place it, unfortunately, started to rain and the planned dancing on deck had to be moved into the Panorama Lounge resulting in the party feeling very disjointed. The cruise director and fabulous International Hostess Ellen did a great job in getting guests up to dance, but sadly as soon as they disappeared into the night so did the guests.

Our fabulous seven days on Silver Moon came to end. We arrived in Copenhagen to the sad news of the shooting that had taken place in the city the previous day. The proposed strike by SAS pilots did not look good. But we made it home without too much disruption.

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