We have sailed Silversea before but chose this cruise for the itinerary and also to experience expedition cruising and find out the difference.
Staff on board incl butler were great, cannot fault them , dining was also impressive , so was the quality and variety of the food and wines offered.
The shore excursions were not too different from a standard cruise. Only one shore activity during the 14 day expedition cruise involved some expedition like feature when we had a wonderful afternoon going ashore on the zodiacs watching a variety of seabirds nesting on the Scottish Island of Lunga. There were a lot of shore landings cancelled due to stormy weather.
Enrichment lectures were generally good, although some were repetitive due to the increased requirement of additional lectures after many cancelled shore landings.
Expedition staff seemed to display a lack of interest at times.
Our Vista Cabin had a sewage issue on day 2. We were moved to another cabin after that. It became obvious after talking to other guests that Silver Cloud has had ongoing sewage issues. We feel that it shows that the ship is 25 years old and has had a refit to comply with expedition ship/ice class regulations, mainly the strengthening of the hull. Apart from that there were a few serious problems visible like huge cracks in the cabin doors and also cracks in the fire doors of the ship. And the sewage issue. In our opinion this ship is past its use-by-date and should not sail Arctic or Antarctic regions .
cabin layout ok, but sewage problem due to maintenance and overall condition of the ship