The Silver Shadow
It's known that Silversea Cruises pride themselves on their genuine and refined hospitality. Five-star luxury is offered to every one of the Silver Shadow's 382 passengers on an intimate voyage to Chile's northern coast. Here the 10 best reasons even the seasoned cruiser will be astounded by the Silver Shadow's high-seas service.
What You Want is What You Get
That is the motto of the Silverseas' white-glove service; onboard this all-inclusive cruise line, almost anything you can imagine spending money on is available to you. The typical general store is replaced with labels like Relais Chateau, Davidoff and Bvlgari. Designer labels aside, Silverseas' uncompromising dedication to opulent luxury is most apparent in their sizeable suites. The guest quarters onboard boast the highest ratio of space per guest of any fleet currently cruising the ocean waters.
Relax and Rejuvenate
Before you leave the Silver Shadow on a Chilean excursion, there's plenty of time to fully embrace your vacation Zen. On deck 8, meet up with your personal yoga instructor and center yourself with an oceanfront view. After your session, head to the Silver Shadow's impeccable spa, offering a full range of pampering therapies including facials, body wraps and massages. Of course, guests are always free to simply kick back and hang poolside.
Although bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the town of Antofagasta, Chile, is part of the Atacama Desert, 1 of the driest places on Earth, stretching along 600 miles of Chilean coastline. Antofagasta was once a busy industrial port, but is now a popular year-round beach resort. Silverseas' guests can enjoy excursions featuring a golf course with sand greens for golf enthusiasts or a craft market at the Plaza del Mercado for those who prefer to meander and shop.
Onboard the Silver Shadow, you'll find a culinary experience unique to the Silverseas' fleet of ships. The Galley Brunch is a grand affair that invites all guests to feast on crab legs, sushi and other delicacies. In addition, the daily fare is nothing short of gourmet. Menus reflect the cuisine and specialties of your ports of call, so if you aren't able to experience the local dishes while exploring Chile, you can still do so back onboard. Additionally, the ship's menu is available via room service in case you need a night in.
Silverseas will take you on a haunting visit to Humberstone, Chile, an abandoned mining town in the Atacama Desert. During the nitrate boom of the late 19th and early 20th century, Humberstone was known as the incredibly rich town of La Palma, and was the largest producer of nitrate in the Atacama Desert. Nitrate, used as a fertilizer and in the making of gunpowder and explosives, was highly profitable until a manmade synthetic turned Humberstone into a ghost town. Literally. According to local lore, the town's abandoned theater is brimming with spirits of Humberstone's bustling past.
Iquique is Chile's most visited city; a coastal town whose streets are lined with palm trees. Reminiscent of coastal California, Iquique has beautiful homes and adorable boutiques. Here, guests of the Silver Shadow are invited to browse Baquedano, a 19th-century Victorian street. After exploring, indulge in some local fare -- fresh seafood dishes like cheese and crab pie coupled with a signature Pisco cocktail.
The Secret Recipe
Not only does Silverseas serve some of the best cuisine found on the open seas, it also invites guests to step beyond the dining room and into the kitchen. Here the ship's chef will take you through the preparation of 1 of his signature dishes and spill the secrets to creating tasty fare for hundreds while sailing from port to port. For foodies, this is the ultimate onboard activity -- bring a notebook to take these covert cuisines home with you.
The room service onboard Silverseas ships raises the bar. Forget the cheeseburger under a plastic lid -- waiters arrive at your suite with a white tablecloth, silver-plated dinnerware and serve you the meal course by course. You can order from the ship's 3 restaurants and Pool Grille without changing into your formalwear. Additionally, since the suites onboard are so roomy, feel free to host a private party for new friends that's organized and catered by the ship's staff.
Located at the northernmost tip of Chile and surrounded by desert, Arica is one of Chile's up-and-coming resort towns. The best part of visiting this town is its tangible relaxing atmosphere; as the local saying goes, "It's wonderful to do nothing all day & and then relax afterwards." This is vacation perfected and guests of the Silver Shadow can mingle with locals as they browse the tiny shops downtown, where streets overflow with arts and crafts. Not to be missed is a short climb up El Moro, a hill in the middle of the desert where you can peer over the ocean and mountains alike.
Perhaps the only thing that will feel like work on your visit to Arica is a surf lesson. This coastal Chilean town is known for having some of the most consistent waves in the world, making it a hot spot for surfers. While the waves aren't huge, the swells pack a lot of energy, making them perfect for beginners. Ask Silver Shadow's onboard concierge to coordinate a morning lesson before you relax the afternoon away.