Silversea Cruises

Silver Wind

Overall Editor Rating
David Swanson April 26, 2023

Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Silversea Cruises
Cruise StyleExpedition
Ship SizeSmall
Price Range$$$$
Sails To Antarctica
Sails From, Chile

Port Williams, Chile
Duration11-24 days

The second member of the Silversea fleet, originally debuting in 1995, Silver Wind was conceived as a modestly-sized luxury liner, equipped with a powerful engine room, oversized cabins, and a large crew catering to an upscale crowd looking to reach the four corners of the globe. In 2021-22, Silver Wind was converted to an expedition class vessel, allowing the ship to venture on more adventurous itineraries reaching deeper into the Arctic and Antarctic each summer and winter, along with remote locations in South America, Africa and beyond in the spring and summer.Read More

The conversion involved removing some guest cabins, which means Silver Wind has a more generous passenger space ratio than much of the competition. The ship now has an (almost) 1:1 crew to passenger ratio, with the addition of expedition team members numbering about two dozen. New decking was built for a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks that help access unusual places, an ice-class hull was added, providing the ship an ice-class rating of 1C, and a mud room was incorporated, for changing into gear for expedition activities. (Silver Wind’s elder sister, Silver Cloud, was also converted to expedition class, in 2018, and offers many identical features and itineraries.)

Now carrying 274 passengers (down from 298), Silver Wind features four restaurants, a full-service spa and fitness center, a decent-sized pool, and a photo studio with a professional photographer who can provide assistance with camera gear (more intensive training is available for a fee). Cabins are concentrated in the forward half of the ship, while common areas are mostly located in the aft section of each deck. When the ship is not in port (or, more often, anchored at a unique location), enrichment lectures by the ship’s expedition team take place, covering anthropology, ornithology, glaciology, and other topics relevant to the itinerary’s destinations.

Silver Wind sailing is not inexpensive, though it is largely all-inclusive with wine and other drinks, gratuities, WiFi connectivity, and port taxes included. Most shore excursions are also included along with charter flights to reach far-flung embarkation ports; special options such as scenic flights may incur an added fee.

Fellow passengers are largely from the US, but as many as half might originate from Europe and other countries.


A fleet of 24 Zodiacs and 10 kayaks awaits for expeditions off the ship, along with a crew of more than 20 expedition team members. Guests on polar itineraries are provided a logo parka, and a video and photos from all cruises is offered for guests to take home
Silver Wind’s four restaurants serve food more varied and of better quality than is common in the expedition cruise industry
Cabins and service ministrations also exceed that of most expedition lines, with oversized accommodations, butler service and an international team of waiters and bartenders trained to excel for an exacting clientele
As with most expedition ships, itineraries can shift with little notice based on weather and other conditions beyond the ship’s control
Compared to newer expedition ships, Silver Wind does not have all the latest expedition bells and whistles
The French restaurant, La Dame, has an upcharge of $60 per person, which seems an unnecessary add-on for an expensive, “all-inclusive” cruise

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating

Silver Wind has an array of accommodations, all of which are termed “suites” by Silversea. Most are designated to sleep two, while about one-third can sleep a third guest using a pullout sofa bed; some have a connecting door to an adjacent cabin.

Least expensive are 14 Vista Suites, which have a large picture window (no balcony), and are located on Deck 4.  Measuring 240 square feet, Vista Suites are about 50 percent larger than typical oceanview accommodations on mainstream cruise ships.

Standard throughout: oversized bathroom with roomy shower, walk-in wardrobe and ample storage space, bathrobes, hair dryer, sitting area with table for dining, flat screen HD TVs, stocked minibar, mini-safe, data ports, telephone, and queen-size bed (convertible to two single beds). Three additional Vista Suites found on Deck 7 measure a generous 325 square feet.

The bulk of the ship’s accommodations are the 106 Verandah Suites, located on Decks 5, 6 and 7. The interiors and features are essentially identical to the Vista Suites, but each has a balcony measuring 49 square feet. The rest of the cabins are five different types of large suites, up to the two one-bedroom Grand Suites, which measure 1,019 square feet. Located immediately below the bridge (a connecting door to the adjacent cabin can convert these into two-bedroom units), this class of suites feature a bathtub, Bose sound system, espresso machine, and more.

While hardware and the room’s linens, drapes, and other upholstery have been updated during Silver Wind’s various refurbishments, accommodations retain a homey feel, with a minimum of flashy, contemporary décor.

There are just two accessible cabins, both Vista Suites.  Elevators access all decks, except Deck 9, where the spa, fitness center and Observation Library are located.  Guests with limited mobility must be able to transfer into a Zodiac at some ports (including embarkation and/or debarkation in some itineraries) where anchoring off shore is the only option.

The ship’s limited accessibility features make it a less appealing option for those with mobility issues or other impairments.

Food & Drink

Editor Rating

Located on Deck 4, The Restaurant is Silver Wind’s main dining venue and is open for full-service meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The refined menu is more varied than is common in the mainstream cruise industry.

Typical dinner entrées include filet mignon, grilled lamb chops, chargrilled swordfish, lasagna Florentine, etc., but an alternate menu, with a focus on a specific regional cuisine, such as Indian or South American, with dishes like tandoori chicken or anticuchos (spicy Andean beef skewers), changes nightly.  Several vegetarian appetizers and entrées are always offered.

The Restaurant is large enough to seat most passengers at once, so reservations are not necessary unless there is a specific table you seek (or have a large gathering)—breakfast and lunch can be surprisingly quiet.

The ship’s busiest venue is La Terrazza, located on Deck 7 aft.  Breakfast is served from a smallish buffet station, with additional menu options such as omelets available. At lunch and dinner, La Terrazza becomes the ship’s Italian venue, but preparations of Italian dishes can be inconsistent, despite an extensive menu advertising homemade pasta.  The venue has outdoor seating for when weather cooperates, but is much smaller than The Restaurant, and can be busy during the day; reservations are advisable for dinner.

Located poolside on Deck 8, The Grill is the ship’s outdoor steakhouse, and it can be a winner when weather conditions permit (space heaters and blankets are available). By day, the menu sticks to salads, sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas. At night, the menu includes various cuts of beef, plus lamb, chicken and fish, served with the usual steakhouse fixings. When ordering you will be given the option of having the crew cook the flesh, or it is brought to you on a slab of lava stone, heated to 400 degrees, to cook yourself.  It’s casual and unpretentious, and if you time the cooking, it’s delicious.

Silver Wind’s fourth restaurant is La Dame, which serves full-on French gastronomic dining with an add-on charge of $60 per person.  The service is exceptional, and the food is refined — caviar with buckwheat blinis, foie gras, lobster bisque, lamb chops, soufflés, fine cheese, etc.  It’s a fine venue for a special occasion.  Reservations are required for this small, intimate space.

One additional option offered on Silver Wind is “all around dining,” available 24 hours and served in your cabin or in another public area of the ship.  Virtually any item from the various restaurants can be served to you at the location of your choice.  In your suite, the simple-looking coffee table fronting the couch is converted into a proper dining table, joined by all the linen and accouterments.

In addition to bar service at each dining venue, Silver Wind has four standalone bars spread around the ship. The Pool Bar and Panorama Lounge, both on Deck 8, are open from early morning till late at night—the latter is particularly popular when cruising through scenic areas, but it’s aft-facing. Almost all beverages are included except for premium bottles.

Next to the Panorama Lounge on Deck 8 is Connoisseur’s Corner, a cigar lounge offering a selection of Dominican and Cuban stogies and top-shelf cognacs into the wee hours (it’s also the ship’s only indoor smoking area). Tucked away on Deck 5, Dolce Vita is located below the Show Lounge and is rarely crowded.


Editor Rating

As an expedition ship, the focus aboard Silver Wind is on the cultural attractions, natural scenery, and wildlife the ship accesses. Rather than a cruise director, as is common on larger vessels, Silver Wind employs an entertainment host, who shares hosting duties with the expedition leader. On a typical cruise, live music might be limited to one or two musicians, such as a pianist or guitarist performing before and after dinner in Dolce Vita and the Panorama Lounge.

The expedition leader coordinates activities of the guides on and off the ship, all of whom are independent contractors and may be aboard for only a few weeks at a time. The leader handles the nightly briefing in the Show Lounge to recap the day’s adventures and detail the following day’s plans; during down time, there are also enrichment lectures by the expedition team.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

The Zàgara Beauty Spa is located on Deck 9 forward and a variety of treatments are available, at prices comparable to upmarket resorts. Services include facials, body wraps, massages, hair styling, manicures and pedicures, and there are men’s and women’s saunas and steam rooms. Discounts on specific treatments are revealed on some port days in the ship newsletter.

Just behind the spa, the small Fitness Centre has free weights, weight machines, treadmills, elliptical trainers, and both recumbent and upright bicycles. Classes in aerobics, stretching, yoga, Pilates and circuit training are complimentary, while personal training, body composition and other classes are available at an up-charge.  Saunas and steam rooms are offered at no charge.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

Silver Wind has a medical facility staffed by a physician and nurse; consultations will be charged to an on-board account.  Covid protocols are evolving but currently guests must be tested prior to embarkation; masks may be required for indoors areas (except while dining) when case rates warrant.  A selection of cabins are set aside for quarantined guests or crew, as needed.


Dress Code

The dress code on Silversea’s expedition vessels is much more relaxed than aboard the line’s “classic” ships. By day, casual wear is common aboard Silver Wind, especially while off the ship. Smart casual wear is appropriate in the evening, when shorts, poolwear, distressed jeans, and tank tops would be frowned upon, although there is no actual dress code stated.  Guests dining in La Dame might be more comfortable dressing up a bit: collared shirts and slacks for gents and perhaps a jacket, and an elegant dress or slacks for women.

Junior Cruisers

Silver Wind caters to adults, primarily age 50 and up, and children are the exception on most itineraries. There are no dedicated areas set aside for kids, and no child sitting services. Children and teens are expected to entertain themselves to a large degree, and those under age 16 are not allowed on kayak tours.


Silver Wind’s crew originates in Indonesia and the Philippines, with many service staff sourced from Eastern Europe. Officers hail from a variety of countries, and captains primarily from Italy (where Silversea began).

English is a first or second language for guest-facing crewmembers, and all cruise announcements and scheduled are published in English. Some materials may be translated into other languages if Silversea is notified in advance.


Silversea fares include all gratuities, and additional tips are not expected. Some guests will provide a tip to their cabin attendant and butler, or to select waiters and bartenders.  Others may consider a donation to the crew welfare fund, which benefits all crewmembers, including those working behind the scenes on Silver Wind.


Entered Service
Number of Cabins
Passenger Capacity
Crew Members
Passengers to Crew Ratio
Gross Tons
70.6 feet
534 feet

Explore More Ships in this Line

Explore More Mainstream Cruise Lines

COVID-19 Travel Updates