The coolest rooms at sea? This cruise line is converting a helicopter hangar into super suites

16 March 2023

They will be suites with such commanding views that being in one will feel like being in a helicopter.

Which is fitting, since the space they will occupy originally was designed for a helicopter.

Luxury line Silversea Cruises on Thursday announced that it would add six super suites to the top of its new luxury expedition ship, Silver Endeavour, in a soaring space with a prime location that until now has housed a helicopter hangar.

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To be installed during an overhaul of the vessel at a shipyard in April, the new accommodations will include two giant new master suites that measure more than 1,000 square feet and four slightly smaller signature suites — all with sweeping views.

New master suites

Facing the ship’s wake with views in several directions, the two new master suites will measure a whopping 1,163 square feet. This doesn’t include the massive balconies that measure 312 square feet.

An artist’s rendering of a bedroom in a Master Suite. SILVERSEA CRUISES

The sprawling complexes will boast panoramic, vaulted glass walls that allow for stunning views in almost every direction. Interior space will include expansive living and dining areas, bedrooms with twin beds that convert into a king bed, a roomy bathroom with a walk-in shower and a separate whirlpool bath.

New signature suites

The four new signature suites will measure from 721 to 850 square feet and feature floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible views. Each suite will also feature a living room with more epic vistas, a dining area, and an adjoining bathroom with a large walk-in shower and whirlpool bath.

Each complex will have a balcony measuring from 167 to 269 square feet.

An artist’s rendering of the living room of a Signature Suite. SILVERSEA CRUISES

Both categories of suites are new for the ship, which was originally built with 100 cabins. In addition to single bedrooms designed to hold up to two passengers, suites will have convertible sofas in their living rooms to fit a third passenger.

Silver Endeavour originally was built as Crystal Endeavor, the first expedition ship for the ultra-luxury line Crystal Cruises. Debuting in 2021, Crystal Endeavor garnered praise from travel sites, including TPG, which called it the most luxurious ship ever for off-the-beaten-path cruising.

However, it only sailed for a few months before Crystal Cruises collapsed along with its parent company Genting Hong Kong after revenues plummeted. Revenues were massively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related cruise industry shutdown.

Silversea bought the almost-unused vessel at a liquidation sale and has operated it for the last few months in Antarctica without major structural changes. With the Antarctica season now winding down, the line is moving forward with a significant overhaul of the vessel designed to make it even more luxurious than it was before.

An artist’s rendering of a Master Suite living room. SILVERSEA CRUISES

In addition to the suites mentioned above — which will be at the top of the ship on Deck 8 — the overhaul will bring four new, 356-square-foot Classic Verandah Suites on Deck 5, where the ship’s medical center is currently.

The medical center will move to a space on Deck 4 that housed a small casino when Crystal operated the ship. Silversea has not used the casino on the ship.

Removing the casino will also allow for the addition of four new crew cabins that will accommodate seven additional crew members. The additional crew members will include specialists for the ship’s expedition team that will serve as guides and lecturers during visits to exotic locales, Silversea says.

In all, the additions will increase the number of passenger cabins on the ship from 100 to 110. The vessel’s passenger capacity will rise from 200 to 220, and its crew cohort will rise from 200 to 207.

Crystal had designed the ship with hangars for two helicopters that would offer passengers epic tours above the ice in Antarctica and the Arctic. The ice-class ship was intended to spend most of its time in these two destinations.

However, the line never added the helicopters to the vessel because of financial troubles, and the hangars and an adjacent helicopter pad were never used.

Related: It’s back! Iconic luxury line Crystal to restart sailings in July

Silversea executives said early on after buying the ship that they didn’t plan to offer helicopter tours from the ship.

Silver Endeavour sailing in Antarctica. SILVERSEA CRUISES

In addition to the new suites, the overhaul of Silver Endeavour will include the installation of handcrafted Lalique crystal panels in La Dame — the ship’s signature French restaurant.

The ship’s makeover will take place at a shipyard in Genoa, Italy, starting April 3 before the vessel’s inaugural season in the Arctic. The ship’s first Arctic sailing is scheduled to begin on June 3.

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