The cruise industry is far from perfect, but it’s taking steps to reduce its impact as two new sustainable efforts from Silversea and Atlas Voyages demonstrate.
Silver Nova, Silversea’s first Nova-class ship and one of the most environmentally conscious ultra-luxury cruise ships ever built, made its maiden voyage last week. It set out on its initial journey on August 14, initiating a seven-day tour in the Adriatic Sea. Departing from Venice, Italy, this maiden voyage will reach destinations like Piran in Slovenia, along with Zadar, Dubrovnik, Split, and Rovinj in Croatia, and Kotor in Montenegro.
The ship is marked as one of the most eco-friendly, ultra-luxury cruise ships ever created, and it amplifies Royal Caribbean Group’s fleet as its 64th vessel. Before setting sail, executives from Silversea and Royal Caribbean Group conducted an exclusive three-day architectural preview in Venice for selected travel partners and media representatives.
‘The new category standard’
Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, described the Silver Nova as a groundbreaking innovation. “Silver Nova revolutionizes ultra-luxury cruising and sets the new category standard,” Liberty said in a statement. “From her innovative horizontal design to her emphasis on sustainable operations, Silver Nova speaks to Royal Caribbean Group’s commitment to deliver the world’s best vacations, responsibly.”
The ship’s introduction signals a shift in luxury cruising, featuring an inventive design that prioritizes openness and integrates nearly 4,000 square meters of glass. This approach provides guests with panoramic views from almost every location on the ship. The renovated pool deck, overlooking the starboard side’s water, and the addition of new outdoor venues like the Dusk Bar and the Marquee, highlight the ship’s unique openness to its surroundings.
Barbara Muckermann, president of Silversea Cruises, expressed her excitement. “It was incredibly emotional to welcome guests aboard Silver Nova ahead of her maiden voyage. Benefiting from an innovative asymmetrical design, she immerses guests into the destination at every turn — a strong expression of our brand mission,” Muckermann said.
“As one of the most spacious ships at sea, and with the broadest array of bars, lounges, and restaurants in ultra-luxury cruise travel, Silver Nova elevates the experience for our guests like never before.”
Silver Nova boasts the highest space-to-guest ratio of 75 GRT-per-guest within Silversea’s fleet and an unprecedented 1:1.3 crew-to-guest ratio. This includes butler service for all 13 different suite categories, hosting up to 728 guests. The largest suite is the 123 square meter Otium Suite, flaunting 270-degree views from floor-to-ceiling windows and a 40 square meter balcony equipped with its own whirlpool.
The ship also features an abundant selection of bars, restaurants, and lounges, a Roman-inspired wellness program called Otium, and a novel culinary program named Sea and Land Taste (S.A.L.T.), all aimed at enriching the onboard experience.
Silver Nova’s inaugural journey will be followed by a summer in the Mediterranean, then transitions to the Caribbean and South America in November. An ambitious 71-day Grand Voyage South America is planned for January 4, 2024, promising visits to 38 destinations in 18 countries.
‘The creativity and diversity of vegan cuisine’
The news comes as upscale yacht expedition outfit Atlas Ocean Voyages has added new vegan dishes to its menus. The sustainable plant-based meals are inspired by the world’s diverse cuisines, the company said in a statement.
Atlas says it made the shift as demand for vegan options is growing on its polar and Epicurean expeditions.
“Our new vegan menu delivers yet another unique culinary experience for our guests’ evolving preferences and dietary needs,” said James Rodriguez, president and CEO at Atlas Ocean Voyages. “Our team of talented chefs has carefully crafted each dish to showcase the creativity and diversity of vegan cuisine, ensuring an exceptional dining experience for our vegan travelers.”
Locally sourced and sustainably focused ingredients appear in menu items including a vegan steak, mushroom stroganoff, oyster mushroom ceviche, and Impossible burgers, well as a breakfast menu with croissants, pastries, and more.
Related on Ethos: