Silversea’s new 596-passenger Silver Moon successfully completed sea trials between August 8 – 20, 2020. Carrying 320 crew members (fewer than the norm due to precautionary health protocols), the ship journeyed between Fincantieri’s Italian shipyards in Ancona and Trieste, and spent a week in dry dock at the latter.
With a scheduled delivery date of October 30, Silver Moon will become the second ship to join Silversea’s ultra-luxury fleet in 2020, following the delivery of the expedition ship, Silver Origin, on June 3.
Travel advisors who wish to see a portion of Silver Moon's sea trials can watch this video:
The Sea Trials
Silversea’s senior officers, external engineers, and representatives from both Fincantieri and the Royal Caribbean Group put Silver Moon through a series of preliminary tests in the Adriatic Sea—including noise, and vibration tests—for three days, beginning August 8.
While Silver Moon was near Trieste, Italy, stability tests also were performed; public spaces were inspected; and engineers applied the finishing touches to the ship’s exterior, including the cleaning and painting of the hull, plus polishing of the ship’s brass propellers.
Secondary tests, including speed tests, were carried out on the return sailing from Trieste to Ancona. Work has now recommenced on the ship’s interior. Silver Moon is a sister to the line's Silver Muse.
“Silver Moon will be an innovative addition to our expanding fleet of ultra-luxury ships,” says Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s president and CEO. “Building on the success of our beloved flagship Silver Muse, Silver Moon will push boundaries in travel to unlock meaningful experiences for our guests around the world."
Martinoli cited the new S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) culinary program set to debut onboard as one way in which travelers will delve deep into destinations."
He also thanked and credited all parties involved in the ship's construction process—from Fincantieri to the ships' officers/crew and parent company Royal Caribbean Group by saying, "The fact that our beautiful Silver Moon nears completion, despite such challenging circumstances, is a testament to the exceptional resilience and expertise of all involved in her build."
By the Numbers
During the peak months of Silver Moon’s construction by Fincantieri in Ancona, more than 1,000 skilled professionals were working on the ship; more than 390 companies contributed to the building of the vessel.
Nearly 26,000 gallons of paint were used. More than 15,000 steel plates and profiles were cut to form the ship’s superstructure. Approximately 6 million feet of electric cable were installed by 18 contractors. Moreover, over 5,000 automation channels have been installed to link the ship’s mechanisms.
Captain Alessandro Zanello is the new Silver Moon's master. With more than two decades of experience at Silversea Cruises, he was at the helm for Silver Muse's launch in 2017, and was also present for the sea trials of Silver Spirit in 2009.
“As my third with Silversea, I must say that Silver Moon’s sea trials felt a little surreal after everything that happened in the months prior,” says Captain Zanello. “I was originally scheduled to travel to the shipyard in Ancona in April. I was with family in Canada at the time. Unfortunately, there were no flights from Canada to Ancona, so I was unable to reach the ship until July."
He continues: "Enhanced health and safety protocols were in place, including temperature screenings, physical distancing, and the wearing of face coverings both on the ship and in the shipyard. Meal hours were extended and we ate with fewer people in the restaurant. During the sea trials themselves, we had far fewer people on board than for those of Silver Muse. Safety was the primary concern. Nevertheless, we managed to carry out all tests successfully."
Zanello said that sea trials can often be stressful, "with too many people on the bridge," so "it was quite pleasant to have a more tranquil environment. Perhaps we will be forced to review our processes going forwards—this could be a positive thing."
At the end of the sea trials, the officers shared a celebratory glass of prosecco with the team from Fincantieri.
“Silver Moon successfully passed her sea trials and we are now nearing the ship’s delivery,” says Giovanni Stecconi, director of Fincantieri’s Ancona shipyard. “We look forward to celebrating that momentous occasion together with Silversea, a cruise line whose growth we have contributed to with pride and determination, thanks to ambitious projects such as the ‘Muse’ class, of which Silver Moon is a part.”
This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.