Last updated: 11:03 AM ET, Wed July 01 2015

Silversea Cruises Orders New Luxury Ship

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship Silversea Cruises Theresa Norton July 01, 2015

Silversea Cruises Orders New Luxury Ship

Rendering of the Silver Muse courtesy of Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises is building a new flagship, the 596-guest Silver Muse, which is scheduled for delivery in April 2017.

The new ultra-luxury vessel, which will be Silversea’s ninth, is being built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. At 40,000 gross registered tons, the Silver Muse will be slightly larger than the line’s last newbuild, the 36,000-ton, 540-passenger Silver Spirit, which entered service in 2009.

The all-inclusive line said the new ship will “represent an exciting evolution of the Silver Spirit that will redefine ultra-luxury ocean travel, enhancing the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations that are the hallmarks of the Silversea experience.”

Additional details were not revealed at this time, other than to say the new ship will help Silversea “once again significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury cruise market with a wealth of enhancements to the onboard experience.”

Whether Silversea was expanding had been a topic of some speculation. Back in late October, word leaked out about a financing deal in China. The line acknowledged a relationship but didn’t verify firm plans for a new ship.

Silversea essentially operates two fleets today — the Classic Fleet of five traditional luxury vessels and the three-ship Expedition Fleet, which offers upscale adventure cruises to Antarctica, the Galapagos and other rugged destinations.

The 382-passenger sister ships Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper entered service in September 2000 and July 2001. The 298-guest Silver Wind turned 20 years old in January, while the 296-passenger Silver Cloud turned 21 in April.

Meanwhile, other luxury lines have been building. Seabourn, which sold its three older ships delivered in 1988 to 1990 to Windstar Cruises, now operates three 450-passenger Odyssey-class ships that entered service in 2009 through 2011. Plus, two larger ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, are on order for delivery in late 2016 and spring 2018. They’ll accommodate 604 guests, based on double occupancy.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is building the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, which is due out in July 2016.

Crystal Cruises operates two ships that entered service in 1995 and 2003, but its new owner, Genting Hong Kong, says it will build a new vessel for delivery by 2018. Details have not been revealed.

Silversea Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio said he and Silversea have had a special relationship with Fincantieri since his father ordered ships for Sitmar Cruises in 1987. (Sitmar was later sold to P&O.)

“With enhanced design specifications and enriched content, the Silver Muse will continue to build on the sophistication, innovative style and ground-breaking concepts for which Silversea ships are renowned,” Silversea CEO Enzo Visone said in a press release. “This ship contributes to our ambitious growth plans that will ensure our continued leadership in ultra-luxury cruising.”