Silver Discoverer, Photos from Silversea Cruises' Facebook page
Having sailed on Silversea Expeditions’ luxurious Silver Discoverer twice now, I’ve seen subtle updates made to the ship previously, and now the ship has been reconfigured yet again. In the past, the Explorer Lounge was enhanced with a larger library of books while the former library was converted into a retail display. This time around, the dining venues were attended to, and the pool area was also refit.
In its former incarnation, the small expedition ship had three main public venues: The Explorer Lounge for relaxation, lectures and briefings; The Discoverer Lounge for buffet-style breakfasts and lunches and The Restaurant for full-service dinners. While this arrangement worked, it curiously left the main dining room entirely unused except for in the evenings, and there was little option beyond The Explorer for lounging throughout the day.
After a multi-million dollar refurbishment, the Discoverer Lounge (pictured below) has been redesigned away from food service entirely, having seen the removal of its central and flanking buffet stations and fixed tables and the replacement of its hardwood floor with softer carpeting. This allows the former chairs and a few new ones to position around smaller cocktail tables for social mingling free of the theater-style sofa divisions of the other lounge.
A multi-use flat-panel television has also been installed where the main food station once stood. When briefings fill up the Explorer, my guess is the Discoverer will also be a more comfortable overflow area for a live feed to be displayed from downstairs.
Meanwhile, The Restaurant (pictured below) has more efficiently picked up the slack for all meals with a newly built dual-line buffet section, and the decor has been brightened a bit. Before, dark paneling and a hardwood floor made the space appear smaller. Now, brighter carpeting and lighter surfaces open up the venue visually.
If there is one criticism to be made, it’s that the ship is still missing a proper forward-facing observation lounge, which would make a world of difference to the overall enjoyment of an adventure cruise while sailing, and The Discoverer Lounge with its former dining chairs is not quite the expected plush alternative. Still, the staterooms and suites are very comfortable and themselves act as wonderful retreats when needed. Maybe one day another lounge can be enclosed where only an upper sundeck sits currently.
Back in service, the Silver Discoverer first headed to Myanmar and Indonesia in Southeast Asia and is next sailing from Phuket to the Maldives.