Silversea Cruises announced the roster of senior officers who will operate its new expedition ship Silver Nova on her maiden voyage, set to depart from Venice. The ship, the first in the line’s new Nova-class, will sail from the Italian port on August 14, 2023.
Italian Captain Takes Helm of Silver Nova
A group of highly experienced senior officers will be in charge aboard Silversea Cruises’ new Silver Nova, the line’s 12th vessel that is due to embark guests on August 14 and sail a 7-day voyage roundtrip from Venice (Fusina).
At the helm will be Captain Cosimo Pontillo, who joined Silversea Cruises in 1994. A former member of the Italian Navy, Pontillo started his commercial ship experience as a deck cadet on cargo vessels. He transitioned to the cruise industry after obtaining his Masters License.
In 2000, Pontillo left Silversea Cruises for six years while working as a ship pilot in Messina, Italy, then returned to the cruise line as a captain. He captained previous expedition cruises for the line, including to the Northwest Passage, and then joined the new-building team for Silver Nova. As a member of the team, Pontillo has vast knowledge of the ship’s technical systems.
“I am incredibly proud to take the helm of Silver Nova for her maiden voyage. Silver Nova represents the pinnacle of ultra-luxury cruise travel and I am excited to welcome our guests aboard to experience her many innovations,” said Captain Cosimo Pontillo.
Vicki Van Tassel will serve as cruise director. A show business veteran with a background on Broadway, Van Tassel joined Silversea Cruises in 2011 as a vocalist on World Cruises and Grand Voyages, becoming a cruise director four years later.
The key position of hotel director will be held by Lester Woodfall, who has experience in 5-star hotels in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Hailing from Southern India, Woodfall began his career at sea in 2001, working his way to become food and beverage manager in the cruise industry.
A ship’s hotel director is responsible for several crucial facets of operations, including housekeeping, food and beverage, entertainment, and shore excursions.
Other senior officers who will be aboard Silver Nova for her maiden voyage include Staff Captain Jorge Rodriguez Ferreira; Chief Engineer Rosario Costagliola; Executive Chef Rohit Dimri; and Guest Relations Manager Sascha Strack.
Silver Nova Features Key Environmental Efficiencies
Silver Nova, which was floated out of the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, in April and delivered to the cruise line in late July, features several eco-friendly innovations.
Silver Nova is powered using Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the primary fuel source and has a 4-megawatt fuel cell system that significantly reduces emissions. In fact, the vessel’s design is expected to cut carbon emissions by 40% compared to Silversea’s most advanced ships, Silver Muse and Silver Moon.
With more than a dozen stateroom categories, the all-suite ship offers butler service to all guests. Dining venues include Atlantide; La Dame, serving French cuisine; Spaccanapoli, featuring Italian dishes; Silver Note; The Grill; La Terrazza; S.A.L.T. Chef’s Table; and Kaiseki.
On her maiden voyage from Venice, the 728-guest Silver Nova will call at Piran, Slovenia; Zadar, Rovinj, Split, and Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Kotor, Montenegro.
Following her maiden voyage, the 54,700-gross ton expedition ship will operate a series of cruises in the Mediterranean before embarking on her maiden transatlantic voyage to New York City from Lisbon on November 7. On January 4, Silver Nova will sail around South America on a 71-day cruise from Fort Lauderdale.
Silver Ray, a sister ship to Silver Nova, is under construction and scheduled to debut in the summer of 2024.