Float Out of Newest Silversea Cruise Ship Postponed

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The eagerly awaited float out of Silver Ray, the newest addition to Silversea Cruises’ fleet, has been delayed due to adverse weather conditions impacting Western Europe. Initially scheduled for February 24, the event at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been pushed back by at least 24 hours. 

Silver Ray is the second Nova-class cruise ship, after sister ship Silver Nova. The vessels represent a groundbreaking concept that enables them to operate emission-free while in port. With the maiden voyage still several months away, the delay is unlikely to cause any significant delays further down the line.

Weather Delays Silver Ray‘s Float-Out

The Meyer Werft had the float out for Silver Ray from the building hall in Papenburg all planned out, a significant milestone for Silversea Cruises and the second Nova-class cruise ship. 

The shipyard posted on Facebook on February 21 that the vessel would be touching water for the first time on Saturday, February 24: 

“Curtain open for the Silver Ray. This coming Saturday, the 24th of February, the new ship for Silversea Cruises leaves the building dock. The maneuver is expected to start around 11:30. In the evening, the ultra-luxury ship will be docked at the equipment pier in the harbor. There all other work will take place until completion.”

However, the shipyard’s excitement was shortlived as a second announcement came in just hours later, on February 22, revealing a 24-hour delay due to an inclement weather forecast.

Silver Ray at Meyer Werft Shipyard
Silver Ray at Meyer Werft Shipyard

“We point out before any docking that changes can also happen in the short term. That we are well advised about this is proved again today: Due to the forecast of wind, the docking of the Silver Ray will be postponed for 24 hours. The maneuver will now be on Sunday, the 25th of February starting at 11:30,” Meyer Werft stated in the announcement.

The float-out marks a ship’s first contact with water, transitioning from the protected environment of a building dock to a wet dock for final outfitting. This is a pivotal moment in a ship’s construction and represents the vessel is nearing completion and readiness for the open seas.

Silver Ray: Luxury and Innovation

Upon completion, Silver Ray will become the second Nova Class ship in the Silversea fleet, following Silver NovaConstruction on Silver Ray started on November 22, 2022, with the cutting of the first steel, followed by laying down the keel in March 2023.

Designed to accommodate 728 guests, the 54,700 gross tons luxury cruise ship boasts eight dining options, including the S.A.L.T. Kitchen, which focuses on providing guests with an in-depth taste of local culture, and La Dame for French fine dining. Additional dining options include the more casual Grill, Spaccanapoli pizzeria, and Kaiseki for Asian-fusion cuisine.

Silver Ray Construction Milestone
Photo Courtesy: Silversea

As is the case with Silver Ray’s sistership Silver Nova, she features groundbreaking hybrid technology, capable of operating emission-free in ports using a combination of fuel cells and batteries. 

This is complemented by the ship’s use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its primary fuel, the incorporation of a hydrodynamic hull design that reduces friction going through the water, and a micro auto gasification system that reduces the amount of waste that needs to be incinerated or offloaded.

Silver Ray will set sail on her maiden voyage from Civitavecchia to Fusina on June 27, 2024, offering an 11-night cruise with calls to Naples, Sorrento, Palermo, Trieste, and Siracusa, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Kotor, Montenegro; and Split and Zadar, Croatia. 

The ship’s maiden season will feature a variety of cruises in the Mediterranean ranging from 6 to 11 nights, and cruises to South America in spring 2025, sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Lima, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro.

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