Second Nova-Class Cruise Ship Christened and Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

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For one ultra-luxury cruise line, the summer of 2024 is proving to be a season of big milestones. Silversea Cruises is currently celebrating the arrival of its newest ship simultaneously with the brand’s 30th anniversary. 

On June 12, 2024, Silver Ray – the second of the Nova-class vessels – was officially named in Lisbon, Portugal – just two days ahead of her maiden voyage. 

During the traditional christening ceremony, the Royal Caribbean-owned cruise line introduced Dr. María Josefina Olascoaga, an esteemed ocean scientist and educator, as the ship’s Godmother.

Silver Ray Naming Ceremony
Silver Ray Naming Ceremony

Olascoaga and the ship’s captain, Alessandro Zanello, were given the honor of officially naming the 728-passenger ship. A champagne bottle was then broken on the ship’s hull for good luck, as is the custom in the maritime world. 

Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, addressed the crowd: “Welcoming Silver Ray to our global fleet represents that latest commitment from Royal Caribbean Group to continue building the Silversea brand and delivering the very best experiences in ultra-luxury and expedition travel.”

Indeed, the Nova-class vessels were conceived with both luxury and sustainability in mind as Royal Caribbean works to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The 54,700-gross ton ship is joining her older sister, Silver Nova, as one of the most energy-efficient, ultra-luxury cruise ships in the world. 

Both ships were designed with a variety of environmentally friendly innovations, such as including a hybrid engine that allows them to turn off their main generators in select ports and utilize onshore energy supply and the use of hydrogen fuel cells to supplement the ship’s main power supply. 

The young vessel’s career will officially begin on June 15, 2024, when her maiden voyage – a 12-night cruise to Rome, Italy – embarks from Lisbon. 

Throughout the historic voyage, the ship will make inaugural calls at Cadiz, Spain; Malaga, Spain; Valencia, Spain; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Palamos, Spain; St Tropez, France; Monaco; and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy. 

Once in Italy, Silver Ray will kick off her inaugural season in the Mediterranean, before crossing the Atlantic to homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in December of 2024. 

Silversea Cruises Celebrates 30 Years Of Luxury Cruising

In April of 1994, Silversea Cruises was born when its very first ship, Silver Cloud, entered service. 

Over the past three decades, the fleet has grown to include a mix of 12 intimate cruise ships and smaller expedition vessels. Combined, these ships have hosted nearly 800,000 guests as they sailed around the world.

The addition of Silver Ray marks the next step in the company’s plan to continue to expand and maintain its status as a leader in ultra-luxury cruising.

“It is fitting that we are celebrating Silver Ray’s naming in the same year that Silversea celebrates 30 years of excellence, connecting our past with our future as we continue to lead in luxury travel and industry innovation,” said Bert Hernandez, president of Silversea.

Silver Ray Cruise Ship
Silver Ray Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Meyer Werft)

In addition to offering traditional ocean cruises, the brand has also become famous for offering expeditions to destinations bigger ships can’t always reach, such as Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, and the Arctic Circle and Greenland, among others. 

Read Also: Silversea Unwraps 149-Day World Cruise In 2027

Silversea’s very first ship, the 254-guest Silver Cloud, primarily operates Antarctic voyages, with 28 expeditions to the South Pole scheduled between November of 2024 and March of 2026. 

Silversea prides itself on standing out from other brands by combining luxury with inclusivity, such as by solely offering suite-accommodations, all of which come with butler service, gourmet cuisine in the dining rooms onboard, and highly immersive on-shore experiences in port.  

All of these amenities can also be included in the price of the cruise to avoid any unexpected or delayed travel costs. As another innovation, the cruise line recently unveiled new pricing tiers to allow guests to personalize how all-inclusive they want their experience to be.

The essential tier is the most affordable, and only includes food and beverages and butler service. The next level, port-to-port, includes all meals and drinks, butler service, and shore excursions in the cruise fare. 

The final tier – dubbed door-to-door – is the most expensive, but also the most inclusive. These packages include food and beverages, shore excursions, and pre and post-cruise travel accommodations, such as flights and airport transfers. 

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