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Vivien Devlin checks out luxury cruise liner Silver Wind’s new spa and major refurbishment on a 10-day cruise exploring the islands of the Indian Ocean. The Silvesea cruise line was founded in 1994 as an innovative small scale, all-inclusive, 6-star luxury cruising concept for discerning world travellers of all...

A Journey of Indulgence and Escape

Vivien Devlin checks out luxury cruise liner Silver Wind’s new spa and major refurbishment on a 10-day cruise exploring the islands of the Indian Ocean.

The Silvesea cruise line was founded in 1994 as an innovative small scale, all-inclusive, 6-star luxury cruising concept for discerning world travellers of all ages. Silver Wind is one of currently five ships in the fleet, with a sixth, Silver Spirit, launching in December 2009.Setting sail 
After a stress-free Emirates flight from Glasgow via Dubai to Mahe, my partner and I arrive in the tropical heat of the Seychelles’ largest island, a few degrees south of the equator and quite literally a thousand miles from anywhere. This is what I call a genuine escape! Our forthcoming exotic itinerary will take us to several islands around the Seychelles and Maldives, Sri Lanka and Madras, India.

On board Silver Wind (maximum 298 guests), our luxurious suite has a king size bed, piled with crimson velvet cushions, a marble bathroom, sofa, armchairs, dining table, flat screen TV /DVD and a veranda with loungers. The entire ship has had a contemporary interior design makeover. The bars, restaurants and lounges are furnished in terracotta and gold fabrics so that the ship combines the ambience of an intimate boutique hotel with the sexy style of a luxury yacht.

A healthy lifestyle at sea
The daily Chronicle lists all the day’s many activities – from lectures to card games, from fitness classes and golf tuition to shore excursions and cabaret entertainment – not to mention restaurant options. Cruising is always a great foodie experience and Silver Wind is no exception – you can feast healthily from breakfast to gastronomic dinner – with fresh fruit, salads, seafood, calorie counted dishes and zero zero (fat free) ice-cream!.

With all those lazy days, it was important to keep fit – which we did in the lavish new spa on deck 9, where there was a high tech body building gym with panoramic sea views, aerobics room, dry sauna, steam sauna, beauty salon and five treatment rooms. Fitness Director Elin encourages a healthy routine on board with early morning power walks, aerobics, yoga and pilates classes, personal training sessions and weight loss seminars. Jogging or strolling around the top deck track is a popular pastime with many passengers, with seven laps making a mile.


The Steiner operated spa is managed by Lindsay Gash, whose company mission is to create wellness centres at sea to give guests the ability to reconnect with their natural desire to be healthy, vibrant and self-aware.’ From the extensive menu of Elemis, La Therapie and Ionithermie facials, massages, cellulite and detox therapies, I select a speciality Exotic Coconut Rub Ritual. The warm milk skin bath, foil wrap and deep tissue massage proves a comforting, cocooning experience. Indulge, Invigorate, Inspire is the motto of this holistic haven of relaxation where a pampering treatment, as the ship glides the ocean wave, is a truly luxurious, blissful, out-of-body sensation.

Text quote …a pampering treatment, as the ship glides the ocean wave, is a truly luxurious, blissful, out-of-body sensation.

Despite being open from 8am to 10pm, the Spa is often fully booked especially on days at sea. Lindsay admits she has occasionally worked till 2.00am to cater for her Spa guests. Important Tip: book your treatments online in advance of your cruise or as soon as you embark.

My only disappointment was that some of the younger therapists lacked the experience and elegant manner found in world class resort spas. In a nutshell, this is a 6+ star cruise ship with a 4 star spa.

House Party at Sea
There are around 180 passengers on this cruise, from across Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Asia with the majority from Great Britain. The atmosphere is like a lively ‘United Nations’ floating house party where we mix and mingle over pool deck cocktails and pre dinner aperitifs. All drinks are complimentary of course, part of Silversea’s superb value, egalitarian, all-inclusive ethos.

Highlights of the cruise include walking through the “Garden of Eden” in the Vallee de Mai on Praslin, crossing the Equator at 0° Latitude celebrated with King Neptune’s pageant and witnessing a traditional Indian wedding amidst flowers, candles, incense and elephants. We are also treated to a private visit to Olhahali, a Robinson Crusoe desert island in the Maldives which Silver Wind has chartered for a fantastic beach barbecue. We can enjoy live music and dancing by local islanders, volleyball on the baby powder sand and a swim in the Indian Ocean’s warm turquoise waters.

The cruise has been a unique journey to inspire the mind and rejuvenate body and spirit with a taste of quiet sophistication, adventure and pure escapism. As one passenger summed up at the end of the cruise: “I feel like a different person.” I could not agree more!

Silversea Cruises
December 2009: Indian Ocean cruises, Mahe/Mahe, Mahe/ Mauritius, Mombasa/Mahe. Special offer fares from £1,135/ £4,758.
Explore the world: 175 itineraries, 355 ports, 95 countries and islands. www.silversea.com

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