“Champagne?” the tuxedoed waiter asks, “Yes, that would wonderful,” I reply. I have just boarded the brand-new Silver Spirit in Monte Carlo for its first sailing with passengers. The moment is surreal and a far cry from my previous voyage a few months earlier during Silver Spirit’s sea trials when the vessel was still under construction and where instead of champagne I shared breakfast pizza and espressos with the shipyard workers onboard.
It’s early September as I arrive at the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard in Trieste, Italy. Dawn is breaking and the winds are howling down from the mountains. Hundreds of yard workers, vendor specialists, technicians, and Silversea Cruises employees are gathered on the pier to board the Silver Spirit. There’s excitement in the air as Spirit is about to taken out for sea trials.