Silversea Cruise Ship Cut in Half for Expansion
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In a rare and unusual project, luxury cruise liner Silversea Cruises is lengthening its former flagship, Silver Spirit. The project, which is taking place at Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, began with cutting the 642-foot ship in half and then began construction on the 49-foot-long midsection. Once inserted between the two halves, the total length of the Silver Spirit will measure more than 690 feet.
The cruise liner says this is the first time a luxury cruise ship has undergone the process of cutting the vessel in half and having the new addition inserted and reconnected. The middle addition comprises more than 846kg of steel, increasing the ship’s tonnage from 36,009 to 39,519 tons. The expansion will increase the ship’s capacity by about 12% to 608 passengers.
The lengthening project will make way for a larger pool area, new restaurants, a new and improved spa and fitness center, additional cabins and room for four portable water tanks to increase water capacity onboard the ship.
“Witnessing these breathtaking phases of the Silver Spirit lengthening project has filled us with pride and excitement,” Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer of Silversea, said in a press release. “This ambitious project will amplify the onboard features that matter most to our guests. We are taking our flagship, Silver Muse – which was delivered by Fincantieri in April last year – as the point of inspiration for a fleet-wide renovation programme; the lengthening and refurbishment of Silver Spirit will replicate the modern elegance of our latest vessel to make for a more luxurious travelling experience. We are eager to share the new and improved layout of our cherished ship with our valued guests.”
The project will employ nearly 1,000 workers for a total of 450,000 man hours. More than 360,000 feet of cables and 26,000 feet of pipes will be installed in the Silver Spirit. The project is set to be completed in early May and is scheduled to sail out Civitavecchia, Italy, on May 6, according to USA Today.
The Silver Spirit first set sail in 2009, and it was Silversea’s biggest ship until last year when the cruise liner unveiled its new flagship, Silver Muse, which will only be about eight feet longer than the Silver Spirit once it’s completed.
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