Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Silver Explorer - long history

The expedition cruise ship Silver Explorer dropped in for a day's visit to Halifax. The 6,130 gross ton ship accommodates 132 passengers in 66 cabins, so rates as one of the smaller cruisers to call in Halifax. With an almost equal number of crew members, it is considered "ultra high end".
While in Halifax, from its summer in Norway, Iceland and Greenland waters, it took on truck loads of stores and fueled from Algoma Dartmouth, before heading south to the Dominican Republic, and eventually the Antarctic.
Built in 1989 by Rauma Repola in Finland it has carried no less than eight previous names. It was given a major refit by Fincantieri in Italy in 2008 when it was renamed Prince Albert II after Monaco's monarch of  the same name. Since the ship is operated by V-Ships Leisure of Monaco, this was a fitting name. However in 2011, Silver Seas Cruises gave the ship its present name to bring it into line with the rest of the six ship fleet.

The ship has made the news twice this year. First On January 12 when it was struck by a large wave between Ushuaia and South Georgia, breaking bridge windows and injuring four crew members.   They were treated aboard, and the line cancelled the next cruise to give time to effect repairs. At the time the ship was carrying 113 passengers and 113 crew.
In August a woman was appointed captain of the ship, a first for this line, and still a rare occurrence in shipping generally. A Swiss national, Capt Margrith Ettlin had senior positions with F. Laiesz and Hapag-Lloyd before taking up her command.


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