Award-winning chef, restaurateur, and television personality Nina Compton officially christened Silversea Cruises’ Silver Nova during its maiden call to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 4 January 2024.
The ceremony was hosted in Silver Nova’s theatre and featured a bagpipe performance (a customary Royal Caribbean Group tradition), a rendition of the US national anthem by Broadway actress Rachel York, and an exclusive screening of a commemorative video to mark Silversea’s 30th anniversary in 2024. Reverend Sanford Sears and Rabbi Adam Watstein blessed Silver Nova, and Silversea president Barbara Muckermann and Jason Liberty, president and CEO of the brand’s parent company Royal Caribbean Group, also addressed guests.
Compton was joined by the ship’s captain, Cosimo Pontillo, to officially name Silver Nova vessel by triggering a magnum-sized bottle of champagne to smash on its hull.
“It is fitting that we officially named Silver Nova – a truly pioneering ship – in the same year Silversea celebrates its 30th anniversary: the ship connects our history with our tomorrow, striking a perfect balance between our brand’s refined heritage and the future of ultra-luxury cruise travel,” said Muckermann.
“A strong expression of our brand positioning, Silver Nova will immerse guests into the world’s most enriching destinations, championing human connection and cultural discovery. For this reason, Chef Nina Compton is the perfect fit for the ship’s godmother – her values perfectly align with those at the heart of our S.A.L.T. culinary programme, and I have no doubt she will inspire our guests to engage meaningfully with the planet and its people.”
Compton, who owns two restaurants in New Orleans, was born in St. Lucia and is culinary ambassador for the country.
“I am honoured to have been named godmother of Silver Nova,” said Compton. “Throughout my life, I have explored the many ways in which the world’s cuisines – especially that of my home nation, St. Lucia, and the Caribbean more broadly – strengthen human connections, facilitate cultural discovery, and honour heritage, tradition, and identity. I believe food and drink have the power to bond people, providing insight into a community’s customs as a unifying language. I hope that my journey inspires Silver Nova’s guests to connect meaningfully with the destinations they visit and their people, forging strong relationships, broadening horizons, and providing self-enrichment.”
The 728-guest Silver Nova is the “most environmentally conscious ultra-luxury ship ever built” and introduces “an entirely new take on luxury at sea”, according to Silversea. It is also one of the most spacious ships, with 75gt of space per guests, a new horizontal layout and asymmetrical design, and approximately 4,000 metres squared of glass.
Onboard highlights include 13 suite categories, new outdoor venues the Dusk Bar and the Marquee, a reimagined pool deck, multiple bars, lounges, restaurants, and more. Guests also benefit from butler service in all suites, a 1:1.3 crew-to-guest ratio across the ship, S.A.L.T. culinary and cultural experiences, and Otium, the cruise line’s Roman-inspired wellness programme.
Notable technical innovations include an industry-first micro auto gasification system to convert onboard waste into thermal energy, batteries and dual-fuel engines running primarily on LNG.
“After years of research, development, and collaboration, we are all incredibly proud to officially welcome Silver Nova into Royal Caribbean Group’s fleet,” said Liberty. “Silver Nova is a game changer, a new vision for the ultra-luxury travel experience. We will continue to push boundaries and innovate the vacation experience in 2024 with our three global brands that, together, turn the vacation of a lifetime into a lifetime of vacations for our guests around the world.”
Silver Nova began service with a seven-day maiden voyage from Venice, Italy, on 14 August 2023 and will now embark on its first ‘Grand Voyage South America 2024’, calling at 38 destinations in 18 countries over 71 days.