VIDEO: Silver Moon completes sea trials

Written by Nick Blenkey
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With a delivery date set for October 30, Silver Moon will be the second ship to join the Silversea fleet this year, following the delivery of Silver Origin on June 3.

Royal Caribbean Group’s ultra luxury brand Silversea Cruises reports that its ninth ship, Silver Moon successfully carried out her sea trials between August 8 and August 20, traveling between Fincantieri’s Ancona, Italy, shipyard and its Trieste yard, where it spent a week-long dry-dock period.

The 212.8 meter, 40,791 grt ship has a total capacity of 596 guests and 414 crew. However, as result of COVID-19 protocols, on sea trials she sailed with a reduced crew of around 320 people.

Silversea’s senior officers, along with external engineers, and representatives from both Fincantieri and the Royal Caribbean Group, put Silver Moon through a series of preliminary tests in the Adriatic Sea — including noise, and vibration tests — for three days from August 8. Once Silver Moon was out of the water in Trieste, stability tests were performed; public spaces were inspected; and the vessel exterior received finishing touches to that included the cleaning and painting of the hull, and the polishing of its propellers.

Secondary tests, including speed tests, were then carried out on the return sailing from Trieste to Ancona. Work has now recommenced on the ship’s interior, ahead of the its official delivery in October.

NOT YOUR USUAL SEA TRIALS

Silver Moon’s master, Captain Alessandro Zanello, was at the helm for the launch of Silver Moon’s sister ship, Silver Muse, back in 2017, and was also present for the sea trials of Silver Spirit in 2009.

He says that, compared with those trials, the Silver Moon sea trials “felt a little surreal after everything that happened in the months prior.”

“I was originally scheduled to travel to the shipyard in Ancona in April, he said.” I was with family in Canada at the time. Unfortunately there were no flights from Canada to Ancona, so I was unable to reach the ship until July. The sea trials themselves felt special, indeed, and were held in unique circumstances. Enhanced health and safety protocols were in place, including temperature screenings, physical distancing, and the wearing of face coverings both on the ship and in the shipyard. Meal hours were extended and we ate with fewer people in the restaurant. During the sea trials themselves, we had far fewer people on board than for those of Silver Muse. Safety was the primary concern. Nevertheless, we managed to carry out all test successfully. I must admit, sea trials can often be stressful, with too many people on the bridge; it was quite pleasant to have a more tranquil environment. Perhaps we will be forced to review our processes going forwards – this could be a positive thing.”

The ship’s Chief Engineer, Guido Capurro was promoted to the position of Chief Engineer aboard Silver Spirit in 2017, and these were his first sea trials with Silversea.

“While all essential technicians from Silversea and Fincantieri were able to attend the sea trials, some external engineers were unable to fly and so could not be present,” he said. “Approximately half the number of people were on board compared to regular sea trials. Nevertheless, we were able to carry out all tests successfully. These were my first sea trials with Silversea and it is always spectacular to see the ship at its peak performance, and to see how the automation and safety devices react to the sudden change in demand. Everything went really well and the ship’s responses exceeded expectations. I was thrilled to see the ship’s propellers out of the water once again, as they were polished during the dry-docking period in Trieste. The better they are polished, the better the ship’s performance. The hull was painted with a special antifouling with a very low roughness, which is an important task in optimizing the performance of the ship.”

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