The latest luxury cruise liner to visit Dundee has a unique claim to fame – it was once cut in half and given a world-first extension.
Silver Spirit docked in Dundee on Saturday during a tour round the UK – and will return to the city on September 25.
In a remarkable feat of engineering, the vessel was sliced wide open and made longer in 2018 before returning to service on the high seas.
According to operator Silversea, the ship’s cosmetic work was a first in cruise liner history, as it was lengthened by 15 metres – boosting its capacity by about 12%.
She grew from 195.8 to 210.7 meters in length and guest capacity increased from 540 to 608 passengers.
Even the on-deck swimming pool grew by about 50ft.
The feat of engineering – which involved more than 500 skilled workers and 450,000 man hours – hit headlines around the world.
As well as upmarket suites, a new health and fitness centre and casino were installed during the refurbishment.
The renovation took two months and cost more than £70 million.
Speaking at the time, Barbara Muckermann – Silversea’s chief marketing officer – described the work as “breathtaking”.
She added: “The lengthening and refurbishment of Silver Spirit will replicate the modern elegance of our latest vessel to make for a more luxurious travelling experience.”
On board Silver Spirit
Built in 2009, Silver Spirit carries more than 400 crew and is the largest in operator Silversea’s fleet of 10 ships – weighing in at 39,519 tons.
The ship boasts 12 decks – nine are passenger-accessible and eight are fitted with cabins.
It offers 304 ocean-view suites, each costing thousands of pounds for a week-long cruise.
It also features eight dining options, as well as six bar and lounges. It also has a pool, three Jacuzzis and six lifts.
There is an 8,300 sq ft spa and a supper club with live music.
An Art Deco cocktail lounge also offers entertainment – including music from the on-stage grand piano.
After leaving Dundee on Saturday, Silver Spirit docked at Leith in the early hours of Sunday.
She will finish her current tour in Southampton on Wednesday.
It is not the first time a cruise ship has visited Dundee this summer.
The Marella Explorer 2 – which can hold up to 800 passengers – docked in the city earlier in the year, the first to do so since restrictions on travel eased following the Covid-19 pandemic.