Silversea Reveals a Revolutionary New Design for Silver Nova’s Outside Decks

For Roberto Martinoli, Silversea’s president and CEO — and a career naval architect and mechanical engineer — the concept of asymmetrical design goes against most of his professional  principles. And yet he’s enthusiastic about adopting a more modern design for Silver Nova, the cruise line’s newest ship. Currently being built in Germany, Silver Nova will be the industry’s first ultra-luxe vessel to incorporate this most modern of maritime concepts. 

“In terms of the design alone,” he tells us, “we are taking a giant leap forward. The asymmetrical design greatly enhances the spaciousness of both indoor and outdoor public spaces. It plays with our vision that the Nova Class will offer openness and a seamless connection to the sea and the ship’s destinations.”

In this most recent Silver Nova reveal (check out our earlier blogs on the ship’s design, its sustainability commitment and its completely refocused suites), Martinoli focused on outer decks, like the newly reimagined horseshoe-shaped, 1,400-square ft. pool area — the pool is the fleet’s largest, by the way. “Instead of having an enclosed swimming pool in the middle of the deck, the pool will be open to one side of the ship, therefore providing a more generous open area with unobstructed views,” he says. 

The views! Asymetrical design of the Silver Nova’s pool deck opens up the space to the destinations around you

Achieving this, from a design perspective, is deceptively simple. “We are bringing all of the structure, all the stiffness that sustains the structure of the vessel, is being brought inside. That means that almost all of the outside is glass. In the suites and public spaces you will have huge glass surfaces that eliminate visual barriers.” 

Other intriguing aspects of the outdoor spaces include the infinity-edge Cliff Whirlpool on the ship’s port side, deck 11. Also on deck 11, an amphitheater-style seating, a more intimate and quieter space for relaxing. Brand new is the Dusk Bar. Located on deck 10, it offers 270-degree panoramic views from the stern of Silver Nova. 

On Silver Nova, the Dusk bar

“Clearly, when it comes to innovative new ship design, Silversea, first with Silver Origin and now with the very different Silver Nova class, is bringing the destinations it visits onboard in a new way,” says Teijo Niemela, editor in chief of, who has chronicled cruise shipbuilding for 20-plus years.

Martinoli shares some additional enhancements to outdoor deck spaces.  The Marquee is an alfresco dining venue that incorporates both the Grill and Spaccanapoli, popular casual eateries that are located on separate decks on Silver Moon, Silver Muse, Silver Dawn and Silver Spirit.

What is horizontal design? Why does it matter? 

Horizontal layout, Martinoli tells us, is another crucial benefit of embracing asymmetrical design. Silversea’s ship currently have the passenger suites forward, and public rooms on the aft. “This is the way smaller ships were built,” he tells us. There are a number of reasons. Among them include noise insulation, being located well away from engine rooms and other ship operations facilities deep within the ships. “The good news is that technology has evolved to the point that issues like noise and vibration are not there anymore. And in fact, most modern vessels are now built in a horizontal design.”

This means you don’t have to separate public rooms and suites by forward and aft — nor do you have to segment decks by ceiling height. “You have both cabin and public spaces throughout the length of the ship,” he says. 

The Marquee for alfresco dining.

Ultimately, what’s most important, Martinoli says, is that Silver Nova’s fresh new design must please those who travel on her. “Design changes, it evolves. We have made incredible progress with our horizontal layout, asymmetrical design, glass walls, the suite layouts. The ship will have a built-in, artistic quality that makes it much more interesting. I think our guests will be absolutely thrilled. And, more importantly, our team will always uphold the luxury values of Silversea.”

The 54,700-ton, 728-passenger Silver Nova, the first in its class for Silversea, debuts July 15, 2023. Its maiden voyage sails from Southampton to Lisbon.