"When you can have anything you like, you settle on what you really want,” says Barbara Muckermann, chief commercial officer of Silversea Cruises and the brains behind Otium, the luxury cruise line’s new wellness concept. “As long as the quality is there, that’s all you need.”
Quality is a trademark of Silversea, which prides itself on enabling guests to ‘travel deeper into luxury’. Now, the Monaco-based brand has managed to one-up itself with the introduction of Otium – its ambitious new wellness programme launching in March 2022 on Silver Dawn, its 10th and newest ship, with its sights set on indulging the very wealthy.
In Roman culture, Otium – the opposite of negotium, the nonexistence of pleasure – was a period of time dedicated to leisure, in which people bathed, conversed, sang, theorised, drank, ate, socialised and relaxed, explains Muckermann.
With the launch, Silversea not only pays homage to its Italian heritage, but also offers guests a new level of curated and customised comfort, aiming to redefine the wellness experience at sea, with a strapline ‘The original art of comfort’.
Essentially, Muckermann and Silversea believe wellness should be a natural, enjoyable part of the day and that living well and being well are not mutually exclusive.
“Otium is unlike any other wellness programme; it aligns perfectly with our brand positioning,” explains Muckermann. “Otium was an opportunity to stop pretending that wellness is all about sacrifice and delayed gratification – instead it will revolve around instant gratification, extending the luxurious pampering for which Silversea is best known to different areas of the ship, from guests’ suites to the redesigned spa, and beyond,” she says.
Encouraging wellness through ‘balanced indulgence’, Otium is built around five pillars – which include the spa, as well as new bathing, sleeping and dining experiences and a novel ‘balcony experience’ to enhance time spent outside – with each offering a number of customisable elements.
“Otium will guide guests on a journey of wellness, starting in their suites, extending to the spa, and continuing into other public venues,” says Muckermann. “They’ll be able to unwind and socialise in the spa’s thermal areas with a glass of Champagne and snacks prepared with ingredients such as caviar and truffles or have a couples’ massage to live music.”
The Silver Dawn wellness offering will have four new areas of programming in addition to the spa, including the Otium Bathing Experience which will be delivered in passengers’ private bathrooms – these will have both a walk-in shower and a bath, making them some of the most spacious bathrooms at sea.
The custom bathing experience, prepared by Silversea’s butlers, will enable guests to indulge in a multi-sensory soak, while listening to the playlist of their choice and enjoying a range of delicacies.
The Otium sleeping experience will be tailored to individual preferences. Cabins will have a special Otium mattress, while the pillow menu will include customisable down and feather blends, memory foam, firm down, and improved down.
The Otium balcony experience will see travellers encouraged to slow down and enjoy the breathtaking views that stretch to the horizon and make the most of their personal space.
In cool weather conditions, Silversea will deliver luxurious cashmere blankets, a selection of appetisers, and an indulgent hot chocolate menu.
In warmer climates, guests will be able to order body mists, sun creams, cocktails, and gourmet bites.
Perhaps the most indulgent aspect of this programme, says Muckermann, is the addition of an in-suite Otium comfort food menu which will be available 24/7 and designed to enhance guests’ moments of leisure.
Signature dishes will range from gourmet popcorn to lobster and caviar in a brioche, justifying Muckermann’s comment that “enjoyment and indulgence lie at the heart of Otium’s sensuous experience”.