from Europe for Visitors
On the bridge
The chief navigator gives a bridge tour
Twice during our cruise, passengers were invited to the
navigational bridge for a comprehensive tour. (We even received a
four-page booklet on the ship's bridge, safety systems, and specifications).
The Silver Whisper's bridge proved to be more modern than
any we'd seen before, with sophisticated radar units and computer displays. We
learned that the ship's controls are computerized, and that the propellers and
bow thrusters can be operated in tandem with a single joystick for maneuvering
in close quarters.
Still, despite modern navigational aids and communications gear,
the Silver Whisper carries signal flags (shown in the cylindrical pigeonholes
above) for use in emergencies.
Note: Although most of the ship's officers are Italian, the
navigator in the photo is Polish, and the helmsman on duty was from the
Far East. English is used to give orders on the bridge, and we often heard
Captain Bencina giving instructions such as "Steady as she goes" when we looked
down on the flying bridge from Deck 10.