A rendering of the Silver Galapagos // © Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises is expanding its luxury expedition operation initiated with Silver Explorer. In fall 2013, the line will bring its branded experience to the Galapagos with the 100-passenger Silver Galapagos, currently sailing as the Galapagos Explorer II.
The new name signals the company’s intention to bring the ship to a level of elegance and quality consistent with the rest of its fleet, and will take effect after the all-suite ship undergoes a major refurbishment in September 2013. In a related move, the hull of the Galapagos Explorer II has already been painted the same dark blue as Silver Explorer. Like Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos is expected to bring in a younger demographic than the larger Silversea vessels, and the company’s experience with Explorer indicates that those guests will move on to the larger vessels, using the rising interest in green tourism as a channel to build its future.
Silversea will start selling its 2013 Galapagos program in mid-November of this year, offering two new seven-day itineraries, both roundtrip Baltra Island, that will begin operating in late September 2013 as follows:
Sailing Saturday to Saturday, Silver Galapagos will trace a path across the western, southern and eastern islands, including Santiago, Bartolome, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz.
Also scheduled from Saturday to Saturday, the second itinerary encompasses the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristobal, Espanola and Plazas Sur.
On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team certified by the Galapagos National Park Service, Silversea guests will experience an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colorful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and more.
The program also offers opportunities to swim and snorkel in the clear waters, witness unique highland ecosystems, hike through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, explore natural lava tunnels, watch for wild flamingos (in season), read cave inscriptions from the 1800s and learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
With Silver Galapagos serving as a base, passengers will enjoy adventurous days and a luxurious home that includes spacious, ocean-view accommodations, gourmet cuisine, the personalized service of a butler and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.