Silversea's second five-star expedition-focused cruise ship combines luxury with green tourism
The Silversea Galapagos will serve the Galapagos Islands in luxury style
Exploring the Galapagos just got more exciting. Or at least, more posh. Silversea, known mostly for its posh small cruise ships that traverse the globe, is expanding its luxury expedition vessel division to include a second ship. Named Silver Galapagos, the all-suite, 100-guest vessel will begin operating in late September 2013. Guests can begin booking seven-day expeditions in mid-November 2012.
Silversea says the Silver Galapagos will be the only luxury expedition ship offering socially and environmentally responsible ecotourism to the Galapagos archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Currently sailing as the Galapagos Explorer II, the vessel will undergo a major refurbishment in mid-September 2013. Its hull has already been painted dark blue, the same color as Silversea's first (and popular) expedition ship, Silver Explorer.
"The Galapagos Islands have been on our radar," says Keith Spondike, vice-president of marketing for Silversea Cruises. "It gives us the opportunity to introduce our concept of ultra-luxury expedition cruises to an even broader segment of the adventure travel market."
Two different seven-day programs will be offered. One itinerary encompasses the western, southern and eastern islands; and the other highlights the northeast, central and southeast islands. Both sail roundtrip from Baltra Island on Saturdays.
Guests will enjoy complimentary expeditions onshore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galapagos National Park Service). Encounters with an abundance of wildlife, including land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-and-red-footed boobies and penguins, are a given. Passengers can get more physical (better to work off the gourmet cuisine onboard) by exploring natural lava tunnels, and hiking through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields. Snorkeling, swimming and other adventuresome activities are also offered.
Onboard, expect Silversea to roll out their usual lavish style. Expect pampering by butlers in spacious, ocean-view suites. And lots of fancy food. And like on all Silversea cruise ships and expedition vessels, beverages, wines and spirits and all gratuities are included in the fare.
(go to silversea.com)