The Galapagos Islands – one of the best destinations in the world for active, hearty explorations to very remote places with few, if any, other people – represents the kind of journey that, as a pal notes, “requires a vacation after your vacation.” After all, who wants to miss out on a minute of admiring Blue-footed Boobies, hiking along lava trails, snorkeling in search of the Galapagos Penguin, or spying nesting sites for East Pacific green sea turtles and a huge colony of marine iguanas that happens to sun on black lava?
And yet, with the debut of Silver Origin, Silversea Cruise’s first-ever ultra-luxury vessel designed for Galapagos itineraries, guests may well be tempted to linger onboard. “Silver Origin is going to be a yin and yang experience,” says Fernando Delgado, the Silversea’s vice president of Galapagos Expeditions. “It’s about waking up in a beautiful bed, having a great breakfast and then taking a Zodiac many years back in time.”
Since Silversea launched the 100-guest Silver Origin in summer 2021, we’ve told the story of how the ship was successfully completed in the midst of a pandemic. We’ve taken you on a tour of the vessel, still at DeHoop shipyard, just after we raised the Silversea flag, marking the moment she became part of the fleet. And we’ve shared details about the newbuild, about aspects of the ship that have most intrigued us as we’ve followed its progress, from a state-of-the-art marina for easy on-off access to its dynamic positioning system, which allows the ship to get closer than ever to the most eye-popping areas of the Galapagos Islands. And, of course, the Silver Origin experience parallels Silversea’s ultra-luxe standards, with all-suite accommodations, cuisine made with Ecuador’s freshest foodstuffs along with traditional Silversea favorites, and butler service for every suite.
Now it’s your turn, for the moment anyway, to virtually experience what it feels like to be onboard Silver Origin. Today we’re sharing four videos, filmed while the ship was en route from Europe to Ecuador. Take a look.
First Impressions: Basecamp and the Marina
Did you know that Silver Origin never actually docks in the Galapagos?
When it’s time to go ashore – or return aboard – the Marina’s fold-out stern, with hydraulic doors, hatches and cranes, is designed with boarding facilities that can accommodate the launching of two Zodiacs at a time. The Marina also has big tanks where you can rinse off your snorkeling gear and racks for equipment and wet suits. Nearby is a large garage. It stores the Zodiacs.
And adjacent to the Marina is Basecamp, a comfortable gathering hub that is the heart of Silver Origin. It’s an elegant space with regional art, comfortable couches and deep armchairs and it’s where you’ll gather for talks by Silversea’s naturalist guides, all of whom are Ecuadorian. In 15 – 20 minute presentations before every outing, they’ll share the mission of your upcoming adventure. Sometimes there will be two or three of these in a day, so Basecamp is definitely a space you’ll spend time in.
When there’s downtime in Basecamp, you can, with a touch of a button, pull up all videos, from historical contexts from the Royal Geographic Society to custom-created nature photography.
Relax and Chill: The Famous Firepit
Out on deck, a gas-lit firepit offer a great opportunity to wind down from a busy day ashore.
For Delgado, who had just recently been to visit Silver Origin in Manta, “the fire pit is something you won’t find on other ships.” In this ancient destination, the fire pit takes you back to a place of coming together, where he says “we’ve been gathering around a fire for years.”
“It’s not like you’re going to have long hours on the ship,” Fernando adds, “we don’t have days at sea. But you will have those times, at sunset, after dark with no light pollution, just the incredible stars. You’ll have mornings, wake up early and just look around.”
Breathe and Reboot: Out on the Open Deck.
Where to find bliss on Silver Origin in the Galapagos? Head to the ship’s open deck where the views, as they morph throughout the week, give you such a great scope of one of the world’s most ancient natural places. Watching this video, I feel as if I’m literally leaning over the rail, feeling the wonder of the place, and, yes, tasting a salt tang on my lips.
I think back to something Silversea’s former Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio has said about the Galapagos. “Anybody who has been to the Galapagos knows the archipelago’s unique beauty. From its endemic animal species to the ancient lava formations, there is simply no place like it on Earth.”
Thank you to Silversea Cruises and Blog Author Carolyn Spencer Brown for this wonderful description of life on the Silver Origin.
Photo Credit: Jorge Prigann
Doesn’t the Silver Origin look amazing?!
The Silver Origin is one of the most luxurious ships sailing the Galapagos Islands.
Sphera Travel would love to help your group travel to the Galapagos Islands
Schedule a “Quick Hello” call with us today, and we will find the perfect time for you to visit this unique destination.