Silversea Cruises kicked off its galapagos tourism operations this week with its luxury ship Silver Origin. This vessel, built in 2020 and with capacity for 100 passengers, is the first focused on a specific destination.

Silver Origin is Silversea’s first specific destination ship.

The company dedicated to ultra-luxury cruises indicated that with the arrival of the Silver Origin to the islands “it resumes service to one of the most emblematic expedition destinations in the world”.

Silver Origin replaces Silver Galapagos (formerly called Galapagos Explorer II), an expedition ship that for years provided tourist service and stopped serving the islands last year.

The inaugural cruise departed from San Cristobal Island as part of an itinerary that covers more than 10 points in seven days. Fernando Delgado, vice president and manager of Silversea Cruises Ecuador, indicated that they started with an occupancy of 55%.

These trips will be made weekly throughout the year. So, for example, in this month it has another departure scheduled on June 26. While in July it has planned departures on 3, 7, 17, 24 and 31. Costs for this month range from $11,450, depending on dates and itineraries.

For this boat, the firm developed new improved itineraries, which offer the possibility of contemplating many of the species, several of them endemic, that make up the wildlife of the islands.

Silversea aims at a niche of passengers who want to experience experiential trips to the Galapagos, with luxury services.

In addition to the number of passengers, the ship can accommodate a crew of 90 people. The company said it is the highest proportion of crew members per passenger.

This boat has accommodation in suites, with balconies and butler service. Its food service is inspired by Ecuadorian cuisine.

The Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, welcomed the Sirver Origin and wished success on its first excursion in Galapagos. The minister posted a photo on his Twitter account with staff from the vessel, which initially aspired to be operating in August last year.

Built at the Dutch shipyard De Hoop, the Silver Origin has a tonnage of 5,800 tonnes and is one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class.

The start of operation of the Silver Origin also coincides with the maiden voyages of the Silver Moon, another Silversea vessel that will tour the islands of Greece.

“With the maiden voyages of these two beautiful new ships we welcome guests to rediscover exotic destinations, cultures and cuisines at our characteristic comfort level, with impeccable personalized service,” said Silversea President and CEO Roberto Martinoli.

Silversea said it continues to work closely with government agencies and relevant health authorities to maintain at all times a set of protocols at various levels, always backed by science, to ensure the health and safety of guests, crew and communities visited.

Galapagos is one of the destinations that the Ecuadorian Government seeks to promote once the vaccination of the population has been covered.

Tourist arrivals to the islands marched slowly in this first half of the year and are still far from pre-pandemic levels. Galapagos received 15,585 tourists in the first quarter of 2021, 73.12% less than in the same period of 2020. (I)