All aboard the Silver Origin, the largest ship sailing the Galapagos
After experiencing the Silver Origin first-hand, Nabila Richardson shares how bigger can mean better in the Galápagos Islands.
The Silver Origin is the first expedition ship to be purpose built for cruising the Galápagos Islands, with every detail purposefully designed to provide the finest experiential experience. For anyone looking for a truly immersive wildlife adventure, we always recommend exploring the Galápagos by boat and typically, we would also recommend a smaller expedition vessel. But with the launch of Silver Origin, bigger can now mean better.
Highest crew to guest ratio in the Galápagos
Built by Silversea, Silver Origin is the largest yacht that can sail the National Park, with a maximum capacity of 100 people. With a larger size, comes a larger team to look after you, from the expert Ecuadorian national guides and attentive waiters who remember how you like your coffee, to your personal butler who is on hand for any request – think helping unpack, ensuring you have sufficient sun cream and polishing your sunglasses, in time for an early morning hike. With 90 crew members on aboard, the Silversea Silver Origin has the highest crew to guest ratio in the Galápagos and you certainly feel taken care of, at every turn.
Nine times out of ten, you’ll be the only boat in the area
The Galápagos Islands are run like a tight ship – pun intended. Each day is pre-planned in collaboration with the National Park to ensure that visitor numbers are kept to a low level, minimising human impact on the fragile ecosystem of each island. With visitor numbers to each site capped at 100 (or less), if you choose to travel on the Silver Origin ship, no other boat will be able to moor at the same landing site because of how many passengers she holds. This affords you and your fellow sail mates complete exclusivity to explore and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Galápagos and means you’re never waiting in line for a photo opportunity or lost in an overcrowded spot.
One of the worries you might have if you choose to travel on a larger ship is that you’ll be waiting around to get into the zodiacs that ferry passengers out to visit the islands – or perhaps that you’ll be in large groups, so you won’t be able to ask questions or keep up with your guide. Neither of these are concerns on board the Silver Origin. With eight zodiacs and a clever group system that means half of the guests set off at one time (and the remainder slightly later), you are never waiting more than a few minutes to start your search for the incredible wildlife of the Galápagos Islands. Furthermore, excursion groups are kept to a maximum of twelve to ensure that your personalised experience is not compromised. Alongside daily hikes, snorkelling and kayaking are more unusual activities such as yoga on deck or on the beach, to backdrop of the crashing waves and frolicking sealions, a cooking demonstration from the head chef, as well as daily educational talks or workshops.
There is an abundance of luxurious facilities and amenities onboard Silver Origin, all of which are bound to keep you more than satisfied in between your Darwin-esque adventures. From the hot tub on the top deck (the ideal spot for an epic sun downer) and the jumbo, state-of-the-art interactive screen at Basecamp that allows you to deep dive into the details of each island to the panoramic star gazing spot tucked above the Observation Lounge, prepare to be blown away by the scope of things to do.
That’s all before we get to the spa, gym and two fantastic restaurants that serve an impressive menu of local and international dishes – tuck in to authentic Ecuadorian ceviche one day and delicate filled ravioli the next. Best of all, all meals and drinks are inclusive on Silver Origin.
High-level of comfort + stability
Opting for a bigger expedition yacht means that you are guaranteed spacious and comfortable suites. Depending on the category you choose, you can either enjoy a veranda or horizon balcony, along with a walk-in wardrobe and living room or sitting area, and you can even refill your Silversea water bottle from the comfort of your room thanks to an in-suite freshwater purification, which helps to reduce plastic consumption board. A notable design feature is the floor to ceiling windows on every deck, making sure that you’ll never miss a view. Concerns about seasickness? Not only is it fair to say that the larger the boat the less you will feel the rocking, but Silversea has also invested in an advanced propulsion system that helps stabilise the ship as it sails.
More chances to make new connections
If you are travelling with a group or want to have a more social experience, a bigger ship with a higher passenger capacity can be a great choice. On the Silver Origin, you’ll be placed in intimate groups for your onshore experiences, providing more opportunities to interact and potentially make friends for life as you share meaningful moments immersed in the pristine Galápagos National Park.
Overall, the choice of a larger or smaller expedition yacht for your tailor-made trip to the Galápagos Islands will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. Not sure how to do decide? Speak to our Destination Experts who can help guide you to the right ship and itinerary.