Silversea Cruises announced the name of their second expedition ship and seventh member of their luxury line today. The latest acquisition will be renamed SILVER GALAPAGOS when it is fully integrated into the fleet in September, 2013 following an extensive refurbishment of the 100-passenger, all-suite vessel. Silversea purchased Canodros S.A. and the GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II in June, 2012. The 4,077 gross ton ship was originally built in 1990 as the RENAISSANCE THREE, the third vessel out of eight near-sisters, consisting of two sets of four identical small ships which made up the original fleet of now defunct Renaissance Cruises. The GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II has already been repainted with the same dark blue hull colors as the SILVER EXPLORER (ex DELPHIN CLIPPER, SALLY CLIPPER, BALTIC CLIPPER, DELFIN STAR, DREAM 21,WORLD DISCOVERER, WORLD ADVENTURER, PRINCE ALBERT I) the company’s other expedition ship which joined Silversea Cruises in 2008.
The ship measures 290 feet in length with a 50 foot beam. Silversea intends to maintain a consistent level of elegance throughout its fleet with expedition guests enjoying full-scale exploring of the Galapagos Islands from the platform of an enclave of luxury at sea. All suites feature spacious, ocean-view accommodations, personalized butler service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, and all gratuities. Gourmet meal service is provided in the ship’s attractive dining salon and an alternative outdoor dining venue as well as in the suites.
Silversea will begin taking bookings for the SILVER GALAPAGOS in mid-November offering two new 7-day itineraries that will begin operating in late September 2013. The Saturday departures are roundtrip from Baltra Island with the first visiting the western, southern and eastern islands, including Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz. On alternate weeks the ship will explore the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española, and Plazas Sur. Silversea’s guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colorful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin’s famous finches. The complimentary expeditions ashore are guided by an experienced expedition team certified by the Galápagos National Park Service. Silversea Cruises is among only a handful of lines whose itineraries visit all seven continents.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.