Silver Galapagos - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Silver Galapagos


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 368 out of 500

Accommodation: 157 out of 200

Food: 261 out of 400

Service: 297 out of 400

Entertainment: 50 out of 100

Cruise: 282 out of 400

Overall Score: 1415 out of 2000

Silver Galapagos Statistics

Size: Boutique Ship

Tonnage: 4,077

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises

Former Names: Renaissance Three, Galapagos Explorer II

IMO Number: 8798660

Builder: Cantieri Navale Ferrari (Italy)

Original Cost: $20 million

Entered Service: Aug 1990/Sep 2013

Registry: Liberia

Length (ft/m): 293.1/89.3

Beam (ft/m): 50.1/15.3

Draft (ft/m): 11.9/3.6

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (3,514kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 5

Total Crew: 72

Passengers (lower beds): 106

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 38.4

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.4

Cabins (total): 53

Size Range (sq ft/m): 231.4-282.0/21.5-26.2

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 4

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 0

Wheelchair accessibility: None

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 1

Casino (gaming tables): No

Slot Machines: No

Swimming Pools: 1

Hot Tubs (on deck): 1

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: No

Onboard currency: US$


A fine ship to use as a hotel base in the Galápagos

Overview. Silver Galápagos operates two specific Galápagos cruise itineraries year-round from Baltra, Ecuador. It suits couples and single travelers who want to cruise around the primitive islands, but want to do so in comfortable, stylish surroundings.

The Ship. This is a comfortable and inviting ship, built as one of a series of eight similar small ships for the defunct Renaissance Cruises. While it is in good condition, maintenance could be better. Its looks are quite contemporary in the style of a mega-yacht. There is a wooden promenade deck outdoors. The limited number of public rooms have smart and restful, non-glitzy decor. The main lounge doubles as a lecture room, but perhaps it is the piano bar that provides the best place to relax after dinner in the evening. A doctor is carried at all times.

This ship (first operated by Silversea Cruises in 2013) provides a destination-intensive, refined, quiet, and relaxed cruise for those who don’t like crowds or dressing up. Naturalist guides trained at the Darwin Station lead the shore excursions (included in the fare), and the ship carries two glass-bottom boats, plus wetsuits and snorkeling equipment.

All drinks, bottled water, and soft drinks are included in the fare, but wine and Champagne are not. Also included are guided visits to the islands. The brochure rates may or may not include the Galápagos Islands visitor tax, which must be paid in cash.

Sunbathing space is cramped. The tiny ‘dip’ pool is not a swimming pool. Plastic wood is everywhere (although it looks good). The service lacks finesse, but the crew is willing. The small library is attractive, but the book selection is poor.

Accommodation. This is located forward, with public rooms aft. Pleasant, all-outside suites have a large picture window and combine gorgeous, highly polished imitation rosewood paneling with lots of mirrors, hand-crafted Italian furniture, and wet bar. All cabins have a queen-size bed, a sitting area, a minibar/refrigerator, TV, DVD player, and hairdryer. The small bathrooms have showers with a fold-down seat, real teakwood floors, and marble vanities.

Dining. The small, elegant and intimate dining room has open seating, and tables for two, four, six, and eight. The meals are self-service, buffet-style cold foods for breakfast and lunch (lunch will sometimes be on the open deck), with local Ecuadorian delicacies and meat.

Entertainment. Dinner and after-dinner conversation with fellow passengers forms the entertainment each evening.

Spa/Fitness. There is a small sauna. Water sports facilities include an aft platform, snorkel gear, and Zodiacs.