(1:15 p.m. EDT) -- Silversea has announced the name for the latest ship to be added to its Silversea Expeditions arm.
Silver Galapagos, which is currently sailing as the Galapagos Explorer II, will join the Silversea fleet in September 2013 following a makeover of the ship's interior.
The line announced in June that it had acquired the ship and with it tour company Canodros S.A. -- a tour operator that runs sailings to the Galapagos aboard the upmarket ship. The acquisition marks the first time that Silversea will offer itineraries that include the Galapagos, a group of islands off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific known for their abundant and unique wildlife.
The ship will operate in the region on a year-round basis, with bookings on two separate 7-day itineraries available from mid-November, according to a statement from Silversea. Both Saturday departures, the sailings will be 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.
The 4,077-ton, 100-passenger Silver Galapagos has already had its hull repainted dark blue to match the line's other expedition ship, Silver Explorer. Originally part of the now-defunct Renaissance Cruises fleet, Silver Galapagos has 50 suites -- all with ocean views -- 24 of which have balconies. As well as its main restaurant, the ship has a piano bar, library with internet access, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpool baths and a marine observation deck. The new ship will also offer personalized butler service, complimentary beverages and all gratuities.
--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor