101 Silversea Silver Galapagos Cruise Reviews

My husband and I have just returned from our March 7 - 15th Galapagos Islands Cruise and we cannot wipe the smile off our faces. Our hundreds of photos are a beautiful reminder of what we experienced and learned. Silver Seas has mastered ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our March 7 - 15th Galapagos Islands Cruise and we cannot wipe the smile off our faces. Our hundreds of photos are a beautiful reminder of what we experienced and learned. Silver Seas has mastered the Art of cruising, in making their guests feel like no one is more important than them. The staff is not only helpful but always pleasant and most resourceful! The naturalists are phenomenal...always taking good care in all circumstances..including getting on and off and "up and Down" the Zodiacs..:) and providing the best information to us. Our cabin person Leo could not have been more available to our needs and the dining room staff...headed by Christian, made every meal a dining experience.....under the most creative Chef...and pardon me...but I am lost to come up with her name.....but she was exemplary in her food prep, creativity, presentation and offerings of local foods..including a very fine fish selection. Tom and I met people from all over the world amongst the 90 guests and hopefully we will connect with them down the road. One observation, I would make is to not take along or purchase the Keen open water sandles, as they do allow sand and stones to get in upon a wet landing. The ship sells excellent closed nylon/rubber water shoes and while pricey, you are able to use any Cruise Credit to purchase them along with the excellent toggled hats to protect from the sun. I would redo this trip in a heartbeat..but taking in the western islands this time. Thanks to the Silver Seas staff and organization for an unforgettable week with you. Wendy Hickey & Tom Gallagher Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We just returned from the magnificent cruise around the western islands of the Galapagos with Silverseas. The voyage is as amazing and wonderful as most reviews have said here. Actually, we both read a great many of the reviews on this ... Read More
We just returned from the magnificent cruise around the western islands of the Galapagos with Silverseas. The voyage is as amazing and wonderful as most reviews have said here. Actually, we both read a great many of the reviews on this website and we were well prepared for the cruise (and yes, we saw in advance the BBC documentary Islands that Changed the World). Even so, our expectations for the Silver Galapagos were significantly exceeded and we cannot recommend this cruise highly enough. Apart from the islands themselves, a great strength of this cruise is the staff of the Silver Galapagos. All are from Ecuador and many are from the Galapagos themselves (especially the guides). There is an esprit de corps among the staff that is like family, along with a great pride in the islands. It is a real joy to spend time with them for the week. An additional strength, as several review here have said, is the seamless integration for logistics (much of that provided on land by Abercrombie and Kent). From plane to hotel to airline to boat and back, everything works like clockwork. If you have been on many cruises, you know this outcome is an exception, not the rule. The outings are well designed and even better executed. We were never disappointed. Take everything they offer is our advice. We are in our mid-sixties and found everything feasible. When Silverseas says “challenging”, they mean that most of the participants will do well and a handful will lag behind. Yes, it is hot sometimes, especially without cloud cover. And yes, there are currents and waves in the open ocean for kayaking and snorkeling. Take the advice of the staff seriously, but based on that advice go for it. And yes, do bring the clothing suggested by Silverseas for the week. As many have said here, a major weakness onboard is the food. We reject the frequent argument in these reviews that hiring restrictions (only Ecuadorians) accounts for this problem. We ate at the amazing restaurant Zazu in Quito and were blown away by the excellent food there. OK, perhaps the head chef at Zazu is Peruvian, but everyone else there seems Ecuadorian. Also, we acknowledge the problem of provisioning – we started at San Cristobal and it was days before we came close to another port that would allow onboarding fresh food. The first day at lunch, we had grilled octopus that was the best we had ever eaten anywhere in the world. Three days later, the same dish at the Grill was tough and barely edible. The real issue seems to be the chefs and the management at Silverseas that tolerates and enables them. There are two problems. First, the chefs are not worldly or sophisticated. The phrase “Galapagos effect” in economics and business strategy refers to very sheltered agents that are not subject to selection effects outside their narrow home environment. Some of the dishes the head chef makes are amazing (like every one of his ceviches) and some are truly awful (like the salad of tomato, crabmeat, and blue cheese dressing we were served one evening). In any sophisticated environment, the latter dish would be promptly pulled. Silverseas apparently provides minimal feedback and direction for the very promising head chef, and he suffers as a consequence. Second, the chef is way too pleased with traditional Ecuadorian peasant food. May I be clear that the problem is traditional food, not any origin in Ecuador. I am from the Old South in the USA, where vegetables were cooked beyond any nutritional value, where items were fried to a crisp or smothered in gravies, where no spices were ever used, all modernized with the occasional molded Jell-O salad. Ugh. The traditional cazuela we were served onboard the Silver Galapagos was mostly tasteless and uninteresting. In contrast, the modern fish cazuela we had for lunch at Zazu in Quito was wonderful and impressive. As several have said here, Silverseas plays the “expedition card” way too frequently to justify its weak management and execution for food services. The one significant complaint I have for this cruise is apparently a rare problem: the snorkeling masks offered by Silverseas are not that well maintained. The first mask I was given leaked at the sides, though the problem was small enough that I completed the outing with only irritated eyes as an issue. The replacement mask I was given flooded at the mouthpiece and was completely unusable. I found three other guests who suffered the first problem (out of the 24 to 30 guests on three snorkeling outings for me), and only one other guest who suffered the second problem. Fortunately for her, her mouthpiece flooded at the initial outing at a beach; she swam onshore and an English-speaking guide pulled a pebble out of the mouthpiece for her. My mouthpiece flooded in the open ocean, and the driver on the Zodiac spoke not a word of English and had no idea what to do in my case. I later found out that most but not all Zodiacs have replacement masks onboard, so Silverseas expects these problems. However, Silverseas does not inform guests of the replacements and (at least in one case) does not train drivers for replacement. If you do the math, you can see these problems are not frequent. Nonetheless, I would strongly encourage you to bring your own mask – though Silverseas can be a bit prissy over use of your own mask; one guest brought a bright yellow snorkeling mask and was prohibited from using it. Overall this is an impressive and wonderful cruise. A little preparation in advance on your part will add to this awesome experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just returned from our cruise, in cabin 247. We’re experienced cruisers and active vacationers. It was a delightful treat to explore the islands and experience luxury accommodations and service. The ship was in excellent condition ... Read More
Just returned from our cruise, in cabin 247. We’re experienced cruisers and active vacationers. It was a delightful treat to explore the islands and experience luxury accommodations and service. The ship was in excellent condition despite its upcoming retirement. To those who complained of rust and “tired”. I respectfully disagree. Some complained that the wine selection is Ecuadorian only : We were offered a broad selection of Spanish and South American wines, most of which were interesting and good. By the way there is a bottle of sparkling wine tucked away near the juice bar at breakfast- wow am I sorry I missed that until the last day! If you are a sparkling wine drinker, take a sparkling wine bottle stopper with you to make the most of the always replenished bottle in your room. Leonardo our butler took lots of initiative, such as when I left a partially finished small bowl of nuts and raisins from breakfast in the room - he made sure I had an overflowing bowl in the room for the rest of the week. The cabin was very spacious, with a walk in closet, sitting area, and bedroom. The presentation of the hot rock grilling experience at the grill is quite simple, the rock is very small and the food cooks very quickly. The challenge up there is the wind. We booked our own air travel and coordinated with Silversea for all transfers and hotels. I’d recommend booking your own air- Silversea booked some fellow passengers to Los Angeles via New York. We also got a better rate on American Airlines than Silversea offered. I’m in agreement with the prior review and discussion about snorkeling. The naturalists were terrific, answered any and all questions patiently, and were very safety conscious. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I are totally satisfied with this cruise. Silversea did an excellent job to make your experience as pleasant as possible from the moment you arrived in Quito to the last minute you catch your flight at the airport to return ... Read More
My wife and I are totally satisfied with this cruise. Silversea did an excellent job to make your experience as pleasant as possible from the moment you arrived in Quito to the last minute you catch your flight at the airport to return home. This is not a typical luxury cruise you expect from Silversea. This is probably the best adventure cruise offered to the Galapagos Islands. If you expect Grand Dining room experience, elaborate evening show, daily fitness class and top notched spa and messages, this cruise is not for you! Our daily routine starts at about 6 am getting up, have buffet breakfast (or 24 hours room service if you prefer) and be ready to board the zodiacs to your choice of activities by 7 am. Typically one in the morning and one in the afternoon with snorkeling, kayaking or beach activity in between. I really enjoyed the lunch on deck 5 grill after a rewarding morning adventure to see different species unique to each island. The chef did a wonderful job with special sea food menu each day. The waiters who may not have a good command in English are eager to entertain the guests by singing and dancing to the Latino popular songs played by the piano man. You can sense they are genuinely happy with their jobs! The ship usually set sails to the afternoon location while the guests are having their lunch on deck enjoying the beautiful ocean views. Afternoon activities finished around 4 pm. After showering and an occasional quick nap, we always attended the daily debriefings conducted by the Naturalists who led us to our daily adventures followed by the introduction to the activities on the next day. These sessions are very interesting and educational in a relaxing atmosphere. A perfect prelude to the dinner that followed. Although the dinner menu may not have many choices as the other Silversea's, I found it more than adequate. This is the first time I tried Cow Cheek and Scorpion fish. They are both delicious! Wine choices are mainly local selections of very acceptable quality. We had a wonderful time on this cruise as well as the pre-cruise visit to Quito city and the Equator attraction. Fellow guests we met were all very pleasant and easy to get along. The previous reviewer's family of 4 are charming. The kids are well manor and well liked by the guests and staff. The 2 nights JW Marriott hotel and the EB day hotel are first class. They are included in the cruise fare which I considered very reasonable. If you enjoy nature in an unspoiled natural environment this is the cruise not to miss. There are very few places on earth that you can be so close to animals that are totally not afraid of you, even the Sally long legged crabs will walk past you ignoring your presence! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, ... Read More
My family of 4 (including my Wife, 10yo Son, 8yo Daughter) were on the Silver Galapagos the end of August. It's important to note that this is an "expedition" and not a "cruise". Everything was excellent. Also, while the up front cost is higher than other ships, once you realize what’s included (just about everything) and the level of service and luxury it is actually a very good value. First, a big thanks to Sean Swedman, at Silverseas, who handled every single detail of the trip with perfection and patience. There were a lot of moving parts and Silverseas was flawless in ensuring a smooth trip. They are with you from the moment you get off the plane until the moment you board. It's really amazing. While the ship is aging (a new one is coming in 2020) it was still luxurious and very well maintained. Cabins were nice sized with plenty of storage and very comfortable. The staff was truly outstanding. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, went out of their way to do provide incredible service. The naturalist, butlers, expedition leader, dining room staff, zodiac drivers, etc., were always smiling and always there to help. Our cabin was cleaned at least 3 times a day. All this service and luxury made the actual reason for the trip, the magical Galapagos, even better because it was just so easy. Two excursions and usually a snorkel every day. The landscape, animal and bird viewing were stunning. We got up close to just about everything. Many times, the birds, iguanas, tortoises and sea lions were resting on the trails so we had to walk around them. There were just a few children in the ship but my kids loved it and they staff went out of their way to engage with them. Many evenings a naturalist joined us for dinner at the request of my Son and spent an hour or two answer an endless stream of questions. Walks range from easy to somewhat challenging but there are always options. Food was excellent at every meal. A lot of seafood choices and if you wanted something different all you had to do was ask. We did a few times and every single time the answer was yes. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I wish I had read the Cruise Citic Reviews for this ship before I booked. I would not have gone ahead. Many of the reviews do not have nice things to say about this ship and they are accurate. Silversea claim that this is a 6 star ship. I ... Read More
I wish I had read the Cruise Citic Reviews for this ship before I booked. I would not have gone ahead. Many of the reviews do not have nice things to say about this ship and they are accurate. Silversea claim that this is a 6 star ship. I have done several Cruises and it is1 -1.5 stars at best. So in summary I paid a six star price for a 1 star ship. Everything on board is the cheapest of the Cheap. Even the bottled water in the cheapest they could buy. No Evian here - cheap water from somewhere in China. Cabins are rusted, no AC working, crew is not allowed to speak any other language then English and they are Latin Americans. The quality of the meals is the worst ever I have, the lowest quality and charged as a 6 Stars. Ship - Tired and Run Down. Staff - poor levels of english and you have to ask for everything 4 times Management - Don't care - we told them of our dissappointment only to be ignored - One manager organised one special meal for us and that was it. Special Requests - At first they tell they can't do special things for you hoping you will stop asking then after a while the reluctantly give in and get it for you - not what was expected on a "6 star" ship. Don't expect any pampering on this ship. They claim to have daily yoga, pilates and fitness classes - they had nobody on board to do them. This is the worst cruise I ever gone and not worth a Penny is TRASH.. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, ... Read More
The Galapagos are a GREAT place to visit. We were onboard the Silver Galapagos from May 30 to April 6, 2019. We chose the rainy season as the temperatures were to be warmer and the seas calmer. We were blessed to have calm seas, warm days and only SPRINKLES of rain on a couple of days. With the calm seas, there were several opportunities for kayaking. While kayaking, we had sea lions trail us, saw beautiful sea stars (starfish) through the crystal waters along with turtles, iguanas and birds. The snorkeling trips were a highlight. We saw penguins, turtles, sea lions and fish all within a few feet. They seemed unconcerned with humans. Take a GoPro for underwater photos and videos. I was quite happy that I had purchased insulated thermal liners (recommended by Silversea) for under the short sleeve and short length wet suit that Silversea provided. With the insulated thermal liners (the bottoms looked like leggings but were from ScubaPro) we could enjoy the time in the cold water and were protected from the sun. It was an incredible adventure! The Galapagos are a great place to see nature up close and unwind. As noted in several reviews the ship is dated but the crew made up for that with incredible service. They were on top of everything. The small size of the ship makes it easy to get around and getting on and off the ship with the Zodiacs was quick, simple and safe. Most landings were wet so you will need water shoes. The small size also enables you to meet new friends. You see the same folks on the excursions, in the dining room and at the meetings and it’s easy to develop friendships. Our group was dealing with celiac and some food allergies to dairy, garlic and onions. Concierge Chistian, Chef Andrea Cruz and our waiter Guillermo Reina kept us safe. Chef Andrea went above and aboard in preparing delicious, safe food for us. Chef Andrea was often out during the buffets and she would always point out safe foods for me on the buffet. She made Ecuadorian stew and other special foods specifically for us. During a cooking demonstration, she even made me my own ceviche that fit my dietary restrictions! For those who require gluten free, but without the dairy allergy, they had Yucca rolls that were enjoyed by many on board the ship. The buffet was well designed with breads in a special area which made the possibility of cross contamination with gluten less. Guillermo did a great job of communicating with us about our food so we knew it hadn’t been mixed up with another order. Chistian continually checked on us to see if we needed anything. This incredible team kept us feeling well so we could enjoy this beautiful area of the world!!! Remember with food allergies to let the cruise company know when you book your reservation. Then when filling out the online forms, list the food allergies again. When you board the ship meet with the concierge to answer all questions. Silversea did a great job of keeping us safe. While snorkeling and kayaking, each group of about 12 had a guide and zodiac driver that watched over the group. During hikes, the guide watched over the group, giving help or suggestions to anyone who needed help. The Hikes were more strolls than hikes. We would walk for a bit and then listen to our guide. Some islands had very uneven surfaces that required caution. We saw flamingoes, turtles, iguanas and the blue footed boobie. Insects were only a problem on Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island beach. I was glad to have some insect repellent. Be advised that our flight from Quito to the Galapagos included a stop in Guayaquil. We stayed on the same plane, but it did add time. Additionally, it was a long day to get home. We were out of the cabins at 7:30 am and off to breakfast. Zodiacs transported us to the dock to waiting buses at 9:30 am. Shopping at the Baltra Airport was good for hats, t-shirts, etc. with prices comparable with Puerto Ayora. Looking back, I would have skipped shopping in Puerto Ayora and purchased gifts at the Baltra airport. We arrived in Guayaquil airport at around 4pm. We were provided with a day room at the Hotel Oro Verde, the hotel is beautiful, the city less so. We would have liked more time at the hotel and less at the airport. We were in the lobby by 7:45 for our transfer to our flight to Miami. We booked our own flight into Quito and out of Guayaquil, because we wanted control over the time of our flights, number of stops and wanted to have business class seats. We booked our transfer from Quito airport to the J.W.Mariott through the hotel. This worked well and the driver was on time and pleasant. We used Silversea for all other flights and transfers. We were pleased to have them take care of the baggage and details. At the Guayaquil airport, about an hour before our flight was to leave, the airline started doing random searches of carry on and checked bags. Your name was called, and you were asked to approach the ticket counter. For checked bags, an airline representative took you down an elevator to your suitcase where they ask you to unlock your suitcase. They did a quick search and you were asked to relock the suitcase. It was a bit unsettling at first, but it was not a big deal. Final note, this is an active cruise. There are typically 3 events during the day hikes , snorkeling trips, zodiac rides etc depending on the island. There is some time to rest but not a lot. It’s tiring but well worth it! Galapagos Islands are beautiful and worth the travel time to get there. We are so glad we went. Our hope is that our review helps others with food challenges or just someone who wants more details about the trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many ... Read More
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many of the other reviews have mentioned the magnificence of the islands and the fauna and flora. I'll only add that words can not adequately express what one will experience either in the water or on the land. We have lived and traveled in many countries, but never have we experienced the wonders of snorkeling up close (sometimes inches away)with sea lions, manta rays, sharks, galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and more all within the same ecosystem. Bottom line-the western Galapagos is everything and more than you've read. The ship itself is dated, but certainly very acceptable for a Silversea cruise.In fairness the new Silversea Galapagos ship arrives in 2020. Rooms were very good, but somewhat short on storage space. We loved the location of our room # 345 as it was central to the meeting room, exit to the Zodiaks, dining room. The crew from wait staff to expedition were fabulous. The young chef (Andrea) was amazing in the preparation of her lunch and dinner menus-fish lovers will marvel at what can be prepared. The expedition crew/guides were extremely engaging and knowledgeable, and I'd be surprised if there was a better group of guides in the Galapagos. Finally a note of caution on the activities in general. This is not a sit back and relax cruise. If you are not on a hike (sometimes quite challenging), then you're in the water snorkeling. In other words one is very active during the day, and after dinner did you rarely see anyone on deck after 10pm because people were in bed and exhausted. If mobility is a concern, then I would carefully consider if this is the right trip. This trip will always have a very special memories for my family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ... Read More
A bucket list type trip for sure! The Galapagos islands were truly mesmerizing. They were remote, unspoiled, filled with animals (many endemic to Galapagos) and the scenery was over the top. We chose Silver Seas as it had great ratings and we wanted a slightly larger ship with very experienced naturalists. While the ship holds about 100 people, I think we only had about 85 on board and it never felt crowded. Silver Seas has this down pat! From the moment you arrive at the airport, it is well organized and orchestrated. You never felt rushed or like you were part of a herd. Each experience was personalized and the staff and crew were very polite, respectful and helpful. Each day, you wake up early and head out for excursions. Most days, there were options to choose from. Each excursion started in a zodiac and you headed out to explore an island, snorkel, kayak or visit a small town. Each zodiac had a guide who lead you through the excursion and ensured each guest got the most out of it. The animals are a highlight of the whole trip. They are not afraid of people and you get a very up close (but not too close) experience with sea lions, birds, iguanas, fish and so much more. The ship itself was very nice. Rooms were spacious (for a cruise ship) and well appointed. Your personal butler ensured you had everything you needed and was quick to respond to any special request. Every time we left the room, they came in and cleaned and straightened it up. The ship wasn't new but well kept up. There was only one restaurant and the Grill on board. We had breakfast at the restaurant buffet each morning and chose to have lunch in the Grill on the deck of floor 5. We alternated between the Grill and main restaurant for dinner. The food was very good in both. I do think they could expand the Grill dinner menu beyond on the hot rocks as it was fun the first night and then got a little old. The restaurant food was all excellent and what I would expect at a fine dining establishment. Our fellow travelers were generally 40-60'ish years old and liked a very active vacation. There is little time to rest during the week. You could choose to skip excursions but then why go on this trip? It was action packed and crazy busy but exactly what we expected. There was only 1 child on our trip and about 10 teenagers who seemed to really enjoy it. Most people were part of bigger (6-12 people) groups which included families, siblings, multi generational, friends, etc. One word of warning which Silver Seas is clear about - this is not a trip for anyone that is mobility challenged. The ship isn't set up for it and the excursions all require you to go up and down steep steps on a rocking ship to the zodiac and often disembark in to the ocean and walk ashore to hike on a rugged trail. There is no entertainment on the ship other than a small piano bar for pre-dinner cocktails while watching the sunset. Most people were in their cabins by 10pm resting up for another big day of excursions. Overall, this was a once-in-a-lifetime trip although we may go back again one day and see the Western part of the archipelago. Also, we chose March as the seas were warmer for snorkeling although the air temperature was very warm too. It is the rainy season, but we didn't see even a drop of rainy and it was sunny each day. Can't recommend this trip on the Silver Galapagos highly enough! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose to do two back to back cruises to cover as much of the islands as possible. This was the best decision I could have made. I will not go into the wonders of these Islands, just my shipboard experience. Embarkation after the ... Read More
I chose to do two back to back cruises to cover as much of the islands as possible. This was the best decision I could have made. I will not go into the wonders of these Islands, just my shipboard experience. Embarkation after the flight over to the Galapagos was excellent and well organised from the wharf to registering on the ship. My balcony cabin was spotlessly clean and well appointed and the balcony well worth the extra cost even with the solo supplement. My butler and cabin cleaner were very good and helpful whenever necessary. Dining was a joy with Chef Carlo Bermudez catering to all diets with plenty of variety and his Yucca Bread was absolutely delicious. He did a tasting menu for the few doing the two cruises one night, oh my, how good was that as were the wines and how lucky were we. The Hot Rocks Restaurant was the usual Silverseas high standard and much fun was had at this venue whilst enjoying the great food. Lunch on the deck was very popular but as other people have commented, not enough room, however hopefully the new ship will have an extended area. The Chef was cooking local food here every day and was so good to be able to sample these foods. Service was exemplary, the occasional language difficulty in the restaurant but nothing that could not be solved easily. The Expedition Team were experienced and very knowledgeable, looking after us on land and sea and we were so lucky to have these people guiding us through this wonderland. The treks and snorkelling in particular, were fantastic. Another highlight was watching approximately 200 Galapagos Sharks hanging around the ship one night in the light, one of the most awesome sights I have seen anywhere in the world. Captain Karin Chacon was very obvious by his presence, interacting with the guests and such a lovely gentleman. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him and enjoy his wealth of knowledge of the area. All in all, much more than I expected with a crew that really tries to make sure you have the very best of experiences, and succeeded. Thanks to you all Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Ok, I could only give 4 stars...because of the unrefurbished ship. But otherwise, all was perfect. Silversea will get a new ship in 2020, so if having clean, comfortable, but not shiny new accommodations will bother you, wait a year. ... Read More
Ok, I could only give 4 stars...because of the unrefurbished ship. But otherwise, all was perfect. Silversea will get a new ship in 2020, so if having clean, comfortable, but not shiny new accommodations will bother you, wait a year. You will not be disappointed with the organization of the expeditions and the care taken to ensure safety. Plus, the food is excellent even though the Galapgos has significant restrictions on food import (true for all cruises there). The Grill Restaurant was particularly fun at lunch with a keyboardist providing upbeat music. Overall, I'm glad we went when we did as the ship was just fine and really didn't detract from the main event of seeing the islands. The stay in Quito was a bonus. We self-guided ourselves through the old city and then took a taxi to Cafe Mosaico for the views and refreshments. The hotel provided was good. The day room in Guayaquil was excellent. Unfortunately we had a downpour and couldn't enjoy the city. Still, silversea made sure we were more then comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our second visit to Galapagos, we were last there 12 years ago on a small boat with 16 guests and a naturalist who had been in the job too long and really spoilt it for us. So this time we decided to risk a bigger ship in the hope ... Read More
This was our second visit to Galapagos, we were last there 12 years ago on a small boat with 16 guests and a naturalist who had been in the job too long and really spoilt it for us. So this time we decided to risk a bigger ship in the hope of a better range of naturalists and facilities. We hoped that the islands had not been spoilt in 12 years. We were not disappointed and we need not have worried - if anything the islands are even better protected than before. We have sailed with Silver Sea before but this was our first expedition trip and it is a winning combination of Silver Sea excellence with well organised, wall to wall activities with experienced and well trained guides, which make the most of the amazing Galapagos islands. The other guests were all of like minds to us, very keen to see the islands, very polite and engaging and a delight to sail with. You never felt as if there were 95 people on any of the trips or activities - they spaced us all out well and we still had that individual experience. The ship was everything you would expect from Silver Sea, just smaller. An executive chef who prepared the most amazing food and was humble in his approach, to the extent that he would serve you from the salad and ice cream bar if no-one else was there to do so. His ceviche class was so packed with guests even he looked surprised, but it was a reflection of the respect we all had for him and his cooking. Meal times were entertained by the wonderful Alfredo who played the keyboard but sounded as if he had a 30 piece orchestra behind him. The expedition leader Javier was calm but authoritative with a great sense of humour and you felt totally safe at all times, whether walking, deep sea snorkelling or kayaking. Jorge the professional photographer gave a great talk on taking wildlife pictures which I found very helpful indeed and he prepared an fantastic video and selection of photos which were available to buy at the end of the trip - well worth it. The naturalist guides are all free lance and there is no doubt that Silver Sea engage the best. They were funny, knowledgeable and made you feel on every occasion as if this was the first time they had seen every creature they talked to you about. They came snorkelling with us, swimming down and pointing things out. (The other) Javier and Martine in particular were a delight. The staff and crew on board ship were polite, friendly and eager to help. Lolita on reception was so helpful and arranged a cake for my husband's birthday and came snorkeling with us one day and was brilliant. The butlers were discrete but always there. The bar staff (Carlos particularly) remembered your drinks order, the dining room staff were always smiling and friendly and the zodiac drivers very professional and you had complete faith in them to ensure you safely returned, no matter what the weather. Such was the attention to safety that one day I had twisted my life jacket and the guide noticed, slowed the zodiac engine immediately and sorted it straight away. The captain was always smiling and very down to earth - sometimes you would see him walking through the ship in his overalls, from checking up in the engine room. You are given your own back pack and water bottle (yours to keep), wet suit, snorkell, flippers and a bag with your cabin number on to put them in - so less to pack. If you were not a confident snorkeller they gave lessons and arranged assistance Overall, an amazing experience - if I have not mentioned everyone it is because there is not enough room! I would also encourage anyone visiting to spend some time in Ecuador which is the most beautiful and friendly country. We did seven days in the Andes visiting rose farms, inca sights, beautiful mountains and the lovely city of Cuenca. It is also worth remembering that every season in Galapagos is different. If you go at this time of year the islands will be bare but you can see the finches etc much more easily and the birds are starting to breed. If you go in May then the vegetation is lush but there are apparently lots of bugs. It is important to do your research in terms of what you want to see. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We loved the SilverSeas Expedition. We had 2 days prior in Quito. 10 days total. This is a truly all inclusive trip and amazingly organized. The guides were incredible and they agree that Silverseas is the best Galapagos tour. The ship is ... Read More
We loved the SilverSeas Expedition. We had 2 days prior in Quito. 10 days total. This is a truly all inclusive trip and amazingly organized. The guides were incredible and they agree that Silverseas is the best Galapagos tour. The ship is very stable which makes seasickness very unlikely. It’s best to take a cruise vs a land trip. You see much more! Tips are included as well as drinks. The on-board service is just incredible. And the food is great. They have a very interesting outdoor grill where you grill your own filet on a hot lava stone- so unique! Everyone was so nice and accommodating. They have snorkeling and shortie wet suits for all passengers. They offer kayaking too. They have Zodiaks to get you on shore. Staff are very helpful getting people on and off the Zodiaks. There were all ages of folks on our ship. If you are in decent shape, you can do all of the activities. You don’t need to be super athletic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Booked cruise to Galapagos, always on my bucket list, expecting in depth exploration of the islands. I did not investigate land geography, volcanic islands with little or no vegetation and very limited animal life. Hikes on the islands was ... Read More
Booked cruise to Galapagos, always on my bucket list, expecting in depth exploration of the islands. I did not investigate land geography, volcanic islands with little or no vegetation and very limited animal life. Hikes on the islands was treacherous at the best of times especially in our age bracket, over 70. Nowhere in cruise literature did I find that the tours are at least 50% water sports, snorkeling and kaiaking. Naturalists on board, some very good others overage. Boarding and getting off zodiacs was well planned with lots of safety measures. Transportation to and from airports was very good, well planned. The buffet breakfast, worst on any cruise ship, dinners, although tasty, at times, offered portions inadequate for adults, perhaps too small even for children. Wines included in the menu were mostly Chilean and Argentinian, lowest quality money can buy. Specialty wine list had prices above what is expected on a cruise ship. Life on board was practically non existent, the bar had a limited supply of beverages. Silver Sea must have a program where profits are maximized at the expense of customers while paying in excess of $1,400/day. My wife and I may never take another Silver Sea cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
As a semi-surprise birthday trip my husband 'planned' this trip to the Galapagos Islands since it was a dream trip of mine for many decades. We had cruised with Silversea before so we knew traveling with them would be an added ... Read More
As a semi-surprise birthday trip my husband 'planned' this trip to the Galapagos Islands since it was a dream trip of mine for many decades. We had cruised with Silversea before so we knew traveling with them would be an added bonus! The other guests were delightful and since the ship has only 100 passengers, we got to know most of them! The crew was friendly, knowledgeable and fun, too! The guides are from the Galapagos Islands National Park Guide Service and they rotate around the cruise ships - I don't know how we got all the best guides but we did! :) Knowledgeable and fun. The day trips were always informative and interesting. The animals steal the show and rightfully so! We could go on and on about the sea lions and the boobie birds, other birds, iguanas, other flora and fauna - which vary from island to island. So much to take in! Wonderful trip!!!!! This cruise had no formal nights - which was nice since we had a lot of other items to pack for the expedition cruise. Bonus: We loved having wet suits and snorkeling gear provided for us -- no need to pack that!! (We swam with sea lions and sharks! And saw amazing schools of fish, starfish, rays, etc!!!!!) It is a busy day each day as they try to make the most of your trip and everything is so top notch. We did sit out one activity on one day as there was just too much going on and we needed a bit of a break. With that said - some of the island hikes were way to slow paced. You DO always need to be mindful of your footing - it's just the roughness of the islands - rocks and boulders and such. You need the proper shoes for you own best outcome! (They also provided walking sticks for those who needed them!) But we are used to hiking and moving about more. We DID appreciate they took into account everyone's abilities and I do think that might have been part of the issue. We did enjoy many times, the ability to just stand and enjoy the animals and scenery--that's why we came! The tortoises were show stoppers!!!! Loved seeing them in their natural habitat and at the preserve! The food was great! We loved the local food sourcing!!! The chef made sure there was different offerings and all were tasty! The piano man - Alfred- was fun. The butlers marvelous....great folks all around! Pre-cruise and post-cruise hotels they booked were EXCELLENT!!!!!!!! This was an added bonus - so many times the pre and post cruise parts are nice but these were EXCELLENT, especially our hotel in Guayaquil. We appreciated the half-day room. The amenities were really over the top! If you are wondering if you should go the answer is easy; it's: YES!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had talked about this journey for quite some time so we added it to our bucket list and are so happy that we did. From the day we contacted Silver Seas until the time our journey ended we felt like valued customers. We were always ... Read More
We had talked about this journey for quite some time so we added it to our bucket list and are so happy that we did. From the day we contacted Silver Seas until the time our journey ended we felt like valued customers. We were always cordially greeted beginning when we landed in Quito by Liz until we arrived back in Ecuador at the end of our journey. I would be remiss to leave anyone out but everyone from our room service attendants, to the food preparation people, to the guides and naturalists, to the great music provided to us by Alfredo at lunch time at The Grille and in the evening at the Piano Bar, our Zodiac Drivers, and our amazing Captain and his associates exceeded our expectations. Their ability to communicate with us in the English language was also a definite plus. My wife enjoyed the Executive Chef's Ceviche class very much. Although we were kept very active all week long perhaps a Yoga class once or twice would have filled some of the free time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My sister-in-law chose this expedition to celebrate her 70th birthday. (We are Seniors, I’m rather large and unsteady so I didn’t know what to expect). What a gift this was! This is the most perfect space as far as putting life in ... Read More
My sister-in-law chose this expedition to celebrate her 70th birthday. (We are Seniors, I’m rather large and unsteady so I didn’t know what to expect). What a gift this was! This is the most perfect space as far as putting life in perspective: humans are not predators or a food source, just curious observers and somehow life gets on just fine without our meddling. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and extraordinarily helpful (I can’t say enough about Andrès Vergara: the information he had about every place, his optimism, energy and enthusiasm, the love he had for this Park just shone through everything he did. The confidence he gave me for getting on and out of the zodiacs and on the rougher areas to travel was indispensable and extremely reassuring). All guides, especially Maria Angelica Betancourt and Martin Loyola, were very supportive and friendly. Israel Mata’s evening briefings helped me know what I could expect with my unsteady physical ability and your choices of different levels of walks helped me to maximize my enjoyment of this beautiful land. Good food, excellent quarters (thanks to Tyrone and Eddy), and I loved David Padilla’s video and pictures to help document my travels. Everyone I came in contact with was most friendly and helpful. We ate out at the Grill with Lava Rocks and found that to be a lot of fun. The wine was excellent. I made use of the laundry service one day and everything was returned promptly that afternoon looking great. Unfortunately, I never had time to experience the spa, exercise area or the hot tub— but that’s a good thing, because my time was spent on incredible adventures. I attended most of the Naturalists talks and found them to be very informative. I was a bit concerned because I have no Spanish, but everyone’s English was outstanding, and I never had any difficulty understanding what anyone was saying. I also enjoyed meeting the different travelers on your voyage, quite interesting stories to share! I chose not to try the offered snorkeling, my fellow travelers enjoyed that experience very much. Next time. I don’t want to forget to mention the day in Quito: we were able to visit Intiñan which was a great experience. Fernando was an excellent and informative guide for our panoramic tour of Quito—the Virgin of Quito was so beautiful, as was the city lights all stretched out below us. So lovely! As I hope I’ve said, this was a most awesome adventure!!! Thank you for all the work you put into providing this excellent experience for your travelers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We selected this trip with expectations of seeing wildlife that we'd never seen before and weren't disappointed. The 8 naturalists aboard were all top notch and provided excellent commentary on each of the shore excursions. The ... Read More
We selected this trip with expectations of seeing wildlife that we'd never seen before and weren't disappointed. The 8 naturalists aboard were all top notch and provided excellent commentary on each of the shore excursions. The excursion logistics were handled smoothly and efficiently. The 100-passenger limit and very limited public space on the ship lets you know there won't be a lot going on in the evenings, but the lone musician was versatile and accomplished from sonatas on the piano in the afternoon to macarena during lunch at the grill. It is an excursion cruise not a regular cruise. We had not counted on the number of young children on board. The parents apparently thought because they were on vacation it was someone else's responsibility to supervise their kids, who ran wild all over the small ship. One afternoon during happy hour a group of the children commandeered the bar lounge for a birthday party. We couldn't even find solace for drink and conversation outside because they ran rampant squealing and shrieking and bouncing balloons outside along the rails. While the food was generally very good -- a high concentration of excellent shrimp, octopus, calamari, and various fish presented in a number of differernt ways as well as local Ecuadorian dishes -- the wines were disappointing, especially given the high quality of wines now available from nearby Argentina and Chile. Little thought appeared to be given to pairing a particular wine with the food, and the quality was lacking overall. Some of the waiters' knowledge of the wines offered extended to no more than white or red. No one on the wait staff identified himself (an all male crew) as a sommelier. One night's feature of Italian wines was the only bright spot. The wait staff during lunch at the grill was consistently short-handed and unable to deal with the number of guests. All the wait staff, however, demonstrated an eagerness to please. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
If you're looking for the lounging around cruise where you're just laying out by the pool and stuffing your face with quantity and not quality...this is not the cruise! This one is definitely an Expedition Type where there are ... Read More
If you're looking for the lounging around cruise where you're just laying out by the pool and stuffing your face with quantity and not quality...this is not the cruise! This one is definitely an Expedition Type where there are several hiking and nature walks around several islands. At times, you feel as though you're seeing the same stuff...."You've seen one booby...you've seen them all"! However, overall the educational experience as well as seeing animals SO CLOSE in the nature is simply amazing! Like the animals are not even afraid of humans - Definitely like you're visiting THEIR home. Although rather expensive, SilverSea does an excellent job for the value. Food quality was very good with all the premium liquor on board too - nice touch! Transportation and shuttles both arriving and departing were excellent and well organized. Great experience for our 10yr old that I'm sure he will never forget! Great personalized service and excellent cruise staff members. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We started this trip in Guayaquil where a Silversea representative waited for us at the airport and took us to Oro Verde Hotel (very good, very close to the city main attraction (malecon)) a day before the embarkation. From Guayaquil we ... Read More
We started this trip in Guayaquil where a Silversea representative waited for us at the airport and took us to Oro Verde Hotel (very good, very close to the city main attraction (malecon)) a day before the embarkation. From Guayaquil we flew with Latam to San Cristobal (1h and 25min). As a lot of flights arrived at same time, immigration took almost one hour. From airport was a 5 minutes bus ride to the pier where we got the zodiac to the ship with our carry-on. Soon after our luggage arrived at our cabin which was a veranda suite. We loved that we got it as we spend a lot of time in the Veranda while sailing from one spot to other as well as we could dry our clothes and shoes easily. There are plenty of open air space in the ship that you can rest between meals and landings. There are also in-door space like piano bar and library should you want to be in the air conditioning. July is the dry season and temperature was really good. Food was great at all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We had breakfast every day at the Restaurant as well as dinner except for one evening that we tried the Grill where we had all our lunches. Lunch was superb at the Grill, but dinner at the lava rock was a disappointing, we never got back. Some disappointing issues: shower has half door which makes bathroom wet everywhere. Bathroom is really small. Disembarkation was not very good. In the night before some items from our cabin were changed to the new guest to come in the following day, which confused us. On Saturday morning we had to leave our cabin at 7:30, but transfer to the airport was at 9:30, so we stayed at the piano bar for 2 hours waiting. Silversea provided exhibition of some films during this period, but in the end, the toilets were miserable with a 100 guests using it during 2 hours. We were transferred to the airport and our flight was schedule for about 1 PM. A long waiting time. I noticed that guests from Celebrity had a meal waiting for them at the airport. Great trip! We loved it and strongly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We spent a few days in Quito before the cruise. Quito was a great city. Lots to explore and see and eat! There was a bit of an issue with embarkation, but that didn't matter because that was the first chance we got to see the ... Read More
We spent a few days in Quito before the cruise. Quito was a great city. Lots to explore and see and eat! There was a bit of an issue with embarkation, but that didn't matter because that was the first chance we got to see the tortoise! That was an incredible experience; being able to see those giant animals. Once we got on the ship the staff was super friendly. The food on the ship was outstanding. There were a lot of Ecuadorian dishes such as the local fish which tasted great! The chefs created wonderful dishes for every single meal of the day. The room was nice. It was nice that the tv had so many movie selections. The shower was alright, it had half a door, so the floor got pretty wet sometimes. I liked how it had a separate shower head; makes it easier to wash long hair. There could have been another mirror in the room. When the bathroom was being occupied there was no other mirror in the room to get ready. Lots of good closet space. The service was absolutely outstanding. Whatever you needed, no matter what time of day, someone was always available to help. We had gotten room service one morning and had it brought up to the piano bar. The waiters were outstanding. Whenever I would request a specialty drink, they would make it and it tasted delicious! The activities that were planned were great. I really liked how it was an early start to the day and then you had time to relax in the afternoon and then another activity in the late afternoon. I thought the planning for that was great. It was nice to have options, hard/long walk or easy/short walk and snorkeling off the beach/deep sea snorkeling. I traveled with my parents and they agreed that it was one of the best trips we ever took together. We are currently planning our next Silver Seas cruise! This was everyone's first expedition cruise and we really enjoyed it. There's no other way to see the islands, and we enjoyed every excursion! The disembarkation was good, we were told to be out of our rooms at 7am, but didn't really leave the ship until 7:45. At one night the ship was really rocky, but I guess that's expected when you sail across the ocean. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We loved the couple of days in Quito before the cruise began. The JW Marriott is a beautiful hotel and we got to see the city and the Equator with the help of our Silverseas Cruise Consultant in the hotel who arranged small tours for us. ... Read More
We loved the couple of days in Quito before the cruise began. The JW Marriott is a beautiful hotel and we got to see the city and the Equator with the help of our Silverseas Cruise Consultant in the hotel who arranged small tours for us. Even the day room in Guayaquil at the end of the cruise was a great touch for weary travelers having to wait until midnight to catch a flight home. The cruise guides were very knowledgeable and were available to answer all our questions. The zodiac drivers were wonderful at getting everybody on the zodiacs making us all feel safe in their hands. The food was delicious. Having a 6 course meal every night for dinner! Specialties of the Ecuadorian people were just terrific. We loved seeing all the wildlife and being able to be so up close to the tortoises and the boobies! Even though I do not snorkel, and the rest of my family did, I didn't feel like I was left out of things. Time on the beach with the sea lions was wonderful. This trip was everything I wanted it to be. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It was part of a Tauck organized tour to Peru as well as Galapagos. Ship on outside looks worn. Handrails needed some tlc as well as other outside areas. Inside decor looked very dated and was not very inviting. Our room 423 was ok. It had ... Read More
It was part of a Tauck organized tour to Peru as well as Galapagos. Ship on outside looks worn. Handrails needed some tlc as well as other outside areas. Inside decor looked very dated and was not very inviting. Our room 423 was ok. It had nice balcony. Carpet needs replacing though. Rusty areas in bathroom. At times no water pressure so couldn’t flush toilet. Gaskets around hall door as well as balcony door not in good shape, so sometimes we heard a lot of wind noise when sailing at full speed. Dirty curtains as well as bedspread. The crew was very nice and helpful but not all spoke English very well which created confusion at times. Excursions were done well and there were plenty of them. The naturalist guides were very knowledgeable. The food was not what I would expect for a supposedly five star cruise line. Breakfast was ok, but nothing special. Lunch and dinner basically had the same items with different names and sauces. We had some bbq ribs whose origin was questionable. Desserts were the kind you would have in school cafeterias. Even their vanilla ice cream had lumps of frozen ice in it. Being on an ocean cruise one would expect a large variety of seafood. It basically consisted of shrimp, octopus or calamari, and the usual piece of fish with a sauce. I loved seeing the Galápagos Islands, it was a bucket list item. But if I had to do it again would go with a company like Linblatt. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
It seemed very streamlined for the experiences we wanted. We were able to have everything organized for us & all we had to do was show up! Extremely knowledgeable staff and first class all the way from pre-cruise hotel in Quito to ... Read More
It seemed very streamlined for the experiences we wanted. We were able to have everything organized for us & all we had to do was show up! Extremely knowledgeable staff and first class all the way from pre-cruise hotel in Quito to getting to the lovely cruise ship made it a great experience. The places we visited & expeditions we went on gave a wonderful overview of the Galapagos. We would probably have missed many of the highlights if we tried to do on our own. The small size ship made it much more personal.The very experienced guides really made the difference in it being a far superior experience than we could have even hoped for. The open air grill restaurant was where everyone wanted to be so at lunch there were never enough tables and people tried to go early to get tables but sometimes you just got back from excursions & by the time you got there the tables were all taken up. The alternative was to eat in downstairs restaurant but the outside environment was much more desired. So, only suggestion would be more space in open air grill restaurant. And, perhaps some more outdoor relaxing areas. The one area outside the piano bar with 4 lounge couches was very coveted, also. For the number of passengers there needed to be a little more deck relaxing areas. The indoor areas were plentiful but I think a lot of people on a cruise want to be outside looking at the ocean. Also, the fresh air areas were tainted quite often with smell of paint & varnish. I realize maintenance must be difficult to schedule but when paying for a cruise & hoping for nice fresh ocean air, it is a little disappointing to smell varnish & paint instead of fresh air. Those couple of minor annoyances did not detract enough from the overall phenomenal experience to not want to do it again. It was the best experience ever getting to see the unique wildlife up close & personal & to get to learn so much at same time. The guides were ALL so very knowledgeable & very personable. There were so many amazing things we were privileged to see & experience that we will absolutely recommend this cruise to others and we will want to experience another Silversea cruise in our future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
While we would agree with the vast majority of travelers who describe a visit to the Galapagos as a “trip of a lifetime” that should be on everyone’s bucket list given the incredible opportunities to discover what is essentially a ... Read More
While we would agree with the vast majority of travelers who describe a visit to the Galapagos as a “trip of a lifetime” that should be on everyone’s bucket list given the incredible opportunities to discover what is essentially a showcase for remarkable and unique examples of geology and evolutionary biology, our idea of a relaxing and recreational holiday from work has never included adjectives such as “rustic,” a characterization we came across too frequently while looking into the possibilities for this destination. Acknowledging that our camping days were firmly behind us, our research led us to consider the larger “luxury class” cruise offerings based on their available amenities and services, as well as the perceived stability and creature comforts of the larger vessels. We chose Silversea not only because of their stellar reputation for quality and service, but most especially because of the simple, seamless, all-inclusive booking options they offered. Christian at Silversea efficiently arranged our reservations, including all the logistics of air travel, ground transportation, and hotel stays before and after the cruise, with just one stress-free call and one fee. With the exception of the elective purchase of the video DVD and photo CD ($150 and worth every penny) made to document our expedition by Jorge the onboard videographer, along with nominal laundry charges, all beverages (alcohol, specialty coffee, etc., and not just with meals), Wi-Fi (perfectly adequate for email and messaging apps), and gratuities were included. Our flight from our home airport had one domestic stop, and from there we flew direct to Quito where we were met in the airport by a member of the Abercrombie and Kent team, the local travel representatives of Silversea. Once all our bags were retrieved, we boarded a shuttle bus to the Marriott hotel, about 45 minutes away. At the hotel, a separate express check-in table had been set up for us along with some welcome beverages. We were given our room keys and printed information about our stay in Quito (see images), all of which thankfully took only minutes since it was late and everyone was exhausted. Although Silversea, through A&K, included a complimentary evening tour of Quito on our full day there, we opted for one of the additional and reasonably priced tours. Following the included breakfast buffet at the hotel, we met our guide, David, a clearly enthusiastic young man eager to proudly show off his city and share a bit of its culture. In fact, though we signed up for a three hour tour, he tailored our excursion to our interests (see this article for some of the ideas we suggested to him: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/why-you-should-visit-quito-ecuador) and actually spent 5 hours with us. Charmingly, he taught us some Kichwa-derived Ecuadorian slang (achachai, meaning cold as in “brrr”, and arrarrai, meaning burning hot), which we would later use to the bemusement of our naturalist guides while snorkeling and hiking. Finally, David dropped us off at one of his favorite local restaurants for authentic Ecuadorian cuisine. The following morning required an extremely early start to catch our flight to the Galapagos (the plane made a brief stop in Guayaquil). A slightly more limited breakfast buffet was included prior to departing the hotel. Upon landing at the San Cristobal airport, we were met by our naturalist guides. They assisted us onto buses that took us to the pier while our main luggage was loaded separately for delivery directly to the staterooms. After allowing some time to roam the small port town, we then took Zodiacs from the pier to the Silver Galapagos along with our carry-on bags. We were greeted aboard with a glass of champagne and then shown to our staterooms. For more detail about life aboard Silver Galapagos as well as the daily schedule, please see the images of the “Chronicles” delivered to our room each day. With regard to expectations for the Galapagos, I would highly recommend reading the book, Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World, by Paul D. Stewart and/or viewing the companion BBC-produced documentary narrated by Tilda Swinton (available on Netflix and on DVD/Blu-ray). A little advance working knowledge will go a long way toward an appreciation for what you may see while touring, and you will be better prepared to take advantage of all the experience and wisdom that the guides possess and are so willing to share. We met and had wonderful conversations with so many genuinely nice, friendly people aboard this cruise, and remain so grateful for the shared experience. Dining: Our excellent servers, Eduardo, Jhon, Carlos, and Roberto, quickly got to know our names and preferences. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet in The Restaurant each morning, featuring a wide variety of choices. Lunch each day at The Grill was a highlight, offering a different grilled fish and other grilled meat (chicken, beef), as well as pasta and pizza choices. There was also a daily soup, ceviche, and Chef’s station, featuring an Ecuadorian specialty prepared by Chef David. Other than one evening when we enjoyed the Grill for a hot lava rocks meal, we ate all our other dinners at the Restaurant, where we were always surprised and pleased by the variety (see images of menus). Of the 94 guests aboard, from the US, Mexico, China, Germany, England, Scotland, France, Israel, Australia, and even Texas [ ; ) ], we encountered only one person disappointed with the Ecuadorian-centric menus, but he readily admitted he had not done his research before booking the trip and therefore had different expectations. For our part, we thought the food was terrific. Miscellaneous tips: the advice on lightweight quick dying clothes and shoes should be heeded; full length rash-guards or thicker hydroskins beneath the provided 2. 5mm shorty wetsuits are a good idea especially if you may be sensitive to jellyfish stings, and may add a bit of additional warmth (the water temperature varied widely, but in any case we were saying “achachai” after about an hour). Alfredo, our pianist/keyboardist, was very entertaining during lunch at The Grill and in the evening at the piano bar. Ask him if he knows any Disney tunes. A quick word about return travel: we left the Galapagos through the Baltra airport, a larger facility with more amenities than found in San Cristobal, but just as easy to pass through. We were met at the Guayaquil airport and taken to the Oro Verde hotel where again an express check-in process had been set up. We had full use of the room to shower, change, and/or nap, with time also for dinner on your own. At the appointed time, we were then shuttled back to the airport and expertly guided through the crowded and confusing baggage-checking process. Even after the trip was basically over, Silversea, through their A&K representatives, cared enough about their guests to make sure we all made a hassle-free departure from Ecuador. Thank you Silversea! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Silver Galapagos Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.8
Enrichment 5.0 4.5
Service 4.0 4.3
Rates 4.0 N/A

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