101 Silversea Silver Galapagos Cruise Reviews

My husband I had been looking for a Silversea cruise to South Africa or the Galapagos during the periods when I have a break from my work as a high school administrator. The Galapagos trip fit perfectly, and we booked it in the fall of ... Read More
My husband I had been looking for a Silversea cruise to South Africa or the Galapagos during the periods when I have a break from my work as a high school administrator. The Galapagos trip fit perfectly, and we booked it in the fall of 2016 for the April 1-8 cruise in 2017. Everything that Silversea handled was fabulous, in terms of logistics as well as the actual onboard experiences. The staff were so attentive, and the naturalist guides were top-notch. The ship was attractive and our suite was spacious and comfortable. The food was wonderful and the small size of the passengers made it easy to dine when and where - and with whom - we wanted. We made friends that I know we will stay in touch with and see again. The activities were excellent, especially the snorkeling and kayaking options. The Islands and waters are pristine and beautiful beyond belief. I would recommend this for anyone who has Galapagos on their "bucket list," and those who don't; it is a magical place for adults and children. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Always wanted to visit the Galápagos and surprisingly, with an offer they had on, this was the best deal (don't get me wrong it was still expensive). Due to the location only small ships can go there, but that was part of the ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the Galápagos and surprisingly, with an offer they had on, this was the best deal (don't get me wrong it was still expensive). Due to the location only small ships can go there, but that was part of the experience. We got to know many of the staff and customers very well. The trip was amazing. We saw creatures you never see anywhere else. The expeditions were very well organized and the guides were fantastic. Snorkeling was great - don't be put off by the deep sea snorkeling, if I can do it you can. Most wore wet suits, we didn't and it was fine, however the water is warmer (ish) this time of year, so when colder probably worth wearing one. The staff were great - a particular call out to the bar staff - Victor, Tyrone and Saul. Plus our butler Kerly. Maitre D Christian, guides Maria & Angelica Maria. Israel was fab too. They were all great really Food was good, considering the limitations they have as to what they can use. Particularly enjoyed lunch in the grill. Cabin was fine, the word suite might be pushing it, but there was enough room and bathroom was a reasonable size. We didn't have a balcony but that was ok. We were very lucky to have a school of sharks circling the boat one evening 50-100 of them, after the flying fish, which themselves were amazing. It was an experience getting in and off the zodiacs, but you get used to it and it became fun (unless really choppy!). All in all a fabulous trip, thank you Silversea and your excellent team. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Since many friends have taken these cruises other places, we decided to trust their opinion. We were not disappointed. Everything was extremely well organized. There were quite a few naturalists who were very specialized especially ... Read More
Since many friends have taken these cruises other places, we decided to trust their opinion. We were not disappointed. Everything was extremely well organized. There were quite a few naturalists who were very specialized especially a gentleman named Martin. He was extremely knowledgeable about birds and foliage. The food on the ship was excellent and very accommodating. I would suggest a bimini on the Grill deck so that more folks could be undercover. The cabins were adequate for two. I would suggest more accessibility to clothes drying without laundry facilities. When we had to rinse our clothing there wasn't;t a place for drying. It was not a strenuous trip but one would have to be in good shape to hike 2 hours and not mind getting up and about at 6:30 AM. The heat would build and hiking started early for that reason. I would go again but I feel that we have seen everything offered since it was so well designed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were looking for a cruise around the Galapagos Islands, and one crucial factor was that I have celiac disease and therefore must have a true gluten free diet. That was handled perfectly by all staff, especially Carlo (head chef) and ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise around the Galapagos Islands, and one crucial factor was that I have celiac disease and therefore must have a true gluten free diet. That was handled perfectly by all staff, especially Carlo (head chef) and Melissa (Maitre 'D). There are a lot of food restrictions in the Galapagos because of the remoteness and government regulations concerning imported produce, so that poses extra challenges, but they did a fantastic job. All ships in that region are small, so don't expect a pool and a casino ... that's not what this cruise is about. We loved the excursions and found all the staff to be great, very hospitable, courteous and efficient, and always looking for ways to exceed expectations. The guides very very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the unique environment of the Galapagos. We really liked the true "all inclusive" nature of the cruise, no hidden extras at all. I would recommend this cruise to anyone looking for a great way to see the Galapagos - a certain level of mobility is required as you have to climb stairs to get into and out of a Zodiac rubber boat at sea, and make "wet landings" on remote beaches with no docks. This was my first Silversea cruise, and i would definitely be happy to do another one - particularly one of the "expedition cruises". Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We really enjoyed our recent cruise on the Silver Galapagos. We were on the North/Central itinerary. Just for background, we are around 60, and while we have done larger, luxury cruises in the past, we now find we enjoy expedition style ... Read More
We really enjoyed our recent cruise on the Silver Galapagos. We were on the North/Central itinerary. Just for background, we are around 60, and while we have done larger, luxury cruises in the past, we now find we enjoy expedition style cruising much more. The service by the Ecuadorian crew was wonderful. The food was amazing. We loved all of the seafood options, and lunch on deck was our favorite. As others have noted, the wine is mostly from Argentina and Chile, but we enjoy those, so it was fine with us. The all inclusive aspect is something we enjoy. We wish we had more time for a pre-dinner cocktail, but this cruise was pretty much non-stop activity for us! Please note there is no entertainment on this cruise other than a piano player. Also, the pace, if you chose to do most of the excursions, is brisk. There were daily early starts - 7:15 zodiac departures. Our opinion is to get the most out of this cruise it helps to be physically fit. There are no ports where the ship docks. Getting off, even in the two small towns we visited, required getting in and out of a zodiac. Also, pay attention at the evening briefings about the physical requirements for the next days excursions. Some of the hikes were very difficult. We participated in as many hikes, deep water snorkeling and kayaking excursions that we could fit in. There were usually at least one hike per day and sometimes two. There was always a shorter option for those who wanted it. Most days there were also one or two snorkeling excursions either from the beach or deep water off the zodiacs or both. Kayaking was twice during the week. We were lucky on our cruise is not once were the seas not calm as glass. Also, there was only one rain shower and it lasted about an hour at lunch time. We took rain gear and never used it. We also took collapsible hiking sticks, and the most useful item - second skins (long sleeve and long pant which I purchased at Dicks Sporting Goods) for snorkeling. The water was cool, even this time of year, plus they prevented us from getting sun burnt. For the most part the guides were excellent, although there was one no one cared for as she seemed like she was bored and had little to say. We saw almost all of the wildlife we expected. We did not see flamingos or the really large marine iguanas. The sea lions and boobies were everywhere! One evening we had dinner with one of the guides. I asked her about the Western itinerary. She replied that it was for people who wanted less hiking, snorkeling and kayaking, and more sightseeing from the ship and zodiacs. The ocean there is always colder and choppier. I did not know this prior to booking the cruise and I'm glad we were on the more active one. (I will review the cabin below.) Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Despite the fact that I have been cruising since 2000, I don't write reviews. But I felt it was important for me to do so here, as this ship has such a low overall rating which is undeserved. The ship- we originally booked, an ... Read More
Despite the fact that I have been cruising since 2000, I don't write reviews. But I felt it was important for me to do so here, as this ship has such a low overall rating which is undeserved. The ship- we originally booked, an ocean view and by changing our dates, we got an upgrade to a veranda. I noticed that the other ships in the Galapagos such as the National Geographic lacked any balconies, and that Celebrity just has a few. The cabin is generously sized, although short on storage for those on our trip who brought large suitcases! There are two closets with hangers and a few drawers in the vanity, in addition to the underbed ones.The bathroom is a good enough size,with marble finishes and plenty of shelves for toiletries. The bedding is very comfortable, but the climate control for many of the cabins, is not good. Ask your cabin steward to help, if it is not to your liking. Some of us just asked for extra blankets. Dining- I usually orders room service for breakfast as we had early starts, however,the breakfast buffet has the usual items. Lunch was really wonderful on the mostly covered back deck. There was a different menu daily as well as the buffet. And there was always an Ecuadorian specialty offered by the head chef at a different station. Dinner was probably my least favorite meal. Found the dining room lights to be too bright for dinner, and the service ranged from fast, to really slow. That said, there are many courses and many choices offered. Some were excellent others not very good. FISH is what to eat in this trip, and you will always be pleased. It's fresh and well prepared. HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW and what that others who have reviewed evidently did not read about in their cruise package. There are very specific laws that govern the ships sailing in the Galapagos. They are limited in what they can provision!!!! This is very clearly put forward. Fruit and meat and dairy are not of a quality one might expect on a five star cruiseline as as they can only use Ecuadorian products. Fish is excellent. And the Ecuador dishes are great, up don't expect your filet mignonette or lamb to be that to which you are accustomed! Service -The same is true of the staff, they are also by law, Ecuadorian. So the service may or may not be comparable to what one would expect. I really dislike the word butler and suite, but I guess it makes everybody feel better, That said, the butler (female) who was attending to the bottom deck oceanview cabins seemed stellar, even more so than the one on our deck (we had a family with cabins in each level). Their butleress cleaned their muddly shoes, brought them bowls of popcorn and took their things, with permission to her room to clean better! The parents felt that their daughters got better service than they did. Excursions are unique in the Galapagos as they are determined by the government. The guides are all certified and trained by the same entity regardless of cruiseline and the activities at each stop are also subject to the decisions of the park services. What the silver Galapagos tries to do is to say YES. If at the nightly meeting there are requests, they try to grant them. Their safety briefings and procedures where excellent! There was great care taken to ensure safety. Having been on a Sierra club trip with poor protocols, I appreciated the care taken, What is better about Silversea, is that they spaced excursions at different times, as much as possible. So one could do two activities a day minimum. One day, there were four offered that could be done. We found the snorkeling to be excellent. Do check the water temperature and if it is cold, consider bringing an extra thermal layer or even a beanie or swim cap. What was wonderful, was that they had zodiacs monitoring you no matter where you were and at anytime they would come and get you! In one hour, we swam with penguins, sharks, turtles and sea lions in addition to reef fish. Since we didn't have to worry about "getting back" we had a worry free time, on our five outings. What to pack. My big tip is don't bring a big suitcase as you really do not need a lot of stuff at all. I had my warmer clothes for Quito, which was what I was wearing in New York. I traveled with a carry on suitcase that weighted about 18 lbs. I brought my mask and snorkel from home, as well as my collapsible walking stick, and two of everything else. I had four outfits for dinner. I availed myself of the onboard laundry. Flights- given that they were free, I took a chance and had our consultant use Silversea air. He worked closely with them and we got flight times that I would have booked myself. On the return from Guayaquil we declined the red eye with the midnight departure which would have had us change planes in Miami middle of the night. Instead, we took the early morning flight which was perfect.. By the way, the midnight flight never took off stranding everyone (90 people). Hint- never take the last flight if the day, ESP from a small regional airport. There is no one to help or answer a call. Many people had terrible experiences with American Airlines going through Dallas. Two different groups had delays of up to 30 hours. They got in at one in the morning of the day that the departure was set to Baltra. What most people don't know, is that once you have your day of sightseeing in Quito, you have a very early morning to the airport as it is ONE and HALF hours away from town. So these poor people got in after midnight,drove to the hotel (1 hour) checked in and then hours later checked out. The departure time at the hotel is before breakfast and there was not enough coffee cups or food set out in the lobby, so add that to the mix along with the 9,000 ft elevation. The flight we were on stopped in Guayaquil in the way to Baltra, making it a long travel day, most people were fried by the time they made it to the ship. What I would do next time? Fly from Miami to Guayaquil. Spend two nights there and then, the short flight to the Galapagos. It cuts down on the three hours of driving back and forth to the airport as well as the subsequent hit on your wellbeing being two miles high or so. Plus, people got stuff stolen off them while touring Quito. Having one day there is sort of ridiculous given the energy it takes. You really are really just barely scratching the surface. SPA Let's end in a happy note. Lisolet gave such good massages that many of us fell asleep. She also does nails and hair! Do it. Very satisfied and prices are good, I loved our experience and would do it again, with just my one carry on. Silversea did an EXCELLENT job with all our many transfers making it a seamless experience. And price wise, given our flexibility with travel dates, it may have been the least expensive option out there, given that even our flights were included. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not ... Read More
This was our first expedition cruise after many years of cruising(Regent and Crystal). Our travel agent recommended Silversea and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship,crew,fellow passengers,guides,and the wonders of the Galápagos. This is not the typical luxury cruise,but is the most pampered and comfortable way to experience the islands. Our suite was on the small side ,but well-appointed and comfortable. Our butler Jimmy was every bit as good as our Crystal butlers (and that,s saying a lot!). The crew is a bit rough around the edges but very eager to please and hardworking. The food was for the most part very good. It was obvious that great efforts were being made and we were often asked if we wanted or needed anything else. This is such an interesting destination and the guides enthusiasm for their subjects was infectious. Juan Carlos and Gilda were our favorites but all were good. When I fell out of the zodiac trying to get back in after a wet landing excursion our guide Jan kept apologizing for not being there to help me (believe me it was my own fault!). Every excursion was well briefed and well guided. This is an adventure everyone needs on their "bucket" list and Silverseas should be their choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the ... Read More
This was a fortieth wedding anniversary and we wanted the best cruise to celebrate our event. The Galapagos Islands did not disappoint and we felt privileged to have access to the islands and the wildlife. Any assessment of the standards offered on this cruise depend on expectations and price paid. We paid £5,500 per person for seven days. And were expecting very high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food: certainly not 5*. Our cabin was good and very clean. Although the layout was strange: the seating area would have been better overlooking the sea. Our butler was very willing. We were very disappointed in the quality of food provided as we had been recommended Silverseas by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. Our food was not up to the standard we had been led to expect. The food was often overcooked which was a great shame and was often quite dull. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript. We thought the staff were friendly and helpful but were in great need of further training; they simply did not appreciate the standard of service expected by clients of a cruise of this calibre. I think Silversea should import a Swiss hotel manager and a few wait staff from the Savoy, London to train the current staff. They are simply out of their depth and it is not fair. It's worth mentioning that the safety standards on the activities we saw didn't conform to best practice in the UK, possibly due to Ecuador only staffing, so take care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for ... Read More
We booked the Galapagos cruise to fulfil a long term dream for our fortieth wedding anniversary. Our assessment of the standards offered on this cruise are affected by our expectations and the price we paid, over £5,500 per person for seven days. We were expecting high standards of service and cuisine equivalent to 5* hotels, limited maybe by the availability of some supplies. However, the success of the cruise depended almost entirely on the unique natural quality of the wildlife, and the amazing access to beautiful locations. But we felt short changed by the provision of relatively poor service and food. We had been recommended Silversea by relatives who had enjoyed a cruise to Easter Island and praised the food extremely highly. The food we had was often overcooked which was a great shame and often quite dull, certainly not five star. Breakfasts were overcooked and nondescript, and the wait staff were well meaning but poorly trained. Shame they are restricted to Ecuadorian only staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had a full day in Quito prior to our flight to Baltra, and we wished we had added another day or two to explore the city. The Silversea agents were all very friendly, organized, and thorough, and we enjoyed the city tour that was ... Read More
We had a full day in Quito prior to our flight to Baltra, and we wished we had added another day or two to explore the city. The Silversea agents were all very friendly, organized, and thorough, and we enjoyed the city tour that was included in our itinerary. The cruise itself was excellent. The food was delicious and it was fun to try the daily specials of Ecuadorian specialties. And the all-inclusive nature of this cruise made it simple -- no bar tabs, no tips, no shore excursions to pay for. We loved that! Most of the naturalists onboard, who led the shore excursions, were very knowledgeable and seemed to enjoy explaining what we were seeing. There were just a couple who didn't seem quite as experienced. The reason I didn't give this cruise an excellent rating: Our only complaint about this cruise was the Silversea air travel department, which was abominable. They provided us an acceptable air itinerary several months prior to the cruise, and then changed it a month later (to a much worse schedule) without even notifying us -- I only found out when I logged into my airline account to look at seat assignments. When our travel agent tried to discuss it with them, they simply refused to do anything and insisted that we would have to PAY to change it back. I tried emailing their customer service, as well as the president of the company, and never received a response. If you take a Silversea cruise, don't let them book your travel! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
After carefully considering all options for visiting the Galapagos, including reading some of the not-so-stellar reviews of this cruise, I decided to give Silversea a try. I took my mom in July 2016 as a retirement gift. I must say that ... Read More
After carefully considering all options for visiting the Galapagos, including reading some of the not-so-stellar reviews of this cruise, I decided to give Silversea a try. I took my mom in July 2016 as a retirement gift. I must say that overall, we absolutely loved it! To reiterate, as many reviewers have commented, this is an expedition cruise. We’ve never sailed with Silversea before, so can’t compare to the level of service on their non-expedition cruises. That being said, the staff goes above and beyond to make you feel special, address any and all concerns and ensure you have a great time. For us, the service far exceeded our expectations. Most people don’t bother to even try and understand the logistics and planning that goes on behind the scenes to make these cruises a possibility. There are human beings working around the clock to make sure that all guests are properly taken care off. The expedition team carefully coordinates all excursions (hikes, zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking, etc.). From the moment we arrived in Quito, the transfers, hotel, optional tours and baggage handling were all seamless. The flight to Galapagos, after a brief stop in Guayaquil was smooth. After landing and clearing immigrations, we were quickly taken to a nearby pier to be transferred to the Silversea Galapagos via zodiac. After boarding, everyone we encountered was gracious, smiling and welcoming, despite spending the last few hours running around to get the ship ready for us. And so an amazing week began. Keep in mind, again, that is an expedition tour. If you want to see as much as possible, plan on waking at 6-6:30 each morning for a departure by zodiac around 7:30-8. Return to the ship for lunch (The Grill was amazing, but get there just before noon to secure a table). After lunch, a video or nap, and then another stop in the afternoon. Dinner is available at The Grill (reservation required, and often windy, but worth it) or downstairs in the main dining room (also no complaints). Our Butler, Danny, was especially wonderful. He went above and beyond to make us feel special. He brought us cake and sparking wine to celebrate my mom’s retirement, and set up a laser light show in our cabin! He asked us our preferences for the complimentary mini-bar and made sure it was always stocked. Waiters were all fantastic (although one in particular had some difficulty in understand English, especially compared to the others). Fernando especially comes to mind as being terrific. Keep in mind the butlers and wait staff rotate several weeks on and off, as do the naturalist guides. I could write a short novel about our travels, but overall I would definitely recommend this cruise. If you are realistic in your expectations of visiting a protected national park (with all the rules and regulations), you will be pleasantly surprised by the warm, knowledgeable and always enthusiastic service you will experience during your week in one of the most incredible places in the world! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Our cruise was the "Western Itinerary" (Voyage 8618). Let me start by praising the expedition team and their leader. We rated them a "10" in every respect. Very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. The variety of ... Read More
Our cruise was the "Western Itinerary" (Voyage 8618). Let me start by praising the expedition team and their leader. We rated them a "10" in every respect. Very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient. The variety of shore excursions could not have been better. Previous reviewers mention problems communicating with the Ecuadorean crew. This was not our experience at all. I told them upon boarding that I could not eat cilantro. It did not appear that the dining staff made any effort to accommodate me, although they were able to point out which dishes on the menu contained cilantro. Some of the stews looked delicious - I wish I had been offered a cilantro-free serving of the lamb stew. Frankly, I only have one real complaint about the ship: on arrival, a handout in our cabin advised us of the internet fees (steep). We decided to do without. However, on day 5, some of the other passengers we met told us they were getting the internet for free! I asked at reception and was told that since we were in a deluxe veranda cabin (420), we were entitled to free internet for the entire cruise! Thanks a lot for not telling us on day 1! Also, one pre-cruise note. On the night prior to the cruise, Silversea includes a late afternoon 2-hour tour of Quito. We wanted to spend a day touring outside of Quito so, before leaving home, I used the contact form on Silversea's website to ask what time we had to be back at the hotel for this tour. No reply. Two weeks later, I asked again, using their contact form. Again, no reply. I posted a note on social media. This time, Silversea replied with a phone number for me to call. I called, a computer answered and put me on hold. After a long wait, I hung up. We had to book a half-day tour due to the uncertainty of returning to the hotel in time for the Silversea tour. In hindsight (things always look better there), we should have booked a full-day tour and just skipped the Silversea offering entirely. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We just got back from the Galapagos with Silversea and had an amazing time. It exceeded our expectations which were very high. I read many of the reviews on CC before the trip who were not happy with the service on the ship, our ... Read More
We just got back from the Galapagos with Silversea and had an amazing time. It exceeded our expectations which were very high. I read many of the reviews on CC before the trip who were not happy with the service on the ship, our experience was quite the contrary. The service was first class and we felt pampered and appreciated at all times. I cannot think of any issues we had on the trip. The food was amazing! Ever meal topped the previous one and our executive chef on board even gave us many of the recipes. We had one person who had a gluten free diet and they baked us gluten free bread every night for dinner that was hot and tasty. If you always wanted to go to the Galapagos I could not see a better way to experience it then the Silver Galapagos. The expedition cruise may not be for everyone though. We absolutely loved it, but you do get up every day for ~6:30-7am breakfast and then go on 3-4 excursions per day. We hiked on volcanic mountains, snorkeled, kayaked, went on Zodiak rides for wildlife, played with sea lions, turtles, penguins, blue footed boobies and so much more. We would typically do 1-2 excursions in the morning, come back for a nice lunch on the deck with wine of course and then 1-2 excursions in the afternoon. After a great dinner we would retire before 1pm as we were beat. You don't have to do every excursion but to me that is what this trip is all about. Many days you have multiple options on what to do. We met so many nice people from around he world. These expedition cruises are more active and thus attract a younger crowd than normal for SS, most people in late 50's or 60s probably. The rooms are smaller on these ships but very nice. We really spent very little time in the room except to sleep. You don't need to upgrade the room unless you really just want a ton of space, the standard room will work just fine. we were in cabin 345. We continued on with Silversea to Machu Picchu an the "grande" version of their 4 day extension. It is definitely worth it. The hotels we stayed in were over the top and being in the in the sancuary hotel less than 100 feet from Machu Picchu was amazing. The food in Peru was awesome and almost everything was included even the wine with SS. The HB train was a great experience partying on the way to MP. The only issue on this post cruise excursion was we basically lost 1 day travelling from Galapagos to Lima. Their is only one flight out at 12:45pm and with connection you don't get to your Lima hotel until after 9PM. This was our 3rd cruise on SS and our first expedition cruise and our 9th cruise overall. I can recommend this cruise without reservation as long as you want to be active and see the sites in the Galapagos. The service and food exceeded our expectations . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, ... Read More
This is a Silversea "Expeditions" cruise, so a smaller ship and not quite the same level of luxury as the bigger Silversea ships. But a fabulous cruise with two "ports" most days, one early morning for 3 hours or so, then beck on the ship for lunch while they sail for a second port for the afternoon adventure. No actual ports; every island is reached by Zodiac. So 12 stops on the Galapagos North Central itinerary ranging from the newer, more primitive, mostly lava islands in the northwest to the more developed, almost tropical islands in the southeast. You get up close and personal with everything: blue-and red-footed boobies, albatross, tortoises, sea lions (everywhere!), hawks, pelicans, iguanas, lizards, crabs, owls, etc. We checked off 51 different birds, animals, and fish on the sheets they provided. Best of all was that May was mating season for all the birds and we watched mating elaborate rituals from literally a few feet away. Lots of great snorkeling and kayaking if you were so inclined. All equipment provided. Open seating lunch and dinner had 3 or 4 choices in the main dining room and 5 or 6 more at the outside grill. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I had researched this trip 2 years ago. There were not a lot of reviews at the time for Silverseas in Galapagos however, I came across one blog and he had listed day by day their activities with pictures of his trip with great reviews. ... Read More
I had researched this trip 2 years ago. There were not a lot of reviews at the time for Silverseas in Galapagos however, I came across one blog and he had listed day by day their activities with pictures of his trip with great reviews. Based on that review and Silverseas's reputation as exceptional cruise line, I had decided to book our trip with them. Hands down to Ecuador for the wonderful job a protecting Galapagos. Our experience with Silverseas and all of their staff and guides, the schedules of our activites made for lasting memories and I have some of the most beautiful wildlife pictures. The daily schedules are so well thought out so that no one will miss anything. I love to snorkel, my husband does not so I was a little concerned about that issue. The crew were very happy to have his company in the zodiac while I snorkeled. The ship had 7 zodiacs and we had about 90 passengers that were in 2 groups to offset the disembark time. You were with a different guide each time which was great way to get to know them all. They are well educated and I really enjoyed them all. Each evening we would gather together and go over next's day activities so you always knew what the schedule was. This is an expedition ship so be prepared for early mornings and busy days. I will say one more thing, do not spend your time inside too much. I spotted a huge manta ray swimming towards the boat one day and my husband spotted sharks swimming around the boat in the evening. Keep your eyes open and a camera handy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I believe other reviewers miss the point in comparing their experience on Silver Galapagos with other cruises. The Galapagos is a closed, tightly regulated market; only ships exclusively dedicated to the Galapagos can operate there. So ... Read More
I believe other reviewers miss the point in comparing their experience on Silver Galapagos with other cruises. The Galapagos is a closed, tightly regulated market; only ships exclusively dedicated to the Galapagos can operate there. So the question is not how Silver Galapagos compares to Silversea or other cruises outside the Galapagos; the question is what is the best way to visit the Galapagos. Unless you want to be on a small boat with a group of 16, the answer is almost certainly Silver Galapagos. You come to the Galapagos to see the animals, plants and landscapes of these unique islands, not to eat, drink and party on a boat. So job one for any company operating there is to get permission to sail the best possible itineraries, and then to attract and retain the best possible expedition leaders and guides. This Silverseas has done. Everything else is secondary. Silver Galapagos carries 100 passengers, the maximum permitted. The ship is the largest and best equipped operating in the islands. The all-Ecuadorian staff (required) makes up in enthusiasm and warmth what they may lack in polish. In terms of true hospitality, they could teach a thing or two to their Silverseas colleagues operating in international waters. The room for improvement lies not with the crew, but with Silversea. They erred in investing too heavily in cosmetic improvements, and insufficiently in the infrastructure of the vessel. In the choppy waters of the Pacific, the stabilizers were "undergoing maintenance," and apparently had been for months. The nicest suite, recently gussied up, was plagued with mechanical problems such as broken doors and non-functing electronics. If Silversea wants to continue to associate its brand with this ship, it needs to invest in the vessel, and also invest in the crew. If they want to retain the best people, Silverseas should strive to be regarded as the best employer in the Galapagos. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
First of all this was an "Expedition" cruise on a 100 passenger ship, the Silversea Galapagos. So I understand that the cruise can't be like what you would experience on a medium-to-large sized all-inclusive cruise ship. ... Read More
First of all this was an "Expedition" cruise on a 100 passenger ship, the Silversea Galapagos. So I understand that the cruise can't be like what you would experience on a medium-to-large sized all-inclusive cruise ship. Silversea advertises itself as the most all-inclusive luxury cruise line, but you have to hold the Galapagos out as a bit of an exception. OK, having said that... The Galapagos Islands are a great place for an expedition trip. The cruise itinerary was great, and there were about three activities a day, including hiking on an island, taking a close look at the cliffs along shore from a zodiac, snorkeling, kayaking. The ship provides all the gear for snorkeling, it has numerous 2-person kayaks and a few single person kayaks, and it carries 6 zodiacs. We had numerous wildlife sightings every day. Some of the volcanic islands have about the most unusual terrain I think I've ever seen. All activities were led by licensed Galapagos naturalists so you always know what you are looking at. So it's an active cruise and I have to say, if you are at least mobile without any problems getting around, you should enjoy it. If you don't get around so well, this may not be for you, it's not a trip where you just lounge around on the ship all day. The ship has some age on it. I guess it was refurbished maybe three years ago. It is comfortable, but it's still showing its age in places. The cabins actually were a little bigger than what we've seen on other larger cruise ships. Breakfast and lunch were adequate, supper tried to be upscale and came just a little short in my opinion, but it still was pretty good. Service - both dining room and the cabin service - was mostly good but a little spotty. Our cabin steward only made towel animals for us two nights of the seven. We had other passengers telling about the towel animals they found in their cabins, when we didn't have any in our cabin that night. Some passengers said they found glasses of iced tea waiting for them in their cabins when they returned from a tour, and we never had anything like that. Big picture - the service was OK, but we've had better on NCL and Carnival. The service did not live up to the expectation that I got from the Silversea marketing hype. Overall value - this was an expensive trip. However, we found that going with Silversea was in fact one of the least expensive of the choices among all the tour operators you find in the Galapagos, and Silversea does all the work of organizing your trip, doing all the transfers and connections, and so forth. That combination - better price for the Galapagos and all inclusive planning for you - made our decision to go with Silversea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This is a cruise with two very contrasting levels of experience. Firstly (on the plus side) the organisation of the wildlife watching daily tours is excellent, led by a first rate team of guides / naturalists who keep you fully informed ... Read More
This is a cruise with two very contrasting levels of experience. Firstly (on the plus side) the organisation of the wildlife watching daily tours is excellent, led by a first rate team of guides / naturalists who keep you fully informed and efficiently man the zodiac boats that take you ashore. They sensibly split snorkelers from non-snorkelers and this part of the experience has been thought through very well and could not be bettered. But, on the minus side, the food falls far short of what you would expect from comparable 6 star lines such as Seabourn and Regent. Although they pre-warn you that it is an ‘expedition ship’ and that it won’t have the full range of comforts etc of other Silversea vessels, nothing prepares you for canteen style deserts that are completely inedible, a poor quality airport style breakfast with greasy eggs ; basic bread rolls that most supermarkets would not dare to offer their customers. Cabins are OK but the whole ship has a ’tired’ feel about it and does not appear particularly clean in some areas. Whatever ingredients are being used there is no excuse for the limited cooking and presentation skills on offer; corners are cut everywhere with the food with (for example) tasteless “sub sandwiches” turning up on the lunch menu as one of the options. Dinner is better as you can cook your own seafood / steak on hot lava stones at the table in the grill room on deck, but it’s the overall cruise experience that you are left with (given the premium prices being charged) that makes you think Silversea are overplaying the ‘expedition ship’ card. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We are four adults who sailed with the Silver Galaagos in October. We were looking for wildlife, comfortable beds, good food, and comraderie. We found all that plus an excellent crew and National Park Guides. None of us had sailed with ... Read More
We are four adults who sailed with the Silver Galaagos in October. We were looking for wildlife, comfortable beds, good food, and comraderie. We found all that plus an excellent crew and National Park Guides. None of us had sailed with Silverseas before, so we have nothing to compare our voyage with. That being said, we were extremely happy. The food was delicious and plentiful: breakfast is a buffet but with customisable options, lunch was a salad/dessert buffet with additional grilled main dishes, fabulous daily variations of ceviche, dinner was either a multiple course meal in the main restaurant or a grilled daily special outside on the deck. All had numerous options for the Sweet Tooth. The staff (wait staff, cabin staff) were very friendly and helpful--would do whatever they could to meet your requests. They learned our names and our preferences within days. The National Park Guides were all very personable, knowledgeable, and professional. They had great insight and knowledge into geography, history, biology, botany, and natural history of the Islands. We enjoyed each and every excursion. In addition, the afternoon lectures were delivered by a very experienced and enthusiastic professional. Our cabin had a small balcony. It was comfortable and spacious enough for the little time we spent it in. ONLY criticism is the pre-cruise hotel, which is a gauche, modern hotel in the new part of Quito--and there are so many quaint hotels in the Old City--but for one night, it was fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
A short review as I have little to add to the previous few reviews. I booked this cruise as a retirement treat. Traveling with me was my wife and 11year old son. We are all very much into anything to do with nature so this destination was ... Read More
A short review as I have little to add to the previous few reviews. I booked this cruise as a retirement treat. Traveling with me was my wife and 11year old son. We are all very much into anything to do with nature so this destination was the ultimate. Like others I checked out the reviews and had a bit of a sinking feeling after reading some of the poor comments. Had we wasted our money? Not a bit of it! It has already been noted that the Ecuadorian government imposes strict rules on staff and food etc. so if you expect the staff to speak perfect English and the food and wine to be outstanding and this will concern you, well you will probably be disappointed. The staff however are friendly, accommodating and try very hard to fulfil your requests. The food is good, not great but good, the chefs worked wonders with the limited ingredients available. So to the reason for this cruise, the wildlife, it is truly outstanding. What an experience for our son and of course my wife and I, swimming with Sealions, turtles and penguins. Watching whales breaching a short distance from the ship, seeing Darwins finches, marine iguanas, tortoises digging a nest etc etc etc... The guides had an outstanding knowledge of the geology and nature. There is not a lot to do during the evening, it didn't really bother us as we had put so much into the day we needed an early night to recharge for the next day's adventures. Obviously there was nothing for children other than the wildlife, that was more than enough for our 11year old. We were not there for fine dining, lavish shows, casino nights, partying to the early hours, just as well as there isn't any, we were there for the off ship experience and believe me the Galapagos fulfilled all of our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I read the previous reviews with a sinking feeling in my stomach. To have a 50% overall good rating on a cruise that is certainly not cheap made me anxious. However, now that I've returned from that cruise I have to say that some ... Read More
I read the previous reviews with a sinking feeling in my stomach. To have a 50% overall good rating on a cruise that is certainly not cheap made me anxious. However, now that I've returned from that cruise I have to say that some people would complain about paying taxes on their megamillion dollar lotto win. Yes, maybe all the staff didn't speak perfect English. Yes, there wasn't much to do at night. We had over 20 children (out of 98 passengers) on board, and that isn't counting the college age crowd. This is not a ship ideally suited to children, yet the staff went out of their way to entertain and educate. Food for the most part was delicious, staff always had a smile, naturalists were incredible. The stateroom isn't like those on the luxury Silverseas lines, but it's a very small ship. This is a one-of-a-kind vacation and I would encourage anyone to go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Looking at all the previous reviews it looks like there is an upward movement in ratings for this cruise. Reading the 2014 ones I have to disagree on a lot of things mentioned and looking through the 2015 ones I have to agree on most of ... Read More
Looking at all the previous reviews it looks like there is an upward movement in ratings for this cruise. Reading the 2014 ones I have to disagree on a lot of things mentioned and looking through the 2015 ones I have to agree on most of them. So I guess it is fair to say that Silversea has found the right track in the Galapagos. This ship and this cruise should not be compared to the mainline Silversea ships; this is an expedition cruise, the destination is the prime object, the ship just a place to sleep and eat. Most of the negative comments seem to be from people who cruised mainline Silversea before and therefore had an expectation level that never could be met on this cruise in any case. Now, although I have never cruised Silversea before and having read all the (negative) reviews, I boarded the ship open minded and I must say that the experience exceeded my expectations in all aspects. The ship was renovated late 2014 and looks fresh and up to date, certainly not brand new, but well fitted for this cruise. Fresh carpets, very comfortable beds, functional but nice furniture. Our balcony cabin 512 was roomy and light, wouldn't call it a suite, but that's just marketing. Air conditioning worked well, we actually had to adjust the temperature setting upwards on order not to freeze. Our cabin included a free internet plan for 1200 minutes per person and I must say that the speed was very reasonable given the remote location. Bathroom, just the standard cruise ship size and functionality. About the food, lots has been written already, here's the short version: breakfast is a standard hotel like buffet. Lunch available on the open deck or in the main restaurant, which we chose as a nice place to cool down a bit after the morning activities. A buffet for the starters/soup/desert and three main dishes from the menu, not fancy but hearty meals to get you going again for the afternoon activities. Dinner, available again on the open top deck or in the main restaurant, had it in the main restaurant most times. Extensive menu with several choices for starters/mains/deserts, every meal was very good, some excellent, mainly the seafood dishes, quality of meat was good to great. Chef Marco stopped by a few times and explained his logistics nightmares and heavily regulated supply chain; we thought he and his team did an excellent job considering all these restrictions. Excursions: excellent guides, wonderful hikes, snorkel tours, kayak trips, zodiac rides; this is why you came to the Galapagos, don't sleep in and miss anything! The real highlights: the staff! What a great crew, sweet, chatty, service minded. Our great butler Alvaro, who would do anything to make us happy, our wonderful waiters Charly and David, all the excellent guides, cruise director/expedition leader Yvonne who created a great atmosphere at the nightly briefings, everybody made sure we had a wonderful week on the ship and we felt sad saying goodbye on the last morning. Any negatives? Oh, if you look closely you will find things to complain about, especially if your expectation is Silversea mainline... We went into this experience open minded and were very happy, in fact one of our best vacations ever! To summarize: read the introduction letter in your cruise documents carefully to find out what the settings and challenges are for this cruise, as explained by the Silversea executive. This should create the right mindset on how the judge the product so you will have a wonderful, upscale Galapagos experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My wife and I were a bit concerned after we read some of the previous reviews for the Silver Galapagos and its cruising the Galapagos Islands. I am now very sorry we even read the reviews; not sure what those passengers expected or how ... Read More
My wife and I were a bit concerned after we read some of the previous reviews for the Silver Galapagos and its cruising the Galapagos Islands. I am now very sorry we even read the reviews; not sure what those passengers expected or how they could have possibly been dissatisfied. This is an EXPEDITION style cruise and travelers/passengers need to take this into account when establishing expectations. We have only been on three previous cruises - Princess to Alaska, Regent to the Baltic and AMA Waterways on the Rhine. All were fine, especially the Regent cruise. Our experience on the Silver Galapagos equaled or exceeded our other cruises. The service was amazing and exceeded expectations. The food was even more amazing - incredible variety, gourmet style and presentation. Needless to say the shore excursions on the Galapagos were breathtaking - the reason we went and our expectations were again exceeded. The naturalist guides and guest lecturer were very knowledgeable, professional, courteous and helpful. The cabin was great - a good size and well finished. The all-inclusive feature of Silver Sea was another reason we chose this cruise. We will not hesitate recommending this cruise and ship to friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We just came back from the Galapagos Islands on Silver Galapagos and had a great time! The ship was perfect for this expedition though some suites did experience AC problems. The staff was very attentive. We were travelling with ... Read More
We just came back from the Galapagos Islands on Silver Galapagos and had a great time! The ship was perfect for this expedition though some suites did experience AC problems. The staff was very attentive. We were travelling with someone who is totally Gluten free and they made sure she was accommodated with quality meals. If you are going on this cruise looking for the amenities of a Silver Sea ocean vessel you very well could be disappointed. This ship is small and has no casino, shop or large scale entertainment. It is dedicated to seeing and being educated on what the islands have to offer. Here are some tips if you should choose this ship. Bring lots of changes of casual clothes. We changed our clothes 2-3 times a day. You have an excursion in the morning and again in the afternoon. It is extremely humid and your clothes will be damp. Clothes take forever to dry so bring a large plastic zip bag to store clothes you have worn so they do not smell of mildew. Bring a hat, bug spray and sun screen. The ship provides backpacks, binoculars and a water bottle for everyone. Don't wear water shoes that have lots of openings. It is rocky and sandy and your feet won't be happy. Bring at least 2 bathing suits. Bring gym shoes or really good walking shoes. Have plenty of sd cards for your camera because you will need them and they are really hard to find. There is basically no shopping available except in one port. Don't worry about how you look.........everyone looks just as bad. The ship says no shorts for dinner but if they are tasteful they are fine. This is not a restful cruise. You are up and moving off ship by 7:30 am. Some of the terrain is really rocky and you travel by zodiac everywhere you go. So, if you are looking for a cruise you will always remember but won't be totally pampered this is for you!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Silver Galapagos Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 5.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click