7 Silversea Silver Galapagos Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Some of my thoughts on the Silver Galapagos: The ship was nice, certainly not off the charts 4+/5 star and I couldn't tell that the cabins were redone in last three months- especially the bathrooms. The service was thoughtful and ... Read More
Some of my thoughts on the Silver Galapagos: The ship was nice, certainly not off the charts 4+/5 star and I couldn't tell that the cabins were redone in last three months- especially the bathrooms. The service was thoughtful and there was a clear language barrier at times. Most of the 7 guides were great - really knowledgable and personable and the best part of the trip besides the flora and fauna. The transfers were fine and the Marriott was a good hotel. The Oro Verde was ok. The food was eh until the last night and it was much better. I was disappointed in the food. Considering the prestige of Silverseas I would say the food was definitely not on a four/five star level. The flights were ok. For us Lan was better than American - planes had more room, hot meal and not ridiculous things said like by an AA agent that there was no record of our flights from Miami to Quito as I was standing in Newark airport about to get on to flight to Miami! The timing of the flights back was absolutely ridiculous for a trip that costs that much- 4 hours or so in Miami airport at 4 am does not deserve multiple stars. All in all I would not run to spend the kind of money I did on Silverseas. The trip is $$$ and I expect a lot because of Silverseas reputation. The highlight is the amazing sights and I would recommend seeing the Galapagos on less pricey ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed out of Baltra on the Silver Galapagos for the 7 night Western Itinerary on May 31 to June 7. Our hotel stay at the Marriott prior to the cruise was great, transfers and flights from Quito went smoothly. Silverseas staff was ... Read More
We sailed out of Baltra on the Silver Galapagos for the 7 night Western Itinerary on May 31 to June 7. Our hotel stay at the Marriott prior to the cruise was great, transfers and flights from Quito went smoothly. Silverseas staff was gracious and efficient in handling our luggage and getting us where we needed to be. The Silver Galapagos is an older ship that has been partially updated by Silverseas. There are parts of the ship that retain some of the charm of older boats ( glossy wood paneling, varnished decks and mirrored dressing tables) and other areas that have been refurbished (bathrooms, dining area, jacuzzi and spa) but the pipes are old (hence the banging and clanging behind our walls when the jacuzzi on the deck above was heating up) and the shower took half an hour to drain after use. Bed was very comfortable, with lovely high quality linens, and there is plenty of storage in the cabin. Our cabin, #506, was just inside from a large deck with sofas at the bow of the boat, and surprisingly no one else used it but us and our friends. One night we sat out there and watched the most spectacular display of stars that we had ever seen. The butler service that Silversea promises was spotty and unreliable in our cabin. We hardly saw the room staff, and they did not respond to phone calls when we wanted to order some drinks or food. It seemed that they had lots of other duties on board, as we would see them around the ship and dining area. Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and fresh towels were abundant, but we rarely saw them in person. Our friends on deck 4 had a better experience, and when one of them was sick for a couple of days ( not sure what he ate) the butler was solicitous and brought the patient tea and toast. Food in the dining room was quite good, nicely presented and with great variety at lunch and dinner. Breakfast was buffet style, plentiful, fresh, and pretty much the same every day. The evening dining service was unreliable, with language issues being part of the problem, and obvious inexperience on the part of the wait staff. That said, the staff was always friendly and welcoming, and were clearly working very hard. We felt that they just hadn't been doing this very long and needed more training around anticipating the needs of the diners and knowing how to provide good service. The South American wines that were served each night were quite good, and we never felt the need to ask for a full wine list. Cocktails could also be ordered at dinner. We were disappointed that there was no ice cream for the entire cruise. Not sure what happened but it seemed that there was a delivery problem. Loved the Galapagos lobster! In general the hotel aspects of the cruise were fair to good, but inconsistent. We felt that better supervision was needed in both the cabins and the dining room. This was our first Silversea cruise, so we have nothing to compare it to but other cruise lines, but we understand that they take pride in their service. I don't think this was up to par. That said, we were very pleased with the Naturalist guides, boat staff and all the excursions out to the islands. The guides were all incredibly knowledgeable, many of them with advanced degrees in marine biology and environmental studies, and on top of that they were personable, warm and engaging. We went in small groups, and never felt crowded on our walks about the area. In fact we rarely saw people from other boats, which led us to believe that the itinerary is carefully planned for providing the guests with the best possible experience. Snorkeling trips were fantastic, but not enough of them. Deep water snorkeling was challenging, as the waters are rough, but for us it was some of the best ever. Seeing a 15 foot whale shark emerge just below us was a thrill of a lifetime. Disembarkation was unremarkable. It's never fun to leave a ship after a great week of vacation with friends. There's always a lot of waiting around, and you could tell that the staff was focused on getting ready for the new guests, but that's always the way on a cruise ship. Transfers to the airport were smooth, and Silversea staff was there to assist us right up to departure back to the mainland. The love and respect that the local guides have for the islands is obvious, and one could not help but feel the same way after seeing the amazing wildlife, plants and sea creatures that are living in peace and harmony on the islands. This is a place in the world that everyone should see! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Overall, our Galapagos vacation was unforgettable - definitely a "MUST DO" experience. My review focuses on Silversea's claim to offer an ultra-luxury version of the Galapagos on its "new" ship, the Silver. The ... Read More
Overall, our Galapagos vacation was unforgettable - definitely a "MUST DO" experience. My review focuses on Silversea's claim to offer an ultra-luxury version of the Galapagos on its "new" ship, the Silver. The Silver welcomes you to your cabin with an apology letter. This emphasizes that Silversea usually employs Filipinos, but is required by the Galapagos National Park to hire only Ecuadorians. Does Silversea believe Ecuadoreans are inferior to Filipinos? In order to provide its expected level of service, couldn't Silversea pay higher wages for an Ecuadorean crew that's better experienced and fluent in English? The Silver’s service staff was friendly and tried very hard, but only a few were capable of delivering the promised excellence. The letter also explained that they're prohibited from importing certain fruits and meats into the Galapagos. Fine, but that's not an excuse for the mediocre quality fruit, nor the (sometimes) frozen seafood we were served. Otherwise, the food was very good, and we enjoyed having a choice between the lively outdoor grill and the calm, cool restaurant. I don't usually don't like buffets, but the restaurant lunches were excellent. The ship itself has been very well re-designed. Common areas are comfortable and inviting. Cabins are spacious (but only by Galapagos standards), although the A/C was sometimes insufficient, and suites are poorly configured for an expedition cruise (lots of closet space, but not enough shelves). Our itinerary was extremely well planned: excursions early in the morning and later in the afternoon, with free time in between. Naturalist guides are trained by the Galapagos National park, so they’re excellent whether your cruise is luxurious or basic. They’re also limited by law to 16 guests per guide, so Silversea doesn’t offer anything special when it comes to staffing excursions. As I stated in the beginning, we loved our trip to the Galapagos. I believe my review of Silversea might have been more positive, except for our disappointing last experience. Silversea did a flawless job at arrival, with transfers, hotels, tricky Galapagos customs and baggage. But on disembarkation, they completely dropped the ball. We were evicted from our staterooms at 7:30 am to prepare for incoming passengers. Silversea’s original itinerary promised a morning departure for the mainland, but instead we had to wait in the sweltering Baltra airport for a 1 pm flight. Then Siversea charged us for transfers and a day hotel room in Guayaqil, where we ended up having less down-time than in Baltra. Where was the attention to detail that had enticed me to book this (my first) Silversea cruise? While I will always treasure this Galapagos experience, I'm not sure that I can recommend paying a premium for the somewhat flawed luxury of Silversea. To Silversea: please stop apologizing, and fix the bugs. If you can’t deliver on your promised level of quality here, why should passengers trust you on trips elsewhere?   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Our 6th journey on Silversea and although we expected an 'expedition' type vacation, we were disappointed with the quality of the ship and the service. We did expect more from this stellar company. The 25 year old vessel badly ... Read More
Our 6th journey on Silversea and although we expected an 'expedition' type vacation, we were disappointed with the quality of the ship and the service. We did expect more from this stellar company. The 25 year old vessel badly needs to go into dry dock for a good overhaul. Throughout the voyage washrooms were unavailable and locked in public areas, with a smell emanating from them, air conditioning was almost non-existent, particularly in the restaurant, and the furnishings were worn and tired and in disrepair. Our cabin, a veranda suite was comfortable, although there was no space provided for our bags. I traveled with my husband and we only brought one suitcase each, but no room for them under the bed. It took 6 days to get a light bulb replaced and the emergency light did not go on when there was a brief power failure. The food was very poor. We understand that getting fresh food in Ecuador is difficult, although bananas, a staple there, were also very tired. I can find fresher at home. The restaurant where we were advised to wear 5 star resort clothing, no jeans, was hot and uncomfortable, and the food often inedible and certainly uninspired. The other eating venue outside had to be booked by reservation, although Silversea stresses that their ships are open seating. There were unused tables, but I believe there just wasn't enough staff to service this area, nor the 'hot rock' grills to go around. The reason we went on this cruse was to visit the Galapagos in comfort. The expedition staff led by Danny was first rate. The various trips we took were excellent and enjoyable. The enthusiastic guides like Xavier and Tommy were a delight. The wildlife and scenery incredible. We met many wonderful passengers who also were disappointed in the ship, service, and food and they expressed that this was their first and last Silversea voyage. We have trusted the brand over the many years we have been traveling with them, but no longer. We paid top dollar for what we had expected to be at the very least an excellent, well run ship in good repair with delicious food. We did not get this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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

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