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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.

Amazing from start to finish

Silver Galapagos Cruise Review by Crosspost

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Veranda Suite
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.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Veranda Suite
Cabin DX 420
Spacious, clean and very comfortable. A big balcony where we watched sharks and turtles from.
Deck 4 Suite Cabins