Silversea Cruises accepted delivery of the 100-guest Silver Origin, a stunning, all-balcony ship purpose-built for cruising in the Galapagos Islands.
The luxury vessel was built at the Dutch shipyard De Hoop, which successfully finished the ship during the coronavirus lockdown with an ingenious series of actions.
Silversea executives toured the ship before the flag ceremony, transferring ownership, which the company said was the first in-person cruise ship delivery since the pandemic prompted a global lockdown. Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of parent Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., virtually joined the ceremony.
“We welcome the beautiful Silver Origin to our fleet as the first ship since the start of our collaboration with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.,” said Silversea President and CEO Roberto Martinoli. “The ship demonstrates how fruitful our collaboration has been, while providing an indication of the great success to come. With Silversea’s destination expertise and the invaluable support of the RCL group, we have pushed the boundaries of ultra-luxury travel in the Galapagos with Silver Origin. I want to extend my gratitude to all those involved, including my colleagues at both Silversea and RCL, but especially to the De Hoop Shipyard who overcame many challenges to complete the ship.”
Also attending the ceremony were Silversea Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio; Damien O’Connor, senior vice president-hotel operations and onboard revenue; and Barbara Muckermann, chief marketing officer.
Silversea began cruising in the Galapagos Islands in September 2013. “We have invested our accrued know-how into the design of Silver Origin,” Lefebvre d’Ovidio said. “Every element of the ship has been designed with the destination in mind and tailored to enhance the experience for travelers, while fostering a deep sense of respect for this magnificent ecosystem and everything that inhabits it.”
The all-suite Silver Origin will operate year-round in the unique Galapagos Archipelago, with the maiden voyage tentatively set for Aug. 22. Some highlights:
— Basecamp, the heart of the ship, is where educational activities are held that will allow guests to interact with Silversea’s team of expert guides – all permanent residents of the Galapagos and certified by the Galapagos National Park.
The centerpiece of Basecamp is a 20-foot-long interactive digital wall. The interactive program, which changes according to the itinerary, lets guests access destination-related content, including historical pictures provided by the Royal Geographical Society of London, videos with exclusive aerial and underwater shots, excursion previews and scientific presentations.
— Connected to the Basecamp, the Marina allows for easy Zodiac access. The space has couches, showers to rinse gear, racks to store wetsuits and a fold-out stern that can accommodate two Zodiacs at the same time.
— The Explorer Lounge will host daily lectures and briefings, as well as live piano performances. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, a large video wall and an outdoor terrace with comfortable seating and a fire pit.
— The Restaurant and The Grill will operate in-line with Silversea’s new Sea and Land Taste – or S.A.L.T. – program, which is centered on regionally-grown ingredients, Ecuadorian cuisine and a farm-to-table approach. The Restaurant on Deck 4 (capacity: 120) and the Grill on Deck 7 (capacity: 100) will each be able to accommodate all guests at once. The Grill will feature Silversea’s Hot Rocks concept, allowing guests to grill their own meat or seafood. The Grill will have an advanced sheltering system to protect diners from the wind and low temperatures.
— Silver Origin’s suites are among the most spacious and comfortable in the Galapagos: the Owner’s Suite, for example, measures 1,722 square feet. It’s also the only ship in the archipelago to offer butler service for all suites. All suites benefit from full room automation, which allows guests to control room conditions with the touch of a button.
All suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, while select suites feature the Horizon Balcony, which converts to a floor-to-ceiling window at the touch of a button. Most upper suites incorporate an ocean-view bathtub and shower, some of which are accessible from the balcony.
— Silver Origin incorporates environmentally low-impact features for a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions. The ship’s dynamic positioning system will be used when positioned over delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage. Suites incorporate freshwater purification systems that convert seawater into drinking water, thus drastically reducing the use of plastic on board. All waste will undergo a rigid segregation procedure on board and will be delivered to a local waste management enterprise to be recycled or shipped out of the islands.
— The Silversea Fund for the Galapagos will support educational projects to safeguard the well-being of the Galapagos Islands for future generations. Donors will get savings on Silversea’s voyages, as the cruise line will match guests’ contributions in the form of a future cruise credit to underpin its commitment to the cause.
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