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: February 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 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
Silver Galapagos Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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