Silver Galapagos Cruise Review
Itinerary: Galapagos - Western - May 2014
We were so lucky to do this last minute. Within the last month. Had an unexpected open window and Linda jumped through hoops for us and off we were. Stressful but we did it.
Flew to Miami from the west coast. Overnight at the Miami Airport Hotel. Convenient and a whole food court at your disposal.
We flew to Quito, the new airport. We tried to find a hotel near the airport for an overnight. But, none was to be had. How they build a new airport with no hotels I don't understand. So we did the overnight with Silverseas at the Marriott in Quito. Lovely hotel, about 45 minute drive from the airport.
Our cabin: Upon arriving in Baltra we were taken by bus to the shore where we took a panga out to the ship. We were escorted to our room where our luggage was waiting. We were freshening up and a knock on the door. "Hello, I am Juan and I am your BUTLER for the next week". Are you kidding me ... yes our travel agent told us but it still was a surprise. We loved Juan and wish we could have taken him home with us. We were in an Explorer Cabin on deck 3. Being the lowest price wise on this ship it was large and lovely. 240 sq ft with large window. Queen bed, marble bathroom, flat screen TV, mini bar, wireless Internet in the room. Excellent experience.
Traveling Mates: We found our fellow travelers to be a delight. Many had been on Silverseas before, one couple this was their eighth sailing. The first time for Galapagos from the guests we spoke to. Ship was full, and we had two couples from Australia, two couples from England, one couple from South Africa. Everyone spoke English with lovely accents all around. I believe we had 75 crew members, all from Ecuador which we understand is a requirement. All the crew we interacted with spoke perfect English, others behind the scenes I don't believe did.
Activities: Everyday was an adventure. Our first island was Genovesa in the morning. We got the lay of the land of how it would work everyday. We were divided up and off we went on black zodiacs. Hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, water shoes, a lovely backpack that the ship provided, and metal water bottle, that you refill. Our guides everyday were exceptional. They grew up on the land so they knew everything. Expert in birds, mammals, sea life, plants etc. Were able to present information in an interesting format. The islands are like a science room, like living your experiment. It is all right there in front of you. Most days we visited two islands, or two different part of the same island. morning and afternoon. The ship would pull up anchor and travel as we ate lunch. The first day morning was Bahia Darwin, Genovesa, afternoon was El Barranco, Genovesa. Did I have a favorite, I would have to say the Darwin Station. Having heard so much about the giant Galapagos tortoises it was a thrill to be among them. We saw, Galapagos Fur Seal, Sea Lions (many) Iguanas (very many), Sally Lightfoot Crabs (very very many). The birds are un describable, from the Blue-Footed Boobie, to the penguins, frigate birds, again like a text book in front of you.
Food & Ship: Excellent! Small and luxurious says it all. Off the ship we were explorers in nature, on the ship we were pampered like we were in the middle of civilization. Dining room was elegant and sophisticated. There was a pool bar, piano bar, drinks complimentary. Food was fine dining with a touch of unique So American fare. Ship was 1st class all the way. Clean streamlined and elegant. We came back on the ship muddy and wet at times, our shoes were taken, no mud walked through the ship. We were sort of cleaned up on the fantail before we went back to our cabins.
Hope this gives the next person an idea of the experience. It was a 10 on a 10.
—Charles and Patricia Smaller