A new ship headed to the Galápagos Islands will soon add a bit of luxury to the eco-minded destination. The newly built Silver Origin is scheduled to start sailing with passengers on Sept. 18, with a series of adventurous itineraries that offer lots of wildlife-watching moments.
The 100-passenger vessel is operated by Silversea, which Travel + Leisure readers recently named one of the world’s best small-ship cruise lines. It will have just 51 suites on board, all of which will come with private balconies. Many of them will also have stunning bathrooms that include tubs with ocean views. Amping up the luxury factor even more: Every stateroom gets butler service, to make sure your Champagne is topped up at all times.
The ship will also have two restaurants on board — descriptively named The Grill and The Restaurant — along with a number of lounges and the Basecamp, a departures hub for various expeditions, whether that’s a wildlife-watching trip by Zodiac or a paddle in the fleet of kayaks that the Origin has on hand. The ship also has a small gym, spa, and salon.
Itineraries take in some of the greatest hits of the Galápagos, including Bartolomé Island (known for its penguins and snorkeling) and Santa Cruz (home of the Charles Darwin Research Station). In the coming months and years, Silversea says, the ship will make maiden calls in a number of lesser-visited places throughout the archipelago, including Santa Fe Island. Rates for the weeklong trips start around $10,700 per person and are all-inclusive.
Because it’s operating exclusively in Ecuador, the ship has the green light to cruise despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s No Sail Order. Though international flights into Ecuador recently resumed, the CDC “has issued a Level 3 travel health notice for Ecuador due to COVID-19,” according to the latest advisory from the U.S. Department of State. Arriving visitors to Ecuador from the United States must quarantine for 14 days, “even if they present negative [COVID-19] test results,” according to the U.S. Embassy in Quito.
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