While the entire cruise industry went into lockdown in April, suspending cruises globally and preparing for a long wait for cruises to resume, Silversea forged ahead with plans to bring its new expedition cruise ship Silver Origin into service.
The 100-guest luxury cruise ship isn’t subject to the same restrictions as larger cruise ships according to the CDC’s no sail order, which bans all cruise ships carrying more than 200 passengers from cruising from US ports.
This means the cruise line may be able to bring the ship into service earlier, although questions would still remain over where it can sail to as many cruise ports remain closed to all foreign arrivals.
Silver Origin was put through her paces over the course of three days, with every item of equipment and machinery on the ship subjected to intense operation.
She is purpose built for the Galapagos Islands, and according to Silversea will be the only cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands to offer butler service to all suites.
Among the interior highlights is Basecamp, an elegant lounge in which guests can socialize before and after excursions as it will connect with the ship’s Zodiac embarkation area.
Basecamp will also host educational activities, through which guests will be able to interact with the onboard Expedition Team to learn more about the rare wildlife, landscapes and history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after experiencing these attractions first-hand.
Basecamp will also feature a large, interactive digital wall—through which guests will be able to access destination-related content, including pictures, videos, excursion previews and scientific presentations.
It’s the company’s first destination-specific ship featuring a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides, the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos, an interactive basecamp, Ecuadorian-inspired cuisine and more.
Silver Origin is part of a new generation of luxury expedition cruise ships that include Seabourn Venture, Celebrity Polaris, Coral Geographer, Crystal Endeavour and Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris.
The expedition sector is undergoing a renaissance similar to that experienced by the mainstream cruise sector in the 1990s and 2000s, with purpose-built ships, new onboard features and amenities designed to attract new customers to this niche part of the cruise market.