Monday, June 18, 2012
Silversea Entering Galapagos Market
What are these Land Iguanas Looking For?
A common site on the islands of Galapagos are land iguanas huddled together looking out to sea. Perhaps these iguanas are looking for the new major cruise line on the block - Silversea.
Silversea announced that it has just bought the 100-passenger, 4,077-ton expedition ship Galapagos Explorer II and upmarket Ecuadorian tourism company Canodros. The ship will continue to operate as Galapagos Explorer II until September 2013, when it will be refurbished to Silversea standards and renamed.
The purchase is part of Silversea's long-running desire to expand further into the expedition market. It will also mean the line can offer Galapagos itineraries for the first time.
The line said that the ship will stay the same structurally with its 50 ocean view suites. Of those, 24 have private balconies. Public spaces include a restaurant, piano bar, library and internet station, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpools and a marine observation deck.
Small ships, such s the Explorer II, are a must in the Galapagos Archipelago. The area is protected and access is strictly controlled by the Galapagos National Park.
Actual exploration is typically done via transfers by zodiacs from the main ship to the islands. In some cases, the tour may simply be a zodiac ride along the coastline.
Celebrity Xpedition is currently the only major cruise line in the Galapagos. Private charters, such as those operated by Canodros, National Geographic, and others are the alternative choices for touring the region.
The ship will be out of service next September for some modifications and then it will be back under the Silversea name and Ecuadorian flag with its all-Ecuadorian crew. We look forward to providing choices to our clients that want to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience walking in the footsteps of Darwin.