What type of traveller are you ?

If you are more of an adventurer than an R&R’r then this outstanding, fascinating, life-changing, explorative destination is very likely already on your bucket list.

Prompted by a webinar this morning courtesy of Silversea I wanted to share with you some inciteful coverage and information that you may appreciate. May I apologise for the slightly not great quality of some of the images below but I ‘cribbed’ them from our webinar content !

The archipelago of the Galapagos Islands is around 560 miles from Ecuador and are a Unesco World Heritage Site. They are renowned world-wide for their unique combination of volcanic landscapes, wildlife & plantlife which cannot be found anywhere else.

THE LOGISTICS OF GETTING TO THIS INCREDIBLE FAR FLUNG DESTINATION

Door to Door

  • Blacklane car service home to airport (up to 50 miles radius)
  • Your flight will be indirect and would more usually be with KLM via Amsterdam to Quito
  • Upon arrival at Quito airport you’ll be transferred for your 2 nights hotel accommodation. Usually the Marriott but you can also opt to pay a bit more and upgrade to Hotel Casa Gangotena. Here you can decompress and regroup after your long flight, in readiness for the adventure ahead. Included will be a walking tour of Quito during your stay.
  • You’ll then be taken to airport Quito for your flight to San Cristobel (touchdown Guayaquil), a Silversea representative flies with you and the flight duration is approximately 3 hours.
  • Upon arrival at San Cristobel you’ll be met by Expedition team members and after a short shuttle transfer of a few minutes you’ll be on a zodiac which will have you stepping on board the gorgeous Silver Origin around just ten minutes later.
  • After your 7 or 14 night cruise, you will do the above in reverse! Dependant upon your flight timings you may well have day use of a hotel prior to being taken to the airport.
  • If you book port to port the flights to Galapagos are included but we need to get you (or you yourselves), to/from Quito/Guayaquil.

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR SHIP, SILVER ORIGIN

  • This stunningly harmonious ship, Silver Origin is now 3 years old and was custom built/designed for this delicate and wonderous part of the world to melt beautifully into her surroundings
  • She hosts just 100 guests and 90 crew.  You will sense the expansiveness as soon as you embark her and find yourself surrounded by panoramic views through the expanse of glass and space. This optimises your experience with the incredible light and endlessly changing vistas as you travel from one wonderous stop to another.
  • All balcony suites offer a Butler service and range from 325 square feet up to an incredible 1722 square feet.
  • Food and drink procurement– everything is sourced locally in Ecuador and/or Galapagos. Your incredible dining will comprise 60% of local cuisine and 40% international cuisine.
  • Dress code is casual – chinos and shirt more than sufficient for gentlemen. Comparable for ladies, trousers/blouses, dress (some ladies still enjoy dressing up a bit in the evenings even when casual)
  • Every single member of crew on board Origin is from these local regions so that you are enveloped into the experience even further.
  • Two landings each day in different places.  You can if you wish, fit in three activities per day.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR A LINK TO THE MOST INCREDIBLE GALAPAGOS
DEDICATED ON LINE BROCHURE jam packed with a wealth of information and incredible photography
  • Kayaks & Snorkelling
  • Jacuzzi aft of ship (no pool)
  • Most days in addition to landings there is a snorkelling event/outing.
  • Zodiacs – all off-ship adventures are executed via the 8 on board Zodiacs as Origin never docks and doesn’t have an anchor out of respect to the delicate nature of the islands. 
  • She has the most amazing GPS system instead of an anchor, to ensure the sea bed is never touched.
  • You’ll either have wet or dry landings. Ensure you have some trail shoes/suitable shoes for wet landings.
  • Itinerary:  52 weeks of the year – Saturday to Saturday – 7 nights or 14 nights, or back to back.  Each itinerary offers you wonderful experiences.

YOUR CHARACTERFUL SURROUNDINGS

  • Average temperatures in the Galapagos Islands range from 21 to 30 degrees centigrade. The ‘wet and warm’ season (it’s known as both) is from roughly Nov/Dec to May/Jun (blue skies and strong sunshine can be anticipated) and Jun/Jul to Nov/Dec (temperatures lessen and better time for diving) is the ‘cooler and misty’ season. Sea temperatures are shown below for reference:
  • December to June:
    from 70°F (21°C) to 80°F (27°C)
  • July to November:
    from 65°F (18°C) to 75°F (23°C)

  • Wildlife – so much of it  – blue footed boobies, red footed boobies, sea lions, sea iguanas (1.5 feet long), land iguanas (2>3 feet long), frigate birds, albatross, sharks (about 3 feet long), small penguins (about 1.5 feet high), red crabs, giant tortoises (one day on each itinerary you’ll be taken inland to a famous sanctuary to see these – this is a half day excursion accompanied by Expedition team member/s)
  • Beautiful lagoons and coves – volcanic areas – geology
  • Snorkelling – on first day if you’d like to learn, you’ll be offered tuition.  One snorkel experience lasts about 90 minutes.  The Zodiac will be with you all the time, so if you get tired and/or need a break from exploring you can get back in.  In one experience you will likely see sharks, sea lions, stingrays, penguins and unbelievable fish
  • Lovely long walks/hikes, in groups of 10/12 – you will be on a rotation of departure timings so you don’t always have to be up early. The terrain can vary tremendously across sandy beaches, uneven volcanic rock and hills
  • Take a tour to the incredible underground volcanic tunnels

GEARING UP FOR GALAPAGOS

Tips on what to pack/wear

  • Light quick drying clothing that offers protection from the sun and helps with packing light!
  • Layering is key to cover possible weather changes etc.
  • You will be provided with half leg wetsuits and you’ll have your own metal water bottle provided
  • Under these it’s recommended that you wear a Rashguard long sleeve shirt and perhaps a pair of running ‘bottoms’ or leggings when pop the wetsuit over these items of clothing so you are fully protected.
  • Sun hats essential – lightweight, breathable that won’t get blown away!
  • Possibly also Aqua Gloves and/or Socks
  • Shorts
  • Rain Jacket
  • Puffa Vest top/Gilet
  • Convertible ‘bottoms’ with a zip so they can also be shorts
  • UV/Insect Shield neckerchief/headband
  • Possibly 3 pairs of excursioning shoes – a good/sturdy pair of sandals, a sturdy pair of hiking shoes/boots with good grip and a pair suited for wet landings. Avoid Velcro fixing shoes as material not suited to salt water. Quick drying shoes will be a benefit to you.
  • Clothing wise – cotton is nice – but synthetic will dry quicker
  • CAMERA! Whatever additional battery packs, memory cards, associated equipment you need for this.

SUSTAINABILITY – PROTECTING GALAPAGOS

  • All guides come from Galapagos – this awe-inspiring archipelago of islands is 100% protected and you can only walk in certain parts/areas
  • On board generated rubbish is flown in packs back to the mainland to be processed carefully
  • Silversea have started a foundation in Galapagos and chosen to do this for the Education sector.  You will receive more details about this when you are on board.  Guests will have the option to contribute towards this via donations.  If for example you wished to donate £500 to the foundation, Silversea would provide you with the same value of Future Cruise Credit.  Each year they raise 100’s and 1000s of $’s.  The aim is to be able to provide education for the children on the Galapagos Islands rather than them having to travel to the mainland
  • They are trying to be as plastic free as they can and all guests receive a metal refillable water bottle.  Fresh water is made on board and various stations will be around the ship where you can top your bottle up

Silver Origin cruising the Galapagos Islands.

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YOUR GALAPAGOS ADVENTURE

  • You will likely be up bright and breezy around 0630 and have breakfast. The first zodiac ride will usually head out by 0730/0800. You’ll be taken ashore for a 90 minute walk or hike (RIGHT FOOTWEAR ESSENTIAL). You will have had the opportunity to pick from a couple of fitness levels as regards your route
  • You’ll be returned to the ship about 0930/1000 – time for a well deserved coffee and then it would possibly be time to go and get into your snorkelling gear. You’d then be off into the zodiac and out for 90 minute snorkel ride (10/12 people usually). Back on board by 1130/1200 and between 1200/1400 everyone is having lunch and excitedly exchanging stories of their morning’s explorations and adventures. As the ship sails to your next destination you are quite possibly sailing with giant stingrays either side of you
  • After lunch you have a bit of time to relax back in your suite or in one of the wonderful public areas
  • Once you have reached your next/second destination of the day, you’ll likely be experiencing a hike, nature walk or perhaps a zodiac ride into the mangrove swamps (amazing), back about 1630 ish – and it’s now nearly cocktail o-clock !
  • At 1830 hours, you’ll be heading to the Explorer lounge for next days’ briefing.  Highlights about what has happened that day too, will be covered.  There will also be a short 10/15 lecture perhaps about geology, bird-life or photography for example.
  • The briefing will include the expedition team advising based upon your allocated groups, when and where you’ll need to be to do which of your activities.
  • This gathering finishes at about 1930 then it’s time for dinner
  • Due to the activities that you’ll be packing in during the day time, the ship is generally quite ‘early to bed’. I’ve been advised usually by 2130 ish.

At the time of writing (2nd November 2023), door to door prices for a Galapagos voyage are starting from £8,900 per person for a 7 night duration cruise (5th or 19th October 2024 departures).


We would love to discuss your potential interest in this fascinating and wonderous destination so do please feel free to reach out to us via email – [email protected][email protected] or by phone, 0333 121 8 247.