- All Inclusive
by Francesca Barone
THE GLORIES OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – BRAND NEW SHIP SILVER ORIGIN
What a combo……
If there were ever a destination worthy of it’s place near the top/at the top of people’s bucket lists then I believe this amazing archipelago of islands must be.
Silver Origin arrived in San Cristobal last week and is patiently waiting there for her first guests mid June 2021 when the season commences.
The voyages are Saturday departures, 7 night rotations doing two different itineraries – San Cristobal to Baltra and vica versa (perfect for a back to back when seven nights just isn’t enough for you).
The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination and Silver Origin’s calendar currently takes us from the 19th June 2021 all the way through to 1st April 2023.
Your all inclusive package will comprise Economy return flights (Business Class upgrades available on request), all your transfers, 2 nights in Quito (try and visit the Unesco World Heritage site here) to give you time to acclimatize prior to embarkation, your 7 or 14 night all inclusive cruise.
Flights are not direct to these remote destinations and will quite possibly be serviced through the international hub of Amsterdam.
Once on board you will have a few items provided to you which include a wetsuit for adventures that call for one along with a backpack & water bottle which are yours to keep.
The two itinerary variations are shown below but honestly, whichever one you choose you’ll get to experience pretty much everything and more that you are hoping for.
BITE SIZE SHIP & DESTINATIONAL FACTS
- Silver Origin accommodates just 100 fortunate guests per voyage supported by 86 crew and an Expedition team of experienced and knowledgeable personnel
- You’ll be treated to the highest guest to crew ratio in the Galapagos
- A team of Ecuadorian expert guides.
- Just 51 suites – all balconies, ranging from 325 up to 1700 square feet
- Silver Origin has no anchors. Only GPS and propellers around her
- Eight Zodiacs to take you on your memory-filling adventures – some will be ‘wet’ and some ‘dry’ landings. No need to pre-book, it’s all done on board.
- Eight/ten guests in each group on Zodiac tours
- State of the art on board technology including an interactive expanse of digital wall
- Destination is close to equator so midday is hottest time of the day
- You’ll have two landings a day (sailing from one to the other over lunch time period)
- Morning excursions usually leave early, around 8 ish
- Zodiac sunset cruises available in the evenings
- All activity levels catered for.
- Fantastic multi-generational destination
- When you are ashore you will ALWAYS be with a guide
- Silversea continue to have their partnership with Royal Geographic
- Fantastic snorkelling opportunities either off the beach or from a trip out on Zodiac dependant upon your level of ability
- The Galapagos Islands are 620 miles from South America’s mainland
- The giant tortoises of Galapagos can be found up on the Highlands – literally hundreds of them – weighing up to 500 lbs
- Fabulous water platform aft on Silver Origin makes your access to and from the Zodiacs really easy via about four steps
- Galapagos can be very easily twinned with a visit to Machu Picchu
Gapapagos’ Wildlife Calendar
The Wet Season (hot season)
Occurs between January and May. The climate in these months are more tropical with daily rain and cloudier skies accompanied by the Southern trade winds. Ocean temperatures are warmer for swimming and snorkeling. March and April are generally the wettest months and average temperatures range from 68 – 86F It’s during this period that the islands experience the sunniest of days throughout the year. With the rainfall plant life to flourishes. Best reason for visiting Galapagos during the hot season: AIR & SEA TEMPERATURES. You’ll find that climate (both in and out of the water) is quite nice during this time. For many, this is often seen as the most comfortable and refreshing time to visit Galapagos. The Galapagos start to get “greener”. Land birds start nesting, Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana Island. . The water temperature reaches its highest point of the year, (77F), and remains warm until April. Massive arrival of waved albatrosses to Española. Amazing courtship starts. Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch. Eggs of land iguanas hatch on Isabela. North Seymour’s blue-footed boobies begin their courtship.
January The Galapagos start to get “greener”. Land birds start nesting, Adult marine iguanas become brightly colored and start laying their eggs. Land iguanas begin breeding on Isabela Island; Great time for snorkeling. February Greater flamingos start nesting on Floreana Island. Nazca boobies on Hood are at the end of their nesting season. Marine iguanas nest on Santa Cruz Island. The water temperature reaches its highest point of the year, (77F), and remains warm until April. Fewer penguins are sighted at Bartolome Island (most have followed the cool waters back to the west).
March March 21st, the beginning of the summer equinox signals the arrival of the waved albatross to Española. Even the western islands have warm waters where snorkeling is excellent. Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) can be an amazing site. Penguins still active in the water, next to tropical fish! Snorkelers will remain long periods of time in the water by choice, marine life is very active.
April Massive arrival of waved albatrosses to Española. Amazing courtship starts. End of hatching season of the giant tortoises. Eggs of green sea turtles begin to hatch. Eggs of land iguanas hatch on Isabela. Good visibility in the water for snorkelers. Perhaps, together with May, the best month in Galapagos (weather, animals, water temperature).
May North Seymour’s blue-footed boobies begin their courtship. Sea turtles are still hatching on Gardner Bay, Punta Cormorant, and Puerto Egas. Most of marine iguanas’ eggs hatch from nests on Santa Cruz Waved albatross on Española start laying their eggs.
The Dry Season
This runs from June to December in which Southern trade winds bring the colder Humboldt Current north to the Galapagos and the water is cooler. As the southeast trade winds move towards the Galapagos, so too does the Humboldt Current, bringing with it cooler and nutrient-rich waters. The highlands of the larger islands are kept green and lush while the sea level islands and shorelines have little rain. Average temperatures range from 62 – 80F. Best reason for visiting Galapagos during the dry season: Given the Galapagos Island’s tropical location, having relatively cool waters that are highly rich in nutrients and plankton flow into this area is an excellent opportunity for sea dependent species (seabirds, sea lions) that will seize this moment of aquatic “flourishing” to actively reproduce. During the Dry Season, guests are sure to witness quite a spectacular sight, as courtship rituals abound for sea creatures and seabirds along the coasts, such as Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and flamingos.
June Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island migrate from the highlands to the lowlands in search of suitable nesting places. Beginning of the nesting season of giant tortoises. South east trade winds return. Currents become a bit stronger. Many red pouches by males of Magnificent Frigate birds on North Seymour. Some groups of Humpback whales that migrate up to equatorial latitudes along the coast of Ecuador, can reach the Galapagos too.
July Sea bird communities are very active (breeding), especially the Blue footed boobies on Española. Great month to see the four stages of nesting in Blue footed boobies: eggs, chicks,
juveniles & sub adults. Flightless cormorants perform beautiful courtship rituals and nesting activities on Fernandina. Lava lizards initiate mating rituals until November. Whales & dolphins are more likely to be observed, especially off the western coast of Isabela
August Nazca (masked) boobies and Swallow-tailed gulls nest on Genovesa Island . The temperature of the ocean drops to 18C (64F), which obviously varies according to the geographic zones among the islands. Giant tortoises return to the highlands of Santa Cruz. Oceans are quite choppy, currents at the strongest levels, surge can be expected along the shores that face west or south. Pupping season (births) of sea lions has started. Western and central islands are common places for such sightings.
September Peak of the cold (garúa) season. Galapagos Penguins show remarkable activity on Bartolome. Since May swimmers and snorkelers can be delighted at Bartolome with penguins active at the surface or torpedo-like while underwater. Sea lions are very active. Most species of sea birds remain quite active at their nesting sites.
October The Galapagos Fur Seals (subspecies of Sea lions) begin their mating period. Blue footed boobies raise chicks all over Española and Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela). Giant tortoises are still laying eggs.
November Band-rumped storm petrels begin their second nesting period. Seas are calm. South east trade winds have decreased strength. Generally great weather due to transition between one season and the next one. Good visibility for snorkelers. Sea lion pups (especially at Champion Islet) frolic next to snorkelers. The average age of most pups is 3-4 months.
December Hatching of giant tortoise’s eggs begins and lasts until April. Green sea turtles display their mating behavior. The rainy season begins, all of the plants of the dry zone produce leaves. Galapagos becomes “green”
BIRDS OF GALAPAGOS
The Galapagos Islands are bounded by endless open sea, so it’s natural that seabirds would occupy a prominent place in the archipelago’s fauna. Visitors often see most of the 19 species (5 are endemic) that are Galapagos residents. Biologists estimate that up to 750,000 seabirds spend time in Galapagos, including 30 percent of the planet’s blue-footed boobies and the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies. Few species of land birds inhabit the Galapagos, and only 29 resident species of land birds occupy the Galapagos, 22 of which are endemic to the archipelago. Their presence in Galapagos, however, is difficult to explain. They may have arrived by strong winds, although luck must have played a big part. Traveling through the Galapagos offers a birding opportunity of a lifetime, with birdlife that will enrapture even those who don’t consider themselves “birders.” Some land birds are not exciting by appearance because they are generally rather dull-colored. However, their “tameness” is unsurpassed, which makes them a joy to watch. The colorful nesting seabird communities of the Galapagos Islands are most unusual, both visually and behaviorally, as well as extremely entertaining.
- Blue footed boobie
- Waved Albatross
- Galapagos penguin
- Darwin’s Finches
- Nazca boobie
- Red footed boobie
- Galapagos hawk
- Galapagos owl
- Galapagos dove
This is just the most incredible destination and really if not already on your bucket list, should probably be added to it. You can view the Silversea on line dedicated on line brochure by CLICKING HERE for loads more insight to enjoy reading through.
I’m in love with this pic
You are going to experience so much amazing wildlife while in this awe-inspiring archipelago. Most of the local ‘residents’ are very friendly and approachable making up close and personal experiences just part of your day. Appropriate behaviour and distances will of course be monitored/advised by your local guides.
RECOMMENDED GEAR AND HELP WITH PACKING
There’s a dedicated website for Silversea guests to use which is a fantastic source of information for their Expedition voyages. Simply CLICK HERE to take you there.