Silversea Cruises has taken delivery of its first-ever destination-specific ship, Silver Origin, from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. A ceremony held on Wednesday June 3, 2020, marked the first in-person cruise ship delivery since COVID-19 prompted a global lockdown.
Select Silversea top executives – including Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman; Roberto Martinoli, President and CEO; Damien O’Connor, SVP Hotel Operations & Onboard Revenue; and Barbara Muckermann, Chief Marketing Officer – attended the ceremony in Rotterdam.
Joined by representatives from De Hoop Shipyard, Silversea’s executives took a tour of the completed ship for the first time and were present for the official flag ceremony.
The all-suite, all-balcony, 100-guest Silver Origin will welcome travelers year-round in the Galapagos Archipelago. Each of Silver Origin’s spaces have been designed specifically with the Galapagos in mind by Hirsch Bedner Associates Miami.
As a key point of entry to the ship/destination, the Marina has been designed to offer guests a smooth arrival and disembarkation experience. Connected to the Basecamp, the Zodiac embarkation area features large comfortable couches, as well as showers for guests to rinse their gear, racks to store wetsuits and other equipment, and a fold-out stern with special boarding facilities that can accommodate two Zodiacs at the same time.
As Silver Origin will have the highest Zodiac-to-guest ratio in the Galapagos at 1:12.5, a large garage with hydraulic doors, hatches and cranes has been created between decks 2 and 3 to store six of the ship’s eight Zodiacs, while two will be stored on the bow.
Basecamp is one of Silver Origin’s most innovative spaces, designed to bring the destination on board. The heart of the ship, the 551m2 Basecamp will host educational activities in which guests will interact with Silversea’s team of guides – all permanent residents of the Galapagos and certified by the Galapagos National Park – to learn more about the wildlife, landscapes and history of the Galapagos Islands, before and after excursions.
With software created for Silversea by design studio Sketchin and with input from Silversea’s Expedition Team, the centrepiece of Basecamp is a 624x162cm interactive digital wall and control podium. Through this interactive program, which will change according to the itinerary, guests will be able to access destination-related content, including historical pictures provided by the Royal Geographical Society of London, videos with exclusive aerial and underwater shots, excursion previews and scientific presentations.
The Expedition Team will use the LED wall to introduce guests to the wonders of the Galapagos before they embark on Zodiac and kayak adventures to experience them first-hand.
THE EXPLORER LOUNGE
The 479m2 Explorer Lounge offers guests an inviting space to relax during the evening while enjoying a cocktail and a book from Silver Origin’s library. The space doubles as a lecture room and will host daily lectures and briefings, as well as live piano performances. The Lounge features many floor-to-ceiling windows. A large video wall wide HD screens in different seating areas will ensure guests do not miss out on the lectures and presentations that define the expedition experience. Outside, a terrace with comfortable sofas and armchairs, including a round central sofa with a fire pit, will offer guests the perfect spot in which to unwind with a drink before and after lectures.
THE RESTAURANT & THE GRILL
In-line with Silversea’s new S.A.L.T. program, Silver Origin’s guests will dine on Ecuadorian cuisine centered upon regionally-grown ingredients. Locally-inspired culinary experiences – both on board and ashore – will strengthen travelers’ connections with the culture, landscapes and people of the Galapagos, as well as those of Ecuador. The Restaurant on Deck 4 (capacity: 120) and the Grill on Deck 7 (capacity: 100) will each be able to accommodate all guests at once, offering diners choice. Silversea’s Hot Rocks concept will be tailored with an Ecuadorian twist at the Grill, where an advanced sheltering system will protect diners from wind and low temperatures.
SPA & FITNESS CENTRE
Silver Origin’s Fitness Centre features Technogym equipment and offers guests views of the destination with floor-to-ceiling windows. The Spa features a dedicated treatment room for therapies and massages. The Beauty Salon will offer a wide array of services, including hairdressing and manicure/pedicure.
Located at the very front of the ship, the 75m2 Observation Lounge offers guests a place to take in the views of the destination thanks to 180-degree floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Silver Origin’s suites are spacious: the Owner’s Suite, for example, measures a total of 160m2 (1,722ft2) and provides sweeping views of the destination with a vast veranda. Silver Origin is the only ship in the archipelago to offer butler service for all suites. All suites benefit from full room automation, which allows guests to control room conditions with the touch of a button.
Destination-focused views are among the hallmarks of Silver Origin’s suites. Outfitted in neutral tones and natural materials that complement the Galapagos’ environment, and designed by GEM, all suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, while select suites feature a Horizon Balcony, which converts to a floor-to-ceiling window. Most upper suites incorporate an ocean-view bathtub and shower, some of which are accessible from the balcony.
Silver Origin incorporates environmentally low-impact features to comply with future rules and regulations, in addition to the Galapagos National Park Directorate regulations. The technological innovations boasted by Origin mean a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and fewer exhaust emissions. The ship’s dynamic positioning system will be used when positioned over delicate seabed ecosystems to prevent the anchor from causing damage; suites incorporate freshwater purification systems that convert seawater into drinking water, thus drastically reducing the use of plastic on board. A wastewater treatment system will meet or exceed the regulations in the market. Moreover, all waste will undergo a rigid segregation procedure on board and will be delivered to a local waste management enterprise for it to be recycled or shipped out of the islands.
Silversea Cruises has launched the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos—a dedicated fund that will support educational projects to safeguard the wellbeing of the Galapagos Islands for future generations. The fund’s donors will enjoy savings on Silversea’s voyages, as the cruise line will match guests’ contributions in the form of a Future Cruise Credit to underpin its commitment to the cause.