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Silversea Cruises has taken delivery of its first-ever destination-specific ship, Silver Origin, from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. A small ceremony, held on June 3, 2020, marked the first in-person cruise ship delivery since the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic prompted a global lockdown, according to the cruise line.
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. Some features that guests can expect include:
Connected to the Basecamp, the Zodiac embarkation area has large 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.
The “heart of the ship,” Basecamp will host educational activities led by Silversea’s team of expert guides—all permanent residents of the Galapagos and certified by the Galapagos National Park. Topics will include the wildlife, landscapes and history of the Galapagos Islands. The centrepiece of Basecamp is a 20 foot-by5 foot interactive digital wall.
The Explorer Lounge serves as a space where guests can relax of an evening, while enjoying a cocktail and a book from Silver Origin’s library. The lounge doubles as a lecture room and will host daily lectures and briefings, as well as live piano performances. Outside is a terrace with sofas and armchairs, including a round central sofa with a fire pit.
Located at the very front of the ship, the Observation Lounge offers views on the destination from 180-degree floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
In-line with Silversea’s S.A.L.T. program, Silver Origin’s guests will have access to farm-to-table Ecuadorian cuisine. The Restaurant on Deck 4 and the Grill on Deck 7 will each be able to accommodate all guests at once, offering a choice of where to dine. Silversea’s Hot Rocks concept will be tailored with an Ecuadorian twist at the Grill, where an advanced sheltering system will protect diners from the wind and low temperatures for maximum comfort.
Silver Origin’s Fitness Centre has Technogym equipment and floor-to-ceiling windows, while The Spa has a dedicated treatment room for therapies and massages. The Beauty Salon will offer an array of services, including hairdressing and manicure/pedicure.
Silver Origin’s suites are touted as being among the most spacious in the Galapagos; the Owner’s Suite, for example, measures a total of 1,722 square feet. Including butler service, Silver Origin, according to Silversea, will have the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the region (nearly 1-to-1). All suites have full automation, which allows guests to control room conditions with the touch of a button. All suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a private balcony, while select suites have a Horizon Balcony, which converts to a floor-to-ceiling window at the touch of a button. Most upper suites have an ocean-view bathtub and shower, some of which are accessible from the balcony.
Touted by Silversea as one of the most energy-efficient ships in its class, Silver Origin incorporates environmentally low-impact features to comply with future rules and regulations, in addition to the Galapagos National Park Directorate regulations. The latest technological innovations mean a 15 percent 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; and a wastewater treatment system will meet or exceed the strictest regulations in the market.
Silversea Cruises also created the Silversea Fund for the Galapagos, which will support educational projects to safeguard the wellbeing of the Galapagos Islands for future generations.