Silversea: ‘Back to Normality’

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The Silver Origin has been sailing in the Galapagos since June 19. The 100-passenger Silversea Cruises ship, which was delivered during the pandemic in June 2020, is sailing with fully vaccinated guests and crew.

“In our history, we have never taken delivery of a ship remotely, and the Silver Origin was exactly that. Last year she did her sea trials remotely. In fact, it was conducted from St Petersburg in Russia, while the yard that was building the ship finalized the sea trials. Then, of course, we took delivery. During summer 2020, the ship repositioned to Ecuador,” said Silversea’s Senior Vice President of Expeditions, Turnaround Operations and Destination Management Conrad Combrink during a live Facebook event.

“We are so happy to say that we are finally back to some sort of normality, and the ship has started operating for Silversea expeditions,” he added.

Combrink, who recently went onboard the Origin himself, said that the ship was made specifically for the Galapagos.

“She operates seven-day itineraries, and she’s purpose-built for the Galapagos Islands. She just feels at home in the Galapagos,” he explained.

“Having these floor-to-ceiling windows, having the open deck space, having the small maneuverable ship with a dynamic positioning system – all the elements that we've put into the ship just really made sense for us to use the Galapagos for this. And, of course, we are looking at other areas as well,” he added.

Silversea does not require coronavirus testing from its guests, but some of the locations it sails might do.

“In terms of our protocols, we align ourselves with the local regulations. The Ecuadorian authorities, combined with the local Galapagos authorities, have recently announced that they will no longer require the PCR test to enter Galapagos. Ecuador dropped that requirement last year, but Galapagos kept that requirement in place, where guests had to test negative 96 hours before arrival. Since July 1, that was dropped too,” Combrink said.

The Silver Origin is currently sailing at 75-percent capacity, according to Combrink, with that number dropping to 50-60 percent later on. But even at a 100-percent capacity, the ship won't feel full thanks to her design, he said.

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