Silversea's first destination-specific newbuild, Silver Origin, was delivered in Rotterdam by Dutch shipyard De Hoop and is scheduled to begin Galápagos service Aug. 22.

Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, President and CEO Roberto Martinoli, SVP Hotel Operations & On-Board Revenue Damien O’Connor and Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Muckermann attended the handover.

Silver Origin will take over from Silver Galapagos, which began sailing in the archipelago in 2013.

‘Nothing can compare’

‘There is no comparison between Silver Origin and whatever else you can find in the Galápagos,’ Lefebvre enthused during a webinar today that showed off the elegant, spacious, 100-passenger ship.

It offers all balcony suites, light-filled interiors and ‘whispered’ elegance. ‘We don’t want to shout,’ Martinoli said. The design and colors are ‘extremely conducive to a very relaxing vacation.’

Base Camp comprises a large portion of the lowest deck where passengers will go to meet their expedition leaders. There, an expansive, interactive LED screen is loaded with images, videos and information from the Galápagos National Park and the Royal Geographic Society.

There is plenty of dining capacity for everyone indoors and out, with 100 seats each in The Restaurant and the top deck Grill, where screens shelter diners from wind.

The 112-seat Explorers Lounge is Silver Origin’s ‘living room,’ with intimate seating groupings, a fire pit powered by liquefied petroleum gas, a library, grand piano and terrace. The Observation Lounge provides a hide-away with 180-degree views.

Technogym equipment is featured in the fitness center, which has floor-to-ceiling windows. Alongside are a spa and beauty salon.

New peek-a-boo suite features

The suites include features new to Silversea like windows in the bathrooms or shower stalls with glass walls to the outside, depending on the category. The owner’s suite has a whirlpool tub with ocean views, and guests can step outside from the shower. (‘We just hope our guests will remember to put a robe on,’ Muckermann quipped.)

Silver Origin will never go alongside

The 5,800gt Silver Origin is too large for any piers in the Galápagos so it will never go alongside but will use dynamic positioning to stay in place. Passengers will embark in Zodiacs from the aft Marina. Silver Origin has eight Zodiacs, or one for every 12 people, a 1:1 crew to guest ratio and one guide for every 10 guests.

Wet suits and snorkeling gear will be provided. There are eight double sea kayaks for guests and two kayaks for guides.

Martinoli thanked De Hoop Shipyard, which ‘overcame many challenges to complete the ship,’ including voluntarily working through the COVID-19 shutdown. Low water and high water conditions were other challenges.

‘It has been extremely rewarding to work on this project, and we are proud for having been able to deliver the ship in spite of the external challenges,’ De Hoop CEO Patrick Janssens said.