Our active naturalist cruise programmes are the most efficient way to make optimal use of your scarce time on the Galapagos; combining evening or nocturnal displacements with at least two excursions per full day; and usually even an extra activity such as a dinghy-ride or snorkelling. These activities are conducted by the best English-speaking naturalist guides.
Alternative island-based day tours (‘island hopping programmes’) lose a lot of time in moving back and forth, often on an uncomfortable speedboat, and can generally only visit one closer site each day (at noon). Meanwhile the Archipel heads for more exclusive destinations and shows its passengers twice as much in the same amount of time. Also, large expedition vessels can’t enter the shallow paradisiacal bays where we drop the anchor.
It is true that the most exceptional islands are somewhat further away, but these are also more exclusive, beyond the reach of day tours. These distances are no problem for the powerful engines of the Archipel, reaching the next site before sunrise (Routes A and B often even before midnight!). You will wake up feeling refreshed and full of energy to start a brand new day full of unforgettable experiences.
Without doubt your on-board naturalist guide is the crucial pivot for your experience on the Galapagos. Being a superior-class motor catamaran, Archipel contracts only the best National Park certified guides (Class III or II). Our experts use their wide experience to lead the excursions, to search and identify species and point out interesting details; besides taking care of your safety and complying with indispensable conservation rules.
Above all our guides share their knowledge, love and respect for the Galapagos’ stunning ecosystem. Their inspiring explanations (in English and Spanish) and fascinating stories about animal behaviour, intriguing ecosystems and survival strategies can bring nature even more to life; not only in the field, but also during lectures or daily briefings aboard. Of course you can consult your guide for personal questions or just to share your curiosity.
Small groups definitely make your nature and cruise experience more intimate and profound. Thanks to a maximum number of only 16 passengers aboard M/C Archipel, your naturalist guide can easily respond to different individual interests. You can also hear him/her loud and clear in the field.
Both our smaller inflatable dinghies (‘Zodiacs’ for only 8 passengers each) make boarding and disembarking our catamaran much faster, and increases your chances of spotting wildlife during dinghy-rides. On larger expedition vessels, different groups have to keep a certain distance, and lose flexibility and valuable excursion time on the islands.
Our catamaran has been designed to reduce the impact on the fragile ecosystem. We meet environmental requirements in:
Intimacy is precisely what differentiates our catamaran from massive, impersonal cruise ships that navigate the seven seas, and also from a few large expedition vessels on the Galapagos.
Your cruise will be an international rendezvous as well. English/Spanish is spoken on-board. You will share your experience with passengers from all over the world, and may even make new friends!
Our welcoming and helpful staff will do their utmost to convert your once in a lifetime Galapagos cruise into the trip of your life!
Our professional cook and kitchen help will treat you to a substantial breakfast, and mouth-watering warm lunches and dinners, all served in abundant buffet style.
The galley (kitchen) will keep surprising you with a varied menu of local and international dishes with at least two choices (usually fish, chicken or meat), rice/potatoes/pasta and various vegetables and salads.
Our food is healthy and delicious; special meals (vegetarian or other dietary requirements) are available upon previous request at no extra cost. Snacks and juices are served in-between meals.
Whilst carelessly enjoying the leisurely ambience on-board, you can rest assured that the captain and his competent crew will make sure you're safe at all times. They are always there to help you in and out safely when boarding and disembarking, or driving the inflatable dinghies (‘Zodiacs’) prudently.
Many zones of the Galapagos are near the end of the world and require self-sufficiency. As a matter of course all crew-members have first-aid knowledge.
Your naturalist guide and captain are trained to deal with eventual medical or other emergencies aboard. The bridge always maintains radio contact with the outside world.
A cruise through the Galapagos Archipelago is a unique experience that you won't easily forget. The great outdoors of this National Park form an unrivalled destination for wildlife and bird observation. You will constantly be impressed while spotting, approaching and photographing its incredibly tame and prosperous forms of life. You will be closer to nature than ever before!
The Galapagos Islands are located right on the equator, about 900km/550mi off the Pacific coast of Ecuador (South America). Nature on these remote islands and in their surrounding waters is so strange, diverse and abundant, that the archipelago is often praised for being one of the most impressive and magical eco-destinations in the world; together with – but totally different than – the Amazon Rainforest, the Antarctic Peninsula, the Great Barrier Reef and the African Savannahs.
Since your are here: what about upgrading your great outing with a stay in one of the comfortable lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon as well?
Our shortest routes give an excellent impression of this unique 'laboratory of evolution' in case you have little time, or if you are on a limited budget. But please bear in mind that it would be impossible to see all the highlights in just a few days. On the other hand you will probably only visit the Galapagos once in a lifetime… Each island is distinctive and well-worth a visit, with different landscapes and an ever-changing spectrum of adapted species.
If you want to get the most out of your cruise and explore practically every corner of the archipelago to enjoy its extremely varied spectrum, we suggest you consider extending your cruise by combining our routes (4-14 nights).
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