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The Galapagos Islands

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The Galapagos Islands are quite unlike anywhere else on Earth; a unique wildlife showcase. With no natural predators, one is surrounded by endemic species of creatures in their hundreds.

In Galapagos, see Albatrosses and their mating rituals; the spectacular dance of the Blue Footed Booby with chicks at various stages of the life cycle and impressive Frigate birds with their vibrant inflated red pouches. Nowhere else in the world offers the unique ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands and there’s just so much of it!

Giant tortoises, turtles, Vermillion Oyster Catchers, Pelicans, Galapagos Hawks, marine and land iguanas, flamingos and, of course, adorable sea lions and their pups as well as fur seals and penguins. The marine life is as equally impressive as the wildlife on land, so take to the water with a snorkel, playing with the sea lions; swimming with the dolphins and, possibly, catching a glimpse of whales, sharks and Manta Rays.

Take daily shore excursions morning and afternoon with a certified naturalist guide who will also offer daily briefings on what you will expect to see. Explore by inflatable zodiac–type boats (pangas) to explore the shoreline for birds and marine-life and land either on beaches (wet landings) or short piers (dry landings) for walking excursions around these volcanic islands. Note that ground may often be uneven and rocky so good walking shoes are essential.

There are always plenty of opportunities for snorkeling for those who wish it and occasional dives can be arranged at additional cost for certified divers, depending on your itinerary. Galapagos National Park regulations are strictly enforced and expedition cruise operators must adhere to their itinerary in order to protect and minimise visitor impact at landing sites. Do note that it is not normally possible to offer variations to the set itineraries as landing sites must be registered in advance with the National Park authorities.

The best way to see as many different species as possible on each island is by boat. Our catamarans and yachts feature first-rate expert guides, many with PhDs in their specialist fields, and an excellent naturalist-to-client ratio. We also ensure that all of these yachts take their social and environmental responsibilities very seriously in order to conserve the fragile nature of the archipelago, many of which have voluntarily qualified for the ecological certification developed by the Rainforest Alliance, such as Smart Voyager. For those who don’t wish to spend a week onboard a small yacht, there are also some excellent comfortable lodges and villas for a land-based holiday to explore nearby islands in depth.

Find out more about our unique Galapagos holidays >

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