We offer a selection of vessels to take you around the Galapagos, which are shown on the following pages. We favour the smaller and mid- sized boats, which have a high level of personal service and naturalists on- board, thus enhancing the wildlife experience. Cruises are generally for seven nights but three and four night options are available on some vessels. Galapagos vessels When considering a voyage around the Galapagos Islands the type of vessel you choose is important. There are really two options - motor- sailors and motor-cruisers. The motor- cruisers, which tend to be a little larger, can generally reach more of the islands, whilst the motor- sailors offer a more traditional way of getting between the isles. Finch Bay Eco Hotel HIGH At the end of your Galapagos voyage you may wish to spend a little time staying at one of the small hotels on Santa Cruz to soak up a little local life. We highly recommend the Finch Bay Eco Hotel - please ask us if you would like us to tailor this into your itinerary. Cruising the Galapagos 144 The Galapagos Islands The Galapagos archipelago sits astride the equator, 960 kilometres west of the Ecuadorian mainland ( you fl y from either Quito or Guayaquil to the islands of Santa Cruz or San Cristobal). These volcanic islands have a unique biological identity, never having been connected to another landmass, and over millions of years species endemic to the islands have formed. In addition, the absence of large predators means that wildlife on the Galapagos shows little or no fear of man, and it is possible to approach birds, mammals and reptiles openly and very closely - it's a photographer's dream! Sealions, seals, dolphins and whales are present throughout the archipelago due to a constant supply of nutrient rich water and the islands are home to a wealth of bird species including the unique fi nches that played such a prominent role in the development of Darwin's theory. Talk to an expert 0845 130 6982
Fernandina An active volcano with rugged slopes, unusual lava formations and a huge population of land iguanas. There are also sealions, marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs, Galapagos penguins and fl ightless cormorants. lorem tellus. Santa Cruz HIGH OUR CHOICE The Santa Cruz is a fi rst- class 72- metre motor- cruiser carrying 90 passengers in 47 cabins, all with private bathrooms ( shower and toilet). The cabins are located on the boat, main and upper decks. Facilities include a lounge, bar, restaurant, resident physician, shop, reading room and library, Jacuzzi, sun deck and an aromatherapy centre. The vessel is also air- conditioned throughout. There are 52 crew members on- board with six naturalist guides, and fi ve zodiacs for ship to shore transportation. The Santa Cruz usually visits Baltra, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Espanola, San Cristobal, Bartolome, Santiago, Floreana and North Seymour - a comprehensive itinerary. Three or four night cruises are also available on the Santa Cruz - please ask us for details. Isabela By far the largest island and home to some 6,000 Galapagos tortoises around the volcanic slopes. There is an interesting uplifted coral reef and the brackish lagoons host egrets, fl amingos and white- cheeked pintails. South American fur seals are common around the coastline as are Galapagos penguins and iguanas. lorem tellus. La Pinta HIGH La Pinta is a motor- yacht offering a luxurious expedition around the Galapagos Islands. If you want the ultimate treat, then this is the boat for you. With a capacity of just 48 guests, it boasts 24 spacious cabins with large windows for panoramic views. It has a sitting room, well- stocked library, lecture area with cinema screen, and separate dining areas both inside and outside with a choice of deck bars. La Pinta usually visits San Cristobal, North Seymour, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Fernandina, Isabela, Bartolome and Espanola. La Pinta is a family- friendly boat, with triple and inter- connecting cabins ( minimum age six). Santiago and Bartolome Lava lizards are common on Santiago and the island is good for birds such as Galapagos dove, Galapagos mockingbird and Galapagos hawk. Land iguanas, Sally lightfoot crabs, sealions and South American fur seals may also be seen. The small island of Bartolome, famous for Pinnacle Rock, is home to Galapagos penguins. Turtles and white-tipped reef sharks may also accompany you while snorkelling here. lorem tellus. Samba MID The Samba is a 24- metre motor- sailor accommodating 12 passengers in six air- conditioned cabins, each equipped with private bathrooms ( shower and toilet). Facilities include a restaurant and sun deck. There is one naturalist on- board. This is our recommendation for a good value, comfortable cruise around the Galapagos. Samba usually visits Baltra, North Seymour, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago and Bartolome, and Espanola. THE AMERICAS | ECUADOR & THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS 145 Fact! Due to the popularity of the Galapagos Islands and of the vessels, early booking is always recommended for the best chance of getting your choice of boat. Or visit us on the web www. wildlifeworldwide. com Special occasion? Why not ask us for business class upgrades? We can offer competitive prices and it'd be a lovely start to your trip.