18Medium-sized boatsISABELAII££Isabela II provides her 40 passengers with all theamenities of a larger vessel and has three expertnaturalist guides to ensure small groups on islandvisits. The classically finished cabins, all on onedeck, are outward facing with picture windows.There is also one larger master suite. Communalfacilities include a large dining room, spaciousbar/lounge, reading room and a covered sun deck. The upper level also has a Jacuzzi andobservation area for whale and dolphin watching.During snorkelling excursions, a glass-bottomedobservation boat can be used so that thoseuncomfortable with swimming can enjoy theabundant underwater marine life.LAPINTA£££La Pinta is the newest of the medium-sizedvessels in the Galapagos and has been extensivelyrenovated with expedition cruises in mind. Sheoffers the highest standards of service, guiding and food whilst maintaining a relaxed atmosphere.48 passengers are accommodated in 24 spaciousand modern suites, which are finished to thehighest standards with floor to ceiling windows,allowing guests to watch the world pass by. The boat has a large observation lounge, library,Jacuzzi, small gym, plenty of deck space for stargazing and, like Isabela II, has a glass-bottomedobservation boat and kayaks that can be used as an alternative to snorkelling excursions.ECLIPSE£££This exclusive 65 metre vessel accommodates 48 passengers in her 27 classically finished cabins. Despite her size the crew and guidesmaintain a friendly, intimate atmosphere similar tothat of a small boat, whilst having the stability andfacilities expected of a larger vessel. Featuresinclude al fresco dining, a naturalist guide forevery 12 passengers and quiet relaxation areas inthe cozy lounge and reading room. The upperdeck has a Jacuzzi and a large, partially coveredsun deck with ample sun beds and an outdoorbar. The other three decks house four differenttypes of cabin (including two for single occupancyand four suites).Standard cabin, Isabela IIStandard cabin, La PintaSuperior stateroom cabin, EclipseSally Lightfoot crab
www.audleytravel.com/galapagos ?01993 838 635 ?Galapagos cruises19Large boatsStandard double cabin, Santa CruzStandard suite, Explorer IIRed-billed tropic birdSANTACRUZ£-£££Built exclusively for Galapagos cruising, the SantaCruz is an excellent option for those looking foroptimum service on board a larger vessel withadditional stability. 90 passengers are carried in 47 cabins, which range in size and facilities fromsingle cabins through to suites with privatebalconies. The large sun deck has a bar andJacuzzi, along with an observation area for dolphinand whale watching. Evening entertainment and educational briefings take place in the elegant dining room, lounge and bar, and there is also a cosy reading room and library. The glass-bottomed observation boat is popular as an alternative to snorkelling.EXPLORERII£-£££With a capacity of 100 passengers, Explorer II is one of the biggest vessels to operate in theGalapagos and is perfect for those seeking a more relaxed, conventional cruising style trip to the islands. 53 large outside-facing suites arespread across five decks with the majority havinga small outdoor sitting area. The four top decksuites have their own exclusive private balconies.Features onboard include a Jacuzzi, spaciousdining room, lift, large briefing room, lounge, three bar areas with evening entertainment, and a reading room.SnorkellingSnorkelling is an integral part of anyGalapagos cruise. The incredible diversityand fearlessness of the wildlife is notsolely reserved for terra firma andsnorkelling enables you to see theabundance of underwater marine life at close quarters. Snorkelling trips areentirely optional and vary from wading in from a pristine sandy beach toswimming in deep water along cliff lines.There are opportunities for all levels,whether a first timer or a snorkeller with years of experience.Whichever way you choose to see theunderwater wildlife, the experience of the unique mix of tropical and deep-ocean fish, coming nose to nose withfeeding turtles and playful sea lions, orwatching a ray or marine iguana saunterpast, is sure to live long in the memory.