Let’s state it unequivocally: the Galapagos Islands are the pinnacle of expedition destinations. Their distinctive and advantageous location in the Pacific Ocean creates an ideal habitat supporting a diverse array of unique species that coexist harmoniously. Unaffected by the dramatic shifts of the contemporary world, this archipelago provides visitors with a remarkable and memorable encounter with rare wildlife and surreal landscapes, all of which have remained virtually unaltered for centuries.
Given this context, referring to an exploration of the archipelago as merely a “boat ride” might seem to undermine its adventurous nature. But believe us when we say it’s far from that. There needs to be a superior method to experience the archipelago. This is particularly true when you factor in your journey not on a typical boat or cruise ship but aboard a specialized Expedition Vessel.
So, if you’re wondering how exactly we experience the Galapagos aboard our Expedition Vessels, keep reading! When you finish, you’ll surely want to share the Galapagos Islands with our exciting, safe, and engaging expeditions!
How exactly do our guests experience the Galapagos Islands aboard our expedition vessels?
Expedition vessels offer the perfect combination between your journey and the destination itself. They will comfortably transport you throughout the fascinating archipelago and provide you with all the necessary means to make your trip a truly unforgettable experience. And remember: the Galapagos are an EXPEDITION destination, meaning it’s a place that’s meant to be experienced up-close and personally via a wide array of activities available aboard all of our vessels, listed as follows:
- Coastal Explorations (aboard our inflatable dinghies, otherwise known as pangas)
- Glass-bottom Boat Rides
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Put simply: we don’t want you to miss out on all the fascinating wonders the archipelago offers! All of our Expedition Vessels come with not one but an entire team of professional and highly knowledgeable Naturalist Guides that accompany you on these activities, so you’ll be learning a lot, too!
This also means that our multi-guided vessels offer a wide range of simultaneous activities at each visitor site (a huge perk of having multiple guides). Additionally, our Expedition Vessels (Yacht La Pinta and Yacht Isabella II) get exclusive access to specific visitor sites and offer special treats, such as an onboard 24-hour Medical Officer and professional expedition photographer.
And when it comes to experiencing a destination as spectacular as this in such a unique way, it’s not surprising that our guests come to us with questions regarding the experience itself. Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get regarding certain aspects of the exciting expeditions that we offer in the Galapagos:
Do/can guests stay aboard our Expedition Vessels the whole time?
First and foremost, an expedition vessel is not akin to those colossal cruise ships equipped with artificial wave pools, casinos, theatres, and rock-climbing walls. Expedition Vessels are designed to immerse you in their surroundings and are engineered to navigate remote waters securely and environmentally responsibly. However, this doesn’t imply that expedition vessels must improve comfort and amenities. Rest assured: ours do provide them, and they do so excellently.
Our ships aren’t designed to encapsulate guests “inside a bubble.” Instead, they inspire you to intimately acquaint yourself with the islands through meticulously planned itineraries and expert-led excursions. Daily, guests disembark at unique visitor sites with an array of activities to choose from. Are you feeling adventurous? Embark on a hike across the alien-like volcanic terrain or snorkel amongst the vibrant underwater marine life. Do you not need to be in the mood for a trek? That’s fine; you can explore the coastline aboard our dinghy or through the lens of a glass-bottom boat!
So, the answer to this question? A very friendly no. But not because we say so! It’s a no because guests won’t be able to resist the urge to hop off the ship and go on a one-of-a-kind adventure, guaranteed! It’s all a big part of how to experience the Galapagos aboard our Expedition Vessels!
What’s the difference between a wet landing and a dry landing in Galapagos?
Tourism in the Galapagos Islands must be sustainable to maintain a delicate balance within its fragile ecosystem. The most eco-friendly way for visitors to explore the archipelago is aboard an expedition vessel! This method helps reduce your environmental footprint.
In fact, to preserve the islands’ pristine condition, some locations do not have manufactured docks or natural formations that can serve as such. In these instances, you’ll experience a wet landing. This disembarkation usually occurs right on the beach’s edge, with the dinghy operator maneuvering the small craft against the sandy shores for guests to alight. As a result, guests will often get their feet wet during the process. However, there’s no need for concern! The water will never rise above knee level.
On the other hand, a dry landing occurs when a dock or solid surface is available for our guests to step off the dinghy without getting their feet wet. If disembarking makes you uneasy, relax: you’ll always count on the helping hands of the naturalist guides and/or the dinghy operator to safely disembark at the visitor site.
What type of footwear should I use in Galapagos?
The choice of footwear can significantly impact your travel experience. Therefore, guests must select appropriate shoes for exploring the Galapagos. Our itineraries involve substantial walking, hiking, and direct contact with water. With this in mind, we recommend packing a pair of athletic shoes (running/tennis shoes or hiking boots) that offer good grip/traction and can endure rugged terrain. These will ensure you explore each visitor site comfortably. Additionally, we advise wearing quality ankle socks consistently to prevent the discomfort of blisters.
Flip flops are acceptable when relaxing onboard, experiencing a wet landing, or lounging at the beach, but they aren’t suitable for long walks. Attempting such could lead to unnecessary discomfort!
If you have further queries, please ask in the comments section below! We hope this brief insight into our guests’ Galapagos experience aboard our Expedition Vessels has clarified our exploration approach to this once-in-a-lifetime destination. So, start planning your trip and prepare to experience the Galapagos aboard any of our boats comprising our Galapagos fleet! We promise it will be a memorable journey!
Remember to use the correct type of footwear for activities in Galapagos.