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The Importance of Expedition Vessels in Galapagos

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The importance of expedition vessels in the Galapagos is often falsely undermined by the presence of the numerous and presumably “better” medium vessels and yachts. However, news reveals that a brand-new Expedition Vessel was set to enter Galapagos waters in early 2019. Note: New vessels are a boon for the Galapagos’ beautiful wildlife and delicate environments. Considering this news, we couldn’t think of a better opportunity to discuss the importance of expedition vessels in the Galapagos than now.

La Pinta Ship Galapagos Island.jpg
Yacht La Pinta On Galapagos Island

The Importance of Expedition Vessels in Galapagos: A Plethora of Benefits for the Surrounding Environment

Consider this scenario: a leading company plans to launch a new ship in the Galapagos two years from today. To make this possible, they must retire at least one of their older vessels. This step is necessitated by the regulations established by the Galapagos National Park. These rules operate like the Law of Conservation of Energy, where energy cannot be created or destroyed. Similarly, new expedition vessels can only be introduced in the Galapagos if an existing one is retired, maintaining the balance or quota of ships allowed to traverse its waters.

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It’s essential to remember that the park legislation needs to be more balanced. Consequently, introducing this new vessel should not incite worries among those apprehensive about an increase in the number of expedition vessels in the Galapagos, which could lead to overcrowding.

The system ensures a controlled and balanced number of vessels within the archipelago.
Just remember: New vessels must replace existing older vessels. They cannot be compounded or added to a fleet of older ones. The new ship must return an older ship, the latter of which must leave the islands. With all the ships available in Galapagos, how can you know which expedition vessel suits you? Click on the following link to read our 
3 hacks for how to choose the best Galapagos cruise for you.

Yatch Isabela Ii Galapagos Islands.jpg
Yacht Isabela Ii On Galapagos Islands

The launch of this new expedition vessel is noteworthy, emphasizing the crucial role these vessels play in the Galapagos. The trend of increasing expedition vessel use, led by a frontrunner in the industry, is one we hope will inspire other companies.

We advocate for expedition vessels due to their potential for reducing environmental impact. Smaller ships strain more on the islands and the designated visitor sites. This is primarily because they often arrive in more significant numbers, frequently dropping multiple anchors at one location, and typically need onboard water containment or treatment facilities. This necessitates importing water from the mainland and arranging for waste disposal.

Conversely, expedition vessels are generally more energy-efficient and environmentally progressive. Their design and operation inherently lessen environmental impact, emphasizing their significance and making them an ideal choice for travel within the Galapagos.

Medical Officer Onboard Santa Cruz Ii Galapagos Cruise.
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Indeed, smaller ships present numerous opportunities for enhancement. One notable area is the absence of a requirement for professional officers on board who are well-versed in managing the ship. This lack of expertise could affect the vessel’s operational efficiency and safety.

Another significant area that warrants improvement is the provision of onboard medical services. Unlike expedition cruises in the Galapagos, smaller vessels often do not have an onboard Medical Officer. This absence implies a lack of immediate medical assistance for guests in case of minor accidents or injuries, which can be unsettling for passengers who may require urgent medical attention.

Given these concerns, regulatory organizations should consider applying regulations and criteria for smaller vessels, such as the necessary presence of professional officers and medical experts. This will improve passenger safety and comfort, as well as the smaller vessel’s service quality and reputation.

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The Importance of Expedition Vessels in Galapagos: In a Nutshell

The Galapagos Islands, a unique and invaluable ecosystem that warrants preservation, would significantly benefit from more streamlined operations. A transition from a varied fleet of smaller yachts to the deployment of small expedition ships could offer an improved overall guest experience while promoting eco-friendly excursions throughout the archipelago.

Introducing new vessels underscores the importance of well-designed expeditionary containers in the archipelago. This development emphasizes the role these ships play in the Galapagos. More often than not, they are better equipped to respect the delicate ecosystem of the islands while providing passengers with an elevated overall experience. Our fleet meets the Galapagos National Park’s requirements and always considers the delicate ecosystem. We respect and care for the vital archipelago.

Did we mention that expedition vessels are also multi-guided? Find out why that’s a good thing with our blog, Multi-guided Expeditions in the Galapagos: Consider This Before Your Trip.

Updated:December 20, 2023

Published:November 22, 2017

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