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The Galapagos

Expedition Cruising

Personal Travel Designer Stephanie Carthy reports back from her exploratory trip to the Galapagos aboard the new Ecoventura luxury expedition yacht Evolve.

Cruise the Galapagos

Our Personal Travel Designer Stephanie Carthy steps aboard the luxury expedition yacht Evolve, one of Ecoventura’s newest vessels. Hear all about her trip; for more details give Stephanie a call and let her answer all your questions, bringing the otherworldly landscapes of the Galapagos to life. In the meantime, read on…

“A true bucket list destination, exploring the Galapagos was a surprisingly active holiday in dramatic volcanic scenery. I loved the contrast of the spacious and luxurious yacht Evolve to call home.”

Stephanie Carthy

All Aboard Evolve

"After a full day exploring the primeval islands of the Galapagos, coming back to Evolve feels luxurious, with plenty of space to relax."

Stepping aboard Ecoventura’s newest vessel, Evolve, I was pleasantly surprised by the substantial and spacious atmosphere, the yacht itself a lengthy 142-foot long. With only 20 guests, Ecoventura’s fleet – Origin, Theory and Evolve are among the most luxurious yachts operating in the Galapagos Islands and this was immediately apparent with plenty of space (indoor and outdoor) to relax in, allowing for both social and quiet time.

Cabins were very sizeable for a luxury yacht – you could get out of both sides of the bed – a rarity aboard most boats in the Galapagos.  They had thought of it all:  the crucial USB charging points; under bed storage for your suitcases; hanging spaces and drawers so you can unpack properly for your seven-night stay; bathrobes and slippers are provided as well as handcrafted Panama hats as gifts in your room; excellent Wifi and a small gym and outdoor jacuzzi.

It is impossible to go hungry aboard Evolve. Lunchtimes are alfresco enjoying the sunshine, sea breeze, and volcanic landscapes and dinner is a three-course affair. In between, there are snacks, coffee and drinks available, plus lovely, warming hot chocolate on return from excursions. I particularly enjoyed the canapes and drinks at sunset to close out the day.

A Day in the Galapagos

Aboard Evolve, you will usually enjoy up to three activities a day, so it does feel like you’re always busy. You might be gearing up into a wetsuit for a snorkelling trip, taking out a kayak for a sea exploration, enjoying a gentle paddle on a SUP or heading out in the zodiac.

In the zodiac you have either wet or dry landings – you could be dropped on a beach to observe a herd of seals – one particular beach was lapped by bright turquoise sea reminiscent of the Caribbean, which enticed us all in for a leisurely swim. You can also use the zodiac to explore at sea, spotting rays or jumping in to snorkel around seals. On dry landings, we were able to spot the endemic blue footed booby, Nazca booby, a Galapagos hawk and a red-eyed grey gull, plus the magenta-coloured Sally Lightfoot crab. It’s extraordinary to see relaxed wildlife here as there are no natural predators – it’s easy to get quite close, and of course get great photos too.

The Galapagos Big Five and More…

Spending time in the Galapagos, you’re driven by the nature calendar, so if there are certain animals you’ve dreamed of seeing, talk to me about the best times to see them. If it’s migratory birds, for example the waved albatross with a wingspan of 2.5 metres long, visit the Galapagos between April – December. The incredible spectacle of the humpback whale migration take place in Galapagos in between June to October and hammerhead sharks are more abundant in January.

The Galapagos’ year-round residents, also known as the Galapagos Big Five include the giant tortoise, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos sea lion, Galapagos fur seal and marine iguana.

The Verdict

As a nature-lover, I felt privileged to experience the Galapagos, and on Evolve, exploring and getting out on the islands was made very easy by the efficient set up on board. It also felt surprisingly intrepid, like a safari-style wildlife adventure on water, with all the right kit for each activity plus briefings, so you don’t have to think about the logistics.

Ask Stephanie

Talk to me about planning your Galapagos trip. Both families and couples or even a three-generational group can really bond over the volcanic landscapes and variety of extraordinary creatures. If you and your family have a curiosity about wildlife, then the Galapagos will show you it in all its weird and wonderful glory – there’s really nowhere quite like it.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Land iguana, Galapagos, Ecuador

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