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Explore the Galápagos

Explore the Galápagos

Straddling the Equator some 620 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific coast, the fascinating ecological time-warp that is the Galápagos Archipelago comprises 19 islands and several dozen islets and reefs. Home to creatures found nowhere else on Earth, it was the variation of unique species of birds and mammals that caught the imagination of Charles Darwin who based his work ‘On the Origin of Species’ on his study of natural selection that he witnessed on these isolated, actively volcanic islands.

Visitors to the Galápagos Islands need to understand this is not a destination of palm trees and piña coladas; each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from barren black, volcanic rocks to swaths of white sand beaches melting into gemstone-blue waters. By far and away the best way to visit this natural kaleidoscope is by a variety of cruise packages that are on offer from operators catering for independent travellers as well as those who seek luxury throughout their cruise-tour.

The flight to this isolated sanctuary of natural history is via Quito, the commercial capital of Ecuador. Here a short visit to the Spanish colonial district of broad cobbled plazas, whitewashed buildings and golden churches is a perfect contrast to one of the most astounding and unforgettable places on earth that lays just a 90-minute flight away.

After landing passengers are taken by Zodiacs to their ship and prepare to explore this isolated sanctuary of biodiversity. Depending on permissions from the Directorate of the Galápagos National Park, visits are made to the islands of South Plaza; Espanola; Punta Suarez; Floreana; Puerto Ayora; Genovesa; Punta Espinoza; and Bartolomé.

Celebrity Cruises offer sailings through this awe-inspiring land of fire aboard the 100-passenger Celebrity Xpedition as well as the newer 48-passenger Celebrity Xperience and the 16-guest Celebrity Xploration. Silversea Cruises operate the most luxurious vessel around the ‘Islas Encantadas’ - the enchanted isles. The 100-passenger Silver Galápagos boasts a range of luxurious suites as well as all the indulgent appointments that are a signature of Silversea Expeditions.

Busiest months for tourism tend to be June, July and August, as well as December to February; the slightly cooler, dryer season is June to November. At any time of year clients need to take protection from the weather; proper footwear; bug spray; and a digital camera with plenty of memory. A degree of pre-cruise research will also pay dividends. To bring out the David Attenborough in you call our experienced team on 0800 484 0370.

  • 23rd February 2018