Top 5 Luxury Galapagos Yachts & Ships
Last year, a dream getaway to the Galapagos Islands topped USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards for bucket list trips, and it’s easy to see why. Situated off the Ecuadorian coast in the Pacific Ocean, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a unique “living museum and showcase of evolution” home to a wide array of marine and terrestrial wildlife found nowhere else on Earth.
Of the 127 islands that compose Galapagos, 19 are commonly visited on island excursions and only four are inhabited by beings of the two-legged variety. The surrounding Galapagos Marine Reserve spans 133,000km2 and is home to a highly diverse array of plant and animal species, including 500 plants, 12 native mammals, 36 reptiles and nearly 3,000 aquatic species.
While many visitors to the immense marine reserve make mainland Ecuador their home base for day trips or stop over en route to home from Peru’s Machu Picchu, there’s a much better, and more experiential, way to see this breathtaking archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection— by boat!
Although there are many boats sailing the Galapagos, our Top 5 picks for an immersive luxury experience are the Petrel, Cormorant and Ocean Spray motorized catamarans.
Built by long-standing Italian ship constructor Picciotti, the Stella Maris is an unparalleled luxury super yacht renowned for its inviting modern decor, panoramic windows and finely appointed accommodations unrivaled in the Galapagos. With the ability to house 14 guests, the Stella Maris boasts six sizable cabins and a truly breathtaking master suite— all with private balconies. The grand sun deck with jacuzzi, scrumptious on-board cuisine and knowledgable crew make this 38-meter-long eco-friendly cruiser an ideal way to experience the leisurely pace of the Galapagos. The charter for on board the Stella Maris include all transfers and shore excursions with a naturalist guide, all meals and use of kayaks and snorkeling gear.
Named for a large, long-winged gadfly bird found only in the Galapagos Islands, this newly built boat affords guests the ultimate in comfort and luxury while cruising the archipelago. Like its namesake, she’s sleek, swift and silent at sea, making this an excellent first-class option for those seeking to immerse themselves in the magic of Galapagos. A motorized catamaran, the Petrel boasts comfortable lounges and common areas, spacious cabins with private balconies and finely appointed interiors. Voyages on the Petrel include all shore excursions with a National Park certified guide, all meals and nonalcoholic drinks and use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wetsuits.
Built in 2011, the Cormorant also is named for a flightless bird native to the Galapagos and is a relatively new boat that incorporates the very best of motorized catamaran design. Modern and spacious, she affords guests a high quality experience at a competitive price. With a staff of 11, including a bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide, for a maximum of 16 guests, this exclusive encounter is ideal for visitors seeking to make the most of their dream trip— whether that means four days or a 15-day mega cruise to explore every inch of this unique destination. Voyages on the Cormorant include all shore excursions, all meals and nonalcoholic drinks and use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wetsuits.
Offering the best comfort and performance in the archipelago, this 16-passenger mega-catamaran cruiser was built in 2011 to provide guests a truly unforgettable Galapagos experience. Get up close to native flora and fauna while visiting remote island destinations on your very own tailor-made journey. While on board the Ocean Spray, you’ll enjoy sumptuous eco-friendly accommodations, spacious common areas, oversized cabins with private balconies and a large sun deck with jacuzzi. Voyages on the Ocean Spray include all shore excursions, all meals and nonalcoholic drinks and use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wetsuits.
SANTA CRUZ II
Formerly the Australis Maris, this Cape Horn yacht has been retrofitted and redecorated for the Galapagos yet remains a luxury explorer ship. We’re waiting with baited breath for one of our preferred partners to reveal the newest member of its fleet, The Santa Cruz II in August 2015.
If a trip to the Galapagos Islands is on your bucket list (and we know it is), call us today to begin planning your luxury cruise on the Stella Maris, Petrel, Cormorant, Ocean Spray or the Santa Cruz II.
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