As the cruise industry continues to evolve, so does the experiences the cruises provide. Interest in adventure cruising is the latest experience that is growing in popularity as more and more cruise passengers are seeking active, mind-expanding experiences on their holiday.
Located in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 600 miles off the west coast of Equador in South America is the archipelago of volcanic islands known as the Galapagos or the “Enchanted Islands”. Comprising of 13 main and 6 smaller islands, the name Galapagos is derived from the Spanish word for “saddle”. It was awarded this name based upon the saddle-backed tortoises found only on its islands, most often near the edges of the volcanic calderas.
Cruises to the Galapagos will introduce guests face-to-face with a living museum.
A GALAPAGOS CRUISE HAS LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES
Some of the rarest animals in the world that cannot be located anywhere else are here. Amongst the unique creatures are the giant Galapagos tortoises, iguanas and sea turtles. Naturalist-led experiences on a cruise holiday to the Galapagos Islands include shipboard lectures and tours and excursions that focus on this magical natural wonderland.
Another way to experience the Galapagos is to get acquainted with the aquatic life with a scuba diving tour. Going down into the depths below to see coral and beautiful fish of all colours makes this something to remember. There is a large amount of diving companies to choose from for the experience so be sure to research as much as possible.
Other off the ship activities are available such as kayaking, that is sure to build up strength in the upper arms will also create long lasting memories of the glistening water and the soft sounds of the waves.
The Galapagos flora and fauna have adapted to their environment and developed features not found in species from anywhere of the world.
THE DARWIN CONNECTION
One island in the Galapagos chain is the same one that famed biologist Charles Darwin visited. The connection between Darwin and the Galapagos is very close and strong. Besides serving as the inspiration for his “Theory of Natural Selection” that detailed the origins of mankind, he also analyzed the natures of finches and tortoises.
Celebrity Xpedition of Celebrity Cruise Lines accommodates guests with amenities in a most exceptional and friendly ambience. The 92-passenger ship is intended not just for travel, but for exploration of the Galapagos Islands with seven day sailings. All guests can enjoy an all-inclusive experience with gourmet cuisine, room service and in-suite dining.
Celebrity’s Galapagos tours follow the ecotourism regulations of the National Park. While exploring unmatched natural wonders of the Galapagos, Celebrity is committed to a partnership with the Galapagos Conservancy for protecting and leaving the islands pristine by keeping tourism small scale and non-intrusive. Image courtesy of Celebrity Cruises
Something unique in the luxury cruise market is the 100-guest Silver Galapagos of SilverSea Cruises. Featured as a true upscale line, the atmosphere on board is more relaxed than formal. The experience offered is one that is halfway between a sophisticated cruise and an intrepid explorer’s voyage. The all suite all-inclusive ship contains ocean-view accommodations, complimentary beverages, wines and spirits with personalised butler service and all gratuities.
Expeditions ashore are guided by certified and authorized Galápagos National Park guides. SilverSea’s passengers obtain up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife including Darwin’s famous finches. Image courtesy of Silversea Cruises
The Galapagos’ tropical climate undergoes two seasonal changes annually. Because the Galapagos Islands are below the Equator, summer and winter are seemly interchangeable. Between December and May, the average sea and air temperature rises to 75 degrees F and sunshine and clear blue skies predominate, thus making the warm waters of the Galapagos excellent for swimming, snorkelling and scuba-diving.
The Galapagos Islands are named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and after one goes there, it can easily understand why. Of course, there are plenty of places to explore other than animal watching and island hopping on the Galapagos Islands. Begin with a pre & post cruise stay in Quito, Ecuador and create a 10 or 11 night experience with the 7 day cruise.
Another alternative, besides spending time with 7 day cruise or 11 day land/cruise holiday in Quito, is to really make this a trip of a lifetime. Let the adventure continue with a pre & post cruise holiday in the Amazon Rainforest, Machu Picchu, the glorious “Lost City of the Incas” or Lake Titicaca.
Written by Veronica Shine