Chart your own course – the benefits of chartering a luxury expedition yacht

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

Ecoventura’s three luxury yachts, Origin, Theory and soon to be launched Evolve, are the only Relais & Chateaux vessels to sail the waters of the Galapagos Islands; a voyage on any one of our yachts takes exclusive travel to a new realm.

But for those really looking to up the ante, how about chartering an entire yacht for your own private use?

Perfect for a multigenerational family trip, or perhaps to celebrate a milestone birthday or life event, chartering one of our 10 room luxury expedition vessels represents the last word in luxury voyaging, offering you and your select circle the most intimate of settings and an experience that is tailored to your requirements.

We leave no stone unturned when it comes to catering to our guests’ many needs, and with the lowest guests-to-guide ratio in the archipelago and a private crew of 13 staff for only 20 passengers, our service and quality is second to none, ensuring that you enjoy five-star service from the moment you set foot on board.

The lap of luxury

Each vessel features ten luxury suites, all of which are located on the main deck. Fully equipped with amenities worthy of a Relais & Chateaux property, a sumptuous king size bed, and floor to ceiling windows to enjoy panoramic views of the islands passing by, the cabins offer comfort and intimacy that is hard to match.

What’s more, if guests aren’t using all ten rooms, we are delighted to offer two exclusive two-room Premium Suites on either of our exceptional week-long itineraries. These rooms include his and hers bathrooms and a separate living space for an extra dose of intimacy and privacy. Interconnecting cabins are ideal too for families, to keep an eye on the youngsters or to offer a playroom for children.

On board

The world is your oyster when you opt for a private charter. You are welcome to do as much or as little as you choose, surrounded by your favorite people and our dedicated team of staff. We offer informative talks, tours with the Captain and our well stocked libraries are packed with books and board games.

You may, of course, prefer just to lie back on a sun lounger with a cocktail (did we mention we have an open bar policy, allowing you the freedom to enjoy a wide range of wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks as part of your rate?). Or unwind in the jacuzzi, make use of our on-board gym, or simply gaze at the awe-inspiring panorama stretching before you.

Our culinary experience is worthy, of course, of any Relais & Chateaux property. Fresh, organic, locally sourced cuisine is served with a local twist, whilst seafood is, of course, as fresh as can be and supplied by local fishermen. Many products are grown on the islands, and our chefs serve up three or four course meals, as well as delectable snacks and canapes served for guests returning from excursion – exploring the Galapagos is hungry work, after all!


But of course, what normally brings people to the Galapagos is the opportunity to see the remarkable wildlife and different landscapes across the islands.

One of the perks of chartering your own vessel is that you are free to discuss your preferences with our staff to ensure your trip is truly bespoke. Our expert guides will accompany you on bird watching and nature walks along deserted beaches, clifftops and hills and through lava tunnels, with any preferences incorporated into the itinerary. Do you have a particular desire to watch sea lions frolicking in the waves, or watch blue-footed boobies and their mesmerizing mating rituals, or hone your photography skills? Talk with our guides and we will be sure to build this into the itinerary.

Take to the water on one of our Zodiacs – low impact, inflatable dinghies that enable exploration of the harder to reach parts of the islands. Snorkeling in the Galapagos is a must – just imagine swimming alongside companions of sea lions, sea turtles, Galapagos penguins and marine iguanas. Single or double kayaks or stand-up paddleboards are a great way of exploring the coves and bays of the islands and you can be guaranteed a constant stream of wildlife along the way.

Scuba diving

The diversity of marine life on the Galapagos Islands is second to none – there are multiple shark species, including the gentle giant the whale shark, tropical fish and rays, sea turtles and marine iguanas to spot beneath the waves, so what better way to get close than on a scuba diving excursion?

The archipelago arguably boasts some of the world’s greatest dive sites, including Wolf and Darwin Islands. Whilst in general, diving is limited to vessels operating live-aboard diving itineraries – like our very own Sky – for passengers who are chartering one of our luxury expedition vessels, we have a treat in store.

Given the extra flexibility that a charter voyage allows, we can arrange for a local dive shop to meet us, armed with instructors and all equipment required, and so can offer two dives during our standard weekly itinerary. This is not available for non-charter voyages and really does mean passengers can get the best of both worlds.

Hammerhead sharks gather en masse between December and May, while during the warm ‘Manta’ season you can expect to see vast schools of giant, mobula, spotted eagle and golden rays; for diving enthusiasts the world over this is not to be missed.

Optional extras

For an additional fixed charge of $1500, we can enhance your private charter experience by providing a masseuse, yoga instructor or photographer who will accompany you for the duration of your trip.

Nurture your mind, body and spirit with a holistic on-board program that will incorporate professionally-led health and wellness sessions in addition to our standard daily excursions and top-quality cuisine.

Budding photographers will be in heaven with myriad photography opportunities. Hone your photography skills and make sure you return home with those shots you’ve always dreamed of in one of the most photogenic locations on the planet, with a professional photographer and photography instructor to guide you every step of the way.

What’s more, we can offer upgrades to Premium/Plus seats on your Avianca flight to/from the Galapagos, and can also offer an upgrade to our open bar policy to include premium wine and spirit brands – ask the team for more details.

And finally, if all that isn’t enough, for our charter passengers we can also arrange for the following exclusive experiences:

An accompanied, behind the scenes tour of the Darwin Research Station and their natural history collection

The Natural History Collections at the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) were originally created as a long-term natural history resource of Galapagos species and biodiversity; the exhaustive record of the organisms that comprise the extraordinary ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands dates back over 60 years. This fascinating behind the scenes tour of the research station is guided by an experienced CDF biologist and is not to be missed for those looking to understand more about the Galapagos’ unique biodiversity.

Cultural exchanges

On select summer departures, we offer our guests an opportunity to take part in cultural exchanges with local Galapagueño teenagers.  Through field-based student-scientist partnerships, these students take an active role in conservation and learn how to enact positive change in the community and the wider world. Ecoventura was the first tour boat operator in the Galapagos to offer activities through Ecology Project International, rebranded as ECOS, a not-for-profit NGO which arranges scientific field programs for young people. This experience is hugely popular with families, enabling our guests to work alongside local students and become immersed in one of many rewarding enterprises such as assessing beach erosion or measuring the land tortoise population.

With your exclusive group on board, our crew will tailor your voyage to ensure it exceeds every expectation, so please do contact us today to begin planning your private charter trip.