AUTHOR Caroline Eaton
Our first vessel, The Eric, set sail for its inaugural cruise in January 1990. One of the first Captains was Rafael Albuja, who later was Captain of our dive boat M/V Galapagos Sky and is now our operations manager in Guayaquil.
We’ve had 25 memorable years of hiking the rocky lava landscapes, swimming with Galapagos Penguins, kayaking alongside dolphins and taking photos with Galapagos Tortoises. 25 years of hiring the best naturalist guides, working to conserve the ecosystem and helping support the local community and schools. We are proud to have spent the past 25 years welcoming guests into our paradise that we call the Galapagos Islands.
Everyone from the naturalist guide taking you on your hikes, the chef preparing your delicious meals, the crew keeping the yacht running efficiently, to the team working in the office, are all part of what makes each trip run seamlessly and we are thankful for all of them.
11 of our employees have been with us for over 20 years, some from the beginning, and we are grateful that they have chosen to stay with our Galapagos Network family over the years.
Special thanks to:
Together we have:
1. Launched the first hybrid energy yacht with the installation of 40 solar panels and 2 wind turbines on the Eric.
2. Eliminated the use of water bottles and now provide all guests with reusable water bottles on board.
3. Established the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund together with World Wildlife Fund, with the objective to strengthen the local communities ability to manage natural resources through scholarships and marine conservation efforts.
4. Recognized in 2009 by both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure with their prestigious awards for our focus on sustainability and being a leader in responsible tourism.
5. Teamed with Ecology Project International to start a career shadowing program that allows two promising students an opportunity to cruise with us and learn from our naturalist guides on what a job in tourism will be like.
6. Was one of the first recipients of SmartVoyager, a voluntary environmental program developed by Corporacion y Desarollo from Ecuador and The Rainforest Alliance from New York.
7. Became the first Carbon Neutral Operation in Galapagos (and Ecuador) in 2006 by offsetting carbon emissions through credits.
8. Partnered with Pack for a Purpose to help supply local children with needed supplies.
9. Opened a test kitchen in Guayaquil to train our chefs to prepare creative and healthy gourmet style menus for our guests including vegetarian/vegan menu items and give cooking demonstrations on board.
10. Launching the most luxurious, eco-friendly yacht yet, M/V Origin.
These are only 10 of the exciting changes we have been a part of in the Galapagos and continue to participate in. We have big plans for continuing to lessen our footprint and make traveling to the Galapagos sustainable so you can come and experience the beauty for yourself.
If you’ve cruised with us over the years we would love for you to celebrate with us and leave a memory that you carry with you from your adventure with us in the comments.