THE LUX LIFE (RELAIS & CHATEAUX)

The Best of Ecoventura’s Blog: A Roundup of Our Guests’ Favorite Articles on Cruising the Galapagos Islands

AUTHOR Ecoventura

We’ve been writing our blog for just over nine years now to help passengers learn as much information as possible about Ecoventura and the Galapagos Islands prior to their departure!

While our readers have thankfully found all of our content informative and entertaining, a few posts have stood out as particularly useful for guests preparing to travel to the Galapagos Islands. Therefore, we decided to highlight the most important posts and put them all in one standout article below.

For more detailed information, please feel free to click the titles below to read the original posts… Enjoy!

1- First Class VS Premium

Those traveling with Ecoventura typically know exactly what they want in their Galapagos cruise vacation — an intimate experience aboard a small-ship cruise vessel offering the best access to the islands, personal attention from staff, and unique experiences they couldn’t otherwise attain aboard a larger cruise vessel.

In choosing our award-winning company to host you on your journey you’ll have all that and more! However, while you’ve already made the biggest (and best decision) of planning your Galapagos vacation by choosing Ecoventura, there’s still one final decision that remains: Whether to cruise the Galapagos Islands aboard a first-class (ERIC & LETTY) or premium (ORIGIN) vessel.

First-Class – ERIC/LETTY

The Eric and Letty are identical expedition yachts specifically designed for cruising the Galapagos Islands. Built in 1994, they are well-maintained older vessels measuring in at 84 feet long x 24 feet wide with cruising speeds of 8 knots.

These twin sister ships each house ten double outside-facing fully air-conditioned cabins with a window or porthole view, one double bed or two twin lower beds, private bathroom (hot and cold water showers), bio-degradable soap/shampoo dispensers, hair dryer, closet, drawers, intercom and separate climate controls for your comfort.

Premium Class – The MV ORIGIN

Built in 2016, the MV ORIGIN is our newest luxury yacht (and we will be debuting her sister yacht in 2019!). It measures 142 feet long x 27 feet wide making it 50% more spacious than the Eric or Letty. At 12 knots, the cruising speed of the ORIGIN is roughly 30% faster — allowing you to see even more of the Galapagos Islands during your stay with us.

The deluxe staterooms on the ORIGIN measure 145 square feet, offer large windows with views of the ocean and are all located on the same deck. There are two cabins that can accommodate triples and two cabins that have an inter-connecting door.  

2- Itinerary A or B?

Ecoventura alternates two different full week 7-night itineraries: Itinerary A and Itinerary B, as required by the Galapagos National Park in an effort to better reduce usage on heavily visited sites. The order of visits may vary slightly depending on the yacht assigned.

Both itineraries are equally spectacular and active with a variety of wildlife, activities, and landscapes. While each offer passengers with an incredible experience of the Galapagos, there are a few highlights from each itinerary worth pointing out. For example, you may see more of a particular species or terrain on one itinerary than the other.

Itinerary A:

  • You will see all the wildlife on both itineraries with just one exception: Only on Itinerary A, you will you see the Waved Albatross, because they only live and breed on Espanola, which you will visit on Itinerary A.
  • On Itinerary A, you will see more blue footed-boobies, and be able to swim with sea lions from beautiful beaches than on B.
  • On Itinerary A, the total number of miles of navigation is less, and you can pick up a wireless signal more often.

Itinerary B:

  • Only on Itinerary B, will you see Flightless Cormorant, because they only live in Western Isabela and Fernandina, which you will visit on Itinerary B.
  • On Itinerary B, you see more penguins, tortoises, and volcanic lava flows than on A.
  • On Itinerary B, you visit the youngest, most remote islands of the archipelago.

3- Tips to Combat Seasickness?

When cruising with Ecoventura, it is rare for passengers to experience seasickness on our boats. However, prior to departure, some guests still worry that seasickness may be an issue for them during their cruise. We urge passengers not to fret. Seasickness typically goes away after a few days once the body and brain have adjusted to the new movement and environment at sea.

Our two identical expedition yachts, the M/Y Eric and Letty, are each 83-feet and hold 20 passengers. The MV ORIGIN is 142-feet and also holds 20 passengers. All of our yachts are incredibly stable and designed for maximized environmental efficiency and comfort of our passengers. That being said, if there are strong currents on a particular day, there will be moderate movement of the vessel while navigating between visitor sites.

Galapagos is a year-round destination and seas are normally calm. However, just like any ocean destination, weather in the Galapagos can be unpredictable. If you are prone to seasickness, you should come prepared, regardless of what time of the year you cruise with Ecoventura.

If you tendency to get seasick, we suggest you to get fresh air on the deck (all of our yachts have spacious sun decks and observation areas that are perfect for this!). Facing forward on the boat and glancing at the horizon helps manage seasickness as well.

There are many products available — from prescriptions to over the counter remedies — that help combat seasickness. Many people have also had luck using wristbands that press against your acupressure points to reduce motion sickness naturally.

4- Scuba Diving in the Galapagos

The Galapagos archipelago is located where major ocean currents come together — combining cold waters from the south with warm currents from the north and cooler currents from the west. This combination of nutrient rich water has created diverse and beautiful marine life that now makes the islands so unique. Scuba enthusiasts flock to the Galapagos Islands to experience diving encounters unlike anywhere else on earth.

We offer experienced scuba divers the ability to cruise with our dedicated scuba Live aboard – the 16-passenger luxury vessel, M/V Galapagos Sky.  The Galapagos Sky is one of just a few dive boats that spends 3-4 days at the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin (on every trip) – known as high-octaine diving for whale sharks, schooling hammerheads, and manta rays.

If you want to cruise on the ORIGIN, Eric, or Letty yachts, one option is to arrange to dive with a local dive shop the day we are in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz (which on Itinerary A is Thursday and on Itinerary B is on Saturday). Clients can arrange to dive with the dive shop and we can provide transportation to and from the dive shop.  However, by choosing to dive, guests would miss the visits we offer that day to the highlands of Santa Cruz and the breeding station.

 

For passengers that want to dive at Wolf and Darwin, we recommend combining a week of diving with a week of land excursions for the best of both worlds in the Galapagos Islands. For example, experienced certified divers can combine a week of diving on the Galapagos Sky with a week of land excursions and non-diving activities on the ORIGIN, Eric, or Letty – provided they have the time and budget for a two-week trip.

Do you have questions, comments or are you ready to book your Galapagos adventure? Contact us today!