We were lucky to have Carol Sheppard, an award-winning photographer who began her photography career with publication and marketing of her nature photos, join us on board the Flamingo. She has travelled to multiple continents but makes her home in the Pacific Northwest U.S. Over the next few blog posts, Carol will share with us how she experienced the Galapagos from a photogapher’s perspective, in addition to the stunning photos from her trip.
As a photographer, I am continually looking for new and unique subjects to photograph. When my best friend first mentioned a trip to the Galapagos for the two of us, accompanied by our two young adult sons, I was intrigued. At the same time, I have to admit that it took some time to bring me around to the idea; after all, the Galapagos Islands are one of those far-off, exotic places that people rarely discuss when it comes to vacations. And If you are into photography, like me, you might hear about trips to the Galapagos in the same conversations as trips to Africa, the Seychelles, and other larger-than-life destinations.
Its rareness makes it all the more special.
As a place of great beauty, it offers more than just unusual landscapes and animals that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. Going to the Galapagos is more than just a vacation…it’s an adventure. Actually, it’s an eco-adventure, but what exactly does that mean?
Here is what it is not. It is not an extreme sports vacation geared specifically for the sports fanatic. Nor is it a cruise in the traditional sense, although there are some aspects of it that will feel similar to a cruise ship, such as top-notch and plentiful dining. The beauty of an eco-tour of the Galapagos lies in its balance. It offers hikes suitable for the “weekends- only” hiker; similarly, it offers spectacular snorkeling for all, from the beginner to advanced snorkeler.
Photographic opportunities abound for everyone from the novice, using a point-and-shoot, to the serious nature photographer. If you enjoy lectures or like to study the subjects that you are engaged with, you will love the daily briefings and guided tours with the naturalist guides, including an on-board library full of history.
Single travelers, parents travelling with his or her mature teenager or adult child, former high school or college friends vacationing together, and the traditional vacationing couple–all are welcomed and courteously accommodated for each activity.
Many non-traditional travelers avoid tour groups because they feel out of place among groups of couples. If you are a non-traditional traveler and also enjoy the social aspects of meeting new people that an intimate cruise offers, along with the leadership and expertise of an attentive crew that includes two naturalist-guides, this eco-adventure is the perfect vacation. Along with great new friends, you will experience an elemental view of nature as it evolves in a still-pristine and unspoiled environment.
In my next blog, I will describe a typical day on an Ecoventura cruise from my experience.