Romancing, Mating, and Marrying with Ecoventura on a cruise in the Galapagos Islands

AUTHOR Doris Welsh

Ecoventura’s ( environmentally friendly fleet of small expedition vessels in the Galapagos always wraps hospitality around its cruising guests and will host vows ceremonies for couples who have obtained legal paperwork in advance in Quito or Guayaquil. The process is simpler with no red tape required for those just wishing to renew their vows or hold a mock wedding after legally getting hitched at home. Honeymoons are also an Ecoventura specialty.

The ceremonies, advised Doris Welsh, Ecoventura spokesperson, are held on the sundeck at sunset with the captain officiating and guides assisting. The crew can arrange for a wedding cake and champagne to be shared with passengers who also enjoy decorations, dancing and music. Appropriate to a mating ceremony in the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve is that old cowboy classic: “Do not forsake me, oh my darlin’, on this our wedding day.” While mating for life may be any couple’s intent, it doesn’t always happen with humans or with the islands’ native inhabitants. Anyone who’s been left jilted can sympathize with the male Flightless Cormorant left to tend young in the nest created of seaweed and detritus he presented to his female before she flew off to find another suitor. And sometimes birds may be smarter than humans because the Galapagos Penguin that mate for life only breed when there is plenty of food and then producing just one chick at a time. There’s good reason Waved Albatross stick it out until a mate dies. Who wants to go through this courtship ritual again? Dancing and fencing with each other with their beaks, partners bend, face each other and rapidly slap their beaks back and forth. In another step, each faces the other in an upright posture, sometimes poising with beak wide open. Their beaks are then shut with a loud clap. Sometimes the birds will clatter their beaks rapidly. The dance also involves bowing, and parading around one another with the head swaying side to side in an exaggerated sway, accompanied by a nasal “anh-a-annhh” sound. The dance is longer and more involved when a new pair of Albatross meet, or in pairs that have failed to breed in the previous season. Blue-footed Boobies also have a very elaborate mating ritual. The male raises one blue foot in the air, then the other, as he struts in front of the female. His movements make him appear to be dancing as he stamps his blue feet up and down on the ground. Both the male and the female stretch their necks and point their bills to the sky. The male spreads his wings and whistles. The female may tuck her head under her wing. If guests see a splash of red, it may well be a male Frigate Bird blowing up his bright red throat pouch and squawking loudly as females pass over head. When a female chooses her desired red throat, the male responds by spreading his huge wings around the female to protect her from his competition.

Ecoventura’s three 20-passenger sister yachts, MY Eric, Flamingo and Letty are charged with helping protect and preserve the fragile eco system of the islands while engaging guests in the wildlife habits and splendors of the Galapagos archipelago. Cruises depart weekly throughout the year and rates start at $3,550 per person double occupancy per week. Shorter options are sometimes available on seasonal departure dates only for a 5 or 6 night cruise. About Ecoventura: Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 4,000+ passengers annually aboard its fleet of three expedition vessels; Eric, Flamingo and Letty, identical, superior first-class 20-passenger motor yachts. The company also operates the M/V Galapagos Sky, a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard offering 7-night weekly itineraries visiting the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin.

To reserve a cabin or private charter, or to receive a copy of Ecoventura’s 2012 catalog please call toll-free 1.800.633.7972, or e-mail To access current rates, schedules and itineraries log on to # # #

For photos and/or more information on how Ecoventura is making a difference in the Galapagos Islands please contact:  Doris Welsh Email: Website: Phone: 800.633.7972