Ecoventura Galapagos Islands
Until a recent Instagram exchange, the expedition cruise company “Ecoventura” was an unfamiliar name to me but then that’s no surprise as I have yet to fulfil one of my life’s ambitions to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and David Attenborough to witness the inspiring wildlife of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands which excited me so much as a little kid back in the seventies.
I was therefore this week so delighted to learn more about the Ecoventura Cruise Company and the quality of the product that they have to offer visitors embarking on that journey of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands off South America.
Ecoventura is a family-owned multi-award-winning luxury expedition cruise company which, for nearly three decades, has led adventurous travellers to one of the most extraordinary and untouched corners of the earth.
They provide emotional, authentic adventures that emphasize the destination’s awe-inspiring features while minimizing the impact on the delicate ecosystem. These are voyages that cater to every traveller’s exacting demands without compromising their commitment to sustainability.
Ecoventura boasts a collection of expedition yachts including; two luxury expedition yachts, the Origin and Theory, a first-class yacht, Letty and the 16-passenger luxury dive live-aboard, Galapagos Sky. In 2021 they also take delivery of a third expedition yacht – the Evolve.
Origin & Theory provides sleek, stylish modern spaces ensuring that guests feel as if they are on board a privately chartered yacht. Every element has been designed for comfort and sustainability – from inviting staterooms with panoramic windows to world-class cuisine, blending tasteful design, luxury amenities and environmental sustainability.
Both Origin & Theory are the only vessels in the Galapagos Islands to be accepted as a member of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux collection, joining a distinguished group of hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs that have set the standard for excellence in hospitality. Guests can be reassured once on board that they will receive the highest standards for food & beverage, service from the crew and amenities on board and in their staterooms.
An experienced 13-member Ecuadorian crew includes a high-level Captain, a concierge, up to three naturalist guides (one for every eight guests) and the lowest guide-to-guest ratio in Galapagos. The outstanding naturalists delight in sharing their knowledge and passion – with a maximum of just 20 guests on board, there is nothing to get in the way of your personal experience of one of the most memorable places on Earth!
Every day in the Galapagos brings intriguing opportunities to explore on land, from guided walks along pristine beaches or hikes on volcanic lava and through tunnels or lush vegetation. Observe the marine environment with excursions by Zodiac, glass-bottom boat, snorkelling, stand-up paddle board or kayak. The itineraries highlight the very best of the Galapagos; the amazing wildlife, striking landscapes, magnificent marine environment and fascinating history.
Guests can choose between two different 7-night itineraries, each of which showcases the best the Galapagos has to offer. And if they can’t decide between them, they can, of course, combine both for a two-week exploration of the entire archipelago”.
Ecoventura Cabin Comforts
It’s a good thing there’s so much to see and do in the Galapagos, or guests might never leave the comfort of their staterooms. Along with large windows providing expansive ocean views, the ten staterooms are roomy and inviting, with individual climate control, plush bedding, private modern bathrooms, plenty of storage space and other luxury amenities.
Cabins are cleaned regularly throughout the day, and hand-sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the communal parts of each vessel. Guests are provided with personal alcohol-based hand sanitisers and each yacht is disinfected before each voyage. Crew members are tested for covid before boarding and required to wear masks and other safety equipment based on their role.
Wine & Dine
Dine on delicious cuisine creatively prepared by expert chefs using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The elegant dining room features marble table tops, with configurations from two to eight guests for private or group dining. During the week, guests will be delighted by a cooking demonstration and BBQ lunch served al fresco on the spacious sundeck. The sundeck is the ideal place to unwind between island excursions, the area offers shade with day beds, chaises lounges, woven hammocks, tables and chairs, a restroom, outdoor shower, BBQ and a wet bar.
Enjoy a generous open bar policy including red, white and sparkling wine, local beer and spirits, espresso and cappuccino. Then there is always the intimate indoor bar which is always open for speciality cocktails, wine, beer, sodas, juices, coffee, and tea.
Ecoventura On Board Facilities
Interior social areas include a comfortable lounge for the evening briefing and enrichment lectures offered by the naturalists or to watch a documentary. Borrow a book from the cosy library stocked with publications on the Galapagos and Charles Darwin. Visit the boutique offering high-quality local handicrafts, sundries, and gift items.
Relax in the Jacuzzi hot tub or work out in the fitness centre equipped with a treadmill, elliptical, free weights, yoga mats, and more.
Wifi is available throughout the vessel at no additional cost
Wildlife En Route
Ecoventura’s desire to offer small groups the most inspiring Galapagos wildlife experience possible while offering hands-on exploration of nature with enough varied activities is sure to leave a lasting impression in each guest’s life; hiking through trails of volcanic formations or nesting sea birds, on a secluded beach with hundreds of sea lions, snorkelling with penguins and sharks, kayaking in a secluded cove or taking a zodiac ride to explore the shoreline and spot wildlife.
They understand that ecosystems are fragile, yet important environments, and know first-hand the impact our adventures have on sustaining local communities. With profound respect and admiration, you will gain a renewed spirit about how amazing nature can be on every journey.
Leading the way in sustainable tourism, Ecoventura was the first company to earn the voluntary certification, Smart Voyager and the first company in Galapagos to offset carbon emissions and install solar-powered energy sources. To ensure the local community benefits from tourism, the company established the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund in 2006 to support marine conservation by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources.
In 2017, a new partnership was formed with Ecoventura and the Charles Darwin Foundation to create the Galapagos Biodiversity & Education for Sustainability Fund. Ecoventura annually supports Ecology Project International through scholarships and career mentoring for local high-school students to study conservation directly in the field and ecology-related issues. The company partners with local non-profits to bring needed supplies through Pack for a Purpose.
Through these various initiatives, the company has become the pacesetter in responsible tourism to preserve and protect the Galapagos Islands.