When you sail the Galápagos Islands on a luxury cruise, you quickly recognize that this is an expedition of a lifetime. Few places have been as ground-breaking in the development of scientific knowledge and our comprehension of life on Earth as this one.
Galápagos National Park on the island of Santa Cruz is a landmark conservation area and marine reserve teeming with wildlife like Darwin’s finches, frigatebirds and gulls, blue-footed boobies, and several species of iguanas and tortoises. Visitors will continue to tick their wildlife bucket lists throughout their luxury tour of the islands, scuba diving and snorkeling, cruising via glass-bottom boat, and following private naturalist guides to observe iguanas, tortoises, sea lions, crabs, cormorants, crabs, albatrosses and herons, even penguins.
The islands were designated a national park in 1959, the same time measures were introduced to protect the islands and the almost 30,000 square miles of ocean that surround them. To witness such a unique biodiversity is to also appreciate the size of the human footprint and the fragility of the ecosystem here.
By experiencing Galápagos luxury in small groups on nimble cruise ships of 100 passengers or less, you get closer to the action. Luxurious yachts with private balconies also offer plenty of pampering to go along with the adventure. After all, this is not your typical vacation whatsoever.