28.01.2015 - 30.01.2015 -8 °C
Back in November of 2013 when we decided on taking this trip and started to book it, there were very few cabins left – so we knew we were not alone in wanting to see this unique and beautiful part of the world.
West Coast of South America - Galapagos Island Chain to the left
The Galapagos Islands are an Ecuadorian province and national park and are located about 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. They are volcanic in origin and are still being formed. The most recent eruption was in April 2009. They consist of 18 main islands, 3 smaller islands and 107 rocks and islets
Map showing the largest of the Galapagos Islands
Because they are so far off the coast, the indigenous animals and plants landed there by chance – blown by the winds and washed in by the seas. They have flourished and evolved in their own unique ways and formed new species and sub-species. Records indicate that the Spanish and English had first discovered the islands in the 1500’s. It was here that Darwin landed in 1835 and, after studying the flora and fauna, formed his theory of natural selection. The interesting side bar to the isolation of these animals is that they evolved for eons without any contact with man – so they have not developed fear of us and are very tame.
This is a very protected area with the number of tourist boats capped at 85 until 2017. Of the 85 boats, 4 are the size of ours – the Celebrity Xpedition (90 – 100 passengers), 2 carry 50 passengers, and the remaining ones are quite a bit smaller. We selected the Xpedition because of our wonderful experience sailing with the Celebrity cruise line in the past plus the amount of time in the islands was one of the longest we found at 7 days.