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Why Expedition Yachts Are the Ultimate Choice? 5 Facts That Will Convince You

The Galapagos Islands hold a special place in the hearts of nature enthusiasts and curious travelers. An expedition vessel adventure is on many adventurers’ bucket lists because cruising an archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Then, when planning the next extraordinary experience, which is the best expedition vessel?

Sailing is a blend of exploration and elegance, allowing adventurers to discover remote destinations. Expedition vessels and yachts have a unique appeal: they merge luxury and adventure. They accommodate a limited number of passengers, ensuring a more personalized experience and allowing travelers to meet exciting people worldwide. Also, they boast the perfect size to provide all the amenities adventurers look for, such as multiple guides, a doctor on board, the opportunity to enjoy various activities on land or sea -without having to forgo any- and so much more.

Choosing the best ship for your Galapagos adventure can be a pivotal decision. In this blog, we’ll review why expedition vessels are the best option when planning an adventure on these unparalleled islands.

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Galapagos Experience Mirador-Baronesa Floreana Caostal Exploration flamingo

Are expedition yachts better for cruising the Galapagos?

Yes. Expedition yachts are the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands. They are designed to create an intimate and welcoming environment for travelers. With a typical passenger count of around 40 people and a maximum capacity of 50 guests, they ensure privacy and a personalized experience.

Luxury expedition yachts are specially designed for adventure in remote destinations. They are engineered to navigate challenging environments, including polar areas, the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands.

On the contrary, small yachts, such as single-guided boats, face challenges of stability in the unpredictability of the Galapagos’ waters. Also, they don’t have enough guides for all travelers, impeding the customization of the trip for passengers and having to repeat information in two or more languages.

Metropolitan Touring‘s expedition vessels in the Galapagos Islands offer a top-tier experience. It’s widely known that cruising is the optimal way to discover the archipelago because of the possibilities to witness captivating wildlife, spot breathtaking sunsets, and, at the same time, enjoy world-class hospitality.

1. Multiple guides aboard

The knowledge and expertise of the guides on board luxury expedition yachts is a crucial factor that enhances the experience. Expedition vessels take this aspect seriously, ensuring all guests can access top-tier naturalist guides.

When you visit the Galapagos Islands, naturalist guides play a key role. Their presence is essential for their expertise and knowledge, interpretation of the complex natural world, safety and well-being of all guests, and environmental education on responsibility and sustainable practices.

The best expedition yachts include multiple guides who give all travelers a personalized experience. They ensure all adventurers take advantage of incredible sights. Also, guides have a keen eye for spotting wildlife, and they share their knowledge about animals that can only be seen in the Galapagos.

Multilingual Guides

Travelers come from all corners of the globe to the Galapagos Islands. Expedition yachts understand this diversity and offer naturalist guides proficient in various languages. On yachts Isabela II or La Pinta, guides are multilingual and know how to handle varied language requirements. As a result, each group receives an outstanding interpretation depending on its needs.

On the contrary, on a vessel with less than three guides aboard, they often repeat information in two or more languages each time they go ashore. Even so, they might need help to answer questions while trying to interpret effectively during a tour.

The Perfect Balance: 12 Guests Per Guide

Isabela II and La Pinta pride themselves on having an expert team of naturalist guides and providing an intimate experience for their guests.

With an average ratio of 12 guests per guide, expedition yachts allow for a more personalized and engaging adventure where travelers can interact closely with the guide and other guests.

Compliance with Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos National Park has regulations in place to ensure minimal impact on the environment. Expedition vessels adhere to these regulations and maintain a small guest-guide ratio of 12 guests per guide, providing several naturalist guides for every group aboard. However, a single-guided boat has one naturalist guide for all 16 guests.

la pinta expedition yacht group panga ride

2. Doctor on board

Having a doctor on board expedition yachts is essential for guests’ well-being, safety, and peace of mind. If a traveler feels unwell, a doctor can promptly assess any health issues or symptoms experienced by a passenger. Also, the presence of a doctor ensures that the ship is well-stocked with medications and medical supplies. And they can oversee first aid training for crew members, ensuring that everybody is prepared to handle medical emergencies.

Even though you’re not thinking about accidents or medical emergencies on vacation, they can happen. In that scenario, a doctor can provide immediate medical attention. Therefore, a doctor on board as part of the crew can be crucial in critical situations.

Immediate Response to Medical Needs

Having an MD officer on board means no delay in addressing health concerns. They can provide immediate care, stabilize patients if necessary, and coordinate further medical actions. This swift response can be a lifesaver in critical situations.

Peace of Mind for Travelers

Knowing that a qualified MD is on board gives travelers an invaluable sense of security. Guests can explore remote and pristine destinations knowing that you’re near to professional medical assistance if needed. This peace of mind lets all travelers fully immerse themselves in the adventure without worrying about what-ifs.

la pinta yacht kicker rock couple

3. Activity environments

La Pinta and Isabela II are a ticket to discovering the extraordinary flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. An array of activities can be practiced in these yachts. However, multiple guides are needed on the visit sites to enjoy them all. Otherwise, guests must choose between activities. For instance, in a single-guided boat, a traveler might have to choose between going snorkeling, going kayaking, or enjoying a glass-bottom boat ride.

Beach Adventures

The Galapagos Islands are known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and the unique animals you can observe. Some of the beach activities include:

  • Relaxation: Unwinding on the soft, sandy shores and soaking up the sun. Galapagos beaches are a peaceful escape from the routine of daily life.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Watch for marine iguanas, sea lions, and bird species that call the beaches home.

Sea Adventures

Sea adventures are a must on an expedition yacht. The surrounding waters of the Galapagos are teeming with marine life, offering many underwater activities:

  • Snorkeling: Travelers can dive into the crystal-clear waters, explore vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside sea turtles, and witness schools of colorful fish. Snorkeling is an opportunity to discover the incredible biodiversity beneath the surface.
  • Kayaking: Paddle through tranquil coastal areas, mangrove forests, and hidden coves, all while enjoying the tranquility of these remote waters. Kayaking offers an up-close experience with nature and allows you to access places boats can’t reach.
  • Paddleboarding: Paddleboarding in the Galapagos allows guests to glide over the calm, clear waters of the Pacific and discover the islands’ volcanic formations, rugged coastlines, and mangrove forests.
  • Glass-bottom boat rides: These designed boats feature a glass panel in their hull, providing passengers with an incredible underwater view. It’s a fantastic way to appreciate the marine ecosystem, especially for travelers of all ages and swimming abilities.

Land Expeditions

An expedition vessel ensures travelers the opportunity to explore the Galapagos’ extraordinary landscapes and ecosystems through different activities:

  • Guided Hikes: Expert naturalist guides lead hikes through volcanic terrain, lush highlands, and arid lowlands. On these hikes, travelers can encounter the islands’ distinctive wildlife, from giant tortoises and Galapagos hawks to colorful land iguanas.
  • Wildlife Observation: Whether you’re birdwatching along scenic trails or observing the incredible giant tortoises in their natural habitat, land expeditions offer countless opportunities for wildlife encounters and photography.

Snorkeling in the Galapagos

4. Stability and smooth sailing

Expedition yachts understand stability, especially when navigating through unpredictable tropical waters. The stability of a yacht is not just a feature. It’s a fundamental contributor to a voyage that is not only smoother but significantly more pleasurable and enjoyable for every guest.

Taming Tropical Waters

Stability can make all the difference. Contrary to general belief, the sea in the Galapagos is not always as calm as it appears on postcards. Therefore, not all vessels are designed and equipped to handle the unpredictable nature of the sea. As a result, only certain yachts are crafted to ensure stability, mitigating the impact of the ocean’s movements for a smoother and safer voyage. In this sense, single-guided boats face challenges when sailing between islands.

Minimizing Motion Sickness

For many travelers, the sensation of sea movement can lead to dizziness and discomfort, hampering the enjoyment of the journey. Expedition vessels consider this by offering stability that helps to minimize these unpleasant side effects. This ensures that passengers can focus on enjoying the cruise and the breathtaking surroundings without any distractions.

Yacht Isabela II hot tub relaxing

5. Yacht’s capacity

Expedition yachts are designed to create an intimate and welcoming environment for travelers. With a typical passenger count of around 40 people and a maximum capacity of 50 guests, they ensure privacy and a personalized experience.

Guest Space Ration (GSR) – A Personal Touch

The guest space ratio (GSR) is a crucial factor in determining the comfort level of any vessel. On expedition yachts, the average GSR is approximately 28. This means ample space for guests to relax, socialize, and enjoy the amenities without feeling crowded.

The average GSR on single-guided boats is approximately 14. Anything above a GSR of 20 is considered comfortable for the cruising industry.

Yacht Isabela II reception people

A vacation on an expedition yacht in the Galapagos Islands is an expedition into a living laboratory. Therefore, choosing between an expedition vessel and a single-guided boat depends on personal preferences and priorities. However, expedition yachts offer comfort, amenities, and the opportunity to have a top-tier, personalized experience.

When choosing the best expedition yacht, consider your clients’ travel style, kind of experience, and personal preferences. Cruising in the Galapagos Islands promises an adventure filled with incredible wildlife encounters and breathtaking natural beauty.

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