Getting Eco-Chic in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands

sailing galapagos

Sailing to the Galapagos in this sweet ride sounds good right about now

I’ll be honest, my father-in-law lives in Ecuador and I’m still kicking myself that when I visited him, I didn’t have time to check out the Galapagos. So, when a good friend told me about Quasar Expeditions, one of the leading South American tour operators (synonymous with luxury travel in the Galapagos since they introduced smaller yacht expeditions in 1986), I was already mentally day-dreaming about my next jaunt down south. Apparently, they’ve also relaunched the completely refurbished 32-passenger M/V Evolution yacht (seen above).
A room on the Evolution

A room on the Evolution

In the days before jet travel when ships like the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth ruled transcontinental travel, self-made millionaires, movie moguls and royalty actually built smaller versions of the great ocean liners as personal yachts. Jealous yet? Don’t be. You, too, can live like a mini-mogul… eco-style, baby! The Evolution gives travelers the sensation of stepping back to a time when travel was less about getting there and more about a style of life focused on visiting exotic places along the way. This unique expedition ship has all of the modern amenities required and expected for luxury eco-travel; and although sailing aboard Evolution is an intimate experience, there is still plenty of space to relax and wander  – a comfortable living room with a library, a bar area, indoor and al-fresco dining areas, as well as a sky deck lounge to relax, read or take an afternoon snooze.
Family fun in the Galapagos

Serious family fun in the Galapagos

Now onto the eco-tour adventure: each day you can discover a new island and its inhabitants not seen anywhere else in the world from the famed Blue Footed Booby, the red-pouched Frigate bird, sea lions, penguins, giant centuries old tortoises and iguanas several feet long.  If you’re a crazy daredevil like me, you can also snorkel with sharks (apparently, they won’t bite) or explore lava fields and come to understand why Quasar founders (and Ecuadorian natives) Eduardo and Dolores Diez fell in love with the untouched natural beauty of the region after first discovering them in the 70’s.
Sealed with adventure (harharhar)

Sealed with adventure (harharhar)

Quasar also operates the 150-ft, 18 passenger Camper & Nicholson made M/Y Grace yacht named after its previous owner, Princess Grace of Monaco.
A 7-night Galapagos cruise aboard the Evolution starts at a one-in-a-lifetime and reasonable $4800/person inclusive of all meals and activities. We think that sounds like a perfect family vacation to the Galapagos and a great deal.
So who wants to check out those boobies?
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