Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Explore the Galápagos Islands with Wild Earth Travel



The natural history of the Galápagos Islands has fascinated visitors since their most famous passenger, Charles Darwin, landed there in 1845.

Darwin’s observations during his voyage on the HMS Beagle laid the foundation for the theory of evolution. Today these islands remain a unique place on our planet and an environment almost untouched by humans.

The best way to explore this fascinating destination is on board a small ship expedition cruise. Small expedition cruise vessels allow access to otherwise inaccessible coastlines and close approaches to wildlife, while zodiac landing craft take you to the heart of the action.

Adventure travel specialist Wild Earth Travel offers a number of voyages to these islands on a variety of vessels with itineraries to suit all styles and budgets.

The consummate voyage is a 10-day journey on board the 96-passenger National Geographic Endeavour operated by Lindblad Expeditions. Lindblad has more experience than any other operator in Galápagos and the highest ratio of guests to naturalists, who work exclusively for the company.

Lars Eric Lindblad led the first non-scientific expedition to the Galápagos in 1967 and the company has been travelling there ever since, so their experience in the region is unsurpassed.

As passionate explorers, Lindblad Expeditions approaches these wild places with an entire tool kit designed for exploration. The goal is not to show a place off in the distance, but to truly explore it up close and in depth. On board, guests interact with world-renowned scientists, naturalists and researchers, using state-of-the-art exploration tools such as video microscopes, plasma screens, hydrophones, video chroniclers and bow cams; all of which add significantly to the experience of exploring the Galápagos, and are included in the cost.

Unique to Lindblad are its team of ‘Undersea Specialists’ who dive in remote locations and bring passengers even closer to nature’s wonders through the use of underwater cameras. Guests can swim, snorkel, and kayak almost every day using the complimentary equipment on board, or enjoy the glass-bottom boat which is exclusive to the National Geographic Endeavour.

Also exclusive to the National Geographic Endeavour, is a floating massage platform, along with other comforts such as a wellness programme featuring nature-inspired spa treatments, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and top class cuisine. Prices for the 10-day voyage start from US$5230.00 per person with departures throughout the year.

Wild Earth Travel also offers a range of other small ship expeditions to the Galápagos, including a 10-day voyage aboard the 48-guest National Geographic Islander; and a 14 or 18-day Natural History Galápagos Experience on board the 16-passenger yacht Tip Top IV.

(www.wildearth-travel.com)