The deluxe 16-passenger Xploration catamaran provides a cosy small yacht atmosphere, comfortable cabin accommodations and personalized service for sailing around the wildlife rich Galapagos Islands and exploring the fabulous wildlife and landscapes.
At a Glance
Offers a personalized Galapagos cruise experience with a maximum of just 16 passengers
The four main deck cabins have private balconies, a rarity in the Galapagos
Amenities of a larger boat while preserving the intimacy and exclusivity of a smaller vessel
Stylish, contemporary decor and a spacious sun deck and Jacuzzi
Small, elegant catamaran. Excellent stability
Meet our specialists
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Xploration or take a look at our itineraries to Galapagos
Completely refurbished in 2011, the Xploration's elegant design, with lots of polished wood, superior speed and excellent stability, make it one of the most comfortable small vessels in the islands. Being a catamaran, she feels surprisingly spacious onboard and she offers a good level of accommodation and amenities typical of a larger boat while still preserving the relaxed exclusivity of a smaller vessel. The Xploration has her own cruise director as well as a naturalist guide ensuring that guests enjoy their Galapagos experience to the max.
Onboard the Xploration catamaran there are eight air-conditioned en-suite cabins. The four cabins on the main deck have private balconies and the two sets of cabins on the upper deck can connect making her a good option for families. All of the cabins have large picture windows and either a queen bed or twin beds.
The Xploration's upper deck features an open-air bar and area for al fresco dining when weather permits. The sundeck on the top deck is a lovely place to relax whether soaking up the rays on a sun bed or in the Jacuzzi. In the evenings there is no better place for star gazing. The dining area can be found on the main deck, along with a comfortable lounge. All meals are served as a buffet style.
From your comfortable base aboard the Xploration you will be able to explore some of the best visitor sites around the islands. There are many exciting opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, kayak, bird-watch and take great close-up photographs of the unique flora and fauna. Only in the Galapagos Islands can one find creatures as strange and unique as the flightless cormorant, the blue-footed booby and the waved albatross, to name just a few.
The Xploration offers two 7-night and two 5-night itineraries. The Xploration can also be combined with the Galapagos Safari Camp for a combination of Galapagos by land and sea.
The catamaran accommodates 16 passengers in eight fully air-conditioned cabins. Each has windows rather than portholes so the cabins feel light and airy. The four cabins on the main deck have their own balcony whereas the cabins on the upper deck can connect making them best for families. Beds can be set up as twins or pushed together as a Queen-sized bed.
The Xploration is not really suited to children and does not offer special family departure dates as do some of the other boats.
Meals onboard the Xploration are either served in the elegant indoor dining room or, when weather and sea-conditions allow, on the upper deck where there's an al fresco bar and tables. There is a weekly BBQ and most other meals are buffet-style. Guests can help themselves to soft drinks and teas, coffees and hot chocolate.
Onboard facilities include a spacious air-conditioned living room and library, indoor bar and dining room, and alfresco dining area and bar. a Jacuzzi, sunbeds and gym equipment on the top deck, kayaks, wetsuits and snorkeling equipment, a satellite phone, private balconies in four of the cabins.
The crew includes a Cruise Director and one bilingual Galapagos Park naturalist guide.
The Galapagos Islands are a must for wildlife lovers who will be enthralled by the curious nature of many of the unique inhabitants such as Blue footed Boobies, Galapagos penguins, giant tortoises and sea-lions. Being in the Galapagos is much like a safari, the crew includes a bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide who will explain the fantastic flora and fauna that you will see on the islands. Your day is likely to include a couple of different visits on one particular island which are reached by inflatable rubber zodiacs and most days include snorkeling which is one of the highlights of a trip (wetsuits are provided free of charge onboard the Athala) and kayaking when possible. If you are an active enthusiast, certain islands offer more adventure than others such as longer hikes or cave rapelling, but otherwise the Galapagos is a gentle experience.
Since the length of cruise varies and the visits to the islands are strictly regulated to ensure minimal impact on the wildlife, it is important for us to know if there are any particularly animals that you would like to see because they are not on all of the islands.
Location & Directions
The Galapagos archipelago consists of 19 volcanic islands and 40 islets, 600miles off the coast of Ecuador.
When to go
There's never a bad time to visit the Galapagos. The peak season lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. The national park limits the number of visitors to each island and coordinates each ship's itinerary, so the Galapagos will never feel like Disney World. But if you visit in the summer, you are less likely to feel a sense of solitude and isolation. From December through to May the water and the air are warmer, but this is the rainy season. It drizzles almost daily for a short period of time. Ironically, this is also the sunniest time of year. June through November, the Humboldt Current makes it way up to the Galapagos from the southern end of South America. The current brings cold water and cold weather, but it also brings water rich in nutrients and plankton, which attracts fish and birds. During this season there always seem to be clouds in the air, but it rarely rains. It's also quite windy, and the seas tend to be rougher.