Identical sister ships which are two of the most luxurious 20-passenger yachts operating in the Galapagos islands
Guests will be treated to gourmet style menus, creatively prepared by the highly trained chefs
Expert naturalist guides, trained to be knowledgeable about all the many flora and fauna
Get up close to nature with the small Zodiac boats and even a clear bottom kayak
Deluxe Staterooms furnished to high standard, with panoramic windows to take in the views
The first Relais & Chateaux yachts to cruise the Galapagos
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 can be rougher. Most boats go into dry dock around September for their annual refurbishment after the busy summer holidays.
Sister ships Origin & Theory are the most comfortable premium-class yachts operating in the Galapagos archipelago, combining modern sophistication with quality guiding and accommodating just 20 guests each. They are both members of Relais & Chateaux.
The 142 foot Origin & Theory combine a high level of comfort, attention to detail and service, with quality guided land excursions. Head out in small groups with expert naturalist guides for a highly personalised introduction to this unique corner of the Earth; a truly life enriching experience.
With adventure and comfort at the forefront, guests can benefit from a variety of activities during their 7-night cruises. The highly trained guides (one guide for ten passengers) will assist guests to explore these ecologically diverse collection of islands and wildlife. They will take you on guided nature walks, giving you plenty of time for photographs, questions and contemplation of birds, reptiles and plant species as well as volcanoes. You will be given the opportunity to venture out in a clear-bottom kayak, glass-bottom boat or stand up paddle board to get a different perspective on the unique marine life. Meander along stretches of secluded beach, swim with playful sea lions, snorkel among penguins and sea turtles. Get up close to the shore life on Zodiac rides through mangroves and along the cliffs. Watch out for dolphins riding the bow wave, whale sightings, rays, frigates and boobies diving for fish.
After lunch, you can take a siesta or work out in the fitness centre, before a briefing on the activities you will be able to enjoy the following day. After a delicious dinner, sit out on deck, relax in the Jacuzzi and enjoy the views of a sky scattered with stars.
Starting in San Cristobal, where you will join the vessel, guests will either take the Southern/Central or Western/Northern route. They each alternate two different 7-night itineraries visiting the most spectacular outer islands of the archipelago, in line with the Galapagos National Park regulations.
The Origin & Theory have both been built with environmentally friendly, zero-emission materials and all equipment including engines and generators are to the highest specification with regards to fuel saving efficiency. The company that owns the ships meets the requirements of Smart Voyager ecological certification and Rainforest Alliance Verification mark. They partner WWF (Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund) and EPI – Ecology Project International to provide support to local initiatives to ensure the successful long-term conservation through committed leadership.
Each ship has 10 tastefully appointed deluxe staterooms (145 square feet) with en-suite bathroom, with modern décor featuring local art work, fine linens, firm and soft pillows, nightstands, ample sectional closet, sitting area, climate controls, universal docking station, satellite TV and radio, safety deposit box. Bathroom includes shower, toilet, sink, hair-dryer, plush towels, terry cloth bathrobes crafted with organic cotton, biodegradable soap and shampoo. All staterooms are located on the main “Beagle” deck with large windows for ocean views, each with two twin beds that can be converted to a King-size bed, (2 cabins with interconnecting doors, 2 with triple accommodation). Cabins are cleaned twice daily and laundry service is available.
A trip to the Galapagos can be very rewarding and informative for children and the Origin recognises this by offering special family departures during school holidays (for families who prefer to travel with other families with similar age children from 7 to 17 and up). Children are looked after by dedicated guides who organise educational and fun activities including more active walks, snorkelling, sea kayaking for teens and kid friendly meals. Kids can visit the bridge and learn about astronomy, navigational charts and tie nautical knots with the Captain. Special parties include movies and popcorn, games with prizes, drawing contests, ice cream sundae social and King Neptune costume party and talent show. Children age 11 and younger are only permitted only on a designated family departure, recommended for children 7 years and over.
A concierge, well trained experienced Ecuadorian crew with two expert naturalist guides and high level Captain will be your hosts for the week. The boutique offers high quality handicrafts from local artisans, sundries and branded items, or their new cook book “Flavours of Galapagos”. Gourmet style menus using locally sourced ingredients from providers who act sustainable are creatively prepared by the culinary school trained chefs served in the main dining room. Enjoy lunches served on deck alfresco style, cooking demonstrations and an open bar policy including wine poured complimentary. Multiple kayaks and stand up paddle boards, wet suits and snorkelling equipment are available.
There are spacious interior social areas including an inside dining room offering table configurations ranging from parties of 2 up to 12. Gourmet style menus are creatively prepared by culinary school trained chefs served in the dining room. Enjoy international dishes as well as Ecuadorian and Peruvian specialties. The intimate interior bar offers complimentary beverages including wine and spirits, coffee and tea. They have an open bar policy excluding premium brands. There are several social areas with comfortable lounge seating with satellite TV/DVD where guests can gather to socialize or for island briefings. A cosy library is stocked with every publication pertaining to Galapagos and Darwin, and there is a house computer. Outdoors, you can relax in the Jacuzzi or several observation areas, the spacious sun deck offers loungers, day beds, tables and chairs, hammocks, W/C, BBQ and wet bar. The Fitness centre is equipped with free weights, balance balls, yoga mats, and cardio equipment.
With adventure and comfort at the forefront, the Origin & Theory offer a variety of activities during the cruise. Explore these unique islands and wildlife with highly trained naturalist guides on nature walks, allowing plenty of time for photographs, questions and contemplation of birds, reptiles, plants and volcanoes. Venture out in a double or single kayak, clear-bottom kayak, glass-bottom boat or stand up paddle board to get a different angle of the marine life. Walk along long stretches of secluded beaches and swim with playful sea lions. Put on a mask and fins and snorkel to long cliffs to see tropical fish, sea turtles or penguins. Get up close to the wildlife by Zodiac as you motor by cliffs and mangroves. Watch out on deck for whales or dolphins riding the bow wave. At night, sit out on deck or in the Jacuzzi to see a sky full of stars.
The Galapagos archipelago consists of 19 volcanic islands and 40 islets, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
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Santa Cruz Island Galapagos, Ecuador
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