M/V Isabela II
At a Glance
All cabins outward facing with decent sized picture windows
Glass-bottomed observation boat
Experienced naturalist guides lead daily island, panga and snorkeling excursions
One of the more established of vessels sailing the islands
Combine their 6 and 4 night cruise for the most comprehensive of Galapagos wildlife experiences
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
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.
Isabela II is considered to be one of the best yachts operating in the Galapagos. Guests on board the Isabella II enjoy an intimate experience of the islands combined with the comforts and facilities of a mid-size yacht.
Voyage around the Galapagos in high comfort on board the M/V Isabela II, a very elegantly fitted yacht sleeping up to 40 passengers in 20 outward facing cabins, decorated in a smart modern style, with private bathrooms.
Daily excursions to the islands, in small groups, are led by the expert on-board bilingual guides who will share their passion for Galapagos with you whilst teaching you about the local flora and fauna. Enjoy an up close and personal experience with the wildlife as you dodge to avoid stepping on prehistoric looking iguanas lazing on the rocks in their hundreds, watch blue-footed boobies perform their comical mating dance and swim face to face with playful sea lions.
When you're not out exploring the islands there is plenty of space on board the Isabela II to relax and enjoy the views. Take a dip in the outdoor Jacuzzi, chill out on the sun deck or read up on the local wildlife in the Natural History library. And for those wanting to get out and about some more there is a glass-bottom boat, snorkel equipment and kayaks on board, giving the opportunity to observe the Galapagos’ rich marine life in more depth.
The Isabela II operates 6 and 4 night set departures.
Isabela II has capacity for 40 guests in 20 outside cabins including a Master Suite. The cabins are decorated in a modern style and come with air conditioning and private bathroom with shower.
Children aged 6 years and over are welcome on board the Isabela II. A trip to the Galapagos is both fun and educational for children, who will enjoy the excitement of coming face to face with the local wildlife. During selected dates the Isabela II operates dedicated family departures, with specially designed excursions for children, competitions, games and educational materials.
The upper deck on Isabela II has an open air Jacuzzi, an exercise room and a bar with a spacious outdoor seating area and an observation area for dolphin and whale watching. On the main deck one also finds a bar lounge, natural history library, boutique and dining area. Isabela II is also equipped with a glass bottom boat, kayaks, snorkeling equipment and wet suits for the use of guests.
The Isabela II has a crew of 24, plus three bilingual naturalist guides and one medical officer. All are highly experienced and expert in their fields. Isabela II also occasionally runs specialist interest cruises on selected dates, including photography cruises accompanied by a professional nature photographer and geology cruises accompanied by a highly knowledgeable geologist.
Guests on board Isabela II have the opportunity to participate in the daily visits to the islands, led by the ship's expert bilingual naturalist guides. There is also plenty of time to enjoy swimming, snorkeling with the wildlife, trips on their glass bottomed boat, kayaking and stargazing. Natural history talks are also given by the guides and give the perfect opportunity to learn more about the fascinating local wildlife.
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 each island is home to its own range of species.
Our top-of-the-range yacht, Isabella II, was an excellent choice, with luxurious accommodation for 40 guests in 21 comfortable cabins, and a crew of 27. The three public decks had a smart lounge-cum-bar, a well-stocked library with two internet-connected computers, a dining room and a spacious sun-deck with a mini gym and a Jacuzzi from which to soak up the sea view.
An on-board briefing each evening by the three knowledgeable English-speaking guides prepared us for the following day’s excursions, for which we were divided into three groups of around a dozen. This meant that we could all go off at the same time rather than wait on board for earlier groups to come back, which is how many of the larger boats operate.
Location & directions
The Glapagos archipelago consists of 19 volcanic islands and 40 islets, 600miles off the coast of Ecuador.