The Galápagos Islands with their unique wildlife and their historical connection with Charles Darwin are now a national park administered by the government of Ecuador. Cruising is the only way to see most of the Galápagos, and special rules regulate the size of ships that can use certain anchorages, their itineraries and the size of party that can land.
The absolute maximum number of passengers that Galápagos cruise ships can carry is 100, but the vessels of this size that operate in the Galápagos cannot visit certain areas. Smaller ships will cover more of the area, but with less of the luxury of their larger sisters. Whatever their size, the ships are required to carry a certified naturalist and to limit landings to groups of 16 and periods of 2-4 hours during daylight.
* Ships near the 100 passenger limit (slides 1 to 5)
These large ships may be limited in itinerary, but their luxury is unsurpassed.
1. National Geographic Endeavor
National Geographic Endeavor’s 56 outside cabins accommodate 96 guests. It carries wet suits, snorkels, kayaks and Zodiacs, as well as its own glass-bottomed boat. A full staff of naturalists, a library and facilities for films and presentations enhance the curious explorer’s experience.