Activities on Board
As we cruise from island to island, there are plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife from our observation areas. Seabirds often ride the tailwind behind us, and whales and dolphins are frequently seen. Our evening program encourages discusion on topics such as Darwin and evolution, Galapagos conservation efforts, as well as stargazing beneath the brilliant night skies.
Guided Nature Walks
The big draw in the Galapagos is its amazing wildlife, and the best way to see it is on our daily guided walks led by our expert naturalist guides. In groups of no more than 10 guests, we explore beaches, lava fields, cliffs, and mangrove estuaries on clearly marked, easy-to-moderate trails. On each island we have abundant opportunities for close-up wildlife encounters, birdwatching, and scenic views, as well as the chance to learn about issues facing the Galapagos and ongoing efforts to conserve the islands. Sea lions, land and marine iguanas, three species of booby (blue-footed, red-footed, and Nazca), frigate birds, and giant tortoises are just a few of the wildlife species we are sure to see at our various sites. Every day we offer walks in two different locations, each one lasting between two and three hours.
Inflatable zodiacs – known as "pangas" in the Galapagos – are our main transportation method from the MV Origin to locations on shore. During our week-long programs, there are also several opportunities to enjoy panga rides along island shores, mangrove estuaries, coves, and caves. These excursions provide wonderful opportunities to photograph wildlife and some of the unique landscape features of the Galapagos.
Itinerary B includes a panga ride out to the Bolivar Channel, which offers excellent chances of spotting large fish and marine mammals including dolphins, sunfish, orcas, and humpback whales. We also take a panga ride through a mangrove estuary to look for mating green sea turtles, schools of golden rays, sleeping reef sharks, and other fascinating marine life.
A highlight of any Galapagos cruise, snorkeling provides a window on the underwater world of the archipelago without the training and equipment requirements of scuba diving. The ocean surrounding the Galapagos is home to beautiful reefs and an astounding variety of colorful fish and other marine life. You'll have the chance to snorkel with playful sea lions, marine iguanas, green sea turtles, the world's second-smallest penguins, and a host of other exotic creatures. Snorkeling is offered almost every day, and equipment is provided free of charge (mask, snorkel, fins, and beach towels, as well as full wetsuits if desired).
Kayaking / Stand up Paddle Boards
Kayaking is a great way to explore the waters, coves, and shores of the Galapagos. We have multiple kayaks on board (five doubles and one single) available for guests to use free of charge in areas of the national park where kayaking is permitted. Our kayaks are all of the "sit on top" kind and require no previous experience. Galapagos penguins, sea lions, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, pelicans, and marine iguanas are just some of the wildlife species you'll see as you paddle through the clear turquoise waters, with colorful underwater life easily visible below the surface. Calms seas make kayaking an activity all ages can enjoy.
We also have two stand-up paddleboards on board available for guest use in designated areas.