Integrity is one of the few luxury yacht charters in the Galapagos Islands… one of the most magical and captivating places on the planet. If you’ve not had the privilege of cruising here, you should add it to your bucket list. I was here a decade ago – mind you, I am not the bird watcher type – I’m a little too impatient for that, but I was mesmerized by the wildlife. Since they are protected and have no human predators, they are not fearful. You can get upclose and personal without them scurrying away.
Snorkeling with sea lions and penguins, diving with hammerheads, giggling with the swimming lizards, watching the giant land tortoises slow motion mating rituals. Viewing birds and sea creatures that only exist in this one place on earth. No wonder Darwin was so enamored of this magical place.
Ecuador has been very proactive in preserving the ecology of the islands. They limit the number of yachts that charter here, control the number of people on each island each day, and all guests must be accompanied by a naturalist guide when going ashore. Unlike yacht charters in other parts of the world, your week long itinerary is determined by the government. Personally, this all made sense to me and did not at all distract from our enjoyment. All of the rum, reggae, and revelry takes place on the yacht – no funky beach bars at the water’s edge. Of course, there are a few populated islands with small villages.
Integrity sleeps 16 guests in 9 cabins – one king, one queen, one twin, and one single plus 5 other cabins that can be kings or twins. Each cabin has large picture windows, individual climate control, satellite TV, a stocked refrigerator, and an entertainment center with CD/DVD and LCD monitor. A great feature of the yacht is wide-screen media center for viewing the day’s activities as well as the naturalist’s ongoing presentations.
$80,000/week for up to 16 guests includes:
- 8 days/7 nights cruising on yacht,
- Fuel for main engine and generators,
- All meals, soft drinks and draft beer,
- Ground transfers of guests and luggage from Baltra/Galapagos airport to the yacht
- Naturalist-guided tour to highland tortoise area and the Charles Darwin Research Station including lunch
- Port charges.
Additional charges are airfare, Galapagos National Park entry fee, Ecuador departure taxes, transit control tax, crew gratuities, laundry, wine and spirits, specialty foods, satellite or cellular telephone charges.
Available 2012 start dates: August 11, 18; Sept 1; Oct 13, 20, 27; Nov 24; Dec 1,8 2012; rate increases to $95,000/week in 2013.
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