New Galapagos Cruise Itinerary

November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Over the past year the Galapagos National Park have been working with the boat owners to change the itineraries for each boat cruising the Galapagos.  As of January 2012 all Galapagos Cruises will be operating on a 15-day itinerary.

Historically the week long Galapagos Cruise was norm and each boat would repeat the same itinerary each week.  To avoid over crowding at some of the more fragile sites the National Park restricted larger ships from visiting sites including Tagus Cove, Genovesa, South Plaza and Santa Fe.  However with the new two-week itineraries, the park has coordinated the number of visitors at each site at any one time and is now permitting boats of any size to visit these sites.

With the old itineraries, if travelers wanted to stay in Galapagos for more than 1 week they would either need to change boats or visit the same sites more than once.  With the new itineraries travelers can choose from varied cruise lengths from a 3-night cruise to a 14 night visiting up to 4 visitor sites per day.

While some of the cruises began operating the new itinerary in 2011 the remainder of the boats will begin operating in mid-January 2012.  The new itineraries will also allow boats to offer more activities in conjunction with their cruises including more options for hiking, snorkeling and kayaking.

A Princely Past

September 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

From Malaga Hoy

WHEN it comes to large yachts, almost always comes to mind the image of one of these modern vessels, in most cases, is accompanied by the name of a character of international importance.

On Wednesday May 16, 1956, the yacht Deo Juvante II arrived at the yacht port of Malaga. On board, were the newlyweds Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco, making a part of what was his honeymoon trip.

And although on this story may have many interesting, perhaps, one of the most prominent is referred to the yacht, a boat that is still operational today keeping the memory of that trip princely newlyweds.

Built in the UK in 1928 on behalf of a British aristocrat, the yacht began its life at sea named Monica. During the Second World War, the English navy, following it up, and rename it as HMS Noir, used it as anti-submarine patrol vessel, carrying out several successful military actions against German submersible off the coast of the British Isles.

After being returned in 1947 to its original owner, the yacht, properly restored, was taken over by Aristotle Onassis, which, delivered to the Princes of Monaco boat as a wedding gift.  After spending several years as a royal yacht named Deo Juvante II, the ship began an erratic career with various owners and names. In 2006, a company dedicated to cruises in the Galapagos Islands was in charge of the boat. Since then, under the name of Grace, this yacht offers exclusive cruises publicizing its princely past.

Galaven I Returns to Service

August 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last week the Galapagos National Park announced that it was suspending the permits of the yacht Galaven for 90 days due to 14 different violations including the unauthorized change of itinerary.  The suspension set off a dispute in the press between the owner of the yacht who originally claimed the action was politically motivated.

Mr. Ortiz, the owner now says  “For 30 years my family has two tourist boats. One was punished by the Galapagos National Park suspended 90 days to change an itinerary, but put a protective action with precautionary measures. ” Ortiz further stated the sanctions were lifted Saturday afternoon and had no political motivation.

The Galapagos National Park confirms that the Galaven has returned to service.  While they did not make the terms in which the yacht was able to return to service we do hope the owners will operate within the constrains of the park regulations in the future.  The park regulations are established primarily to protect and conserve the islands and the wildlife that lives there.

Passengers confirmed a Galapagos Cruises on the Galaven for August, September and October can enjoy their trip as originally planned.

Galapagos Grand Odyssey Arrives Galapagos

February 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Galapagos Grand Odyssey Sun Deck

Galapagos Grand Odyssey Sun Deck

The Galapagos Grand Odyssey arrived in the Galapagos this weekend making her the newest luxury Galapagos Cruise option. A stunning 16 passenger yacht it features 8 spacious Galapagos & matrimonial suites (25 m2)  and 1 Odyssey Suite (35 m2) each equipped with panoramic windows to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the islands, private bathroom, hot/cold water, air conditioning with independent controls, minibar, TV. Twin beds or one faux queen bed and connected suites for families.

Galapagos Grand Odyssey - Odyssey Suite

The Odyssey Suite aboard the Galapagos Grand Odyssey

The upper deck has 4 family suites on the upper deck which can be interconnected to the neighboring suite. The Odyssey Suite is the largest of the suites featuring a king size bed and sofa sectional.

Cruising on board the Odyssey traveler’s are treated to local and international dishes especially designed by our chef, will be served in the cozy atmosphere of our dining room.  The Grand Odyssey offers a large solarium with shaded and uncovered areas, two Jacuzzi, comfortable sun loungers and a Mini Spa offering therapies and massages. Social areas include Saloon, mini library and video library and a play zone for kids (during family departures). Snorkeling equipment and kayaks will be available without any extra charge.

Traveling in tandem with her sister ship the Galapagos Odyssey, the Galapagos Grand Odyssey features 5, 6, 10, 11 and 15 day cruises of the Galapagos Islands.

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