On our Galapagos cruise we can count on various tools to make the expedition more interesting and to bring a new or different perspective to our guests. One of these tools is a powerful microscope that can be used for magnifying microscopic plankton, look at the fine details of a feather or point out the difference between organic and inorganic sand. But that is not all it can do – it is hooked up by cable to our plasma screens around the lounge so everyone can enjoy the details in real-time while the expert staff explains its natural history.
On every Galapagos cruise we offer snorkeling almost every day. National Geographic Endeavour carries a boat with glass panels down the center wherever we go. Our glass bottom boat is the ideal alternative for non-swimmers and snorkelers because it takes you into the marine environment without getting wet! Accompanying you is a natural history staff member and driver, so all you have to do is sit forward under the awning and watch the show.
For the enjoyment of everyone, and at the same time to record important marine life sightings and behaviors, we use an underwater housing for our digital video camera. The footage is brought back to the ship and frequently shown in the evenings upstairs in the lounge. Any footage deemed of importance to the Galapagos National Park or researchers with the Charles Darwin Research Station is passed along the appropriate channels as soon as possible.
Another method of recording our daily schedule and wildlife sightings is to use the ship’s digital camera. Every evening, a natural history staff member writes an account of the day’s happenings, selects one to three digital images, and sends them to our New York office. These “Daily Expedition Reports” are posted to our website and provide a wonderful log for our guests when they return home; they can be seen by family and friends on the web during the week as well, enabling them to follow the expedition day-by-day. These posts are archived forever, so guests can return again and again to revisit their trip with us in the Galapagos Islands.
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