What It's Like/What You'll Do

How you’ll spend your time and reward your curiosity

Like a floating safari camp, the ship will be your base for an unforgettable Galápagos travel expedition—immersing you in a movable feast, a panoramic experience of exploring the Galápagos Islands. The ship will feel like home in no time, as you discover all the nooks and crannies—and very welcoming, as the community camaraderie kindles. Crossing between islands most often takes place overnight to maximize time exploring. So you’ll wake to fresh vistas outside your cabin window, and daily discoveries.

See a sample day >>

Choice of daily activities
Walk, kayaksnorkel, and stand-up paddleboard. Head off on a scenic cruise aboard our Zodiac landing craft, or in the glass-bottom boat (aboard National Geographic Endeavour II). Take a long hike or choose a short slower walk, with time for your naturalist to share the unique wonders of a particular island. 

Stay aboard and read if you prefer. Or enjoy a wellness treatment on board from our talented wellness specialist. There’s no one-size-fits-all scheduling here: you can choose your activities, activity levels, and staff members to join every day.

See the islands’ diverse habitats & wildlife
Our ship-based Galápagos wildlife travel lets you experience all the endless magic of Galápagos’ diverse habitats: from lush green highlands to stark volcanic landscapes; pristine beaches to mangrove thickets; from arid terrain to black lava beaches adorned with emerald seagrasses.

Explore the undersea, too
You’ll have the chance to snorkel almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Our ships carry complete snorkel gear, including wetsuits in every size––yours for the duration, so no need to tote gear from home. Upwelling currents in the Galápagos archipelago bathe the region in nutrient-rich waters making it incredibly rich in marine life. And everyone can visit the undersea, via video shot by our undersea specialist, on the lounge’s plasma screens during the evening cocktail hour.

New! Scuba option
Diving in Galápagos is outstanding with abundant and exceptionally diverse marine life, fascinating underwater volcanic topography—and highly recommended for advanced divers with experience in drift diving, cold water, and strong currents. Straddling the equator, 600 miles west of the South American coast, the Galápagos Islands lie at the crossroads of many East Pacific Equatorial Currents, where tropical and subtropical waters meet, allowing diverse species from all over the Pacific, and some parts of the Indo-Pacific to arrive. This new dive option is at additional cost, by advance reservation only, available on select National Geographic Endeavour II departures and limited to intermediate and advanced divers only—30+ dives are recommended for the Gordon Rocks dive at Santa Cruz. Operated with an experienced local dive shop licensed by the park, our scuba colleagues provide equipment, transportation by dive boat, and experienced divemasters with the program coordinated by your expedition leader aboard. Whether you are an experienced diver or a novice snorkeler, you can look forward to opportunities for underwater adventure on your Galápagos expedition!

Scuba diving Galapagos

Kayak, stand-up paddleboard & Zodiac cruise scenic shorelines
Our ships are outfitted with tandem and single kayaks that allow for personal, water-level exploration of the scenic coastlines. And a fleet of stand-up paddleboards––added in 2017––offers a new, fun way to explore quiet bays and paddle along idyllic beaches. Shoreline cruises aboard Zodiacs are perfect for relaxed exploration with a naturalist’s narration, and the ideal platform for Galápagos photography.

Enjoy the daily ritual
Each evening at cocktail hour the entire expedition community gathers in the lounge for an expedition ritual we call “Recap.” As you enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, various naturalists give talks, the undersea specialist may show video, and your expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Guests often tell us in comment cards that Recap remains one of the fondest memories of their expedition experience.

Savor time aboard ship
Talks by our naturalists will be offered on some afternoons as well. And when the ship is underway, it’s a wonderful time to stand on the bow with a naturalist or photo instructor and scan the horizon for whale spouts, visit the bridge, or go to the upper deck at night for a bit of stargazing.

Add an exploration of Machu Picchu & the Land of the Inca
Take advantage of your proximity and extend your adventure from the pure wildness of the Galápagos Islands to contemporary Lima, majestic Machu Picchu, and historic Cusco. Peru’s capital city of Lima is less than two hours away by air from Guayaquil. You’ll explore it among a small, exclusive group.

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