“I really want to see Galápagos.” Talk to any traveler about their plans, from bucket list to this summer’s vacation, and chances are, that’s what they’ll say. And there’s any number of ways to see Galápagos—from a land-based hotel stay to one of many cruises. But if you want to be in Galápagos, not merely see Galápagos, you want to get out there and actively explore. To have the best experience, you want to be on one of Lindblad-National Geographic’s expedition ships, going to new sites every day, with daily access to the cool tools—Zodiacs, kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkel gear, including shortie wetsuits—that give you the best, most hands-on, full-body Galápagos experience.

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Have up-close encounters with remarkable animals. Each new island brings new creatures—curious or indifferent, but unafraid. Get up-close & personal, and savor the unique absence of fear. Simply be in the moment, quietly observing extraordinary animals uncomplicatedly living their ordinary lives. Benefit from the skills of your Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor—for tips on how to capture your best photos ever. Or lean in to learning—zoology, biology or ornithology—with your knowledgeable naturalist, who may also have stories about having grown up in the islands. Imagine having this in your childhood backyard?

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Snorkel daily, sometimes 2x a day. Or choose to scuba dive on select departures—our team will arrange it for you. In 2016 Ecuador created one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries around the Galápagos islands. And the presidents of Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colombia signed a historic accord for marine protection. You’ll discover a thriving ocean. Delight in an undersea that features sea turtles, penguins, and balletic sea lions, as well as scores of colorful fish. Or, on National Geographic Endeavour II, cruise in the glass-bottom boat for dry viewing.

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Expect to “brake” for the unexpected. While we make for specific points around the islands on our itinerary, there’s always room for flexibility. If an ocean sunfish, or a pod of whales appears, we’ll stop and observe. The point of being on expedition is to be there, in the moment, every day, all the time. And a hallmark of Lindblad Expeditions’ style is spontaneity—after all, that’s how nature shows up!

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Grab a kayak or a paddleboard. Go on a personal exploration, kayaking slowly along low black lava flows with Galápagos penguins standing sentinel, or flightless cormorants waiting to feed. Use a paddle board session as a work out—do a sprint or a yoga headstand. Or treat your board as a platform for meditation, to feel one with wind, wave and distant bird calls.

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Meet someone interesting who’s in Galápagos for a different reason. Due to our long relationship with Galápagos conservation, we are often asked to give researchers ‘a ride’ to their inter-island projects. You get to meet the and hear about their work. And when you head off ship to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station on Puerto Ayora, where you’ll learn about the captive tortoise breeding program, don’t be surprised when you receive smiles as people recognize you’re a Lindblad guest.

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Walk highland fields to see tortoises in the wild. High up on Santa Cruz you’ll find free-ranging giant tortoises, a fascinating opportunity and proof that Galápagos’ conservation initiatives are working well. And enjoy other hikes and walks, at your pace, as well. Whether green and grassy like the highlands, sheathed in lava, or studded with cacti, the varied landscapes of Galápagos beg to be discovered on foot.

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Benefit from our exclusive National Geographic Global Explorers program for kids and teens. Kids of all ages can choose among cool activities, relevant to their age group, collect points, and get certified—for displaying what National Geographic Education defines as the attitudes, skills, and knowledge of an explorer. It’s smart fun for the kids. Parents and grandparents delight in their kids’ participation. And the shared family experience is made even richer.

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Eat well—you’ve earned it! Being active kindles your appetite, and the dining aboard will reward it—from the breakfast array of delicious juices, Andean super-grains, fresh Galápagos coffee and every staple, including bespoke omelets; to dinner choices including fresh produce, sustainably sourced lobster in season, chicken, beef; and wines from the top Chilean and Argentinean providers. All the food served aboard, plus barbecues on deck and our traditional Ecuadorian feast is locally inflected. Our pioneering farm-to-table program focuses on accomplishing good things—improving the local economy and reducing the risk of accidentally importing invasive species, while ensuring you’ll eat fresh, delicious sustainable food.

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