Life Aboard

Great food, welcoming spaces, health and harmony

You’ll find that time aboard is relaxing and enlightening—the perfect respite between activities ashore. You’ll stroll beaches, hike among abundant wildlife, kayak, and explore the undersea all from your floating basecamp and then return for insightful presentations, fine dining, and warm hospitality.

National Geographic Islander’s elegant dining room wraps around the stern with large windows and accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. You are free to dine with whom you like and independent travelers will find a warm welcome on board. Dress is always casual and the general ambiance is relaxed and informal.

Every meal is a delight and often a discovery—a window, so to speak, on the region you’re exploring. All food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious; sourced from suppliers that share our values of sustainability whenever possible, and often inflected with regional flavors.

Breakfast is served buffet-style, with eggs and other dishes made to order. Enjoy freshly-baked pastries, and a bounty of fresh, tropical fruits and fresh-squeezed fruit juices. An early riser continental breakfast is also served each morning, and on warm tropical mornings, is often served on Islander’s covered outdoor deck. Lunch is most often buffet, though occasionally served family style, and there is often an option of a light lunch served on deck. Dinners are plated and served in the dining room, except for the evening when an extravagant barbecue is held on Islander’s open deck. Whether a meal is buffet-style or served, our gracious waitstaff is ever-present to attend to your every need.

During lunch and dinner your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers will join you for meals, and during breakfast they often sit together to plan the logistics of the exciting day ahead.

Stylish public areas for relaxing and learning
Islander’s classically nautical interiors offer comfortable spaces to take in the scenery and relax after an active, but exhilarating, day ashore. You’ll quickly know your way around, with the ship feeling like a friendly boutique hotel. With ample deck space and public rooms, however, you can choose to withdraw to a cozy corner by yourself or join others for an engaging conversation and refreshing drink.

Bridge: You may come to consider the bridge another public room, as guests are encouraged to visit our officers whenever safe navigation permits. Learn about navigation from our officers, and share their enthusiasm for the extraordinary wildlife of Galápagos.

Lounge: The lounge and bar are the main social hub of the ship, and where all the briefings, photography talks and guest speaker presentations take place. With sweeping windows over the stern and a skylight above, the room offers ample natural light and dramatic views.

The lounge is also the scene of convivial cocktail hour where you’ll share your photos or stories with fellow guests. You’ll gather here nightly for the Lindblad-National Geographic tradition of Recap where naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including beer, cocktails, spirits, and wines by the glass or bottle. Sodas and juices are complimentary.

The bar is typically open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and from 5 p.m. until closing.  The lounge also offers 24-hour beverage service, including coffee, a variety of teas, sodas, water, ice, and cookies. Board games and puzzles are also available.

Library: Comfortable armchairs line a side of the Islander’s cozy library, and a dramatic wall of windows overlooks the sea. A limited collection of books includes fiction, regional guides, and reference books on Galápagos wildlife.

Wellness: an uplifting aspect of your expedition
The pure wildness of Galápagos is naturally uplifting. Add to that a variety of spa treatments available aboard, and you’ll find your expedition relaxing as well as revitalizing. Massages, body treatments, facials, and hand and foot treatments inspired by the natural beauty of Galápagos, are all available in the spa.

Once aboard, you’ll have the opportunity to sign up for a treatment at reception, or you can simply ask your wellness specialist.

Fitness center: Our small but well-equipped fitness center contains a stationary bicycle, a step machine, a treadmill, hand weights and yoga mats. The wellness specialist offers morning stretches outside on the sundeck.

Spa: Our professional wellness specialist offers nature-inspired treatments between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available. They’ll offer a rejuvenating recharge after a strenuous hike or kayak. 

Global market: a window on local talent
A celebration of the talent of local artisans, the global market showcases and sells items made by the people of Galápagos and Ecuador. You may find hand-carved wooden chess sets and masks, jewelry crafted from recycled glass beads, woven sun hats and locally made bags, locally grown coffee and avocado oil, plus books by some of your naturalists. The items in the global market evolve as we meet and work with talented locals.

The global market is on display adjacent to reception.


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