Tools for Exploration

Discover and learn more with our suite of modern tools for exploration

National Geographic Islander is outfitted with cool tools for exploration that enable a deeper connection with the pure wildness of Galápagos.

Zodiacs
Key to our operation is our fleet of four Zodiacs, which we use to land on remote islands that would otherwise be inaccessible. With several of these boats used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer everyone off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. These sturdy inflatable craft are the same time-tested brand Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats. The Zodiacs we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.

Kayaks
A fleet of three single-person and five two-person kayaks allows you to paddle along scenic shores and explore water-level caves where Galápagos fur seals rest. Our naturalists will help novices with technique and prior kayaking experience is not necessary; many of our guests enjoy their first kayaking experience ever with inquisitive sea lions splashing nearby! Advanced kayakers will have the opportunity to explore further afield.

Underwater camera
Your undersea specialist will shoot video at snorkeling sights to share during Recap in Islander’s lounge. This high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of colorful fish and curious marine life will help you better understand and appreciate the marine environment.

Video microscope
See the tiny flora and fauna that lives in the rich waters surrounding Galápagos and learn, in great detail, the difference between organic and in-organic sand on the islands. You’ll be able to view this fascinating microscopic life on the high-definition screens in the lounge as your naturalist explains it.

Open bridge
You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Islander’s bridge is open whenever safe navigation permits, and our Ecuadorian officers are pleased to share their career at sea and their enthusiasm for the Galápagos with you.

Snorkeling gear & wetsuits
On the first day of your expedition you’ll be fitted with a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit. These are yours to use for the duration of the expedition—so there’s no need to pack and tote your own gear. The 3mm shorty wetsuits allow you to stay in the cool waters of Galápagos longer, and protect your skin from the equatorial sun. Guests who own masks with prescription lenses, or prefer to use thicker, full-length wetsuits, are welcome to bring their own gear.

Scuba diving
Scuba diving is available on select voyages at an additional cost. We’ll arrange for a rendezvous with a local dive outfitter that will supply both gear and dive guides. Please call us at 1800.EXPEDITION to arrange diving when you book.

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