Our active naturalist cruise programmes are the most efficient way of making optimal use of your scarce time in the Galapagos; combining evening or nocturnal displacements with at least two excursions per day; and usually even an extra activity such as a dinghy-ride or snorkelling. These activities are conducted by expert English-speaking naturalist guides.
Alternative island-based day tours (‘island hopping programmes’) lose a lot of time in moving back and forth, often by uncomfortable speedboat, and can generally only visit one closer site a day (at noon). Meanwhile the Solaris heads for more exclusive destinations and shows its passengers twice as much in the same amount of time. Also, large expedition vessels can’t enter the shallow paradisiacal bays where we drop the anchor, thus promising more exclusivity for Solaris guests.
The most exceptional islands in the archipelago are somewhat further away, and beyond the reach of day tours. These distances are no problem for Solaris, reaching the next site before sunrise. You will wake up to a new view each day, feeling refreshed and full of energy to start a brand new day full of unforgettable experiences.
Without doubt your on-board naturalist guide is the crucial pivot for your experience in the Galapagos. Being a superior-class yacht, Solaris contracts some of the best National Park certified guides. Our experts use their extensive experience to lead the excursions, search and identify species and point out interesting details; whilst looking out for your safety and complying with indispensable conservation rules.
Above all our guides share their knowledge, love and respect for the Galapagos’ stunning ecosystem. Their inspiring explanations (in English and Spanish) and fascinating stories about animal behaviour, intriguing ecosystems and survival strategies can bring nature even more to life; not only whilst out and about, but also during explanations or daily briefings aboard. Of course you can consult your guide with any personal questions or just to share your curiosity.
Small groups definitely make your nature and cruise experience more intimate and profound. Thanks to a maximum number of only 16 passengers aboard M/Y Solaris, your naturalist guide can easily tailor the explanations to different individual interests. You can also hear him/her loud and clear during island visits.
Both our smaller inflatable dinghies (‘Zodiacs’ for only 8 passengers each) make boarding and disembarking our yacht much faster, and increases your chances of spotting wildlife during dinghy rides. On larger expedition vessels different groups have to keep a certain distance, which means losing flexibility and valuable excursion time on the islands.
Our yacht has been designed to reduce the impact on the fragile ecosystem. We meet environmental requirements in:
Intimacy is precisely what differentiates our yacht from huge, impersonal cruise ships that navigate the seven seas, and also from a few large expedition vessels in the Galapagos.
Your cruise will be an international rendezvous as well. English/Spanish is spoken aboard the Solaris. You will share your experience with passengers from all over the world, and may even make new lifelong friends!
Our welcoming and helpful staff will do their utmost to convert your once in a lifetime Galapagos cruise into the most unforgettable trip of your life!
Our professional chef and kitchen staff will treat you to a substantial breakfast and mouth-watering warm lunches and dinners each day, all served in abundant buffet style.
The galley (kitchen) will keep surprising you with a varied menu of local and international dishes with at least two choices (usually fish, chicken or meat), rice/potatoes/pasta and various vegetables and salads.
Our food is healthy and delicious; special meals (vegetarian or other dietary requirements) are available upon previous request at no extra cost. Delicious snacks and juices are also served in the morning and afternoon.
Whilst soaking up the relaxing ambience on-board, you can rest assured that the captain and his competent crew continuously look out for your safety. They are always there to help you in and out safely when boarding and disembarking, or driving the inflatable dinghies (‘Zodiacs’) carefully.
Many areas of the Galapagos are near the end of the world and require self-sufficiency. As a matter of course all crewmembers have first-aid knowledge.
Your naturalist guide and captain are trained to deal with any medical or other emergencies aboard. The bridge always maintains radio contact with the outside world.
Solaris’s eight twin cabins are very spacious and stretch from port to starboard. These measure about 2,50 x 5,80 m. (8 x 19 ft.), including the private bathroom with hot/cold water and a bright sea view window. All cabins are exterior facing and have windows and a seaside door (instead of dark cabins with just a small porthole, common on many yachts sailing in the Galapagos).
Both can be opened to let in daylight and fresh air, though each cabin has privately controlled air-conditioning as well. Thanks to the innovative design all cabins are located in the quieter upper front half of the yacht, and not directly above or next to the engine room, which is located beneath the dining room. This guarantees a better sleep during the mainly overnight passages, minimising disturbance from engine noise in your cabin. Besides that our routes also contain some quiet nights with shorter passages and anchorages at relatively sheltered bays.
A cruise through the Galapagos archipelago is a unique experience that you won't easily forget. This National Park is an unrivalled destination for wildlife and bird observation. You will be constantly impressed upon spotting, approaching and photographing its incredibly tame and prosperous forms of life. You will be closer to nature than ever before!
The Galapagos is located right on the equator, about 900km/550mi off the Pacific coast of Ecuador (South America). Nature on these remote islands and in their surrounding waters is so strange, diverse and abundant, that the Galapagos is often recognised as one of the most impressive and magical eco-destinations in the world; together with – but totally different from – the Amazon Rainforest, the Antarctic Peninsula, the Great Barrier Reef and the African Savannah.
By the way, since you are here: what about extending your stay and spending a few days in one of the comfortable lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon as well?
Our shortest routes give an excellent impression of this unique 'laboratory of evolution' in case you have little time, or if you are on a limited budget. But please bear in mind that it would be impossible to see all the highlights in just a few days. On the other hand you will probably only visit the Galapagos once in a lifetime... Each island is distinctive and well-worth a visit, with different landscapes and an ever-changing spectrum of adapted species.
If you want to get the most out of your cruise and explore practically every corner of the archipelago to enjoy its extremely varied spectrum, we suggest you consider extending your cruise by combining our routes (3-14 nights).
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