Galรกpagos ABOARD NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ISLANDER
Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic: Partners in Exploration National Geographic Explorers, Writers and Photographers have brought the world to intelligent, curious, adventurous readers for more than a hundred years. And since Lars-Eric Lindblad opened the doors of his travel company in 1958, Lindblad Expeditions has been bringing intelligent, curious and adventurous travelers into the world. Now, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic have joined forces to bring you to the planet’s most interesting places by expedition ship. And to further inspire the world through expedition travel. In conjunction with the inauguration in 2008 of National Geographic Explorer, the newest ship in our fleet, and as an extension of an existing Lindblad Expeditions program, we launched a new Joint Fund for Exploration and Conservation with the National Geographic Society. Both organizations are committed to working collaboratively through the fund to support global initiatives, with a special focus on the regions we explore together. So when you travel with us, you’ll have more than an extraordinary time. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that our collaboration in exploration, research, technology and conservation will contribute to disseminating geographic knowledge around the globe.
Table of Contents WELCOME........................................................................................................ 4 EXPEDITION PLANNING ..................................................................................... 5 Documentation ...................................................................................................... 5 Health and Medical Information ............................................................................ 6 Money and Practical Matters ................................................................................ 7 Planning Checklist ................................................................................................. 8 GETTING THERE ................................................................................................ 9 Flights .................................................................................................................... 9 Luggage ................................................................................................................. 9 Transfer Information ............................................................................................. 9 Hotel Accommodations ....................................................................................... 10 Optional Visit to Quito ......................................................................................... 10 YOUR EXPEDITION .......................................................................................... 11 Daily Itinerary ...................................................................................................... 11 Itinerary In-Depth: A Sample Day in the Galápagos ............................................ 15 Expedition Activities ............................................................................................ 16 Weather ............................................................................................................... 17 Packing List ......................................................................................................... 18 Binocular Guidelines ........................................................................................... 19 Security ............................................................................................................... 20 IN THE REGION – ECUADOR .............................................................................. 21 IN THE REGION – THE GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS ....................................................... 24 RESPECTFUL TOURISM .................................................................................... 26 ABOARD THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ISLANDER ................................................ 28 History ................................................................................................................. 28 Shipboard Services and Amenities ...................................................................... 29 Public Spaces ...................................................................................................... 31 Staying Connected: Email • Fax • Internet • Phone • Mail ............................... 32 Tools of Exploration ............................................................................................. 33 EXPEDITION PHOTOGRAPHY ............................................................................. 34 TONIC OF WELLNESS ....................................................................................... 37 Relax, Reflect and Rejuvenate ............................................................................ 37 Wellness Treatments ........................................................................................... 38
Welcome We are thrilled that you have decided to join our expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard National Geographic Islander. One of the most fascinating and unique places in the world, the Galápagos is famous for species found nowhere else on Earth, many of which display an amazing fearlessness resulting from having evolved for millennia in the absence of predators. It is truly an unforgettable experience to be walking amidst animals and birds that actually seem oblivious to your presence, innocently accepting you and freely continuing with their behavior. The amazing terrestrial life is complemented by the life undersea, where rich marine currents converge to form the basis of a marine web of life full of staggering diversity. Giant tortoises roam freely and lava rocks are piled high with motionless marine iguanas. While some sea lions napping on sandy beaches won’t spare you a second glance, other curious ones among them might join you for a swim. Galápagos penguins may paddle along as you snorkel, and the air is filled with blue footed boobies and magnificent, soaring frigate birds. Although its wildlife makes the Galápagos exceptional, exploring the place where Charles Darwin made the physical observations that led him to understand Natural Selection, the driving force behind evolution, is exciting. Once you factor in the unbeatable natural beauty of this archipelago, you’ll understand why the Galápagos Islands have captivated our guests and staff since 1967. Please use this Expedition Guide for a closer look at the details of your upcoming voyage. It’s designed to answer any questions you might have — from details about planning for your departure, to learning about the history and culture of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, to a full description of the National Geographic Islander so you know what to expect when you come aboard. Enjoy your planning. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!
Expedition Planning Documentation Passport: You will need a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure date from Ecuador. It is always a good idea to make a photocopy of your airline tickets and of the pages of your passport that have your passport number, photograph and other pertinent information. Keep the copies separate from the originals. Please note that it is imperative that you provide us with your passport information before your expedition. Upon arrival in the Galápagos, you will be issued a Transit Card. These cards have been implemented as an additional measure towards sustainable human development and the conservation of the Galápagos ecosystem. You will be given your card upon arrival in Baltra if you have supplied us with your date of birth and passport information in advance. If you have not done so, you will be required to apply for the card in person at the airport, which will delay your transit to the ship. Visa: If you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen, the only document you will need is a passport that is valid for six months after the end of your trip. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please contact the Ecuadorian consulate or embassy nearest you for visa requirements to enter Ecuador. If a visa is required, you are responsible for obtaining it. If you wish to use the services of a company, you may contact Zierer Visa Services at 1-800-843-9151 or 1-800-421-6706 or visit them online at www.zvs.com. International Travel with Minors: The U.S. government requires that minors under 18 years of age traveling alone, with grandparents, or with one parent/legal guardian only, carry a notarized document signed by both parents or by the parent/legal guardian not traveling with the child. We require you to obtain such a document, noting the age of the child, relationship to traveling adult(s), dates of travel, and destination. For example, in the case of divorce, the parent with legal custody must sign the permit, and the accompanying parent must carry proof of this fact. In addition, if the child’s surname differs from that of either parent, you may want to carry the child’s birth certificate. Final Documents: Approximately three weeks before your departure, we will mail your final travel documents. If you will not be at your current address at that time, please let us know where to mail these important documents, which will include ship tickets, cabin tags, airline tickets (if they were issued by us), and contact information to give to your family and friends.
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Health and Medical Information All information we obtain regarding health precautions is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta at 404-332-4559 or www.cdc.gov. Please remember that we are a travel company and are in no way authorized to prescribe any inoculations or medications. Vaccinations: No vaccinations are currently required for travel to Ecuador if you travel there directly from the United States. If you are not traveling directly from the United States, please contact the CDC for specific information regarding travel to Ecuador from other countries. The CDC recommends that the normal “childhood” vaccines should be up to date: Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR Vaccine), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP Vaccine) and Polio vaccine. Physical Requirements: A trip to the Galápagos is an active holiday that calls for good health. Some of the shore excursions involve a good deal of walking on rocky trails and sometimes on uneven and slippery terrain. However, several sightseeing options will be offered, such as a choice of walks ranging from easy to more strenuous. If you are in any doubt that you will be able to enjoy the trip to the fullest, please check with us and we will be happy to discuss it further. We recommend that you consult your personal physician for medical advice, showing him or her the brochure that indicates the places you will be visiting. Your physician is most familiar with your personal medical history and is best qualified to determine your particular needs. It is always advisable to have physical and dental check-ups before you leave. If you are prone to allergic reactions from bee or wasp stings, we recommend that you bring medication with you. Food and Water: Although the water and food are generally safe in Ecuador, occasional stomach upsets may occur, and we suggest that you ask your doctor to recommend anti diarrhea medication. We recommend that you drink bottled water, except aboard the ship where the water is purified. Bottled water is available at hotels. Seasickness: While the seas surrounding the Galápagos are fairly gentle, you may wish to ask your doctor to recommend medication for seasickness if you think you may be susceptible. Sun Protection: The sun is strong in Ecuador and you can easily sunburn in a relatively short period of time. We advise limiting your exposure to direct sun and suggest you bring a strong, waterproof sunscreen (minimum SPF 30). Since you will have ample opportunity to swim during the trip, you may also wish to wear a t-shirt while in the water for added protection. Altitude: If you have chosen to visit Quito during your stay in Ecuador, please be aware that the city is at an altitude of 9,300 feet above sea level. High altitudes affect everyone differently, so if you have a heart condition, emphysema, difficulty breathing, or know you are sensitive to high altitudes, please consult your physician. You may wish to ask your physician to recommend medication for altitude sickness if you think you may be susceptible. Shipboard Physician: There is a doctor aboard and his or her services are provided free of charge. The doctor is available at any time in case of emergency.
Money and Practical Matters What’s Included In Your Expedition Cost: All accommodations aboard the National Geographic Islander or in hotels per the itinerary (or similar). All meals and non-alcoholic beverages aboard the ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wetsuits, use of kayaks, gratuities (except to the ship’s crew), port charges, services of the ship physician and services of the expedition staff. What’s Not Included In Your Expedition Cost: Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees and departure taxes (if applicable), meals not indicated, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, and items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, and laundry. Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance for your expedition, as the terms and conditions for cancellation (as outlined in our brochure and on our website) will be strictly enforced. Currency: The monetary unit in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar. Major credit cards are useful on mainland Ecuador for paying for hotel extras and for shopping at larger stores. Otherwise, use U.S. dollars in small denominations. While in the Galápagos, it is convenient to have U.S. dollars in small denominations for miscellaneous purchases, though shopping opportunities are limited. Many places do accept traveler’s checks, and sometimes credit cards. Most shops will accept Visa and MasterCard, but few will accept American Express. ATM: There are ATMs (Cirrus, MasterCard, Maestro, Plus and Visa) in Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora, and Quito. If you plan to use an ATM, please check with your bank to find out if your ATM card can be used overseas, and make sure the card has been programmed with your personal identification number (PIN). Gratuities: The giving of a gratuity is always a matter of personal choice. If you feel that you received exceptional service while aboard the ship, you might wish to pass on a gratuity to the crew as an appreciation for the service you received. All tips will be divided among the Naturalist guides and crewmembers on board. At the end of the voyage, if you wish to tip, please enclose cash, traveler’s checks or a personal check (only if issued by a U.S. bank) in an envelope and deposit it in the gratuity box. Gratuities may also be charged to American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. We are unable to cash personal checks or travelers checks on board. Recommended gratuity guidelines will be provided to you in your final documents. Please note that gratuities for airport porters, the transfer from the airport to the hotel (if transferring with us) and your hotel stay are included in the cost of your expedition.
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Shipboard Expenses: The ship is equipped with a point of sales system that will track your daily shipboard expenses. You may be asked to sign for certain items, and you will be presented with an itemized ship’s bill at the conclusion of your voyage. Personal checks issued by U.S. banks, travelers checks, U.S. dollars, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted to settle accounts on board. The official currency on board is the U.S. dollar. We are unable to cash personal checks or travelers checks on board. Electricity: Electrical appliances in mainland Ecuador work exactly as they do in the U.S. The current is 110 volts, 60 cycles, and the type of plug is the same. Time: The time in mainland Ecuador is the same as Eastern Standard Time, while Galápagos is one hour behind Eastern Standard Time. During U.S. Daylight Savings Time (March through October), Ecuador is one hour behind Eastern Time and Galápagos is two hours behind Eastern Time. Websites: For more information about your travels to the Galápagos Islands, please feel free to reference the following helpful websites: Weather Information: www.noaa.gov; www.weatherbase.com Helpful Tourism Website: www.galapagos.org Currency Exchange Website: www.xe.com
Planning Checklist Did you…? Submit all necessary forms? This includes: Traveler Information Form Flight Questionnaire Minor Medical Consent Form (if applicable) Credit Card Form (if applicable). Renew passport, if necessary? Please remember that your passport must be valid for six months after the return date of your expedition. Purchase travel insurance? We strongly recommend that you purchase some form of travel insurance, as the terms and conditions for cancellation will be strictly enforced.
Getting There Flights International Flights: Our recommended international flights are round-trip from Miami, Florida, to Guayaquil, Ecuador, on American Airlines. We will schedule group transfers based on our recommended flights, and suggest you book your hometown air to connect with them in Miami. Please contact our Air Department for assistance with your air arrangements. Detailed flight information is available six months prior to your expedition. If you booked your expedition more than nine months in advance, you will be notified with specific flight information as soon as it is available for your voyage. Flights Within Ecuador: Upon your arrival in Guayaquil, you will spend one evening at the Hotel Hilton Colon in Guayaquil, and the following morning fly to the Galápagos Islands. (If you have opted to travel through Quito, you will fly from Quito to Guayaquil, and then on to the Galápagos Islands.) This flight is not included in the cost of your expedition, and must be purchased and arranged by Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions on your behalf. Tickets will be issued locally in Ecuador.
Luggage Plan to travel light. On the flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galápagos, your checked baggage may be weighed and cannot exceed 40 pounds (per person). If necessary, you will be able to store excess baggage in Guayaquil before you depart for the Galápagos. Items left behind can be retrieved upon your return to mainland Ecuador. Due to space limitations on the flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, all carry on luggage may be weighed and must not exceed 12 pounds (per person). Your camera is not included in this restriction. You must be able to fit your carry-on luggage under your seat or in the overhead compartment. On the return flight from Galápagos to mainland Ecuador, baggage restrictions are slightly relaxed. Please contact your international and domestic airlines (whether you are traveling on the recommended flight or not) for updated information regarding carry-on and checked bagged fees, weight guidelines and any other restrictions.
Transfer Information If you are traveling on the recommended flights, you will be met and transferred from the Guayaquil Airport to the Hotel Hilton Colon at the start of your expedition, and transferred back from the hotel to the Guayaquil Airport after your expedition. If you are not on the recommended flights, you are still welcome to join the group transfers, if your flight schedule allows. For further information about flights and transfers, please view the Flight Information document for your expedition.
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Hotel Accommodations The first and last night of your expedition will be spent at the Hilton Colon Guayaquil Hotel. The Hilton Colon Guayaquil Hotel is located just five minutes from the airport. The hotel features five restaurants, three bars, a business center, outdoor pool, health club and spa. Rooms include plasma televisions, broadband and wireless internet, hair dryers, and basic toiletry amenities.
Optional Visit to Quito You have the opportunity to add on to your stay in Ecuador with a visit to the capital city, Quito. With the Andes Mountains as a spectacular backdrop, the historical city of Quito has both breathtaking beauty and deep historical charm. Split into two distinct regions – the historical center, or “Old Town”, and the “New Town” – the city retains the traditions and culture of its indigenous roots, as well as a modern and forward thinking future. If you’d like to spend extra nights in Quito, please see the Optional Extension Information for further details about your options. Altitude: Quito is located at an altitude of 9,300 feet above sea level. High altitudes affect everyone differently, so if you have a heart condition, emphysema, difficulty breathing, or know you are sensitive to high altitudes, please consult your physician. You may wish to ask your physician to recommend medication for altitude sickness if you think you may be susceptible. Hotel: Your accommodations will be at the Hilton Colon Quito Hotel. Located 20 minutes from the airport, the Hilton Colon Quito is located near the colonial Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has sweeping views of the city. It features four restaurants, a business center, wireless internet access, a pool, fitness center and spa. Weather: The average daytime temperature in Quito is 65°F -70°F, and the average nightly low is 49°F -51°F. If you are traveling on the tour to Otavalo, the daytime temperatures range from 50°F -70°F. What to Pack: In addition to the voyage packing you should bring clothing that will allow you to dress in layers to accommodate colder temperatures. Please bring a sweater or jacket, as well as a rain poncho is you are visiting between January and May. You’ll need good walking shoes and adequate sunscreen. Women should not wear shorts or miniskirts, as visits to churches are included and all travelers must be in what is considered appropriate attire.
Your Expedition Daily Itinerary Day 1: Home/Guayaquil – Overnight Hilton Colon Guayaquil Today you will fly from your hometown to Guayaquil, Ecuador. You will spend the night at the Hilton Colon Guayaquil. (If you are traveling via Quito at the beginning or end of your expedition, you will receive an updated itinerary in your final documents.) Day 2: Guayaquil/Galápagos Islands – Embark National Geographic Islander (B,L,D) After breakfast this morning at the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival you will immediately embark the National Geographic Islander. You will have time for lunch and to settle into your cabins before arriving at your first stop, North Seymour Island. North Seymour is a wonderful introduction to the Galápagos – you’ll be welcomed by sea lions at the dock and spend the afternoon exploring the endemic palo santo forest, where large colonies of sea birds such as frigates and blue-footed boobies are found. As you make your way along the path, there is a good possibility you will encounter the endemic land iguanas. Depending on weather conditions, we could stay on the island until sunset. Day 3 – 8: Exploring the Galápagos Islands (B,L,D) In keeping with the nature of an expedition, your itinerary will be kept flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. You will have the opportunity to go on nature walks with local naturalists, swim, snorkel, or explore the waters by kayak. The following stops are some of the islands you may be visiting on your voyage: Isla Bartolomé: Bartolomé is an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves and golden sand converge. You will have the opportunity for a great walk to the top of Pinnacle Rock, a volcanic cone, for a stunning view of the surrounding white sand beaches. You may also have the opportunity to swim with Galápagos penguins. North Seymour Islet: This tiny uplifted seafloor is home to sea lion colonies, blue-footed booby and frigate bird nesting colonies. You’ll have the chance to snorkel among tropical fish and reef sharks at the base of the cliffs. Isla Santiago: Santiago offers some of the best “tide pooling” in the islands. You’ll follow a path along a series of pools and underwater caverns in search of Galápagos fur seals, marine iguanas, sea lions, and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Genovesa Island: On Genovesa, you’ll walk among swallow-tailed gulls, red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies and keep a look out for hunting short-eared owls. You’ll ride Zodiacs, kayak along the caldera, and snorkel among large schools of parrot fish. Isla Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is undertaking vital preservation work. You’ll learn about the Darwin Foundation and their giant Galápagos tortoise breeding program. You’ll also visit “Lonesome George,” the last surviving tortoise of his kind. Later, you’ll travel into the highlands where wild tortoises forage.
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Isla Isabela: You’ll spend the early morning here on the lookout for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the unusual ocean sunfish, the Mola mola. Later, there will be time to explore caves and hidden lagoons by Zodiac, then snorkel among sea turtles. Isla Fernandina: Punta Espinoza, on Fernandina Island, is the youngest and most pristine island in the Galápagos. This area is home to the largest marine iguana colony in the Galápagos. Brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crabs scamper among the rocks and sea lions play along the coast against the dramatic backdrop of volcanoes. You’ll also visit historic Post Office Bay – if you see a letter addressed to someone who lives near you, the tradition is to deliver it by hand. Isla Floreana: At Champion Islet, you’ll snorkel among sea lions in clear waters, and then spend time looking for the endangered Floreana Mockingbird. Sombrero Chino Islet: This charming volcano is named after its resemblance to a “Chinese Hat.” You may take Zodiac rides, kayak or go ashore to admire the volcanic landscape, and snorkel in an area often frequented by penguins, sea lions and small reef sharks. Rabida Island: You’ll land on the bright red volcanic sand of a charming beach on Rabida Island. You can snorkel among the friendly Galápagos sea lions, and take a hike into the island to search for hawks and other land birds. San Cristobal Island: You’ll visit Punta Pitt with its fascinating geology, where all three boobie species that occur in the Galápagos can be found along the cliffs. You’ll visit the port of Baquerizo Moreno, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in the archipelago. You can swim, snorkel, kayak and stroll along the beach at Cerro Brujo. Isla Española: Española is home to Darwin’s finches, boobies, and waved albatrosses. You’ll walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas and sea lions on a pristine white sand beach. Day 9: Disembark National Geographic Islander/Guayaquil – Overnight Hilton Colon Guayaquil (B,L) After breakfast, you will disembark the National Geographic Islander and fly to Guayaquil. You will spend the night at the Hotel Hilton Colon, and this evening will be at your leisure. Day 10: Guayaquil/Home (B) You will depart Guayaquil today and fly back to your hometown. Note: This is an advance schedule and is therefore subject to change.
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Itinerary In-Depth: A Sample Day in the Galápagos 7:45 a.m. – You wake to the sound of the Expedition Leader’s cheerful voice over the loudspeaker, welcoming you to a beautiful morning. You dress and make your way to the dining room, ready to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast. Served buffet style, you eagerly indulge in a mix of classic breakfast foods and local favorites. Over the meal, you discuss today’s plans with your fellow travelers. Of course, you have important decisions to make. How do you best begin the day? Should you snorkel or enjoy some beach time? 9:00 a.m. – You are outfitted in your wetsuit and ready to begin! It doesn’t matter that you’ve never snorkeled before this voyage; staff members are by your side and ready to assist you every step of the way. You and your snorkeling buddy make your way into the water. Beneath the surface, you discover another world. Sea lions swim beside you, curious but not disturbed by your presence. Hundreds of colorful tropical fish swim in and out of the rocky reefs below you. Later, you spot a Galápagos Penguin and call your fellow travelers over to share in the sighting. It feels as if you’re in uncharted territory, and you take advantage of every minute to explore. 12:00 p.m. – You step back aboard the ship and are immediately greeted with water and freshsqueezed juice. You head back to your pristine and inviting cabin as the ship sets sail towards your next stop. You have some time to relax before lunch, and there are plenty of shipboard activities to choose from. You can rest up in your cabin, lounge on deck with a book from the ship’s library, join the Captain and Naturalists on the Bridge to learn about navigation or do some wildlife-spotting off the bow. 3:30 p.m. – After another delicious meal, you decide to join a Naturalist in the lounge for a presentation on Charles Darwin in the Galápagos. Then, you disembark for the day’s final activity, a hike along the shores of the island. Your walk is pleasantly interrupted by the sounds of sea lions and fur seals. You get closer and see them lounging around the shoreline grottos, oblivious to your presence as they bask on the beach or hide in the nooks and crannies of the lava. As the afternoon passes, the sun begins to set. With your camera in hand, you have the opportunity to take full advantage of capturing the day’s last light. Many of our Naturalists are well-practiced photographers, and they can point you in the right direction for the best angles and scenes for your photos. 7:00 p.m. – You and your fellow travelers make your way to the lounge. You relax with a cocktail and begin recapping the day. You’re treated to a presentation of scenes shot by Naturalists on the underwater camera, just below where you were snorkeling earlier, which add another layer to the already impressive underwater world. As you sit down to dinner, you fall into comfortable conversation with your tablemates. You discuss what you’ve seen, where you still want to go and what you’ve shared on this journey thus far. Dining with both Naturalists and fellow travelers, you and your companions share the spirit of exploration and excitement for the next day’s adventures. To top off your evening, you grab an after dinner drink in the lounge and wander out on deck to take in the night sky. A Naturalist is happy to share with you an explanation of the southern hemisphere constellations, shining brilliantly above as you sail through dark waters. Then, it’s off to bed while the ship sails on through the night. Note: The day above is a sample of a typical day on an expedition. Due to the nature of expedition travel, your itinerary will be kept flexible, allowing you to best take advantage of your time in the region.
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Expedition Activities Swimming and Snorkeling: There are excellent opportunities to swim and snorkel during the voyage. We will offer a beginner’s snorkel, with lessons from our staff, from a beach for those who are learning for the first time, as well as a more advanced snorkel from Zodiacs, where you will encounter deeper water and stronger currents. Opportunities to snorkel will be offered almost every day, and sometimes twice a day. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, buoyancy aids and snorkel bags) is available aboard in many sizes, but to ensure a perfect fit you may want to bring your own mask and snorkel. If you are nearsighted and do not wear contact lenses, we recommend investing in a prescription mask (not available aboard), available at most dive shops and online. We advocate the buddy system for everyone, at all times, and children under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult while snorkeling. Hiking: Walking and hiking options will be offered regularly throughout your expedition. The Galápagos National Park requires that you are always accompanied by a Naturalist while you are in the islands, and that you do not stray from the trail. With those guidelines in mind, we will offer you two to three options per day for walks or hikes of different activity levels. We generally will offer a mild walk as well as a longer or more challenging hike (within the limits imposed by the designated trail system) whenever possible, so that you may choose based on your level of fitness. Kayaking: You will have the opportunity to kayak on your expedition. Lessons and assistance will be offered for newcomers to the sport, so all interested parties may join in this activity. The Galápagos National Park regulates where kayaking is allowed, but generally we can expect to have two kayaking opportunities. Zodiac Cruising: Zodiac cruising is one of the highlights of expedition travel. When conditions permit, small groups of 12 to 14 people can travel via Zodiac to locations otherwise inaccessible by the larger ship, explore wildlife-rich coastlines or simply travel out to sea for closer wildlife viewing opportunities. Presentations: The Expedition Leader and Naturalists will offer presentations throughout your expedition. Held in the lounge, presentations will cover a variety of topics and reflect what you are learning and experiencing both on land and at sea.
Weather Guayaquil is tropical, with average temperatures in the mid 80's. If you are traveling through Quito it is cooler, with daytime temperatures in the low to mid 70’s. Water and air temperatures in the Galápagos vary throughout the year. June to November is the cooler, drier season with overcast skies and occasional light drizzle (known locally as “Garua”). January to April is the hotter, wetter season, with typically tropical weather – sunny skies and occasional rain showers that normally clear up quickly. December and May are transition months that tend to have intermediate conditions. Humidity in the Galápagos can reach 80% in the hot, rainy season, and can go as low as 60% in the dry season. Galápagos is a year-round destination and a variety of outdoor activities will always be offered, no matter what season you are traveling.
Note: Temperatures are based on Fahrenheit scale.
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Packing List First of all, the atmosphere aboard is casual. There is no expectation of any formal dress whatsoever; after all, it is an expedition. The Galápagos Islands are on the equator, so it’s important to protect yourself from the year-round strong sun, whether on land or during the voyage’s many swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Most of the excursions on this expedition use our Zodiac landing craft to bring guests ashore. You will step out of the Zodiac either into shallow water or onto a rock jetty. Water sandals/shoes will protect your feet and help provide sure footing during these “wet landings.” You should also pack at least one pair of closed shoes (sneakers or lightweight hiking boots) as they may be necessary for walks on sharp lava or in muddy conditions. A packing list developed by one of our Expedition Leaders follows. If you have any questions, please give us a call.
Voyage Packing List Teva or similar water sandals/shoes for wet landings. These are lightweight rubber sandals with adjustable ankle straps, available at sporting goods stores. Closed shoes, like sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, for hiking over rugged lava. A pair of comfortable shoes to wear onboard as outdoor shoes might get wet. One or two bathing suits and a lycra rash guard or dive skin, if you would like. Workout clothing, if you would like to take advantage of morning stretch classes and exercise equipment. An assortment of pants, shorts, T-shirts, and other casual, mild-weather clothes. Lightweight rain jacket or rain poncho. Fleece or sweatshirt for cool evenings and air-conditioned interiors. Small backpack or rucksack; waterproof bags to keep camera and binoculars dry. Sun protection: hat, sunglasses, waterproof sunscreen (SPF 30 minimum). Binoculars. Insect repellent. Travel alarm clock. Small flashlight for a walk in a lava tunnel. Camera, lenses, instruction manual, plenty of memory cards/film, battery charger and extra batteries. Visit our online store, www.LEXgear.com, for a convenient way to shop for your expedition.
A Note about Wetsuits: Generally we suggest a wetsuit for snorkeling in the Galápagos, however, some guests get by with layering T-shirts. For your convenience, we will provide “shorty” wetsuits for snorkeling. Our goal is to ease packing restrictions and provide added comfort in the water. Wetsuits will be available on board in a range of adult sizes – XS, S, M, ML, L, XL and XXL. Wearing a wetsuit will simply allow you to stay in the water comfortably that much longer, in addition to providing added protection from the equatorial sun. If you are traveling in the cooler months and are particularly susceptible to the cold, you should consider bringing a full-length wetsuit. Other options that can help you stay comfortable in the water are dive skins that can be worn under a wetsuit, booties for your feet, and/or a diving hood to lessen heat loss from your head. Unfortunately, due to storage constraints, we are unable to provide small children’s wetsuits, as they often require special fitting and to provide a sufficient range of sizes is beyond our capacity.
Binocular Guidelines Good binoculars and their proper use can add immeasurably to enjoying wildlife. Each traveler should decide well before a trip begins whether the binoculars you own are adequate and, if not, what kind of binoculars should be acquired. Recommendation. Selecting binoculars is as personal as fitting eyeglasses. You should test several for weight and optical quality before making a final decision. As with all optics, better quality comes at a higher cost. Leica, Swaroski and Zeiss are considered top of the line manufacturers and generally warrantee their products for life. When buying binoculars, the first consideration should be the size. Full sized binoculars are better than compact binoculars both in light gathering and optical quality, but they are also heavier; take care to choose a pair you’ll be comfortable carrying with you on excursions. Binoculars are rated with two numbers, e.g. 7x35. The first number is the magnification (how much bigger the object looks with respect to a normal human eye) and the second is the diameter of the objective lenses (the larger ones) in millimeters. The relationship between these two numbers determines the “light gathering capacity” of the instrument. If one divides the first number into the second, a higher number indicates better light gathering capacity and the lower
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the light conditions can be when observing an object. The closer the result is to 5, the better the balance between weight, magnification and resolution. Binoculars that are rated at 7x35, 8x40 or 10x40 are among the best for wildlife viewing. As the magnification (the first number) increases, so does the potential for “shake,” the accentuation of a normal hand tremor. Many people are comfortable with 10X while others need to compromise with a lower magnification. Binoculars with a center focus are preferable over binoculars in which you have to focus each eyepiece separately. For some, image stabilized binoculars are an asset, but they are heavier and require battery power. At times, wildlife viewing requires a close focusing distance. Be sure that the binoculars you choose can be close focused to fifteen feet or less. Binocular cups. Binoculars are usually constructed so that you can raise and lower the cups that surround the eyepieces. If you are going to wear eyeglasses when using binoculars, roll or push the cups down. This will bring the lenses of the eyepiece the proper distance from your eye. If you do not use glasses, then leave the cups unrolled or the eyepiece frames elevated. Distance between eyepieces. All binoculars can be adjusted so that the distance between the eyepieces vary. You should move the eyepieces apart as far as they go, look through the eyepieces and gradually move the eyepieces together until you see a single image. Adjusting each lens to your eyes. Binoculars usually have two focus adjustments, one that is a center focus that moves both lenses at the same time and one, called the diopter control, which adjusts only one lens, usually the right one. To adjust the lenses to your eyes, look through the binoculars with your right eye closed. With the center focus wheel, focus on an object 20-40 feet away. Then, with the left eye closed, focus the eyepiece on the right eye while looking at the same object. Now using the center focus make sure you see a sharp image. Most diopter controls have a numerical scale so that after you have made the adjustment it can be easily reset if it is accidentally altered. Practice. When viewing wildlife with binoculars, it is helpful to first look at something with your naked eye, and then – without looking away from that object – lift the binoculars up to your eyes. For example, try looking at a flying bird. Once you have spotted it, raise the binoculars to your eyes. If you spot it again immediately, good; if not, bring the binoculars back down and try it again. If you practice this enough, you should be able to see immediately with your binoculars what you were previously looking at with the naked eye. Wearing binoculars. If the weight of binoculars around your neck is bothersome, there are two things you might consider. One is to buy a neck strap, made of a spongy material at least an inch or more wide. The second is to buy a harness that fits over the shoulders and distributes the weight more evenly.
Security In order to comply with maritime security requirements that apply to all ships and ports worldwide, passengers, crew, and visitors to the ship may be subject to security screening. We would like to advise you that such measures might include the inspection of the individual, as well as luggage and personal belongings. We appreciate your patience and understanding whenever such screenings are required.
In the Region – Ecuador Statistical Information for Ecuador Population: 13,032,000 Capital: Quito; Population 1,451,000 Area: 283,560 square kilometers (109,483 square miles) Language: Spanish, Quechua Religion: Roman Catholic Currency: U.S. dollar Life Expectancy: 71 GDP per Capita: U.S. $3,200 Literacy Percent: 93% History and Government: Ecuador was first home to a number of indigenous cultures that thrived on the land before they were conquered by the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1534, Spanish colonists defeated the Incan armies and took over ruling duties. Ecuador was under Spanish rule until 1822, when independent forces defeated the royalist army. Following the victory, Ecuador joined Simon Bolivar’s Republic of Gran Colombia until 1830, when it became a separate republic. In 1942, Ecuador ended a brief war with Peru over disputed land and was forced to concede much territory in the Amazon region. Following a turbulent period in the 1960s, the country fell under military dictatorship from 1972 – 1979. During the 1980s, democracy returned to Ecuador. Ecuador has a Republic government and over a dozen political parties. Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution, its 20th since gaining independence, provides for four-year terms of office for the President, Vice President and members of the National Assembly. Voting is compulsory for any literate person between 18 and 65 years of age and optional for other eligible citizens. Ecuador celebrates its Independence Day on May 24th, the anniversary of the date the country defeated Spain in 1822. People: The population of Ecuador is ethnically mixed, although the largest percentage is considered mestizo (mixed Amerindian and Spanish). Most of today’s population is divided between the mountainous central highland region and the coastal lowlands. Migration towards cities has increased in recent years; currently over 60% of Ecuadorians live in urban areas. Geography & Landscape: The country of Ecuador takes its name from the Equator, which divides the country. Bordered by Colombia to the north, Peru to south and east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, Ecuador is comprised of four regions, each with distinct characteristics. The Costa, a banana producing coastal plain region; the Sierra, the Andean highlands with rich soil for good farmland; the Oriente, which is the oil-rich Amazon; and the Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago about 600 nautical miles west of the mainland and home to many indigenous birds, reptiles and plants. Ecuador’s geography is rich and diverse. This small country is home to tropical jungles, rainforests, the snow-capped Andes Mountains, valleys, volcanoes, plains and a long coastline. The country experiences two distinct seasons – dry from June to September and wet from December to March. Economy: Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas and plantains. Other primary exports are shrimp, flowers, coffee, cacao, fish and petroleum.
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Language: Spanish is the national language of Ecuador. It is always helpful to know a few words in a country’s native tongue, so here is a short list of Spanish words that may come in handy on your expedition: Hello
Perdoname or Perdon
Pleased to meet you
Do you speak English?
¿Usted habla inglés?
Beer/Red Wine/White Wine
Cerveza/Vino tinto/Vino blanco
Arts and Crafts: Many locals don’t distinguish between handicrafts and fine arts, so many creations are beautiful and useful at the same time. The tradition of weaving, although originally brought to the country by the Spanish, is now a source of pride for Ecuadorians. These weavings are now well known and popular all over the world. Originally only to be used in churches, woodcarving has become very popular over the years and the skills needed to create such intricate carvings have been passed down through generations. The well known “Panama Hat” has been made in Ecuador for over a hundred years. The hats originated in Ecuador, but were named after the place where they were most likely to be purchased – along the Panama Canal.
Dress: Traditional Ecuadorian dress is influenced by the person’s local region. One style of traditional dress is worn by Otavaleños, especially in Otavalo and Peguche, north of Quito. This style of dress for men usually consists of a blue poncho, a fedora or a felt hat and white, calflength knickers. Another male tradition is the Shimba, a long braid that hangs down to a man’s waist. Although this style dates back to pre-Inca times, it is still seen as a symbol of indigenous ethnic identity. Women’s clothes are most closely related to Incan costumes worn in the Andes, a white blouse, blue skirt and a shawl. In addition to traditional dress, jewelry is also very important. Gold beaded necklaces and red bracelets are common. Proverbs: In some cities across Ecuador, old buildings display proverbs on their walls. Popular proverbs are of both Spanish and traditional Ecuadorian origin, and many are still used today. "A carro entornado, todos son caminos" (to an upset wagon, all ways are roads), would mean that to a person who is troubled or upset, any option is acceptable. People who are unable to accept responsibility for their actions often blame others for their own misfortunes. In proverbs they would often be described as, “el cojo le echa la culpa al empedrado” (the cripple blames the stone road). “Quien a buen arbol se arrima Buena sombra lo cobija,” (he/she who leans close to a good tree is blanketed by good shade) is an Ecuadorian Proverb that advises everyone to try to seek out the good in life. There are many proverbs that are popular around the world, with each country giving the saying its own distinct twist. In Ecuador, “gato escaldado del agua fria huye” translates as “a scalded cat flees from cold water” and has a similar meaning as the well known proverb, “once bitten, twice shy.” Food and Drink: Due to the country’s very distinct regions, Ecuador is home to a great variety of different foods. Excellent soil helps produce exotic fruits, which can be found on the plate right alongside fish or chicken and plantains. The food of the highlands tends to center on soups, potatoes, meats and vegetables. Coastal menus often present a lot of fish, taking advantage of their proximity to the ocean, along with bananas and plantains served many different ways. Ecuador’s abundance of local fruit is used to make many types of delicious fruit juices. Although it is a major coffee producing country, many mainland locations provide instant coffee instead of brewed. In addition to coffee, tea and hot chocolate are also popular. Ecuadorian beer, especially Pilsner, is enjoyed by locals. Cultural Etiquette and Customs: It is always important to respect the local culture. Ecuadorians are generally very polite and expect the same from visitors. It is traditional to wish others a good day or good night and say, “mucho gusto” (pleased to meet you) upon meeting someone for the first time. Pointing at people with your finger is considered an impolite gesture; it is best to use your whole hand. In rural areas, Ecuadorian locals can be reserved and private. It is sometimes considered impolite, offensive and aggressive to take photographs of local people or their wares without asking permission first.
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In the Region – The Galápagos Islands During your expedition, you will spend most of your time exploring the Galápagos Islands. The archipelago is made up of 13 large islands and over 40 small islands, islets and rocks. The total land area of the Galápagos Islands is 3,043 square miles, about half the size of the state of Hawaii. History: The Galápagos Islands were discovered in 1535 by Thomas de Berlanga, the bishop of Panama. He was en route to Peru, and his ship was caught in the doldrums and drifted off course by the strong currents of the area. Early Spanish sailors called the islands “Las Encantadas,” meaning “the enchanted,” a reference to the fact that the islands would seem to disappear and then reappear due to mists and ocean currents. When the archipelago first appeared on a map in 1574, the islands were called “Galápagos” after the saddle-shape of the tortoises found there. Although the Galápagos Islands were visited by pirates, buccaneers and whalers from the late 1500s through the early 1800s, they remained unclaimed until 1832 when Ecuador officially took possession of the islands. In 1832 people first began to colonize on what is now Floreana Island, which eventually turned into a penal settlement. The ensuing century was one of repeated colonization attempts by penal colonies and settlers, most of which were spectacularly ill-fated. More permanent settlements started on Isabela Island in 1893, on Santa Cruz Island in 1926 and on Floreana, amidst strange deaths and disappearances, in the 1930s. In 1892 the islands were officially re-named “Archipielago de Colon” (Columbus Archipelago) in honor of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas. People: About 30,000 people live in the Galápagos. Of the 13 large islands, only four (Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana and San Cristobal) are inhabited. Although Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, on San Cristobal Island, is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Galápagos, over half of all “Galapagueños” live in the city of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, which is the center of tourism and conservation. The people of the Galápagos primarily make a living from tourism, fishing and farming. Geography & Landscape: The Galápagos Islands are one of the most active oceanic volcanic regions on earth. The islands lie on the Nazca tectonic plate, above a hot spot that creates a thermal plume of hot magma. When this magma finds a weak spot in the overlying plate, it rushes to the surface, creating a volcano. The volcano is eventually carried away from the hot spot by plate movement (in a south-easterly direction in the case of the Nazca plate), and a new volcano is created in its place. Over time, this phenomenon led to a chain of islands that became the Galápagos Archipelago. Although many parts of the archipelago are characterized by a harsh volcanic landscape, some are covered with dense brush, cacti forests and even lush greenery and cloud forests in the highlands of the larger islands. Wildlife: In 1959, the Ecuadorian Government declared all parts of the Galápagos Islands that were not inhabited by humans a National Park (a total of 96% of the total archipelago surface area). In the same year, the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galápagos Islands (an NGO whose primary objective is the conservation of the unique Galápagos ecosystems) was founded, and the Charles Darwin Research Station was inaugurated in 1964 to conduct scientific studies aimed at protecting indigenous plant and animal life. In 1968 the Galápagos National Park Service, the governmental institution in charge of protecting the archipelago, was established, and since then, the two organizations have worked closely together to preserve what is probably the last relatively pristine tropical oceanic island group in the world.
You can expect to see a great variety of wildlife and vegetation on your Galápagos expedition. Below are lists of wildlife you are likely to encounter, and when sightings are the most likely to occur. Please remember that these lists are meant to serve as guidelines only, and do not guarantee specific sightings. Wildlife on Land: The blue footed booby, Nazca booby, flightless cormorant, frigatebirds, and several species of Darwin finches are almost always seen in the Galápagos on a year-round basis. Greater flamingoes and Galápagos land iguanas are not quite as common but are still regularly seen throughout the year. Waved albatrosses are nearly always seen from April through November, occasionally seen in December, and unlikely to be seen from January through March. Wildlife at Sea: The Galápagos penguin, green sea turtles, marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galápagos giant tortoises, Galápagos sea lions, fur seals, and Sally Lightfoot crabs are consistently seen on a year-round basis in the Galápagos. Whales and dolphins of a variety of species are occasionally seen throughout the year, but are not as common. Charles Darwin: Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, on February 12, 1809. His father was a wealthy society doctor, and in 1825 young Darwin was sent to Edinburgh University to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, Darwin’s interest was in the natural world, and it was immediately apparent that medicine was not his path. In 1827 Darwin’s father enrolled him in Christ’s College at the University of Cambridge. As many naturalists of the day were clergymen studying God’s creations, Darwin was pleased with this opportunity to make a living while still following his passion. In 1831, a college professor of Darwin’s recommended him for a spot as a companion to Captain Robert Fitzroy of the HMS Beagle on a two-year expedition to South America and the South Pacific, which was the opportunity of a lifetime for the young naturalist to see the world before becoming a clergyman. Unfortunately, he suffered seasickness throughout the voyage, but this greatly enhanced his collecting as he spent as much time as possible on land. This expedition actually lasted five years, and Darwin arrived in the Galápagos Islands on September 15, 1835. He spent just 5 weeks in the archipelago, of which 19 days were spent on land, but he was amazed by the landscape and the wildlife that he found and later declared the species he encountered there as being “the origin of all my views.” He spent most of his time taking notes on geological features of the land and collecting specimens of unknown species. Upon his return to England, he spent many years reviewing his work. In reference to the mockingbirds, lizards and later the finches that he collected on the Galápagos Islands he said, “it never occurred to me that the productions of islands only a few miles apart, and placed under the same conditions, would be dissimilar.” With this enlightening thought, he began to build theories around his findings, eventually coming up with his Theory of Natural Selection, now considered by many the main driving force behind evolution. Although he had discovered his important theory by 1838, it took him 21 years to publish On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, partly from a desire to gather data and evidence, partly from dread at all the controversy surrounding theories of evolution. He was eventually pushed to publish in 1859, after almost being scooped the previous year by a young naturalist named Alfred Russel Wallace. It sold out in one day and an ongoing passionate debate followed its release, which drastically changed the world’s perception of nature and evolution. Charles Darwin died on April 29, 1882 and is buried at Westminster Abbey in London.
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Respectful Tourism A Family Tradition The Lindblad name is synonymous with pioneering small ship expedition cruises and responsible travel. A multigenerational commitment to exploration, innovation and conservation has continually defined the Lindblad approach to travel — from the earliest explorations led by Lars-Eric, to today’s mission-driven alliance with National Geographic. For 50 years, the Lindblad family has explored the world’s wildest places, discovering the wonder and joy of inspiring, meaningful travel.
Conservation Support Working in partnership, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, are more committed than ever to preserving the world’s beautiful and pristine places. By joining forces, we are eager to engage more individuals to care about the planet and actively participate in its conservation. Both organizations are committed to working collaboratively to support initiatives around the world and have created the Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Fund to focus special attention on the regions we explore together. It is our shared belief that It is the passion and insistence of visitors to these places that will ensure their preservation.
“We have a duty to pass the planet along to future generations in as unspoiled a way as possible. This requires intelligence, foresight, understanding and creative effort.” — Lars-Eric Lindblad, Passport to Anywhere
The Lindblad/National Geographic Fund • Sven Lindblad created the Galápagos Conservation Fund (the Lindblad/National Geographic Fund’s former name) in 1997 following repeated requests from his guests who wanted to make a personal statement about their commitment to Galápagos’ conservation. • In 2008 all of our conservation programs were combined under the umbrella of the Lindblad/National Geographic Fund. As of the close of 2010, over $6.5 million has been raised for projects around the globe. Galápagos Conservation Efforts • Over 20,000 guests have contributed to raising funds for local conservation projects in the Galápagos totaling almost $5 Million. • We work closely with the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station on all conservation initiatives. • Contributions have led to many important conservation victories such as the eradication of feral pigs on Santiago Island and the support of National Park Marine Reserve patrol boats.
Community Development We have always believed in supporting the local communities to which we bring guests. One way that we have chosen to give back to the Galápagos is through the support of local micro-enterprise initiatives. FUDECA In 2007, we established a foundation in Ecuador, FUDECA (Fundacion de Artesanos Ecuatonanos) with the goal of supporting the development of skilled artisan to promote traditional craft production and generate economic growth at the local level. Through assistance with product creation and design, as well as training seminars that teach the skills necessary to run a successful craft based enterprise, we hope to encourage more local artisans to take part in this Galápagos Islands’ initiative. Glass Recycling Project Launched in 2008, the Glass Recycling Project is based in Puerto Ayora. This project seeks to reuse glass waste by transforming it into jewelry art objects and glassware. We work with master glassmaker, John Gilvey, the founder of Hudson Beach Glass in Beacon, NY on this project. Fund For Local Conservation Action (FALC) Grants FALC was established to provide small grants for locally initiated conservation-oriented projects from small enterprises in Galápagos. The idea behind FALC is to encourage those who live in the Galápagos to become involved in the conservation of their home islands. One of the first FALC recipients was a fisherman named Alberto Granja. He tells a story that one day he was out fishing for lobster. As was customary, he disposed of his used engine oil overboard. Later that day he proceeded to make a great catch of lobster and had an epiphany: he, like other fishermen and boat operators, were busy destroying their own livelihood. He then came up with the idea to start an oil recovery and disposal project in Santa Cruz, and applied for FALC funds to jump-start this idea. This initial project developed into a highly effective program, involving both land and maritime transportation, and collecting used oils from fishermen, tour operators and even the local electricity plant.
NOTE: An endemic moth species, Undulambia Lindbladi, was named after Sven-Olof Lindblad in recognition of his conservation achievements in the region. And, in early 2008, Sven Lindblad was granted an award by the municipality of Puerto Ayora, the largest city in Galápagos, for his commitment to the preservation and conservation of the Galápagos archipelago and his commitment to the welfare of the Galápagos community.
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Aboard the National Geographic Islander History The National Geographic Islander was built in 1995 at the Chantier Naval de Marseille shipyard in France. The ship was originally named Rivage Guadeloupe, and was deployed in the Caribbean. In 2003, the ship was rebuilt in Santander, Spain, and began to operate in England and Scotland under its new name, Lord of the Highlands. In August of 2004, Lindblad Expeditions bought and made modifications to the vessel, including adding a fitness center, LEXspa, library and email center as well as upgrading the dining room and lounge. Following the upgrades, Lindblad Expeditions renamed the ship Islander and deployed it to the GalĂĄpagos Islands on a year-round basis. In 2007, the ship was re-launched as National Geographic Islander to signify the exciting partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, two of the leading entities in exploration, scientific innovation and expedition leadership.
Shipboard Services and Amenities Air Conditioning: The ship is air conditioned throughout. Each cabin has its own thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature level in your cabin. Cabin Amenities: Shampoo, shower gel and lotion are all available in cabin bathrooms, as well as an Expedition Essential Kit. Hair dryers are available in each cabin. Cabin Keys: We do not issue keys to the cabins on this vessel. Cabin doors may be locked from the inside. Daily Program: Each evening a copy of the following day’s Daily Program will be placed in your cabin. Please remember that in remote areas or when weather conditions play an important role, the day’s events and timing may be altered. Flexibility is a must. If plans must be changed, you will be notified via the public address system. Electrical Current: The electrical current on the ship is 110 volts (the typical American two-slot design). Video camera rechargers, hair dryers and other small appliances may be operated without converters or adapters from cabin outlets. Please check with a crewmember before using any other appliances. Laundry: At an additional charge, the ship’s laundry will handle personal laundry and pressing. There are no facilities for dry cleaning on board. Luggage Storage: Your cabin has been designed so that luggage can be stored under your bed. There is ample space to hang and store clothing in your cabin. Due to space limitations, we cannot store your luggage in other areas on board the ship. Meals: Our shipboard chefs prepare international cuisine with an Ecuadorian flair on this expedition, using fresh ingredients whenever possible, including locally grown produce and sustainably caught seafood. Breakfast and lunch will be served buffet style, with different cold and hot options to choose from daily. Each evening, you will have the opportunity to choose between three dinner entrees – meat, fish, or vegetarian. Dinner choices will change on a nightly basis. Every morning early riser pastries are served in the Lounge beginning an hour before breakfast is served in the Dining Room. There is also a 24 hour coffee and soda station available. Please advise us of any dietary restrictions or allergies on the Traveler Information Form, so that we may prepare in advance to accommodate you. Smoking: Smoking is allowed only in designated outdoor areas. Smoking is not permitted in guest cabins. Valuables: The ship is not equipped with safety deposit boxes. We recommend that you leave jewelry and other valuables at home. If you do bring valuables, each cabin has a small lockable drawer where such items can be stored. Video Chronicler: We send our videographers “on assignment” to remote and pristine corners of the globe 365 days a year. With cameras at-the-ready 24 hours a day and seven days a week, these talented professionals have just one goal: to capture the essence of each expedition for you. A Voyage DVD will be available for purchase at the end of your expedition.
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Public Spaces Bar: The Bar is located in the Lounge on the Bridge Deck. It is typically open from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. until closing. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including bottled wines, cocktails, specialty drinks, spirits and wines by the glass. There is also a 24-hour self-service Beverage Station in the Lounge with coffee, tea, soft drinks, water, ice and cookies. Bridge: The ship is operated with an “Open Bridge” policy and you are welcome on the Bridge at the discretion of the Watch Officer. Please note that there may be times, such as at night, during vessel maneuvering, or due to security regulations when the Bridge is restricted to shipboard personnel only. Dining Room: The Dining Room is located aft on the Main Deck. There will be “open seating” for meals with unassigned tables. At occasional mealtimes, mainly at breakfast, the Expedition Leader and Naturalists will share a table to work on the day’s logistics. At other times they will be joining you for meals. Fitness Center: The Fitness Center is located aft on the Bridge Deck and contains a variety of exercise equipment. The following equipment is available: a stationary bicycle, a step machine, a treadmill, hand weights and yoga mats. Global Market: We believe that every voyage should include an opportunity to explore a region’s artisanal heritage and crafts. To this end, we have selected an array of specialty items for sale onboard. All purchases go toward the Lindblad Artisan Fund, whose purpose is to provide support to a variety of communities around the world to develop their craft potential more effectively, safety and successfully. 5% of all National Geographic Islander Global Market sales will be earmarked for this fund, and the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund will match dollar for dollar what is raised through these earmarks. The Global Market display case is located on the Main Deck across from Reception. Due to space limitations, the entire collection will generally be on display twice per voyage. LEXspa: Our LEXspa is located forward on the Main Deck and is your source for revitalizing and relaxing treatments aboard. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a treatment once you get onboard, and they are serviced on a first come first served basis. Library: The Library is located on the Bridge Deck. It includes a wide range of novels and reference books. Lounge: The lounge is located aft on the Bridge Deck. It’s where you’ll gather for daily recaps, lectures and presentations. It is also where the bar and Beverage Station are located. Games and puzzles are available in the Lounge.
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Staying Connected: Email • Fax • Internet • Phone • Mail Satellite Internet Access: All National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions vessels feature satellite internet access available through the purchase of pre-paid access cards. Guests can go online using: • Onboard “Guest Internet Kiosks” • Designated “Wireless Access Areas” including each lounge There are three pricing options available: • Gold Card - 250 minutes for $100.00 ($0.40 per minute) • Silver Card - 100 minutes for $55.00 ($0.55 per minute) • White Card - 30 minutes for $22.50 ($0.75 per minute) Cards are used in the same way as most calling cards, by entering a username and scratching off the silver strip on back of the card to determine the PIN. Cards are valid onboard select National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions vessels for one year after initial activation. Minutes can be used anytime throughout the voyage. They do not have to be used in a single session. Pre-paid internet cards may be used interchangeably for access on a personal laptop and at the internet kiosks.
Internet Gold Card 250 minutes – $100.00 ($0.40 per minute)
Internet Silver Card 100 minutes – $55.00 ($0.55 per minute)
Telephone/Fax: All National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions vessels feature satellite telephone access and fax access. Telephone numbers for contacting the vessel are provided in your final documents. Additional information on making phone calls or sending/receiving faxes can be found once you’re onboard in your cabin Guest Directory. Regular Mail: Postcards are available for purchase aboard the ship. If you’d like to send mail from your expedition, you may do so through the services of the ship’s Purser. Daily Expedition Reports: Each day our expedition teams file Daily Expedition Reports (D.E.R.s) directly from our ships, relayed to us via satellite, detailing intriguing aspects of their voyages. Our experts may write about a notable wildlife sighting, or may simply recollect the day’s events.
Please note that satellite internet access may not always be possible. Prices subject to change.
Internet White Card 30 minutes – $22.00 ($0.75 per minute)
Telephone Card $35.00
Tools of Exploration Kayaks: The ship is equipped with a small fleet of one and two-person kayaks. Our naturalists will help novices learn this increasingly popular sport, while experts have the opportunity to explore further afield. You can enjoy the freedom and water-level perspective experienced in kayaks. Kayaking is an activity that is highly regulated by the GalĂĄpagos National Park Service, and the number of kayaks and kayaking outings we are allowed to offer are limited. However, we will do our best to accommodate all guests interested in kayaking. Underwater Camera: This is a video camera that fits into an underwater housing, which is used by our staff during snorkeling trips to capture underwater footage, which will be shared onboard in the evenings. A staff member will sometimes jump in to capture footage of special sightings, such as whales or sunfish. Video Microscope: The video microscope is a tool for exploring the microscopic world. It allows a member of our staff to highlight tiny flora and fauna via the shipâ€™s plasma screen monitors in the lounge, allowing all guests to view simultaneously what a naturalist is discussing. Zodiacs: Key to our operation is our fleet of Zodiacs, which we use to land on remote islands that would otherwise be inaccessible. These sturdy inflatable rubber boats are the same craft that Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boat afloat. The Zodiacs we use are 19 feet long, powered by fourstroke outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.
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Expedition Photography Our ships travel to the world’s most photogenic places. And throughout our 40-plus year history, there has been a symbiotic link between our expeditions and photography. Since 2006, the Lindblad-National Geographic alliance has given our guests unique access to the National Geographic Photographers as travel companions and photo advisors in the most extraordinary locations on the planet. Now, every ship in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet will offer guests an unprecedented service: an onboard certified Photo Instructor. Guests of any interest or skill level will be able to rely on the assistance of our trained instructor who has completed a training program developed by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. These instructors will be available for help operating your camera model, instruction on elements of composition and useful shooting tips – everywhere we travel. No matter what your level of interest, or what kind of equipment you use, you are invited to experience photography – expedition style. The following will help you prepare for your upcoming expedition. Equipment: To get the most from the photo opportunities during your voyage, be sure to prepare and practice before you leave home. Regardless of what camera you use–film or digital–check that it is working properly. If you purchase a new camera, or have an old one that has not been used for a long time, take time to review the basic functions and try shooting pictures to ensure that it’s functioning properly. If shooting digital, practice downloading your images to your laptop computer or digital storage device. Then re-format the memory card in-camera, which is the best way to erase memory cards. Also, take time review your camera manual and bring it with you (or a PDF file of the manual) so we can help address any unexpected problems you may encounter. Protecting Your Gear: It’s important to have a small camera bag, backpack, or beltpack for carrying all your camera gear and accessories. For navigating airports, carry-on as much essential photo gear as possible. For ease of navigating through airports, consider a rolling camera bag that fits the over-head luggage bins for transporting camera bodies, lenses, memory cards, and batteries and charger. If traveling with a laptop computer, consider a separate computer bag that slips over the handle of the rolling bag to carry your laptop, card reader, flash drive, external hard drive, and any power cords or cables. Pack your tripod, monopod, and any non-essential accessories with your clothes in a large soft-sided duffle (also with wheels). And in certain destinations – like Antarctica and Svalbard – you need to be prepared for wet landings and splashy Zodiac rides getting ashore, so it’s important to have a dry bag or heavy plastic bag to protect your gear. Batteries: Modern cameras will not operate without a charged and functioning battery. Weak or dead batteries account for the largest percentage of camera problems on expeditions. For this reason, please bring extra camera batteries with you, even if the one in your camera is new, and replace batteries if they’re approaching two years old. For digital cameras, and many film cameras as well, rechargeable batteries are a great option. Digital cameras can use up batteries fairly quickly, depending on the camera make and model, and how often you review images in-camera. Bring at least one extra battery (or battery set) so you can have one in the charger and one in the camera. For cold destinations, consider a third battery so you always have a spare. For rechargeable AA, look for chargers with a fast recharge time.
Memory Cards: Memory cards are the digital equivalent of film and, like film, they come in different types (e.g., compact flash (CF), secure digital (SD), smart media, memory stick) and sizes (e.g., 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, etc.). Be sure to be aware of what kind of memory card your camera requires and bring as many as you think you’ll need. Alternatively, you might consider bringing a laptop computer and digital storage device for downloading images from your memory cards (see below). If you are new to digital, consult your camera manual to learn the different image resolution and JPEG compression settings on your camera. This will determine how many photos will fit on your memory cards and what quality of image is required for your end use (e.g., the higher the resolution the larger the print you can make). For best results, we recommend shooting at the highest resolution and lowest compression setting. Some memory cards are available for purchase onboard, but in limited quantities and varieties. Laptop Computer: We strongly encourage bringing a laptop computer, which are getting lighter and more efficient with each generation. Laptops allow for easy downloading images from digital cameras and let you view, edit, store, and share your images while you travel. But even after downloading to your laptop, you still need to back up your images to an external hard drive, as it’s important that you always have two copies of your images in case of a computer crash (see below). Portable Hard Drives: When traveling with a laptop computer, it’s important to have an external hard drive for backing up your images. The price of digital memory has dropped in recent years, making it very affordable to backup and store your images while on the go. From Western Digital to LaCie, there are many makes and models to choose from, ranging in size from 100GB to 1TB (if shooting video). As with all new equipment, be sure to practice backing up your laptop before you leave home. Jump Drives: Also called “flash” or “thumb drives,” these tiny units offer an easy solution for transferring and sharing digital images. They come in sizes from 1GB on up to 16GB and larger. Jump drives are also a great way to keep extra copies of your passport, camera manual (PDF file) and other important travel documents. Jump drives are available for purchase onboard, but in limited quantities and varieties. Digital Storage Devices: If you prefer not to carry the extra weight of a laptop computer, consider instead a digital storage device. There are many varieties on the market, some that even have an LCD screen for viewing and editing your images (like the Epson P7000). But remember, even if you have downloaded to a digital storage device, you have still not backed-up your images unless you download to a second device. For this reason, you may still want to keep all your images on the memory cards until you return home and can backup all images properly. Digital Camera Cables: One of the greatest advantages of shooting digital is the ability to review and share your daily images with others. It is important to remember to bring along the cables that will allow your camera to connect with a computer (USB), TV monitor (VGA), or storage device. Tripods and Beanbags: Many photographers use a tripod to keep the camera steady in low-light situations and also for using long telephoto lenses. If you are a dedicated tripod user
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(and have your own personal “tripod Sherpa” to carry it), then feel free to bring your tripod for working on shore. However, tripods are not useful on ships, as they tend to transmit the ship’s vibrations. On deck a monopod is much more practical, as they work well with today’s imagestabilized lenses and will help you be more patient, since you not holding your camera. Monopods also double as a walking stick. Beanbags placed on the ship’s railing absorb and minimize the ship’s vibrations. The popular Bucky™ traveler’s neck support is great for plane flights and doubles as a beanbag during your voyage. Onboard Downloading Services: For guests who choose not to travel with their own laptop or digital storage device, yet find themselves in an emergency situation with all their memory cards full, we offer several different solutions for downloading images during the voyage. At the present time, there is a digital photo kiosk available only onboard the National Geographic Explorer, for downloading various types of digital media to CDs and DVDs. CDs and DVDs for the kiosk may be purchased from the Global Gallery. Other ships in the fleet have a computer workstation available for downloading to jump drives or portable hard drives, but not for burning CDs or DVDs, since this technology is slow and rapidly becoming outdated. If you choose not to bring your own laptop, be sure to bring a portable hard drive for transferring your images.
PHOTO CREDITS: Annie Griffiths Belt, Stewart Cohen, Alexandra C. Daley-Clark, Ralph Lee Hopkins, Sven-Olof Lindblad, Cindy Manning, Michael S. Nolan, Shutterstock, Rikki Swenson, Jack Swenson. “In the Region” flag & map: Central Intelligence Agency
Tonic of Wellness Relax, Reflect and Rejuvenate We believe that exploring nature can lead to some of the most inspirational, reflective and rejuvenating moments you can have. We invite you to tap into your own notion of wellness during your voyage, in whatever way you choose. From movement sessions on deck to wellness treatments inspired by the natural world, we offer a variety of options that help you connect with your surroundings. Our staff will provide guidance and expertise that helps you experience wellness, and wonder, at your own pace. • Stretching and movement sessions inspired by yoga and pilates • Fitness equipment including exercise bikes, treadmills, stretch bands, light weights and yoga mats • Kayaking for all levels • Hikes varying in pace and distance traversed.
“We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable... We can never have enough of nature.” — Henry David Thoreau
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Wellness Treatments Massage Therapy Humpback Whale Deep Tissue Massage Just as humpback whales travel remarkable distances and dive to incredible depths, we focus on the workings of the body’s deep muscles. Ideal after an activity-filled day. Sea Lion Relaxation Massage Penguin Botanical Essence Massage 30 minutes – $55.00 60 minutes – $100.00 Body Treatments Body treatments are designed to soothe and revitalize with a gentle exfoliation; body scrub or mask; neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage; and, to finish, a nourishing moisture treatment. Marine Iguana Salt Glow Hummingbird Body Cream Polish Lava Lizard Mud Body Treatment 60 minutes – $100.00 Natural Face Massage Start with a natural cleanse and tone for the skin, followed by a face massage. While your choice of mask is at work, a gentle neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage is performed. You’ll leave ready to face the world. Sea Star Fish Hydrating Mask and Face Massage Flower Sea Urchin Clay Mask and Face Massage 45 minutes – $100.00 Hand & Foot Treatments Nurture and de-stress active hands and feet. Choose as add-ons with other treatments, or as quick pick-me-ups during your expedition. Three-toed Sloth Hand and Foot Massage Sally Lightfoot Crab Hand and Foot Treatment 30 minutes – $55.00 Please see the Wellness Specialist or Hotel Manager to make an appointment, or enter your request on our Wellness Treatment calendar. Prices subject to change.
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Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographicâ€™s 10 Guiding Principles We share the following guiding principles. They guide our conduct towards the guests we serve and the world we explore. 1. Ensure that everything we do adds value to the guest experience. 2. Integrity is our prime equity â€” never compromise it. 3. Positively impact the areas we explore and in which we work. 4. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. 5. Honor the value of service. 6. Maintain our expedition heritage by fostering a spirit of exploration and discovery. 7. Demonstrate leadership; excel in knowledge; inspire others. 8. Innovate, test and evaluate. Be open to new ideas. 9. Strive for clarity in communication. 10. Maintain a balance between adventure and safety.
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Join us for more life-enhancing adventures Expeditions to the planet’s wild places aboard the National Geographic fleet Alaska Amazon Antarctica Arctic Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic have joined forces to further inspire the world through expedition travel. Our collaboration in exploration, research, technology and conservation will provide extraordinary travel experiences and disseminate geographic knowledge around the globe.
Baja California Costa Rica & Panama Galápagos Expeditions to places of compelling interest Africa British & Irish Isles Europe Mediterranean New Zealand Pacific Northwest Immersive, special-interest expeditions History & Culture Ocean Voyages Photo Expeditions