M/V EVOLUTION features spacious king-sized cabins and ample deck space for drinking in beautiful Galapagos island views. A wonderful team of expert guides treat you to a spoiling sail through one of the world's most wildlife-rich archipelagos on an eye-watering 8-day itinerary. You’re guaranteed extraordinary wildlife encounters and ocean adventures from kayaking to snorkelling and hiking on remote islands.
My recent Galapagos cruise on board M/V Evolution was even more exciting than I’d imagined. Evolution’s cruises differ from many others in the Galapagos, because a number of the departures are tailored to particular interests. Photo-safari expeditions, family departures and active departures (including longer hikes and more ocean kayaking) are all wonderful options. Our naturalist guides were wonderful and it was fascinating to gain a unique insight from such true experts. This added such depth to our discovery of the Galapagos Islands’ history, biology and geology, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.
Having undergone a recent refurbishment, M/V Evolution is looking splendid; the cabins are modern in design, and for the most spacious, spring for the Albatross Deck Master Suite, which includes proper windows (many cabins only offer porthole windows, which is typical on all Galapagos yachts). Meals are wholesome and tasty, and the crew are very adaptable for any dietary requirements. Lunch and dinner are served either in the atmospheric dining room, or al fresco to make the most of beautiful island views. The sun deck and hot tub were where I spent most of my time between excursions, looking out over the Pacific Ocean and relaxing with cocktails – there was a lovely, social atmosphere on board, and you can either opt to eat with your party, or mingle with other guests.
The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination, but different times of year see different weather patterns, and indeed the breeding patterns of various animals will determine when you’re more likely to see certain species. Call our team of specialists to plan the right time for you to travel. All yachts in the Galapagos operate on set departure dates (usually Saturday to Saturday), and there are various routes you can take, but they usually take in a real variety of experiences, so there’s not a huge difference picking one from the other. Evolution runs a route called ‘In the Steps of Pirates and Darwin’ from Baltra Island, including highlights such as Santa Cruz Island (where I couldn’t take my eyes off the Giant Tortoises), Espanola Island (pristine white-sand beaches are very popular sunbathing spots for sea-lions!) and Isabela Island (the best snorkelling I have ever done, spotting playful sea lions, green sea turtles and penguins up-close in crystal-clear waters). Another Evolution route is ‘Footsteps Back in Time’ from San Cristobal Island, where you can expect equally as exciting excursions and wildlife encounters.
I’ve never considered myself to be a serious birder, but if there’s anywhere that will convert you to twitching, it’s the Galapagos. We saw boobies, owls, hawks, tropical birds and flightless cormorants amongst an abundance of other species – truly spectacular. A fascinating excursion was visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station and Wild Tortoise Reserve in the highlands. I also enjoyed the hiking much more than expected, as the islands are all so different; some very volcanic with lava fields, others more like Caribbean islands with sugar-soft sands. South Plaza Island is one of the most colourful, home to yellow land iguanas and orange sally lightfoot crabs.
Another way in which Evolution stands out is that its cruises take in the more remote sites and outer islands, rather than just sticking to the more-travelled inner islands (not all yachts are equipped to do this). You are also offered the opportunity to go scuba diving (intermediate / advanced), which is an amazing way to get even closer to the extraordinary creatures under the sea. The guides were absolutely fantastic, top of their game and true wildlife aficionados. Their understanding and knowledge of the natural world was wonderful to learn from and they made every excursion fun, informative and memorable. This really does matter when travelling to such a special region; you really want to be taught about the islands’ unique ecosystem, and for most people this is a real once in a lifetime trip – Evolution certainly delivers.
Top Packing Tip: The most important item in your suitcase will be an underwater camera! You'll spend hours snorkelling with sea lions and giant turtles, so it’s the perfect place for budding photographers to practice – your subjects couldn’t be more willing to pose!
Every time I explore a new destination, whether it’s on an adventure holiday in Peru or a luxury beach escape in the Indian Ocean, I return home full of excitement to share the amazing sights I have seen. Through my own experiences I have developed a love of helping others experience the great wonders of the world; truly getting under the skin of the extraordinary destinations that are at your fingertips. Getting the details right, from which hotel is perfectly located for exploring away from the crowds, to which local guide is most knowledgeable on history or culture or art, is of paramount importance to me. I am constantly seeking out new and exciting experiences and exploring off the beaten track to ensure my clients are receiving the best and most honest first-hand advice.
Take a look at my travel diaries for food for thought on your next trip...