Penguins and dolphins, sea lions and iguanas, tropical birds and giant tortoises—this bizarre collection of species comes together in a single destination on the equator.
The natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands and the diversity and uniqueness of the animals it harbors earned the islands a reputation of being a living laboratory of evolution. The islands’ remoteness and the absence of human settlements, until the past century, allowed the animal inhabitants to live with little fear of predators.
As a result, the islands have an abundance of animals that do not exist elsewhere. The islands are best known as the home of giant tortoises, which can weigh as much as 600 pounds and live 150 years. Other animals indigenous to the island include marine iguanas, scarlet-breasted frigate birds, blue-footed, red-footed, masked and Nazca boobies and giant albatrosses. These birds and reptiles can easily be viewed, with or without binoculars.
Strict rules imposed by the Galapagos National Park require licensed guides accompany all visitors. These regulations make you stick to the 60 designated sites on the islands, most of which are uninhabited. You may walk only on marked trails and cannot touch or feed the animals—even allowing a bird to drink from a water bottle is forbidden to avoid making the animals dependent on humans.
As you’ll soon discover, however, some contact cannot be avoided. You’ll be amazed at how close some of the animals will come to you. Darwin’s famous finches occasionally land on your shoulder and sea lions lounge next to you on the beach.
These days, most visitors see the islands as part of a cruise tour. With more than 12 years in the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Cruises has learned a lot about delivering award-winning vacations in this unique corner of the world.
Celebrity Cruises recently unveiled a revolutionary ship, Celebrity Flora. Flora strives to erase boundaries and bring this typically remote destination closer for their guests. Educational, research-based programming gives travelers an opportunity to continue learning about the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands.
Celebrity understands that while world-travelers share a passion for discovery, there are all sorts of explorers. That’s exactly why they’ve expanded their vacations in the Galapagos to provide even more comprehensive, all-inclusive packages to satisfy the travel styles of every modern explorer. At the same time, they are helping to ensure future generations have the same incredible Galapagos experience with industry-leading stewardship and conservation efforts.
Celebrity Cruises offers the most diverse Galapagos expeditions available with three stunning ships, six unique cruise itineraries, 15 islands, 35 ports of call and 22 all-inclusive vacation package options ranging from 10 to 16 nights including Quito, Ecuador or the wonders of Machu Picchu, Peru.
If a modern luxury vacation to the Galapagos Islands wasn’t on your bucket list before, it should be now. Celebrity Flora will sail from Baltra year-round, making her first sailing on May 26, 2019. Bookings are now open. To book a cruise or learn about the ship’s alternating seven-night inter- and outer-loop itineraries, contact a member of Fox’s cruise specialist team.