Exploring earth’s wonders in the company of your family is a rewarding adventure like no other. You get to experience the world not only through your eyes, but through those of the ones you love the most and build together special memories that will last a lifetime.
Since the very beginning, the concept behind Aqua Expeditions’ small expedition vessels has been to offer friends and families a private and intimate setting from which they could explore remote, uncharted destinations in ultimate comfort and luxury. Starting with our expeditions in the Peruvian Amazon River, followed by the Mekong River and oceans of Eastern Indonesia, our next stop, the Galapagos Islands, is one of particular significance as the inspiration behind the founding of the company. With the introduction of the Aqua Mare, the very first superyacht to navigate the iconic Ecuadorian archipelago, Aqua Expeditions promises to redefine everything that families have come to expect of a cruising vacation.
Aqua Mare: Your Floating Home Away From Home
“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.” – Leigh Hunt
Leaving the comfort of your home to travel to a faraway destination can be a bit daunting, especially when it comes to taking a trip with young children and altering your tried and tested daily routine. Choosing the right accommodation that will offer your family flexibility, comfort and safety will be key to ensure everyone can just relax and enjoy each day to the fullest.
Every space of the 50-meter Aqua Mare superyacht has been personally designed by founders Francesco and Birgit Galli Zugaro to create a sophisticated yet cozy atmosphere in which guests can feel completely at home — as if they were traveling on their own private yacht. With only seven spacious suites (some of the largest in the Galapagos) spread across three decks, families will be able to enjoy a tranquil and private environment at all times. For the ultimate family suite, look no further than Aqua Mare’s Owner’s Suite; with an impressive size of 80 square meters, it can perfectly accommodate a couple with two children with plenty of extra room to spare. Its luxuries include a large bathroom with a double shower, large hydraulic TV, eight large windows and two armchairs ideal for curling up with a good book while enjoying the relaxing sunset views.
Meanwhile the public areas on this sumptuous superyacht include an outdoor dining area for special family meals surrounded by the unrivaled beauty of the archipelago, and a sun deck with a barbeque section and 6-person jacuzzi. The spacious main lounge features an oversized U-shaped sofa, inviting families to sit together and share anecdotes about their day’s discoveries. One of the most distinctive spaces aboard Aqua Mare, is the ‘Beach Club’, a unique multipurpose room located at water level with panoramic views of the magnificent seascape and flatscreen TVs for family movie nights under the stars.
An Aqua Expeditions’ onboard experience stands out for its exceptional level of personalized service powered by a 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio. Aqua Mare’s attentive and friendly crew will make sure every member of the family feels special and will always go above and beyond to accommodate any individual needs or requirements. With an all-inclusive experience featuring exquisite Peruvian-Nikkei inspired gastronomy crafted by renowned Peruvian Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, time on board will be spend indulging on feel-good innovative dishes, including a special kids menu for the little ones.
For big families or group of friends, Aqua Mare also offers the option to private hire the entire vessel for up to 16 passengers – an epic setting to reunite with loved-ones, celebrate a special birthday or milestone anniversary together.
Last but not least, having attained the highest international classifications (ISM, Lloyd’s Register) in safety, and fitted with best-in-class stabilizers, families can be assured of a smooth navigation in utmost comfort and safety.
Bonding in the Great Outdoors
“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey
Life gets busy and it is important, every now and then, to take some time to disconnect from our devices and enjoy the simple things. Spending quality time as a family in nature allows all members to come together around the positive, soothing energy that nature exudes and help foster a love for the environment from an early age.
As one of the largest biosphere reserves and marine protected areas in the world, navigating between the islands of the Galapagos National Park aboard Aqua Mare promises every day is filled with opportunities to discover something new. Families can choose between a 7-night itinerary exploring the eastern or western areas of the archipelago or go for the complete 14-night itinerary for the ultimate Galapagos experience.
Aqua Mare caters to multigenerational families with children of five years of age and older. On a single day we will visit at least two different locations, which can be explored in multiple ways based on the activities you choose. These can range from hiking expeditions to aquatic adventures including kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and even the option to arrange diving on specific sites. While onboard, our expert naturalist guides will brief you in detail about the next day’s excursions, so you can decide to participate in those that best adapt to your family’s preferences and level of physical activity.
Aqua Mare is equipped with two top-of-the-line military-grade tenders with a capacity of 8 guests each, to take you from the yacht to captivating visitor sites such as golden sandy beaches, mangrove lagoons, lava fields and rare rock formations. The spectacular wildlife encounters on these sites will be sure to be everyone’s favorites, from swimming with penguins, sea lions and fur seals, to spotting adorable blue-footed boobies and gentle whale sharks, intriguing land and marine iguanas, and green sea turtles hatchings on the beach, just to name a few!
Learning Outside the Classroom
“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein
There is nothing more powerful than a child’s curiosity; what starts as a simple question can end up as a lifelong passion, and even as an adult, one never truly stops learning. When traveling, you are constantly exposed to new people, languages, culture, food, landscapes… every new experience is an opportunity to nurture your mind and expand your views and understanding of the world. Choosing a holiday destination with an experiential educational component that you can share together as a family will ensure the journey to be even more enriching and rewarding.
For hundreds of years, the Galapagos archipelago has been studied by scientists drawn to the islands’ unique environmental conditions that gave birth to different ecosystems and diverse endemic plant and animal life. It is the archipelago that inspired one of history’s most influential figures, Charles Darwin, to develop his famous theory of evolution, a life-changing discovery of how we understand our origins and the diversity of life.
Following the footsteps of Charles Darwin alongside Aqua Mare’s world-class naturalist guides, families will learn about the creation of the islands, the unique plant and animal life that inhabit them, and how they adapted to survive in such hostile environments; witness fascinating geological formations, explore the remnants of its human history, and experience up-close wildlife encounters like nowhere else on earth. With only 8 guests per guide while on excursions, there are never too many questions or too little time to explore the deepest parts of each location.
Not to be missed is a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center to observe the Galapagos’ famous Giant Tortoises and learn about the inspiring conservation efforts currently taking place across the national park. Back on board, daily lectures by our knowledgeable guides complement what is seen en route, and a magnificent bespoke collection of books inspired by the Enchanted Islands and Aqua’s destinations, await to be discovered.