Highlights and Excursions
A superyacht voyage throughout the Galapagos Islands with Aqua Expeditions takes guests on a truly immersive journey fueled by our one-of-a-kind approach to small ship expedition cruising and vast experience traversing the world’s most exotic, biodiverse, and culturally rich destinations. As the first true luxury superyacht to sail in the Galapagos, Aqua Mare’s sophisticated interiors and exquisite suites and amenities set the stage for the utmost comfortable, stylish and private way to navigate the islands. Combined with the Galapagos’ most exclusive guest-to-guide ratio of only eight passengers per expert naturalist, guests can be assured of a highly captivating and personalized experience like no other.
Read on to discover the dramatic landscapes and wildlife encounters that await in the isolated Ecuadorian archipelago that lies at the heart of Darwin’s famous theory of evolution.
The Galapagos Islands were formed as a result of hundreds of years of repeated volcanic eruptions caused by the gradual movement of the Nazca tectonic plate to the east over the Galapagos hotspot. This produced a chain of underwater volcanoes that emerged from the ocean surface to become the cone-shaped islands we now see. Each island was created by the eruptions of a single shield volcano, except for the largest, Isabela, which originated from the union of six volcanoes.
On an Aqua Mare cruise itinerary, each day is a new opportunity to explore a different island and unveil its distinctive natural riches on offer. Walking trails allow guests to immerse into the deepest parts of each visitor site while taking the time to absorb the awe-inspiring feeling of being so closely surrounded by wild animals in their natural habitat.
More than 9,000 different species of flora and fauna populate the Galapagos Islands with a list that keeps on growing as scientists regularly unveil new findings. Giant tortoises with life spans of 150 years, penguins found north of the equator, iguanas that learned how to swim and a bird that lost its ability to fly… it is no wonder these enchanting islands are famously referred to as a “living laboratory of evolution”.
Aqua Mare is equipped with two military-grade black tenders that offer guests the most stylish and comfortable means of transport between the yacht and numerous visitor sites scattered throughout the Galapagos Archipelago. Landings on each site will vary between wet and dry, a terminology you will hear often from our guides while out on excursions. On a dry landing, guests can disembark directly on a dock or rocky surface without touching the water, while on a wet landing it is necessary to submerge your feet into the water to disembark on the shallow beach shores.
The Galapagos marine reserve is the second largest in the world with an area of 51,400 square miles (133,000 square kilometers). Its special location in the intersection of three strong ocean currents (Humboldt, Cromwell, and Panama) created an incredibly diverse marine ecosystem of nearly 3,000 species including tropical fishes, whales, dolphins, penguins, rays and sharks. The Humboldt and Cromwell currents are responsible for bringing cold nutrient-rich waters to the Galapagos, and through the unique process of upwelling, the nutrients from the deep ocean rise to the surface giving life to this entire ecosystem.
Snorkeling is a wonderful way to experience the incredible biodiversity found underwater. Many snorkeling sites in the Galapagos will have shallow gentle waters making this activity easy and pleasant, without having to go too deep to encounter marine wildlife. In fact, some shark species such as blacktip reef sharks prefer shallow waters, so there is big chance swimming with sharks will be ticked off your bucket list. As with land species in the Galapagos, those underwater don’t shy away from humans making sea adventures delightful, as playful sea lions and gentle sea turtles swim harmoniously around you.
The calm waters in the areas designated for kayaking and paddle boarding activities offer the perfect scenario to explore the shore landscapes and marine life from a unique perspective. Aqua Mare is equipped with eight top of the line double-kayaks and two paddle boards for guests of all ages to venture out on their own and at their own pace.