I recently explored the Galapagos Islands on Lindblad and National Geographics’s 100-passenger luxury expedition ship, the Endeavor.  It’s no ordinary vessel, and I hope to convince those that are skeptical about spending a week on a boat just how great it is!

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Welcome to the Galapagos!  This is Celso, one of our fabulous naturalist guides.  We are on our first zodiac ride out to the ship.  We enjoyed the incredible knowledge and experience of an expedition leader, an undersea specialist, four naturalists, four naturalists/photo specialists, and one videographer.

 

Cabin on the Endeavor

The cabins are spacious and comfortable, with great storage space and very comfortable beds.  This one is on the lowest deck.  Cabins on the upper decks have bigger windows.

 

Briefing on The Endeavor

The large lounge holds all the passengers.  Every evening we gathered for the cocktail of the day, an educational presentation relating to the islands, and a preview of the next day’s exciting adventures.

 

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The back pool deck was my favorite place to have lunch and read.  The ship also features a small gym, sun deck, library, computer room, and gift shop.  It was never difficult to either find some company or a quiet place to relax.  The dining room holds everyone, and you can choose who you’d like to sit with at each meal.  We made lots of friends!

 

zodiacs to the ship

Our island visits and daily snorkeling always started and ended with a zodiac ride.  We either had a “dry” landing on the lava rocks like this one, or a “wet” landing at the beach where you had to step into the water.  Our guides would meet us on the beach with towels, so we could dry our feet and change to hiking shoes.

 

The Yacs

We had a super group of older teens and young adults on board from across the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands.  They had a great time hanging out together.

 

There are up to 100 passengers and 72 crew members.  This is our captain, John Zurita, who welcomed guests to the bridge at any time.  Some of the young future engineers spent a lot of time here examining all the dials and switches.

 

Happy Birthday!

We celebrated my son’s 20th birthday on board; the dining room staff provided a rousing Happy Birthday to You in Spanish for several passengers.

 

The Endeavor

Our home in the Galapagos was never far from sight.  After a day of hiking and snorkeling, we returned to gather with our new friends, enjoy fine meals, play games, gaze at the stars, and retire to our cabins,  tired but looking forward to the next day’s discoveries.