Securing a fait accompli for those dreams of extreme exploration, the ideal partnership of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions leverages their highly regarded reputations into a riveting Galapagos Islands expedition cruise. Prior to boarding the 96-passenger National Geographic
Endeavour II, guests are graciously hosted overnight in Guayaquil, Ecuador, at the Hotel Hilton Colon, convenient for the next morning’s early flight to the gateway airport on Baltra Island.
A brief and flawless embarkation procedure ushers arrivals onto this nautical base camp of invigorating excursions ashore. The onboard team of highly experienced naturalists exudes a contagious aura of enthusiasm, gleaned from their smiling exuberance and eagerness to share their love and knowledge of this obscure center of biodiversity. Even the aesthetics of the striking blue-hulled ship pay tribute to the spirit of the magazine, appropriately fitted with the hallmark yellow border.
With emphasis on the destinations and the indigenous wildlife, there is little need for extensive entertainment or activities, as expert orientations and slideshows facilitate appreciation of the delicate ecosystems of the islands.
The ship’s observation lounge is an attractively appointed gathering point for educational presentations and sweeping 270- degree views of the passing archipelago. A well-stocked library provides ample opportunity for personal enlightenment, and as might be expected, the ship offers cruise comfort in the form of spa services for total relaxation after a vibrant day of island interaction. The upper Sky Deck allows for individual reflection and nighttime celestial views of the cosmic cinema of stars.
Spread over three decks, immaculate and modern designed cabins provide more space than expected for an expedition ship, and category and configuration selections appeal to every budget and whim. Meal times are open-seating affairs encouraging casual conversations with newfound friends reliving the experiences of the day. Breakfast and lunch are offered as buffet-style presentations with dinners served by attentive waiters. Menu preparation highlights locally sourced ingredients with an emphasis on freshness and healthy living.