The Galapagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago enriched by unique flora and fauna not to be seen anywhere else in the world. Each island presents different wildlife and this is just one of the exquisite aspects of cruising through the Galapagos; observing changes in evolution as your private yacht motors you from one island to another.
The Galapagos Islands one and only privately owned luxury charter yacht, STELLA MARIS sleeps up to 14 guests in seven luxurious staterooms, including a sumptuously appointed master suite. Produced by historic Italian shipyard Picchiotti, the 124-foot Motor Yacht is an ecologically friendly vessel that has been recently refitted to adapt to the fragile marine ecosystems of the islands.
Complementing the yacht’s warm, contemporary interiors are a variety of amenities and outdoor spaces, perfect for socializing, entertaining, and dining alfresco. STELLA MARIS is available for charter year round and guests have two unforgettable Galapagos Islands itineraries to choose from.
The Galapagos Islands, voted by Travel and Leisure Magazine for the 3rd time this decade as the #1 World’s Best Island, confirms this chain of islands is unlike any other Island. It is one of the most unique destinations on the planet. Located approximately 600 miles from the western coast of Ecuador, rare species inhabit these islands and you won’t encounter them anywhere else in the world. Many of these unique breeds are not afraid of humans making it easy to get up-close and personal.
Perhaps our first association with the word “Galapagos” is the name “Darwin.” Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands had a resounding impact on the formation of his Theory of Natural Selection. During his visit to the islands, Darwin noted that the unique creatures were similar from island to island, but perfectly adapted to their environments which led him to ponder the origin of the islands’ inhabitants. Among those that struck Darwin so greatly were the finches that are now named in his honor. Darwin would later base some of his thought from the supposing that these finches were all descendants of the same lineage.
Years later in 1859, Darwin finally consolidated all of his observations into his famous book On The Origin of Species, drastically and controversially altering the scientific view on the biological origins of life.
View the Galapagos Marine Iguanas, living only in this pristine environment; they have adapted unlike other Iguana species, to living on algae in the waters around the island, rather than searching for food on the barren islands.
The wild birds on the islands are free from predators thus they are unafraid and can be observed in very close context. Birds can be seen sitting on nests of hatchlings mere feet away, while sea lions and pups are will continue their everyday life as you walk around them. Juvenile sea lions love to play, and will often engage in games of hide and seek with snorkelers in the water, and may tap right on a snorkelers mask. Swim with penguins while they hunt for fish for dinner, with no care that you might be close by.
On your private yacht charter, you may head ashore with your Naturalist on your schedule rather than a pre-set scheduled excursion.
On a typical day, perhaps spend time snorkeling or an arranged scuba dive with sea lions and penguins, heading ashore later to watch pink flamingos fish for supper. Learn about sea turtles, sea lions, and iguana tracks on the beach. Sit close to a sea lion colony, and maybe you will see Mom return to her pup, left on the beach while she scavenged the seas for food. Or in season, watch a Blue Footed Booby Bird crack his eggshell and hatch open. Marine Iguanas will dive from the cliffs into the water, hoping to survive to search out marine algae in the seas.
Meanwhile on land, the Galapagos male Frigate Birds puff out their red sack in a fabulous show intended to attract his mate. And maybe a sea lion might come aboard the swim platform of your yacht for a snooze in the sun. The natural life in the Galapagos is wild and wonderful and continues at a frenetic pace with no notice of mankind.
Yacht boarding is generally on specific days with a pre-set itinerary to assure that civilization is spread equally throughout the Galapagos to maintain the eco system with as little impact as possible. Only Galapagos licensed yachts are available and are a limited number, and this is not expected to change. It is wise to book well in advance for this location.