Galapagos 2019 Our Favorite Private Yacht

A luxury yacht charter is perfect for exploring some of the most beautiful, yet remote parts of the Galapagos Islands. There’s no better way to combine breathtaking sites and wildlife, luxury and absolute privacy without the restrictions of a cruise ship schedule, or the hassle of crowded visitor sites. If you are an early planner for Thanksgiving or December 2019 escapes, the yacht is available as of now, but don’t hesitate, these dates are very popular!  Daily customized schedule consists of a shore excursion right after breakfast, return aboard for lunch and perhaps a “siesta” before the afternoon shore excursion. After dinner your naturalist guide will brief you on the islands to be visited the following day. A trip to the Galapagos Islands will be a lifetime journey. Located a little over 600 miles from the Ecuadorian mainland, the archipelago consists of 13 major islands, 5 of which are inhabited.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. 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. The 124-foot yacht accommodates up to 14 wildlife explorers in style as you explore the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands. Discovering the Galapagos by private yacht provides up close personal adventure. 97% of The Galapagos Archipelago is a National Park and only 3% is inhabited by humans. Considering that 10 of the 13 major islands are only accessible by sea, cruising the Galapagos by yacht is the best and only way to visit this natural paradise. The naturalist cruises are led by distinguished hand-picked Naturalist Guides who have been working as Expedition Leaders for years in the Galapagos Islands. Their expertise and knowledge make the difference among other expeditions and highlight that you are visiting a very unique environment. M/Y Stella Maris luxury design is spacious, comfortable and practical for a family charter yet elegant and intimate for couples or friends. Stella Maris can host 14 guests in 7 cabins. Don’t miss the chance to snorkel with sea lions, penguins, a variety of colorful fish and even harmless sharks. Diving tours are offered for those who are willing to take a deep adventure.

Best time to visit the Galapagos: December to June is the best time for calm sea conditions. March and April have the calmest sea conditions. Sea Conditions in the Galapagos are the roughest in September and start to calm down towards December. November is not considered the best month for calm sea conditions in the Galapagos.

Destinations: there are several routes available and we can discuss best option for your private visit. The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago located 1050 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. The archipelago includes 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands and 107 islets that crop up on both the northern and southern sides of the equator. Because the Galapagos islands are surrounded by thousands of miles of open ocean, seabirds have a prominent place in the fauna of the islands. Compared to the enormity of the Amazon Basin, Galapagos is a very small archipelago lost far out in the ocean. To give one illustration, the Amazon is home to over three hundred species of reptiles: Galapagos has only iguanas, tortoises, lava lizards, geckos and snakes. The total is fewer than ten if you don’t count all of the different sub-species and under 25 even if you use the most generous count. Galapagos is also extraordinary because of the unique experience one has while visiting it. Because it was so isolated for so long, Galapagos wildlife never developed a fear of humans. In the Amazon, it’s nearly impossible to see large animals such as a jaguar, whereas in Galapagos you need to watch your step, or you may inadvertently tread on native wildlifegalapagos frigatebird

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 lifeAdult Galápagos tortoise

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 natural value of the Galapagos Islands does not lie in diversity: in fact, it’s just the opposite. Galapagos is a harsh, remote land, and the species that arrived there did not survive by diversifying, but rather by evolving specific traits to suit a certain niche in the environment. 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 snorkeler’s 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.

Rate Details and Itineraries:

7-day charters start on a Monday

5-day option: Wednesday to Monday

4-day options: Thursday to Monday

Charter Rates (plus APA):

7 or 6 days: USD 165,000

5 days: USD 148,500

4 days: USD 137,500

Pricing is for the yacht and crew only.  In addition are all expenses for food, beverage, bar, fuel and dockage, which runs approximately 30% of the base charter fee.  And the additional costs listed below.  It is customary to leave a crew gratuity at the end of the charter in the range of 10-15% of the charter fee, if earned.

Additional costs:

– Galapagos Naturalist Guide (English speaking) USD 250 per day. He stays onboard in a crew cabin

– Galapagos Nature Park fees USD 120 per person

– Sat Internet Service, the best plan is 2000 megas (approx USD 2500)

Details:14 guests in 7 cabins: Bridge deck: Master cabin with king bed, his and her en-suite with connecting shower. Private access to an outdoor lounge

Main deck fwd: 2 x VIP cabins with queen beds All with en-suite shower room

Lower deck: 4 x twin cabins with en-suite; 1 x double cabin with queen bed with en-suite shower room

Key reasons to charter Stella Maris:

  • The proven luxury charter yacht based in the Galapagos Islands
  • Accommodates 14 in 7 cabins while exploring the unique ecosystems of this amazing Archipelago
  • Master suite on bridge deck with private access to outdoor lounge
  • Bridge deck dining and separate bar offer a variety of options for al fresco dining
  • Spacious sun deck with Jacuzzi and cozy sun loungers perfect for taking in the breath-taking views of the Galapagos
  • Distinguished handpicked Naturalist Guides who have been working as Expedition Leaders for years in the Galapagos Islands
  • Captain Daniel has 30+ years of experience navigating the Galapagos waters and incredible chef and crew will ensure guests have the experience of a lifetime!

Watersport and & Recreation

6.7m (22ft) Novurania with 150hp engine
4.2m (14ft) Novurania tender with 90hp engine
3 x kayaks
Stand up paddle board
Large assortment of snorkeling gear including wet suits *Rendezvous diving only

Exercise bicycle, yoga mats

*Motorized watersports (such as jetskis, SeaBobs, etc) are prohibited in the Galapagos as so not to disrupt the delicate ecosystems of the islands

Communications & Entertainment

Satcom & cellular communications facilities, Wi-Fi internet access, comprehensive audio-visual system, 100+ movies on demand, iPod docking stations throughout

SPECIAL NOTES: STELLA MARIS is the only private luxury charter yacht based in the Galapagos. The 38m yacht has been specifically refit and designed to be as ecologically friendly as possible.