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February 18, 2024

andBeyond Launches Expedition Yacht in the Galapagos Islands

The 124-ft vessel will take guests on two itineraries exploring the far-flung archipelago.

By Irenie Forshaw

andBeyond is charting new territory with its latest venture: a branded expedition yacht in the Galapagos Islands slated to set sail this summer. The 124-ft vessel will take guests on two unforgettable routes exploring the far-flung archipelago.

Aptly named the andBeyond Galapagos Explorer, the yacht features just six suites and cabins with space for 12 guests on board (and two expert guides). The luxury travel company – known for its exclusive African safaris – believes the exceptionally high guest-to-staff ratio on board will make its new ship “the most exclusive yacht operating in the islands”.

The vessel – which is currently undergoing an extensive revamp – will undertake her maiden voyage on June 17, 2024. What can you expect from the new trips? andBeyond has crafted two seven-night itineraries onboard the Galapagos Explorer, with guests given the option of touring either the east or west clusters of islands.

[See also: The Best Galapagos Cruises for Intrepid Travelers]

Highlights from the eastern itinerary include visiting the iconic Kicker Rock – the remains of a volcanic tuff cone close to San Cristobal Island – and traveling to Espanola Island to catch a glimpse of the critically endangered waved albatross.

Those opting for the western itinerary will explore the picturesque islet Sombreo China and sail to Santa Fe – one of the oldest islands in the archipelago which has its own endemic species of land iguana.

During both trips onboard the andBeyond Galapagos Explorer, guests will be given the opportunity to take part in an array of adventures from snorkeling to hiking. Perhaps most exciting of all is the chance to get up close to the archipelago’s famous wildlife including giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and sea turtles.

In keeping with its eco-minded ethos, andBeyond is planning to extend its Oceans Without Borders marine conservation initiative to the Galapagos Islands to help preserve the area’s incredible landscape and wildlife.

“A uniquely biodiverse environment with the highest number of endemic species in the world, the Galapagos is a natural choice for the further expansion of our portfolio in South America,” said andBeyond executive chairman and CEO, Joss Kent. “We are absolutely thrilled to finally have the opportunity to bring our brand of responsible tourism to this precious part of the world, which the Ecuadorian government has protected from over-tourism by strictly limiting the number of operating licenses issued.”

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He continued: “We have long believed that the best way to encourage our guests to help to protect the world’s wild places is for our skilled guides to help travelers not only fall in love with those places, but also to gain an understanding of the threats that they are facing. This is what we are aiming to do through the introduction of our luxury yacht, where two knowledgeable guides will host just twelve guests, showcasing the wonder and mystery of this exceptional destination.”

Rates for both itineraries on board the andBeyond Galapagos Explorer start at $10,950 per person sharing per seven-night cruise.

[See also: Paradise on Earth: Exploring the Galapagos Islands]

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