There are few places people can navigate today, and almost none where North Americans are currently able to navigate.
The Galapagos are one of the very few exceptions.
A cabin on the Metropolitan Touring Galapagos ship, La Pinta.
A handful of operators started offering tours in the Galapagos last year, including the Metropolitan Touring, which resumed trips to the Galapagos in August on La Pinta, followed by the Isabela II, two of the three expedition ships. of the company’s fleet.
According to the operator, while around 70 ships offered crossings in the archipelago before the pandemic, currently only around six ships sail regularly.
Ashton Palmer, president of ExpeditionTrips, a Seattle agency specializing in the expedition market, said he has been selling the Galapagos since the fall, mainly via Ecoventura and Metropolitan Touring, and has taken a trip to La Pinta in October. He said fewer customers are booking the Galapagos now than before Covid, but that is changing with the rollout of the vaccine.
“We see that those who have already been vaccinated are ready to book,” he said. “This includes young professionals in the medical industry, as well as multigenerational families who are ready to travel this summer.”
The 48-passenger La Pinta offers four- and six-day itineraries combined with stays at properties in Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador, where passengers arrive on their way to the Galapagos. Metropolitan offers various tours focused on the Galapagos as well as those combined with its lodge in the Mashpi Rainforest in Ecuador.
One of Abercrombie & Kent’s tours to the Galapagos is family oriented.
Abercrombie & Kent restarted operations in the Galapagos in October, offering both private and scheduled departures. These deals include a six-night Galapagos wildlife adventure, a family-oriented tour, and one that combines travel with Machu Picchu. A&K said it was seeing an increase in requests for private charters on smaller vessels that can accommodate groups of 12 to 16 people.
The show on Integrity, which also sails the regular INCA Galapagos Adventures tours.
This trend has prompted the INCA (International Nature & Cultural Adventures) tour operator to offer its 16-passenger yacht, the Integrity, on what it calls Exclusive Use, a private charter of the ship for groups of four to 10 travelers. INCA also offers the nine-day Galapagos Adventure Tours regularly scheduled by Integrity.