This week’s outtake from my book “Cruising the World, From Gondolas to Megaships” is one of several photos, this one taken at dawn, of the 16-passenger yacht “Sea Star Journey” on which I spent a week in the Galápagos Islands.

Cruises of the Galápagos Islands range from four to fifteen days in duration.  There are 64 small yachts cruising the islands carrying 16 passengers.  These have the advantage over a dozen larger ships by providing intimate encounters with wildlife while efficiently reaching remote areas of the archipelago. Yachts also maintain a smaller ecological footprint, but are less stable in the some times choppy waters of the Galápagos (16-passenger catamarans being an exception). 

Seven large ships in the Galápagos carry 38-40 passengers and another five carry the maximum permitted 100 passengers. Some of these larger ships are luxuriously appointed and employ top-rated naturalist guides, the finest cuisine, spacious cabins, and may have a full-time doctor onboard. 

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