Luxury catamaran is the key to exploring an intimate Galapagos itinerary
BOULDER, CO, Sept. 7, 2016 –
With the addition of the 16-passenger M/C Petrel to its privately chartered Galapagos fleet, Natural Habitat Adventures offers a new itinerary through the islands featuring unrivaled wildlife interaction and expert nature interpretation.
Built in 2015 and brand-new to the Galapagos, this sleek, 115-foot luxury motor catamaran is the fourth and newest privately chartered expedition yacht in Natural Habitat Adventures’ Classic Galapagos portfolio
. The Petrel expands the realm of style and sophistication at sea for Nat Hab guests with an out-of-the-ordinary route through this volcanic archipelago that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
With a pair of top naturalist guides aboard, Petrel guests enjoy an unusual itinerary designed for up-close, private encounters with blue-footed boobies, iguanas, giant tortoises and whales in some of the most remote and lesser-known areas of the outermost Galapagos Islands. Kayaks, snorkel gear and wetsuits are at the ready for exploration, revealing an undersea world filled with curious sea lions, sea turtles, penguins and colorful fish.
In addition, each Petrel voyage includes a night on land at Nat Hab’s exclusive Tortoise Camp in the Santa Cruz highlands, where wild Galapagos tortoises roam free and accommodations are in raised canvas tents and treehouses.
The Petrel’s 10-day Classic Galapagos itinerary includes a range of Ecuador’s ecosystems. Starting on the mainland in the Andean highlands, guests stay at a 1691 colonial hacienda in a setting that’s home to Andean condors and spectacled bears, among other wildlife. Once onboard ship, the adventure includes Espanola’s prolific wildlife while swimming, kayaking and snorkeling from white sand beaches and dipping into hidden caves, then sailing to remote Genovesa in the far north, home to more than a million birds including rare red-footed boobies. Visit Floreana, once a pirate haunt where whalers set up a post office in 1793 and snorkeling now reveals sunken volcanic craters home to sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and sea lions. Get close to giant tortoises on Santa Cruz, then snorkel with penguins, stingrays and sleeping white-tipped sharks around Pinnacle Rock on bitty Bartolome.
The Petrel’s crew and guides are local residents sharing first-hand knowledge of the Galapagos, underscoring an emphasis on the social and environmental consciousness that is intrinsic to Nat Hab’s operations. Everything used on the ship is sourced from suppliers who have proven green credentials, leaving the lightest possible footprint while meeting or exceeding Galapagos National Park regulations. Much of the Petrel’s supplies come from local communities.
A striking addition to Natural Habitat Adventures
’ Galapagos fleet of small expedition ships, the Petrel is a motorized catamaran designed for stability and style. The spacious top deck provides 360-degree views, while a dramatic sunken lounge with deep leather couches enhances sightseeing in air-conditioned comfort. Eight exceptionally roomy and comfortable staterooms accommodate one king-size or two twin beds, plus ample closet space, a writing desk and private balcony. The ship’s contemporary décor features a black and white palette with gleaming teak floors underfoot, chrome and leather furnishings, and intermittent splashes of scarlet and gold. Guests enjoy fine meals in the dining room and al fresco on the aft deck, while two open-air bars, a Jacuzzi, small fitness center and library are among the ship’s shared spaces.
M/C Petrel is featured on Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience
, a 10-day itinerary offering the utmost attention to environmental awareness, comfort and service. Rates are from $6,295 per person, double.