Natural Habitat Adventures

Galapagos Aboard the Islander

Accommodations

Hotel del Parque
Location
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Hotel del Parque is Guayaquil's finest boutique hotel. Though this exquisitely restored 19th-century property is located in one of Guayaquil's most desirable neighborhoods, you'll feel as though you're staying on a private estate surrounded by a tropical oasis. Hotel del Parque is set within Guayaquil’s Parque Historico, where palm fronds and exotic flowers like orchids and bougainvillea nod in the breeze rising off the Daule River, and you wake to the calls of parrots and spider monkeys in the treetops. Two inner patios bring more of the outside in, with fountains and tropical plants offering a respite from the city beyond.

Interiors created by designer Julio Vinueza are elegant yet relaxing, with a nod to the building’s Republican-era architectural origins. Forty-four guest rooms and suites offer outstanding amenities. Each is uniquely furnished with Ecuadorian pieces, both antique and contemporary. The pale gray and yellow hues provide a serene contrast with the exuberant tropical world outside while respecting the historic origins of the property. All rooms have luxury beds—one deluxe king or two doubles—with fine linens, a large marble bath with walk-in glass shower, slippers and bathrobes, 58-inch smart TV, free Wi-Fi, coffee station, mini bar, twice-daily cleaning service and 24-hour room service.

Public spaces include a reading room with games, television and laptops; a fitness center; and a spa located in the chapel’s historic wooden-beamed bell tower with 360-degree views over the gardens. Complimentary coffee and juice, fresh-baked cookies and pastries are available 24 hours a day. The hotel's Casa Julian restaurant offers riverside dining from an innovative Ecuadorian fusion menu featuring fresh-caught seafood from the nearby Pacific, as well as local ingredients like avocado, coconut and cacao in delightfully original creations. 
National Geographic Islander
Location
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The 164-foot Islander provides a nimble way to explore the Galapagos, since the ship's small size allows access to places larger ships can't reach. Bask in the equatorial rays or share a sunset cocktail on the covered deck, enjoy nature films, slideshows and presentations in the inviting lounge with a full-service bar, and stargaze at night from the Sky Deck. The yacht-scale Islander accommodates 48 guests in 24 mahogany- and brass-accented cabins, each with a window, ample closet space, a small table and chair, and two single beds (some of which can convert into a queen-size bed). Eight cabins at the top of the ship have private, glassed-in terraces for expansive views of the passing islands, and two spacious suites feature a wraparound view forward over the bow and to the side of the ship. The dining room serves eclectic cuisine with local flair in a casual atmosphere that offers a chance for guests and guides to mingle. Equipped with snorkeling gear, a fleet of Zodiacs, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks for up-close exploration, plus undersea cameras, the Islander offers countless opportunities to discover the wonders of the world's most intriguing archipelago.

Room types on the Islander
Every cabin offers features individual climate control and a private bathroom.



Category 1: Main deck cabins with a window and two lower single beds that can convert to a queen bed (124 square feet)
Category 2: Cabins directly behind the bridge  (111 square feet) and on the main deck (124 square feet) with a window and two lower single beds that can convert to a queen  
Category 3: Centrally located bridge deck cabins have a window and two lower single beds that can convert to a queen bed (128 square feet), while cabins 305 and 306 (142 square feet) can accommodate a third person
Category 4:
Spacious upper deck cabins with a window and outside glassed-in terrace that has seating and large windows in the top half of terrace doors, plus two lower single beds can convert to a queen (114-126 square feet)
Category 5: The ship’s two most spacious cabins are on the upper deck, and each includes wraparound windows along with outside, glassed-in terraces with seating. Two lower single beds can convert to a queen and there is a desk, chairs and table. (199 square feet)
National Geographic Islander II
Location
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Totally retrofitted for Lindblad Expeditions in 2022, this former private yacht accommodates 48 guests in 26 all-suite accommodations. At 280 feet long, Islander II provides an enhanced level of spaciousness and luxury while offering an intimate way to explore the Galapagos aboard a nimble small ship. Individually air-conditioned suites are located across two decks and offer varied configurations with connecting, solo and triple stateroom options. All have large windows, convertible king/twin beds, ample closets, marble double-sink bathrooms, stocked mini bar, Wi-Fi and flat screen TV with shipboard network programming. Four Islander Suites have separate living areas with table and chairs and a bathroom with bathtub.

Take in the views from the topside Observation Deck with grill and bar, plus the forward-viewing platforms and expansive teak decks all around the ship. Dine on fresh, sustainably sourced Ecuadorian fare at the outdoor Patio Café or in the air-conditioned Yacht Club Restaurant—both offer casual, informal ambience with no assigned tables or seatings. The Cove lounge with full-service bar is newly outfitted for state-of-the-art presentations by the ship’s expedition team, while the Science Hub offers interactive video displays on oceanography, and the onboard library, chart room, Global Gallery and ship’s television network offer further learning opportunities.

Adventures on land and beneath the sea are the draw of a Galapagos expedition aboard Islander II, and the ship is designed to facilitate them. An expanded area for gearing up lets you comfortably prepare for snorkeling, while a swim platform makes it easy to enter the water. Expedition Tools include Zodiac Mark V boats for landings and cruising, a custom-built glass bottom Zodiac, a fleet of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, snorkel gear for adults and children, video microscope and remote cameras.

The ship’s specialist staff rounds out the experience. On board you’ll find an undersea specialist, National Geographic-certified photo instructor, video chronicler, National Geographic Global Explorers family program led by National Geographic-certified field educators, invited Galápagos community members, researchers, educators, and storytellers. To enhance guests’ wellness, the ship sails with a resident doctor and wellness specialist, plus facilities that include a fitness center, yoga space, sauna and spa with quartz massage table.
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