Galapagos Islands
Yacht La Pinta

Yacht La Pinta combines an exclusive feel with family-friendly touches, making it the ideal choice for exploring the Galapagos. The vast majority (84%) of the places visited are not shared with other ships, and small groups of guests are guided by the yacht’s 4 resident naturalists who provide a fascinating dive into this wildlife-packed archipelago.

Passengers can rest easy knowing that this is one of the few expedition vessels in the Galapagos with an onboard doctor and that the ship has various eco-credentials. All this, combined with a vast array of land and water-based activities, makes for a fantastic journey into these volcanic islands.

Facilities & Activities

With a capacity for up to 48 guests, the yacht itself is mid-size for a Galapagos vessel and has plenty to keep you occupied at sea. On-board facilities include a hot tub with ocean views and a library filled with natural history books and resources. The ship’s staff are standout, particularly the naturalists who bring the Galapagos to life during excursions and lectures. The yacht also features an outdoor terrace, a gym with panoramic windows and a medical room.

Of course, it’s the getting off the boat to explore the Galapagos Islands that is the major draw here – and Yacht La Pinta facilitates this to a tee. Choose from two four-night and one six-night itineraries, all of which start and end at Baltra (with airport transfers included). During the shore walks (which run at least twice a day), one expedition leader and three naturalist guides bring the islands’ flora and fauna to life. The English (and other) language-speaking naturalists are Level III, the highest in the Galapagos. Expect to spot some of the Galapagos’ iconic species, including giant tortoises, flamingos, sea lions and marine iguanas.

As well as hiking, other activities include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling. You can also get a front-row seat to the extraordinary marine life on a glass-bottom boat and in the pangas (dinghies) that ferry guests between the yacht and the islands. Look out for everything from dazzling arrays of fish to sea turtles and sharks beneath the surface.

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Dining

All meals and soft drinks are included and the majority of meals are eaten in the ship’s indoor dining room. Breakfast is served buffet-style, with options that include cereal, yoghurt, tropical fruit, cooked-to-order omelettes and Ecuadorian dishes like fried plantains. Lunch could be pasta, salad, baked fish or soup (also buffet-style). Dinner is a four-course affair with an appetiser, soup, entrée and dessert. There are good options for vegetarians and plenty of snacks in between meals to refuel for hiking and snorkelling.

Rooms

The ship’s 24 cabins are divided into two categories; Luxury Cabins sleep one or two passengers in either double or twin setups, while the larger Luxury Cabin Plus category can accommodate two guests on either a double bed or twin beds and one additional passenger on a sofa bed.

The decor is clean and minimalist, with crisp white linen and walls in muted tones. Other features include smart desks and colourful modern artwork above the bed. The highlight is the long window that frames the ever-changing seascapes – so you can watch the Galapagos drift by from your bed.

Individual air-conditioning is a blessing during the hottest months on the equator (February to April). The shower-only bathrooms feature biodegradable toiletries.

Family

The Luxury Cabin Plus category can accommodate 2 adults and 1 child (on a double and a sofa bed). There are 4 pairs of cabins with connecting rooms, which are a good option for families too. The trip is ideal for older children, who will love activities like kayaking and snorkelling. The naturalists are great with kids, providing enthusiastic commentary to suit all ages. However the official minimum age to cruise on La Pinta is 6 years.

Sustainability

Yacht La Pinta has some impressive eco-credentials, with onboard water treatment and desalination and fuel-efficient engines.

Location

All 3 itineraries start and finish at Baltra, with airport transfers to and from the yacht included. The four-night eastern route takes in Isla Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, San Cristobal and Espanola. The four-night northern route visits Santa Cruz, Genovesa and Santiago. The six-night western route encompasses Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Fernandina, Rabida and Floreana.

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