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ORIGIN & THEORY, Galapagos Islands

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Cruise the Galapagos Islands aboard the ORIGIN and THEORY, and observe the species that inspired Charles Darwin to change the way the world thinks about evolution.

No wonder these far-flung islands transfixed Charles Darwin; for it was here, whilst watching species like the flightless cormorant and marine iguana, that the Victorian scientist found the inspiration for his world-changing book ‘On The Origin of Species’.

On the ORIGIN and its brand-new sister ship THEORY, you can cruise in complete luxury to these enchanted islands populated by red-footed and Nazca boobies, magnificent frigate birds, waved albatross, whales and dolphins.

Each vessel has ten deluxe staterooms which are approximately 13.5m2 and are found on the main deck. The cabins have been decorated using light colours and furnishings and have large picture windows. Cleverly designed to make use of the space, all cabins have bedside tables, a compact wardrobe and space under the bed for additional luggage. All the cabins can be setup as either a king or a twin and some even have the option of an additional berth, which comes down from the ceiling.

For families there are interconnecting cabins on both vessels and smart televisions are found in all the cabins, pre-programmed with documentaries on the islands and other films and tv shows. Wi-Fi is available on board and speakers are also fitted in the ceiling so guests never miss announcements from the captain or guides. Each cabin has its own en suite, which has a rainfall shower and frosted window so you never miss views of the passing islands.

Whilst on board guests are looked after by an expectational crew, including two naturalist park guides, a cruise manager and captain. With the advantage of two naturalist park guides on board, group sizes for activities are a maximum of ten per guide, six less than the park limit of sixteen. The small group sizes really adds to the experience and means excursions are far more private than on other boats. Activities vary from activities on the islands, to snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and zodiac rides through the mangroves. Both ORIGIN and THEORY also have a glass-bottom boat, which is ideal if guests don't want to snorkel. In between activities, daily presentations are given by the guides on topics ranging from the history of the islands to tips on how to take the best photographs of the wildlife.

ORIGIN and THEORY are the only two boats in the Galapagos which are part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group and being part of such an organisation has meant a huge amount of emphasis has been placed on the quality of the food and service on board. Meals are served in the dining room on the main deck or on the sun deck, where guests can enjoy a delicious BBQ or ceviche making masterclass, in the company of beautiful blue skies and seas. Meals are paired with delicious wines from across South America and being one of the few boats in the Galapagos with an open-bar policy, at the end of each day, you’ll be welcomed back on board to relax, discuss the day’s adventures and enjoy a caipirinha on deck.

There is a small boutique and shop on both boats, as well as a library for those like to read whilst relaxing in one of the rattan loungers on the sundeck. The sundeck is also home to an 8-person Jacuzzi, as well as al fresco bar area. There is an open-bridge policy and guests have the opportunity to eat with the captain and naturalist guides whilst on board.  

Guests are allocated to a boat close to the date of departure to ensure they’re with guests of similar age and language. Both boats also operate specialist family departures.

Click here to download deck plans

ORIGIN and THEORY, at a glance

  • Identical luxury expedition vessels designed to be at the forefront of sustainable cruising in the Galapagos Islands
  • 142-foot long yachts built to carry 20 passengers in supreme comfort
  • The only Relais & Châteaux yachts operating in the Galapagos
  • Two naturalist guides on board, which means a guide to passenger ratio of just 1 to 10 (normally 1 to 16 in the Galapagos)
  • Eco-friendly features combine with stylish furnishings and high-end amenities
  • Sun deck with bar, day beds, woven hammocks and Jacuzzi
  • Indoor and outdoor observation decks for watching wildlife and socialising
  • Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, zodiacs, glass-bottomed boats, snorkelling equipment and wet suits
  • First class cuisine and an open-bar policy
  • Specialist family departures

Where will the ORIGIN and THEORY take you?

ORIGIN and THEORY operate weekly seven-night itineraries, from Sunday to Sunday as well as a shorter six-night itinerary from Sunday to Saturday (the six-night itinerary is only possible on the ‘South & Central islands’ itinerary).

Both seven-night itineraries begin and end from San Cristobal island and the six-night option begins at San Cristobal and ends at Puerto Ayora.

  • Seven-night ‘South & Central’ itinerary, including San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Bartolomé, South Plaza and North Seymour.
  • Seven-night ‘Northern Western’ itinerary, including San Cristobal, Genovesa, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina and Rabida islands.

Other itineraries in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

  • We would strongly recommend Ultimate Travel as an ethical and imaginative travel company for bespoke and truly unique holidays.

    AB, January 2021