Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique 'living museum and showcase of evolution'. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galápagos are a 'melting pot' of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch – that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835.
Trip to Equator
Explore the monument that marks the Equatorial Line at zero latitude, where you can straddle both hemispheres at once and visit enlightening museums.
Hundreds of years after the indigenous peoples of Ecuador had established Catequilla as the centre of the world, a French expedition arrived to ascertain a geographically-measured centre. In the foothills of the Equinoctial Andes, the famous middle of the world monument marks the equatorial line: the centre of our planet earth: 0˚-0'-0" Latitude.
As the day breaks over the town of San Antonio, and the clouds and morning mist are lit and lifted by hazy dawn sunlight, the silhouette of a trapezoidal monolith topped with a sphere breaks through the backdrop of a mountainous horizon.
At 0-0'-0" latitude, on the equatorial line, the grandiose quadrangular pyramid of the Equinoctial Monument. Placed with its four monoliths in 1979, the central monolith is decorated with a globe encircled by a silver band representing the equator. The globe is orientated corresponding to the true position of the earth.
Charles Darwin Station
This research laboratory is located near to the town of Puerto Ayora and is directed by scientists from several countries, who are involved in the study and protection of fauna and flora of the islands. The evolution that the islands have undergone since the formation can be seen here too. It also shows the animals that have been introduced to the different areas and possible solutions to protect them against extinction. Raising the Galapagos Giant Tortoises in captivity is the most important project the Galapagos National Park is involved with; this program has enabled the return of many tortoises into their natural habitat. The Charles Darwin Station is also home of several adult giant tortoises, which have been found in other parts of the world and are later brought back to their habitats of origin.
Darwin Bay Beach
Tower is a collapsed volcano and ships sail directly into its large breached caldera to anchor at the foot of the steep crater walls. Tower attracts vast numbers of pelagic seabirds that come here to nest and breed: great frigate birds, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels. A trail leads from a coral beach past tidal lagoons where lava gulls and yellow-crowned night herons are seen, then along the low shrubs populated by frigates and boobies, and eventually to a cliff edge where seabirds soar.
Information about your boat
She has capacity for 16 travellers accommodated in 8 double oceanview cabins, all with private bathrooms and a generous hot water supply, are complemented by a library, T.V. with VHS video, restaurant/bar and sundeck. The boat is air-conditioned throughout.
The spacious sun deck allows for observation of dolphins and whales, you may also choose to relax and enjoy the equatorial sun and sea breeze, all part of the Galapagos Islands magical environment.
Delicious meals with Ecuadorian and international delicacies are served in an interior buffet area, 2 separate social areas with a well equipped bar where you can socialize with your fellow explorers while you enjoy an ice cold beer.
The Eden was built in Ecuador in 1996 and went through a complete overhaul in 2002, custom designed for Galapagos island cruising, all interiors are nicely decorated and offer the comfort weary explorers seek after a full day of hiking, snorkelling or diving.