Updated: Jun 15, 2020
For as long as I can remember, my dream was to visit the Galapagos Islands, after I had been captivated watching David Attenborough showcasing his adventures and hearing about the great explorer Darwin. The Animals and landscapes looked incredible - a travel photographers dream! There was never a doubt in my mind, it was always when, not if. We were incredibly lucky to be able to go, It was just as seen on the television.
"Think big, dream big, believe big, and the results will be big!" - Unknown
Visiting The Galapagos Islands
Each island is so dramatically different and has so much to offer with a variety of vegetation from the lush green trees to the red dry and dusty soil. Then there is the incredible wildlife including the Galapagos Giant Tortoise and the mesmerising Blue Footed Boobies (birds).
The thing that really got us was that there was no guarantee to see any of the native species, but to our amazement when we got off the zodiac (small boats), low and behold, seals and lots of them.
We were told not to venture to close, they were wild animals! We didn’t have to, they came running to us! We were scared; going into battle with a bachelor sea lion wasn’t high on our list as part of our vacation.
It was just unbelievable to have dreamed of this for so long and to be living the dream and this was only the first day of the cruise we had several more. We were excited beyond words!
Our days consisted of an island stop in the morning and another in the afternoon, this was sometimes the same island but landing on the opposite side.
The luxury of being on the ship was that we didn’t go without breakfast, lunch or dinner - oh no, we also had snacks waiting for us coming back on board after our long mornings exploring, and afternoon gallivanting sessions too.
Everyone had the opportunity after the informative evening talks to sign up to either a long walk, which started early in the morning or a shorter walk that started later in the day. Likewise, for the afternoon, a long walk starting soon after lunch or a shorter walk starting later. The deal breaker was that we might not have seen as much of the island and what it had to offer. We were up for all the long walks of course! Couldn’t miss anything, plus we had to work off all that food!
Top Tip: Wear good walking shoes! The volcanic rock can be uneven and very sharp.
One of the many highlights was getting off and being told, "Watch where you stand as the rocks might be iguanas." Wow! You could not believe it until you see it! They were everywhere. Oh my, and the smell, not one to be forgotten in a while. Something along the lines of rotten eggs comes to mind.
The Celebrity Xpedition Cruise Itinerary:
Day 1 – Espanola
Day 2 – Floreana
Day 3 – Isabela
Day 4 – Fernandina
Day 5 – 7 Santa Cruz
Read more about the cruise and the spectacular ports of call, on my blog that has been published with Go 4 Travel Blog - Cruising The Galapagos Islands: Where Time Stands Still.
I couldn't praise the staff and crew on board MS Expedition enough for all their hard work and making us all feel at home. The other passengers were brilliant too. We all left with many more friends than we got on board with.
Top Tip: Before booking your flights inquire as to the additional excursions back in Ecuador. It would be a shame to miss these (if booking a package with Celebrity Cruises). For independent travelers don't miss the top 10 things to see and do in Quito.
We stayed at the JW Marriott which was within walking distance to cafes, shops and the craft market.
As always, I would love to hear from you with any comments/questions you may have. You can reach me via email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com
Until next time...Happy Travels:) x