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Galapagos Islands: The Perfect Family "Getaway Vacation"

Aug 17, 2007
Oh, there's nothing wrong with cartoon characters and amusement parks-but-as a parent, you're always concerned about the value of the time spent with your children.

Here's your opportunity to show them a part of the world they've probably never seen, and enjoy the entire process of learning, to boot! And if Mom needs beach time, you can still meet the quota! She can return with a tan, and stories galore.

Learn about Darwin's Theory of Evolution and enjoy the beautiful and unique flora, fauna and scenery of the Galapagos Islands... all at the same time.

Have you ever heard about birds that can't fly? The Galapagos has them.

Have you ever stood next to a Flamingo-- an elegant bird with his long, spindly legs---pink feathers and all; or have you enjoyed getting face-to-face with all types of Iguanas and nose to nose with huge turtles that live in complete and total freedom?

You meet these animals on daily expeditions when you participate in one of the exclusive Galapagos Cruises.

Perish the thought that Galapagos cruises are just educational, they offer immense adventures and true family fun. Nearly every day, you have a possibility to swim from world-class beaches. Has a photographer ever captured you swimming next to a Sea Lion?

In the Galapagos, it happens nearly every day.

Less active families can sunbathe on the beach, or simply chill---read a good book while enjoying the spectacular scenery.

I'd suggest a "Family Cruise" onboard one of several Vessels where you do not have to worry about your children. Children onboard these ships are in the well-trained hands of special Naturalist guides, who organize special land programs--exclusively for the children.

Often, we're asked how old a child must be to travel and enjoy the Galapagos Islands. In my opinion the best age is at least 10 years old. On most special "Family Cruises", however, children from 7 years and up are allowed onboard.

Two of the best Galapagos Vessels-- M/V Eclipse and M/V Evolution-- offer not only the best naturalist cruises throughout the year, but they are the only yachts at the moment offering special "Family Cruises" in the Galapagos.

It is easy to see why the M/V Eclipse is considered by many to be the best vessel cruising in the Galapagos Islands. Outstanding accommodation, world-class food and the best imaginable service make a Galapagos Cruise onboard M/V Eclipse one of the world's fin-est experiences. And this superb vessel offers special family departures during the US Holiday season.

The oversize yacht offers 4 spectacular Deluxe Staterooms on the Bridge Deck--allowing 2 cabins to be converted into a 3 bed cabins. Note, however, that because these are so popular, these cabins have to be booked well in advance. The other 8 Superior Double Staterooms offer spectacular views to the sea and the islands.

On the main deck are another 13 large Double Staterooms. They have a series of porthole windows to the sea which give them a very unique look.

Teens haven't been forgotten, either. Do you have a teenager who doesn't want to have to share a room-especially with a younger brother or sister? Don't worry; there are 2 single bed cabins available on the main deck-just for this very situation!

Public areas onboard M/V Eclipse are absolutely spectacular. Both inside and "al Fresco" Dining is offered on the Weather Deck (located between the Main and the Bridge Deck). All meals can be served in one session. Breakfast and Lunch are buffet-style and the Dinner is a la carte. Enjoy the exquisite dinner inside the elegant Dining room, no formal wear required-casual, sport clothing is expected.

The M/V Eclipse--offering three fabulous sun decks for sunbathing, reading or just enjoying the moment.

M/V Eclipse is one of the world's best "small cruise" ships and it offers the comfort of a much larger vessel. Don't hesitate to participate in one of its cruises.

Another luxury vessel is M/V Evolution. In a bygone era, privileged travelers experienced the magic and mystery of the Galapagos Islands in a relaxed and elegant fashion. You and your family can still become those privileged travelers.

As on M/V Eclipse, a specially-trained Naturalist introduces your children to the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. M/V Evolution offers space for a maximum of 32 passengers and is a bit smaller than the M/V Eclipse.

On the Bridge Deck, you can enjoy the large "owner's suite" which covers the whole width of the vessel along with two large Bridge deck double cabins. These cabins are ideally shared by a large family seeking privacy--and they have it--because there are no other cabins on this floor.

The 8 large Main-deck cabins and the 4 large lower deck cabins all offer excellent comfort and convey the real "feel" of a cruise ship in the 1920's. Passengers of a bygone era had much more time to travel than many of us today. All cabins, however, offer modern comforts such as individual climate control and ample space to store and hang clothes.

The social areas of M/V Evolution are absolutely splendid. Gourmet-level meals are served either outside "al fresco" or inside in a beautifully-decorated dining room. The M/V Evolution is known for its outstanding cuisine.

M/V Evolution has an unforgettable lounge with wine bar where daily briefings about the next day's activities are held. This ship also features an extensive library about the Galapagos Islands and sun-decks featuring magnificent rattan furniture.

During "Family Cruises"---those that operate during the US School holidays, the M/V Evolution offers a "Kids Club" with special learning activities such as star-gazing and movie nights. Child-oriented Naturalists organize learning activities and provide children with a kid's Expedition Journal. The lectures about the next day's activities are organized especially for children--- the parents have plenty of time to enjoy the cruise and know that your children are in good hands.

Another vessel recommended for children is M/V Galapagos Legend. This yacht has no age limitation for children but any parents with children under 12 years of age are required to sign a "Waiver of LiabilitY" before they begin the cruise.

M/V Galapagos Legend has no specially trained staff for children, but the yacht has a playroom onboard with games and many play items for children.

Other yacht operators are looking in the future to organize special "Family Cruises" in the Galapagos Islands.

The Galapagos Islands offer a great family destination, where you can spend a beautiful, relaxing, and educational time together as a family; visiting impressive Island retreats, often far away from civilization. Few places exist where a family can enjoy this kind of combination.

Because of the uniqueness of the offering, the demand for these cruises is so large that you have to book well in advance---even a year ahead---especially if you like excellent cabins or want to pick your own cabin from those available.

This year, organize a Summer Holiday in the Galapagos Islands. This is a trip of a lifetime-- especially with your children and teenagers.

It's a trip you'll never forget.
About the Author
Peter Lauffer, General Manager of TrueColors
Travel
in Quito - Your Expert Guide for Galapagos Cruise Travel at www.galapagostraveller.com
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