M.C. Seaman II Liveaboard Galapagos Islands, Equador
M.C. Seaman II Liveaboard
Arriving on the Galapagos from Quito or Guayaquil normally occurs between 1 pm and 2 pm local time. After checking out at the airport, the payment of park entrance fees and taxes, our guests are welcomed by the crew and our guide, and transferred to the catamaran. Once our guests embark, they will receive a safety briefing followed by a well elaborated safety drill. The guide will then give a quick talk about what to expect from the cruise and the islands prior to your first shore excursion. Your first night on board of the catamaran will involve a welcome cocktail and the official introduction of the crew.
After all the shore excursions there will be snacks and soft drinks served to welcome you back on board. You will have some free time to relax, pick up a book in our small library, or simply enjoy a cocktail on the sun deck. Dinner will be served between 6.30 pm and 7.00 pm.
After dinner, your guide will give you the first evening briefing and a full overview of your expedition cruise on board Seaman II. The activities for the next day will also be explained and you will get a chance to ask as many questions you might have regarding Galapagos and the activities.
In general the catamaran will start her navigation at about 2 or 3 am on its way to the next island in order to arrive early in the morning. Breakfast is served at approximately 7 am after which we will disembark and proceed to the visits. The disembarkations could be of two types, wet or dry landings, at the shores of the island we will visit. A wet landing means you can wear flip flops or sandals and you will disembark the panga in shallow water at a beach. A dry landing however means you need closed shoes and will be disembarking at a dry spot. We will return to the yacht around 10 am for a drink and a snack and depending on the location go for another visit or a snorkeling trip, returning to the yacht at noon when lunch will be served. Seaman II then begins to navigate towards the next excursion.
The chef will prepare a special farewell dinner for you on your last day on board. We will also celebrate any birthdays or anniversaries that may take place with a special toast by the captain and a freshly baked cake by the chef. Our chef is more than happy to adjust the menu if you have special dietary needs. It is advised however to let reservations know about your diet.
Seaman II is a new catamaran that began cruising the Galapagos Islands in January 2008. She is a luxurious first class catamaran offering superior comfort, size, style, and stability.
Each guest can enjoy the well-furnished areas offering you comfort and privacy. Seaman II has a maximum capacity of 16 passengers allowing both intimacy and camaraderie at the same time.
We have several resting areas for those who are looking for a quiet place to relax with family and friends in the lazy mid-afternoon sun, or likewise after a busy day of walking, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming.
Make sure you have spent some time on the spacious sundecks if you want to check out the gorgeous ocean views with your shipmates. Whether you feel like getting a little sun on your vacation, or want the best place to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets over the Galapagos Islands, our sundecks are the best place to be.
For those of you with a thirst for knowledge, you can always look in the “book nook” (our onboard mini-library) for a few books about the islands in order to learn even more about what you have seen and experienced during the day.
For the adults who might want to relax and kick back we offer a great bar and lounge area where you will be served by our bartender who will be happy to attend to all your needs and desires whilst you relax.
Book one of our packages that include:
- English speaking certified naturalist guide
- Guided tours and excursions
- All meals and drinks (excluding premium brands)
All of our guides are certified by the Galapagos National Park and have gone through intensive training programs. They have several years of experience and a strong passion for sharing their knowledge of the wildlife, biology, geology and natural history of the islands. You will find that your guide is passionate with the conservation of the islands and is very strict when it comes to following and enforcing Galapagos park guidelines and rules. Your guide will be eager to share his/her knowledge, giving on-sight briefings during your shore excursions, as well as evening lectures.
After a full day of visits you will get to learn a little more about the sights you visited and will be able to ask your guide specific questions about wildlife, geology, marine life, biology, and other topics that interest you regarding the Islands. You will find your evening briefings are also a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers and share anecdotes from the day’s activities.
Service On Board
Each meal on board is a treat for the taste buds as our chef prepares the finest international and local dishes using fresh ingredients of the highest quality. All meals include the choice of meat, poultry or seafood. We can also cater for vegetarians and individuals with other dietary choices and needs. Salads are freshly tossed and fresh fruit is always available. We also have a selection of the best wines from around the world to compliment your meals. In addition we serve a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to your fancy.
© M.C. Seaman II
Darwin’s Enchanted Islands, the Galapagos possess an untamed beauty and excitement, giving one the feeling of being in another world. Though mere specks in the Pacific Ocean, these stark volcanic islands have emerged as one of the most significant biological wonders on Earth. Due to their geographical isolation and relative youth, an unique and fascinating array of plant and animal life has evolved there, representing a crossroad in evolution. To visit the Galapagos is to take an incredible journey back in time, to the Age of Reptiles, before the ascendancy of mammals and man.
The Galapagos Archipelago consists of seven major islands (San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela and Fernandina), six smaller ones (Darwin, Wolf, Pinta, Marchena, Genovesa and Baltra) and dozens and dozens of rocks and islets. Sometimes the smaller the island, the bigger the effect it has on the visitor. The archipelago stretches roughly 270 miles (430 km) from Darwin in the northwest to Espanola in the southeast.
The islands are truly remote and only recently have they felt the footsteps of man. The nearest land is Ecuador, on mainland South America, 600 miles (960 km) away to the east.
The islands themselves are the tips of mighty volcanoes that, 1 to 3 million years ago, rose 10,000 feet (3,000m) from the ocean floor to pierce the undulating surface of the Pacific Ocean. The islands today remain one of the most active volcanic regions on the planet. Visitors are often overwhelmed by the stark barren otherworldly look of the islands with their vast inhospitable flows of lava, baking in the hot equatorial sun. Darwin himself compared them with “the cultivated parts of the infernal regions.” But on closer inspection, life is expanding into every foothold and crevice, revealing its tenacity and a bit about how these islands were first colonized. And the higher elevations of some of the larger islands are covered with a green carpet of lush vegetation, though often interrupted by a raw steaming volcanic crater.
Even though they lie directly on the equator, the islands are bathed by cold, deep ocean currents: the Humboldt, South Equatorial and the Cromwell, which make for cooler than tropical dive conditions. The marine life of the Galapagos is especially prolific. The combination of cool upwelling waters in some locations and warm tropical waters in others permits an incredible diversity and abundance of marine life. In the Galapagos waters 270 species of fish exist. Nearly a quarter of them are endemic, which means that they are found only here.
While Darwin may be the Galapagos Islands’ most famous visitor, the islands were first discovered in 1535 when a Panamanian bishop’s becalmed ship drifted there en route to Peru. He was not impressed. Whalers and pirates soon became regular visitors, helping themselves to water when they could find it and filling their ships’ holds with huge land tortoises whose longevity would provide fresh meat after months at sea. The Galapagos were annexed by Ecuador in 1832, and given one of their many names; “Archipelago del Ecuador.” They are also known as the Enchanted Islands (the “Encantadas” or “Bewitched Islands”). Strong and variable currents and winds made early navigation hazardous. Few of today’s visitors realize that the official name of the islands is “Archipelago de Colon,” so bestowed in 1892 in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ (Cristobal Colon) discovery of the “New World.” But to all they remain the Galapagos Islands, Islands of the Tortoises; named for the huge lumbering land tortoises that once numbered in the hundreds of thousands. The confusion of names continues down to the individual islands. Many go by two or even three names; Spanish, English and whatever. So Floreana Island is also called Charles (after King Charles II), but its official name is Santa Maria.
Various and colorful attempts of human colonization date back more than 200 years. Most failed. Remember, these are inhospitable lava islands with no water. However, in the last 20 years the resident population has grown. Many first-time visitors are surprised to find permanent settlements, having anticipated some kind of naturalist’s Disney World. However, only four islands (Isabela, Floreana, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal) have any kind of settlement. The rest of the islands are as uninhabited today as they were in Darwin’s time. The Galapagos Islands have been an Ecuadorian National Park since 1959 and in 1979 was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Darwin’s one visit aboard the H.M.S. Beagle in 1835 lasted five short weeks and encompassed only four islands. His “Origin of Species,” published in 1859 put forth the concepts of natural selection and evolution. He grasped the fact that because these very remote islands were so recently “new and sterile” (when they first emerged from the ocean), that the many unique, but related, species of animals he encountered had to have evolved and differentiated from just a few colonizing species. His astute observations changed the way we view the world. One of the neat things about today’s Galapagos is that visitors, with a little prompting from their naturalist guide, can observe the same phenomenon, such as the differentiation of finch (the bird) species from island to island, that led Darwin to his landmark conclusions.
© M.C. Seaman II
Ecuador straddles the equator, from which it takes its name, and has an area of 272,046 km2 (109,483 sq mi). Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic centre in Latin America. The country's largest city is Guayaquil. The historic centre of Cuenca, the third largest city in the country, was also declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, for being an outstanding example of a planned inland Spanish style colonial city in the Americas. Ecuador is also home—despite its size—to a great variety of species, many of them endemic, like those of the Galápagos islands. This species diversity makes Ecuador one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world.