If you've had the Galapagos Islands on your bucket list forever — now might be the time to pull the trigger, thanks to some seriously epic new lodgings. Think: boutique hotel at sea (that also happens to be totally eco-friendly for guiltless travel).
Ecoventura has been taking travelers around the Galapagos Islands for years aboard four boats including three well-respected mid-range vessels and a live-aboard dive boat. When the Ecuadorian company decided to add a new vessel to its fleet they committed to creating something innovative — and the M/V Origin was born.
All of the 100 or so boats that are licensed to offer multi-day live aboard adventures in the Galapagos Islands are required to adhere to a range of basic environmental regulations. The Origin, which debuted in 2016, was designed to go above and beyond those basic requirements. The green goals for the boat were so ambitious that executive at the first shipyard approached by Ecoventura said it couldn’t be done. Ecoventura simply found another shipyard.
The Origin has a special hull that reduces fuel consumption by 30 percent compared to other vessels of its size and weight. All of the loos onboard are macerating toilets which reduce water consumption and aid in the water treatment process and the boat has extra capacity holding tanks for treated grey and black water. This means the Origin never has to dump those tanks anywhere near land as other boats with smaller holding tanks sometimes do.
Not that most guests notice the eco measures on board the 10-suite, 20-passenger Origin. They’re too busy enjoying the oversized picture windows in cabins and throughout the boat and the 145 square feet of space in most staterooms which all include plenty of storage space, in-suite gourmet coffee and tea makers, Apple TV offering music, and more than 30 movies (download the app before you board), rain shower heads, and robes and slippers.
All cabins on the Origin are located on the same deck as well, so there’s no stateroom pecking order. All guests get ample square footage and the same amenities and views from the same picture windows. On board Wi-Fi, a rarity in the Galapagos, will be available on the Origin by the end of 2016 and there’s a computer for guest use.
The entire boat looks more like a boutique hotel than a boat thanks to inspiration from a folder of clippings from yachting magazines, which Ecoventura owner Santiago Dunn had been collecting for years. Ecuadorian interior designer Cynthia Muirraqui was hired to bring the look and feel to life and the décor feature sustainably farmed teak wood floors, flattering LED lighting and custom furniture made in Ecuador.
There’s also an outdoor shower on the deck for easy rinsing after being in the sea, a Jacuzzi, a small but serviceable fitness room and an upper sun and shade deck with hammocks and loungers. All-inclusive rates include house wine, local beer and standard cocktails with premium liquor and wines available for purchase. And with 14 crew members on board, services is polished and professional.
The Origin combines design, comfort, and green measures in ways that no other Galapagos boat currently does. So who's ready for a dreamy island getaway?
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