Metropolitan Touring Announces New Galápagos Itineraries for 2012

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Metropolitan Touring’s vessels in the Galápagos Islands will operate new itineraries approved by the Galápagos National Park from 20th January 2012.

Galapagos Frigate - Wildlife in Galapagos with Metropolitan Touring

Galapagos Frigate - Wildlife in Galapagos with Metropolitan Touring

The company’s expedition teams in both Quito and the Galápagos have worked extremely hard to develop the new itineraries for its three vessels, taking into account its passengers’ and its clients’ best interests

Metropolitan Touring’s vessels in the Galápagos Islands will operate new itineraries approved by the Galápagos National Park from 20th January 2012.

“The change in itineraries is the result of the National Park Service exploring alternatives to ease the pressure on the local wildlife at the 14 most popular visiting sites in the archipelago, by redistributing visitor numbers across more sites,” explains company President, Paulina Burbano de Lara.

The new visiting system in the national park allows for a maximum of three itineraries within a 14-night period, during which time no visitor site can be repeated – apart from the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, which may be visited twice.

“The company’s expedition teams in both Quito and the Galápagos have worked extremely hard to develop the new itineraries for its three vessels, taking into account its passengers’ and its clients’ best interests,” says Burbano de Lara. “Each itinerary has gone through many reviews by the National Park authorities before being approved.”

From 20th January 2012, the upscale Yacht La Pinta, with capacity for 48 guests, will operate three separate itineraries according to the following schedule: “Western Galápagos” for a full week, 8 days/7 nights, Friday to Friday, beginning in Baltra Island and ending in San Cristóbal Island; “Eastern Galápagos” 4 days/3 nights, Friday to Monday, beginning in San Cristóbal and ending in Baltra; “Northern Galápagos” 5 days/4 nights, Monday to Friday, beginning and ending in Baltra.

From the same date, the classic, 40-guest Yacht Isabela II will begin its new itineraries, offering one full-week and two 5-day/4-night journeys: “Northern Galápagos” 7 days/6 nights, Tuesday to Monday, beginning at San Cristóbal Island and ending in Baltra; “Central Galápagos” 5 days/4 nights, Monday to Friday, beginning and ending in Baltra; “Southern Galápagos” 5 days/4 nights, Friday to Tuesday, beginning in Baltra and ending in San Cristóbal.

The company’s largest vessel, the 90-guest M/V Santa Cruz will benefit from three great new itineraries of two 5-night and one 4-night: “Eastern Galápagos” 6 days/5 nights, Friday to Wednesday beginning in San Cristóbal Island and ending at Baltra Island; “Western Galápagos” 6 days/5 nights, Wednesday to Monday, beginning at Baltra and ending at Baltra; “Northern Galápagos” 5 days/4 nights, Monday to Friday, beginning in Baltra and ending at San Cristóbal Island.

Each vessel’s itineraries can be combined, joining two geographic areas together and thereby providing a more complete vision of the archipelago’s history, geology and wildlife.

The company has derived numerous benefits from the changes in the new visiting system for its trio of vessels.

“Sites that at present cannot be visited by vessels of more than 40 guests will be opened, such as Genovesa, Tagus Cove, Santa Fe Island and South Plaza Island,” Klaus Fielsch, Expedition Manager, explains. “Optional activities such as dinghy rides, glass-bottom boat rides, swimming, snorkelling and kayaking will be enjoyed at more sites and with improved zoning, which is great for our guests’ experience and safety. Overall, we feel the new itineraries are more finely-tuned to our vessels’ attributes and we look forward to operating them from next January.”

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Dominic Hamilton
Metropolitan Touring
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