The Galapagos Explorer II is a comfortable and spacious small ship carrying 100 guests in 50 well equipped suites. Each queen or twin bed suite offers outside views, are fully air conditioned, equipped with marble bathrooms, TV, mini bar, satellite communication and wifi internet. The Galapagos Explorer II is one of the few ships in the Galapagos to feature an elevator. In addition to upscale accommodations and service the Explorer II has made the conservation of the Galapagos Islands one of the principle objectives of cruising aboard the Explorer II.
Galapagos Explorer II Review
Read our detailed review of the Galapagos Explorer II with a complete small ship description including deck plans and a photo gallery. An AdventureSmith Explorations crew member has been aboard the Galapagos Explorer II in the Galapagos Islands. Please read our Galapagos Explorer II review below then contact our Galapagos cruise experts to compare the Galapagos Explorer II with other Galapagos small ships and cruises.
Built in Italy in 1990, the M/V Galapagos Explorer II is one of the safest and most elegant vessels to cruise the Galapagos’s waters. Designed to provide comfort and scientific information to 100 passengers visiting the Galapagos National Park, the Galapagos Explorer II introduces travelers to the best the Galapagos has to offer. The Explorer II was part of the small ship cruise "renaissance" and has been operating in the Galapagos Islands since February 1998. Well adapted to eco-tourism operations that provide environmental education and interpretation on the Galapagos, an Explorer II cruise has all the installations and services to provide guests with an unforgettable Galapagos vacation.
Common Areas aboard Galapagos Explorer II
Spacious common areas aboard the Galapagos Explorer II include a conference room, piano bar, boutique, library, elevator, restaurant with a special kids menu, jacuzzi, solarium, observation deck, 24 hours coffee and tea station, medical assistance, laundry room, massage suite, satellite communication, internet center and wireless service on board. The ship has an elevator that accesses all decks. The front desk and reception area is centrally located on the Columbus Deck and staffed by professional crew who are welcoming and always eager to assist with exceptional customer service. A well stocked library features a large selection of natural history books, pocket books and field guides, scientific reports and books for kids. The Main Lounge, located on the Columbus Deck, is where naturalist guides offer natural history presentations and daily briefings.
The Galapagos Explorer II features multiple outdoor decks, most with 360 degree observation. The Solarium, or Sun Deck, is the best place to soak up the sun or stargaze at night. The Erickson Deck features an outdoor lounge with two Jacuzzis with a capacity of six people each and a full bar. All outdoor decks feature comfortable lounges with reclining chairs and a station where you can treat yourself with tea, coffee, cookies and water.
The Galapagos Explorer II it outfitted with a modern bridge (located at the Marco Polo Deck) at vanguard of the marine technology. The bridge is accessible to guests and visiting hours are posted in the daily program. A Medical Assistance Center is equipped to assist travelers in case of an emergency or in case of a minor accident. A certified doctor is available twenty four hours a day.
Meals aboard Galapagos Explorer II
Most meals are served in the main dining room on the Magellan Deck, featuring large view windows and open seating. Some meals and appetizers may be served al fresco on the outside decks. Breakfast and lunch are served as a buffet while dinner offers a choice between a variety of dishes (always including two standard and two vegetarian entrée’s). Dinning is open seating and casual in the spacious dining room with excellent views. Chefs feature a variety of Ecuadorian and international cuisine. Special diets are easily accommodated with advance notice.
Activities On board the Galapagos Explorer II
Of course the primary activities are daily shore excursions to visit the Galapagos Islands in the company of expert naturalist guides. Naturalists’ guides certified by the Galapagos National Park share their knowledge about natural history, wild life, vegetation and geology. Previous to dinner the lead guide gives a shore program with information regarding the next days activities, for example, what species could be seen, what to wear, type of terrain, the time etc.
Travelers are divided into groups of 16 travelers for shore walks and snorkeling activities. Walking sticks, beach towels and rain coats are provided for guest use. Guests may rent wetsuits and snorkel equipment to enhance their experience. On board the Galapagos Explorer II you will find a “Research Record” a book where the naturalists’ guides register unique events of the marine and land life of the islands.
An important part of the experience of being on board the Galapagos Explorer II is sharing Ecuadorian culture. As such a number of other on board activities may be available including cocktail lesions, Spanish lesions, towel folding, Ecuadorian chocolate tastings and presentations relating to conservation programs promoted by the Galapagos Explorer II. In addition the ship may offer fun diversions such as karaoke, theme parties and star gazing. After a full day of exploration the relaxing massage service is a favorite. A variety of treatments include: Reflexology massage, Swedish massage, crystal massages, aromatherapy massages and REIKI with aromatherapy.
Conservation aboard Galapagos Explorer II
The Galapagos Explorer II is designed to reduce the impact in the Galapagos archipelago and support local communities. In 2001 the Galapagos Explorer II achieved the “Smart Voyage - Rainforest Alliance” certification which recognizes that properly managed tourism can contribute to conservation, sustainable growth and poverty improvement. It received an ISO 14001 certification in 2008, which is an international regulation that allows the ship to establish, record, implement, maintain and constantly improve the environmental management system. The Galapagos Explorer II supports conservation on the Islands by participating in programs sponsored by the Galapagos National Park, Charles Darwin Station, San Cristobal City Hall, San Cristobal Board, INNFA (National Institute for children and their families) and Galapagos foundation, and other schools and local organizations. Some waste is processed and transferred to the local community for their recycling projects.
The Galapagos Explorer II supports Galapagos communities through social work and contributions to education. It sponsors the Ignacio Hernandez Technical School, located in San Cristobal, by donating educational supplies for students who specialize in tourism. Students also have the opportunity to receive practical training onboard. The Galapagos Explorer also purchases most of the products that are consumed on the ship from the islands and lets island inhabitants participate in the ship’s onshore operations.
International Quality and Safety Standards
The Galapagos Explorer II has always been at the forefront of technology. Environmental, passenger and cruise safety is a priority. The ship has been certified by: ISM Certification (International Safety Management (ISM)); ISPS Certification (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code; SOLAS International Security Certification (Safety of Life at sea); International Certificate of Cargo Line (ILLO) International Oil Pollution Prevention; IOPP (MARPOL) (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships). Guests are required to follow instructions for their protection and safety during their stay.
Cabins aboard the Galapagos Explorer II
All cabins aboard the Explorer II are fully air conditioned. The ship offers 50 exterior classic line suites, equipped with two twin beds or one queen bed, private baths, hairdryers, a television, refrigerated bar, private safety deposit boxes, large closets, vanity dressers, and satellite communication for national or international calls. The Galapagos Explorer II offers all suite categories located on 4 separate decks.
Renaissance Balcony Suites (Explorer Deck) #601-604 have balconies, convertible double beds, extra sofa bed for triple configurations, mini-bar, television, marble bathroom, private safety deposit box, walk-in or large closets, satellite communication, 110/220 volt outlets, hair dryer, vanity dresser. Average suites size: 287 square feet.
Majestic Balcony Suites (Erickson Deck): Cabins # 507-512 & 514-519 have balconies, convertible double beds, extra sofa bed for triple configurations, mini-Bar, television, marble bathroom, private safety deposit box, walk-in or large closets, satellite communication, 110/220 volt outlets, hair dryer, vanity dresser. Average suite size: 215 square feet.
Deluxe Balcony Suites (Marco Polo Deck): Cabins #420-427 have balconies, convertible double beds, extra sofa bed for triple configurations, mini-Bar, television, marble bathroom, private safety deposit box, walk-in or large closets, satellite communication, 110/220 volt outlets, hair dryer, vanity dresser. Average suite size: 215 square feet.
Renaissance Panoramic Suites (Erickson Deck): Cabins #505 & 506 have panoramic windows, convertible double beds, extra sofa bed for triple configurations, mini-bar, television, marble bathroom, private safety deposit box, walk-in or large closets, satellite communication, 110/220 volt outlets, hair dryer, vanity dresser. Average suite Size: 284 square feet.
Classic Suites (Columbus, Marco Polo and Magellan Decks): Cabins #428-433 (Average suite size: 235 square feet) and Cabins #334-345 (Average suite size: 250 square feet) have two windows. Cabins #246-252 (Average size: 240 square feet) have portholes. All Classic Suites have convertible double beds, extra sofa bed for triple configurations, mini-bar, television, marble bathroom, private safety deposit box, walk-in or large closets, satellite communication, 110/220 volt outlets, hair dryer, vanity dresser.