Since 1990 Ecoventura has been fascinating nature lovers with out-of-this-world experiences in the Galapagos Islands. Travelers are made to feel special on an Ecoventura cruise, a well-informed choice for active adults and families who appreciate traveling with a small group, quality accommodations, an ideal guide-to-passenger ratio and thoughtful (and fun!) itineraries. Travelers can also feel good knowing they are supporting a company on the forefront of sustainable cruise operations and leading the way in protecting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador’s main tourist attraction and the planet’s first World Heritage Site.
The family-owned expedition cruise company is based in Guayaquil, where it is able to provide impeccable care to the operation of its fleet of three identical sister yachts: Eric, Flamingo, and Letty. As owner and operator, Ecoventura is in full command of the operation, receiving its guidance from a philosophy expressed by the company’s president, Santiago Dunn: “We want to give our passengers the assurance that Ecoventura has taken every measure to ensure that passengers enjoy a safe, thrilling adventure without harming the unique wildlife or the fragile environment. We all live in this world and breathe the same air, the least we can do is try to preserve it for our children and future generations to come.”
The philosophy is taken to heart by a staff of nearly 30, all of whom are Ecuadorian with the exception of a handful of employees in Miami who facilitate travel to the Galapagos. The guides, captains and crew are top-notch, several of whom have been working with Ecoventura since its beginning. To optimize each passenger’s Galapagos’ experience, the company chose to build the yachts to accommodate no more than 20 guests, which with two naturalist guides per vessel creates an ideal traveler-to-guide ratio of 10-to-1, the smallest traveler-to-guide ratio found in Galapagos.
From day one, the professional, knowledgeable and friendly guides are fostering camaraderie among the group. Because they operate three nearly identical yachts on each cruise, they make a strong effort to put people of similar ages and interests on each boat, allowing them to offer family and teen trips on some departures, while still offering entire yachts for adults only. They are one of the few companies to specialize in family trip, and their guides and staff on these trips are great with kids!
Ecoventura maintains a strong leadership role in keeping the Galapagos biologically pristine. Driven by President Dunn, the company’s initiatives are focused on environment sustainability as well as social responsibility. Even its cruise ships are eco-friendly and becoming friendlier in order to meet the company’s own stringent environmental standards. With the installation of solar panels and wind generators on the Eric, the ship’s carbon emissions dropped by 10 percent. The Letty is next to receive the carbon-reducing installations and the Flamingo will be replaced with an eco-friendly ship, further reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
Travelers who embark on an Ecoventura adventure are not just on a comfortable, high-quality cruise, they’re riding high on an activity-filled experience with a two-fold benefit to the Galapagos. Their money supports directly the local Galapagos communities and marine conservation in the islands. Ecoventura that it was the first company to earn the Smart Voyager certification, which guarantees for travelers that they are booked with an operator who cares about the conservation of its place of operation and is eco-friendly and socially responsible.
The company also established the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund with the World Wildlife Fund to support environmental education and marine conservation in the Galapagos. It is important to Ecoventura to directly support Galapagos communities which it does by employing locals, purchasing local supplies and sponsoring a local school and a nonprofit. One school program sponsors an ecology course for Galapagos students who are further benefited with an opportunity to explore a career in tourism as a professional guide.