Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos archipelago is a mysterious world of unique topography, rare wildlife and natural wonders. Our Destination Ambassador, Ben Fogle, recently travelled to the Galápagos Islands on our new ship Celebrity Flora, designed specifically for this unique destination, to explore exactly what it is that makes these islands so special.

Read on to discover five of our unmissable Galápagos highlights, and watch some of the magical footage captured during Ben’s trip. Whether you’re dreaming of your first getaway to these islands or can’t wait to return, allow yourself to be entranced by their majesty.

1. Dramatic Landscapes

In the Galápagos, the scenery is like nowhere else on earth. At one turn, you’ll discover rugged, moon-like landscapes and volcanic rock; the next, idyllic beaches which wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard. It’s this diversity which makes the archipelago a haven for so many different endemic animal and plant species.

Among the most impressive sights on these islands is the Volcán Sierra Negra, a dormant volcano with a foggy summit, surrounded by sub-craters and fumaroles.  

2. Seal Watching

Among many other rare wildlife species, the Galápagos is home to the Galápagos Fur Seal. They are typically found along the rocks of the western coastlines. These seals are endemic to the Galápagos, and are classed as endangered, so seeing them frolic in the surf and nurse their young in the wild is a truly special experience.

As well as seals, look out for the Galápagos Sealion. These extraordinary creatures are able to “gallop” on land at speeds faster than a running human, and they can dive up to depths of a staggering 600m underwater. Look out for them resting on the beach – they tend to have brown and grey coats, and the males are significantly larger than the females.

3. Giant Tortoises

On the Galápagos Islands, get up close and personal with the largest species of tortoise in the world: the Galápagos Giant Tortoise. Once again, this species can’t be found anywhere else on the planet, making it an extraordinary experience to watch them feed, explore and rest in the wilderness of these special islands.

These tortoises are perhaps the most famous resident of the Galápagos islands (in fact, the old Spanish word ‘Galápagos’ roughly translates to ‘tortoise’). Living up to their name, they grow to a maximum of 1.8m long, and the oldest Galápagos Giant Tortoise lived to the impressive age of 170 years in captivity. 

4. Giant Lizards

There are also many types of lizard to be found on the Galápagos Islands, as Ben Fogle discovered during his trip. Among these are the Galápagos Lava Lizard, which is native to the archipelago and is found across ten of its most central islands. In fact, they’re the reptile you’re most likely to see – look out for them soaking up the rays on top of lava, which is what gives them their distinctive name.

Also keep your eyes peeled for Marine Iguanas, which are also found only in the Galápagos. You’ll find them dipping in and out of the surf and showcasing their excellent swimming skills, which is part of what makes this species so special – they’re the only type of lizard in the world which can live and hunt for food in the sea. While they are usually black in colour, males change colour during mating season to impress the females. 

5. Sunsets 

At the end of a long day exploring and wildlife watching on the Galápagos Islands, catching an epic sunset from the top deck of your Celebrity Cruises ship is the icing on the cake. Watch the sun slip below the horizon against a backdrop of otherworldly lava fields and jaw-dropping cliffs. 

Discover Celebrity Flora 

Speaking of your ship, welcome onboard Celebrity Flora, your luxury home at sea. Flora is purpose-built to sail to the Galápagos Islands – not only do the interiors celebrate sustainable materials to reflect the landscape, but it has an innovative outward-facing design that ensures that the beauty of the Galápagos is showcased from every place on the ship.

You’ll feel a part of the incredible destination surrounding you whether you’re soaking up the views from the hot tub or enjoying an al fresco lunch. What’s more, the all-Suite accommodations feature spacious balconies plus outward facing beds meaning you’ll wake up to stunning vistas each day. 

Sustainability Initiatives 

Celebrity Flora is dedicated to preserving the unspoilt nature of the Galápagos Islands. There’s no plastic used onboard, and the ship also has a Dynamic Positioning System which keeps the ship stationary without using anchors, preventing any damage to the seabed and its wildlife. Additionally, you’ll find that Celebrity Flora is every inch as luxurious as the rest of our fleet, with a gourmet restaurant run by a Michelin-starred chef, and private balconies in every room to soak up the scenery.

Discover Celebrity Flora for yourself and start planning your own trip of a lifetime by browsing our Galápagos cruises.