About Galapagos Explorer
The M/V GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II was part of the International Cruise Line “Renaissance” and operated in the Galapagos Islands since February 1998. It is not only a vessel adapted to the eco-tourism operations that provides environmental education and interpretation on the Galapagos, it also has all the installations and necessary services to guarantee guided experiences on the islands. The islands were discovered by Tomas de Berlanga in 1535, they found two islands and they saw three more, one of them, the largest, was Isabela. They named them Galapagos because of the similarity of the tortoise’s shell on a Spanish saddle. The lack of water and abundance of rocks caused a negative impression at first. The Galapagos Archipelago now consists of thirteen large islands (greater than 10 km2), six smaller islands, and over forty islets that have official names. The Archipelago is well isolated from other land masses (South America, 960 km, Cocos Island 720 km, Central America 1,100 km). The total land area is 7,882 square kilometers within a marine reserve of 45,000 square kilometers. Located on the equator, the Galapagos Islands have a surprisingly cool, sub-tropical climate. The larger islands with volcanic peaks have a variety of climatic zones. The coastal areas are quite arid covered with plants adapted to desert conditions. The highland areas receive moisture almost all year round, which supports lush vegetation. Temperatures are determined almost entirely by the ocean currents, which are influenced by the trade winds. There are two seasons, both of which have some precipitation. The Galapagos only get an average of ten inches of rain per year, so it is never considered “rainy”. During the months of December to May the cooling currents subside, temperatures rise and the climate is warm and sunny with occasional showers. In June, the trend begins toward cooler temperatures and moderate breezes, which continue through November. This period is also referred to as the “garua” season, which means mist in Spanish.