The Galapagos is at the top of the bucket list for a lot of families, and it’s easy to see why. Up-close-and-personal gawking at iridescent iguanas; photo ops with brightly colored blue-footed boobies; and, most of all, snorkeling interactions with marine life make this a family-bonding experience that’s hard to beat.
Next year G Adventures will debut a brand-new, high-end catamaran yacht that just opened for booking for families who like to plan ahead.
The 103-foot Reina Silvia Voyager yacht is the company’s sixth in its fleet of vessels. The yacht will cruise the Galapagos Islands with up to 16 passengers on board, accommodated in 10 cabins on two decks. Eight of those cabins are designed for twin/double stays, and two are singles. Eight rooms offer private balconies, while all rooms have panoramic windows for optimal ocean viewing, plus bright, contemporary furnishings, artwork by local naturalist photographers and energy-saving LED lighting.
Common areas on board will include an expansive third deck with lounge chairs for sunbathing, a covered cocktail bar, grill station and an outdoor Jacuzzi tub for relaxing under the sun or stars. An indoor, air-conditioned salon with a large video screen will enable visual presentations from specially trained naturalists, who will guide each group’s tour and help guests learn about the iconic wildlife and culture of the Galapagos Islands’ inhabitants.
Landings and exploration of the region’s remote ports and wild, rocky coasts will be accessible to guests, thanks to Reina Silvia Voyager’s nine on-board kayaks and two zodiacs for guests’ guided use. Wetsuits and snorkeling gear will also be available, as will beach towels and hairdryers. All meals on board are included and will accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and allergy-sensitive diets. A crew of nine, including a dedicated chef and G Adventures’ chief experience officer will serve guests daily.
“There is nothing in the world like making eye contact with a curious sea lion, gentle sea turtle, tiny seahorse or prehistoric iguana in a place where Darwin himself studied evolution. We want our guests to have all of these adventurous experiences and still enjoy a dose of maritime luxury,” said Yves Marceau, global vice president of product, G Adventures, overseeing the design and construction. “The Reina Silvia Voyager is being purpose-built to enable nimble, immersive moments in and under the water, then welcome guests back on board in ultimate comfort. I am eager to experience this new cruise for myself.”
G Adventures’ two new 10-day itineraries start and finish in the capital city of Quito, and offer sailings through either the eastern or western Galapagos, including the inhabited islands of Isabela, Floreana, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, plus eight other uninhabited islands protected within the Galapagos National Park system. Rates for eight days range $5,999–8,919; for 10, $6,599–9,699.
Does your road trip crew include young kids? We’ve been there, too, and know keeping everyone busy and entertained makes those long stretches of interstate much more peaceful.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
In the market for new luggage? If you’re outfitting your entire family of travelers, you may want to check out some new offerings available at Target from travel brand Atlantic. Atlantic’s new line focuses on making travel more convenient with kiddos, and includes seven pieces to choose from, all made with durable, lightweight, sustainable materials (each item is made from up to 27 recycled plastic bottles).
Engaging children in a family road trip can be a challenge, so parents often concentrate on keeping backseat passengers amused with games and activities. These focus their attention inside the car instead of on the places you travel.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Norwegian recently launched the newest addition to its fleet, Viva, with a spectacular debut earlier this month. The ship, launched from Trieste, Italy, and finishing its inaugural run in Lisbon, Portugal, is the second in its Prima Class of ships, set to give family travelers the ultimate vacation experience.