Rumour has it that all the borders are slowly starting to open up again. Here Ecuador confirmed September 1st for their grand reopening, and honestly, we could not be happier. News also broke that the Galapagos Islands are officially COVID-free, making it one of the few places in the world to beat the pandemic.
So as you start to let your minds wander to your next vacation, allow us to tempt you with some extraordinary Enchanted Islands.
Here's why the Galapagos Islands is your perfect holiday destination right now?
The Galapagos Islands Are Secluded
This archipelago is a 90 minute(ish) flight from the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil. You can only fly to the Galapagos Islands from this airport and the number of visitors allowed per year is limited. So not only is the Galapagos Islands hard to access, it is also very exclusive.
People do not come here just because; people come here because they really want to.
Likewise, humans inhabit only 3% of the island, with their population being around 25,000. For those looking to avoid crowds of people, this is your place. In fact, the biggest group you'll see is a school of fish during your snorkels.
Even the islands themselves are distancing from each other. Some of our navigations take all night to reach.
We usually broadcast these facts to highlight the peace and serenity one can expect with us, but now the lack of human interaction is more of a key necessity, rather than a bonus.
Our Cruises Are Designed To Be Exclusive
Our luxury yachts are small but mighty. They have a maximum occupancy of 16 guests and lots of space to facilitate social distancing.
While we love the intimacy of our voyages, the current situation means that we have made some adjustments to the way we serve you (further details are available on our website). It may not be as social as we like, but the attention to detail will be as fabulous as ever. So if we can't have you spaced out and dining "together" al fresco, we will serve you in your cabins.
Outside of the yacht, the Galapagos National Park has always mandated that excursions to the islands must be limited. This means that a minimal number of boats are allowed near an island at any given time. We will never find ourselves surrounded by other cruises, nor will we be waiting in a line to see a particular "attraction".
More often than not, we will be the only ones on an island.
It's All Outside
The lockdown has been tough on everyone, and for a lot of us, we have been isolating in small spaces. Our apartments have become our offices, homes, schools and our daycare centres. As restrictions ease up, outside is where we want to be.
Just picture it now; the open sea, a different island every day, a varied terrain, new people, someone else to do the dishes; swims in the ocean and long walks every day. The endless supply of fresh air. New foods that you didn't cook. Something new to talk about, with someone new. Your senses are going to go wild with all this newfound freedom.
It sounds like post-COVID heaven, doesn't it?
Yes, the earth has had time to heal. However, in a bid to reduce contact and contamination, our plastic concerns seem to have disappeared.
Single-use plastic is back in business, and we are wearing and discarding endless amounts of plastic gloves. Pictures are emerging of beaches and parks littered with personal protective equipment. Eateries are serving their items on plastic plates with plastic cutlery, and as tourism opens back up again, more single-use plastic will come into circulation.
We understand why these things are happening, but the Galapagos Islands and Haugan Cruises doesn't believe that there has to be a compromise.
We are still committed to operating as eco-friendly as possible. All of our equipment, utensils and products will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
It still remains that zero waste is to be left behind after your excursions.
As always, you will be provided with a metal water bottle on your first day, and we will continue to allow you to refill those bottles from our water dispensers.
Baltra Airport remains 100% self-sustaining, using wind as its energy source.
The Galapagos Islands is still your eco-friendly refuge as well as a COVID-free safe zone. So while your health and comfort is a priority for us, it is also still our mission to care about the environment.
It's A Trip You Will Never Forget
Firstly, because you never thought you would get to go on holiday again and secondly because it's the Galapagos Islands.
When you look back at 2020, you are going to have a lot of mixed feelings—the good, the bad, the stress and hopefully the relief. If you ask us, your first holiday needs to be epic. And what is more epic than a luxury cruise around these idyllic islands, where your days are spent swimming with Tropical Penguins and watching nature at it's finest?
The entire experience is mindblowing. These islands aren't nicknamed the Enchanted Islands for anything!
There are so many WOW moments on these vacations. There are all those small details on board. There's the knowledge of your Naturalist when you are out exploring. There's the curiosity of the baby Seals and the nonchalant mentality of the Sea Turtles.
The Galapagos Islands has so many hidden secrets and surprises; it isn't easy to put into words. But it is a trip that you would never forget under the best of circumstances. After the year you've had, this adventure will have so much more meaning than any other. So it only makes sense that the next time you get on a plane, it's to the most unique place on earth.