Experience one of the world’s greatest natural treasures in an extraordinary cruise designed to showcase the best of Galapagos. In addition to viewing the marvelous flora and fauna of the archipelago, the annual Galapagos Conservancy cruise offers unique opportunities to witness firsthand the conservation programs in Galapagos, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Tortoise Breeding Center and the opportunity to dine with the Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Our Galapagos Conservancy cruises sail aboard the MV Integrity, a beautiful 16-passenger boat owned by Galapagos native, Rolf Sievers. Due to new Galapagos Park rules that limit visitor site traffic, trip itineraries alternate between a Western route and an Eastern Route from year to year.
A $1,500 deposit is required per person to reserve your spot on the trip. Approximately 12% of the cost of the trip goes toward Galapagos conservation (refer to the 2015 brochure for details). Children 10 years old and up are welcome on our cruises — we are sorry we cannot accommodate younger children.
Richard Polatty is INCA’s Chief Naturalist and Galapagos Guide Coordinator. He manages the guiding schedule and ensures the guides maintain their commitment to excellence. He began guiding in Galapagos in 1985 and has received only rave reviews since then. He has been guiding exclusively for INCA’s Galapagos Island trips since 1990.
In addition to being the principal author of the “CD-ROM Encyclopedia of Galapagos”, Richard is also an avid astronomer, having taught astronomy classes for the Galapagos National Park Naturalists Course as well as an active pilot with both land and seaplane ratings. Since 1992, he’s been a research associate for the Oceanites Foundation and research for the Antarctic Site Inventory funded by the US National Science Foundation. In addition to adventures in Galapagos, Richard has also been an expedition leader on four different ships, including the maiden voyage of Polar Circle (now the HMS Endurance), and is a veteran of more than 50 round trips to the Antarctic.
Richard Polatty is originally from Atlanta, GA but has lived in Ecuador for 30 years. He earned his Bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University and a masters from Emory University in the United States. He reforested his ranch in the Galapagos highlands with native plants to help conserve endemic birds.
Dr. Linda Cayot has worked for Galapagos conservation for more than 30 years. She first came to Galapagos in 1981 to study giant tortoises for her PhD from Syracuse University and she has stayed involved in the Islands ever since.
Linda served as herpetologist of the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) from 1988 to 1998, during which time she supervised both the giant tortoise and land iguana breeding and rearing programs, worked extensively with the recently deceased Lonesome George, the last member of the tortoise subspecies Chelonoidis abingdoni from Pinta Island, and supervised Ecuadorian students studying the endemic reptiles of Galapagos, among many other endeavors.
In her final year with the CDRS, Linda coordinated the start of the successful Project Isabela, aimed at ridding Isabela and other islands of feral goats. She is currently the Science Advisor to Galapagos Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term protection of the Galapagos Islands.
Linda participated in returning tortoises to Pinta Island in 2010, and more recently, she played a leading role in the Galapagos Tortoise Workshop of July 2012, making plans for the next 10 years of tortoise conservation in Galapagos.
“Exceptional is the only term that comes to mind for both guides. Richard has indeed encyclopedic knowledge about the Galapagos and other subjects. Linda is a world renowned expert in her field. We were very fortunate to be able to make our first visit to the Galapagos under the guidance of such gifted people.”
—Claude and Fabrizia Ostfeld, guests from GC’s 2010 cruise, on the quality of Richard Polatty and Linda Cayot’s trip knowledge and leadership
Email Dana Kaasik with questions or to reserve your spot today!