Peregrine Adventures’ first custom-built expedition vessel has begun cruising the Galapagos as part of the company’s burgeoning small-ship Adventure Cruising program which has grown 35 per cent year to date.
One of the newest and most sustainable ships operating in the Galapagos, Grand Queen Beatriz, named after the matriarch of the Galapagueno family who built and own the vessel, departed on her maiden voyage from Puerto Baquerizo Morena in San Cristobal on Saturday July 1.
The first voyage was a combination of Peregrine’s 10-day Classic Galapagos and six-day Galapagos Encounter, offering guests the chance to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with a hike on Bartolome, iguana and sea lion spotting at Plaza Sur and Santa Fe, and encounters with ancient giant tortoise at San Cristobal.
The 30-metre vessel has been designed with comfort and space in mind. The ship’s nine cabins have outward-facing windows, ensuite bathrooms, are on average double the size of similar accommodation found on other boats in the region and are spread over three decks with separate communal areas, offering extra privacy and space. The 300-tonne boat is also home to a dining room, two bars, lounge and TV area, and a sun deck with a jacuzzi. The upper deck boasts private balcony rooms.
With a maximum of 16 guests and eight crew, the ship offers a ratio of one crew member to every two guests.
As a carbon-neutral travel company which prides itself on a low-impact travel model, the dedicated Peregrine vessel has solar panels to assist with power generation and is fitted with the latest technology ensuring the best fuel efficiency possible. The boat has been designed by a local boat builder, making use of local materials and creating local jobs.
Peregrine banned single-use plastics onboard its adventure cruises this year, with passengers given reusable water bottles to fill using drinking water available on the ship.
Filippos Venetopoulos, Peregrine’s Adventure Cruising general manager, says Queen Bea, as she has become known, was launched in response to demand from environmentally-conscious travellers in the region.
“While we have been cruising the Galapagos for more than 20 years, now that we have our own boat, we can offer an even more authentic Peregrine experience at sea; a small group of no more than 16 guests, an immersive experience focusing on discovery and education, comfort and space, insightful and attentive guides and the newest and most sustainable cruise experience available in the region,” Venetopoulos said.
“Peregrine’s style of cruising is all about immersing yourself in a place, learning about the culture and visiting spectacular natural environments. Queen Bea will offer a boutique expedition cruising experience including multiple shore activities each day from leisurely beach walks to volcanic treks, and open water or beach snorkelling offering the chance to swim with sea lions and turtles.”
“We were thrilled to see that the majority of guests on the maiden voyage hailed from Australia and expect to see Australian and New Zealand travellers continue to make up about 40 per cent of guests on Queen Bea.”
Grand Queen Beatriz is offering a combination of six, 10, 13 and 17-day Galapagos itineraries departing from Quito with the six-day Galapagos Encounter Central Islands priced from $3491* per person twin share.
The vessel will also offer Peregrine’s new action-packed 13-day Treasures of the Galapagos – Western & Central Islands, which offers great opportunities for wildlife viewing and interaction.
Peregrine Adventures launched its first season of small-ship cruising in Europe and the Americas in 2017 and expanded the program to South East Asia this year.
With the itineraries designed for environmentally-conscious travellers and more mindful explorers, Peregrine only charters small ships with capacity for 50 or less travellers, which can call at smaller ports that large cruise ships can’t access.
All trips are accompanied by Peregrine Adventures’ local leaders and include onboard kayaks, all transfers and excursions, as well as most meals.
Peregrine will continue to carbon offset all trips through a range of renewable energy projects.
For more information or to book visit https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/adventure-cruising
*Subject to availability, conditions apply.