I’ve been covering the luxury yacht charter industry since 2000, and in those two decades, I’ve been to about 50 islands and countries. I’ve cruised in the Norwegian fjords and docked at must-see Mediterranean ports from Monaco to Portofino, Italy. I’ve cruised through the ancient harbors in Greece and Turkey, and sailed on America’s Cup racing machines in the Caribbean. I’ve snorkeled and scuba dived my way around Fiji, French Polynesia and Southeast Asia, and have enjoyed the historical, boat-filled beauty of North America from Nova Scotia on down to the Chesapeake Bay, Bahamas and beyond. From Alaska and the Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands down to Costa Rica and Panama, I’ve explored the North American West Coast, too.
Never have I experienced a charter so filled with nature’s wonders as the two that I was lucky enough to do in the Galapagos Islands.That’s why I take note when a charter yacht with a major company has availability in Galapagos, as is the case with the 125-foot Tecnavin motoryacht Tip Top IV right now. She’s part of the charter fleet at Yachting Partners International, and she has dates open in June, August, September and December for as many as 16 guests in 10 staterooms.
What did I experience in Galapagos that makes the place such a standout in my mind? Put simply: This place is what nature is like if we do our best to leave it alone.
The animals don’t fear people, because they’ve been protected for generations. Sea lions will waddle right up to you on the beach, or swim up to you as you snorkel. You can step over blue-footed boobies as they nest with their eggs smack in the middle of walking trails. They don’t even look up, for they have no fear. The land iguanas are like Rothko paintings with their colorful skins, and the giant tortoises are a sight to behold because of their, well, giantness. The dried, black lava fields are like a different kind of natural art, with their curves and twists and spirals leading from the volcanic openings to the sea.
The lowest weekly base rate is $77,200 to charter Tip Top IV during her remainder of available dates this year. Any reputable charter broker can help you book a week on board to see everything that I found so mesmerizing—and a whole lot more.