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City and finance


08 Nov 2016

BY Pippa Jacks

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Larger cruise ships better for Galapagos environment

Larger cruise ships are not only better for the Galapagos’s delicate environment, but also give visitors a better experience.

Galapagos Cruise ship

Ecuadorian DMC Metropolitan Touring claims larger cruise ships better for the environment of the Galapagos islands

That was the message from Ecuadorian DMC Metropolitan Touring, which has released a new sales tool to help the trade challenge consumer perceptions about Galapagos cruising.


Metropolitan is the biggest operator in the archipelago and owns three ships, ranging in size from 40 to 90 passengers.


Galapagos product manager Pancho Dousdebes said tourists often presume a small ship sleeping 16 will give them the most exclusive experience, but insisted this is not necessarily the case.


“The national park rules limit the number of tourists at any one site, not the number of boats. So if you choose a small boat, there are likely to be several other small boats there with you, whereas on our largest ship Santa Cruz II we almost always have landing sites to ourselves,” he explained.


Small boats will often have the highest possible guide-to-passenger ratio, of one naturalist to 16 guests, while groups on Metropolitan’s three ships tend to be only 12-14, he pointed out.


One large ship dropping one anchor has less impact on the sea floor than six smaller ones dropping anchors, he claimed, adding that there were also fuel efficiencies to be made on a larger vessel.


The new “Choose Wisely” brochure dispels 12 different myths about Galapagos cruising, and uses generic illustrations instead of featuring Metropolitan’s three ships specifically.


“We know that in the inspiration stage, thinking about ship size is more important than the names of different ships. Helping the consumer make the right choice about size is our main concern, even if they end up choosing a larger ship that is not our own,” said Dousdebes.


The new guide is available online or in a mini-brochure format for operators and agents.

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