Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Visit Galapagos

2009 will mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, the 150th anniversary of the publication of his work 'On the Origin of Species' and 50 years since the establishment of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF). What better time to visit Galapagos Islands which served as the inspiration for his great works?

The Galapagos Islands contain a unique combination of land and oceanic ecosystems, with many distinct habitats found in each. The Galapagos are located at the point where major ocean currents meet and the islands straddle the junctions between several shifting tectonic plates.

This area is truly unlike any other place on earth.

The Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR), one of the world's largest protected areas, has more than 2,900 reported marine species and over 18% of those live nowhere else on earth. Some of the best known coastal animals of Galapagos include sea lions, fur seals, flightless cormorants, albatrosses, three species of booby, two frigatebird species, sea turtles, the marine iguana, and penguins.
The Galapagos National Park Service works hand in hand with the Charles Darwin Research Station implementing their common goals of conservation and preservations of the natural resources with the Galapagos National Park and Galapagos Marine Reserve. The park service approves all itineraries of boats visiting the islands making sure that the tourism is distributed evenly throughout the islands. They also work as the licensing board for guides in the islands.
We visited the Galapagos onboard Celebrity Xpedition. Celebrity Cruises is also heavily involved in protecting the GMR. You'll even have the opportunity to contribute yourself during your visit. Once you've visited the Galapagos, I'm certain that you too will want to see this land preserved for generations to come. The Celebrity Xpedition guides were very knowledgeable making for a fabulous experience in the Galapagos.
In my next post, we'll start to examine the trip in more detail.

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