Or a penguin, fast and feathery, "flying" through the water . . .

Much akin to a Sandals Resort, the Xpedition cruise includes all meals, drinks (beer, wine and liquor too!), tours, guides, snorkel gear, island transportation and all gratuities.  Be warned, if you are considering this excursion, the price per couple, including air from Miami, runs in the $14,000 to $18,000 range and it will most likely take a year or longer to book accommodations!

We enjoyed the trip so much that my normally quite frugal Norwegian travel companion has already put me on notice that all future cruises will be measured by the Xpedition’s standard of quality and service and she’ll no longer accept any accommodations without the bare minimum of a balcony and free flowing champagne.  I guess I can forget about all those great bargain trips I had lined up sharing a dorm with the engine room crew.  

We spent most of our first day aboard getting settled and exploring our new home as we set sail for the the islands of Santiago and Rabida.

The next morning, after everyone had at least 50 photos of this guy, we shooed him away from our Zodiac and headed ashore to meet the rest of the islands’ inhabitants: Sea Lions, Galapagos Fur Seals, Marine Iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs and…

This gal was a pretty good sport about the entire event until we all walked away and left her stranded.  She definitely laid to rest any notion of British females being prim and proper!  I did note that obscene language does seem a bit more acceptable when spoken with a British accent.

In addition to land dwelling creatures, we also encountered a plethora of those with feathers…

Although there are several smaller vessels available to explore the Galapagos Islands, the Xpedition is the largest and most luxurious…

Sometime just before sunset our sore, sunburned ecstatic little band made its way back “home” to trade stories of close encounters and amazing escapes from the jaws of certain death.  And thus endeth Day One.  Stay tuned, there’s more to come.  Hugs, CC & me

This rather formidable looking fellow is a Marine Iguana and he is one of a very select group of creatures found nowhere on the planet except right here, The Galapagos Islands…

The Galapagos Islands are all of volcanic origin and walking on uneven lava surfaces requires that you pay very close attention lest you become trapped in a molten lava pool and displace the local wildlife as the favorite target of the paparazzi…

  Galapagos - Part 1                                                  November 20, 2014

After a morning of chasing after all matter of critter living on and above the land, we donned our wet suits and headed out to the briney deep in search of anything fast and finny…or maybe just slow and hungry…

Our previous edition provided an historical and cultural perspective of Ecuador, in general, and Quito, in particular.  Now that we have dispensed with those formalities we can get on with the real purpose of this journey to the center of the earth…

Our departure from Quito on Sunday morning by chartered plane with 90 other adventurers deposited us 2 hours later and 650 miles offshore on Baltra Island in the Galapagos Archipelago and ultimately aboard the Celebrity Xpedition …