National Geographic Islander

Why cruise on this ship?

Expedition ship sailing year round to the Galapagos boasting a wide range of expedition tools to make guests' discovery of the region exciting, as well as interesting

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Serving regionally inspired meals, Islander's dining room offers guests the change to try out new dishes in a casual and relaxed ambience.

Dining Room

National Geographic Islander’s elegant dining room wraps around the stern with large windows and accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. You are free to dine with whom you like and independent travellers will find a warm welcome onboard. Dress is always casual and the general ambiance is relaxed and informal.

Every meal is a delight and often a discovery—a window, so to speak, on the region you’re exploring. All food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious; sourced from suppliers that share our values of sustainability whenever possible, and often inflected with regional flavours.

Breakfast is served buffet-style, with eggs and other dishes made to order. Enjoy freshly-baked pastries, and a bounty of fresh, tropical fruits and fresh-squeezed fruit juices. An early riser continental breakfast is also served each morning, and on warm tropical mornings, is often served on Islander’s covered outdoor deck.
Lunch is most often buffet, though occasionally served family style, and there is often an option of a light lunch served on deck.

Dinners are plated and served in the dining room, except for the evening when an extravagant barbecue is held on Islander’s open deck. Whether a meal is buffet-style or served, our gracious waitstaff is ever-present to attend to your every need.
During lunch and dinner your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers will join you for meals, and during breakfast they often sit together to plan the logistics of the exciting day ahead.


  • Experience: Complimentary
  • Food type: Regional


Islander offers a range of traditional entertainment amenities, including a Lounge, Bar, Library and shop. Some of them have a distinct expedition feels, as the shop sells items made by the people of Galapagos, and the Bridge is open to guests so they can survey the horizon.

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The lounge and bar are the main social hub of the ship, and where all the briefings, photography talks and guest speaker presentations take place. With sweeping windows over the stern and a skylight above, the room offers ample natural light and dramatic views.

The lounge is also the scene of convivial cocktail hour where you’ll share your photos or stories with fellow guests. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including beer, cocktails, spirits, and wines by the glass or bottle. Sodas and juices are complimentary.

The bar is typically open from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm, and from 5.00 pm until closing. The lounge also offers 24-hour beverage service, including coffee, a variety of teas, sodas, water, ice, and cookies. Boardgames and puzzles are also available.



Comfortable armchairs line a side of the Islander’s cosy library, and a dramatic wall of windows overlooks the sea. A limited collection of books includes fiction, regional guides, and reference books on Galapagos wildlife.


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You may come to consider the bridge another public room, as guests are encouraged to visit the officers whenever safe navigation permits. Learn about navigation from them, and share their enthusiasm for the extraordinary wildlife of Galapagos.



As an expedition ship, Islander boasts an expansive range of exploration equipment, including: zodiacs, kayaks, snorkelling gear, underwater camera and video microscope. These allow guests to discover the Galapagos in more depth and in a more exciting way than a regular cruise would.

Whilst onboard, experts on destinations and naturalists are available to talk to and also give lectures on a wide range of topics associated with the destinations visited.

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Taking place in the Lounge, Recap is when naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events, and the expedition leader presents the plan for the following day—as guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


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Exploration Tools

Zodiacs: Key to the operation is the fleet of four Zodiacs, which the crew uses to land on remote islands that would otherwise be inaccessible. With several of these boats used every time passengers disembark, the crew is able to transfer everyone off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. These sturdy inflatable craft are the same time-tested brand Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognised as the safest and most versatile small boats. The Zodiacs used are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.

Kayaks: A fleet of three single-person and five two-person kayaks allows you to paddle along scenic shores and explore water-level caves where Galapagos fur seals rest. Naturalists will help novices with technique and prior kayaking experience is not necessary; many of guests enjoy their first kayaking experience ever with inquisitive sea lions splashing nearby! Advanced kayakers will have the opportunity to explore further afield.

Underwater Camera: Undersea specialist will shoot video at snorkelling sights to share during Recap in Islander’s lounge. This high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of colourful fish and curious marine life will help you better understand and appreciate the marine environment.

Video Microscope: See the tiny flora and fauna that lives in the rich waters surrounding Galapagos and learn, in great detail, the difference between organic and in-organic sand on the islands. You’ll be able to view this fascinating microscopic life on the high-definition screens in the lounge as your naturalist explains it.


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Open Bridge

You’ll find the captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Islander’s bridge is open whenever safe navigation permits, and the Ecuadorian officers are pleased to share their career at sea and their enthusiasm for the Galapagos with you.


Health and fitness

Islander offers a selection of traditional health & fitness amenities, including a spa and fitness centre.

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Fitness Centre

The small but well-equipped fitness centre contains a stationary bicycle, a step machine, a treadmill, hand weights and yoga mats. The wellness specialist offers morning stretches outside on the Sundeck.


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Professional wellness specialist offer nature-inspired treatments between 8 am and 10 pm. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available. They’ll offer a rejuvenating recharge after a strenuous hike or kayak.


Kids and teens

Though National Geographic Islander does not have any facilities specially catered to children, she offers a range of daily activities and enrichment programs bounds to interest under-18s.

Daily kids activities include snorkelling and swimming with playful sea lions, hiking among colonies of birds, and sitting together as the community collectively recounts the day at Recap. These are the things you’ll remember together. Onboard, kids can never get too far away, but they’re also able to exercise their own independence. Often “kids’ tables” spontaneously form, giving kids the chance to create their own friendships. In other cases, families allow kids to freely join different activities groups by day, then enjoy dinner together at night.

Photo workshops with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor using smart phones or point-and-shoots. Hands-on science using the video microscope and learning about conservation projects, plus hands-on nature lessons with our naturalists who are trained to work with kids and are excellent role models. Journals and journalling time. Scavenger hunts. And “certificates of achievement” for various accomplishments. The kids’ program is learning disguised as fun. You’ll see kids discover hidden talents and gain confidence while having the time of their lives. Kid-friendly menus and movie night with pizza are always a hit, too.


All 24 of Islander's cabins feature ocean view, either through windows, or glassed-in terraces. Cabins were designed with expedition in mind, offering ample drawer space in the desk and beneath the bed(s) so you can store any luggage you may have.

Category 1

Featuring a window and two lower single beds which can convert to a queen bed. All cabins have window with an outside view, private bathroom facilities and climate controls.

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Category 2

Centrally located cabins feature a window and two lower single beds which can convert to a queen bed. All cabins also have private bathroom facilities and climate controls.

Category 3

Cabins feature a window and two lower single beds which can convert to a queen bed. All cabins also have private bathroom facilities and climate controls.

Category 4

Spacious cabins feature two lower beds which can convert to a lower double bed. All cabins feature a window and outside glassed-in terraces with seating. There are large windows in the top half of the terrace doors.

Category 5

These are the largest cabins onboard. They feature wrap around windows and two lower single beds which can convert to a queen bed. Both have a desk, chairs, and table. They also feature outside glassed-in terraces with seating.

Deck plans

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Main Deck

  • Dining Room
  • Reception
  • Doctor
  • LEXspa
  • Category 2 Cabins
  • Category 4 Cabins
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Bridge Deck

  • Lounge
  • Fitness Centre
  • Library
  • Internet
  • Bridge
  • Category 2 Cabins
  • Category 3 Cabins
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Upper Deck

  • Category 4 Cabins
  • Category 5 Cabins
Ship facts
Last refit
Wheelchair cabins