Anchored in the serene waters of Darwin Bay, National Geographic Islander II stood still, offering a front-row seat to the natural spectacle of Genovesa. As the morning sun gradually lit up the island, the passengers eagerly disembarked, ready to explore this avian wonderland.
Genovesa is not your average island. It's a haven for birds, with every corner echoing the vibrant life and calls of its feathered inhabitants. As soon as our feet touched the sandy shores, we were greeted by countless birds, each going about their day but still very much aware of our presence. Red-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and Nazca boobies were just a few of the species that painted the island's landscape, their contrasting colors and behaviors offering a visual treat.
The second half of the morning was dedicated to exploring the waters surrounding the island. Some of us chose to snorkel, diving into the clear blue to witness the marine life that calls these waters home. Below the surface, the world was alive with color and movement. Fish of every imaginable hue swam past, while the playful antics of the sea lions brought smiles to our faces. Others, craving a different perspective, took to kayaks. Paddling gently, we navigated the calm waters, moving between the island's cliffs and discovering hidden spots along the coast.
By afternoon, the island beckoned us to explore its heights. A hike to the cliffs promised a view worth the climb. With every step upwards, the sounds of the bird colonies grew louder, and the panoramic vistas of the ocean became more spectacular. Reaching the top, we were greeted by a sight that words can hardly describe: birds soaring, riding the ocean breezes, their silhouettes stark against the setting sun.
After our hike on Prince Philip’s Steps, we made our way back to the ship, chatting about the day's highlights and the unique bird sightings. National Geographic Islander II awaited, and as we boarded, there was a sense of camaraderie among the group, knowing this was our last day in the Galapagos.
Once everyone was on board, an announcement invited us to the observation deck for a wine tasting. The timing was perfect, as the sun was beginning its descent, casting a soft light over the deck. We gathered around, glasses in hand, sampling a variety of wines. The relaxed atmosphere, combined with the backdrop of the setting sun, made for a great wind-down to the day. Conversations flowed easily, with many of us sharing our favorite moments from the trip and toasting to the memories made. It was a simple and enjoyable way to conclude our final day in the Galapagos.