Quasar Expeditions is ramping up its conservation efforts in the Galapagos, this week revealing plans to add a new eco-friendly ship to its fleet. The yet-to-be-named megayacht will enter service in December 2019, joining Quasar Expeditions’ M/V Evolution and M/Y Grace.
In Sydney this week to announce the new ship was Sales Manager, Eric Andrews, who revealed that Quasar had partnered with the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park to bring the project to life.
The 18-passenger ship will launch in time for Christmas this year and will operate a weeklong itinerary, complementing those of Evolution and Grace.
Built in Italy and currently in Florida where hardware is being installed, the new yacht will feature fuel-efficient engines that allow it to sail at 16 knots, up to 35% faster than other similar vessels.
“Sixteen knots is great for guests and the islands because it means less time sailing with motors running the water,” he said.
Materials used in the construction will be eco-friendly, it will have biodegradable amenities, it will be carbon neutral and there will be no single-use plastics aboard. The vessel will also feature a recycling facility.
On the land, Quasar Expeditions will also invest in a new land parcel where it will build a recycling plant for its yachts.
Quasar will also sponsor a party of scientists, conservationists, volunteers or students on a regular basis, in addition to guests.
“On board, we will have real research happening, for the benefit of the islands. One project we’ll sponsor is a study on the impact of tourism on the islands,” Andrews said.
“Guests will be doing a trip to the Galapagos in a lot of comfort, but at the same time doing it in a way that they’ll feel very good about how they are contributing to the islands.”
The new yacht
The new yacht is currently in the design phase, but what has been confirmed is that it will feature 10 cabins for a maximum of 18 passengers. Cabins will range from 20 square metres to the Master Suite which will be 35-40 square metres and offer a 180-degree view. In a first for Quasar Expeditions, the vessel will offer one single suite, in response to a growing trend of solo travellers visiting the Galápagos.
In Florida, the ship will have its mechanics installed before repositioning to Ecuador where the interior will be fitted. Quasar Expeditions has enlisted acclaimed architect Enrique Concha for the yacht’s design. Concha’s other projects include work with Singular Hotels and the Australis ship.
“By the time the ship gets to Ecuador the design will be very much thought out and in a few months it will be ready,” Andrews added.
Three of the four levels on the yacht will be accessible to guests. In another first for Quasar, it will also be configured with a spa. There will be dual hot tubs on the bow, Zodiacs for land excursions and other “bells and whistles” which are yet to be revealed.
Quasar Expeditions has been in operation for 33 years and long desired an opportunity to increase its presence. That opportunity came as a result of an existing operator retiring, freeing up a new allotment.
“Our stars just aligned,” Andrews told LATTE.
The adopted permit is a week-long, comprehensive itinerary with a conservation focus.
Separately, Andrews expressed his concerns regarding a lack of regulation on tourism in the Galápagos, saying action was necessary to curb a wave of “cheaper tourism operators, which may not be a good thing”.