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Our Environmental & Social Footprint

Aware of the responsibility of promoting tourism in one of the most emblematic places on Earth, Royal Galapagos collaborates with local and international organizations to protect nature, reduce our environmental footprint, and support local communities in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

On this page you will find the projects and initiatives that you support when booking a cruise with us.

Here is a snapshot of our green efforts:

  • Estimation & Compensation of CO2
  • Continuous Support to the Galapagos Conservation Trust
  • Environmental Policies & Practices in Our Offices and Onboard Our Fleet
  • Support to Local Economy & Regular Social Aid

Carbon Offset Contributions

Through the UN Carbon Offset Platform, Royal Galapagos invests in Carbon Credits to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions and to support action on climate change. These contributions are calculated to cover the carbon footprint in our administrative offices and fuel consumption on our boats. (6,400 metric tons of CO2 per year).

United Nations


To estimate the carbon footprint generated by Royal Galapagos operations, we measured the following aspects:

  • CO2 emissions from fuel and motor oil consumption in each of the vessels that are part of the Royal Galapagos fleet.
  • CO2 emissions from passengers' flights to and from Galapagos.
  • CO2 generated by international flights made by Royal Galapagos staff to attend tourism events.
  • CO2 generated by commute trips of the Royal Galapagos staff in their private vehicles.
  • Electricity consumption in offices


The compensation of our carbon footprint is achieved through the purchase of carbon credits in projects by the United Nations, which are internationally verified and validated.

The projects we choose to offset Royal Galapagos' carbon footprint are the following:

Royal Galapagos continuously works with the Galapagos Conservation Trust, a British non-profit foundation that aims to protect and conserve the Galapagos Islands and their ecosystems through sustainable solutions.

Lo learn more about the Galapagos Conservation Trust, please click here.

Galapagos Sea Turtle

Galapagos Animal Adoptions

In order to set up protection and conservation plans for the most emblematic animals of the islands, the Galapagos Conservation Trust has the Adopt a Galapagos Animal project, which allows “adopters” to fund the several efforts to maintain the fragile ecosystem of the archipelago and stay informed about the updates of those plans.

This project is a great way to support and help conservation efforts in the Galapagos for its threatened and most emblematic species, such as the sea lion, the giant tortoise, the penguin, and the scalloped hammerhead shark among others.

We have been supporting this initiative by gifting adoption certificates to our clients. Currently, each of our vessels participates in this program by becoming an "adoptive parent" to a specific animal. We also gift adoption certificates to our guests in special departures.

We are always seeking ways to implement and promote this program. To learn more about this initiative and to adopt your very own Galapagos animal, please click here.

Natural Paradise Galapagos Yachts

Special Galapagos Conservation Cruise

We hope that our individual efforts have a positive impact in the Galapagos Islands, but we also understand that there is strength in numbers. Therefore, it’s important to work together with entities that share the same environmental goals and commitment for wildlife conservation.

Based on previous experiences, these joint initiatives have always yielded positive outcomes. This time, Royal Galapagos, Steppes Travel and the Galapagos Conservation Trust are teaming up for a couple of special departures on board the Natural Paradise yacht (June 18-25 & July 02-09, 2024).

Guests on board will have the chance to experience the magic of the Galapagos and the comfort of our luxury yacht, while also having the opportunity to learn firsthand about various conservation projects. These special departures help fund the conservation work, and in the same vein, Royal Galapagos will be making a substantial contribution to the trust to continue assisting them in their objectives.

We are very grateful for the opportunity to partner with such important entities, and we thank them for placing their trust in us as we continue to work towards our sustainable goals and provide our guests with the opportunity to directly contribute to Galapagos conservation.

Learn more

Aware of the environmental responsibility that accompanies leisure activities in this pristine equatorial paradise and in line with our sustainable objectives, we are currently supporting three projects of the Galapagos Conservation Trust: Endangered Sharks of Galapagos, Plastic Pollution, and Saving Giant Tortoises.

Endangered Sharks


Industrial fishing and plastic pollution pose the main threats to sharks in Galapagos, and the Galapagos Marine Reserve is home to a significant population of hammerhead, silky, and whale sharks. This initiative aims to gather knowledge on nursery dynamics, migratory routes, and support the establishment of a 'swim path' between the Galapagos and Cocos Island in Costa Rica.

To learn more about this project, click here.

Plastic Pollution


Every year, more than 8 tons of plastic are cleaned from Galapagos beaches, and many endemic species are at risk of ingesting or becoming entangled in plastic. In 2021, the Pacific Plastics: Science to Solutions (PPSS) network was established, bringing together researchers and organizations from around the globe. Its main goal is to address the plastic pollution problem efficiently, not only in Galapagos but also in other locations. This collaborative effort leads to effective cleaning activities, improved waste management approaches, educational campaigns, enhanced technology, and training sessions for surveying and data collection activities, among others.

To learn more about this program, click here.

Rescuing Giant Tortoises


Galapagos Tortoises face ongoing threats from introduced species, plastic pollution, and road traffic, all of which are direct consequences of human actions. GCT has implemented important initiatives to help save the 12 species of tortoises that are on the brink of extinction. These initiatives include nest protection, collaborating with landowners to create safe pathways, and monitoring adult tortoises and hatchlings. Another approach involves educating the younger population about tortoises and their crucial role in the ecosystem.

To gain a better understanding of the role of human interaction with giant tortoises, click here.

Sustainable Operation in the Galapagos

Modern Boats


The Royal Galapagos fleet has been built to the highest environmental standards, equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure the cleanest sailing experience.

In Armony with Nature


When it comes to protecting wildlife, waterjets are the best propulsion solution. This bladeless system has been implemented on the brand new M/C Cormorant II.



We provide our guests with only high-quality, biodegradable soaps and shampoos. Additionally, the laundry and cleaning supplies onboard are also eco-friendly to minimize their impact on the ocean water.

Clean Water


High-tech desalination systems are installed on all our boats to provide drinking water and general-purpose water, eliminating the need to import this resource from the mainland.

Energy Efficiency


Self-generated electric power is provided through high-tech generators that consume minimal amounts of diesel fuel. Low-power lighting and appliances are also installed onboard.

Waste Management


All the waste generated by our operations is meticulously sorted and treated for proper disposal. We optimize the use of organic waste on the islands and, if necessary, send it to the mainland for processing.

Efficient Boats


Our yachts and catamarans are specifically designed and built for cruising the Galapagos, incorporating hydrodynamic designs, lightweight materials, and the use of lead-free paint.

Single Use Plastic


During our cruises, passengers are provided with beautiful refillable water bottles that they can take home as souvenirs, helping to protect the islands from plastic waste.

Grown & Made in Galapagos

The transportation of supplies from mainland Ecuador to the islands has a significant environmental impact due to the considerable distance that needs to be covered by air or sea (600 miles). To mitigate this, we incorporate regulated and sustainable fishing practices, small-scale farming operations on the islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, and family-owned food businesses (such as bakeries) into our local supply chain in the Galapagos. This approach allows us to support local production with fair trade and quality standards.

Family-Owned Ecuadorian Boats

The vessels of Royal Galapagos are owned by Ecuadorian families, with whom we have a special bond and relationship. Since the beginning of our operations in 2012, we have shared common goals and objectives. Our aim is to directly fuel and enhance the local economy, thereby avoiding capital flight to large international corporations.

Local Crew & Workforce

The population inhabiting the Galapagos Islands relies to a large extent on tourism for their livelihood. Therefore, the labor force on our boats primarily consists of locals who are trained from a young age to fulfill various roles on board, including Naturalist Guides, Chief Cooks, First Mates, Captains, and more. This approach helps prevent the migration of professionals from the mainland and contributes to maintaining a sustainable population level in the archipelago.

Connecting Galapagos with its Youth

Regularly, Royal Galapagos organizes special departures in which young people and children from the islands have the opportunity to tour the archipelago on our cruise ships. The most emblematic and best-protected sites are typically inaccessible to the local population, so by bringing our children closer to them, we aim to raise their awareness and responsibility in safeguarding their preservation.

Fully Commited to Responsible Tourism

Small Groups

Small Yachts

We exclusively operate small private yachts to accommodate reduced groups at each site

Regulated Activities

Regulated Activities

All cruise activities are regulated by the Galapagos National Park

Naturalist Guides

Naturalist Guides

Our Naturalist Guides also serve as official National Park rangers

Wildlife Care

Wildlife Conservation

We prioritize the utmost care for Galapagos wildlife and the ecosystem

Fundación Jonathan

Fundación Jonathan is a non-profit organization with a core mission to provide health and social support to impoverished people in Ecuador. They offer assistance to youth with disabilities, as well as elderly individuals facing illness, abandonment, and homelessness.

Royal Galapagos and its staff make monthly contributions to Fundación Jonathan by donating food for children and the elderly who benefit from the organization's work on a daily basis. The contributions are based on the foundation's monthly supply needs.

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