Attendees included Niels Olsen (Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism) and Gustavo Manrique (Minister of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition), as well as local partners, industry colleagues, and members of Lindblad’s crew.
The expedition vessel will commence her inaugural Galapagos Islands cruise on August 19.
The traditional blessing of NatGeo Islander II was administered by a local priest, followed by speeches from the Ministries as well as a toast by Ana Esteves, Lindblad’s Vice President Hotel Operations, and the ship's Captain Gonzalo Cifuentes.
Guests enjoyed Ecuadorian cuisine, along with tours of the 48-passenger ship that showcased her stylish staterooms, Wheelhouse/Bridge, Science Hub, Global Gallery, Observation Deck, the aft Watersports Marina.
The next day, the event was followed by a special reception for members of the crew and officers, capped off by a welcome by dozens of small fishing boats in the region for the local Santa Rosa festivities.