Did you know that the Galapagos Islands are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of British naturalist Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”?  For most of us, it was a quizzical concept of evolution.  Much of it was based on Darwin’s observation of the islands’ unique flora and fauna.  If still alive, Darwin would be a perky 200 years old, and a fire bregade would be on hand when he blew out the candles on his cake.

Ecoventura is celebrating the event with 3 of their identical 20-passenger yachts.  Their staff of naturalist guides have prepared lectures on Darwin.  You’ll find special edition books and DVDs on board the yachts, and passengers will receive commemorative certificates for the voyage.

Ecoventura’s yacht Eric is the first hybrid energy tour boat in the islands.  A $100.000 investment included installation of 40 solar panels and two wind turbines on the upper deck.  This technology will support about 17% of the energy once produced by two carbon fuel-based generators.  By 2011 all yachts will have this.

The Charles Darwin Foundation and Galapagos Conservation Trust have joined to mark the celebration with an anniversary Fundraising Cruise.

Tours for “Island Hopping” are available .  The Red Mangrove Lodges will be home from Santa Cruz to Isabela and Florrana, as well as the Lapagas Camping where you can stay in treehouses with a  view of the sea and giant tortoises.  Even Darwin would be impressed.