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As any fan knows, Shark Week starts July 31 on the Discovery Channel. Now in its 24th incarnation, the wildly popular weeklong programming ups the ante this year with a celebrity host, Saturday Night Live comedian Andy Samberg. Perhaps the best news for diehard fans: Discovery Adventures – a travel company launched by the Discovery Channel in 2010 – is hosting 6- to 14-night cruise tours to the Galapagos Islands to see scalloped hammerhead sharks, Galapagos sharks, reef sharks, white tipped sharks, and whale sharks up close and personal.
Ok, so these tours aren’t actually tied to Shark Week – this year Discovery Adventures offered four departure dates (one each in June, July, August, and September) for each of four tour types. And they can’t guarantee you’ll actually see sharks, although the creatures are fairly common in the Galapagos so the odds of an encounter are good. But if you can’t get enough of Shark Week, this is a great way to get in on the action, while also participating in a hands-on small group tour of a fascinating destination.
With a maximum of 16 passengers on a small catamaran (complete with Jacuzzi), Discovery’s Galapagos itineraries include snorkeling excursions, visits to wildlife preserves, and hiking trips. Choose from 6-, 7-, or 10-night island cruises, or a 14-night itinerary that combines the Galapagos cruise with a trip to Machu Picchu. Prices start at $2,295 per person for the 6-night sailing departing August 20; airfare to Quito not included.
Sadly, availability for the August and September 2011 departure dates is pretty limited, but if you can’t make it this time around there’s always next year! www.discoveryadventures.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Galapagos Islands Travel Guide.