Lying on the Equator, the Galápagos consists of 13 main islands and several small islets 600 miles off Ecuador. In 1835 the naturalist Charles Darwin spent 19 days observing their ecology, flora and fauna and noting the adaptation of species like finches and tortoises. His findings informed his theory of natural selection and evolution presented in his radical ‘The Origin of the Species’ in 1859. In 1959, the archipelago became a national park, opening the way for the Galápagos Islands cruises that visit today. Galápagos Islands cruises provide a rare and mesmerising insight into the untouched landscapes and creatures of this volcanic archipelago, from turquoise ocean views, lava formations and white beaches to giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins and incredible birdlife. Avalon Galápagos Islands cruises offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness these enchanting islands and the extraordinary flora and wildlife that are their signatures.