INCA – International Nature & Cultural Adventure
INCA – International Nature and Culture Adventures has been creating “adventures with a conscience” for 40 years. Specializing in only eight destinations – Antarctica, Alaska, Galápagos, Chile and Patagonia, Peru, Turkey, Zambia and Zimbabwe – INCA carefully crafts each journey with constant attention to detail. Most scheduled journeys are limited to about 16 travelers, and INCA also customizes trips for individuals, families and small groups.
INCA – The Galápagos Expert
On a journey with INCA – International Nature and Cultural Adventures, guests have a front row seat to the enormous variety of rare birds and sheer magnitude of marine life that inhabit Darwin’s “zoo.” On Santiago Island, they can watch a 25-pound Galápagos land iguana slither over to munch on a pear cactus or see a prehistoric-looking giant tortoise lumber across the beach on Santa Cruz. On North Seymour Island, blue-footed boobies perform a mating dance. A 300-pound green sea turtle surfaces near a snorkeler, an orca careens through the water and dolphins and sea lions frolic around the yacht in Urbina Bay. A pair of flightless cormorants rest on Fernandina’s volcanic rocks spreading their wings to dry, while on Española Island, two waved albatrosses begin courting by “fencing” with their beaks. INCA is a long-time partner of the Galápagos Conservancy, which is dedicated to the long-term protection of the Galápagos Islands.
By arranging the visit to Santa Cruz Island at the beginning of its itineraries, INCA gives guests an extra day to visit other islands. All INCA’s Galápagos journeys include one or two nights in Ecuador’s capital of Quito and at least one night on Santa Cruz Island. The eight-day, seven-night Galápagos cruises sail on the 141-foot luxury yacht Integrity or the 90-foot Reina Silvia deluxe yacht and are limited to 16 guests.
With more than 80 vessels now cruising Darwin’s Islands, travelers can be overwhelmed choosing a Galápagos cruise. INCA can help guide them. President Bill Roberson has been visiting the Islands for 40 years and was a naturalist guide in the Galápagos National Park.
“What is clear: a small, well-maintained yacht like Integrity with its experienced crew has more access to more visitor sites, can tuck into calmer anchorages while large ships must remain offshore, and is able to provide the high level of service that luxury travelers expect. And getting 16 guests to a landing site takes far less time than bringing 96 people ashore, giving our guests a more intimate experience with the fascinating wildlife,” Roberson says.
His German-Ecuadorian partner Rolf Sievers was manager of the Charles Darwin Research Station and supervises the maintenance and safety of the two yachts to ensure that they run like “new Mercedes.” The Integrity is known as the “finest” and the safest yacht in the Galápagos.
The luxury adventure company operates several Antarctica programs with one of the industry’s most experienced Antarctic guides. Guests who book the INCA program on board Le Lyrial will have exclusive access to Richard Polatty who has led INCA’s expeditions to the Antarctic for more than 18 years. In 1990, he guided the expedition on the maiden voyage of Polar Circle. Richard is a research associate for the Oceanites Foundation and a researcher for the Antarctic Site Inventory funded by the US National Science Foundation.