National Geographic Endeavour
The forerunner of Lindblad Expeditions first led tours of the Galápagos in 1967, and the company acquired the Endeavour in 1996 (it was originally used as a North Sea fishing trawler), so both the line and the ship are old hands at sailing the islands that Darwin made famous. The 96-passenger ship has 10- and 16-day-long itineraries departing from Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Endeavour is a small expedition ship, and passengers shouldn't expect luxury-liner amenities, but all cabins have small writing desks and views of the water; meals are single-seating at unassigned tables. One of the ship's unusual features is a floating massage platform, for treatments made complete by the gentle rocking motion of the sea.