aboard M/V Monserrat
Featuring an expert naturalist and two pro wildlife photo instructors
September 2–12, 2024
MAIN TRIP OVERVIEW
Monday, September 2, 2024: Domestic flight: Quito or Guayaquil – San Cristóbal Island. San Cristóbal: (PM) Interpretation Center & Tijertas Hill.
Tue, Sept 3: Española: (AM) Gardner Bay, (PM) Punta Suárez
Wed, Sept 4: Floreana: (AM) Punta Cormorant, (PM) Post Office Bay
Thu, Sept 5: Santa Cruz: (AM) Darwin Research Station, (PM) Santa Cruz Highlands
Fri, Sept 6: Santa Cruz, Santiago: (AM) Dragon Hill, (PM) Chinese Hat
Sat, Sept 7: Genovesa: (AM) Prince Phillip’s Steps, (PM) Darwin Bay
Sun, Sept 8: Santa Cruz: (AM) Black Turtle Cove, (PM) Bachas Beach
Mon, Sept 9: Isabela: (AM) Tagus Cove, (PM) Urbina Bay
Tue, Sept 10: Fernandina, Isabela: (AM) Espinoza Point (PM) Vicenta Roca Point
Wed, Sept 11: Santiago: (AM) Puerto Egas, (PM) Playa Espumilla & Buccaneer Cove
Thu, Sept 12: North Seymour: (AM) North Seymour, disembark, fly home
OPTIONAL PRE-TRIP EXTENSION: QUITO
Saturday, August 31, 2024: Arrive in Quito
Sun, Sept 1: Quito: Colonial City Tour
TRIP LEADERS for GALAPAGOS
Senior Trip Leader, Photo Instructor
TRIP LEADER & PHOTO PRO - Temu Nana has been leading educational journeys around the globe for 15 years, and in particular photo tours the past 10 years with Open Sky Expeditions. As a successful professional tour manager—given his extensive experience in travel logistics, attention to detail, and knack for making people feel at ease—Temu’s ambitious international travel schedule quickly accelerated photography from a fun hobby to a profession. And in the process, he discovered an aptitude for teaching others how to compose the most compelling images and most effectively use their photo equipment. That he has done so while on tour in countless environments on all 7 continents give him an edge that can’t be learned in a classroom, or even by the most seasoned photo pros that simply host a trip here and there.
The son of an International airline pilot and trained archaeologist, Temu hails from Michigan, via roots in North America & Asia. His photography covers the gamut in styles, but his top passions are wildlife, landscape, and astro/night photography. He was won several awards in nationwide competitions for his photography and in 2020 he began teaching a courses in astrophotography for Unique Photo in NJ, among others. Recent contributions have included dedicated seminars for the Delaware Photographic Society, the Sierra Photography Club or New York, Facebook Reality Labs, and other organizations.
Temu led our 2021 & 2022 Galapagos trips, and very much looks forward to returning with you.
You can find his photography online at www.tknanaphoto.com.
Pro Photography Instructor
TRIP PHOTO INSTRUCTOR - Michael is a photography instructor based in the New York City area. His passions include photography, travel, and teaching...all three of which he shares enthusiastically! As the Head Instructor at Unique Photo, he teaches several curriculums, and regularly leads photo excursions throughout the northeast U.S. as well as to international destinations in Europe, Africa, and beyond. He has a patient and encouraging teaching style that fosters self-expression through photography. To quote Michael directly: “All students experience a sense of ruthless compassion!” & "Sometimes I photograph to learn, other times I photograph to teach, I always photograph to appreciate.”
Monserrat offers more than just a comfortable and luxurious journey—it's a floating photography studio where every moment becomes a visual masterpiece. The vessel's design ensures a creativity-stimulating experience with its 360-degree views, providing photographers with a continuous canvas of natural wonders.
Harking back to early explorers and naturalists like Darwin, sea-based travel is the penultimate way to experience this truly unique ecosystem. Monserrat's amenities include multiple viewing and lounge decks, a beautiful dining area for the group to gather, recently refurbished cabins, and an incredible crew. Snorkel and kayak directly from the ship, embracing the opportunity to photograph the vibrant marine life and pristine landscapes up close.
Construction Year: 2005
Last Refurbished: 2021
10 guest cabins, each with private head (i.e. their own bathroom). See diagram here.
Sun deck with covered and open lounges, and a 360º view
Main deck: Indoor lounge with large viewing windows, dining area, bar, and kitchen.
11 crew members
Kayak and stand up paddle board
FEEDBACK FROM LAST TWO TRIPS
"Impressed with all of it. You delivered an excellent experience that we will be reflecting on for many years to come! thank you so much Alex, Temu and the rest of your crew."
- Vicky S.
"Absolutely top notch guide and photography opportunities. Every location was great, intimate and free of tourists. When a baby sea lion waddles up to your face on a Survivor worthy beach, you know you are in the right spot at the right time. "
"It was a trip of a lifetime—a great adventure. Juan is probably the best there is! And Temu... he is the best thing about Open Sky (and there are many great things). I would go anywhere in the world with Temu. He went above and beyond to ensure our safety and happiness."
- Connie M.
"My third trip with Open Sky Expeditions was as perfect as the first two."
- Wendy H.
"The trip was great! The Quito portion was informative and interesting. Juan is a fantastic naturalist etc. and works very well with people. Some of my favorites experiences were snorkeling with the fur seals and then the sea turtles + walking in various stops while being able to photograph wildlife. The terrain was frequently challenging but assistance was readily available."
- Cindy M.
"Open Sky stands out for the care and detail of the pre-trip planning, the skill of the guides and tour leader."
- Kathryn H.
Please note that this trip will require the ability to handle a wide variety of surfaces and uneven ground. Being able to keep your balance, both ashore & onboard, will be key.
Keep in mind that elements of the experience will include:
Getting in & out of zodiacs for explorations on the water, or to go ashore
Wet & dry landings ashore (with no piers or structures at most landing sites).
Walking up to two miles ashore (at a leisurely pace), with gear, on a variety of surfaces ranging from soft sand to uneven, football-sized chunks of volcanic rock & stone (although it at least is quite comfortable—we are traveling in one of the most pleasant & driest months of the year, with average temperatures between 66-75°F + average monthly rainfall of only .25 inches despite ample light cloud cover).
Snorkeling (optional, wet suit and gear provided for you).
Moving around a small boat (with narrow, somewhat steep staircases) while it is underway, and affected by ocean swell/motion.
If you have any concern about any of the above points, we encourage you to review the more detailed summary put together by trip leader Temu Nana here, which delves further in-depth on what to consider both onboard & ashore.
REQUIREMENTS TO + PARTICIPATE ON TRIP
To participate on this trip, you will need to:
Have travel insurance that at least covers emergency medical evacuation (we can assist, and/or see here)
Carry a passport valid for at least 6 months after the trip ends
TRIP COSTS & BOOKING TERMS
Please see the detailed PDF highlighted at the top of the page, or simply click here.