As the science and program advisor for Celebrity Cruises in the GalĂˇpagos Islands, Ellen Prager, PhD, is dedicated to sharing insights into the natural world around us.
Can you share some of your scientific background?
I have been incredibly fortunate to work with leading scientists and have amazing adventures such as doing research in the GalĂˇpagos Islands, living underwater for two weeks to study coral reefs, teaching oceanography at sea aboard a tall ship, and running a marine laboratory on a remote island in the Bahamas.
What are some experiences that really amaze people?
Gosh, there are so many! While hiking, we often have birds raising their chicks on or close to the trails. Sea lions and sea turtles will swim right up to you. Seeing a blue-footed booby dance with its mate or a male frigate bird with an inflated bright red neck pouch also make for lasting memories â€” all without a long lens needed. And of course, seeing a giant tortoise in the wild is simply magical.
What are some of your favorite activities?
Snorkeling is certainly a favorite for me. Playing with sea lions, watching sea turtles, and having a penguin or shark swim by never gets old. But the only real regular in the GalĂˇpagos Islands is the wondrous and the unexpected. Behavior changes, chicks come and go, and sometimes surprises come in the form of an orca, humpback or a flock of plunge-diving birds.
How does Celebrity Cruises make this such a special experience?
When I first visited the GalĂˇpagos Islands in the 1980s, we stayed at the Darwin Research Station and chartered a small boat. To say the least, the accommodations were sparse and food questionable. When I first sailed with Celebrity Cruises, it was a revelation and new experience in comfort and luxury. This has reached a whole new and exciting level with the new ship, Celebrity Flora, specifically built for the GalĂˇpagos Islands and expedition cruising.
Do you recommend that families embark on these expedition cruises?
For kids ages 10 and up, it is an opportunity to experience nature as nowhere else. Here, they can get close to animals and observe their behavior without bars or a long lens. It is an exceptional way to foster, early in life, an appreciation of nature and animals, and to build a stewardship ethic.
Be inspired and amazed by the GalĂˇpagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises. Visit our website and enter Offer M19229 to find your expedition voyage