Front Runners November 2015: Star Trek
Stella Maris shines in the Galápagos Islands.
Few cruise ships can measure up to the magnificent surroundings of the Galápagos. With the debut of Stella Maris (galapagosstellamaris.com), adventurers can travel the Ecuadoran islands in appropriate style. Launched with Jacada Travel (jacadatravel.com) in June, the 124-foot yacht (whose name is Latin for “star of the sea”) is one of the few luxury charter yachts to ply the marine-life-rich archipelago. On board, as many as 12 guests stay in five staterooms—including a master suite with access to an alfresco dining deck—and enjoy a lounge, a sundeck, and a hot tub. Seven-night itineraries (priced from $150,000) feature excursions led by Stella Maris’s naturalist, and include such experiences as glimpsing blue-footed boobies on San Cristóbal and swimming with sea lions off Lobos Island.