To learn more about Evolve’s conception, design and future plans, we sit down with the CEO of Ecoventura, Santiago Dunn.
Tell us about the idea behind the new yacht – what made you decide to launch a third luxury vessel?
In 2014 when we started to design our first high-end luxury yacht, Origin, we wanted to provide our guests with experiential cruises to the breathtaking corners of the archipelago that other ships could not reach. We wanted to offer them an innovative design that makes them feel that they are always “outside” of the ship due to its big panoramic windows (even when taking showers) as well as great food.
To be able to combine true luxury with sustainability was a key factor. It was important to continue with our conservation commitments as well as supporting the local community through our involvement with not-for-profit organizations.
The positive reception for Origin, and subsequently for Theory, overwhelmed us. It was logical to replace Letty (our third, and last, of the first class yachts in our original fleet) with the Evolve sooner than originally planned.
How did you settle on the name “Evolve”?
The name was a complicated affair as it had to meet certain criteria.
The first was that the two sister ships, Origin and Theory were inspired by Charles Darwin’s scientific works “Origin of Species” and “Theory of Evolution”, so it had to be a name that is related to Darwin or his work. We also wanted a name that had six letters, as the previous two yachts.
So we played with various options, and none of them were as sexy as the one we went for – Evolve.
Does it differ to Origin and Theory? If so, how?
All the three ships will be identical, with just some minor differences in the décor.
Where’s your favorite place to be on the ship, or favorite thing to do whilst on board?
When I am in Galapagos I love spending my time outdoors, so I like the exterior areas of the ships. I have to confess that with the large windows of Origin and Theory, I have found myself reading a book in my staterroom and looking at nature from the comfort of my king sized bed.
How often are you on board the Ecoventura yachts?
Not as much as I would like to be! As a matter of fact, I would rather be writing this from one of the yachts instead of from my office.
How far along is the construction and when is she scheduled to take to water?
We started construction about a month ago in August 2019 and laid the keel just this week, so towards the end of September. We usually take 18 months to complete construction, so we are still 16 months shy of having her in service.
Tell us about the design process – how do you make the yachts as sustainable and comfortable as possible?
Today the delivery of a luxury yacht is becoming more relaxed and less formal. The main focus is on guests’ convenience and comfort. Most important was to start by having all the cabins on the same deck and to offer the same great view. Also, the flexibility of having connecting rooms for families, triple berths, and spacious showers with a view is something we believe is really important. Next, we took our ideas to the drawing board and we “grew” from an 83’ yacht to 145’ for the same number of guests (20).
The shape of the hull with a wave piercing keel and underwater bulb at the end of the keel reduces the drag and provides a more comfortable and efficient ride as we have less heading of the ship, more speed, and less rpm. The hull being steel and the superstructure made of composite materials makes them stable and light to reduce fuel consumption.
How many people are involved in the design – is it a collaborative effort?
It started as a conversation with the operations department and then we involved engineers, so it was (and still is) an ongoing team effort. With every new ship we incorporate guests’ comments on how to improve or what to add or change.
Do you plan for the Evolve to have the same itinerary as the Origin and Theory, or have you got other plans for her?
Evolve will assume the permit, and therefore the same itinerary, that Letty currently holds. By 2021, we will have upgraded our fleet of First Class Yachts to a fleet of World Class Luxury Vessels.
Evolve will be a sister ship to Origin and Theory, with almost identical layout and design. The vessel will have 10 premium cabins, all located on the same deck, with twin, triple or full king-size beds as required and connecting rooms for families available. The rooms will feature private bathrooms and panoramic windows so guests can enjoy the stunning wildlife and scenery even from the comfort of their rooms. A sundeck with bar, sun-loungers and Jacuzzi, full-time concierge, fitness room, indoor lounge and (open) bar, not to mention the lowest guest-per-guide ratio available in the Galapagos with maximum 20 passengers on board. This means that Evolve, with Origin and Theory, will continue to push the limits when it comes to luxury cruises in this most fascinating of destinations.