When TravelManagers personal travel manager PTM

first_imgWhen TravelManagers’ personal travel manager (PTM) Zoe Hemming was invited to join a Galapagos Islands famil, hosted by Lindblad Expeditions and travelling on board MS National Geographic Endeavour II to the islands, she leapt at the opportunity. The group flew to Ecuador on Latam Airlines, which was a new experience for Hemming, who was impressed by the sense of space, the warm service and the excellent food provided by the carrier. The famil itself started and finished in Guayaquil, which is Ecuador’s largest city and its main port. From here, the group were flown to the Galapagos themselves, embarking on their expedition cruise in Baltra and disembarking in San Cristobal.Hemming, representative for North Rocks in Sydney, is no stranger to exotic destinations and even more exotic wildlife, having previously visited destinations as diverse as Zanzibar, Turkey, Borneo Cape Tribulation, and experienced expedition cruising in Papua New Guinea. However, she says the eight-night Lindblad adventure provided her with a truly unforgettable adventure that exceeded all of her expectations. FamilsGalapagosTravelManagers “Having a passion for wildlife and photography, at which I’m very much an amateur, this was a chance to watch and learn so much, whilst experiencing nature at its best up close and personal. “I was also fortunate to watch and learn from the best: the staff on board, the Nat Geo photographers and videographers, along with the amazing tour guides who were all naturalists, eager to share their knowledge on this fascinating part of the world.”For Hemming, one of the main highlights of her trip was the chance to get close to some of the islands’ more intriguing residents, especially the tortoises. “I’ve had a pet tortoise growing up in the UK named Hector for 17 years, so it was a dream come true to see giant tortoises roaming freely during their migration. I was in awe and moved to tears by these magnificent but gentle land-dwelling reptiles. “These beautiful, inquisitive and very playful mammals are just like Labradors! He just popped up in front of my board with a fish he’d just caught, and proceeded to slap it about, presumably to ensure that the fish was dead, before swimming over to my board to proudly show me what he’d caught!”Lined up ready for their closeup, these marine iguanas gave TravelManagers’ Zoe Hemming the chance to work on her wildlife photographyThe PTM was also impressed by the ship that was her home for a week during her time in the Galapagos. “Endavour II is exceptionally manoeuvrable and nimble so she can enter into shallow waters to get closer to the islands. There is great viewing from all public spaces, an expansive open-air observation deck, and state-of-the-art tools for exploration, including a fleet of zodiacs, a glass bottom boat, wetsuits, snorkelling gear, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.”Unsurprisingly, Hemming now has a real passion for expedition cruising and for the Galapagos. She says her first hand experience has reinforced her belief that the destination holds board appeal to people of all ages, and including families, foodies, history buffs and keen photographers (regardless of their level of expertise). “All they really need to have, in order to enjoy themselves, is a sense of adventure, an open mind and, most of all, a sense of passion for all things great and small.” last_img read more