Yesterday marked a huge milestone in the history of Galapagos Islands exploration. Thanks to a unique partnership between Google, the Charles Darwin Foudation, Galapagos National Park and Catlin Seaview Survey, one billion registered users of can now visit the islands and dip under the waves of the reserve without having to physically travel there through Google's Street View . All of this is launching this week as the archipelage celebrates the 178th anniversary of Darwin's historic voyage to the islands aboard the Beagle.
This innovative partnership makes this extremely fragile ecosystem available for the world to see and explore, leaving no footprint on the islands and enabling anyone (whether school child or millionaire) to see what Charles Darwin saw when he visited. In fact, vistors to the Galapagos Street View site can see even more than the explorer! Darwin only visited four islands and certainly never snorkeled with sea lions/
According to representatives of the Charles Darwin Foundation, plans are already starting for powerful outreach measures to engage visitors who come to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and to make them part of the solution. It is the first step of a much, much bigger project that will continue for years to come.
If these high definition, 360 degree images only whet your appetite for discovering the archipelago's volcanic landscapes and endemic wildlife, International Expeditions offers 10-day Galapagos Islands cruises  year-round.