Ecoventura, also known as Galapagos Network, has renovated its 20-passenger yachtÂ M/Y ERIC toÂ hybrid energy. The renovation to green includes installation of 40 solar panels and two wind turbines on the upper deck and replacing canvas awnings with a hard fiberglass top for structural support. The goal is for the solar panels and wind powered generators to provide enough power to support approximately 17 percent of the energy formerly produced by two carbon fuel-based generators. This project was financed through a partnership with Toyota, a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund. They plan a similar renovation for their other three vessels.
“It is the hope that other cruise and tour companies will see the successful results and follow suit,” says Santiago Dunn, president and owner of Ecoventura.
In 2007, UNESCO put the Galapagos on its World Heritage sites risk list, citing alien species and pollution from tourists and immigrants as key issues.Â
Toyota hasÂ supported and/or funded many projects and programs in the Galapagos Islands. These include a redesign of the main fuel-handling facility on Baltra, renewable-energy teacher education workshops, oil and municipal recycling programs and support of the World Wildlife Fund.
Ecoventura is a family-owned cruise company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, thatÂ has a fleet of three expedition 20-passenger motor yachts with 10 double cabins. The company also operates the Sky Dancer, a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard offering Galapagos dive trips.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shirley Linde, EditorÂ www.smallshipcruises.com