Smart Voyager
Overall Quality
Strict conservation standards to protect the environment.


This year some 60,000 tourists will visit the Galápagos Islands that lie 597 miles west of Ecuador’s coastline. Most will marvel at the sea lions, seals, blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises, which have evolved in isolation from natural predators. Others will contribute to the islands’ demise. Over the years, the influx of non-native species, fishing and poorly managed tourist boats, along with the tourists themselves, have disturbed and distressed the waters and wildlife of the Galápagos.

To protect these wondrous living laboratories, and the people that live and work on and around them, Conservación y Desarrollo, in collaboration with their partner Rainforest Alliance, developed SmartVoyager. The program awards its seal of approval to operators meeting a set of strict conservation standards to protect the environment, wildlife and the well-being of workers and local communities.

For travelers, the SmartVoyager seal is a guarantee that they are traveling with an operator who cares about the conservation of the islands and has taken every precaution to give passengers a memorable, educational and thrilling adventure, without harming the wildlife of this special environment. For tour operators and travel agents, SmartVoyager ensures that the tour boats it represents are doing the utmost to minimize their environmental and social impact.

SmartVoyager’s standards protect against potential sources of pollution, but also set rules for the good management of docks, tour boats and the small craft that ferry passengers out to the boats, and finally defend against opportunities for introducing alien species. For local people and workers, these standards require good living conditions and advanced training for the boat crew and guides.

Today, many vessels – described as floating hotels – that travel through the Galápagos have been evaluated and certified as eco-friendly and socially responsible through the Smart Voyager program. All of the certified tour vessels have made tangible changes that include the use of lead-free and TBT-free paint, the implementation of waste disposal systems, the production of fresh water with a desalinization plant on board, the careful management of fuels and improved conditions for workers.

back to top