- TRAVELING TO GALAPAGOS
- GRACE CRUISE REVIEWS
- EVOLUTION CRUISE REVIEWS
- CRUISES VS. HOTELS
- YACHTS VS. LARGE SHIPS
- WHEN TO VISIT GALAPAGOS
- HOW TO GET TO GALAPAGOS
- GALAPAGOS BOOKS & GUIDES
- AFTER YOU HAVE BOOKED
- GETTING READY FOR YOUR TRIP
- GALAPAGOS PACKING LIST
- WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU
- TRIP INSURANCE
- SHOP GEAR
- GALAPAGOS BOOKS & GUIDES
ABOUT QUASAR EXPEDITIONS
In 1986, a young couple from Ecuador had a dream that was simple enough: to show the treasures of the Galapagos Islands to the world.
Eduardo Diez and Dolores Gangotena believed then, that through sustainable tourism they could keep our natural treasures intact for future generations to enjoy. Over 3 decades later their dream lives on, as Quasar Expeditions continues to lead the field as pioneers of unique and meaningful travel experiences in South America.
Today the company is run by the entire Diez family, with their three sons involved in different positions within the business. The family spirit continues to be the driving force behind the entire Quasar team and the video here tells the tale of this inspiring family story.
CHILE & ARGENTINA
CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER
Galapagos Islands – Ocean Expeditions
The ultimate cruising experience in Darwin's laboratory.
32 Years ago we pioneered high-end, small-yacht travel in Galapagos so you could explore the Islands the way Darwin once did. Cruise Galapagos aboard our two signature yachts, one of which was owned by a Princess.
Patagonia – Overland Expeditions
Venture into the heart of Patagonia in your own Jeep® and away from the crowds.
Drive on your own, or with a guide, through Chile's Torres del Paine National Park and Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park. Unwind after each day's activities in some of the best properties in the region.
Ecuador - expeditions in the middle of the world
4 worlds in one place: the Amazon, the Andes, the Pacific Coast and the Galapagos.
Located right on the equator, this is the smallest country in the rugged and spectacular Andes. Ecuador holds within its boundaries an incredible variety of landscapes and cultures that will amaze even the most seasoned traveler.
Peru - expeditions in the land of the incas
Immerssive experiences and rich traditions around every turn.
From the iconic sights of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, to the floating islands of Puno and the ancient festivals happening country-wide, explore with us Peru's vibrant cultures and their mermerizing traditions.
The luxury yachts offered by Quasar’s founders Eduardo and Dolores Diez in the Galapagos Islands are a far cry from how the two first discovered the island chain they had only learned about in school at the time.
At 16-years of age, Dolores Diez Gangotena and three friends convinced their parents to let them go on a three week boat trip arranged by their high school biology teacher to the Galapagos Islands, which in 1969 were not very well known on the mainland of Ecuador. Beyond excited, the group of girls arrived at the port of Guayaquil to discover their “boat trip” was aboard a Navy cargo ship carrying supplies to the outer islands. It was little comfort that the 21-day journey would only cost them $80 USD each, particularly as it took three days at sea to reach the Galapagos Islands in those days.
“I have never again in my life felt so taken away by the peace and beauty of the scenery. I knew then what writers and Spanish sailors meant when they described the Islands as ‘Las Encantadas,’ the Enchanted Isles.” - DoloresREAD NEXT: 1969 CONTINUED
After weeks of walking among the sea lions, giant land iguanas (which they never knew existed), marine iguanas, exploring vast lava fields, eating huge portions of lobster ceviche for pennies and swimming among incredible sea life, the Galapagos Islands put a spell on Dolores. As she explains;
“There were no trails, there were no guides; just us and the natural paradise of the Galapagos. The experience was the best of my life.” - DoloresREAD NEXT: 1983 - MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME
for a liftime
So much so that she would return to this paradise many times over the next decade, but the fateful trip would come in 1983 with her new husband Eduardo, with whom she wanted to share the magic she had been describing for years. This time, however, was aboard a small 1902 Baltic trader, a wooden sailing boat that transported cargo in the Baltic Sea. Eduardo immediately understood Dolores’s passion for the area and even before arriving home expressed how great it would be to offer travelers the opportunity to cruise the islands in boats with more comfort and better safety.READ NEXT: 1984 - THE BIRTH OF QUASAR
the birth of
In 1984, Eduardo returned to the Galapagos to begin his inquiries into permits and what was needed to start a tourism business on the islands. He was introduced to a man who would sell him two permits for 12 passengers each. With the permits now in hand, he needed to find boats. After doing much research, Eduardo traveled to a French shipyard to buy what would be the first “comfortable” small yacht to operate in the Galapagos. The “Nortada,” as they named it, would be the first boat in the Galapagos to boast en-suite bathrooms, as well as state of the art navigational equipment. At that moment, Quasar was born. The Nortada was an immediate success upon operation in 1986 leading the couple to quickly purchase a second 66 ft. boat named “The Mistral” and soon after, adding a smaller sailboat.READ NEXT: 1985-1993 - A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE
a one of a kind
Operating in the Galapagos was extremely complicated. There were only two weekly flights to the Islands making it very difficult to get spare parts in a timely manner if something broke down, which was often. The level of service Quasar offered required providing fresh meat, eggs yogurt and more, all of which required refrigeration in transit. The only contact with the Islands and the yachts was via radio. Eduardo and Dolores had one at home and one in the office. As with most start-ups there are growing pains but as word spread of the unique experience the Diez’s were offering, business boomed and they were able to bring on more staff and continue to improve the level of training and offerings extended to the guests.READ NEXT: 1993 - 2007 - DISTINCTION; THE SMALL YACHT EXPERIENCE
the small yacht experience
At its height, Quasar was operating seven yachts carrying 200 passengers per week. Although success was mounting, the founders lost some of the fun that drove them in the first place, so together they decided to return to their origin – two elegant and distinct yachts with excellent personal service. In 2005, Quasar bought the M/V Evolution an expedition vessel that carries 32 passengers and in 2007 the iconic 150-ft M/Y Grace, an 18 passenger classic yacht, which belonged to her namesake previous owner Princess Grace of Monaco.READ NEXT: 2007 - 2013 - NEW DESTINATIONS
With a successful and steady operation in the Galapagos, Quasar decided to apply their highly personalized approach to other areas throughout Ecuador, Peru and recently opened Patagonia. In the early 90’s, trip extensions to the Amazon Jungle and the Andes highlands were added and as of 2010, Machu Picchu and Peru were also incorporated into the product offering. In 2013, Quasar partnered with Jeep to offer the one-of-a-kind Patagonia Safaris.READ NEXT: 2013 - OUR FUTURE & QUEST
Still married and business partners in every sense of the word after 35 years, Eduardo and Dolores write:
“The best part of having founded Quasar is being able to give our guests one of the most incredible and unforgettable experiences of their lifetime.” - Dolores & EduardoREAD NEXT: OUR LOGO HISTORY