With Quasar Expeditions, one of the most experienced names in Galapagos luxury cruises for over a quarter century, you will encounter giant Galapagos tortoises, prehistoric marine iguanas and unique species of penguins, flightless cormorants and pink flamingos up close and personal. Guided along your Galapagos luxury cruise by the finest and most experienced naturalists, you will feel like you are the first people to come across this natural paradise.
When you plan your Galapagos luxury cruise with us, not only will you enjoy the experience of a lifetime but you also help preserve the Galapagos Islands and any other destination in mainland Ecuador. We want guests aboard our luxury cruises to know that their journey and participation has not harmed the Galapagos, but has supported conservation projects to protect and preserve it.
To complement your Galapagos luxury cruise experience, you will be treated to the special amenities and service found only on Quasar’s distinctive private Galapagos cruises, combining the service of a small inn, while outfitted for a true expedition.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 & Eduardo
At Quasar Expeditions we deeply care for our planet and the natural treasures it holds. Since we began in 1986, we have always done our best to leave the smallest footprint possible in all the places that we visit.
Our business philosophy is to offer our guests the possibility of visiting remote destinations the way they were meant to be experienced.
With only a handfull of guests, high-end accomodations, excellent service and outstanding food, you are able to enjoy and experience our services among the best locations of a destination.
The Galapagos Islands were our first destination and our business philosophy has made us pioneers and leaders in the archipelago.
We have seen that the experience we offer is what true explorers look for and it is because of this that we have expanded our services to other destinations.
Besides travel and excellence in service, Quasar Expeditions believes in having a strong and positive influence on local communities and the environment. Quasar Expeditions is proud to continuously support and implement responsible business practices as we have been doing for 30 years.
Oceana seeks to make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world's marine life. Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. With offices around the world, Oceana works to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant.
Throughout the years we have worked and supported the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park, organizations who help preserve the Galapagos Islands.
In addition, we understand that to achieve sustainability, we must educate the children of the islands and for that purpose, we founded the Galapagos Scouts Program.
The Galapagos Scouts Project was established in San Cristobal in 1997, in concurrence with the Scouts organization’s vision: Making a true contribution for the creation of a better world. This vision, also shared by Quasar Expeditions, has driven the company to support the scouts, providing them with help and resources in order for the scout’s organization to be able to confront the challenges for their future on these islands. These individuals are our future; the leaders of tomorrow who will help contribute towards the conservation of the Galapagos Islands, one of the few unharmed places that remain on this earth.
*In the picture: Dolores, one of the founders with the Galapagos Scouts.
Through our collaboration with The Carbonfund.org foundation, our adventures in Patagonia are 100% carbon neutral and entirely eco-friendly. Together we are helping the environment fight global warming, and helping make the transition to a clean energy future possible. The offset projects of Carbonfund.org are third-party certified to the highest standards.
We have calculated, reduced and offset every single emission from the engines of our Jeep® vehicles making our Patagonia adventures, one of the most eco-friendly tourism projects in the region.
Together with Reforest Patagonia, a nonprofit, public and private alliance that unites people of different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures under a single objective: to recover one of the world's most important ecosystems.
The Goal: To plant more than 1 million trees in Torres del Paine and other national parks and reserves in Chile.
Patagonia is one of earth's greatest natural treasures - admired for its amazing beauty and also for its ecological importance. In the past 100 years, human intervention and forest fires have destroyed over 7.5 million acres of native wilderness. One of the worst fires in recent history occurred not too long ago, on December 2011, destroying 42,500 acres of land in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. The magnitude of this tragedy inspired the creation of Reforest Patagonia, which is the largest native-species reforestation project in the history of Chile.
Quasar Expeditions is committed to a sustainable Peru. We make a donation from every tour we operate to the Magical Cusco Tours Peru Foundation, which is dedicated to developing and implementing projects that directly help poor towns in Peru that do not benefit from tourism dollars. We are currently working in the town of Huarocondo, a very poor town near Cusco, to help build a school, a shelter for students who live far away and a medical clinic.
Quasar Expeditions is also committed to working with other organizations that are not necessarily involved with our destinations. Quasar Expeditions has become partners with several beneficial causes including the following organization.
The Fiver Children’s Foundation is a non-profit comprehensive youth development organization that empowers children from underserved communities to develop life skills and to reach their full potential. Fiver’s 10-year commitment to each child includes year-round mentoring and counseling programs, a character building residential summer program, and partnerships with schools and community based organizations.
Quasar Expeditions continues to support important and responsible practices and has donated a Galapagos cruise for the Brain & Spine Foundation.
Quasar Expeditions will be donating a cabin aboard our very own M/Y Grace yacht to be auctioned off by the World Pediatric Project and they keep all proceeds for their organization. The World Pediatric Project was founded in 2001 as International Hospital for Children, with the mission to link worldwide pediatric surgical, diagnostic and preventative resources to heal critically ill children in developing countries. Dr. Julian Metts, in conjunction with the South Richmond Rotary Club, founded the organization after returning from a dental mission trip in which Dr. Metts witnessed many children who were dying due to lack of access to critical medical care which is readily accessible in the United States. On March 1, 2011, International Hospital for Children merged with a nonprofit organization in St. Louis and became World Pediatric Project.
Donate to World Pediatric Project
Since 1987, ETC has provided timely educational travel training, professional development, and affinity-based networking forums expressly designed for professionals serving this special-interest, niche tourism market. Designed to address the issues of most critical importance today to alumni, museum and nonprofit travel, a substantive educational program with outstanding speakers delivers a vertically rich and integrated educational experience over the course of several days with 30+ educational sessions, collegial roundtables, skills workshops, plus networking opportunities and special events. ETC attendees collaboratively grapple with the ethical, business, programming and marketing issues that face nonprofit and affinity travel programs today, including ways to enhance and improve the competitiveness of program offerings, alumni/member engagement, revenue return, and new traveler recruitment. Each year, a diversity of sessions is offered on perennial topics such as risk management, marketing, trends, media, product development, industry issues, responsible tourism and travel planner roundtables, plus a vast array of timely topics discussed in special interest group (SIG) sessions.
Quasar Expeditions participates in the annual “Culinary Evening with the California Winemaster’s Charity Event" which supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis that fund more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support.
The California Winemaker’s Charity Event is a nonprofit, donor-supported event which obtains funds that are then dedicated the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Read more about this cause at
We have partnered up with Free World United, a cause-driven clothing brand, based in the U.S.A., to bring you unique Galapagos apparel that donate $10 to non-profits that protect and preserve the Galapagos Islands. Buy one today or learn how to become a Galapagos Ambassador!