This archipelago of volcanic islands lies in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles to the west of the mainland. They were famously visited by Charles Darwin, who was inspired to outline the theory of evolution as a result of his experiences there. The amazing endemic wildlife of these islands – and the subtle yet important differences between similar species (of finch, for example) on the different islands – gave Darwin his lightbulb moment.Rugged and surf-sprayed, the Galapagos are not your typical desert island. They are, however, a must-visit destination for any wildlife enthusiast. As they have no real negative experience of humans, the creatures here (although wild) are remarkably relaxed, and let you walk among them.The experience is controlled for the sake of preserving the habitats and wildlife, with licensed guides accompanying each group. Only certain sites and islands can be visited, and the best way to experience the islands is to overnight on your ship, and visit each day.You’ll be received by a wonderful parade of curious critters: penguins, iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and sea lions will be just some of the members of your reception committee. Welcome!