A unique trip, aboard the "National Geographic Endeavor II"
16 – 27 September 2020
Turtles are born again in Galápagos after 100 years
SCIENTIFIC EXPEDITION: GALAPAGOS ISLANDS – ECUADOR
16 – 27
A unique expedition
The Royal Academy opens the registration period for its first scientific expedition in conjunction with the National Geographic
The Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED) has officially opened the registration period for those wishing to take part next year (September 2020), in the very first scientific expedition organized by the RAED to the Galapagos Islands – one of the most pristine places in the world, acclaimed for its prized biodiversity but which is now also beginning to suffer the consequences of climate change. In fact, it is this very topic, climate change, which will be the central theme of the conferences and discussions that will take place for the benefit of the participants during the expedition.
The expedition is an entirely unique opportunity to discuss, observe and together agree on a statement document to be issued by the RAED which will later be shared with international organizations responsible for debating climate change issues. Needless to say, the RAED’s academic leadership in the fields of science is well recognized. Joining us for the expedition are four Nobel Laureates from different disciplines; the Honorary Academician Dr. Rosalía Arteaga, former president of Ecuador, a group of naturalists from Ecuadorian universities, specialists in various topics related to the Galapagos Islands environment and a group of thinkers and visual artists who will complement this unique group thanks to the collaboration of the Quo Artis Foundation, an international institution dedicated to the promotion of science through art, with which the RAED has initiated a close collaboration.
Exploring the Galapagos Islands, particularly on this once in a lifetime expedition is unquestionably one of the most remarkable journeys imaginable for the curious and discerning traveler. It’s a one off opportunity to witness first-hand unique species, living in an extremely protected environment, and moreover to be able to study, discuss and reflect on the challenges which climate change presents to the Galapagos Islands with world renowned experts.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most important natural history destinations on earth, they represent the first place ever to be catalogued as a world heritage site by UNESCO and of course they are at the heart of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking Theory of Evolution which he published post his world trip aboard “HMS Beagle”. In fact, some of the 14 notebooks in which Darwin documented his thoughts, were penned directly after his visit to the Galapagos Islands in 1835. To quote Darwin, the Galapagos Islands’ “amazing terrestrial life is complemented by an incredible underwater life, where the rich marine currents converge to form the basis of a landscape of an amazing diversity. Giant tortoises roam freely and the lava rocks are full of immobile marine iguanas. There are sea lions that sleep on beaches and native penguins that swim near the boat while the air is full of blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds or incredible cormorants “.
On this unique trip, the expedition members will be accompanied by a National Geographic film maker and the Cruise ship itself will be captained by Eduardo Neira, the most experienced captain to ever navigate the islands, having done so for more than 30 years. In fact, Eduardo Neira, is not only the Ship’s Captain but also a Musician, Composer, and general editor of the magazine “Verde Galapagos”, dedicated to promoting sustainability.
Due to the legal restrictions which govern the Galapagos Islands National Park status, a maximum of 95 passengers are permitted on board, but with all the comforts of a large cruise ship.
As mentioned previously, on board ship there will be nightly debates and seminars which will be led by the experts taking part in this unique trip. The twice-daily departures to the different islands along the route will offer an unforgettable opportunity to see the unique animal species about which evolutionary theory was based and also afford the members of the expedition, first hand testimony that the conservation of such a unique ecosystem can be achieved when political will unites with the knowhow of the most qualified scientists.
One of the most important events of this trip will take place on Santa Cruz Island, which is home to the Darwin Foundation, where high-impact scientific experiments are developed. The participants will have the unique opportunity to enjoy a very in depth and detailed visit of the Foundation.
The expedition will also visit Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a declared World Heritage Site with one of the most beautiful and possibly best-preserved historical centers in South America, to celebrate its VI Scientific Conference. In addition to the artistic treasures of the city, the expedition will visit one of the most interesting places in the country, “The Middle of the world”, the place where the equator crosses Ecuador and where the linked magnetic phenomena of the so termed Coriolis effect can be clearly appreciated.
In order to carry out this trip, the RAED has made numerous efforts to secure a competitive price given that this is a very exclusive trip to a high cost destination due to the strict limitations on the number of people who may visit the Galapagos Islands every year.
However, the most arduous part of the negotiation was with Lindblad-National Geographic. Finally, the reduction which has been secured is 50% of their usual price for this itinerary.
The Academy has also secured a travel financing of up to five years through Arquia Bank for Spanish residents.
Another of the concerns of the Governing Board of the RAED was to obtain insurance that would allow cancellation for any reason, given the time left for the start of the activity. In the end an agreement was reached with the Real Automóvil Club de Catalunya (RACC), a solvent and prestigious entity, with whom it was agreed to design a special insurance for this activity for a price of 1.5 euros per day (790€ in total) from the moment of hiring until the moment of departure, guaranteeing the return of the total amount if the cause of cancellation is within the broad conditions contemplated in the policy or the refund of the amount (with a franchise of only 8%) if the reason for the cancellation is simply down to a participant’s change of mind. Please note that this insurance is only valid for Spanish residents.
The technical organization of the trip is the responsibility of Solocruceros, a specialized agency with which the Academy has already carried out other big projects.
The final price is 9,810 euros per person in a double room and 12,048 euros in rooms with single occupancy. With the special financing offered by Arquia, the trip can be paid from € 168 per month. Given that the places are strictly limited and there is no possibility of expanding them, the allocation of the places will take place by strict order of registration and payment of the deposit – while there are still places available.
Those taking part in the expedition will share unforgettable experiences with prestigious naturalists, Nobel Prize winners and top-level scientists in a unique environment characterized by science, culture, emotion, comfort and knowledge
Former President of Ecuador
Social activist, writer and Ecuadorian politician, Doctor of Jurisprudence and Anthropology, and Honorary Academician of the RAED. She was the first woman president and constitutional vice president of Ecuador
Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2018
Frances Hamilton Arnold
Scientist and American chemical engineer, pioneer in the investigation of methods of directed evolution to create useful biological systems, including enzymes, metabolic pathways, genetic regulation circuits and organisms.
Nobel Prize for Physics in 2018
Gérard Albert Mourou
French scientist, pioneer in the field of electrical engineering. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Arthur Ashkin and Donna Strickland, for his “significant inventions in the field of laser physics”
Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2004
Israeli biologist and Honorary Academician of the RAED. Nobel Prize winner for his discovery of the functions of Ubiquitins, a system used by the body’s cells to get rid of waste by recycling their proteins.
Nobel Prize for Physics in 2017
Barry Clark Barish
American physicist, Honorary Academician of the RAED. Nobel Laureate for the detection of gravitational waves that had been anticipated by Albert Einstein and are a fundamental consequence of his General Theory of Relativity.
Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2005
Richard Royce Schrock
Chemistry and American university professor, Honorary Academician of the RAED. Nobel Laureate for his work in the field of organic chemistry, specifically metathesis reactions, which have allowed to synthesize substances with little toxic waste.
ACADEMIC EVENTS *
University of San Francisco
First Academic event of the VI RAED International Conference
Convent of San Francisco
Second Academic event of the VI RAED International Conference
University of San Francisco
in SAN CRISTÓBAL:
Third Academic event of the VI RAED International Conference
in SANTA CRUZ:
Fourth Academic Act of the VI RAED International Conference
Each night on board the ship, there will be an informative session related to Botany, Zoology, Astronomy, and Geology of the Galapagos Islands, given by prestigious international scientists.