• WorldView
  • 3 Min Read
  • 17 Mar 2021

Pioneering Farm-to-Galley in Galápagos: Eat Well, Do Good

Lindblad Expeditions has cultivated a sustainable farm-to-table dining program in the Galápagos designed with a key mission in mind: to support the livelihoods of Galápagos farmers. The first of its kind among expedition cruise lines in the archipelago, the program gives a boost to the local economy—and a fresh taste of the archipelago to travelers. Get Inspired By Photos, Videos, Webinars, Stories, And Exclusive Offers. Sign Up

Photo: Alexandra C. Daley-Clark

Any given day on a Galápagos expedition is likely to bring a host of new experiences—and for many travelers, the first moments of discovery happen over breakfast. Local dishes like bolon de verde, a meat-and-cheese dumpling wrapped in mashed plantains, are served alongside fresh papaya and tamarillo and cups of Galápagos-grown coffee. With every meal here, guests are getting a literal taste of their surroundings. Everything served on the ship, from your morning juice to your evening cocktail, is sourced from either the islands or mainland Ecuador.

To provision meals for the National Geographic Endeavour II and National Geographic Islander II, Lindblad Expeditions must acquire between 30 and 40 tons of local and organic produce annually, an undertaking that relies on Galápagos farmers. According to Ana Esteves, Lindblad’s Vice President of Hotel Operations, the islands and their people inspired the fleet’s farm-to-table dining program, which she founded in 2017. She says, “I saw so much potential for the beautiful, lush land. I reached out to the Minister of Agriculture, and we visited some of the farmers.”


Before Lindblad-National Geographic, there was no sign of any tourist wanting my products—it was all for the locals. Lindblad has opened up so many possibilities for me and my family and our future.
Clemente Troya, Local farmer who grows everything from lettuce to leeks for Lindblad Expeditions
Collecting Edible Flowers Galapagos_ADC752_1167.jpg
Paola Garcia and her daughter Alexa sell edible begonia flowers to Lindblad Expeditions. Photo: Alexandra C. Daley-Clark

Lindblad Expeditions works directly with more than 40 local farmers across the archipelago. These relationships not only ensure that guests enjoy the freshest possible food, but they also reinforce the company’s commitment to sustainability. Using locally sourced ingredients comes with a host of benefits for the archipelago’s delicate ecosystems: it lowers the risk of importing invasive species, cuts down the fleet’s carbon footprint, and greatly reduces packaging waste. The impact on local families is also significant, providing them steady income streams and increased possibilities.

Eating local seco (a stewed meat dish) or ceviche fresh from the surrounding sea also helps guests forge a natural connection to the local culture, which Esteves reinforces when visiting the islands. “Each time we are in the region, we try to bring our farmers on board the ship, so they can see what we are doing. For us, it is beyond rewarding to create and deliver these experiences in a way that so closely align with our mission. This is as local as it gets.”