A&K Travel Group invests in Galapagos yacht operator Ecoventura

The parent of Abercrombie & Kent has invested in luxury Galapagos-based yacht brand Ecoventura.

A&K Travel Group, which owns the tour operator, Crystal Cruises and Cox & Kings, has announced an equity partnership with Santiago Dunn, chief executive of Ecoventura.

Ecoventura currently operates two yachts – Origin and Theory - in the Galapagos, with a third, called Evolve, set to launch in January.

The financials of the deal were not disclosed, however a statement said the partnership “foresees an equity investment in Ecoventura as well as the creation of a joint venture headed up by Santiago Dunn in his new role as chief executive of A&K South America”.

In his role, Dunn will oversee A&K’s expansion in South America, with more ships and properties across the continent on the cards.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Dunn said: “There is so much opportunity for A&K to grow in Latin America. We’re excited about the opportunity to expand with both river and ocean cruising, as well as high-end luxury lodges. There’s lots of scope across the continent to develop a truly impressive portfolio of products.”

He added: “I met Manfredi Lefebvre (co-chairman of the A&K Travel Group) over a decade ago and as I got to know him and his fantastic team, I developed great respect for his vision for the future. 

“When you combine that with the influence of Geoffrey Kent (co-chairman and founder of the A&K Travel Group) and A&K’s worldwide reputation, plus the 360-degree scope and attention to detail with Cristina Levis at the helm, I am confident that our knowledge and experience will quickly translate into a portfolio of luxurious adventures across Latin America in partnership with local communities.”

Lefebvre d’Ovidio said: “I met Santiago for the first time in 2009 and since then we have gained a mutual respect for one other and our respective achievements, as well as our shared passion for travel. He was a good partner when I ran Silversea Cruises and I look forward to working with him on A&K’s ambitious expansion plans in the region.” 

A&K founder Kent added: “I have many heart-warming memories of trips to Ecuador and cannot wait to go back with my children to see the incredible wildlife. Through A&K Philanthropy, we will be working to ensure that A&K and Ecoventura help to protect the islands for future generations, while supporting the local community. The Galapagenos share their natural heritage with our guests and we are committed to giving something back.”

A&K’s chief executive Cristina Levis said: “The Galapagos Islands are a paradise on earth that I believe each person on the planet should visit at least once in their lifetime.”

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