International Investments in Galapagos by Sea

by | Oct 24, 2006 | Archives

International investments can help anyone with a Bird’s Eye View watch inflation and find ways to beat it.

Investing in Galapagos and good value real estate (anywhere in the world) is one good inflation fighting option.

This message also shows how to test your dog’s health.

Plus we’ll see how to walk for your own health.

First let’s look at how Ecuador real estate holds value during inflation.

The trick, however, is to find real estate that offers extra punch…such as the Galapagos.

There are several reason for this, the main two being the incredible brand image of the Galapagos and the extremely limited amount of land. I have written about opportunities in land based investments in these islands several times over the past years.

I have written often about land based opportunity in Galapagos. You can see our most recent review on Galapagos land opportunities at International Investments in Galapagos Real Estate

We even looked at this extra value clear back in 2003. See Property for 41 Cents on the Dollar

Now I have come across an interesting about owning Galapagos property at sea?

Land based opportunity there offers growth potential but the biggest business for Galapagos tours right now are cruise based. So I perked up a bit when our friend, Kjetil Haugan, sent me this note:

Gary, As you know we have built a Galapagos cruise boat, the Athala. We started to operate this boat three months ago in July 2006 and have had almost full occupancy since day one. We are now going to build a second boat called (Athala 2) which will replace Athala 1 which I will sell in March 2007 due to lack of a license from that point on.

What I am looking at now is to sell shares in Athala 2 to be able to raise money for a new boat that we will either buy or build. We have already been offered a new license that we will need to secure this year.

The idea is to offer shares in an ongoing operation that has showed itself to be very profitable so far..this should make it more attractive for investors.

I just got back from The States where I signed a new contract with a tour operator called Grand Circle for most of the weeks until 2010. They already sent me a deposit and want to sign for more years….we have been left with the top weeks to sell direct through my two travel businesses Haugan Cruises or Columbus Tours (summer, Christmas, new Year, Easter, etc.) and should easily sell out all the spaces during the year.

The operation should bring in about $800,000 per year after taxes and we are looking at selling up to 80% of the shares at approx. $2 million US dollars.

We have developed a business plan for this and I would be happy to send it to any of your readers for review if they are interested.

As you know Gary I have been doing many different things in Ecuador but this is by far the best and most interesting business I have been involved with. I hope there are people out there who will join us on this. Regards, Kjetil

I have had many dealings with Kjetil over the years and have found him hard working, intelligent and honest. He owns and operates two Spanish schools in Ecuador, plus has had a logging business as well. Though I trust Kjetil based on my past experiences with him (or I would not share this with you), I have not investigated this deeply and if you have an interest you should exercise normal due diligence.

I am not involved in this opportunity in any way nor do I gain in any way from introducing him to you. I even politely did not accept Kjetil’s kind offer of a free cruise. If you like the idea of investing in a Galapagos cruise business you can contact Kjetil direct at

You can also see more about Kjetil’s first boat, Athala 1, at his cruise website

You can learn more about Ecuador tourism in an interesting case study at

Join Merri, Currency Experts from Jyske Bank and me at our next International Business and Investing Made EZ course in Ecuador. Review which current markets offer good value. Meet Steve, our man in Ecuador, and learn about products to export. Meet Dr. Andres Cordova and learn about owning real estate in the Galapagos. Go to

Doggone Test for Your Dog’s Health

If you have read many of our messages you have seen pictures of our pumpkin patch hound Ma. Here she is at our house.

We love our dog and do a lot to promote her good health. If you have a hound (or a pedigree pooch) I suspect you care also. Therefore I though you would like to know about a dandy new service to help you check out the health and real age of your dog. I found it nifty. It’s at

Hiking for Health

The picture above was taken a couple of weeks ago while our daughter Francesca was visiting from London where she has lived for the past couple years. She is about to move to Swaziland and stopped by first for a long visit. We spent much of the time together hiking. We love walking in the woods and few things are better for health.

If there were three things I could recommend for good health they would be:

#1: Eat less than 1,800 calories a day (preferably nutritious food). See How Long Can We Live?

#2: Hike at least two to three miles a day. University of Florida has good data on this at Walking and Longevity

One great place to hike if you get to our part of the woods for the brisk autumnal is the Virginia Creeper. The pictures above are at the upper trailhead at Whitetop Virginia, 17 minutes from our home.

The Virginia Creeper Trail is Virginia’s premiere mountain biking trail. There are bike rental & bike shuttle services, food, lodging and specialty shops. The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches 35 miles from Abingdon, Virginia thru Damascus, Virginia to the North Carolina State Line near Whitetop, Virginia. The Trail is open to hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. This is a former rail bed (Rails to Trails) that passes through the back country of Southwest Virginia and offers richness in beauty and regional history. There are numerous stations along the way so you can hike three or four miles, seven miles, a dozen miles or much more. Merri and I drive two cars, leave one at the top and the other as far as we want to go. We hike one way and then ride back. Numerous delegates here have taken the trail and loved it! Or you can hire the hourly shuttle to take you to the top and walk/bike all the way down. See more at

#3: Sleep well. A report at health.ivillage confirms sleep’s importance to our health and says:

From the perspective of longevity, sleep may turn out to be more important than most people think. There is plenty of compelling evidence supporting the argument that sleep is the most important predictor of how long you live, perhaps more important than whether you smoke, exercise or have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. In the 50s the American Cancer Society did a massive study of such factors. Volunteers surveyed over 1 million Americans representing every county and parish in the United States about their exercise, nutrition, smoking, sleep and other health related habits. Six years later, the volunteers repeated the survey clearly identifying all of the respondents who had died since the original survey. Out of all the factors in this study, stated habitual sleep time had the best correlation with mortality. However, the correlation was not linear. The highest mortality rates at all age levels occurred for those who said they slept four hours or less and for those who said they slept nine to ten hours or more. The lowest mortality rates were seen for those who said their habitual nightly sleep time was around eight hours. See the entire report at,,4ngs,00.html

Until next message, enjoy health and wealth and join us for a hike in the Andes!


P.S. Creativity, humanitarianism and prosperity come in many forms, but all of them require three things: understanding, communication and inspiration. Spanish is the second most important language in the world. Yet our educational system did not teach us how to communicate with or understand this culture. Learning Spanish is valuable, important and can be fun! There is way to enjoy December 9 – 13, 2006 in the Andean sun as you learn how to learn and how to become fluent in Spanish at a price so incredibly inexpensive that it is hard to believe. See