Silver Travel Book Club

April 2022 – Galapagos Crusoes

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Silversea – is reading Galapagos Crusoes – a year alone with the birds by Bryan Nelson and June Nelson, published by Bradt guides.


This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Silversea – is reading Galapagos Crusoes – a year alone with the birds by Bryan Nelson and June Nelson, published by Bradt guides.

This timely reissue breathes new life into a classic work of natural history that will appeal to bird-lovers and Galapagos-lovers alike.

In 1964 the late Bryan Nelson, a zoologist, and his wife June spent a year living on two uninhabited, waterless Galapagos islands studying the three species of booby. Bryan’s book, Galapagos: Islands of Birds was published in 1968 and, although by necessity a scientific study, his light touch and the extraordinary hardships and delights of living in total isolation with no means of rescue should things go wrong, make it an exceptionally good read.

Now, nearly 60 years later, June Nelson has extracted the story of that extraordinary year and complemented it with her own recollections.

The couple’s research and findings remain relevant and interesting, so plenty of wildlife descriptions are retained, but it is the mischievous mocking birds and friendly sea lions which will captivate the reader as much as the famous blue-footed boobies and waved albatrosses.


Like the Nelsons, you too can fulfil your Galapagos dream on a Silversea cruise to the Galapagos Islands.

At almost 600 miles from the mainland, the Galapagos Islands are one of the remotest places in the world. The 19 island-archipelago was the world’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, homes an astonishing 9,000 species of flora and fauna and is by far the strangest, most wonderful place on earth. 

Join Silversea’s Silver Origin in the Galapagos Islands and discover its spellbinding wildlife in absolute comfort and elegance. Big on creature comforts and luxuries, Silversea’s intimate all-suite Silver Origin feels personal and convivial. Accommodating just 100 guests, Silver Origin has been designed especially with the bio-diversity of the Galapagos Islands in mind. Silversea’s new, improved itineraries offer a vast range of island wildlife, including endemic species. What’s more their team of enthusiastic and dedicated experts will guide you every step of the way.

Read Jeannine Williamson’s article on her recent trip on Silver Origin to the Galapagos.


How to win a copy of ‘Galapagos Crusoes – a year alone with the birds’ by Bryan Nelson and June Nelson, published by Bradt guides  

Simply add a comment at the end of this page. 

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is on many people’s bucket list – where is top of your bucket list to visit?

The best entry will win a copy of this book.

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20 Responses

  1. We were very fortunate to have visited the Galápagos Islands in February this year – after having been cancelled for the previous two years! It was an amazing holiday and our most memorable. What totally struck us was how proud and protective the inhabitants and local guides are of the islands – conservation is at the centre of everything they do. And it’s definitely the case that humans live and/or visit the home of the animals – we’ve never experienced anything like it in all of our travels. Loved it

  2. Visiting the Galapagos Islands has always been too of my bucket list. Even if I don’t get there, I could armchair travel reading the book

  3. Since my childhood I have been dreaming of visiting this enchanted island. A trip there would truly be a dream come true for me.

  4. The Galapagos Islands have been on my bucket list. With a pending operation on my knee or knees subject to the backlog due to the pandemic, this may be possible in the future or not. Winning this stunning book would either give me an insight to what I have missed or what I have to look forward to.

  5. After 2 cancellations, we are due to visit Galapagos this September. We are very keen wildlife watchers and would thus appreciate an in-depth bird guide for these unique islands.

  6. New Zealand is my top choice…. I’ve been lucky enough to travel far and wide but never managed to get that far south.
    On my travels I always have to spend hours (my poor friend Sue puts up with it) photographing birds for my son who is a keen birdwatcher but father of three who can’t afford such luxuries!

  7. Would Darwin have been credited for the Origin of Species if he had not visited the Galapagos Islands which proved his thoughts true, and led him to follow what he discovered regarding the developing of different species in different environments? You never know how travelling and experiencing various environments can change you and broaden your mind – and the longer you spend away so it becomes normal to live amongst the birds, as in this book and really understand the local wildlife.

    Currently top of my bucket list is the UK – to walk the South West Coast path, but in stages, our own coast is amazing as are our seabirds and it makes you laugh when a seal pops its head up to look at you above on the coast – I can’t wait to walk the next section from Devon into Cornwall.

  8. Having already ticked off lots of my long-haul bucket list experiences, my list is probably not as exotic as some and currently at the top is Romania. We have several Romanian friends and neighbours and had a month-long trip lined up for summer 2020, which had to be postponed because of Covid. Now, it’s proximity to Ukraine, means it may have to remain in the top slot for a little longer. As the Romanians would say, ‘voi ajunge acolo’, I will get there.

  9. A trip to the Galapagos islands is on my bucket list, along with maritime Canada. Would be great to win this book and really whet my appetite for this unique destination.

  10. We were lucky enough to visit the Galapagos for our 30th anniversary, 5 years ago. I remember tears flowing the minute I realised I’d achieved the number 1 on my bucket list. It was everything I’d dreamed of. Only better.

  11. The Galapagos has always been top of my bucket list! I’d love to travel there with my son who also dreams of it!! Who knows if we’ll ever make it – but I like to think that dreams do come true, sometimes….

  12. Currently the top of my bucket list is England’s `final frontier` – St Agnes – the only one of the five inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly that I have not yet visited; it is the most south-westerly and is small, peaceful and unspoilt. I loved the other islands in the archipelago, especially St Martin’s, but next time I’d like to stay on St Agnes where I’d beachcomb on the white sandy beaches, swim in the turquoise water and do some birdwatching. There’s a good chance I’d see grey seals again and with luck catch a glimpse of porpoises, dolphins or basking sharks during a boat trip. The local cafes, pub and restaurant sound pretty tempting too!

  13. I have been lucky to have already ticked off many places on my bucket list such as:

    Seen the Northern Lights in Iceland
    Watched a total solar eclipse
    Walked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
    Trekked in the Amazon rainforest
    Swam in the Caribbean and lazed on the beautiful beaches of the Seychelles
    Flown on a small plane along the Himalaya from Kathmandu to Mount Everest
    Seen the ‘Big 5’ on a safari in Kenya
    Watched the sunset at the Taj Mahal
    Visited the temples of Angkor Wat
    Performed Tai Chi at sunrise on a junk in Halong Bay

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion…. (Actually I may have fibbed about that… forgive me for stealing a quote from the film Blade Runner!)

    The world is a smaller place nowadays with easy and affordable international travel and I still have many more places to tick off – and the Galapagos is definitely in my list for its unique wildlife.

    However the Covid pandemic has put a stop to my travels for now and I’m calling this time the ‘lost years!’ although I hope I’m not running out of time to fulfil my dreams. Nevertheless, until things around the world improve, I’ve enjoyed exploring closer to home and the number one place on my bucket list at the moment is an island hopping trip of the Outer Hebrides – Scotland’s wild isles with pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue sea (if a little chilly) against a backdrop of mountains and moors. The island chain combines natural beauty with a rich Gaelic culture, along with captivating wildlife. Who needs to go to Canada for whale watching or the Caribbean for the beaches – it’s all here on our doorstep. The perfect destination to chill out and escape everyday life.

    Mind you, I still haven’t given up on seeing the attack ships off the shoulder of Orion though – maybe one day when space travel becomes mainstream!

  14. Galapagos Islands!! My #1 stop on my bucket list! I visited the Amazon in Peru about 30 years ago but could not afford to visit the islands. One day I hope to make my dream come true. At 70 now, my time is getting on. I have visited The Great Wall in China, Machu Picchu, Iceland, northern lights and more smaller unique places, but these islands are my all time favorite and still my #1.
    Riki Evans Johnson

  15. Oh my – The Galapagos has always been my dream destination and top of my bucket list. The thought of following in Darwins footsteps, seeing the wonderful wildlife, especially the blue boobies, and sailing in those beautiful waters is a dream. I’ve armchair traveled there several times watching documentaries and if I don’t actually get to go there I could at least fantasise whilst reading. As a solo traveler its very expensive

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