Evolution's dining room is located on B Deck, with windows on two sides and glass doors opening to a shaded alfresco dining area at the back of the ship. Breakfast and dinner are typically served indoors, while most lunches are enjoyed in the open air. There are no seating assignments; passengers can sit at any of the four tables, and there's plenty of mingling.
Mealtimes vary depending on the day's activities, but breakfast is typically served at 7 a.m. or 7:30 a.m., lunch around 12:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. In between are morning and afternoon snacks, which wait for passengers as they come aboard after a snorkeling session or hike. These nibbles might include pastries, chicken wings, sushi or fresh fruit. In the corner of the dining room is a small table where coffee, tea, fruit, cookies and crackers are available 24 hours a day.
Breakfast is served buffet-style and features cereal, yogurt, meat and cheese, fruit, a few hot options (potatoes, tamales, sunny-side-up eggs) and a station where you can order a custom-made omelet. Coffee and tea are always available, along with a fruit juice of the day (such as melon or coconut).
Another buffet follows at lunch, although a soup or salad course is often served at the table first. There are typically three cold salad options like coleslaw, beet salad or a green salad with honey mustard dressing. Hot options include fish, chicken or meat dishes, as well as a vegetable and a starchy side (rice is a staple). The best lunches feature Ecuadorian dishes like potato and avocado soup, curried chicken, ceviche, plantains and hominy made with extra-large corn grown in the Andes highlands. Dessert for one of these lunches was a surprisingly delicious combination of figs and cheese. An all-American lunch of burgers and fries was a little less appealing.
While a few dinners are served buffet-style, it's more typical to choose at lunchtime between two potential dinner entrees. (That way the kitchen can cook the proper amount of each dish.) One night the options were fried calamari and chicken medallions with ricotta and spinach; the next, you could choose between filet mignon and turkey with fig sauce. All entrees are preceded by a soup or salad course and followed by a dessert, such as lemon cake or berries with cream.
Vegetarians and those watching their weight will find plenty of healthful veggie and fruit options at most meals. The kitchen can cater to dietary restrictions with advance notice. Room service is not offered.
Wine, beer, liquor, spirits and soft drinks are available from the bar during meals or any other time you might want them. Beers cost $6 to $8. House wine is $9 per glass; bottles (mostly Chilean and Argentinian) start at $45 and go all the way up to a $290 Champagne. If you open a bottle of wine but don't finish it, the bartender will hold onto it for you until your next meal. All alcoholic drinks are added to a tab that you can pay with cash or a credit card at the end of your trip. You may bring your own alcoholic beverages onboard, but they must be kept in your cabin.
There are several stations around the ship where you can refill bottles (supplied by the ship) with potable drinking water to take with you on a hike or use to brush your teeth. Drinking the tap water is discouraged.
International Expeditions Evolution Ship Stats
- Crew: 19
- Launched: 1970
- Decks: 4
- Passengers: 32
- Registry: Ecuador