- Santa Cruz
- Expedition Ship
- 90 Capacity
- 5 Days
- 2014, 2015
- Price from
Summary : The Galapagos Islands are considered one of the most spectacular and pristine National Parks in the world. Visitors delight in the abundant, unusual, and surprisingly approachable wildlife--from Galapagos giant tortoises to playful sea lions to the fascinating blue-footed boobies.
We strongly recommend two pre-cruise nights and one post-cruise night in Quito or Guayaquil. Please inquire about adding these or other services to your trip.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Snorkeling
$2,495 to $4,370
Arrive by plane to San Cristóbal Island and transfer the vessel. Enjoy lunch on board and a welcome talk.
In the afternoon, disembark on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; ascend the trail from the beach providing spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions along the beach. After the walk, if conditions are favorable, swim or snorkel at the nearby islets.
After breakfast, make a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right of “Beach Master,” while smaller males masking as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Enjoy snorkeling and swimming from the beach, or a glass bottom boat ride before returning to the vessel for lunch on board.
Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands. The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange ‘Sally Lightfoot’ crabs. Further up the shore, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Nightly briefing and dinner.
Disembark this morning for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, where there is an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following the visit, enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
Enjoy one of several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. Land and water options abound with something to please everyone. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, return to Puerto Ayora and embark the vessel.
Go on a morning outing at Punta Suárez (dry landing) for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain. Visit unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April - December), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, as well as a view of the Galápagos' famous “blow-hole.” Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.
In the afternoon, disembark at a white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area!
Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Dry Dock Dates: May 4-Jun 5, 2015
Shared transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; all shore activities and excursions; guide and lecture services; sea kayaks; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling gear; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost of medication); taxes and transfers on the island. For Darwin Elite cabins only (Boat Deck Standard Plus, Superior, Junior Suite and Master Suite): wine and beer at dinner; use of VIP lounge at departure airport in the Galapagos Islands; explorers’ kit, expedition CD; Internet access in select areas; special edition take-home coffee table book; and wetsuit rental.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee $100 per person ($50 per child under 12) subject to change without notice; Galapagos Transit Card ($10 per person); international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; wet suit rental; Internet; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; gifts and personal items; passport expenses; traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; fuel surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands:
The flights between mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) and the Galapagos Islands are an additional cost. To secure your seats on often overbooked flights, ExpeditionTrips must reserve these flights for you at the time of cruise booking. Approximate cost (including service fee): $450-$600 per adult; $250-$325 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).