- Santa Cruz
- Expedition Ship
- 90 Capacity
- 5 Days
- 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
Extend your trip: Save 10% per person on this itinerary when combined with the Southwestern itinerary. Additional itinerary combinations for up to a 15-day itinerary are available. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
$2,381 to $3,971
Arrival by plane to San Cristóbal Island and transfer to the Santa Cruz, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galápagos Islands. Enjoy lunch on board and a welcome talk.
In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) on the eastern tip of the island. Pitt Point is an eroded tuff cone; the trail that ascends from the beach provides 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, there is a chance to swim from the beach or snorkel at the nearby islets. Nightly briefing and dinner.
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 before returning to Santa Cruz 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.
There are several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader:
1. Trek along trails amid miconia forest in the highlands, home to many elusive birds including the dark-rumped petrel.
2. Mountain bike (mostly downhill) to Garrapatero Beach.
3. Sea kayak and relax on a beautiful, sandy beach.
4. Experience sustainable agriculture in an organic coffee plantation.
5. Discover SCUBA diving day in Puerto Ayora. This is a day designed for people who wish to discover the marine wonders of the archipelago, but who are not ready to dive in the current-strong Galápagos open waters. A local diving outfitter is contacted on your behalf. This activity takes for most of the day and has a cost. Please ask for more information.
At the end of the afternoon’s activities, return to Puerto Ayora and embark the Santa Cruz.
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. Back on board for lunch.
In the afternoon, disembark (wet landing) 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, or one may ride aboard the glass-bottom boat. Nightly briefing and dinner.
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.
Ship Dry Dock Dates: May 6 - Jun 3, 2013
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; taxes and transfers on the island; fuel surcharge.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee, USD$100 (children under 12 subtract $50), 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.
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-$550 per adult; $250-$325 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).