- Santa Cruz
- Expedition Ship
- 90 Capacity
- 6 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
$3,120 to $5,462
Arrive Baltra Island this morning by plane and transfer to the dock to board Santa Cruz. Enjoy a welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
In the afternoon, disembark (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of North Seymour Island. Observe blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.
Enjoy coastal exploration by Panga, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. This is the nesting place for flightless cormorants, the only existing marine birds in the world other than penguins that have changed their condition of flying birds to diving birds. Wildlife here also includes sea lions, Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, it will be possible to schedule a snorkeling outing along the cliffs of partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano, near the northern tip of Isabela Island. This area has a very rich marine life, and is seasonally visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola).
Visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, in the afternoon. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk over dark lava. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and a lot of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina boasts a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, sally-light foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant.
After breakfast, make a dry landing on the northwest of Isabela to visit secluded Tagus Cove, a place that provided a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti is still found on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo trees. An uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, which is filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. Enjoy time for a possible swim or snorkel. There is no beach in the area, so these activities are done from the Pangas.
After lunch, disembark at Urbina Bay, located at the foot of the volcanoes, Alcedo and Darwin. Here you can find corals, shells, and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally). Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkeling in this beautiful cove.
In the morning, disembark (dry landing) to visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following the visit, board transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem. Several different options will be available to choose from this afternoon with something for everyone!
Visit Post Office Bay this morning. A short walk leads to the historic barrel site, where mail can be left for guests from other vessels to be hand-delivered. Near Post Office Bay, explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. Rays, turtles and sea lions can be seen gently swimming next to pangas. After a wet landing and a short walk reach the Baroness Cove. Learn more about the fascinating past of this island.
Disembark at Punta Cormorant (wet landing) at an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species like greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others may be observed. This outing also includes a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest (from December to May). Possible snorkeling in one of the best spots in the archipelago.
Disembark at Baltra Island. Transfer to the airport for 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).