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, Kayaking, Snorkeling
Just-Released Offer Save 10% per person. Single Traveler Discount.
Early Booking Discount: Book 180 days or more in advance and save 5% on select departure dates. Contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
New this Season: Standup Paddleboarding (included in cost).
$4,300 to $5,400
Travel by bus to Frigatebird Hill situated on the edge of town. This is one of two sites where you can spot nesting colonies of both species of Frigate birds (Great and Magnificent). The trail leads to Punta Carola where there are beautiful vistas. Look for lava lizards, ground finch and Chatham mockingbird. Return to the yacht for the Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner.
Arrive at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach, considered one of the most spectacular in Galapagos and perfect for a peaceful walk with expansive views and good bird watching. Kayak from the beach or possibly swim with sea lions. Take a Zodiac ride through a cave called The Cathedral.
Visit the northeast tip of San Cristóbal, Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including blue-footed, nazca and red-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls and storm petrels. Punta Pitt is considered to be a first-class site for birding. Here you can snorkel at Pitt Rock with sea lions and colorful fish such as the King Angel and Surgeon fish. Return to the yacht to cruise around Kicker Rock, a vertical tuff cone formation that rises abruptly almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs, spot blue-footed boobies, nazca boobies and magnificent frigate birds.
This morning land at Punta Suarez to witness the highest rate of endemic species in Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet you while landing on their beach. From April to December, the waved albatross, found only on Española, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. Also watch for Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves, Galapagos Hawks, and a unique species of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Observe colorful Sally light-foot crabs crawling along the shoreline.
In the afternoon land at Gardner Bay. Walk along a stretch of white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow so this is a chance to explore or take a long walk. You may see Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finch or Hood Mockingbird. Swim right from the beach, explore by kayak or just relax. There’s an excellent snorkeling site off Gardner Islet with a colorful diversity of sea life near Tortuga Rock. Explore caves by Zodiac covered with invertebrates.
Step ashore at Punta Cormorant, one of the few populated islands in the Galapagos. Floreana presents a rich history with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a beach alive with the sounds of sea lions. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of pintail ducks, common stilts, and the pink flamingos. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants including Morning Glory, Cut Leaf Daisies, Palo Verdes and Scalesia leading to a soft sandy beach where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water.
After the walk, snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish and corral. Visit Post Office Bay, one of the most famous sites in Galapagos. Here a post barrel was put into use in the late 18th Century by English whaling vessels. You are invited to leave a post card and pick up any mail from your home area and deliver it upon your return.
Disembark in port and travel by bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The scenery gradually changes as you wind your way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. Visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias,” one of the private farms in the highlands where you may encounter giant tortoises. Stop at “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where you may see the bright red male vermilion flycatcher.
Later visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. See tortoise and land iguana corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings not yet ready to be introduced into the wild. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology.
Puerto Ayora is the social heart of the islands with the largest population of 24,000. After lunch on board the yacht, return to town to explore the shops or stop at an internet cafe. You have the option to remain in town or you can return to the boat for dinner. Zodiac rides will be available for your return to the yacht.
Disembark at Bartolome with a landscape that conjures up images of walking on the moon. This young island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After landing, climb for approx. 30 minutes up a wooden staircase with sweeping views that lead to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, pause to marvel at lava formations such as spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top, gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and Pinnacle Rock, an eroded tuff cone. Snorkel from the beach or Zodiac with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins through the crystal clear water.
Visit Las Bachas, where there is a long stretch of white sand beach and interior lagoons to look for flamingos. Enjoy a chance to snorkel from the beach. Located off the Southern tip of Santiago is Sombrero Chino, or Chinese Hat, which owes its name to its shape. Land amongst the sea lions and follow a trail that gives way to a volcanic landscape rubble and lava tubes. Find marine iguanas and pairs of oystercatchers or choose to snorkel at a site that is frequented by Galapagos penguins.
Explore South Plaza, a small geological uplift with tall cliffs offering spectacular views. After landing, the trails leads through prickly pear cactus. Here you may find a Galapagos land iguana feeding on the cactus leaves. Toward the end of the hill, encounter a colony of sea lions. Also watch for swallow-tailed gulls, shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds who build their nests along the cliffs.
After lunch at North Seymour, follow a trail as you keep an eye out for Swallow-tailed gulls, Blue-footed Boobies and endemic Land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate birds found in Galapagos. Stroll along the beach to find Marine Iguanas sunning. Return to the yacht for the Captain’s cocktail party and dinner, as well as a special slide show presentation by your guides.
Visit the Interpretation Center to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the islands. Afterwards, spend time in port before heading to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.
This itinerary is subject to change. The order of visits may vary slightly based on the yacht assigned. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes. Read this itinerary as a guide only, as the exact route and the wildlife you encounter may vary.
6/26/2016, 7/10/2016, 7/24/2016, 8/7/2016, 8/21/2016, 12/25/2016, 2/19/2017, 3/19/2017, 4/2/2017, 6/11/2017, 6/25/2017, 7/9/2017, 7/23/2017, 8/6/2017, 8/20/2017, 12/24/2017
These departures are offered throughout the year, generally over US school breaks. This operator offers two types of family departures: cruises oriented toward families with teenagers and cruises oriented toward families with younger children. These departures feature age-appropriate activities depending on the ages and number of children or teenagers on board and may include: visits to the bridge and learn about navigational charts and tie nautical knots with the Captain; games with prizes; costume party; board games/books/DVDs; talent shows and ice cream social sundaes. Also, snorkeling equipment, life vests and wet suits are available onboard in child sizes and kid-friendly meals are served. Dates subject to change, contact us for details.
7-Day Cruise Option:
Passengers can disembark on Saturday in Baltra for a shorter, 7-day cruise. Available on select departure dates, the 7-day rate is a 10% discount off the 8-day cruise rate on Seasonal departure dates only and cannot be combined with any other promotional or child discounts. For those passengers departing early and require a transfer to the airport with a guide, there is an additional charge of $50 per person (max $200). The return flight from Baltra is subject to availability and confirmation is requested at the time of booking. Please add $26 per person for the Baltra airport surcharge.
Cabin accommodation; meals and snacks aboard ship; non-alcoholic beverages; Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail; house wine and local beer with dinner; guided shore excursions; use of wetsuits (but no guarantee there will be one available in your size unless you reserve in advance for $25), snorkeling equipment, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks; transfer between island airport and dock. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; gratuities are left to the discretion of the passenger; wetsuit advance reservation; traveler’s insurance; alcoholic beverages not mentioned above; purchases on board; fuel surcharge may apply.
We are happy to add hotels, air and land arrangements as requested, and you will be quoted for services.
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).