Galapagos Classic – Southwestern

Galapagos Cruise

  • Evolution
  • Expedition Ship
  • 32 Capacity
  • 8 Days
  • 2014, 2015 View Departure>
    • 2014
    • Nov 1 Sat
    • Nov 15 Sat
    • Nov 29 Sat Offer
    • Dec 13 Sat Offer
    • Dec 27 Sat
    • 2015
    • Jan 10 Sat Offer
    • Jan 24 Sat
    • Feb 7 Sat
    • Feb 21 Sat
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    • Mar 21 Sat
    • Apr 4 Sat
    • Apr 18 Sat
    • May 2 Sat
    • May 16 Sat
    • May 30 Sat
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    • Jun 27 Sat
    • Jul 11 Sat
    • Jul 25 Sat
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    • Sep 5 Sat
    • Sep 19 Sat
    • Oct 17 Sat
    • Oct 31 Sat
    • Nov 14 Sat
    • Nov 28 Sat
    • Dec 12 Sat
    • Dec 26 Sat
  • Price from
  • $4,318

Summary : Experience Darwin's enchanted isles onboard a comfortable expedition ship with a quality education program, excellent service, Jacuzzi, kayaks, and sun deck. 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

PRICING

Just-Released Offer Save 15% off (up to $997 per person).

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Combine this voyage with Galapagos Classic - Eastern and save 10% off the 2nd week. Not applicable during Christmas, New Year's or Easter weeks.

Prices from
$5,080 to $6,650

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Itinerary
Day 1
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at Baltra Island this morning. Enjoy a briefing and welcome from your guides before continuing to Whaler's Bay.

Explore a stretch of white sandy beach set against a shallow turquoise bay, bounded by black volcanic rocks. This was once a staging area for the tall ships that visited the west coast of Santa Cruz Island in search of giant sea going mammals. One can still find pottery shards from those who passed this way and inhabited the former tiny outpost at the edge of the world. This is one of archipelago’s few archeological sites. Enjoy a late afternoon snorkel and/or a panga ride keeping an eye out for blue-footed and masked boobies.

Day 2
Isabela Island / Fernandina Island

Explore Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island this morning. Located at the ‘mouth’ of the head of the sea horse, which forms the northern part of the islands, is Punta Vicente Roca. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. Take a panga ride along the cliffs or explore a partially sunken cave at the water’s edge. Keep an eye out for masked and blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants.

In the afternoon, visit Fernandina Island. Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. Punta Espinosa is a narrow stretch of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen. Keep an eye out for penguins, Sally lightfoot crabs, herons, sandpipers, and very large groups of marine iguanas. Enjoy as this is one of the few places where you can watch iguanas feed underwater.

Day 3
Isabela Island

Return to Isabela Island this morning for swimming and exploring by foot at Urbina Bay. Urbina Bay is very interesting in that it is a perfect example of the geological activity of the islands. In 1954, over 3 miles of marine reef at the edge of the shore was uplifted by 13 feet. Walk amongst the dried coral heads, mollusks and other
organisms that formed the ocean floor.

On the way to Tagus Cove, sail through the coldest, most productive waters of Bolivar Channel where dolphins and whales are frequently seen. Enjoy the cove’s quiet waters ideal for a panga ride where blue-footed boobies and pelicans make their nests up in the cliffs, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges.

Day 4
Bartolome Island / James Island

Bartolome is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, which is the most representative landmark of the Galapagos. Look for Galapagos penguins which are usually found at the base of the rock. Climb to the highest point and observe the landscape which resembles the moon. Back at the beach, snorkel or swim with sea lions and keep and eye out for sea turtles.

Sullivan Bay’s lava formations are known as Panoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). Rare to the rest of the world, but it is common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. Few plants manage to take root in this harsh environment. Observe the Mollugo and Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here; these plants are evidence of life returning to Sullivan Bay. Take a trail and watch for black and white Oystercatchers fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools. After exploring the lava flow, swimming and snorkel with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches.

Day 5
Santa Cruz Island

Visit Las Bachas where the sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, and a favorite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot Sally lightfoot crabs in abundance on the lava rocks along the water's edge. Hike to see flamingoes, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels.

Explore Dragon Hill, one of the newest visitor's sites on Santa Cruz Island. Named for the large number of land iguanas that frequent the area, Dragon Hill has become an important nesting site for iguanas reintroduced there by the Charles Darwin Research Center. Take a short walk from the beach to a hypersalinic (saltier than the ocean) lagoon that is frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest. Endemic to the Galapagos, there are only 400 specimens of the Scalesia tree left in the world. Past the forest, hike up Dragon Hill itself for impressive views of the bay.

Day 6
Santa Cruz Island

The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz Highlands is a definite contrast with the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. A point of interest is the famed lava tunnels and the Twin Craters.

Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos, and the small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic center of the archipelago. Six different zones of vegetation can be seen here. Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where scientists, park rangers and park managers are making huge efforts to preserve and protect the Galapagos Islands. The Station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing center, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats.

Day 7
Española Island

Punta Suarez is one of the most popular and attractive spots in the Galapagos. The quantity and variety of wildlife at this site is remarkable. Encounter young sea lions, iguanas, and further inland, masked and blue-foot boobies. Follow a trail toward the cliffs and the blowhole, a fissure in the lava where water spurts high in the air like a geyser.

Espanola Island is the southernmost island of the archipelago and due to its isolation has a high proportion of endemic fauna. Explore Gardner Bay's long white sandy beach where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals.

Day 8
San Cristóbal Island

Visit the San Cristóbal Interpretation Center, which explains the natural history of the Galapagos with a great emphasis on human history and conservation. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the mainland.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Dry Dock Dates: Oct 3-16, 2015

Included: 
Cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea throughout the cruise; all shore activities and excursions; service of naturalist guides; transfers and baggage handling between island airport and ship; kayaking; use of snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins); use of wetsuits. 

Not Included: 
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; Airline Fuel Tax; gratuities to ship crew and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; alcoholic beverages; travel insurance; passport expenses; personal expenses; 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).

We are happy to add hotels, air and land arrangements as requested, and you will be quoted for services.