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Galapagos Classic – Southwestern

Galapagos Cruise

  • Evolution
  • Expedition Ship
  • 32 Capacity
  • 8 Days
  • 2015, 2016 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Aug 22 Sat
    • Oct 3 Sat
    • 2016
    • Jan 9 Sat
    • Jan 23 Sat
    • Feb 6 Sat
    • Feb 20 Sat
    • Mar 5 Sat
    • Mar 19 Sat
    • Apr 2 Sat
    • Apr 16 Sat
    • Apr 30 Sat
    • May 14 Sat
    • May 28 Sat
    • Jun 11 Sat
    • Jun 25 Sat
    • Jul 9 Sat
    • Jul 23 Sat
    • Aug 6 Sat
    • Aug 20 Sat
    • Sep 3 Sat
    • Sep 17 Sat
    • Oct 1 Sat
    • Oct 15 Sat
    • Oct 29 Sat
    • Nov 12 Sat
    • Nov 26 Sat
    • Dec 10 Sat
    • Dec 24 Sat
  • Price from
  • $5,350

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

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
$5,350 to $6,900

View All Rates

Itinerary
Day 1
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at Baltra Island and enjoy a welcome briefing 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 whales. One can still find pottery shards from those who passed this way and inhabited the former tiny outpost. 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, located at the ‘mouth’ of the sea horse, whose shape this island resembles. 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, 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 and sandpipers. You may even spot marine iguanas feeding underwater!

Day 3
Isabela Island

Return to Isabela Island this morning to swim, snorkel or explore by foot at Urbina Bay. 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. Keep an eye out for the vivid markings of giant land iguanas.

On the way to Tagus Cove, sail through the cold waters of the Bolivar Channel where dolphins and whales are frequently seen as they come to feed on rich nutrient content. 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 / Santiago Island

Bartolome is famous for 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 up the wooden stairs to the highest point and observe the landscape which resembles the moon. Back at the beach, snorkel or swim as you keep an eye out for sea lions and sea turtles.

Sullivan Bay’s lava formations are known as pahoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). Rare to the rest of the world, but common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands. Few plants manage to take root in this harsh environment. Observe the Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here which is some of the first plant life able to establish itself and survive. Take a trail and watch for black and white Oystercatchers fishing for crabs and mollusks in the tide pools. After exploring the hardened lava flow, swim and snorkel at a beautiful beach where perhaps you will be joined by playful sea lions.

Day 5
Santa Cruz Island

Visit Las Bachas where the sand is soft and white, 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 flamingos, hermit crabs, black necked stilts, and whimbrels.

Explore Dragon Hill 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 salt-rich lagoon that is frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds. Pass through an endemic Scalesia forest as you hike up Dragon Hill for impressive views of the bay.

Day 6
Santa Cruz Island

The lush greenery of the Santa Cruz Highlands contrasts with the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. Weather permitting, take a short walk to The Twins, two pit craters which are lush with trees, moss and lichens. Watch and listen for Galapagos mockingbirds who may follow you along the trail.

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 sprays high in the air.

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 presents a comprehensive exhibit of the islands' natural history, human interaction, ecosystems, flora and fauna. 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: Nov 7 - Dec 19, 2015

Included:
Cabin accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; soft drinks, juice, coffee and tea throughout the cruise; shore activities and excursions; service of naturalist guides; kayaking; snorkeling equipment (mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuits). Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; gratuities to ship crew and naturalists; beverages other than those mentioned as included; 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.