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Galapagos In-Brief – Northern Islands

Galapagos Cruise Information

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, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins


Prices from
$999,999,999 to $0

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Day 1
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, a guide will meet you, help you collect your luggage, and escort you on a short bus ride to the harbor and then to the yacht.

In the afternoon, visit Dragon Hill, only open for visits since 1993. This site is located in northwestern Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach, frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. Keep an eye out for land iguanas as you enjoy a short walk to the hill, which offers a beautiful view of the bay.

Before dinner your guide will give the first daily briefing for the next day. Then the captain and his crew will present a toast with a welcome cocktail to celebrate your first evening on board.

Day 2
Rabida Island / Sombrero Chino

After breakfast you will make a wet landing (barefoot) to do two short, guided nature hikes from the remarkable red beach and along the breeding colony of brown pelicans (easy, 0.6 mi.). On return, you will be picked-up by the inflatable dinghies, which will bring you back on board for a snack and to prepare yourself for first-time snorkeling or a dinghy-ride.

Before lunch you will lift anchor and continue about 2 hours to another islet just out off the coast of Santiago: Chinese Hat. Perhaps you can spot some Galapagos penguins, which may even appear in the water during your snorkeling excursion. During your late afternoon walk you will learn a lot about the geology on this typical volcano-islet (easy, 0.5 mi.). After dinner you will leave for a 7-hour sailing to the northern island of Genovesa, crossing the equator along the way.

Day 3
Genovesa Island

As one of the outer islands, Genovesa is well worth the longer trip. Known as 'bird island' this remote northern island is not frequented as much by tourists due to its more removed location. Anchoring is an experience you are not likely to forget. The horseshoe shaped wall shows unmistakably that you are entering the partly collapsed and submerged caldera of a young volcano!

Today you have a full program. After an early breakfast you will make a wet landing at the isolated and peaceful beach of Darwin Bay for a guided nature walk (moderate level, 2 mi.). Afterwards you can enjoy a snack aboard before setting out for a refreshing snorkeling excursion. You can also request an optional kayaking excursion.

Around lunchtime you will sail to the entrance of the caldera where your second visitor’s site is located: Prince Philip’s Steps. Set out on a guided dinghy ride and another spectacular guided nature walk (moderate level, 2 mi.). Heading back to Santiago this night, you will have to navigate about 6 hours again, and lift the anchor after dinner.

Day 4
Bartolome Island / Santiago Island

The wild, romantic islet of Bartolome is located just south of the equator, and close to the eastern coast of Santiago. This is the northwestern corner of the archipelago, where volcanoes are still active. Today is largely dedicated to volcanism and spectacular geologic 'moonscapes'. You will also have the opportunities to observe Galapagos penguins again, and snorkel in a warm, shallow bath full of colorful reef fish. Bartolome and Sullivan Bay are incomparable to any other visitor’s site. The programmed excursions are extremely rich in contrast and promise to become an unforgettable experience.

Day 5
Santa Cruz Island

After early breakfast it's time to leave the yacht and say goodbye. Your inflatable dinghy brings you to the harbor of Puerto Ayora. From there you will travel by road to the highlands for your last excursion. In the agricultural zone you can see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. Then you will be accompanied with your luggage to the airport, where you can check-in and return to Guayaquil or Quito.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes. Read this itinerary as a guide only, as the exact route and the wildlife you encounter may vary.

This ship travels together with the Sea Star Journey to most locations.

Shared departure transfer to Quito or Guayaquil airport (included when Galapagos flights are booked through shipping company on scheduled departure cruise dates); all transfers in the Galapagos (airport-yacht-airport transfers are only guaranteed when flight is booked through shipping company); shipboard accommodations; coffee, tea and water; itinerary excursions to the islands with certified guide; snorkeling gear; kayaking; all meals onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included: 
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers not specified in inclusions in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; items of a personal nature such as laundry, massage, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages; gratuities to ship staff is left to the discretion of the passenger; traveler’s insurance; wet suit rental; 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): $500-$700 per adult; $350-$450 per child under 12 (copy of passport required).

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