Summary : Tour the islands aboard a modern, powerful mega-catamaran, with private balconies, a spacious sundeck, Jacuzzi, and kayaks – perfect for Galapagos cruising. 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
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Arrive at Baltra airport and transfer to the catamaran. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and a short briefing about the boat and the island. Then cruise to Sombrero Chino Island, where you will discover a beautiful crescent-shaped beach, home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Hike to Chinese Hat, a unique volcanic rock formation unlike anything you've ever seen. Capture photos of rare plant life and snorkel among white-tipped reef sharks and various tropical fish.
Start your morning on Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago. This volcanic seahorse-shaped island is one of the youngest and most alive in the region. Enjoy a visit to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Be on the look out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet remarkable Mola Mola sunfish.
Cross the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Island, and land on Espinosa Point. Walk past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions before reaching the island's main attraction: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
In the morning you will arrive in Tagus Cove, located across from Fernandina Island near the Bolivar Channel. Look for the names of pirates and sailors who frequented this famous spot inscribed on volcanic rock. Follow a trail winding by Lake Darwin up to a lookout point on the ridge or spend your time snorkeling with penguins.
Head to Urbina Bay in the afternoon, where you can spot the biggest land iguanas in the Galapagos, hawks, giant tortoises, and snorkel with turtles, rays, and tropical fish.
Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by panga. You may have some penguin and blue-footed booby sightings here on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, this area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps an occasional shark.
On the west coast of Isabela Island, Moreno Point will entice you with its plethora of birds as you ride along through clear, calm waters by striking rocky shores or take an optional hike along a path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves.
Begin your day at the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to turtles ranging from 3-inches to 4-feet long. Sub-species of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, stretching our their long necks for a pet on the head. Please note: Charles Darwin Research Station is undergoing refurbishment. Therefore, trips during the refurbishment may instead visit the highlands to see giant tortoises.
Later, make your way up to the Highlands, where you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species.
Greet sea lions and colorful yellow and red land iguanas on your excursion to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. You will also see the Sesuvium plant, which transforms from green and yellow in the rainy season to a vibrant red in the dry months from the end of June through January.
After South Plaza Island, disembark and meet your transfer to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.
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.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; shore activities and excursions; soft drinks (plastic bottled sodas excluded) and juices on board; champagne reception; complimentary fruit platter; Galapagos National Park certified guide; gear on loan (kayaks, snorkeling equipment, and wetsuits). Subject to change without notice.
Hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos Islands; alcoholic beverages; gratuities to ship staff, crew, and naturalists are left to the discretion of the passenger; travel insurance; passport expenses; plastic bottled sodas; fuel surcharge may apply. Subject to change without notice.
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).