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, Photography, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive at San Cristobal Island where the crew is waiting at the airport to escort you to the yacht. After a welcome briefing, your adventure begins with an afternoon excursion to introduce you to some of the amazing landscapes and wildlife that make the Galapagos Islands truly unique.
Listed below is a sample of the islands you may visit during your expedition, and the types of activities you may experience.
Visit Bartolome and climb the long wooden staircase to the summit of a dormant volcano, pausing along the way to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. The panoramic view from the top encompasses the entire island, including the distinctive eroded tuff cone known as Pinnacle Rock. Snorkel with tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins. Take a Zodiac ride along the rocky shoreline.
Land at Punta Suarez to sea sea lions, waved albatross (April to December), blue-footed and masked boobies, and marine iguanas. Follow the trail to a dramatic ocean blowhole, and watch for colorful Sally light-foot crabs crawling along the shoreline. Land at Gardner Bay. Walk along a stretch of white sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. Swim right from the beach, explore by kayak or just relax. Explore caves by Zodiac.
Visit Punta Espinoza and observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory, and hundreds of marine iguanas, basking in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Snorkel and keep an eye out for large sea turtles that frequent this area. Go ashore on Tagus Cove, a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Sections of the rocky cliffs are covered with graffiti dating back to the 1800s. An uphill hike leads to a saltwater lagoon and a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. Explore the shoreline by kayak or stand up paddleboard in search of Galapagos penguins.
Learn of its rich history with mystery and intrigue. Set foot on a beach alive with the sounds of sea lions. Follow a trail to a lagoon to spot pink flamingos. Wind your way past a rich variety of plants to a soft sandy beach where sea turtles lay their eggs in the sand dunes and rays swim in the shallow water. Snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a shallow sunken crater colonized by a brilliant array of colorful fish, sea turtles and coral. Visit Post Office Bay where a post barrel was put into use in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels. Leave a post card and pick up any mail from your home area and deliver it upon your return. Swim from the beach with sea lions. Take a Zodiac ride near Baroness Point to look for sea turtles.
Land at Prince Philip’s Steps in the morning. Red-footed boobies nest here in Palo Santo trees and Nazca boobies nest near the trail. After the walk, kayaks are available to paddle along the shoreline. Land at Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where swallow-tail and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of Great Frigate birds nest. After the walk, enjoy a swim or snorkel and watch for sea lions.
Visit Punta Vicente Roca on a Zodiac ride where you can enter the wave-sculpted cave. Snorkel to look for penguins and sea turtles. Land at Urbina Bay where four miles of coastal seabed were exposed due to a dramatic uplift during a volcanic eruption in 1954. Keep an eye out for the very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as marine iguanas, Darwin’s finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants.
North Seymour Island:
Follow a trail to spot blue-footed boobies and land iguanas. Visit the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds found in Galapagos. Stroll along the beach to find marine iguanas swimming in the surf or perhaps a sea lion catching a wave.
Visit its dark red beach coming from the high iron content in the volcanic stones. Follow the trail to a saltwater lagoon where flamingos migrate and keep an eye out for mockingbirds, yellow warblers and Darwin’s finches. Snorkel with a colony of sea lions. Zodiac to Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) through a series of coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves. Keep your eye out for golden rays.
San Cristobal Island:
Land at Punta Pitt where many birds nest—all three types of boobies (blue-footed, red-footed and masked), both frigatebird species, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters and brown pelicans. It is also home to a colony of sea lions. At Pitt Rock, snorkel or swim with sea lions and colorful fish such as King Angel and Surgeon fish. Spend time at Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach with expansive views. Take a peaceful walk along the beach, swim with sea lions, or perhaps kayak or stand up paddleboard. Enjoy a Zodiac ride through a cave called The Cathedral.
Santa Cruz Island:
Visit Las Bachas with its long stretch of soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where flamingo live. Enjoy time to snorkel at the beach. Explore Cerro Dragon aka Dragon Hill. Along the trail, find Darwin Finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas, orange-yellow in color with large spines along their backs. Discover pink flamingos feeding in the salt-water lagoon. From the top of the hill, enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu). Visit a hacienda in the highlands where giant tortoises migrate through their natural property. Stop at the lava tunnels at El Mirador, and visit Los Gemelos, (The Twins), a pair of large craters.
Visit the Interpretation Center to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the islands. Afterwards, spend about an hour in port before heading to the airport for the flight back to the mainland.
This itinerary is subject to change. The order of visits may vary slightly based on the yacht assigned. 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.
NOTE: Evolve is a NEW ship that is set to launch 5/2/2021! As with any new vessel, we strongly suggest selecting a departure date at least six weeks after launch. Please ask for details. This ship is currently being built, and is designed to identical in layout to the Origin and Theory. All details have been provided by the shipping company, and are subject to change at any time.
Special Onboard Guest - Jack Grove: 11/29/2020, 12/6/2020 aboard Theory
Join Jack Grove, acclaimed Marine Biologist and professional naturalist, on these special trips through the islands. Over the past two decades Jack has spent his time travelling the world and lecturing about its Oceans. His first encounter with the Galapagos archipelago dates further back to 1977 when he moved here to serve as an associate investigator for the Ecuador’s National Fisheries Institute and research his book “The Fishes of the Galapagos”. He stayed for seven years.
Focus on Photography: 11/1/2020, 11/8/2020 aboard Theory
Join one of two specialty cruise dates featuring photography with renowned onboard photographer Antonio Adrian. Just like Darwin, he has always been looking for higher adventures and they taken him to all 7 continents! He has degrees in environmental and educational sciences, and a couple of published books on natural history. He believes that humor and non-formal education are valid tools to teach about our world. He is a National Geographic Diver Specialist and photo instructor. You can expect a plethora of stunning photographs to come from these cruises, both of the local scenery and wildlife as well as of you and your travel companions.
Aboard Origin: 7/19/2020-8/2/2020, 8/16/2020, 1/3/2021, 2/14/2021, 3/7/2021, 3/14/2021, 3/28/2021-4/11/2021, 6/6/2021-8/22/2021, 12/19/2021, 12/26/2021
Aboard Theory: 3/21/2021, 4/4/2021
Kids can visit the bridge and learn about navigational charts and tie nautical knots with the Captain. Chefs will organize an ice cream social, pizza making, cake decoration or chocolate fondue activities with the kids. Guides offer games with prizes, drawing contests or talent shows. Board games, books and DVDs are on board that are suitable for children and teenagers. There are masks, fins, wet suits and life vests in child sizes available. A separate briefing geared toward the younger ones and kid-friendly menus with earlier dinner time are offered on family departures (in addition to the regular menu for adults). 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 departures, 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; no discount is available in 2021. Otherwise, passengers can still disembark on Saturday, but there is no discount. 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 $27 per person for the Baltra airport surcharge. Subject to change at any time.
Transfers between airport/ship in Galapagos; shipboard accommodations; stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling; gear on loan (waterproof binoculars, snorkeling gear, wetsuits); Wi-Fi one pin per cabin; all meals onboard the ship; most alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages onboard the ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; hotel nights before/after cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park entrance fee; Galapagos Transit Card; premium alcoholic beverages; gratuities to guide and crew; travel insurance; optional Private Moments package; purchases on board; laundry service; 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).