Ship Name: Santa Cruz -
Expedition Ship - 90 passengers
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
Perfect for families and couples who want a quality cruise on a
larger ship; great guides, comfortable ship, and a well-planned
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.
Day 1: Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island
Baltra Island by plane and transfer to the dock to board the
Santa Cruz. Enjoy a welcome, briefing and lunch before exploring
more of Santa Cruz.
After WWII, US military barges were
beached and abandoned at Las Bachas. Locals referred to the
beach as the barges beach, a name that morphed to "bachas."
Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green
sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it
is a glorious white beach with several brackish lagoons only a
few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding
grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos.
Nightly briefing and dinner.
Day 2: Santiago Island
After breakfast, enjoy a
coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer's
Cove. Learn about the history of Santiago Island, its relevance
for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including
Darwin's epic voyage in 1835, and the conservation projects
aimed at eradicating feral species (a fence stretched along
the rocky outcrop is visible to save native plants from the once
existing enormous goat population). Today the island is free of
feral goats, and the cove is home to a large number of marine
birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic
natural formations such as the "Elephant Rock," "The Bishop" and
an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling
too! Lunch on board.
Wet landing for a mid-length walk.
Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. This
is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds. At low
tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and there is a
colony of fur-sea lions. Opportunity for snorkeling and swimming
from the beach after the walk. Expedition plan for the day ahead
Day 3: Rabida Island / Bartolome Island
at Rabida Island (wet landing) on a red-colored beach, due to
the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A
gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9
square miles) allows the observation of a large colony of sea
lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several
species of Darwin's finches. Very close to the beach, hidden
behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times
greater flamingos migrate. This is a great place to snorkel from
the beach, both for beginners, as well as for experienced
snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species
and submarine landscapes. During navigation to the next island,
dolphins are often spotted. Lunch on board.
Bartolome Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. This is
a steep climb aided by a wooden staircase with handrails; the
view from the top is worth the effort. Go on a dinghy ride
around colossal Pinnacle Rock, then enjoy the beach (wet
landing) and some snorkeling, possibly with Galapagos penguins,
or else a ride in the glass-bottom boat for great views of the
underwater world. Nightly briefing and dinner.
Day 4: Genovesa Island
The morning starts with a
very interesting panga ride along the cliffs before disembarking
(dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up stairs.
Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a
stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small
island, observing large colonies of masked boobies, frigate
birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can
enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on weather
conditions). Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, make a
wet landing for an easy stroll observing thousands of birds,
mainly frigate birds, red-footed and masked boobies, gulls,
herons, finches and mockingbirds. There is an optional walk over
sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or you can
return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this
beautiful natural harbor. The more adventurous can snorkel along
the cliffs. Nightly briefing and dinner.
Day 5: San Cristobal Island
After breakfast, there
is an optional departure to see the breeding programme of giant
tortoises at Cerro Colorado. Learn about his endangered species,
and its promising recovery. This site is 45 minutes by bus, on
the south shore of San Cristobal Island. Return to town and
transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
Above rates are per person and based on double
occupancy except in Boat Deck Single Standard cabin.
Galapagos Airfare (Quito or Guayaquil): Approx. $450-$600 per
Galapagos National Park Fee: $100 per adult; $50 per
child under 12
Galapagos Transit Card: $20 per person
surcharge may apply
Single Rate: Double cabins may be used for
single use at 1.5 times the regular rate.
Triple Rate: Per person rate is the same as
the double rate in select Main Deck and Boat Deck Standard
Child Rate: 25% off for children under 15
years. One child discount per full paying adult fare. Minimum
child age is 6. Must share cabin with their parents or
guardians. Not offered during peak season.
During these times, passengers must pay a surcharge of $137 per
adult and $105 per child. Child rates are not offered during
peak season. No discounts apply. In addition, double cabins for
single use are 2 times the regular rate.
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.
Shared transfer from main
hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel,
Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro
Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from
Galapagos; cabin accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard
ship; all shore activities and excursions; guide and lecture
services; sea kayaks; glass-bottom boat outings; snorkeling
gear; luggage handling; medical care on board (but not the cost
of medication); taxes and transfers on the island. For
Darwin Elite cabins only (Boat Deck Standard Plus,
Superior, Junior Suite and Master Suite): wine and beer at
dinner; use of VIP lounge at departure airport in the Galapagos
Islands; explorers’ kit, expedition CD; Internet access in
select areas; special edition take-home coffee table book; and
wetsuit rental. Subject to change without notice.
Hotel nights before/after
cruise; transfers in Quito or Guayaquil; Galapagos National Park
entrance fee, subject to change without notice; Galapagos
Transit Card; international airfare; airfare to/from Galapagos
Islands; wet suit rental; Internet; alcoholic and non-alcoholic
beverages; gifts and personal items; passport expenses;
traveler's insurance; laundry service; gratuities to ship staff
and crew are left to the discretion of the passenger; fuel
surcharge may apply.
Airfare between Quito/Guayaquil and the Galapagos
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