GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an invitation to walk in Darwin's footsteps. Charles Darwin called the Galapagos Islands a separate centre of creation, whilst Herman Melville described them as the enchanted islands. Today, the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution, where animals and birds have no fear of man, and visitors are limited to 12000 yearly, so it is wise to plan your Galapagos experience well in advance. Here 3 million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions created the Archipelago de Colon, commonly referred to as the Galapagos Islands. Clustered around the Equator, 970 kms off the pacific coast of Ecuador, this 7845 square kilometres of magical wonderland consists of 13 major islands, 17 islets, 47 reefs spread over 44,000 square kilometres of ocean. 

 
  

ISLAND PROFILES

North Seymour Island:

Swallow tailed gulls, fur seals, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, yellow warblers, lava (dusky) gulls, red billed tropic birds, Galapagos snakes, land iguanas, frigate birds, Palo Santo trees and assorted vegetation. 

Espanola (Hood) Island:

Sea lions, mocking birds, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, swallow tailed gulls, albatross, pelicans, petrels, finches, lava lizards, sally light-footed crabs, oyster catchers, and Galapagos doves. 

Floreana (Charles) Island:

Devil's Crown volcanic cone, tropic birds, blue-footed boobies, mangrove region, flamingo lagoon, Audubon sheerwaters, noddy terns, Post Office Bay, coral sand beach. 

Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island:

Academy Bay, Charles Darwin Research Centre at Puerto Ayora Village, Rocky Bay (curio shops), tortoise breeding pens, Darwin finches, lava gulls, herons, lava lizards, assorted vegetation. 

Plazas Island:

Sea lions, Darwin finches, opuntia cactus forest, swallow tailed gulls, tropic birds, petrels, land iguanas, lava lizards, sally light-footed crabs and Audubon sheerwaters. 

Bartolome Island:

Pinnacle Rock region, volcanic landscape with spatter cones and lava tubes. Swimming beach with some coral and assorted marine life. 

Isabela (Albermarle) Island:

Tagus Cove, cinder volcanoes, penguins, flightless cormorants, noddy terns, crater with salt lake, marine iguanas, pelicans, Audubon sheerwaters, blue-footed boobies. 

Fernandina (Narborough) Island:

Punta Espinosa, mangrove forest, recent lava flow with different lava formations, hawks, blue-footed boobies, lava lizards, marine iguanas, fur seals. 

Santiago (James) Island:

Fly catchers, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, oyster catchers, pelicans, brown noddies, boobies, fur seals, sea lions, seal and sea lion grotto, sally light-footed crabs, marine iguanas and lava lizards. 

Genovesa (Tower) Island:

Basaltic lava flow, Opuntia cactus trees, Palo Santo trees, sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas, storm petrels, gulls, sheerwaters, tropic birds, red-footed boobies, frigate birds. 

Please note that the above is a listing of the major islands and the representative species and sub species of animals, flora and fauna. It is not meant to be a complete list, nor guarantee that all the points listed will be seen or visited during your journey.

  

M/V SANTA CRUZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

The M/V Santa Cruz was built in Spain in 1979 and was designed specifically to cruise the islands. Completely air-conditioned, she has a total of three decks with 43 cabins, all equipped with carpets, private bath, dresser, closet space and either lower or upper/lower bunks.

 
  
Breakfasts and lunch are served buffet style, dinner is served is sit down service. A selection of wines is available. The lounge has a fully equipped bar and a video TV for watching movies. In addition, the lounge is used each evening after dinner for a 30 minute briefing on the next day's activities. There is a boutique with sundries and some film. 

A doctor is on board to handle minor mishaps. The M/V Santa Cruz meets all International Safety Requirements for her classification (SOLAS 66, IMCO and American Bureau of Shipping highest classification). She carries a total of 90 passengers and a crew of 40 including four naturalist guides. She cruises at 12 knots. 

5 days/4 nights cruise 

Thursday:

Early morning flight to Baltra Island from Quito or Guayaquil. Transfer to M/V Santa Cruz for midday departure. Afternoon, North Seymour Island. (D) 

Friday:

Morning, Espanola Island. Afternoon at Floreana Island (Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay). (B,L,D) 

Saturday:

Morning, Santa Cruz (Academy Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station). Afternoon at Plazas. (B,L,D) 

Sunday:

Visit Santiago Island (James Bay, Espumilla Beach). (B,L,D) 

Monday:

Early morning cruise around Daphne Island. Arrivel at Baltra Island and transfer to airport for flight to Guayaquil. (B) 

4 days/3 nights cruise 

Monday:

Early morning flight to Baltra Island from Quito or Guayaquil. Transfer to M/V Santa Cruz for midday departure. Afternoon, North Seymour Island. (B,L,D) 

Tuesday:

Morning, Bartolome Island. Afternoon, Genovesa Island. (B,L,D) 

Wednesday:

Morning, Isabela Island (Tagus Cove). Afternoon, Fernandina Island (Punta Espinosa). )B,L,D) 

Thursday:

Early morning cruise around Daphne Island. Arrive at Baltra Island for transfer to airport for flight to Guayaquil. (B,L,D) 
 

 

M/V LEGEND

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Galapagos Islands paradise navigating in a 90 passenger Luxury expedition ship totally converted in December 2001. The M/V Galapagos Legend has all-new passenger accommodations with 1800 sq. mts. of social areas, built with marine certified materials qualifying with Safety of Life at Sea specifications.

5 days / 4 nights 

Thursday:

AM - Baltra Airport

PM - Bartolome island

Friday:

AM - Espinoza Point (Fernandina Island)

PM - Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)

Saturday:

AM - Moreno Point (Isabela Island)

PM - UrbinaBay (Isabela Island)

Sunday:

AM - Land Tortoise Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)Twin Craters (Santa Cruz Island)

PM - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island)

Monday:

AM - Bachas Beach

PM - Baltra Airport

 

SMALL BOAT CRUISING

 

 

 

 

For people seeking an alternative to the large cruise vessels, there is now an abundance of smaller vessels, which take advantage of small group travel ranging from budget to deluxe style accommodation on 8 to 14 passenger boats. Sample itineraries are listed below. 

Luxury Yachts:

M/V Eric, M/V Flamingo and M/V Letty. Built in 1991 and operating the following cruises: 

4 days / 3 nights (a) 

Tuesday:

Midday arrival at San Cristobal Island and transfer to your boat. Afternoon, Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). (D) 

Wednesday:

Visit Espanola (Gardner Bay, Punta Suarez). (B,L,D) 

Thursday:

Morning, Floreana (Punta Cormorant). Afternoon, Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora). (B,L,D) 

Friday:

Morning, San Cristobal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno), prior to disembarking and transfer to airport. (B) 

5 days / 4 nights (b) 

Friday:

Midday arrival at San Cristobal Island and transfer to your boat. Afternoon, Cerro Brujo. (D) 

Saturday:

Morning, Genovesa Island (Darwin Bay). Afternoon, Bartolome Island. (B,L,D) 

Sunday:

Morning, Santiago Island (Puerto Egas). Afternoon, Isabela Island (Punta Garcia). (B,L,D) 

Monday:

Morning, Plazas Island. Afternoon, Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora). (B,L,D) 

Tuesday:

Morning, San Cristobal (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno), prior to disembarking and transfer to airport. (B) 

8 days / 7 nights 

Combination of A and B or B and A, to suit your itinerary. Both 7-night cruises follow the same itineraries, except on Tuesday or Friday, passengers visit El Junco Lake. On the second visit to Puerto Ayora, those passengers who have already visited Darwin Station will tour the highlands of Santa Cruz. 

NOTE: Itineraries are conditional on approval from the National Parks Service and are subject to change without notice. 

Economy Yachts:

Economy class yachts feature dining facilities, sundecks, double and quad cabins with bunk beds. Passengers share bathroom facilities and outdoor deck shower. These boats are recommended for people looking for a budget tour, less interested in modern conveniences and comfort, and wanting to experience their visit to Galapagos with a small group. 

The Economy yachts are: 

Darwin:
12 passengers in 4 doubles and 1 quadruple sharing two toilets and one shower. It is 13 mts long, beam of 4.2 mts and a speed of 9 knots. Crew of 4.
Albatros/Poderoso:
Each takes 8 passengers in 2 doubles and 1 quadruple with bunk beds, sharing two toilets and one shower. It is 12 mts long, beam of 3.6 mts and a speed of 7 knots. Crew of 4.
4 days / 3 nights "a" 

Wednesday:

Morning arrival at San Cristobal Island and transfer to your boat. Afternoon, Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), Lobos Island. (D) 

Thursday:

Morning, Espanola Island. Afternoon, Santa Fe Island. (B,L,D) 

Friday:

Visit Santa Cruz Island. Morning, Puerto Ayora. Afternoon, bus tour of island. 

(B,L,D) 

Saturday:

Morning, North Seymour Island. Afternoon, Baltra Island and transfer to airport for flight to Quito or Guayaquil. (B) 

5 days / 4 nights "b" 

Saturday:

Morning arrival at Baltra Island, transfer to your boat. Afternoon, Santa Cruz Island (Las Bachas Beach, Black Turtle Cove). (D) 

Sunday:

Morning, Sombrero Chino. Afternoon, Rabida Island. (B,L,D) 

Monday:

Morning, Santiago Island (Sullivan Bay). Afternoon, Bartolome Island. (B,L,D) 

Tuesday:

Morning, Plazas Island, Santa Fe Island. Afternoon, San Cristobal Island. (B,L,D) 

Wednesday:

Morning transfer to airport for flight to Guayaquil or Quito. (B) 

8 days / 7 nights 

Combination of A and B or B and A, to suit your itinerary. Both 7-night cruises follow the same itineraries, except on Saturday or Wednesday, passengers visit San Cristobal and or Baltra islands.