Sail in the wake of naturalist Charles Darwin as you cruise and explore the incredibly diverse wildlife and magnificent geology of the Galapagos Islands. Imagine yourself walking amongst prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, albatross nesting colonies, lumbering giant tortoises, baby sea turtles hatching, or some long-necked pink flamingos. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and a myriad of spectacularly colorful fish. Thanks to conservation efforts the Galapagos Islands are much like they were millions of years ago, and only here can you see some of the planet’s most wonderful and exotic creatures and landscapes. It is truly unlike any other place on earth, and with that, you'll have an experience like never before.
Expedition Departure Dates (2014):
San Cristobal to Baltra: Feb 15, May 24, Jun 21, Jul 5, Aug 16, Sep 13, Oct 11, Nov 8, Dec 6
Baltra to San Cristobal: May 3, Jun 28, Sep 6, Oct 4, Nov 1,29, Dec 13
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.
Experience unmatched elegance at the JW Marriott Quito Hotel in Ecuador, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and Andean Mountains. Located in the heart of the city, the JW Marriott is located on the famous Amazonas Avenue and features an amazing atrium lobby where you can enjoy a martini or espresso while enjoying the view. Amenities include spacious guest rooms and suites with magnificent views, high-speed Internet access, in-room safe and luxurious bedding. On-site restaurants offer innovative Ecuadorian and international cuisine while the tropical gardens and resort-style pool offer the perfect backdrop for some relaxation. There is also a fitness centre as well as full spa onsite.
Explore the bustling streets and squares of the largest historical centre in the Americas; visit some of its most important churches such as the majestic La Compañía and iconic San Francisco, guardians of a stunning multi-ethnic artistic and cultural heritage. Drive through the traditional neighborhood of San Juan. Finish the morning at the "Panecillo" hillside with its breathtaking views of the old and modern city. At a distance of approximately 11miles (18 km) north of Quito is the "Middle of the World City" complex. Visit the monument of the equatorial line or parallel 0, latitude 0° 0’0”. Afterwards enjoy a delicious lunch (Included) in a typical restaurant where flavors from across the country can be savoured.
Please note: your airline tickets for the Galapagos flights are issued locally, and will be provided for you on the day you depart for the Galapagos, at the airport, by our local representative. For all Galapagos flights, the luggage allowance is 20 kg (44 lbs) per person.
Your mandatory Galapagos National Park entrance fee & tourist card are included in your itinerary pricing.
Please note: the itinerary is a guideline only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
Fly from Quito to Galapagos via Guayaquil today. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours. Please note: Flight rates and availability are subject to change until booking.
After retrieving your luggage, join a group transfer from the airport to your awaiting ship.
Welcome aboard!Take a moment to get settled in to your stateroom and to get acquainted with your ship. Your expedition will begin shortly.
Lobos Islandis named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. It is also home to blue-footed boobies, great frigate-birds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches. There is good snorkeling in the clear waters of the channel and this is one of the best sites at which to swim with sea lions underwater.
Also in the afternoon is Kicker Rock. It is a small, distinctive island comprised of two rocks that jut out of the ocean and is home to a large colony of sea birds. Kicker Rock is an excellent dive site where you can see many reef fish as well as hammerhead and Galapagos sharks. Sightings of large rays and turtles are common but not guaranteed.
The new Mega-Catamaran Ocean Spray offers the best performance and comfort in Galapagos cruising. The elegant design includes a huge sundeck, jacuzzi, and spacious cabins, each with private balcony. Her speed, comfort, top guides and itinerary will make Ocean Spray perfect for your Galapagos cruise adventure.
Pitt Point, situated on the north-eastern tip of the island, hosts frigatebirds, storm petrels, and all three types of Booby Birds: the Nazca, Blue-footed and Red-footed Boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds. This site is also great for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of Booby Birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy swimming and snorkeling.
In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home.
This site hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts, White-cheeked Pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The “Green Beach” named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the “Four Sand Beach” composed of white coral.
Black Turtle Cove is situated in the northern part of Santa Cruz. This inlet is surrounded by mangroves and is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove is a safe haven for young marine life. Blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, sea turtles, and a variety of rays are often spotted here.
Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one o the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos Penguin.
The white-sand coral beach at Darwin Bay heads a half mile trail that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as Red-footed Boobies, Short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos Swallows, and Galapagos Doves.
Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended.
Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos Hawks and Quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos Fur Sea Lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.
Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.
At the Highlands of Santa Cruz, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. You will come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides are will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.
Located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour, this reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 meters across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas feeding on sea lions.
Disembark from your ship and bid farewell to your expedition crew.
This morning a group transfer will bring you from your ship to Baltra Airport.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil. The flight duration is approximately 4 hour.
A departure tax must be paid upon departing Ecuador through the Quito airport. The payment must be made in cash and the cost is of USD$44.30 per person. Subject to change without notice.
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