Discover the breathtaking untouched wilds of the Galapagos Islands through the lens of your camera with world renowned Royal Geographic Society Fellow photographer Jonathan R. Green. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you’ll voyage through these legendary isles aboard the Eclipse, the most luxurious expedition vessel Galapagos has to offer. Under the expert guidance of Green, guests will learn the secrets of nature photography during hands-on workshops, interactive presentations, an underwater photo safari & detailed follow ups. Led by certified naturalist guides & Green, you’ll take incredible photos of giant tortoises, lizards, iguanas, penguins, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, sea lions & more. This active adventure allows you to snorkel with large marine creatures, walk on pristine beaches, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, take in majestic sunsets & stargaze under the equatorial sky. Featuring enchanting hotels pre & post cruise, private transfers in Quito or Guayaquil, delicious meals & more – Luxurious & picturesque this extraordinary cruise will be a trip of a lifetime!
Cruise Departure Dates (2014):
May 3, Aug 23
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Quito with a professional driver.
The Swissotel Quito is a large, grand establishment that promises a friendly, enjoyable experience. Each of Swissotel Quito's 232 elegant guest rooms and 43 executive apartments are air-conditioned and feature modern design. Luxurious amenities include state-of-the-art technology and a free internet connection. Executive rooms and the Swiss Executive Club lounge provide additional luxury and exclusivity. The Swiss Executive Floor offers VIP treatment with access to the lounge, open bar and hostess service. Executive apartments feature full kitchens and are fitted with comprehensive accessories. At Swissôtel, comfort is assured in every room with 300-thread count Egyptian cotton linens and luxurious Swiss bedding.
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.
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.
A coach shuttle will transfer you from the airport to your awaiting ship.
A fuel surcharge is applicable to all vessels cruising in the Galapagos and all flights to/from Galapagos. These surcharges have been included in your trip price. Fuel Surcharge is subject to change without notice and additional fees may be applicable at time of travel.
Welcome aboard!This morning you'll check in to your cabin, have an introductory briefing and safety drill, followed by lunch.Get ready for your first bit of photography excitement after lunch, as the action starts early!
The $100 entrance fee to the Galapagos Islands Park and the $10 Tourist card are included in your booking. Please note that the itinerary is a guide only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
After lunch you can expect a dry landing at North Seymour Island. North Seymour is a perfect introduction to the Galapagos Islands. Fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by frigates and blue footed boobies. Keep an eye out for land iguanas and sea lions too!
The M/V Eclipse is Galapagos comfort at its finest. With a length of 210ft (64m), a width of 41ft (12.5m) and accommodations for only 48 passengers, the M/V Eclipse offers the amplitude and amenities of a medium sized vessel as well as all of the advantages of a small, exclusive yacht. Enjoy the M/V Eclipse’s spacious cabins, delicious Ecuadorian and International cuisine, personalized attention, small excursion groups (no more than 12 guests per guide), and ample exterior areas including a large Sun Deck complete with soothing Hot Tub and wide, wonderful views. Share the day’s experiences with your shipmates, guides and with Jonathan at our comfortable indoor dining room or in our spacious al fresco dining area during meals.
After breakfast, you'll have a dry landing at South Plaza Island. South Plaza Island, although quite small, is actually home to a large Opuntia cacti forest, land iguanas and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. An endemic plant, Sesuvium, inhabits this island and is a great climate indicator as its color is a greenish-yellowish during the rainy season and a bright red during the dry season. You will also be able to see Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and other kinds of sea birds as well as different types of finches.
A wet landing brings you to Santa Fe, formed by uplifting, rather than by a volcano. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the Galapagos Mockingbird. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. You'll have time for some swimming and snorkeling from the beach, or kayaking or a panga ride. Playful sea lions may accompany you during your snorkeling activities.
Punta Pitt is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. From a wet landing you will hike up to a plateau where the view and landscape are so spectacular it is definitely worth the effort. Watch out for the Red Footed Boobies nesting in the cliffs. The power hike (2.5 hrs) is followed by kayaking, snorkeling and panga rides opportunities.
In the afternoon, enjoy a fantastic landscape as well as wonderful swimming, snorkeling and panga ride experiences. Cerro Brujo’s gorgeous beach is also home to many sea lions and it’s also the first coast where Charles Darwin first stepped foot on in the Archipelago!
This morning you'll have a dry landing and excursion on Floreana Island, with visits to the Baroness’s Viewing Point and Post Office Bay followed by snorkeling, kayaking or panga ride. The Baroness’s Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in the special scenery that defines Floreana, and a great spot to learn about the mysteries of Floreana’s early settlers. 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 is one of the archipelago’s most famous spots. Don’t forget to look in your logbook for your postcards! For the more adventurous guests, there is an option for a visit inside a lava tunnel. This tunnel has been kept untouched and completely natural, so please, watch your step! Beyond the abundance of marine life here, flamingos also populate the island and may be seen during your visit.
A great site for bird-watching, Cormorant Point has a large lagoon where everything from Flamingos to Stilts and Pintail Ducks tend to roam. Don’t forget your binoculars! Prior to the excurions, you will also have an opportunity to participate in a magnificent snorkel at Champion Islet.
After breakfast, board a panga (small boat) and take a ride to the mangroves at Elizabeth Bay. It's one of the furthest points from the Galapagos that you'll visit on your cruise. You'll enter a sheltered cove accessible only by panga into a wonderful mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, penguins, herons and more.
Moreno Point is located just southwest of Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. Observe and learn about different types of lava and pioneer plants while being surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery that Galapagos has to offer. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted. Afterwards you will enjoy a panga ride along the striking rocky shores observing penguins, sea lions, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas.
Landing at Puerto Ayora this morning, you'll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where you will gain insight into the huge efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake. After the visit you are driven to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings. The afternoon is at leisure.
Gardner Bay, where you'll have a wet landing this morning, offers the chance to enjoy a wonderful white sandy beach. It is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions, and it is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Throughout the morning there are opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.
Afternoon dry landing at Punta Suarez. Punta Suárez is one of the most popular and attractive sites in the Galapagos. Due to its isolation from other islands, it has a high proportion of endemic fauna. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of Española marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland, Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest near the trail, Galapagos doves peck around unaware of visitors and finches go about their day to day business. The trail continues towards a blowhole, which is a fissure in the lava where water spurts high into the air like a geyser. The cracks in the cliffs are home to swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Further up the cliff in an area of low-lying trees you will find waved albatrosses nesting. The 15,000 to 17,000 pairs of albatrosses on Española represent almost the entire population of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world.
If you wish to partake, an early morning panga ride will take you to Mosquera Islet, a tiny islet home to a huge population of sea lions and also home to many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled as there are occasional reports of dolphins or orcas.
At approximately 10:00am, you'll disembark the ship for your transfer to the airport.
A coach shuttle will transfer you to the local airport for your return flight to Quito.
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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