Back Ecuador & The Galapagos
Cruise The Galapagos
Undoubtedly the best way to experience the Galapagos is by boat and for this reason there are a wide variety of cruise ships and itineraries to choose from. The most common, and most popular, type
of vessel are the small ships which accommodates 8-20 passengers. The smaller groups and the intimate atmosphere, which tend to lead to a more personal experience, are often the attraction of this
type of cruise. Larger ships are limited due to size and the number of passengers as to where the vessels can dock; this is not an issue for the smaller boats and allows passengers to avoid the
larger groups during excursions. There are fewer medium (40–50 passenger capacity) and large (90+ passenger capacity) ships in operation in the Galapagos however the benefits of the larger vessels
are greater stability for those prone to seasickness, a wider selection of amenities on board and generally a slower pace. Passengers are divided into smaller group for excursions which can mean
disembarking can take some time. Each day on the cruise will involve visiting different areas of the Islands with experienced guides. You will generally disembark the boat each day at around 7am,
return for lunch and partake in another land excursion in the afternoon. Each island environment is unique and therefore each land excursion will be a different experience. As well as wildlife
watching there will often be opportunities to snorkel. We have access to a number of different cruises however here are some of our favourites:
Is an exclusive 65-metre vessel accommodating 48 passengers in her 27 classically-finished cabins. Despite her size the crew and guides maintain a friendly, intimate atmosphere similar to that of
a small boat, whilst having the stability and facilities expected of a larger vessel.
The entry level staterooms can be found on the 'main deck'. These large cabins are lit by a series of portholes, are air-conditioned, have internal phones and come with twin or double beds. There are
also two cabins on this deck that are for single use only and avoid hefty single supplements.
On the upper 'boat deck' guests can find the Superior Staterooms which are identical to the Staterooms in terms of size and layout. These Superior Staterooms benefit from an elevated position as well
as large picture windows.
Eric, Flamingo and Letty
Are three, near identical, 25 metre motor yachts with capacity for 20 passengers each. The guide to passenger ratio of one to ten is amongst the best in the Galapagos.
Accommodation comprises 10 outside facing cabins spread across three decks. The lower, 'Iguana Deck' is home to four twin-bedded cabins with long portholes providing an average amount of natural
Two of these iguana cabins have an upper bunk bed and can be used for triple occupancy. On the middle 'Booby Deck' guests can find the dining area with a bar and lecture room. Towards the stern of
the vessel are two double-bedded cabins with panoramic windows. The third tier, or 'Dolphin Deck', contains four twin-bedded cabins, which are all interchangeable into double beds. Again large
windows afford good views of the surrounding scenery.
The yacht La Pinta
Offers a relaxed, yet lavish expedition atmosphere for its 48 guests. From the plush cabins with large ocean view windows, to the highest standards of service and the international cuisine plus
celebrated Ecuadorian dishes – La Pinta has all the amenities that make the seven night Galapagos expedition the trip of a lifetime. Their commitment is to protect and preserve the environment of the
Galapagos Islands for the generations to come and their own Galapagos Foundation allows them to work in specific projects toward the preservation of fragile island ecosystems through coastal cleaning
outings and care for the habitats of the local population, through efficient waste management and recycling.
With almost 1,000 square metres of canvas, the Mary Anne is the best option for sail-ship lovers and was specially designed with sound, environment-friendly cruising in mind. Launched in 1997,
this Barquentine is the most befitting way to visit these islands in Darwin's footsteps. The seven night cruise can accommodate up to 16 guests.
The 44 cabin M/V Santa Cruz, built exclusively for Galapagos Islands cruising was completely renovated in 1998, having been redesigned and refurbished inside and out. The Santa Cruz has gained
worldwide recognition for its excellent standards, including superb service, expert crew, the most knowledgeable multilingual naturalist/guides and menus that feature the very best international
cuisine and celebrated Ecuadorian dishes. Its capacity is 90 guests
With a capacity of only 40 guests, yacht Isabella II offers a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying an unforgettable Galapagos expedition, where guests fully experience their sense of discovery and
bonding with nature. The in-depth week long expeditions offer all aspects of the Galapagos: an intimate contact with wildlife, active volcanoes, a vast marine reserve, adventure, comfort and safety,
allowing guests to enjoy all the Galapagos has to offer.
Haugan Cruises offer luxury small ship cruising in the Galapagos. Cormorant, since April 2011 and Ocean Spray since April 2012. Both the Ocean Spray and Cormorant are the newest yachts in
the Galapagos and stop at the finest visitor points. All cabins on each catamaran include private balconies, also included are top bilingual naturalist guides, Quality Control Managers and
kayaks available for passengers. The Cormorant has special interconnected cabins which are great for families or small groups and the Ocean Spray has very spacious cabins including eight
Cruising The Galapagos- 7 Nights
Prices from: M/Y La Pinta – 7 nights from £3240 per person, Mary Anne – 7 nights from £2600 per person, M/V Santa Cruz – 7 nights from
£2445 per person, Isabella II – 7 nights from £2800 per person, Haugan Cruises – 7 nights from £3920 per person.
Dates: Contact us for further information.
Morning arrival to Baltra Island by Aerogal flight and immediate transfer to the dock to board the Isabela II. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch. Afternoon disembarkation (dry landing) on
North Seymour Island for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island, observing bird colonies of blue footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls and also sea lions and marine
iguanas. A shorter walk is also available. Welcome cocktail offered by the captain. Naturalist's briefing on the next day's activities and dinner.
After breakfast, disembark (wet landing) at the white coral beach of Gardner Bay on Hood Island, where you can take a short walk and watch the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach.
There is great snorkeling in this area (snorkeling equipment is available for guests at no extra cost), or ride the glass-bottom boat. In the afternoon we journey around Hood Island for a dry
landing at Punta Suárez, where you can take an exciting walk across lava terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatross (May-December) and the famous blowhole. A shorter
walk is also available. Naturalist's briefing and dinner.
After breakfast, disembark at Point Cormorant on Floreana Island (wet landing) for an easy walk to see the flamingos that inhabit a brackish-water lagoon, and other birds like ducks, stilts and
sandpipers. There is great snorkeling at this site. Those who do not snorkel can enjoy a ride on the glass-bottom boat. Lunch on board. Wet landing at the historical Post Office Bay on Floreana
Island to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. Then, a panga ride will take you to nearby islets to observe sea lions, rays and
sea turtles, boobies and possibly the Galapagos penguin. Naturalist's briefing and dinner.
After breakfast, disembark (dry landing) to visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, an Scalesia forest and the twin pit craters Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April a visit to see the giant
tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Lunch at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel. Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, an
impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds. Then a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on the Isabela II. Naturalist's briefing and dinner.
Morning wet landing at Darwin Bay on Tower Island, for an easy stroll observing thousands of bird life, mainly frigate birds, red footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and
mockingbirds. If you wish, you can continue walking over sharp lava and uneven terrain, or just go back to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. Those most
adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs. Lunch on board. The afternoon at Prince Philip's Steps on Tower Island starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry
landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) and then a level walk for about a mile to the other side of this small island observing large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds, storm petrels
and the short-eared owl. Naturalist's briefing and dinner.
Early risers will enjoy cruising right in front of famous Ecuador Volcano, which rises off the water line with one of its halves completely collapsed, and now resting underwater, while crossing
the Equator line. On to the northwest of Isabela Island, where secluded Tagus Cove was in past centuries a favorite anchor for pirates and whalers. Old graffiti is still found on its walls. The
vegetation in the area includes the unusual palo santo trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf and spring back to life in the short wet season, which
usually begins in March or April. An uphill hike through palo santo forest takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb.
Darwin is one of Isabela Island’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. Lunch on board. The afternoon brings us to the youngest island, Fernandina.
Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk to. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness with lots of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina has a unique environment with
the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, sally-light foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Naturalist’s briefing and dinner.
Wet landing at Puerto Egas on James Island 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. Good snorkeling and swimming from the beach after the walk. Lunch on board. Disembark at Bartolome Island (dry
landing) for a hike to the summit. This is a steep climb aided by a wooden staircase; the view from the top is worth the effort. There will be time for a panga ride around Pinnacle Rock to observe
penguins, to enjoy the beach (wet landing), snorkeling and swimming from the beach, or a ride on the glass-bottom boat. Farewell cocktail and departure briefing.
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to Guayaquil.
Dry landing: passengers step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, passengers step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Windows on the wild