Galapagos Voyage: Sojourn in Splendor
A Stimulating Journey for the Mind and Senses - Like Only We Can Deliver It
Set sail for an extraordinary encounter with some of the most unique wildlife, flora and fauna in the world: The incomparable Galapagos Islands. You'll explore from the deck of an intimate expedition ship with a maximum of 48 guests.
The most experienced naturalist guides will share expert commentary on day tours and engaging conversation on board the ship.
You'll see amazing creatures by land and sea, while kayaking, snorkeling, and walking on remote islands. These animals include surfacing dolphins and whales, flightless cormorants and giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans and fur seals, and many more.
Your guides will lead groups of no more than 12 on each island, so you'll have personal access to their knowledge. This expedition ship only enlists very experienced guides and naturalists for its voyages.
Cruising Around Ecuador's Archipelago - A 10-day Itinerary
The peak season in the Galapagos lasts from mid-June through early September and from mid-December through mid-January. However, since the Galapagos Islands are very near the Equator, the weather is consistent throughout the year and there is no real unfavorable time to visit the Galapagos.
Most of the journey is taken within the protected areas of the Galapagos National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve, where you might see penguins, sea lions, albatross, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, flamingos and much more - all from an incredibly close vantage point. This adventure of the mind and soul comes with comforts that sailors of the HMS Beagle never could have expected in their day: Your comfortable stateroom includes a well-appointed bathroom and is serviced three times a day.
From fully vetting the cruise provider to helping arrange your pre- and post-trip accommodations and internal flights, we've made it easy for you to experience this remote and unique part of the world.
Flights from North America to Quito typically arrive either late at night or very early in the morning. We're happy to arrange ground transportation and a comfortable hotel in the heart of historic Quito for your night's stay before you fly to the Galapagos Islands. Just let us know.
The itinerary below is a sample for illustration purposes only. Your actual itinerary may vary based on time of year, wildlife, other ships, and national park regulations.
After an arranged morning flight from Quito to Baltra in the Galapagos, your journey begins aboard the ship, which will offer two off-shore site visits per day and ample opportunities to hike, swim, snorkel, kayak, bird-watch and take great close-up photographs. Today is your first chance to see wildlife; on the white sands of Las Bachas Beach, you might see flamingos and other coastal birds.
Along the black sands of Santiago Island, sea urchins, octopus and starfish swim in tidal pools. You'll follow a trail to the uncommon Fur Seals Grottos, and then have time to swim and snorkel. Later in the day, you'll head to Bartolomé Island. Penguins gather near the snorkeling area around Pinnacle Rock, and after a change of clothes, you can hike to the top of the island for exceptional views or enjoy a panga ride.
Prepare to see land iguanas on Santa Cruz's Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Pintail ducks and pink flamingos may greet you as well. On the following stop, sea lions and pelicans gather on the beautiful red sand beach of Rábida, which is also one of the tour's top snorkeling sites. Kayak and panga rides are available, too.
The next day you'll see ancient cave art on the walls of Tagus Cove before hiking to the top of a trail up Darwin Volcano. While on Isabela and in the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Islands, you may see blue-footed boobies marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, dolphins and whales. Later you'll cruise through a wonderful mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge for sea turtles and rays.
Fernandina offers some of the area's most unique wildlife, with flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins and the Galapagos hawk all calling the island home. On the snorkeling or panga trips that follow, you may spot Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls and penguins.
At the Charles Darwin Research Station the following day, 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 can also explore the town of Puerto Ayora. Perhaps the biggest treat, however, will be the opportunity to see the famous Galapagos giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
Sea lions lounge and play around the white sand beach of Gardner Bay, where today's journey begins. Then it's on to Punta Suárez on Española Island, one of the most popular sites on the entire trip. The area's isolation has led to a high proportion of endemic fauna, as well as rare finches and the only population of albatrosses on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world.
The next day begins in the gorgeous marine site of Black Turtle Cove, for a panga ride through salt-water inlets frequented by sea turtles, sharks and rays. At midday you'll travel back to Quito, where you can refresh that evening before your flight home the next day. We are glad to arrange ground transportation and accommodations in Quito.
After a restful evening in comfortable accommodations, you'll likely board a morning flight for your return home -- or your next adventure.