COMPLETE GALAPAGOS WILDLIFE CRUISE

8 DAY Cruise aboard Eric & Letty

Explore the Galapagos on this 8-day cruise of the western islands viewing unique wildlife like sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, giant Galapagos tortoises, and even penguins! Highlights of the west include beautiful Santa Cruz Island, wildlife-rich Isabela, cliff-laden Fernandina, and the amazing black beaches of Santiago. The wildlife here is abundant and the landscape is stunning to behold, making this an incredible vacation package. Further explore with optional activities that include kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling and more.

Day 1 San Cristobal | Embark

  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Fly to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, and transfer by bus to the main dock and then by Zodiac to the ship anchored in the bay.  After a welcome briefing and safety drill, a delicious buffet lunch is served on board. In the afternoon, travel by bus to Cerro Colorado to visit  Centro de Crianza Jacinto Gordillo (La Galapaguera) where the National Park has established a breeding program for giant tortoises in their natural habitat. At the visitor center, learn about the origin and evolution of tortoises, as well as threats by introduced animals. Along the trail, watch for the San Cristobal mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island. Return to the yacht for a briefing followed by the Captain’s welcome cocktail party and dinner prepared by your chefs.

Day 2 Genovesa

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Spend the entire day on Genovesa Island, one of the most spectacular places in Galapagos for bird species. Land at Prince Philip’s Steps, where red-footed boobies nest in palo santo trees, while Nazca boobies nest near the trail, and storm petrels gather in large numbers in an open lava field. With luck, you may spot the elusive short-eared owl. Return to the yacht for lunch on the sundeck. Choose to paddle from a kayak or stand up paddle board and explore the cliffs. Look for the red-billed tropic bird hiding in the crevices, or snorkel in deeper water from the Zodiac. Land at Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where swallow-tailed and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Enter a forest of Opuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of great frigatebirds nest, the males inflating their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. Choose to relax on the beach or swim with sea lions in these northern warmer waters. Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner followed by a sky full of stars.

Day 3 Santa Cruz Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Today guests on board the Letty visit Las Bachas beach, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white sand beach and interior lagoons where you can find greater flamingos, pelicans, white-cheeked pintail ducks, stilts and iguanas. There is also a wonderful chance to take a stroll along the beach or swim from the shore.

Guests on board the Eric have a Zodiac ride at Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) through a series of coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves. View pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks, and golden cow-nosed rays. Return to the yacht for lunch. This afternoon, step ashore on Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) for a majestic view of the bay and the island landscape covered in Opuntia cactus, palo santo, and muyuyo. The trail offers excellent opportunities to see Darwin finches, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers, shearwaters and the endemic land iguanas, which were once part of the park’s breeding program. In the salt-water lagoon, pink flamingos feed alongside other birds such as stilts, pintail ducks and sandpipers. After the briefing and dinner, sail toward the western islands and cross the equator line for the third time.

Day 4 Fernandina | Isabela

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

This morning’s stop is at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine Island in the Galapagos with no introduced animals. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. Observe sea lion harems with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory, and hundreds of marine iguanas, the largest colony in the Galapagos, basking in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Out on the point, flightless cormorants build their nest close to shore since loosing their ability to fly. There is a chance to snorkel with sea turtles and marine iguanas that frequent this area before returning to the yacht for lunch. While cruising through the Bolivar Chanel, whales and dolphins riding the bow wave are often seen here. Disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island, where four miles of coastal seabed were exposed due to a dramatic uplift during a volcanic eruption in 1954. See the remnants of coral skeletons, some of them waist-high, and keep an eye out for the very large and colorful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as marine iguanas, Darwin finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants and giant tortoises. Return to the yacht for briefing and dinner.

Day 5 Isabela

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Visit Elizabeth Bay on Isabela Island by zodiac to explore a secluded cove, lined with large red mangrove trees, where sea turtles, turtles, rays, and shore birds are often spotted. Motor along the rocky islets “Las Marielas” to find a colony of nesting penguins, flightless cormorants, and giant marine iguanas. Isabela was created when six volcanoes flowed together and formed the largest Island in the Galapagos. Return to the yacht for lunch served on the sun deck. Go ashore on Tagus Cove, a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Sections of the rocky cliffs are covered with graffiti dating back to the 1800s. An uphill hike brings you to a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields, and volcanic formations. Take advantage of the secluded cove and explore the shoreline by kayak or stand up paddleboard in search of Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and pelicans. An excellent snorkeling site is offered from the zodiac. After dinner, a sky full of stars beckons you to go on deck and observe the galaxy while crossing the equator for the last time.

Day 6 Santiago | Rabida

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Stroll along the shoreline at Puerto Egas on Santiago (James) Island looking for octopus, starfish, and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. The walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where you can encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a chance to snorkel from the beach. After lunch, take a seat on deck to view the dramatic landscape and dolphins that are often spotted here. Disembark on Rabida (Jervis), a small island considered the geographic center of Galapagos because its volcanic rocks are the most diversified in the archipelago. The dark red color of the beach comes from the high iron content in the volcanic stones. Follow the trail to a saltwater lagoon where greater flamingos migrate, keeping an eye out for marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, and Darwin finches. Afterwards, do not miss the chance to snorkel with sea lions and rays as well as tropical fish and white-tipped sharks. Return to the yacht for dinner and a briefing.

Day 7 Santa Cruz Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Disembark at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, the social heart of the Galapagos, with a population of 24,000 humans. Travel by bus to the highlands, passing through all seven vegetation zones found in the Galapagos. Visit the tortoise reserve at “Las Primicias” a private farm that protects the giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Stop at “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes found in the Galapagos, and visit Los Gemelos (The twins), a pair of large craters. Return to the yacht for lunch on board. This afternoon, visit the Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena (formerly the Charles Darwin Research Station). Visit the tortoise corals and the breeding center with hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will be repatriated when grown. Visit the new exhibit honoring Lonesome George, a worldwide icon of conservation as the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island and who tragically died of natural causes. Stroll through town to shop for souvenirs or stop at an internet café. Return to the yacht for dinner or, if you wish, remain in town for dinner on your own and stimulate the local economy. Zodiac shuttles from the yachts to the main dock are offered throughout the evening.

Day 8 San Cristobal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast

After breakfast, travel by bus to the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal Island to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands. Afterwards, spend time in port before heading to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

SHIP: ERIC & LETTY GALAPAGOS YACHTS

Dates 2018:

Jun 17 / Jul 1 / Jul 15 / Jul 29 / Aug 12 / Aug 26 / Sept 9 / Sept 23 / Oct 7 / Oct 21 / Nov 4 / Nov 18 / Dec 2 / Dec 16 / Dec 30 

Starting price:

$4501. Per Person for triple

 

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