Discover the south eastern corner of the Galapagos Islands on this 4 day cruise to San Cristobal, Española, and Floreana Islands.
Then disembark on Santa Cruz Island for a chance to see giant land tortoises up close at the infamous Charles Darwin Research Station.
Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the Galapagos National Park regulations, weather and sea conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY
AM: San Cristobal Island, Embarkation
Arrival in airport and transfer to the boat. Welcome drink & briefing onboard about the boat and the island.
PM: San Cristobal Island, Leon Dormido – no landing
Activities: panga exploration
This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and scuba diving allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life. Highlights include great snorkeling: sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays (occ.), hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, and frigatebirds.
DAY 2: THURSDAY
AM: Española Island, Suárez Point – dry landing
This area is great for spotting Blue-footed Boobies, albatrosses and Nazca Boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large Waved Albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities. Highlights include Hood Mockingbird, Nazca Boobies, Waved Albatross, Red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galapagos Hawk, blue-footed boobies, blow hole, and amazing landscapes.
PM: Española Island, Gardner Bay – dry landing
Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga exploration, snorkeling
Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, is the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling. Highlights include white sandy beach, sea lions, mockingbirds; snorkeling: colorful fish, and a sea lion nursery.
PM: Española Island, Osborn Islet – wet landing
Activities: snorkeling, swimming
After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. This small island is a marine visit where you can enjoy fantastic snorkeling and swimming. Highlights include a white sandy beach, sea lions, and mockingbirds.
DAY 3: FRIDAY
AM: Floreana Island, Cormorant Point – wet landing
Activities: hiking, panga exploration
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. Highlights include flamingoes and a green-colored beach.
AM: Floreana Island, Champion Islet – no landing
Activities: panga exploration, snorkeling
A small island located very near Floreana, snorkeling and diving around Champion can be excellent. Champion Rock is a beautiful drift dive on a wall. The walls are covered with black coral bushes and yellow cup corals and if you take a close look you are likely to find a Pacific seahorse or some of several species of hawkfish, as well as green turtles, salema and surgeonfish. Highlights include coral wall dive, green turtles, salema, surgeonfish, and seahorse.
PM: Floreana Island, Post Office Bay – wet landing
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. Highlights include a nice sandy beach.
PM: Floreana Island, Baroness Viewing Point – wet landing
Baroness Viewpoint is a fantastic place to absorb the environment of the Galapagos. Once inhabited by an indulgent Baroness and her three lovers, the history of this island is intriguing. The legends about this baroness are associated with a fascinating murder mystery. There are easy trails in this area for exploring the flora and fauna of Floreana. Highlights include great views, sea turtles, and mysterious stories about the first inhabitants of the islands.
DAY 4: SATURDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Research Station – dry landing
The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Sub-species of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, stretching out their heads for a pet. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own. Highlights include giant Tortoises in captivation and discovering the center.
AM: Baltra Island, Transfer to the Airport
Be assisted to Baltra airport for your flight to the Ecuador mainland.
- Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in ocean cruising conditions) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
- Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior.