galapagos sea turtle.jpg

Petrel: 5-Day Cruise

Galapagos – Luxury

5-Day Galapagos Cruise

Cruising in the Galapagos aboard the new Petrel catamaran over 5 days leads you from the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to the underwater depths of pristine snorkeling site off Santiago Island. 

The vessel is fit for only 16 passengers, so you will only be sharing the majesty of the archipelago with only your small group of fellow travelers.



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.

Galapagos turtle research center


AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation

Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to Santa Cruz to visit the highlands before boarding. Dress appropriately for a hike.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Highlands – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Here at the Highlands, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Highlights include wild turtles and the tortoises breeding center.

Galapagos destinations


AM: Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

Located southeast of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows combined with A’A lava.  It was very active 200 years ago. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places. Pahoehoe lava flows, which have hardened in accordion like formation. Small glass-like bubbles of lava can be found, called "hornitos". Swimming with sea lions and other wildlife from the shore is a lovely way to finish off the tour.

AM: Bartholomew Island – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

Home of the famous Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. A trail of stairs leads to the summit of the volcano, boasting one of the best views of the islands. The beach is perfect for snorkeling and possible sightings of the Galapagos Penguin. Highlights include panoramic views, moonlike landscape, penguins, pioneer plants, lava cactus; snorkeling: penguins, reef sharks, rays, and great colorful fish.

Galapagos iguana


AM: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay – wet landing

Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga exploration, snorkeling

This white-sand coral beach heads a half mile trail (.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff. Highlights include Nazca boobies, red- footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish and hammerhead sharks.

PM: Genovesa Island, Prince Phillip’s Steps – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Also known as El Barranco, Prince Phillip's Steps' steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

Petrel luxury catamaran lounge


AM: Santiago Island, Puerto Egas – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling 

Also known as James Bay, Egas Port is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos Fur Sea Lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site. Highlights include fur sea lions, Galapagos sea lions, tidal pools and “grottos”, Galapagos Hawk, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkeling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, and nice underwater formations.

PM: Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Espumilla Beach is a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended. A highlight is snorkeling.

PM: Santiago Island, Buccaneer Cove – wet landing

Activities: panga exploration, snorkeling

Years ago Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700’s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island.  Sea turtles now take the pirates place and dig their nests for their eggs near the Mangrove trees.  It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here. Highlights include rock formations, tropical fish, turtles, and sting-rays while snorkeling.

Petrel rooms


AM: Santa Cruz Island, Carrion Point – no landing

Activities: panga exploration, snorkeling

Carrion Point creates a sheltered lagoon with beautiful, turquoise water. During this visit you can snorkel and see a variety of fish, rays and perhaps the harmless white-tip reef sharks. The point is on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island at the entrance of Channel of Itabaca. Highlights include snorkeling with colorful fish, rays, and white-tip reef sharks.

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. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA