Grace in Galapagos
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Grace

A once royal, luxury yacht steeped in history and romance, ideal for celebrating special occasions.

Overview

Celebrate the Galapagos Islands’ ecological paradise while also pampering yourself as you experience the small-ship exclusivity of a Grace cruise. This historic 145-foot ship, steeped in tales of love and war, invitingly welcomes up to 20 guests in 10 impressively-sized staterooms and numerous well-appointed social spaces.

Life Aboard The Grace Cruise

The Grace elegantly mixes traditional yacht style with modern amenities. Warm wood hues accented by rich navy and airy white create a refined look that sets the tone for your time aboard the ship. Sun worshipers and stargazers alike will feel at home on the uppermost deck, which is open to the sky. Just one deck below is the social heart of the Grace.

An outdoor bar, Jacuzzi, alfresco dining area, and ample lounge seating invite you to settle in, relax and enjoy moments of wildlife spotting. An indoor bar and lounge area perfect for getting out of the sun, watching a film on the large television, and chatting with your fellow travelers. For a quiet moment or a romantic interlude, escape to the private resting area at the stern of the ship, which is home to the Grace’s original wheel dating from 1927.

You will enjoy the locally-sourced, and thoughtfully prepared cuisine served aboard the ship. Lunch and dinner are both served as indoor buffets. Dinner takes things up a notch and features local Ecuadorian flavors and international cuisine, all perfectly accompanied with a glass of wine from the onboard climatized cellar.

Excursions From Your Grace Galapagos Cruise

The Grace offers two eight-day cruises, each designed to maximize wildlife encounters on various islands. Intrepid travelers with more time to spend in the islands may choose the 15-day Darwin’s Muse itinerary, which combines both of the shorter plans. During the Following Darwin’s Trail cruise, you will spend your days exploring some of the same islands the scientist traveled through on his famed voyage.

Look for fur seals and sea birds on Buccaneer’s Cove’s rugged shore on Santiago Island and visit the breeding center of the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island. During the Beyond Darwin’s Footsteps cruise, you will discover islands the explorer was never privileged to see. You will be able to snorkel in Gardner Bay and Inlet on Espanola Island in hopes of seeing parrotfish, damselfish, and even the occasional white-tipped reef shark.

On North Seymour Island, take a hike in search of marine and land iguanas and frigate birds. No matter which itinerary you choose, you will have opportunities to hike, snorkel, kayak, and take dingy rides. Each activity is hosted by two highly-trained naturalist guides, each with over 15 years of experience.

A Ship Steeped In History

Though she has all the style and amenities of a modern ship, the Grace is what the French gracefully call “une femme d’un certain age.” This woman of a certain age started life in 1927 as a luxury yacht before she was conscripted in 1939 by the British Navy to join the war efforts.

The Grace, under another name, spent the early years of WWII patrolling along the Isle of Wight. In 1940, the ship was part of Operation Dynamo and made three runs between Dover and Dunkirk, rescuing roughly 900 British Expeditionary Forces from French beaches. On the return of the third trip, a bomb narrowly missed her starboard bow, killing 14 soldiers plus one sailor and leaving the ship sidelined for a short time.

The Grace finished WWII as a hospital ship before hosting Sir Winston Churchill for a post-war cruise. But, history wasn’t finished with this ship yet. In 1951, the vessel was acquired by Aristotle Onassis and given to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco as a wedding present. After Grace Kelly arrived from America on the ship, the couple spent their honeymoon aboard the Grace, leisurely cruising along Corsica and Sardinia.

Not only will you sail on a royal yacht, but you will also be treated like royalty by ten crew members, plus a dedicated cruise director. Honeymooners, families of all ages, and anyone looking for an upscale way to cruise the Galapagos will delight in the combination of refined elegance and wildlife adventures the Grace provides.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 2
8-Day
8-Day

8 Day / 7 Night - Western & Central - Following Darwin's Trail

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: You’ll need to rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. All our flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito and stop briefly in the port city of Guayaquil to take on passengers before heading on to the islands. For this itinerary, you will be landing on the island of Baltra. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection your National Park Guide will be there to greet you, holding a sign with the name of your yacht. Your guide will accompany you on the short bus ride to the waterfront. During WWII the island of Baltra was a US Air Force base and one can still see the remnants of the old foundations left behind from that era. We transfer via panga dinghy to the waiting Grace. The crew will see that your luggage is transferred to your cabin.

At the dock, we board a dinghy (panga) to make the short crossing to Grace. You only need to bring your carry-on luggage on the panga as our crew will transfer your luggage to your cabin. You’ll have time to settle into your new home for the week before assembling to review safety procedures and coming events with your Galapagos National Park Guide. While this is taking place the Grace will start her engines and set off into the archipelago.

PM: At the north end of Santa Cruz Island is Las Bachas, comprised of two sandy white-coral beaches that are are major egg-laying sites for sea turtles. The official story of how Las Bachas got its name comes from the Galapagos National Park. During WWII the US military discarded two barges on the beaches. When the first settlers to the area following the war arrived they mispronounced barges as bachas, resulting in the name. There are other explanations of how the location got its name having to do with indentations left in the sand by both eggs laying sea turtles and their departing hatchlings, but we will go with the Park’s.

We go ashore the white sandy beach and are greeted by patrolling blue-footed boobies. A brief walk inland takes us to a lagoon where pink flamingos are often found along with great blue herons, common stilts, brown noddies, white-cheek pintail ducks, and migratory birds. Snorkeling today is from the beach and you can also enjoy a swim in these waters, which are typically warmer than in other places in the Galapagos.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day One - Turtle Sighting.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 8

Prince Phillip’s Steps & Darwin Bay

AM: Our first landing is Prince Phillip’s Steps, named for a visit by the British Monarch in 1964. The dry landing begins at the base of this 25-meter (81-foot) stairway leading up to a narrow stretch of land that opens out onto a small plateau. This is a small peninsula that forms the southeastern section of the island. Red-footed boobies wrap their webbed feet around branches to precariously perch in the bushes where they nest. In contrast, their masked-booby cousins dot the surface of the scrublands beyond. Crossing through the sparse vegetation, you will come to a broad lava field that extends toward sea cliffs that form the island’s southern edge. The cavities and holes that have been eroded into the fragile lava are an ideal nesting ground for storm petrels. There are two species, the Galapagos petrel, which is active by day, and the wooden petrel, which feeds at night. The petrels flutter out over the ocean in swarms, then return to nest in the cracks and tunnels of the lava field but not without hazard. Short-eared owls lay in camouflaged wait here and make their living feeding off the returning petrels. After completing the two-hour hike we return to the vessel to change into our wetsuits for some snorkeling at one of the best sites on the islands.

By Phillip’s Steps, along the cliffs that form the protected southern bay of the Tower’s caldera, we enter the water into another world. The first thing you will notice when snorkeling here is very large tropical fish. These are warm water fish feeding off cold water nutrients. You’ll find the full assortment here including an oversize parrot, unicorn, angel, and hogfish along with schools of perch, surgeonfish, and various types of butterflyfish. Hiding in and around the rocky shoreline that drops off into the caldera you will also see a rainbow assortment of wrasse, basslet, anthias, and tang. This is the place to bring your underwater tropical fish identification chart. There are some special treats to be found here including occasional visits by fur sea lions. This area of the bay is also excellent for some kayaking in the calm waters close to the shore to observe nesting birds and you might like to go out for a spin after lunch, before our next landing across the bay to the north.

PM: Landing on the white coral sands of Darwin Bay and walking up the beach, you find yourself surrounded by the bustling activity of great frigate birds. Puffball chicks and their proud papas - who sport bulging scarlet throat-sacks - crowd the surrounding branches, while yellow-crowned herons and lava herons feed by the shore. Farther along you will discover a stunning series of sheltered pools set into a rocky outcrop. Watch your step for marine iguanas, lava lizards, and Galapagos doves that blend with the trail. The trail beside the pools leads up to a cliff overlooking the ocean filled caldera, where pairs of swallow-tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world, can be seen nesting at the cliff’s edge. Lava gulls and pintail ducks ride the sea breezes nearby.

A brief panga ride brings us to the base of those same cliffs to reveal the full variety of bird species sheltering in the ledges and crevices created by the weathered basalt. Among them, red-billed tropicbirds enter and leave their nests trailing exotic kite-like tails. This is also an intriguing place to go deep-water snorkeling. The center of the caldera is very deep and attracts hammerheads and large manta rays which sometimes patrol the western edge of the caldera that is more open to the sea. You can snorkel here gazing down into the depths where you just may spot these large animals if you are fortunate. But don’t worry, if you don’t want to see them there is the equally amazing and far more sheltered snorkeling experience across the bay. Right around sunset, we will leave Tower to set out across the archipelago to the far western islands. Remember to watch the inner bay at sunset as you might spot a giant manta ray.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Two - Prince Phillip's Steps Excursion.
Location
Genovesa
Day
2 / 8

James Bay & Espumilla Beach

AM: In the morning we make our way along the northwestern shore of Santiago Island to South James Bay (Puerto Egas), which offers access to three unique sites. One landing is on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations inland. A trail crosses the dry interior eastward and rises to the rim of an extinct volcanic crater; cracks within it allow seawater to seep in, which then dries to form salt deposits that have been mined in the past. Darwin describes his visit to South James Bay in Voyage of the Beagle. Another path leads south, where hikers are treated to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes. These are home to sea lions and tropical fish. This is the best place in the islands to see fur sea lions lazing on the rocks by the grottos. Further to the north, another landing and path lead to a series of inland lagoons, home to flamingos. Birders coming to James Bay will have the opportunity to spot vermillion flycatchers, Galapagos hawks, and the tool-wielding woodpecker finch. Puerto Egas is a good spot for taking pictures - the light for photography is perfect at either dawn or sunset. The lava and the black sand seem to catch fire and the animals acquire a surreal and lovely quality. The marine iguanas that inhabit the area resemble Samurai warriors and can easily be seen grazing on seaweed in the more shallow pools of the grotto.

James Bay is a snorkeling site that is accessed from the shore instead of a dinghy. The sandy beach slopes off into a rocky bottom where a multitude of sea turtles like to hide by blending in with the rocks. But these rocks move and will swim right up to you. At certain times of the year, large schools of golden rays and spotted eagle rays also glide by. Both fur sea lions and California sea lions occasionally pass through as well.

PM: In the afternoon visitors to Espumilla Beach come in search of birds rather than freshwater. The short walk up the beach leads inland to a mangrove typically inhabited by the Common stilts. Beyond the mangroves is a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white-cheeked pintails wade in search of mollusks. The trail makes a passes over a tiny hilltop through a sparse Palo Santo forest before looping back to the beach. Galapagos finches and Vermilion flycatchers inhabit the area. The tuff formations that form the cliffs that surround the cove have created a natural sculptor gallery rising from the sea with formations including the Monk and Elephant Rock. An audience of hundreds of seabirds looks down upon the gallery from surrounding cliffs. Buccaneer Cove and Espumilla Beach offer one of the more dramatic kayaking routes in the Galapagos for paddlers looking for a challenge.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Three - Getting Up Close to Sea Lions.
Location
Santiago
Day
3 / 8

Punta Vicente Roca & Tagus Cove

AM: Located at the ‘mouth’ of the head of the sea horse, which forms the northern part of the Isabela is Punta Vicente Roca. Here the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves with a bay well protected from the ocean swells. The spot is a popular anchorage from which to take panga rides along the cliff where a partially sunken cave beckons explorers. Masked and blue-footed boobies sit perched along with the point and the sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of coldwater currents in combination with the protection of the coves makes Punta Vicente Roca one of the archipelago’s most sought after dive spots. One cove is only accessible from the sea by way of an underwater passage. The passage opens to calm waters of the hidden cove where sea lions laze on the beach having traveled along the underwater route. The entire area of Punta Vicente Roca lies on the flank of 2,600 foot Volcano Ecuador. This is the island’s sixth largest volcano. Half of Volcano Ecuador slid into the ocean leaving a spectacular cutaway view of its caldera. The site offers deep water snorkeling where sea lions turtles, spotted eagle rays, and even manta rays are the attraction. After our visit here we set off south and west across the Bolivar channel. Keep your eyes open in this best place in the islands for spotting whales.

PM: We head north along the western coast of Isabela Island, to Tagus Cove, named for a British warship that moored here in 1814. Historically the cove was used as an anchorage for pirates and whalers. One can still find the names of their ships carved into the rock above our landing, a practice now prohibited. The cove’s quiet waters make for an ideal panga ride beneath its sheltered cliffs, where blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, pelicans, and noddy terns make their nests, and flightless cormorants and penguins inhabit the lava ledges. From our landing, a wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance for a view of Darwin Lake; a perfectly round saltwater crater, barely separated from the ocean but above sea level! From the air one can see that both Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake are formed from one, partially flooded, tuff cone on the eastern edge of the giant Darwin volcano. The cove is formed by a breached and flooded section of the crater with Darwin Lake forming the very center of the same cone. The trail continues around the lake through a dry vegetation zone and then climbs inland to a promontory formed by spatter cones. The site provides spectacular views back toward our anchorage, as well as to Darwin Volcano and Wolf Volcano to the north.

While one does not normally think of greener pastures when planning to go snorkeling, that is exactly what you will find at Tagus Cove. The carpet of green algae that covers the floor of the cove gives the impression of a submerged pasture, and that is just what it is. You can find marine iguanas grazing the algae along with numerous sea turtles gliding and munching their way along. Because the cove opens to the rich waters of the Bolivar Channel this is one of the best snorkeling sites on the island. You also have a good chance of snorkeling with underwater feathered friends including Galapagos penguins and rare flightless cormorants. For those who want to dive deeper, special rewards are waiting for you at 3 meters where camouflaged creatures await, including scorpionfish nestled against the outcrops and sea horses masquerading as twigs of the seaweed waving in the currents. The rare Port Jackson shark can also be found here. Kayakers can enjoy a paddle around the cove, offering excellent views of nesting birds on the cliff walls above.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Four - Tagus Cove.
Location
Isabela
Day
4 / 8

Espinosa Point & Urbina Bay

AM: Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island in the Galapagos. It sits across the Bolivar Channel opposite Isabela. Our destination is Punta Espinosa, a narrow spit of land in the northeast corner of the island, where several unique Galapagos species can be seen nearby. As our panga driver skillfully navigates the reef, penguins show off by throwing themselves from the rocks into the water. Red and turquoise-blue crabs disperse across the lava shoreline, while great blue and lava herons forage through the mangrove roots. The landing is a dry one, set in a quiet inlet beneath the branches of a small mangrove forest. A short walk through the vegetation leads to a large colony of marine iguanas—a schoolyard of Godzilla’s children— resting atop one another in friendly heaps along the rocky shoreline, spitting water to clear their bodies of salt. Nearby, sea lions frolic in a sheltered lagoon.

Dominating this landscape from high overhead looms the summit of La Cumbre, 1,495 meters (4,858 feet), one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Farther down this stretch of shore, the world’s only species of flightless cormorants have established a colony near an inviting inlet frequented by sea turtles. Because these birds evolved without land predators - it was easier to feed on the squid, octopus, eel, and fish found in the ocean - the cormorants progressively took to the sea. They developed heavier, more powerful legs and feet for kicking, serpent-like necks, and fur-like plumage. Their wings are now mere vestiges. Back toward the landing and farther inland, the island’s black lava flows become more evident, forming a quiet, inner mangrove lagoon where you will spot rays and sea turtles gliding just below the surface. Galapagos hawks survey the entire scene from overhead.

The snorkeling off Punta Espinoza offers some real treats, as many of the creatures you just saw on land, including the Godzilla-like marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and sea lions await you in the waters off of the point (which incidentally was used as a set during the making of Master & Commander). A key feature of the ocean bottom here are the troughs formed by volcanic rock and ocean currents. Because these waters reach out into the Bolivar Channel they can be quite cold. Sea turtles like to hang out in the warm water of the troughs. You’ll also see marine iguanas ferrying back and forth between underwater grazing areas and their colonies onshore. This is an excellent place to see underwater iguanas munching on algae. If you are fortunate you may catch a glimpse of a flightless cormorant demonstrating their swimming abilities or watch a Galapagos penguin zip by. You will feel the difference in ocean temperature and watch the water get clearer as you move from the more protected shallow areas out into the cold rich waters of the channel. The Bolivar Channel is the very best place in the Galapagos to see dolphins and whales. On rare occasions, our groups have been able to swim with dolphins, kayak with melon-headed whales, and even spot the elusive sperm whale.

PM: Urbina Bay is directly west of Isabela’s Volcano Alcedo, where we will make an easy, wet landing (a hop into a few inches of water) onto a gently sloping beach. In 1954, a Disney film crew caught sight of this gleaming white strip and went to investigate. To their astonishment, three miles (5 km) of the marine reef had been uplifted by as much as 13 feet (4 meters) prior to their arrival. They discovered schools of stranded fish and other creatures in newly formed tidal pools along with the skeletons of sea turtles and sharks unable to make it to the ocean as a result of the uplift event. Alcedo erupted a few weeks later.

Now visitors can walk amongst the boulder-sized dried coral heads, mollusks, and other organisms that once formed the ocean floor. A highlight of this excursion is the giant land iguanas, whose vivid and gaudy yellow skin suggests that dinosaurs may have been very colorful indeed. Giant tortoises inhabit this coastal plain during the wet season, before migrating to the highlands when it turns dry. Our landing beach provides a nesting site for sea turtles and will also provide you with opportunities to snorkel amongst marine creatures, or just relax onshore. Here we must take care not to step on the sea turtle nests dug carefully into the sand. For those looking for snorkeling from a beach, this is the place, with tropical fish hiding amongst the rocks to the north side of the bay. This evening you have a real treat as the Grace sits at anchor in the Bolivar Channel where you will be spectacularly surrounded by the towering shield volcanoes that form Fernandina and Isabela. Sunset in the channel is also an excellent time to spot whales and dolphins that feed in these productive waters created by the upwelling of the Cromwell Current, while you enjoy a happy hour at the Sky lounge on the upper rear deck.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Five - Isabela Island Excursion.
Location
Fernandina - Isabela
Day
5 / 8

Elizabeth Bay & Punta Moreno

AM: Continuing our voyage south along the west coast of Isabela we enter the outer part of Elizabeth Bay where we come upon a tall rocky islet that is home to a colony of Galapagos Penguins. Looming to the south is the Sierra Negra volcano that forms the southern part of Isabela Island. In 2018 glowing rivers of lava lit up the night as they flowed down the flank of Sierra Negra toward Elizabeth Bay, where some of our lucky passengers had a front-row seat on one of the archipelago's most spectacular performances.

In contrast to the rugged lava fields of Sierra Negra, Elizabeth Bay is one of the most sensitive habitats in the Galapagos. This outing is entire aboard our pangas. The tangle of mangroves roots that line the Bay, as it narrows to a channel before widening out to the back bay, tend to still the waters making it seem like a giant aquarium while giving the area a green forested look. Spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and sea turtle glide just below the surface with the latter coming up occasionally to breathe. You may see a Galapagos hawk circling high overhead as we drift the calm waters. Approaching the back of the Bay, we bring our panga closer into a cluster of mangroves for a surprise. Sealions use the horizontal trunks of the mangroves as resting areas earning them the nickname tree lions.

PM: We return to the Grace for lunch as she makes her way a bit farther along the coast of Isabela to our next visitors’ site, Punta Moreno. You’ll likely be surprised at just how much life you can find in and around a pahoehoe lava field. In 2018 Sierra Negra Volcano, which looms over the entire southern part of the island (and really is the southern part of the island) gave the area a fresh coat of glowing lava that reached within 3 miles of our landing site. This is one of the least visited sites in the Galapagos.

Along the shore, you’ll have chances to see Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, and a colony of marine iguanas with a reddish tinge that sport the usual mohawk from head to tail. Sally Light-footed crabs dot the coast reminding us of the color of molten lava. This is one of those landing sites where you are best off with sneakers or hiking shoes due to time spent hiking over fields of broken lava (not because of hot lava) and there’s more here than lava lizards and cactus. As we cross the broken fields that sometimes sound like clinking glass, you’ll come upon a little oasis formed by natural pools surrounded by green grasses. These have become home and resting places for a variety of birds including gallinules, pink flamingos, pintail ducks, and more. As we continue along, the trail brings us to series of coastal lagoons, that again provides a surprising oasis of green including mangrove forests where pelicans nest. Look toward the bottom of the lagoons for resting white-tipped reef sharks, while green sea turtles ply the surface and great blue herons wade the shoreline. The snorkeling off Punta Moreno above a rocky bottom offers a similar assortment including sea turtles, stingrays, and sea lions mixed in with bumped head parrotfish, king angelfish, and schools of yellow-tailed and surgeon Pacific creole fish, and much more.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Six - Penguins at Isabela.
Location
Isabela
Day
6 / 8

Darwin Station/Puerto Ayora & Highlands

AM: Santa Cruz, our next stop, is the second-largest island in the Galapagos and something of a hub for the archipelago. Baltra, where one of the archipelago’s two airports is found, is on the far north end of the island. Puerto Ayora, located in the south of this large, round volcanic island is the seaside economic center of the Galapagos, focused on fishing and tourism. The little port town offers restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops, internet cafés, and a place to get your laundry done! This morning we visit Puerto Ayora, home to both the Galapagos National Park Service Headquarters and Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Program run by the research station, which began by rescuing the remaining 14 tortoises on the island of Española in 1970. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000 today. You will see many of these animals, with their sweet ET necks and faces; from hatchlings to juveniles to large, distinguished individuals. This is where famed tortoise, Lonesome George, lived out his last days as the last of his particular race of tortoise.

PM: A highlight of any trip to the archipelago is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our afternoon destination is the Wild Tortoise Reserve where we will have chances to track and view these friendly ancient creatures in their natural setting. This extends to the adjacent pasturelands, where farmers give tortoise safe quarter in exchange for allowing paying visitors to see them. When viewing the tortoise in their natural setting you are literally scratching the surface because there is another world awaiting you beneath the highlands.

Lava tubes are formed when the outer surface of a lava flow cools, insulating the interior lava, which continues to flow on leaving a hollow tube as the result. The tubes become covered with earth over time and the result is a perfectly formed underground tunnel courtesy of Mother Nature. A wooden stairway descends to the mouth of the arched entrance to one of these underground passages and continues to the narrow opening that marks its exit. There are lights to show you the way but it’s also a good idea to bring a flashlight. The terrestrial world of the tortoise and underworld of the lava tubes meet at Los Gemelos (the twins). These two large sinkholes craters were formed by collapsed lava tubes. The contrast between the marine desert coast and the verdant Lost World look of the highlands is most striking here and you can easily encounter rain even when the sun is shining half an hour away at the coast. Los Gemelos is surrounded by a Scalesia forest. Scalesia is endemic to Galapagos and many endemic and native species call the forest home. This is an excellent place to view some of Darwin’s famous finches along with the elusive and dazzling vermillion flycatcher. We return to Puerto Ayora with time for shopping, visiting an internet café, or simply enjoying this little port town near the edge of the world.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Seven - Giant Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Program.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: We say goodbye to the Grace to take a 40 min. bus ride early in the morning to visit Los Gemelos. The terrestrial world of the tortoise and underworld of the lava tubes meet at Los Gemelos (the twins). These two large sinkholes craters were formed by collapsed lava tubes. The contrast between the marine desert coast and verdant Lost World look of the highlands is most striking here and you can easily encounter rain even when sun is shining a half an hour away at the coast.

Los Gemelos are surrounded by a Scalesia forest. Scalesia is endemic to Galapagos and many endemic and native species call the forest home. This is an excellent place to view some of Darwin’s famous finches along with the elusive and dazzling vermillion flycatcher. After visiting Los Gemelos, we continue our bus ride for another 20 mins to the Itabaca channel. We will cross the channel and take a short bus ride to Baltra’s airport to bid you farewell.

Grace Yacht's Western & Central Following Darwin's Trail 8-Day Itinerary Day Eight - Disembarkation.
Location
Santa Cruz - Baltra
Day
8 / 8
1 / 8

8 Day / 7 Night - Eastern & Central - Beyond Darwin's Footsteps

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: You’ll need to rise early this morning to catch your flight to the Galapagos. All our flights to the Galapagos originate in Quito and stop briefly in the port city of Guayaquil to take on passengers before heading on to the islands. For this itinerary, you will be landing on the island of Baltra. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection your National Park Guide will be there to greet you holding a sign with the name of your yacht on it and will accompany you on the short bus ride to the Itabaca channel. Once we cross the Itabaca Channel, we will visit Los Gemelos. The terrestrial world of the tortoise and underworld of the lava tubes meet at Los Gemelos (the twins). These two large sinkholes craters were formed by collapsed lava tubes. The contrast between the marine desert coast and the verdant Lost World look of the highlands is most striking here and you can easily encounter rain even when the sun is shining half an hour away at the coast.

Los Gemelos is surrounded by a Scalesia forest. Scalesia is endemic to Galapagos and many endemic and native species call the forest home. This is an excellent place to view some of Darwin’s famous finches along with the elusive and dazzling vermillion flycatcher. A highlight of any trip to the archipelago is a visit to the Santa Cruz Highlands, where the sparse, dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our afternoon destination is the Wild Tortoise Reserve where we will have chances to track and view these friendly ancient creatures in their natural setting. This extends to the adjacent pasturelands, where farmers give tortoise safe quarter in exchange for allowing paying visitors to see them. We will then board your home while in Galapagos, the Grace Yacht.

PM: In the late afternoon, we can visit Puerto Ayora, home to both the Galapagos National Park Service Headquarters and Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here we visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding & Rearing Program run by the research station, which began by rescuing the remaining 14 tortoises on the island of Española in 1970. This program has restored the population of animals there to over 1,000 today. You will see many of these animals, with their sweet ET necks and faces; from hatchlings to juveniles to large, distinguished individuals. This is where famed tortoise, Lonesome George, lived out his last days as the last of his particular race of tortoise.

We’ll enjoy our first Pacific sunset aboard the Grace yacht by celebrating happy hour atop her sky lounge where drinks are available daily along with hors d’oeuvres. A little later we gather in the main salon for a presentation by our guide on the next day’s activates and visitor sites, before sitting down to dinner. We spend a bit more time in port this evening before setting sail for the island of Floreana.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day One -  Embarkation.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 8

Peace Asylum, Cormorant Point & Devil’s Crown

AM: Floreana has had a colorful history: Pirates, whalers, convicts, and a small band of somewhat peculiar colonists - a self-proclaimed Baroness among them - who chose a Robinson Crusoe existence that ended in death and mystery. Today roughly a hundred Ecuadorians inhabit the island. In 1793 British whalers set up a barrel as the island’s post office, to send letters home on passing ships. The tradition continues to this day, simply by dropping a postcard into the barrel without a stamp. The catch is you must take a postcard from the barrel and see that it gets to the right place. That is how the system began and continues to this day. Some claim it works better than the official Ecuadorian post office. After breakfast, we travel in an open-air bus into the highlands of Floreana, while your Naturalist Guide begins filling you in on the history of this, the first settled island in the Galapagos. You will walk to the Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum) where one of the islands’ few springs is located.

This artesian spring attracted pirates, whalers, and later settlers to Floreana as it was one of the very few year-round sources of fresh water in the Galapagos. The Cueva de Los Piratas (Pirate’s Cave) is quite literally where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone and are also where one of the original settlers, Margaret Wittmer, gave birth to a son, Rolf, who is still living. Some have almost jokingly referred to it as the ‘Stonehenge’ of Floreana due to its interesting shapes. Cerro Pajas (Bird Hill) truly lives up to its name with a multitude of Floreana Finches. It also offers spectacular views of the island and the sea below. We will visit a tortoise reserve where you can watch many of the giant tortoises up close and personal. All the while, your Naturalist Guide will be pointing out the wildlife and filling you in on the colorful history of Floreana’s first inhabitants like the Baroness and re-telling the legend of the “Floreana Mystery”. We return to the Grace for lunch and a siesta.

PM: Our next landing is further along the shore to the northeast. On route, we pass within view of Baroness Point in an area of mangrove-lined lagoons. Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosquet, the self-proclaimed Baroness (of Floreana) frequented this overlook, but we will leave the rest of her intriguing story to your Galapagos guide. Punta Cormorant offers two highly contrasting beaches; the strand where we land is composed of volcanic olivine crystals, giving it a greenish tint that glitters in the sun. From here you’ll notice the small cinder cone that forms the point. Our landing is just to the west of the cinder cone where a trail crosses the neck of an isthmus to a beach of very fine white sand known as Flour Beach. Flour Beach was formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. Between the two beaches, in a basin formed by the surrounding volcanic cones, is a hyper-saline lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts, and other wading birds.

We stop at the lagoon and then continue on the trail to Four Beach. Be careful not to wade into the tide with bare feet! If you stand at the edge of the water and look into the tidal area you will soon notice that the silty surf is rife with rays. Sea turtles also surf the waves off the beach. We return to our yacht and set out to our snorkeling destination as we don wetsuits while making our way around Punta Cormorant. Alternatively, we may snorkel at Devil’s Crown which is located some 250 meters (700 ft) north of Punta Cormorant. The crown is an old submerged volcanic cone that has been worn down by waves. Devil’s Crown is home to a myriad of marine species including several species of corals, sea urchins, and many other creatures including a great number of fish species, making this place one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos. The eroded crater walls form a popular roosting site for seabirds including boobies and pelicans. The snorkeling begins outside the crater to the southeast, where a swift current will take you for a ride along the north side of the crown and right into the middle. Relax, enjoy the ride, and let the current do the work. After the ride keeps your eyes open for spotted eagle rays and golden rays that like to swim near the crown. Once back aboard the Grace you’ll want to soak in the warm Jacuzzi after peeling off your wetsuit and then retire for hors d'oeuvres and drinks to enjoy the sunset.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Two -  Flamingos at Cormorant Point.
Location
Floreana
Day
2 / 8

Punta Suarez, Gardner Bay & Gardner Islet

AM: The quantity and variety of wildlife at Punta Suarez is remarkable. Sea lions surf the waves beyond the breakwater landing, and tiny pups are known to greet your toes upon arrival. A few steps inland is a colorful variety of marine iguana in the Galapagos. They bear distinctive red and black markings, some with a flash of turquoise running down their spine. They nap in communal piles or cling to the rocks for warmth. The trail then takes us beside the western edge of the island where masked boobies (also known as Nazca boobies) nest along the cliff’s edge. The trail descends to a rocky beach before rising to an open area where you may see a large gathering of nesting blue-foot boobies. Galapagos doves, cactus finch, and mocking birds forage nearby, unconcerned by human presence. Both lava and swallow-tailed gulls, with their red-ringed eyes, sit atop the cliffs in company with marine iguanas.

The trail continues to the high cliff edge of the southern shore; below, a shelf of black lava reaches out into the surf where a blowhole shoots a periodic geyser of saltwater into the air. Further east along the cliff is the Albatross Airport where waved albatross line up to launch their great winged bodies from the cliffs, soaring out over the dramatic shoreline of crashing waves and driven spray. These are the largest birds you will see in the Galapagos with wingspans up to 2.25 m or 7.4 ft. They are the only species of albatross exclusive to the tropics. In the trees set back from the cliff is one of only two places in the world where the waved albatross nests. The 12,000 pairs that inhabit Hood Island comprise all but a tiny fraction of the world’s population of this species. Lucky visitors can watch courtship ‘fencing’ done with great yellow beaks. Large, fluffy, perfectly camouflaged chicks adorn nests on the ground nearby. The Albatross lay their eggs from April through June though they can be seen fencing long after that. Eggs take two months to hatch. Hungry chicks can eat up to 2 kg (4.4 lb) a day which keeps their parents busy. By December the chicks are fully grown and ready to set out on their own in January. Pairs mate for life.

PM: On the northeastern shore of Hood, Gardner Bay offers a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. You will be lured from the powdery white sand into the turquoise water for a swim, but just a little further off-shore the snorkeling by Gardner Island offers peak encounters with playful young sea lions and schools of surprisingly large tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish and bump- head parrotfish. The young sea lions like to snack and play along Gardner Island’s sea cliff. They dart up from the depths, playfully show off their skills, and then disappear. Sleepy white-tipped reef sharks can also be seen napping on the bottom. Gardner Bay and Islet also offer inviting waters for those interested in kayaking. For all who visit here, Española is a highlight of the Galapagos.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Three - Sea Lions at Española.
Location
Española
Day
3 / 8

Punta Pitt, Lobos Island & Kicker Rock

AM: Punta Pitt is located at the east end of San Cristóbal Island. The trail includes an olivine beach approximately 90 meters and a trail that ascends to the top of a volcanic tuff hill passing through several natural viewpoints. Punta Pitt is composed of a volcanic tuff substrate. This is the only site in the Galapagos Islands, where you can watch the three species of boobies and two species of frigates nesting in the same area. This is due to its geographic location, an abundance of food so there is hardly any competition between them. The blue-footed boobies nest in the interior of Punta Pitt, red-footed boobies nest on bushes, and masked boobies nest in the cliffs. Sealions can also be found in the area. San Cristobal was the first island Darwin visited when he arrived in 1835. He reported encountering a pair of giant tortoises feeding on cactus during that outing.

PM: To the southeast of Kicker Rock lies Isla Lobos. The tiny island is separated from much larger San Cristobal by a narrow channel and little bay. This basalt island outcropping lives up to its name of Sea Lion Island and is home to a noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. It is also a nesting place for blue-footed boobies and an excellent spot for snorkeling with sea lions. After walking the trail for some baby sea lion and booby watching amidst the sands beneath the salt bushes we have a real treat in store. We change into our snorkeling gear for some swimming with sea lions! The sea lions like to dart past and then swim up to you to blow bubbles at your mask. On occasion, they have been known to leap over, and then dive in front of unsuspecting snorkelers. Following our snorkeling outing, you will discover that the best place to warm up from your dip is in Grace’s Jacuzzi.

Heading up the coast from Isla Lobos we will have a chance to visit Leon Dormido, also known as Kicker Rock, a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, hence its Spanish name. From another angle one can see that the rock is split forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. We will circumnavigate the rock formation which is an ancient and eroded volcanic lava tuff cone in search of birds, and possibly, hammerhead sharks.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Four - Kicker Rock.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
4 / 8

Santa Fe Island & South Plazas

AM: Santa Fe offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves on the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies southeast of Santa Cruz Island within sight of Puerto Ayora. Geologically it is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago and for many years was thought to be a product of an uplift event. Through satellite imagery, it has been possible to determine the island’s volcanic origins.

A wet landing on a sandy white beach brings us into contact with one of many sea lion colonies. Bulls contend for the right of being beach master, while smaller males mask as females to make stealthy mating moves. Galapagos hawks are sometimes easily approached, perched atop salt bushes. An ascending trail leads toward the cliffs, where a dense thicket stands to the inland side of the island. The cliffside provides an expansive view of the ocean. You will be struck by the forest of giant prickly pear cactus found here that live up to their name, with tree-sized trunks! These are the largest of their kind in the Galapagos. At the top of the trail, our goal is to spot one of the large species of land iguana endemic to Santa Fe. Beige to chocolate brown with dragon-like spines, these big iguanas truly resemble dinosaurs. An indigenous species of rice rat also inhabits the thicket, and lucky hikers may spot harmless Galapagos snakes. After the hike, there is nothing more inviting than snorkeling in the calm waters of the bay where sea lions play, sea turtles swim, and tropical fish hide amidst the islets that form the natural reef. Santa Fe offers a more advanced kayaking route along its northern shore that ends at sea caves and is subject to conditions.

PM: South Plaza Island lies just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz Island. South Plaza is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. Just over 400 feet wide, it was formed by lava upwelling from the bottom of the ocean. Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island tilts toward the water. South Plaza is known for its lush and diverse flora. A grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cacti, a ground cover of red sesuvium, the turquoise waters of the channel, and fiery sally lightfoot crabs combine to create a colorful palate of an island to explore. One of the big attractions here is the friendly yellow land iguanas waiting for lunch to drop from a cactus in the form of a prickly pear. We follow a trail up the tilt of the island to cliffs that look out over the ocean. Swallow-tailed gulls with red-banded eyes nest atop the overlook where you may spot marine life such as manta rays. South Plaza has a very healthy population of sea lions including a colony of bachelors that sit atop the cliff. They unintentionally polish the surrounding rocks with the oil from their fur. We may see red-billed tropicbirds, Nazca, and blue-footed boobies catching rides on the wind currents.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Five - Land Iguana.
Location
Santa Fe - South Plaza
Day
5 / 8

North Seymour Island & Bartolome Island

AM: North Seymour Island was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form much of the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom. This island is teeming with life! You might have to give way to a passing sea lion or marine iguana. Blue-footed boobies nest on either side of the trail where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. You are likely to see fluffy white chicks peeking out from beneath their protective mothers. The trail follows the eastern shore along the beach. You may be fortunate to witness flocks of brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies hunting schools of fish. The boobies, which look so comical on land, are ideally adapted as dive bombers and easily pierce the water, zeroing in on their targeted prey. Frigate birds with wingspans of up to 5 feet soar overhead and all around. They have named for the way that the trim of their wings in flight is reminiscent of the square-rigged sailing warship. Not coincidentally frigate birds are also called Man O’ War birds and they live up to that name in a literal way when they target boobies, pelicans, and other birds to steal their catch. Because the frigates are pelagic, they cannot take off from the water, so they do better at snatching fish from the surface or simply stealing them. They also target marine iguanas and young baby sea turtles. The trail turns east and inland to reveal the nesting stronghold of the frigates. Here you can see males with large, bright red, inflamed throat sacks known as gular pouches, all done to attract females. Your guide will point out the difference between the Magnificent, or Man O’ War frigates, and their Great frigate bird cousins. Large puff-ball frigate bird chicks inhabit nests, waiting for their parents to return with a meal. Even at this young age they possess long hooked beaks and act defiant when they feel threatened. You will also get a closer look at the feathers of the proud parents and notice their iridescent quality and deep green tinge.

Another inhabitant along the trail is the yellow land iguana. The species was originally introduced to the North Seymour in 1932 by Captain Alan Hancock and his crew from Baltra to rescue the creatures from the poor conditions left by goats and other feral animals. The iguanas colonized the island without a problem. The original colony disappeared from Baltra when it became a US military base in WWII. In 1980 Charles Darwin Station began a breeding program using some of the animals found on Seymour and successfully reintroduced their prodigy to both islands. Today the population on Seymour is roughly 600 and on Baltra 1,500.

Our snorkeling site at North Seymour also attracts scuba divers. You have a chance to see many types of rays here including marble rays, golden eagle rays, spotted eagle rays, stingrays, and even manta rays. Dormitories of white-tipped reef sharks sleep on the bottom while schools of king angelfish and yellow-tailed surgeonfish swarm the rocky shoreline passing the occasional parrot and damselfish. Some of the rocks are well-disguised scorpionfish. Large schools of tightly packed blue and gold snappers, grunts, and jacks are usually found plying these waters. Sea lions pay visits from both Seymour and nearby Mosquera Island as sea turtles and the occasional hammerhead shark can been seen down in the depths. Creole fish, the color of red salsa, hieroglyphic hawkfish, with neon-like etchings on their flanks, and burrfish.

PM: Bartolomé is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best-known landmark in the Galapagos, which served as a backdrop in the film Master & Commander. Galapagos penguins the only species of penguin found north of the equator walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at their base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. Below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars, and anemones. A perfectly crescent sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle and across a narrow isthmus another beach mirrors this one to the south. Sea turtles use both beaches and another to the west of the Pinnacle as nesting sites and can sometimes be seen wading back out into the shallow water near the shore or resting in the sand recovering from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs, and covering them over.

Penguins like to rest atop the nearby rocks by our next landing site, about a quarter-mile east along the shore. Here the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a large fountain pool. This dry landing no wet feet! is the entrance to a 600-meter (2000-foot) pathway complete with stairs and boardwalks leading to Bartolome’s summit. The route is not difficult and presents an open textbook of the islands’ volcanic origins; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where small cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs down from the summit. At the top, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and Sullivan Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal turquoise waters of the bay cradle your yacht. Our next landing site is a short distance away to the southeast. This evening will be especially relaxed and you can have a long lingering soak in the Jacuzzi. The Grace yacht can stay anchored where she is tonight as we are already within sight of our morning’s landing site across the channel just to the south. The view east toward the tiny twin table mountain islands of Daphne Major and Daphne Minor is particularly inviting with the sun setting behind them.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Six - Blue-Footed Boobies.
Location
North Seymour - Bartolome
Day
6 / 8

Chinese Hat Islet & Dragon Hill

AM: Tiny Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat) Island is named for the resemblance its shape has to a traditional Chinese Coolie’s hat. Today’s visitor site is off-limits to larger groups and day boats, making Sombrero Chino, along with Daphne Major, one of the least visited sites in the central islands. The island lies just off the southeastern tip of the large nearby island of Santiago; separated by a narrow channel that makes for very calm, protected waters. Our landing site is a tiny crescent-shaped cove with a sandy white beach cradled between black lava rocks and the crystal turquoise waters of the channel. A sea lion colony likes to rest on the warm white sands, while the rockier sections of the coast are alive with fiery colored sally lightfoot crabs. Marine iguanas sun themselves atop the rocks after foraging for algae in the channel. American oystercatchers stalk the tide pools stabbing at shellfish with their bright orange beaks. A quarter-mile (400 meters) trail sets off into the island’s volcanic interior to explore its rock formations, including excellent examples of pahoehoe lava resembling black rock ropes. The area is inhabited by ground-hugging red sesuvim plants and curious lava lizards.

Back at the cove, you will not only have another opportunity to snorkel with sea lions, but rockier sections of the coastline are inhabited by Galapagos penguins that dart past unsuspecting snorkelers. You’ll also have a chance to see the penguins during a panga ride. Galapagos penguins are the only species of penguin you’ll find living north of the nearby equator. Paddlers will have the opportunity to kayak here in the areas that are not off-limits (indicated by National Park Signs).

PM: In the early afternoon we set out to Dragon Hill. There be dragons in the Galapagos in the form of bright yellow land iguanas that inhabit the northeastern shore of Santa Cruz Island. The large spines on their backs make them look even more like their legendary cousins. All they lack are wings. In the 1900s their ancestors were once moved to nearby Venezia islet to protect them from the feral dogs that once roamed Santa Cruz. When the dogs were removed the colony was returned and today they thrive around the hill that is named in their honor, Cerro Dragon. The lava flows that reach out from the shore from Cerro Dragon form black reefs that make for excellent snorkeling at high tide. As we make our dry landing keep your eyes open for yellow warblers that stand out against the black lava. We head up the beach to a trail that takes us to a hypersaline lagoon. This is a seasonal haunt for pink flamingos. As we make our way from the coast toward the top of Dragon Hill you’ll notice the transition from intertidal vegetation like mangroves to dry zone vegetation including Palo Santo cactus and the silvery leafed Palo Santo trees. Keep your eyes open for the famous Darwin’s Finches. Also known as Galapagos finches, they were first collected by Charles Darwin and make a group of about 15 species that are found nowhere else. Ironically they are not related to true finches.

While we walk through the Scalesia forests that ring the hill, keep your eyes open for the dragons. Endemic cactus finch and woodpecker finch perch overhead. The loop trail heads inland and up the hill. The rough terrain makes this hike a bit challenging, but the view back toward the bay is rewarding. The real reward, of course, is the dragons hiding in the thicket which you are sure to spot. Back at the beach, you may be lucky enough to see one of Santa Cruz Island’s fearless Galapagos hawks perched atop the lava surveying the surroundings.

Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Seven - Sally-Lightfoot Crab.
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
7 / 8

Disembarkation

AM: This last morning of our voyage through the Galapagos we visit Black Turtle Cove. Located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz, the cove is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Four species of mangrove crowd from the shore out into the lagoon, which stretches almost a mile inland. As we drift through the quiet waters in our dinghy, we are likely to see spotted eagle rays and cow nosed or golden rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Sea birds, including brown pelicans, blue herons and lava herons, come to feed in the cove which has also been declared a “Turtle Sanctuary”.

It’s time to begin your journey home as we set sail for nearby Baltra Island. During WWII the island was a US Air Force base and one can still see the remnants of the old foundations left behind from that era once ashore. It doesn’t take long for the Grace to navigate north along Baltra’s western shore to the island’s port. Don’t worry about your bags, your guide will instruct you on how to prepare your luggage and have it ready for pick up in your cabin. Our crew will see to transporting your luggage ashore where you will reunite with it at the airport. All you need to do is take along your carry-on luggage in the panga for the short crossing to shore. Once there a bus will pick us up for the 5-minute drive to the airport. Your guide will be there to make sure you are checked in on the proper flight. This is your last chance to purchase souvenirs in the Galapagos and the airport offers an assortment of shops where you can purchase everything from baseball caps and t-shirts to animal figurines, jewelry, and much more; all with a Galapagos theme. There is one final checkpoint before you enter the waiting area from which you will board your flight. Almost all flights to the mainland stop in Guayaquil and continue on to Quito so make sure you know where to get off the plane. We say farewell to the Galapagos as you begin your journey home, or on to other destinations like the Ecuadorian highlands, Amazon, or nearby Peru.


Grace Yacht's Eastern & Central Beyond Darwin's Footsteps 8-Day Itinerary Day Eight - Disembarkation.
Location
Santa Cruz - Baltra
Day
8 / 8
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Accommodations

Social Areas

Aft Rest Area
Bar Lounge
Coffee Station
Saloon Bar
Saloon
Jacuzzi
Observation Deck
Outdoor Bar
Corridor
Outside Dining
Sun Deck
Wine Cellar
Sun chairs in the aft
Bar Lounge with white sofa
Coffee Station
Bar with comfy light sofas
Sofas and small tables
Jacuzzi aerial view
Sun deck sitting area
Bar and bar stools
Outside deck corridor
Tables on a sun deck
Sun beds
Cabinet with wines

Suites & Cabins

Grace Yacht's Premium Stateroom. Grace Yacht's Premium Stateroom - Bathroom. Grace Yacht's Premium Stateroom.

Premium Stateroom

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 138 ft²
Beds
Queen / Twin

The Premium Staterooms have features like a digital air-conditioner, a hairdryer, a safety box, and a closet to fit all your luggage. Guests can enjoy the private bathrooms that come with a body wash, a solid soap, shampoo, and conditioner to keep you refreshed.

Grace Yacht's Twin Suite - Carolina Deck. Grace Yacht's Twin Suite - Carolina Deck. Grace Yacht's Twin Suite - Albert Deck. Grace Yacht's Suite - Bathroom. Grace Yacht's Suite.

Twin Suite

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 138 ft²
Beds
Twin

The twin suites are well designed and air-conditioned to ensure your utmost comfort. They have an ocean view window for you to take in the scenery of Galapagos Island, a safety box, a closet, and a hairdryer. The bathrooms are equipped with hot water.


Grace Yacht's Master Suite - Albert Deck. Grace Yacht's Master Suite - Bathroom. Grace Yacht's Master Suite.

Master Suite

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 138 ft²
Beds
Queen

Each Suite in the Grace features ocean-view windows, a digital air conditioner, a spacious closet to fit all your belongings, a safety box, and multiple electrical outlets. The beautifully designed bathrooms have hot showers, a hairdryer, and amenities to keep you feeling fresh.

Grace Yacht's Grace Kelly Suite. Grace Yacht's Grace Kelly Suite.

Grace Kelly Suite

Guests
2
Size
17 m² / 183 ft²
Beds
Queen

The Grace Kelly Suite is spacious with ocean-view windows giving guests a tasteful view of the Galapagos Islands. The suite features a closet, a safety deposit box, and multiple electrical outlets. The gorgeous hot water bathroom has all the amenities to ensure the guest stays refreshed.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Decks plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
  • Deck shower
  • Pool / Jacuzzi
  • Lecture room
  • Cinema
  • WIFI available
  • Kosher Meals

Equipment

  • Satellite phone
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Wetsuits
  • Kayaks / Canoes
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details