Isabella II cruising the sea
  1. Home
  2. Ecuador
  3. Galapagos
  4. Isabela II

Isabela II

The perfect, intimate vessel for couples to enjoy Darwin's islands in luxurious comfort.

Overview

Never satisfied with the status quo, the Isabela II provides a little something extra in every aspect of the passenger experience. Measuring in at 183 feet with 20 cabins for up to 40 guests, the Isabela II is a first-class luxury ship offering cruises through the Galapagos Islands.

Life Aboard The Isabela II Galapagos Cruise Ship

Welcome to your home in the Galapagos. What will you do while aboard? The choices are nearly endless, thanks to a large number of spacious decks and public spaces. Start at the alfresco lounge to catch your first glimpses of the birds and sea life of the Galapagos as the ship casts off. This is the perfect time to pick up a cold drink at the outdoor bar and toast to the one-in-a-lifetime experiences that will come in the days ahead. Then, relax in the hot tub while you work up an appetite for the evening meal.

The menu was conceived by the ship’s La Cordon Bleu-trained Gastronomic Director, and you will dine on gourmet dishes made from organic, top-quality ingredients. After dinner, spend the evening lounging in the entertainment room, work off the meal in the fitness room or participate in a stargazing program.

If you must check your email, or if you want to share a photo of yourself with the tortoise you met on the day’s excursion, there is WIFI in the public spaces and the business center. Before you disembark for the last time, be sure to stop by the ship’s boutique and take home a treasure.

No matter what you do aboard, you can feel good about the ship’s commitment to sustainability. The Isabela II is a low-fuel consumption ship that protects the Galapagos’ water through the usage of onboard wastewater treatment and water desalination.

Excursions From Your Isabela Galapagos Cruise

The Isabela II has perfected three itineraries around the archipelago, including two five-day cruises and a seven-day option. In addition to hitting the most popular sites on the Galapagos, you will have the privilege of visiting several exclusive sites.

Each itinerary is designed to help you have a personal experience with the islands’ diverse wildlife, including the Big 15 species. Imagine yourself snorkeling with penguins on Bartolome Island, observing sharks off Santa Fe, or spying marine iguanas on Santiago Island. Fill your days with glass-bottom boat rides, birdwatching hikes, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

More Guides For More Exploration

The Galapagos National Park requires a minimum of one naturalist guide per 16 guests, making that the standard ratio found on many ships in the region. True to their philosophy of maximizing the passenger experience, the Isabela II improves on this ratio. The guide-to-guest ratio on this ship hovers around 1:11.

Beyond the numbers, what is the benefit for you? Additional guides allow you to explore the Galapagos in smaller groups. You will have more personalized attention, more time for discussions, and more up-close animal encounters. The difference could be you photographing a penguin wadding across the shore or standing behind someone else while they snag the shot.

The experienced, close-knit crew of the Isabela II, including top-ranking Naval officers, is dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer service. A cruise aboard the Isabela II is ideal for travelers who value attention to detail, blended with comfort and personal encounters with the Big 15 species of the Galapagos.

Itineraries & Prices

1 / 3
5-Day
5-Day
7-Day

5 Day / 4 Night - Western

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: After landing at Baltra Airport, we drive to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us to a restaurant in the fascinating, more humid Highlands of the island to enjoy lunch, and then continue south down to Puerto Ayora on the coast.

PM: At the eastern end of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the archipelago, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, the islands’ headquarters for scientific research and conservation. Later in the afternoon, we stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking. Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day One - Giant Galapagos Tortoise.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

Bartolome Island & Sullivan Bay

AM: This morning, a Galapagos icon awaits: Bartolome Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the panoramic view from the top is well worth the effort! Following the walk, we take a panga ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock in search of Galapagos penguins and other wildlife.

PM: After lunch, we board the pangas (inflatable dinghies) and land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach that is ideal for swimming. A trail runs along a lava field that flowed here around 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and understand the volcanic origin of the Galapagos.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Two - White Sandy Beaches in the Galapagos.
Location
Bartolome - Santiago
Day
2 / 5

Dragon Hill, Salt Mine & James Bay

AM: The north coast of Santa Cruz hosts the fascinating landscapes of Dragon Hill. After disembarking, the first part of our walk passes a brackish-water lagoon frequented by shorebirds, ducks, and American flamingos. Further inland the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago, as well as the observation of land iguanas. After our walk, we can snorkel from the shore, hoping to spot rays, green turtles, and sharks.

PM: Our wet landing on James Bay follows in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. The young naturalist spent about six days exploring this island in 1835, enthralled not only by the species he encountered but also by the vegetation and the fascinating geological formations. Our hike takes us uphill to one of these for panoramic views: a crater filled with brackish water. The salt from this lagoon was mined in the 20th century, but the businesses didn’t prosper. More active explorers can hike around the cone.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Three - Land Iguana Sighting at Dragon Hill.
Location
Santa Cruz - Santiago
Day
3 / 5

Punta Vicente Roca & Punta Espinoza

AM: Since there is no landing site at this location, we explore the captivating coast by dinghy, seeking out abundant wildlife including colonies of Galapagos fur seals, the nesting sites of Nazca boobies, not to mention flightless cormorants, penguins, and marine iguanas. Depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles. Back on board, we navigate along the Bolivar Channel, where nutrient-rich upwellings provide fertile fishing grounds for cetaceans.

PM: We end our journey on a high note, by visiting the island of Fernandina, the youngest island of the archipelago, and arguably one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet. Our visitor site of Punta Espinoza boasts an amazing combination of apparently barren landscapes and abundant wildlife, all dominated by the lofty volcano at the heart of the island. Highlights to spot include hawks, penguins, huge numbers of marine iguanas, and the famous flightless cormorant, with its beguiling blue eyes.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Four - Exploring the Galapagos Islands.
Location
Isabela - Fernandina
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: After breakfast, we will transfer you directly to Baltra airport to assist you with your departure flight, and bid you a final farewell.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Western Itinerary Day Five - Nazca Booby Sighting.
Location
Baltra
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

5 Day / 4 Night - Northern

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: After landing at Baltra Airport, we drive to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride takes us up to the fascinating, more humid Highlands of the island where we’ll learn about its unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Lunch is served at a local restaurant.

PM: After lunch, we drive to a nearby reserve that is one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, munching on grass and leaves, and wallowing in small pools. There are several lava tunnels to explore in the reserve, too. A short bus ride takes us down to Puerto Ayora to board Yacht Isabela II.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day One - Embarkation.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

Puerto Egas & Chinese Hat Islet

AM: Following a wet landing, on the black sandy beach, our trail takes us to enjoy close-up encounters with recently-reintroduced land iguanas, plus land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers, craggy rocks, and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds. We can also observe a colony of fur seals, usually dozing in the shade of some rocks.

PM: This islet, formed only fairly recently, makes a beautiful afternoon visit as we explore the wildlife along with its 1,312 ft long (400 m long) trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped, white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities amid white-tipped reef sharks and Galapagos penguins.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Two - Snorkelling Excursion.
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 5

Prince Philip’s Steps & Darwin Bay

AM: The day kicks off with a panga ride along the cliffs of “Bird Island”, (as Genovesa is affectionately nicknamed), followed by a landing at a steep staircase which connects us with a flat plateau. From here, the trail winds its way through large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigatebirds, and storm petrels. With luck, we’ll be able to spot the short-eared owl. Those who do not wish to disembark can enjoy a longer panga (inflatable dinghy) ride along the cliffs, weather conditions permitting. Snorkeling and kayaking activities are available.

PM: We land after lunch at the beautiful white beach of Darwin Bay. Here we walk amid literally hundreds of birds, most of which are frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, as well as gulls, herons, finches, and mockingbirds.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Three - Red-Footed Booby Sighting.
Location
Genovesa
Day
3 / 5

Santa Fe & Punta Carrion

AM: We take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The Santa Fe land iguana may be spotted during our exploration! Following the walk, we can snorkel and swim along a natural wave barrier or ride the glass-bottom boat.

PM: In the afternoon, we make our way around to the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, to the eastern mouth of the Itabaca Channel. Boarding our dinghies, we explore this rocky coastline’s interesting formations, plant life, and wildlife. All before enjoying the marine world with a mask and snorkel, or aboard our glass-bottom boat. If we are lucky, we will come across playful sea lions, dozens of reef fish. Different types of puffers, surgeonfish, angelfish, groupers, hogfish, hawkfish, parrotfish, blenny, and hopefully white-tipped reef sharks.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Four - Sea Lion Sighting in the Galapagos.
Location
Santa Fe
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: After breakfast, we will transfer you directly to Baltra airport to assist you with your departure flight, and bid you a final farewell.

Isabela II’s 5-Day Northern Itinerary Day Five - Disembarkation.
Location
Baltra
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

7 Day / 6 Night - Southern & Eastern

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: We land at Baltra Island by plane in the morning and transfer to the nearby dock to board Yacht Isabela II, where we receive a welcome introductory briefing, boat drill, and lunch.

PM: This beautiful visitor site is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, a glorious white beach with a couple of brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. You may enjoy swimming at this beach, too. Back on the ship, we will settle in with a welcome cocktail, a briefing on the next day’s expedition plan, and a delicious dinner.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day One - Embarkation.
Location
Baltra - Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 7

Cerro Colorado & Punta Pitt

AM: We disembark at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and drive 40 minutes to the island’s southern shore. At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises amid a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species, including the San Cristobal mockingbird, as well as the endemic San Cristobal lava lizard.

PM: In the afternoon, we land on the eastern tip of the island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline. It is the only site in the Galapagos where the 3 species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigatebird species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. If conditions are favorable, there is a chance to swim, kayak, or snorkel from the beach or take an inflatable dinghy ride.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Two - Frigatebird Sighting.
Location
San Cristobal
Day
2 / 7

Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

AM: In the morning, we’ll set foot on this beautiful, white coral beach and go on a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, or simply enjoy the beach. Kayaking, snorkeling, an inflatable dinghy-ride, or a ride on the glass-bottom boat are offered here.

PM: Following lunch on board, our afternoon outing at Punta Suarez takes us on an exciting trail across lava/boulder terrain. Along the way, we can enjoy unique sea bird colonies, including the beautiful waved albatrosses, boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole”. This island is also famous for its colorful and sizable marine iguanas. All in all, a fantastic visit.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Three - Snorkeling with Sea Lions.
Location
Española
Day
3 / 7

Cormorant Point, Post Office Bay & Baroness Cove

AM: We disembark in the morning at the curiously green-tinged, olivine-crystal beach. An easy walk to a brackish water lagoon where American flamingos can be spotted. Crossing over to the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. At Champion Islet, guests can choose between snorkeling, a panga ride, or a ride in our glass-bottom boat.

PM: After lunch, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has served as an informal post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Snorkeling off the beach will be offered afterward.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Four - Flamingo Sighting.
Location
Floreana
Day
4 / 7

Punta Moreno & Punta Mangle

AM: In the morning, following a meander through the mangroves in search of sea turtles, we disembark amid a landscape dominated by the giant volcanoes of southern Isabela Island, some still active. The rugged trail loops inland from the coast, giving us plenty of opportunity to enjoy unique lava formations, pioneer lava cactus, and interesting scalesia trees, as well as plenty of wildlife: Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, brown pelicans, herons, sea lions, marine iguanas, and dozens of Sally Lightfoot crabs. The inland lagoons are home to Bahama-pintail ducks, common stilts, Galapagos flamingos, and even Galapagos hawks and mockingbirds. Following our walk, we can take to our glass-bottom boats or deep-water snorkel.

PM: Venturing across to Fernandina Island, in the afternoon we board our pangas (inflatable dinghies) to explore the coastline of the archipelago’s youngest ecosystem, a virgin, pristine world of tiny bays, tall mangroves (mangle is Spanish for mangrove), and tranquil coves, home to diminutive Galapagos penguins and green-eyed flightless cormorants preening on the shore’s black rocks. Beneath the waves, rays and sea turtles might glide by. The nutrient-rich waters of the Bolivar Channel, which separates Fernandina and Isabela islands, attract dolphins and whales. With luck, we’ll be able to spot them. Depending on sea conditions, we end our visit with a glass-bottom boat ride or deep-water snorkel.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Five - Exploring the Galapagos Islands.
Location
Isabela - Fernandina
Day
5 / 7

Eden Islet & North Seymour Island

AM: A panga ride takes us to Eden Islet, located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where we can observe blue-footed boobies, reef sharks, and frigatebirds. There’s a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, to ride in the glass-bottom boat. The volcanic setting of this area is quite stunning.

PM: We have saved one of the best visitor sites in the archipelago for last. In the afternoon, we disembark for a walk along the coast and the interior of this beautiful flat island. Ambling between numerous nesting frigatebirds, some male frigatebirds displaying their balloon-like red gular sacs. We also see land iguanas and sea lion colonies along the coastline. We can explore the coast by dinghy, too, seeking out fur seals, and enjoying a fun, deep-water snorkel. Tonight you can enjoy your final evening briefing, farewell cocktail, and dinner.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Six - Land Iguana Sighting.
Location
Santa Cruz - North Seymour
Day
6 / 7

Disembarkation

AM: After breakfast, we will transfer you directly to Baltra airport to assist you with your departure flight, and bid you a final farewell.

Isabela II’s 7-Day Itinerary Day Seven - Disembarkation.
Location
Baltra
Day
7 / 7
1 / 7

Accommodations

Social Areas

Reception
Restaurant
Jacuzzi
Library
Meeting Room
Breakfast
Boutique
Al Fresco Dining
Lounge
Gym
Reception on Isabella
Restaurant on Isabella Yacht
Lady in the Jacuzzi on Isabella
Couch in the Library onboard Isabella cruise
People having breakfast al fresco
Boutique onboard Isabella II
People at the al fresco buffet
Sitting area in the lounge
A girl jogging on the treadmill at the Gym

Suites & Cabins

Isabela II's Standard Cabin.

Standard Suite

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 139 ft²
Beds
Double

The air-conditioned standard Cabins feature a picture window, multiple electrical outlets, a reading lamp, and an in-room safe designed to ensure the guests' comfort. The hot shower bathrooms come with the necessary amenities, including a hairdryer.

Isabela II's Classic Cabin.

Classic Suite

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 139 ft²
Beds
Twin

Guests enjoy this sizeable air-conditioned room with an in-room safe and multiple electrical outlets and reading lights. The private bathrooms come with hot showers and all the necessary amenities. The Picture window is big enough to allow the cool breeze of the rainforest climate.

Isabela II's Classic Family Cabin.

Family Suite

Guests
2
Size
13 m² / 139 ft²
Beds
Double + Single

The incredibly spacious cabins are ideal for small families. The room features a standard picture window, a safe deposit box, reading lights, and numerous electrical outlets. The Private bathrooms come equipped with amenities, including a hairdryer for guests to look and feel great.

Isabella II's Owner's Cabin.

Owner's Suite

Guests
2
Size
19 m² / 200 ft²
Beds
Double

The owner's cabin is air-conditioned. With the numerous electrical outlets, your gadgets are well sorted. The private bathrooms have a hot shower and all the necessary amenities to have a relaxing shower. With the standard window, you can enjoy natural light.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Deck plan of Isabella II

Features

  • Connecting cabins
  • Air conditioning
  • Deck shower
  • Pool / Jacuzzi
  • Excercise room
  • Lecture room
  • WIFI available
  • Kosher Meals
  • Medical staff

Equipment

  • Diving gear
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Wetsuits
  • Stand up paddleboard
  • Kayaks / Canoes
** Use of certain equipment at additional cost, ask for details