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Monserrat

A charming, larger than average yacht offering intimate and great value Galapagos exploration.

Overview

Built in 2005 and refurbished in 2021, the first class Monserrat yacht was specially built to cruise the Gálapagos Islands in the most comfortable way while providing the highest levels of safety and care for the environment and offers some of the best value Gálapagos cruising available.

Named after the Virgin of Montserrat, the patroness of Catalonia, Spain, who for centuries has been adopted and revered by sailors worldwide as their loyal companion and protector through their journeys at sea, the Monserrat boat offers everything you need for a safe and unforgettable stay amid the amazing and unexpected wildlife encounters of the unique Gálapagos archipelago.

Life On Board

The Monserrat has 10 cabins split over the lower and upper decks of the yacht. The 6 upper deck cabins (5 twin cabins & 1 matrimonial cabin) all have windows while the 4 lower deck (2 twin/triple cabins & 2 matrimonial cabins) cabins have portholes. Despite this, the lower deck cabins still have great interior natural light, and also have the advantage of less rocking motion due to being lower on the ship.

All cabins have individual air conditioning, ample closet space, and thoughtful extras such as a hairdryer. You’ll enjoy the luxurious bed linens and towels, and the private bathroom with complimentary high-end biodegradable toiletries and a delightful shower.

Thanks to her extra size, Monserrat boasts some of the largest communal spaces of all Gálapagos cruise vessels in her class. The main saloon lounge spans the full width of the boat, and has wonderfully comfortable social couches to each side beneath the panoramic windows.

This is a delightful place to relax and chat about your Monserrat cruise adventures with fellow guests, or to listen to your highly experienced naturalist guide deliver amazing briefings about the flora, fauna and geography of the Gálapagos. As well as a large screen TV and DVD player, there is a small reading library and a collection of board games for you to enjoy.

This deck also plays host to the ship’s bar, and a comfortable dining room. Here you will enjoy a wide range of delicious local and international dishes, from your substantial breakfasts, to the mouthwatering warm lunches and dinners, all served in an abundant buffet style and freshly prepared by the professional chef.

Exterior areas include a separate front-facing sunbathing area on the Upper Deck, but the main action takes place on the sunbed-lined Sun Deck which also features soft underfoot faux grass, a wet bar, and a partially covered area which is often used for alfresco dining, but also perfect for feeling the refreshing sea breeze and the tropical sun on your skin while taking in the stunning 360-degree panoramic views.

Unique Itineraries & Features

The Monserrat boat boasts fabulous, flexible itineraries to boot—her choice of 4 and 5-day cruises can be combined to create itineraries of 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 15 days—each featuring an excellent mix of dry and wet landings, snorkeling, swimming and beach excursions, and both nature walks and panga rides in the company of an expert bilingual naturalist guide. The use of snorkeling equipment and a kayak and stand-up paddle board are included, and free cocktail lessons and cooking lessons enrich your voyage even further. Wetsuits hire is also available at an extra cost.

One of many unique features of this vessel is that the Monserrat offers single cabins without a supplement once its two triple cabins are sold. And, because the Gálapagos National Park limit the number of guests that can be taken into the park at 16 per qualified guide, Monserrat’s maximum of 20 guests will have a more intimate experience than most, enjoying one of the best guide-to-passenger ratios in Gálapagos at 1:10 or better as 2 guides are guaranteed when there are 13 passengers or more aboard.

When you combine these factors with her larger than average social areas, increased speed and stability of her bigger hull, and the crew’s commitment to personalized service and attention to detail, Monserrat Gálapagos cruises really do offer a great value adventure expedition experience.

Itineraries & Prices

All itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in river and tributary water levels) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s or your guide's discretion.

1 / 4
4-Day C
4-Day D
5-Day A
5-Day B

4 Day - Southern Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Morning flight to San Cristobal Island.

PM: In the afternoon, visit Tijeretas, a great viewpoint, and have your first wildlife encounter. Learn about the origins of the Galapagos at the Interpretation Center; from the very beginning of their volcanic origins to today’s conservation efforts. Tour the Human History exhibit to learn about the islands’ discovery and colonization, and discover the natural history and variety of flora and fauna that make the Galápagos so fascinating.

Monserrat Yacht  - Southern Islands
Location
San Cristobal
Day
1 / 4

Gardner Bay & Punta Suárez

AM: Enjoy the day on Española Island, one of the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the white sandy beach of Gardner Bay in the morning, spend the day exploring on shore, and snorkeling at Gardner Island in the bay. A magnificent white sandy beach, home to sea lions and birds. Be sure to explore the beautiful turquoise water and its incredible sea life. Spot young sea lions and large schools of surprisingly big tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrot fish.

Head to Tortuga Rock and Gardner Bay for a spectacular snorkeling experience. Spot playful young sea lions and large schools of tropical fish, including yellow-tailed surgeonfish, king angelfish, and bump-head parrot fish. Look for white-tipped reef sharks napping on the bottom.

PM: After lunch, sail to the western side of the islands to Punta Suárez, known for its impressive bird colonies and home to the waved albatross (April and December). Here you will find one of the most rich wildlife landing sites in the Galápagos. Be greeted by surfing young sea lions on arrival. Head to the trail to find many species of nesting sea birds, and, if lucky, see the waved albatross. Follow the path up to a cliff for great views over the ocean, and watch sea birds gliding in the wind.

Monserrat Yacht  - Southern Islands
Location
Española
Day
2 / 4

Cormorant Point & Post Office Bay

AM: Visit Punta Cormorant, the only landing site on Floreana Island, and discover two amazingly different beaches: one with green sand, colored by olivine crystals, and another with white sand particles known as 'Flour Beach'. Spend the afternoon observing flamingos and other shore birds feeding in the lagoon. Spot penguins and marine iguanas at the water’s edge, and explore the lava tubes with the Galápagos CEO.

Jump on in and get up close and personal with the playful sea lion colony that resides in the waters off this tiny island. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, rays, and colorful fish swimming by. There can be currents in this area, this activity should be done by strong swimmers only.

PM: Visit Post Office Bay and learn about its unique history. In the late 18th century, English whaling vessels placed a barrel here to be used as a post office. Today, the box is used mainly by tourists, who may drop off and pick up unstamped letters to be carried to far destinations. Continue the tradition – leave a letter and take one to deliver (be sure it makes it to the correct location)

Monserrat Yacht  - Southern Islands
Location
Floreana
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center a great place to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity. Brought back from the brink of extinction, see the famous Galápagos tortoise up close – a corral houses adult tortoises, and a nursery cares for the young until around age three when their shells have hardened. This area also houses the Charles Darwin Research Station, a scientific organization initiated in 1964, which works to preserve the Galápagos' ecosystem through the conservation efforts of scientists, researchers, and volunteers. While the offices themselves are not open to visitors, the research station provides a study location for international scientists and environmental education for the local community.

Disembark in Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises. Fly back to the mainland from Baltra airport.

Monserrat Yacht  - Southern Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

4 Day - Northern Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Transfer to the boat to meet the guide and get on board. In the afternoon enjoy the highlands, visit a tortoise ranch and see some of the amazing volcanic formations on Santa Cruz.

PM: Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. Explore the area and its incredible underground lava tunnels – some are more than 1km (.6 mi) long! Wander along the volcanic tubes and keep an eye out for the (mainly) nocturnal barn owls that sometimes roost here.

Monserrat Yacht  - Northern Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 4

Dragon Hill & Chinese Hat

AM: This morning we visit Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz to see land Iguanas and a saltwater lagoon frequented by flamingos and other species of birds. Take a short walk from the beach to a hypersaline (saltier than the ocean) lagoon frequented by pink flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks, and other species of birds. Pass through a Scalesia tree forest; endemic to the area, there are only 400 specimens of Scalesia trees left in the world.

PM: In the afternoon, the boat arrives at a small uniquely shaped island off the southern tip of Santiago called Chinese Hat. Here it is often possible to see galápagos penguins, and the marine life is fantastic for snorkeling. Snorkel right from the white-coral sand beach and come face to face with playful sea lions and large schools of tropical fish. Keep an eye out for marine iguanas and penguins too!

There is also a large sea lion colony as well as many marine iguanas that can be seen while walking amongst the volcanic scenery. Trek to see good views of the island's volcano.

Monserrat Yacht  - Northern Islands
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 4

El Barranco & Darwin Bay

AM: Today we will be visiting the beautiful and remote Genovesa Island. This northern island, famous for its red-footed colony, is a paradise for bird lovers. It is estimated that about 200,00 Red-footed boobies live on this island.

El Barranco or Prince Phillips’s Steps as otherwise known, was named after a visit by the British Monarch in 1964. El Barranco's steep 81-foot stairway leads up to a high cliff face that opens out onto the plateau surrounding Darwin Bay. Here an amazing view can be appreciated. Once at the top of the stairway, we will meet Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, mockingbirds, and finches along the way of a palo santo trail. It will also be possible to see wedge-rumped storm petrels swarm and short-eared owls.

PM: Darwin Bay was formed by the collapse of the flooded caldera of Tower Island, another name used for Genovesa. After landing at a small sand and coral beach, it easy to realize why this island is a bird lover paradise. Among the bird species found here, the most common are swallow-tailed and lava gulls, mockingbirds, yellow-crowned night herons, lava herons, Galapagos doves and yellow warblers. We will continue on a short and flat trail to encounter red-footed booby and great frigatebird nests. We will visit a tidal lagoon where sea lions swim playfully ending our path on a cliff with magnificent views of this remote part of the Galapagos.

Monserrat Yacht  - Northern Islands
Location
Genovesa
Day
3 / 4

Disembarkation

AM: Take a morning panga ride and look for marine life in Black Turtle Cove. Explore the mangroves by panga to find rich marine wildlife between the fresh and salt waters. Keep an eye out for manta rays and sea turtles in this tranquil ecosystem. Whitetip reef sharks can also be seen gliding by.

Disembark at Baltra and fly back to Ecuador's mainland.

Monserrat Yacht  - Northern Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
4 / 4
1 / 4

5 Day - Western Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

PM: You will be met by our guide and transferred to the Monserrat. We will then sail to Bachas Beach where our first exploration of the

Galapagos begins. Bachas is a great introduction to the Galapagos. Here you can relax and swim in its crystalline waters. This site also gives visitors the opportunity to see frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, and sea lions. The sand is made of decomposed coral, making it soft and white, and a favorite site for nesting sea turtles. Spot abundant Sally Lightfoot crabs on the lava rocks along the water's edge -- these crabs will eat anything they can get their claws on! Trek to see a wide range of wildlife, including flamingos, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and sea lions.

Monserrat Yacht  - Western Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay

AM: Visit this morning to Tagus Cove is located on the Northwestern coast of Isabela. It is a historical site visited by Charles Darwin in 1835, where graffiti has been carved into the rock walls by visitors over the past centuries. This spot has been frequented by whalers and pirates since the 1800s that used the area as anchorage. The name of the site dates back to 1814 when it was visited by a British ship, The Tagus, which had anchored there in search of giant tortoises to be used as food supplies on the boat.

Here, we will admire a variety of seabirds, such as blue-footed booby, brown noddy, terns, flightless cormorant, and Galapagos penguins depending on the season. Occasionally you might see woodpecker finches, the Galapagos hawk, the yellow warbler, or a large-billed flycatcher. After a dry landing, we can climb up the trail to visit Darwin's Lake. The lake is located on the slopes of Darwin Volcano and is, surprisingly, a saltwater lake above sea level. Our naturalist guide will tell you what are the different scientific theories for this occurrence. Meanwhile, in our snorkeling, there are chances to see sharks, turtles, and sea stars. You may also see various different types of colorful fish.

PM: Urbina Bay is a fascinating visitor site that came to be as the shallow sea bottom uplifted in 1954 showing a large coral reef sticking up above sea level. Because of this, Urbina Bay is one of the newest features in the Galapagos. This visitor site is located west of Isabela and provides spectacular views of the Alcedo volcano. The long trail starts on the beach where a wet landing is made. In this location, you will likely see wild Galapagos Giant Tortoises and Galapagos Land Iguanas. As the trail circles back towards the shore line you'll come across colonies of the unique Galapagos Flightless Cormorant which lost its ability to fly. This is also a great spot for snorkeling, as you can come close to a Galapagos Penguin Colony and see Galapagos Marine Iguanas feeding underwater.

Monserrat Yacht  - Western Islands
Location
Isabela
Day
2 / 5

Espinoza & Vicente Roca Point

AM: Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine islands in the world, with none of man’s introduced species to date. From here we can see the island of Isabela across the Bolívar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. Fernandina is the youngest of the Galapagos Islands and a visitor favorite.

When landing, check out the tidal pools where there is an abundance of sea life, including small fish and mollusks. If we are lucky, a sea turtle or ray may be trapped in the pools. A little further ahead we will pass through some marine iguana burrows and sea lion colonies. The trail continues to where several flightless cormorants have their nests. This remarkable bird is only found in the western Galapagos, and experts estimate that there may only be a few hundred individuals in total.

PM: Vicente Roca Point has great deep-water snorkeling at one of the richest marine havens on Earth (Bolivar Channel). Vicente Roca Point is renowned for its Galápagos green turtles, which are very numerous on the bay. Although the spot is known for its high concentration of green turtles, sharks, and rays can also be observed when underwater visibility is good. We take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds; Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins, and flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life. Our snorkeling will take us along the cliffs and offer the chance to explore two shallow underwater caves with rich marine wildlife.

Monserrat Yacht  - Western Islands
Location
Fernandina - Isabela
Day
3 / 5

Puerto Egas & Buccaner Cove

AM: Morning excursion to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Explore the spectacular shoreline, also known as James Bay. Spot a great number of shore birds and reptiles – the beach area is home to a plethora of wildlife.

Grab a snorkel and jump into the water right off the beach to explore Puerto Egas' interesting underwater world. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, turtles, and reef sharks while snorkeling. After, visit the large tidal pool area – marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs are everywhere.

PM: Continue to Playa Espumilla, one of the most idyllic beaches in the Galápagos Islands, which boasts thick mangroves and flamingo

and sea turtle nesting sites. Head to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations, jump into the panga, and cruise alongside high cliffs and rock formations on this visit to Buccaneer Cove, which was a favorite hideout for pirates looking to stock up their boats with food and water. Spot sea lions relaxing on the beach and sea birds nesting in the cove – there’s lots to see at this site.

Monserrat Yacht  - Western Islands
Location
Santiago
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: Visit North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. Have an amazing wildlife experience visiting North Seymour Island – this island is teeming with life! Follow trails to see all the action (you may need to give way

to a passing sea lion or marine iguana while walking). See blue-footed booby nests where mating pairs perform their courtship dance. Head to a rocky shore to see flocks of pelicans having lunch in a dive bomb-feeding frenzy, then turn inland to a large nesting site of magnificent frigate birds. These huge, dark acrobats have two-metre (6.5 ft) wingspans, and males, with their puffed-up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. Top off the excursion with a snorkel among sea lions and rays.

Disembark at Baltra for a flight back to Ecuador's mainland.

Monserrat Yacht  - Western Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

5 Day - Eastern Islands

itinerary map

Embarkation

AM: Transfer to the boat to meet the guide and get on board.

PM: In the afternoon, visit the highlands of Santa Cruz and see the Galápagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. Explore the area and its incredible underground lava tunnels – some are more than 1km (.6 mi) long! Wander along the volcanic tubes and keep an eye out for the (mainly) nocturnal barn owls that sometimes roost here.

Monserrat Yacht  - Eastern Islands
Location
Santa Cruz
Day
1 / 5

Rabida Island & Bartolome

AM: This morning we will have an excursion to Rábida its unique reddish landscape, to see a lagoon and a sea lion colony. A short trail leads to a saltwater lagoon; another trail goes past the lagoon to the interior, where the revered palo santo trees grow. (When burned, the branches of this tree give off a pleasing aroma and ward off mosquitoes.) Head back to the beach to see prehistoric-looking pelicans nesting among low-lying bushes – it's a rare treat to watch parent pelicans return with gullets full of fish for the squawking youngsters.

Take a panga ride from the beach to a cliff wall that drops off into the water to find one of the best deep-water snorkeling spots in the islands.

PM: Continue to Bartolomé for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint. Take the opportunity to swim and snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, one of the most iconic volcanic rock formations on the islands. Home to Galápagos penguins, friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and a huge variety of fish, Bartolomé and its surrounding waters are a fantastic place to explore the natural wonders of the Galápagos.

Monserrat Yacht  - Eastern Islands
Location
Santiago
Day
2 / 5

Isla Plazas & Santa Fe Island

AM: Land at South Plaza in the morning for wildlife spotting opportunities and a walk through the cactus forest. one of the smallest islands in the Galápagos, which has one of the largest populations of land iguanas. Walk along a path through a cactus forest and view a combination of dry and coastal vegetation on this lively island, home to a wide range of fauna, including incredible birdlife. Spot red-billed tropicbirds and indigenous swallow-tailed gulls resting on the cliffs, and sea lions playing in the waters.

PM: In the afternoon, take a guided walk around Santa Fé to observe wildlife and plentiful marine iguanas. Lace up your hiking boats to explore the island's flora and fauna. Trek toward the cliffs along the island's northern shore to see a forest of giant prickly pear cacti (Opuntia). See endemic land iguanas lounging in their favorite forest, and feasting on Opuntia pads and fruit.

Monserrat Yacht  - Eastern Islands
Location
Santa Fe
Day
3 / 5

Punta Pitt & Cerro Brujo

AM: Morning landing at Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island to observe the marine iguanas and seabirds along the beach and enjoy a snorkeling excursion. Enjoy amazing wildlife watching and interesting geological formations on this fascinating expedition. Arrive at a quiet cove on the eastern tip of San Cristóbal to explore Punta Pitt. Made up of volcanic tuff substrate, it's the only site in the Galápagos where it's possible to see three species of boobies and two species of frigatebirds.

Snorkel around Punta Pitt Island and spot schools of fish swimming below. On the shore admire the nesting birds and sunbathing sea lions.

PM: In the afternoon, we land at Cerro Brujo to observe the sea lions, marine iguanas, and seabirds along the beach. Visit Cerro Brujo to explore its coastline, and look for wildlife on the beach, in the water, and in the air. Learn about the human and natural history of the area from the Galápagos CEO. Take a refreshing dip in the turquoise water, and head out on a short walk to a freshwater lagoon – a great place to see flamingos.

Monserrat Yacht  - Eastern Islands
Location
San Cristobal
Day
4 / 5

Disembarkation

AM: In the morning, visit Isla Lobos and be greeted by sea lions frolicking in the waves before transferred to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno airport. Explore this tiny island by foot and boat for some great wildlife encounters. Take a panga ride to view the sea and shore birds nesting and feeding. Spot a small colony of blue-footed boobies as well as two species of sea lions.


Monserrat Yacht  - Eastern Islands
Location
San Cristobal
Day
5 / 5
1 / 5

Accommodations

Social Areas

Boarding Area
Observation Deck
Alfresco Dining
Sundeck
Bar
Dining
Indoor Lounge

Suites & Cabins

Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Lower Deck
4 Cabins

Lower Deck

Guests
2 - 3
Size
9 - 10 m²/96 - 104 ft²
Beds
Double/Twin/Triple

The Lower Deck cabins feature top hopper windows allowing natural light into the room, as well as a safety deposit box, a hairdryer, air conditioning, a wardrobe to fit all your items, and a private bathroom with hot water. Two of the cabins can accommodate 3 adults thanks to their twin and upper berths, while the other two feature matrimonial beds.

Monserrat Yacht  - Upper Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Upper Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Upper Deck Monserrat Yacht  - Upper Deck
6 Cabins

Upper Deck

Guests
2
Size
8 m²/91 ft²
Beds
Double/Twin

Upper Deck cabins have large picture windows for unrestricted views of the passing scenery and plenty of natural light. The cabins also feature a safety deposit box, a hairdryer, a spacious wardrobe to fit all your items, air conditioning, and a private bathroom with hot water. 5 have twin configuration while 1 has a matrimonial bed.

Technical Information

Deck Plan

Features

  • Air conditioning
  • Hot showers
  • Family Room (Triple or Quadruple)

Equipment

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