The Odyssey cruise 5 night southeastern itinerary visits the most popular sites of Galapagos and combines the spectacular sea bird colonies of Española and North Seymour. The southwestern islands are geologically elder, eroded and overgrown, with almost extinguished volcanic activity. Striking beaches of white coral sand are favorite places for large colonies of Galapagos sea lions and surround breathtaking azure-colored bays. This varied route is characterized by relatively shorter nightly navigations and even two nights of quiet rest at calm anchorage-sites.
This cruise begins on San Cristobal, with lots of Galapagos sea lions occupying the harbor of Galapagos’ capital Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Cross the highlands to visit the local Galapagos giant tortoise breeding center.
Next day you will get excited walking through the waved albatross and booby colonies on Española, and observe sunbathing marine iguanas. The northern cape of Floreana contains a lagoon where exotic American flamingos use to breed. Nearby Devil’s Crown is one of the most popular snorkel sites of Galapagos!
Heading to the heart of the archipelago you will visit the extraordinary Santa Fe, and the not to be missed highlight of South Plaza (both with land iguanas and giant opuntia cactus trees).
The cruise itinerary concludes with the thriving booby and frigate colonies on North Seymour, a beach stroll on Bachas Beach and a dinghy-ride along or landing on Mosquera.Lastly you will head to Baltra, from where you will fly back to mainland Ecuador.
Please note that the itinerary below is dependent on the Galapagos National Park regulations, weather and sea conditions, wildlife behavior, and accessibility to locations, so may vary. All times indicated are approximate, and are also subject to change.
DAY 1: TUESDAY – Arrival to San Cristobal and Colorado Hill
This morning you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil to San Cristobal Airport. After welcome, check-in, lunch, briefing and the safety-drill we leave for a 45 minutes bus-ride (22,5 km / 13.2 mi) to our first visitor’s site in the highlands of this island, the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding center on Colorado Hill.
There is also an interpretive botanical trail, where the natural history of the local giant tortoises is explained to you; including the relationship and evolutionary differences between these and other subspecies. On the trail you can spot songbirds as well, such as yellow warblers, endemic Galapagos large-billed flycatchers and the Chatham mockingbird (even ‘more’ endemic, while unique to this island alone), that put Darwin on track of his evolution theory.
Before dinner your guide will give the first daily briefing for tomorrow, and he/she will explain the yacht’s and National Park rules. Then the captain and his crew will present and toast with a welcome cocktail to celebrate your first evening on board. Around midnight we will lift the anchor and navigate about 5 hours to the south-eastern island of Española.
DAY 2: WEDNESDAY – Española Island, Suarez Point, Gardner Bay
After breakfast your island excursion will start with a dry landing at Suarez Point. This morning promises to be a highlight of your cruise. During a longer guided walk (Moderate Level; 4 km, 2.5 mi, about 2 hours) you will pass spectacular seabird colonies on top cliffs. Huge Ocean waves bang onto the southern basaltic cliffs of Suarez Point, forming a spectacular blowhole, where the water sprays meters high into the air. Expect to see marine iguanas, lava lizards, mockingbirds, albatrosses and massive breeding sites for Nazca and blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds.
Back on board we will navigate in about an hour to our afternoon’s exotic visitor’s site. After lunch you will make your first ‘dive’ in the alluring turquoise-colored Gardner Bay, where you can admire colorful tropical reef fish, snorkel side by side with a Pacific green turtle, or be in the middle of playful Galapagos sea lions. Then you will make a ‘wet landing’ (bare feet) on the wide sand beach. This is a good spot for a stroll along the sea lions colony (Easy Level), or a moment of reflexion, relaxation, or rolling with the sea lions in the surf. The striking white beach at Gardner Bay is an important breeding site for Pacific green turtles. But without a doubt its main attraction is the Galapagos sea lion colony.
After dinner we will navigate the longest stretch of Route A, which will take about 7 hours, navigating west to the neighboring island of Floreana.
DAY 3: THURSDAY – Floreana, Devil's Crown, Cormorant Point, Post Office Bay, Baroness Lookout
After breakfast the inflatable dinghies will bring you to the rocky rim of Devil’s Crown, which is located just outside of Cormorant Point. Fantastic deep-water snorkeling awaits.
After a snack we make a wet landing on the green beach of Cormorant Point. From here you will follow the sandy path to the other, powdery sand beach of the peninsula, which has been formed by a lava tongue (Easy Level; about 1,5 km, 1 mi). En route you can observe the American flamingo lagoon from different viewpoints and perspectives.
After a short visit to Post Office Bay and lunch, you can send your holiday greetings in the traditional barrel just behind the beach (wet landing), which is also a comfortable place to relax. Next you can explore the submerged crater rim that surrounds the neighboring bay of Baroness Lookout on your own pace by sea-kayak, or by inflatable dinghy.
Additional options to scuba-dive: choice out of 9 nearby diving sites (all levels).
DAY 4: FRIDAY – Santa Fe, Barrington Bay, South Plaza
Today promises to become another memorable highlight of this cruise, with visits to the popular islands on Santa Fe and South Plaza. These islands will surprise you because of their complete distinctive character. Below the bizarre giant opuntia cacti you will encounter some of the most outstanding species, including land iguanas, varias bird and fish species.
After breakfast and another wet landing you will go on a guided walk from the beach of Santa Fe. There is an easy shorter circuit or a strenuous longer hike (Moderate Level; ca. 3 km / 2 mi.); the guide will decide which path will be followed. Don’t forget to retain some strength for excellent swimming or snorkeling in the clear azure waters of Barrington Bay.
Around lunchtime we will proceed to South Plaza (about 2.5 h Northwest), possibly accompanied by bottlenose dolphins. South Plaza is one out of two islets close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. On this Jurassic islet you will undertake a guided nature walk (Easy Level; ca. 1.25 km / 0.75 mi).
Before a hopefully spectacular sunset, we will leave to tomorrow’s destination, North Seymour, following the coast of Santa Cruz to the heart of the archipelago (about 4 hours). We drop the anchor in the Itabaca Channel, where you can enjoy a quiet sleep.
Additional scuba-diving options: Gordon Rocks (Expert/Advanced) or Santa Fe (All levels)
DAY 5: SATURDAY – North Seymour, Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz
North Seymour is one of most visited sites on the Galapagos, and overloaded with extensive colonies of frigatebirds and boobies. It is located in the heart of the Archipelago, just north of the main island of Santa Cruz, and close to Baltra.
After an early snack you will take a guided walk through seabird colonies, following a circular loop (Easy Level; 2 km / 1.25 mi, about 2 hours). You will return on board to fill up your stomach with our delicious breakfast buffet. Later in the morning snorkeling is on the program.
As usual you will be welcomed on board with a snack, while we continue about 2 hours west to Bachas Beach, where we will serve lunch. In the afternoon you will make another wet landing followed by an easy stroll along the waterline of this coral sandy beach.
Before dinner we will sail back to the heart of the Archipelago, where you will spend your last night on board, enjoying a farewell cocktail with the crew and your fellow passengers, and enjoying another quiet sleep.
DAY 6: SUNDAY – Mosquera, Baltra Airport
Mosquera lies in the middle of the Itabaca Channel, between Baltra and North Seymour.
Shortly after the wake-up call and another snack you will undertake this last excursion. Depending on the tide and the check-in time of your flight to Guayaquil or Quito we do or don’t have the opportunity to go on land, where you can freely stroll around. Otherwise we will make an interesting dinghy-ride along the rocky shore, full of sea birds. After breakfast it’s time say goodbye and leave the yacht. We will accompany you and your luggage to the airport, where you can check-in and return to Guayaquil or Quito.
- Please note that all cruise itineraries are subject to change due to seasonal weather conditions (and resultant variations in ocean cruising conditions) affecting accessibility to locations. Thus navigation routes, times and excursions may need to be modified at the cruise captain’s discretion.
- Passengers should also be aware that animal sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictability of wildlife behavior.