The M/Y Odyssey's 5-night western itinerary is an adventurous expedition along the remote and geologically young western coast of Isabela Island. This adventurous route contains longer nightly navigation stretches. It also visits the northern island of Santiago and ends at the easternmost point of San Cristobal. Your cruise starts with an introduction at the Charles Darwin Research Station. After crossing to Isabela, you will visit the incredible tidal channel where whitetip reef sharks
rest, and you can hike to the rim of the gigantic caldera of Sierra Negra Volcano where you can spot American flamingos. Next you explore the visitor’s sites along the western coast of Isabela and Fernandina Islands while looking for unique creatures such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.
From the historic James Bay on the western coast of Santiago we will navigate the long stretch to Lobos Islet and San Cristobal, Galapagos sea lion territory.
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: THURSDAY – Arrival to Baltra and Darwin Research Center
This morning you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Airport. After the welcome introduction, check-in, lunch, briefing and the safety-drill you will visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station for an interesting introduction to the Galapagos Islands. You will also get some free time to stroll through the cozy town of Puerto Ayora.
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 a toast with a welcome cocktail to celebrate your first evening on board. Shortly before midnight we will lift the anchor and start our first nightly crossing to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. Depending on the sea state we will navigate for about 6 hours in the Western direction.
DAY 2: FRIDAY – Isabela Island, Whitetip Reef Shark Channel, Sierra Negra, Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, Wetlands & Beach
Puerto Villamil is the 3rd settlement on the Galapagos Islands located on the south-eastern part of Isabela. This is by far the largest island of Galapagos covering almost 60% of the total land area of the archipelago. This larger living space seems to cause that almost everything on Isabela is bigger, however, this younger island is less frequented and quieter than the central and south-eastern islands.
First you will visit the Tintoreras-islets for a guided hike on a rough volcanic rock trail passing a unique tidal channel which is a resting-place for white tip reef sharks, among other trapped species, and where you will find huge marine iguanas (Easy/Moderate Level).
From there the inflatable dinghies will put you directly ashore to the harbor of Puerto Villamil, where you will board a bus that brings you to the lush highlands of Isabela. You will hike to the impressive rim of Sierra Negra Volcano and explore the mysterious and complete different world of the cloud-forest (Moderate Level; about 6,5 km / 4 mi.).
Back aboard you can enjoy a well-earned lunch. In the afternoon you will return to Puerto Villamil, where you will visit the local tortoise breeding center and make a tour by local bus through the marshes around, where you can observe American flamingos and other aquatic animals. Before returning aboard you will have the opportunity to enjoy the paradisiacal beaches full of countless marine iguanas. and Sally light foot crabs.
After dinner we will lift the anchor and start night navigation that will take about 8 hours.
Additional options for scuba-diving is available: Isla Tortuga, Cuatro Hermanos or Roca Viuda (Advanced).
DAY 3: SATURDAY – Isabela Island, Moreno Point, Marielas Islets & Elizabeth Bay
After breakfast you will go on a guided morning hike across the crumbling, pitch black lava fields of Moreno Point with its bird-rich pools and sparkling intertidal life. (Moderate Level; about 2 km / 1.25 mi.)
After a snack we'll go on a snorkelling excursion.
At noon we sail for 2 hours to next visitor’s site, Elizabeth Bay. Meanwhile you can enjoy the delicious lunch buffet and a short siesta. Then we will undertake an adventurous ride to some offshore rocks with a Galapagos penguin colony and from there we will turn to the estuary of Elizabeth Bay and explore the forest-like mangles.
At dinner-time we will continue to Fernandina Island.
DAY 4: SUNDAY – Fernandina Island, Espinoza Point, Isabela Island, Tagus Cove
This morning you will visit one of the most exclusive sites of this cruise route, Espinoza Point on Fernandina. This island harbors one of the world’s most virgin, untouched ecosystems, and is therefore very well protected.
You will start with a guided walk on the lava tongue of Espinoza Point, which is full of marine iguanas, the iconic flightless cormorant and the Galapagos penguin! (Easy / Moderate Level; about 2 km / 1.25 mi.) After a snack we will bring you to today’s snorkeling site.
While having lunch we will cross the Bolivar Channel, back to Isabela’s western coast. On the bridge and through the panoramic windows of the dining room we will careful watch for fountains, hence this is one of the best places in Galapagos for viewing whales and dolphins.
At Tagus Cove you will make the longer guided nature walk at this geologic and historic interesting site (Moderate Level; about 3 km / 2 mi.) Subsequently we will make a dinghy-ride along the shoreline, or you will have today’s second snorkeling opportunity.
Before dinner we will start our 12 hour navigation around the Northern Cape of Isabela to Santiago (and we will cross the equator twice).
DAY 5: MONDAY – Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach, Puerto Egas
While the HMS Beagle was mapping the Archipelago, Charles Darwin had been dropped on the Western coast of Santiago, where he spent most of his time in Galapagos. You will visit the necklace of visitor sites along the historic James Bay.
From Espumilla Beach you will take a guided walk; uphill and inland. (Easy Level; about 2 km, 1.25 mi.) Around lunch-time we navigate 12 km / 7 mi south and reach Puerto Egas for its famous fur seal grottos, where you will make another, very different guided walk along the coastline (Easy Level).
After this impressive day we leave for the longest navigation of this cruise route to the easternmost San Cristobal (about 13 hours). During this last night on board, you can enjoy a farewell cocktail with the crew and your fellow passengers.
DAY 6: TUESDAY – Lobos Islet, San Cristobal Airport
On the eastern end of the archipelago you can enjoy one last morning excursion. After a dry landing you will make a guided nature walk on the rocky trail of Lobos Islet, with its Galapagos sea lions and lots of birds; including blue-footed boobies. (Moderate Level; About 850 m / 0.6 mi. or 400 m / 0.25 mi.)
Subsequently we will navigate to the harbor of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and it’s time to leave the yacht and say goodbye.
- 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.