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Galaxy: 8-Day Cruise - D

8-Day Galapagos Cruise

Cruise leisurely on the Galaxy’s 8 day cruise of the Galapagos archipelago. The yacht’s top guides take you to swim, hike, snorkel, and kayak every day, all amid some of the most incredible volcanic landscapes on earth.

Visit the Isabela Island Breeding Center to see several species of tortoises, Espinoza Point and its large marine iguana colonies, and the picturesque Espumilla Beach, among many other visitors sites not to be missed.


Please note there is another 8-Day cruise possible that combines the 4-Day and 5-Day cruise in that order. Please also 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.




AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation

Arrival in Baltra airport and transfer to the boat. Welcome drink & briefing onboard about the boat and the island.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Los Gemelos – dry landing

Activities: hiking

After lunch, your first visit is to the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island where you will go on short talks and find giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat; this is a natural spectacle! We recommend wearing sport shoes, long pants, a raincoat, hat, and sunblock depending on the weather. At night, enjoy a welcome cocktail and the formal presentation of the crew by the Capitan, and your naturalist guide will brief you on the following day’s activities.

Galaxy kayaking


AM: Isabela Island, Tintoreras, Humedales – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga explorations

Located south of Puerto Villamil, the town of Isabela Island, you will arrive to Tintoreras by panga. There is a small bay with turquoises water where you can appreciate sea lions, marine tortoises, marine iguanas, and rays. Along most of this trail you will find volcanic lava of type AA. Tintoreras is one of places where the introduction of iguanas has been successful. Continue to Humedales which is a set of complex paths that include sites and views like Orchilla Hill from whose viewpoint you can admire the bay, Puerto Villamil, Volcano Sierra Negra, islets, and dramatic rocks. El Estero, Poza Escondida, Poza Redonda, Tunel Del Estero are others paths located in the Humedales area, each one with its own beautiful landscape and characteristic.

PM: Isabela Island, Breeding Center & Muro de las Lagrimas – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling, swimming

The Isabela Island Breeding Center is located 1.5 kilometers from Puerto Villamil. This place is dedicated to the reproduction of several species of tortoises in captivity; you will find more than 330 tortoises between youth and adult maturity. The Breeding Center also has beautiful gardens composed of native plants. Poza de Flamingos is a wonderful place where you can find flamingoes and get wonderful photos of those birds. Then at Concha & Perla, you will cross a mangroves area; it is a great place for swimming and snorkeling.

Galapagos photography


AM: Isabela Island, Moreno Point – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga explorations, snorkeling

The main attractions at Punta Moreno are coastal lagoons amid black lava flows where there are several species of birds. It has a panoramic view of 3 volcanoes, the most active of the Galapagos, which are Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul of Isabela, and La Cumbre of Fernandina.

PM: Isabela Island, Elizabeth Bay – no landing

Activities: panga exploration

This is one of the island's breeding sites for penguins. Located on the west coast of Isabela, Elizabeth Point is a marine visitor site. Visit a red mangrove cove full of brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, and sea lion.

Galapagos family trip


AM: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

Tagus Cove is located west of Darwin Volcano on Isabela Island. During your walking tour you will find several inscriptions (names of boat’s pirates) since the 1800s. Tagus Cove’s name has its origins from an England ship which crossed the island looking for Galapagos tortoise to feed the crew. From this area, you can admire Darwin Lake which has salt water and is approximately 9 meters deep and there are no fish. It is very easy to see different species of birds, however.

PM: Fernandina Island, Espinoza Point – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Fernandina is the 3rd largest island in the Galapagos and has just one visitor sit: Espinoza Point. Espinoza Point is famous because you will find big colonies of marine iguanas and is a unique place where the flightless cormorant lives, in addition to Galapagos penguin, hawk, Galapagos snakes, and many other creatures. From here, you can admire Fernandina Island and its volcano whose last eruption was in May 2005. Fernandina is the only island that doesn’t have any mammals introduced and the open areas are very fragile. In the marine iguana nesting season (January to June) we must tread cautiously in the area.

Galapagos excursions


AM: Santiago Island, Egas Port – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling 

At this site you find a black sand beach; south of this beach there is a volcano called Pan de Azucar with volcanic deposits which have contributed to the formation of this distinct beach. The crater of this volcano has a salt lake which in warm weather becomes dry, making it possible to appreciate a salt mine in its place. Between 1928 and 1930, there were some explorations of this mine but they were not successful; additionally, it caused damages to the environment because workers consumed endemic woods. Today, it is not permitted to go down to the salt mine.

PM: Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer Cove – wet landing

Activities: panga exploration, snorkeling

One of the main attractions of this site is a Palo Santo wood, the beach, and the beautiful landscape; the beach is a very important site for tortoises because they use this place for nesting. In the past, pigs were the main predator of tortoise’s eggs, but they were eradicated with the creation of the Isabela Project.

Galapagos bird life


AM: Santa Cruz Island, Daphne Mayor or Dragon Hill – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

Daphne Mayor is a volcanic tuff cone formed by successive explosions produced by the mixture of lava and water. Galaxy will navigate around the Island. Meanwhile, Dragon Hill is located in the northwestern of Santa Cruz Island and consists of a trail that runs through 3 different environments at just 1,600 meters long. It gets its name because in 1975, was one of the only places in the Santa Cruz Island where there were land iguanas in healthy state. That same year, the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation initiated a program to conserve land iguanas. In the lagoons at this site, there is shrimp, the same as is the food of flamingos; at certain times of year they are more abundant and therefore the population of these birds is larger.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove – no landing

Activities: panga explorations

After lunch your first visit is to Black Turtle Cove which is situated in northern Santa Cruz. This bay is surrounded by mangroves and is accessible by dinghy only. The superficial cove is a safe refuge for marine life. Black-tip reef sharks, marine turtles, and a variety of rays are often spotted here.

Galapagos top guides


AM: Rabida Island – wet landing

Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga exploration, snorkeling

This visitor site is located on the east coast of Rabida Island and consists of a red sand beach, coastal lagoon behind the beach, and a loop trail. The approximate distance of the trail is 1.1 kilometers. The color of the rocks and sand on the beach is due to the very porous volcanic material, which with the help of environmental factors (rain, salt water and sea breeze, has acted as an oxidizing agent. The main attraction of the place is the red sand beach, scenery, aside from the vegetation of the arid zone and the presence of native and endemic species.

PM: Sombrero Chino Island – wet landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

Sombrero Chino is a small islet located near the southeast coast of Santiago. It is shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from afar and is an island consisting of a "splatter" type cone (lava ejected as it dropped and fells close to where it came from, which forms an indented cone) that forms the summit and many lava tubes that go down to the coast. On the west you can see pillow-type lava formations, which are an indicator that the flows were formed under the sea and have been raised upward, which is why coral heads are found on the lava. This visit provides an excellent opportunity for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The trail is 700 meters (round trip) and the minimum time it takes to embark this trek is half an hour.

Galaxy top deck


AM: North Seymour Island – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

This island was formed by the lifting of marine volcanic lava. Marine fossild were found on this island; the fossild date from the Pleistocene Era. In 1932, Capitan Alan Hancock and his crew took 72 land iguanas from Baltra Island and introduced the on North Seymour Island. The reason for this change was because the iguanas could live in better conditions here than in Baltra. The vegetation of North Seymour is bushy and hosts nest of Galapagos frigate birds.

AM: Baltra Island, Transfer to the Airport

Be assisted to Baltra airport for your flight to the Ecuador mainland.

  • 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. 

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises, Galapagos Islands tours, and Southeast Asia cruises. We provide you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama and Southeast Asia. As travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure.