5-Day and 7-Day Galapagos Cruise: Visit the Northern, Southern or Central Islands Aboard the Isabela II Yacht
Cruise around the Central, Northern and Southern Galapagos Islands on these 5 Day and 7 Day cruises aboard the Isabela II Galapagos Yacht. Check off Pinnacle Rock, Dragon Hill, Chinese hat, Darwin Bay and
the Highlands of Santa Cruz from your list, plus more. Don't forget to look out for Blue-Footed boobies, Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, Darwin finches, Galapagos albatross and more!
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. 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.
5D/4N – Central Islands: Monday to Friday
This 5-Day Central Islands itinerary begins on Santa Cruz Island, the most populous area in the Galapagos archipelago. There you will explore the highlands and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to meet giant tortoises face to face. After embarking the Isabela Yacht, you will visit Santa Fe Island, Plaza Islands, North Seymour Island, Bartolome Island, Las Bachas beach and Sullivan Bay. This itinerary is ideal for snorkeling, exploring sandy beaches, viewing volcanic rocks, observing birds colonies, iguanas, sea lions and more. You will also see the iconic Pinnacle Rock on this itinerary. See the full itinerary below.
* Cruises in red are on special offer
This itinerary visits the following islands: Baltra, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, North Seymour, Bartolome, Santiago.
Day 1: Monday
Baltra Airport – Santa Cruz Island: We arrive at Baltra Airport and then we take you 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 Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.
Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station: After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise. The campus houses the islands’ headquarters of scientific investigation and conservation. Late afternoon we stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking. Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 2: Tuesday
Santa Fe Island: A stunning anchorage provides our jumping-off point for our visit to this sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Galapagos hawks are often easily observed. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the walk. Snorkelling and swimming from the beach, kayaking or a ride in our glass-bottom boat.
South Plaza Island: The turquoise waters of the channel here contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline, while a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus beyond, populated by yellow-gray land iguanas.
Day 3: Wednesday
North Seymour Island: The morning starts with an enjoyable walk along the coast and the interior of this island, observing numerous bird colonies as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. There are opportunities for snorkelling, coastal exploration or glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world.
Las Bachas (Santa Cruz Island): After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. We can swim and/or snorkel from the beach.
Day 4: Thursday
Bartolomé Island (James Island): This morning, a Galápagos icon awaits for us: Bartolomé Island. A great way to start the day, with a steep climb up a wooden staircase: the view from the top is worth the effort! Following the walk, we take the dinghies for a ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock.
Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island): After lunch, we get on board the inflatable dinghies to land at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago, a white coral sand beach great for swimming, and with a trail over a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galapagos.
Day 5: Friday
Baltra Island: After breakfast, we leave for the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
5D/4N – Southern Islands: Friday to Tuesday
This 5-Day, 4-Night Southern islands itinerary stops off at Post Office Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station, Kicker Rock, some of the best highlights of the islands. You will get a chance to explore Baltra, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Champion Islet, Española and San Cristobal islands while cruising the archipelago. Look out for Galapagos sea lions, Giant tortoises, Marine iguanas, Blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, Darwin finches, Galapagos albatross, Magnificent Frigatebirds, among others.
* Cruises in red are on special offer
This itinerary visits the following islands: Baltra, Santa Cruz, Floreana, Champion Islet, Española and San Cristobal
Day 1: Friday
Baltra Airport – Santa Cruz Island: We arrive at Baltra Airport and transfer 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 Highlands of Santa Cruz Island to enjoy lunch.
Charles Darwin Research Station: we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. The campus houses the islands’ headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora. Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 2: Saturday
Post Office Bay & Baroness Cove (Floreana Island): After breakfast, we land at Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. Snorkelling off the beach.
Cormorant Point (Floreana Island): Our visit to Punta Cormorant takes in an olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk by a brackish water lagoon where bird species like American flamingos may be observed. On the other side of the island, we come to a white-sand beach where sea turtles come out at night to nest. We can usually snorkel at the “Champion Islet” site, inflatable dinghy ride or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Day 3: Sunday
Punta Suarez (Española Island): Our morning outing at Punta Suárez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses, boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole”. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.
Gardner Bay (Española Island): In the afternoon, we set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkelling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak, inflatable dinghy-ride or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Day 4: Monday
Punta Pitt (San Cristobal Island): In the morning, we land on the eastern tip of the island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline and is the only site in the Galapagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance to swim, kayak or snorkel from the beach or an inflatable dinghy ride.
Cerro Brujo (San Cristobal Island): In the afternoon following lunch on board, a dinghy ride along the shores of tuff-stone layers takes us to Cerro Brujo’s expansive, white coraline beach, great for walking, with rewarding birdwatching including good views of seabirds and shore birds.
Day 5: Tuesday
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristóbal- Chatham Island): After breakfast, we depart to pier and airport for our flight back to the mainland.
7D/6N – Northern Islands: Tuesday to Monday
Visit some of the most remote islands of the archipelago on this 7-Day, 6-Night Northern islands cruise itinerary. Check off Buccaneer Cove, Darwin Lake, Urbina’s Upheaval and Kicker Rock, from your list of must-see sites in the Galapagos. Be on the lookout for iconic species such as: Galapagos sea lions, Giant tortoises, Galapagos land iguanas, Marine iguanas, Blue-footed boobies, Magnificent frigates, Flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and more.
* Cruises in red are on special offer
This itinerary visits the following islands: San Cristobal, Genovesa, Santiago, Fernandina, Isabela, Rabida, Santa Cruz, Baltra.
Day 1: Tuesday
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island): We land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno’s airport and transfer to the dock. We check in, receive an introductory briefing and have lunch on board.
Galapaguera Cerro Colorado (San Cristobal Island): At Cerro Colorado, we visit the breeding centre of the highly-endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristobal lava lizard.
Day 2: Wednesday
Prince Philip’s Steps (Tower/Genovesa Island): Overnight, we navigate northbound to the incredible bird island, Genovesa. The morning starts with an inflatable dinghy ride along the cliffs of this dramatic island, followed by landing with a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs to reach a flat plateau. We can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer inflatable dinghy ride along the cliffs (depending on weather conditions). Snorkelling and kayaking.
Darwin Bay (Genovesa Island): We land at the beach for an easy stroll observing hundreds of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds.
Day 3: Thursday
Buccaneer Cove (James/Santiago Island): After breakfast, we enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove. The cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions, and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkelling too or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Puerto Egas (Santiago Island): This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid a landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and we can also observe a colony of fur seals.
Day 4: Friday
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island): We visit the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness and abundant wildlife. Highlights include hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island): Across the narrow Bolívar Channel, we anchor at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, swimming, kayaking or snorkelling.
Day 5: Saturday
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island): After breakfast we disembark at Urbina Bay. Here you can find corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colourful Galapagos land iguanas. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkelling.
Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island): Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy. There is abundant wildlife and, depending on the conditions of the ocean, we’ll be able to snorkel along the cliffs, hopefully in the company of green sea turtles.
Day 6: Sunday
Rabida Island (Jervis Island): We disembark at Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll allows us to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, inflatable dinghy ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.
Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill) (Santa Cruz Island): The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragon. Our walk includes circling a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, while further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands.
Day 7: Monday
Baltra Island: Our journey ends at Baltra Island where we transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.