This 5-day Galapagos cruise itinerary takes you on a trip to four impressive islands of the archipelago. Go on and around San Cristobal, Rabida, Genovesa and Santa Cruz.
There are plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with endemic wildlife on the Islands. Keep it short and sweet on this 5 day Galapagos cruise.
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
AM: Airport Departure
Baltra Island Airport: Arrival and Transfer to the boat
PM: Santa Crus Island, Charles Darwin Station– Dry landing
The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.
Highlights: Giant tortoises in captivity
Day 2: FRIDAY
AM: Genovesa Island, El Barranco– Dry landing
Also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.
Highlights: Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm-petrels, Galapagos doves
Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles/2 km)
Type of Landing: Dry, difficult landing
PM: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay– Wet landing
This white sand coral beach heads a half mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.
Highlights: Nazca boobies, red- footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves, coral pebbles beach, snorkeling: rays, colorful reef fish and hammerhead sharks
Activities: Hiking (0.9 miles/1.5 km), snorkeling, kayaking & dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
DAY 3: SATURDAY
AM: Rabida Island, Snorkeling– Wet landing
Rabida Island (Jervis) is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago and a great snorkeling site. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.
Highlights: Snorkeling: white-cheeked pintail ducks, colorful fish, sea lions, brackish water lagoon, penguins, Galapagos hawk
Activities: Snorkeling, dinghy ride & short hike (0.6 miles /1 km)
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
PM: Chinese Hat Islet– Wet landing
This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet's summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows.
Activities: Hike & snorkeling (1,9 miles / 3 km)
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy / Moderate
Day 4: SUNDAY
AM: San Cristobal Island, Witch Hill, Snorkeling– Wet landing
Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkeling.
Highlights: Beautiful rock formations, sea lions, shore birds, finches and mockingbirds; snorkeling: nice tropical fish, anemones, sponge coral
Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, snorkeling & kayaking
Difficulty: Easy walk along the beach
PM: San Cristobal Island, Lobos Island, Snorkeling– Dry Landing
The name of this island means "Sea Lion Island." This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Highlights: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies
Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles/1 km), dinghy ride and / or snorkeling.
Difficulty: Easy / moderate
Day 5: MONDAY
AM: San Cristobal Island, Interpretation Center– Dry landing
The Interpretation Center was opened in 1998 as a phase of the project “Interpretation and Environment Education Project.” Visitors enjoy expositions on natural history, human history, and conservation. The conservation efforts represent the movement to protect the wildlife and natural environment through means of population and tourist control. The Interpretation Center has an outdoor stadium, audio-visual equipment, and meeting rooms.
Activities: Short walk
Highlights: Information and history about the Galapagos Islands.
PM: San Cristobal Island, Transfer to Airport
Transfer to the San Cristobal Airport
- 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.