Birdwatching as the sun comes up and gazing at the stars during a nightcap on board, with exciting excursions throughout the day in between, will characterize your days sailing on the Mary Anne schooner on this 8 day cruise.
Your multi-lingual naturalist guide will show you the best that the Galapagos has to offer, from rare endemic animals found only here such as the blue footed boobie, to the surreal landscapes that are a result of centuries of volcanic activity.
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: SATURDAY
AM: Baltra Island, Embarkation
After arriving at Baltra airport we will be greeted by a cruise representative to then board the Mary Anne and have lunch.
PM: Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove – no landing
Activities: panga explorations
After lunch, we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as Green Sea Turtle or Golden Ray may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.
DAY 2: SUNDAY
AM: Genovesa Island, Darwin Bay – wet landing
Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga explorations, snorkeling
We travel to Genovesa Island and reach Darwin Bay, a unique site lined with red mangrove and soft-haired prickly pear cacti where Red-footed Boobies and Great Frigatebirds perch tamely.
PM: Genovesa Island, Prince Philip Steps – dry landing
At Prince Philip Steps, we climb the edge of a cliff where Frigatebirds, Nazca Boobies, and Red-footed Boobies nest. We will be seeking out the impressive Red-billed Tropicbird amidst Galapagos Storm Petrels.
DAY 3: MONDAY
AM: Bartholomew Island, Pinnacle Rock – dry landing
Activities: hiking, panga explorations
Dry landing at Bartholomew to climb up the wooden steps and reach the summit of this spatter cone for a most breathtaking panorama of the islands’ well photographed Pinnacle Rock, views of neighboring Santiago and many other central islands in the distance.
PM: Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay – dry landing
We head across to Sullivan Bay in Santiago to walk over a recent lava flow, including very fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals, and pioneer plants. Along the shoreline, we may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.
DAY 4: TUESDAY
PM: Rábida Island – wet landing
Activities: hiking, snorkeling, swimming
Land onto Rábida’s deep-red beaches to explore the red island’s fascinating interior and saltwater lagoon. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, and yellow warblers feed off the vegetation; given the right time of the year brown pelicans nesting on salt bushes that fringe the beach.
PM: Santa Cruz Island, Cerro Dragón – dry landing
We head across to Cerro Dragón on Santa Cruz’s north-west shore ; we visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, Black-necked Stilts, and White-cheeked Pintails. Further inland we find a fantastic land iguana nesting site.
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY
AM: Santa Cruz Island, Bachas Beach – wet landing
Bachas beach is a visiting site of Santa Cruz and consists of 2 beaches located at the northeastern coast of the Island. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer and has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel. The name “Bachas” comes from the local pronunciation of the word barges.
PM: Santa Cruz,Punta Carrión – no landing
After a leisure lunch, we will hop on board our dinghy to do a panga ride around Punta Carrión to take in the beautiful landscape and observe the wildlife. We will then end the day with snorkeling in these shallow and colorful waters.
DAY 6: THURSDAY
AM: South Plaza – dry landing
Dry landing on one of the oldest docks of the Archipelago, colorful Plaza Sur is home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium and coppery-orange land iguanas; impressive seaward cliffs are excellent for a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.
PM: Santa Fe Island – dry landing
After a wet landing onto a white beach where sea lions are usually resting, on Santa Fe, we will be looking for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.
DAY 7: FRIDAY
AM: Española Island, Punta Suárez – dry landing
Punta Suárez is a spectacular walk into the intimacies of life at sea, with nesting sites of Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, as well as the fascinating breeding rituals (April to December) of Waved Albatross. Lined with neon-colored marine iguanas (January), and lazy Galapagos sea lions, we walk up to an amazing viewpoint of the famous blowhole.
PM: Española Island, Gardner Bay – wet landing
Activities: hiking, kayaking, panga explorations, snorkeling
We will spend the day in fantastic Española, starting with Gardner Bay an outstanding beach with sea lions, marine iguanas, and the intrepid Española Mockingbird.
DAY 8: SATURDAY
AM: Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Research Station – dry landing
We will visit the Fausto Llerena breeding station, located at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the tourists. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults. After this visit we will take a bus to Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador.
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.