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Mary Anne: 8-Day Cruise - Western & Central Islands

Galapagos Map

8-Day Galapagos Cruise to Western & Central Islands

The coffee-colored beach of Espumilla in the north will fulfill your wildest travel dreams, and you'll also have a chance to see the famous Galapagos flightless cormorants nesting among black lava rocks! 

Penguins, great blue herons, flamingos, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and other kinds of fantastic wildlife will be happy to greet you on this 8-day Mary Anne 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.

Giant Galapagos Tortoise


AM: Arrival to Baltra Island

After arriving at Baltra airport we will be greeted by an cruise representative and then board a bus that will take us to Puerto Ayora for the first visit on the islands. NOTE: Please keep in mind that this itinerary starts right after you arrive to the islands. If possible, please wear clothes comfortable enough for a visit to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island: comfortable shoes, a hat for the sun, pants or shorts.

PM: Santa Cruz Island, Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center

Activities: hiking

After arriving at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center 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.

Afterwards we will head back to Puerto Ayora, where we will have some time to explore the town and shops by ourselves before boarding the Mary Anne at around 5:00 p.m. Once on board, we will be welcomed by the crew and captain, have a short security drill and enjoy dinner and the briefing for the next day's activities. 

Panga Excursions


AM: Floreana Island, Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown – wet landing

Activities: hiking, panga explorations

We spend the day on Floreana, legendary homestead of infamous Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bousquet. Wet landing onto the olivine beaches of Punta Cormorant; we will be seeking Greater Flamingos on our way to another special beach with the finest sand you’ll set your foot on, a sea turtle nesting ground where sharks and rays also visit regularly. We end the outing on a short panga ride to Devil’s Crown, a key snorkeling site.

PM: Floreana Island, Post Office Bay – wet landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

After lunch we will visit Post Office Bay where you can drop your postcards in the barrel as the whalers did centuries ago.

Cute Seal


AM: Floreana Island, Black Beach / Asilo de la Paz – dry landing

Activities: hiking

This morning we will visit Floreana Island ́s Black Beach to learn about the intriguing human history of the island and its first inhabitants. Floreana was the first island in the archipelago to be inhabited, since it has one of the very few fresh water sources.

We will visit this fresh water source known as Asilo de La Paz, as well as the caves that served as hideouts for pirates and where the first Galapegueño was born, according to the stories of Floreana, which involve the infamous Baroness Eloise Wagner von Bousquet and her lovers who mysteriously began to disappear after settling on the island. 

PM: Navigation

Activities: whale and dolphin observation

After our visit, we will have the best opportunity for a not‐so‐common yet well beloved activity in the archipelago, a full afternoon navigation to look for whales and dolphins. The waters of the Galapagos form the second largest marine reserve in the world very rich in wildlife.

The biggest representatives of the underwater fauna are the different species of whales and dolphins found here. We will navigate form Floreana to Isabela Island while looking for these fascinating creatures, which are commonly seen in this area.

This afternoon is completed by the impressive landscapes of Isabela and the Cerro Azul volcano. 



AM: Isabela Island, Punta Moreno – dry landing

Activities: hiking

We arrive at Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. After breakfast, we step ashore at Punta Moreno onto a superb pahoehoe lava flow surrounded by giant shield volcanoes, some still active! From here we will do a short hike to a lagoon where flamingos are usually present.

PM: Isabela Island, Urbina Bay – wet landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

We disembark at Urbina Bay (wet landing) onto a black sand beach, nesting site for green sea turtles. We take a brief hike inland in search of land iguanas and giant tortoises (seasonal) that migrate to and from the highlands.

At the beach, we will admire the remains of a geological uplift exposing coral heads and marine fossils and if the sea conditions and time are on our side, we will also snorkel in these waters.

Sally Lightfoot Crab


AM: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove – dry landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

Dry landing near Tagus Cove, historic pirate hideaway where names of countless ships are recorded for posterity on the cliff face. Hike through beautiful Galapagos landscapes to Darwin Lake, a salt-water crater lagoon surrounded by tuff stone.

PM: Fernandina Island, Punta Espinosa – dry landing

Activities: hiking, panga exploration, snorkeling

We cross Bolivar Channel to Fernandina Island, one of the world’s most unspoilt sites, and disembark at Punta Espinosa. Strolling along the shoreline, we will be on the lookout for Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos penguins and hawks, sooty-colored marine iguanas and bright red-orange Sally Lightfoot Crabs.

Snorkelling in the Galapagos


AM: Santiago Island, Puerto Egas – wet landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling

At Puerto Egas we disembark on a dark sand volcanic beach with an interesting history of human settlement. Sleepy Galapagos fur seals lounge under arches of lava carved by the ocean and occasionally dip into the crystalline pools, also known as “grottos”. Walk along the shore and observe the abundant marine life.

PM: Santiago Island, Bucaneer Cove – wet landing

Activities: panga exploration

At Buccaneer Cove we will take a panga ride around the beautiful coastline. This place got its name due to the fact that used to be a refuge for British Buccaneers during the time they would anchor here to collect supplies and clean their ships among other activities. The cove is very scenic with views of the cliffs and a dark beach. Do not forget to look for two unusual rock formations known as ‘the monk’ and ‘elephant rock’. 

PM: Santiago Island, Espumilla Beach – wet landing

Activities: hiking, snorkeling, swimming

After three days exploring the fabulous western islands, we head to central Santiago to disembark at Espumilla onto a golden-colored sand Green Sea Turtle nesting site. A forest trail will take us through some of the largest specimens of Palo Santo on the islands to observe Yellow Warblers, the unbelievably tame Galapagos Flycatcher and the ever-intriguing Darwin’s finches.

Marine Iguana


AM: Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay – dry landing

Activities: hiking

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. 

PM: North Seymour – dry landing

Activities: hiking

Disembark on North Seymour, a small uplifted island, where we will walk right up to bird nesting colonies of the two species of Frigatebirds, Blue-footed Boobies and Swallow-tailed Gulls, and experience, depending on season, spectacular displays. 

Blue-footed Boobies


AM: Mosquera Islet – no landing

Activities: panga exploration

Mosquera is a small islet located between Baltra Island and North Seymour measuring about 160 meters across and 600 meters long. It is home to one of the largest sea lion colonies and is also a haven for shorebirds. Orcas occasionally come to the islet to feed on the sea lions.

AM: Baltra Island, Transfer to the Airport

After this visit, the ship will sail to Baltra where passengers ending their trip will disembark and passengers beginning their cruise will join us on board. 

  • 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.