This 5-Day cruise on board the Passion will take you around some of the Galapagos' popular visitor sites found in the central islands, as well as a visit to remote Genovesa, one of the pristine, uninhabited islands.
When you aren't enjoying the luxuries of the yacht you'll be taking in unforgettable panoramas of the archipelago from Bartolomé and coming face to face with an abundance of frigatebirds, Red-footed and Nazca Boobies on this remarkable 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 – SATURDAY
MORNING FLIGHT TO BALTRA & BLACK TURTLE COVE
PM: After arriving at Baltra airport, we will be greeted by our naturalist guide to then board the M/Y WildAid’s Passion and have lunch. Following our meal, we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles and golden rays may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.
The day ends with dinner and a briefing for the next day’s activities on board the yacht.
DAY 2 - SUNDAY
DARWIN BAY & EL BARRANCO
AM: We travel to Genovesa Island and for a wet landing on Darwin Bay, a unique site with a beautiful beach, lined with red mangroves and soft‐haired prickly pear cacti, where red‐footed boobies and great frigatebirds perch tamely.
PM: After a dry landing at El Barranco, we will climb to the edge of a cliff where frigatebirds, masked boobies, and red-footed boobies make their nests. The trail will take us to the inner part of the island, populated by palo santo trees and cacti. We will be seeking out the impressive red‐billed tropicbird amidst Galapagos storm petrels and the endemic short-eared owl.
DAY 3 - MONDAY
PUNTA ESPEJO & SULLIVAN BAY
AM: Today we will have the opportunity to observe the abundant marine life of Punta Espejo, on Marchena Island. This site is reserved for snorkeling and diving only, and it is safe to say that it is one of the best spots in the Galapagos for these activities. This location is known for having dolphins and hammerhead sharks, as well as the vast quantities of coral heads, allowing for a much higher concentration of coral than the rest of the archipelago. We will have two snorkeling activities during this morning, to have more time and opportunities to observe the marine life.
After snorkeling, we will return to the yacht for an in-depth briefing about the ocean currents and their effect on the archipelago’s flora and fauna while we navigate to our next destination.
PM: We will have a dry landing in Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay, where we will walk over a recent lava flow with fresh pahoehoe lava formations, lava bubbles containing crystallized minerals, and pioneer plant fossils. Along the shoreline, we may find Galapagos penguins and herons going after small fish.
DAY 4 - TUESDAY
BARTOLOME & DRAGON HILL
AM: We will have a dry landing on Bartolome, followed by a mild climb up a set of wooden steps to reach the summit of a spatter cone for a breathtaking panorama of the island’s iconic Pinnacle Rock and views of neighboring Santiago, and other central islands in the distance. Afterward, we will visit the white sand beach used as a nesting site by sea turtles, followed by snorkeling in the waters of Bartolome Island, where it is not unusual to spot Galapagos penguins.
PM: In the afternoon, we navigate a short distance to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz’s northwestern shore with a dry landing to visit a saltwater lagoon, home to greater flamingos, black‐necked stilts, and white‐cheeked pintails. Further inland we will find a fantastic land iguana nesting site.
DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY
SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS & DEPARTURE
AM: This is our last day in the islands. After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora to take our transport to the Baltra airport, making a short stop to visit the highlands. We will visit one of the local ranches where it is possible to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the highlands to the coastal areas and back, the chosen ranch will depend on the presence of the tortoises since they roam free and change locations. The farms are also great places to see the Santa Cruz ground finch which populates these forests, where it is also possible to see the yellow warbler.
After this visit, we will make our way to the Baltra airport for the flight back to mainland Ecuador.
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.