Sea lions on Galapagos

Galapagos Cruise Cormorant


The Cormorant Catamaran offers a very comfortable first-class experience. Each of the spacious cabins has a private balcony. If you’re looking for even more comfort, two larger suites are also available, making your Cormorant cruise a truly luxurious experience.

Common areas include a Jacuzzi, a huge sun deck, bar and lounge. Kayaks are also available for use.

Your Cormorant cruise combines first-class quality with competitive pricing, making your Galapagos experience an affordable luxury.

Highlights: A first class cruise aboard a comfortable catamaran.
Number of days:
Regions: Galapagos
Interests: Cruise, Nature & Wildlife
Category: First Class
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 170



Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.

Itinerary

The Cormorant operates two itineraries, A and B. The A itinerary can be split up into a 4-day and a 5-day itinerary. Of course, you can also combine the itineraries, if you are looking for a longer cruise. Here is an overview of the itineraries, detailed descriptions are below:

Itinerary A:

Baltra – Bachas Beach – Bartholome – Santiago – South Plaza – Santa Fe – San Cristobal – Española – Floreana – Santa Cruz – Baltra

Itinerary B:

Baltra – Santa Cruz – Isabela – Fernandina – Isabela – Santiago – Genovesa – North Seymour – Baltra

Itinerary A 5 days:

Baltra – Bachas Beach – Bartholome – Santiago – South Plaza – Santa Fe – San Cristobal

Itinerary A 4 days:

San Cristobal – Española – Floreana – Santa Cruz – Baltra

Itinerary A

Day 1 – Baltra – Bachas Beach

Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by one of our representatives after you have landed. You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Cormorant staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

The afternoon visit, Bachas Beach, is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz, and is a great swimming beach. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II, a floating pier, remains. You may see flamingos, Sally-Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, Black-Necked stilts, and Whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest off the beach.

Day 2 – Sunday – Bartholomew – Santiago

Our morning visit includes Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes), where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.

Located southeast of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay is of great geological interest. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows combined with A’A lava. It was very active 200 years ago. This flow is geologically very young. The magma formed is flat, but the movement of underground lava, the rapid cooling and other eruptions led to the break in many places. 200 meters around the landing, you can see patterns of vegetation that were burned during the eruption. A visit to this area of black lava is preferable in the afternoon because the temperature is more pleasant and the light is better for photographs.

Day 3 – South Plaza – Santa Fe

In the morning, you will head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by Opuntia cacti. It is also home to one of the largest sea lion colonies as well as colorful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its color is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

Our afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island, formed by a volcanic uplift. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest. The island is home to a colony of sea lions which would be more than happy to join you for a swim. Santa Fe also has its own sub-species of land iguana.

Day 4 – San Cristobal

We will visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) in the morning where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Galápagos. You’ll be tantalized by the texture and sight of the powdered, soft, white sand. With a colony of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with Egrets and Great Blue Herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel their midst.

In the afternoon we will visit Pitt Point. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on Isabela. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all three species of Galápagos Boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that possessed the earth to create this land.

Day 5 – San Cristobal

(End of 5-day cruise.) In the morning we will visit Lobos Island, a rocky bay just a 30 minute walk from Puerto Baquerizo. Note the beautifully colored plants in the area down by the beach and the enormous colony and nursery that Galapagos sea lions call home. Sea lions are normality here where dozens can be seen at any time as well as shore birds and marine iguanas.

(Beginning of 4-day cruise.) In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance, this site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea and two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean, form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.

Day 6 – Española

Española Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos Doves, hawks, red and green marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions.

In the morning we will arrive at Suarez Point. This area is great for spotting Blue-footed Boobies, albatrosses and Nazca Boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large Waved Albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photographic opportunities!

Gardner Bay, on the eastern side of the island, is the breeding site of nearly all of the world´s 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses. It has an ample white sandy beach with a myriad of sea lions, perfect for relaxing. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkeling.

Day 7 – Floreana

We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. Floreana is known for its fabulous snorkeling sites, its vibrantly pink flamingos and its black sand beaches.

We will head to Cormorant Point in the northern part of Floreana. Here, land on a green colored beach from the olivine crystals it is composed of. Enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingoes and other sea birds. The trail continues to another beach known as Flour Beach because of the very fine white-sand particles it is made of, it is also really important to turtles that nest there. You will also get to swim in Champion, one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos Islands.

In the afternoon, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay and Baroness View Point. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers once placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!   Baroness View Point offers spectacular views of the coastline and is a great place to learn more about the endemic Mangroves.

Day 8 – Santa Cruz – Baltra

In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station- Breeding Center “Fausto Llerena” home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of turtles interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans, and will stretch out their heads for a pet. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.

After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.

Itinerary B

Day 1 – Baltra – Santa Cruz

Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by one of our representatives after you have landed. You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Cormorant staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

The afternoon we will visit a site called Los Gemelos (The Twins Craters). Los Gemelos await you at the end of a short hike. These sinkholes are often referred to as craters, though the term is only descriptive, not literal. They were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The endemic Scalesia Forest surrounds the site, where you may see Vermillian Flycatchers, Short-Eared owls, and various finches.

You’ll also visit the highlands where you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. You will come upon the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long. Local guides will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and out of the ordinary experience.

Day 2 – Isabela

In the morning we will visit the Tintoreras Islet or Sierra Negra. Tintoreras is located a short distance from Puerto Villamil and is the home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by White-Tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

Sierra Negra boasts the largest volcanic basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

The Wetlands of Isabela Island are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The Wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves, and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as Common Stilts, Whimbrels, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.

Day 3 – Isabela

In the morning we will visit Moreno Point, located south west of Elizabeth Bay. Here, a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake, which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world, as the marine life drifts by. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, White-Cheeked pintails, and Common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools you may see White-Tipped reef sharks and some sea turtles.

The afternoon visit will take us to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. We will take a traditional ‘panga’, or dinghy ride, passing the red mangroves and amongst the wildlife of the lively bay. Elizabeth is known for its marine life; you will probably see sea turtles and rays skimming the surface of the water. You may also see the Brown pelicans diving for fish, Galapagos penguins, Blue-footed Boobies and even possibly spot humpback whales.

Day 4 – Fernandina – Isabela

In the morning we will head for Mangle Point. A visit to Mangle Point allows visitors to witness the amazing views and wildlife on the Coast of Fernandina Island. This is a small inlet on Fernandina’s coast where you can snorkel to your hearts delight and watch playful sea lions, curious penguins, and also catch a glimpse of where flight less cormorants reside.

In the afternoon, we will land at Urbina Bay, which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay; which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, along with Flightless cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of Volcano Alcedo.

Day 5 – Fernandina – Isabela

Fernandina Island: No foreign species have ever invaded this island and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. Fernandina is the youngest island in Galapagos. Access to this site is extremely restricted by the Galapagos National Park and you will be one of those very lucky visitors. The volcano “La Cumbre”, dominates the land space with lava fields reaching the ocean.

Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, we will land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, we’ll reach the island’s highlight: the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.

In the afternoon we will visit Isabela Island once again to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola sunfish.

Day 6 – Santiago

Egas Port is a well-known site in the Galapagos Islands that is also known as James Bay on the western side of Santiago Island. There are trails that lead to tide pools with lava lizards scattering along the trail and remains of an old salt mine operation that was eventually unsuccessful can be seen on one of the trails. Fur seals and marine birds can be seen nearby and snorkeling can be enjoyed.

Years ago Buccaneer Cove was a safe haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700’s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island. Sea turtles now take the pirates place and dig their nests for their eggs near the Mangrove trees. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here.

Espumilla Beach is another famous visitor site in the Galapagos Islands. After a wet landing, find yourself on a large beach where the guide will lead you on a path through a Mangrove Forest. After weaving through the Mangroves, find an inland lake where flamingoes, pintail ducks and stilts reside. The site is mostly inhabited by flamingoes that nest and feed in this location.

Day 7 – Genovesa

The morning takes us to El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, whose steep, rocky path will lead you up 25 meters (82 ft) to a cliff-face. After marveling at the view you will have the opportunity to take a (0.9 mi / 2 km) trek through Palo Santo vegetation. Here you will be dazzled by all the birds. Red-footed Boobies, Short-Eared Lava Owls, Galápagos Swallows, and Galápagos Doves are abundant.

Our afternoon visit will take us to the beach at Darwin Bay. This white-sand coral beach heads a (1/2 mi – 3/4 km) trail that winds down through mangroves that are filled with land birds. You may see Nazca Boobies, Red-Footed Boobies, and Swallow-Tailed Gulls. Further down the path, you may see sea lions playing in tidal pools. You will arrive to a cliff-side and as the spectacular views soak in, the Boobies and iguanas will keep you company.

Day 8 – North Seymour – Baltra

The morning visit will lead us to North Seymour Island. Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-Footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigate birds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra’s airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ 3705
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • Accommodation aboard the Cormorant yacht
  • Full board
  • Excursions and activities with English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Transfers
  • Snorkeling equipment

Not included:

  • Flights from/to Galapagos
  • Entrance Fee Galapagos National Park ($ 100 per person)
  • Migration Control Card INGALA ($ 20 per person)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Wetsuit

 


Accommodation

The Catamaran Cormorant offers a comfortable cruise experience. Six standard cabins and two suits offer space for 16 travelers.

Deck Plan:

Cormorant Cruise

Additional Information

For more information about the Galapagos, check out our Galapagos Information Page. We have also compiled a list of Galapagos travel tips. Maybe we have a last minute offer for the Cormorant or a similar yacht? Have a look at our Special Offers Galapagos Page.

Wondering what to pack? We created a packing list which can help you get started.

Find some more general information about Ecuador as well as practical travel information.

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