Her speed, comfort, top guides and itinerary will make your Ocean Spray Galapagos cruise a perfect experience. Kayaks are also available for use.
Highlights: Very comfortable yacht, great itineraries
Number of days:
Interests: Cruise, Nature & Wildlife
Category: First Class
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises): 170
Day 1 - Saturday: Flight to Baltra - Chinese HatAssistance 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 Ocean Spray 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 to Chinese Hat, offers rare, up close viewing of Galapagos wildlife and well preserved remnants of fragile volcanic rock that can’t be found in such a unique condition anywhere else. The islet is home to a colony of sea lions on the white coral sand beach. Here you can see American Oystercatchers, Galapagos Penguins swimming along the shores, and Sally-Lightfoot Crabs in bright contrast to the dark volcanic rock.
Day 2 - Sunday: Isabela (Vicente Roca Point) - Fernandina (Espinosa Point)Isabela Island: The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is 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 (or pacific sunfish). No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina 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 landspace 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 provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos Hawk.
Day 3 - Monday: Isabela (Tagus Cove and Urbina Bay)The morning visit, including Tagus Cove's 'cliff-side gallery,' provides a clear view of pirate graffiti dating back to 1836. The contrast between vandalism and the pristine environment is thought provoking. Up the (1.25 mi / 2 km) hike through lava formations, we will see stunning views of the surrounding slopes and volcanoes, making our way to Darwin Lake. This salt-water crater-lake may have been filled with a tidal wave brought on by a volcanic eruption. 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, with the possibility to see land iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild.
Day 4 - Tuesday: Isabela (Elizabeth Bay and Moreno Point)The morning visit will take us to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. We will take a traditional 'panga' ride 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 Brown Pelicans diving for fish, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies and possibly spot humpback whales. In the afternoon 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 your window. 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-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
Day 5 - Wednesday: Santa Cruz (Charles Darwin Station and Highlands)In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station - Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to tortoises ranging from 4-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of tortoises interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans. 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. Here at the Highlands, you can walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, 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 surreal experience.
Day 6 - Thursday: South Plaza and Santa FeIn 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.
Day 7 - Friday: Española (Suarez Point - Gardner Bay - Osborn Islet)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, marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions. In the morning, we will start at Suarez Point on a trail where you will have the chance to see Blue-footed Boobie, albatrosses (From April to December) and Nazca Boobies. We will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You'll have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography. In the afternoon, we will visit the spectacular Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. It is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses.
Day 8 - Saturday: San Cristobal (Interpretation Center - Galapaguera - Lobos Island - Kicker Rock)In the morning we will visit the Interpretation Center or Galapaguera on San Cristobal Island. The Interpretation Center is located on San Cristobal Island. The center was donated by the Spanish government and inaugurated by the Prince of Spain in 1998. This center focuses on the interaction between humans and the process of the “natural history laboratory”, demonstrating that a harmonious relation between human beings and nature is possible. Cerro Colorado (Galapaguera) is a new visitor site in the southeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warbler, finches and mockingbirds, and on the trails, giant tortoises. They live there wild but in a protected area to assure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators, like pigs and goats. Once the tortoise perceives danger, it goes into its defensive stance, retreating into its hard shell.
Day 9 - Sunday: San Cristobal (Pitt Point and Witch Hill)We will visit Pitt Point in the morning. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on San Cristóbal. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all 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. In the afternoon we’ll visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) 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 in their midst.
Day 10 - Monday: Floreana (Post Office Bay - Cormorant Point - Devil's Crown)We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. In the morning, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers 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 get home! In the afternoon, we will head to Cormorant Point. Here you can enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingoes. You’ll also be amazed by the green colored beach, caused by a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand. You will also get to swim in the crystal clear waters of Devil's Crown. This extinct volcano peaks out of the waters just off of Floreana's coast and offers a magnificent snorkeling experience.
Day 11 - Tuesday: Santa Cruz (Black Turtle Cove) and Bartholome (Pinnacle Rock)Black Turtle Cove is located on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and is only accessible by boat and with a guide. This shallow inlet is surrounded by mangroves and provides natural protection for a variety of marine life, attracting the vulnerable juveniles of many species. Below the surface of the water, you can see both black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, golden cow-nose rays, spotted eagle rays, and an occasional hammerhead shark. Pelicans and Boobies hunt here, diving gracefully into the water.
Day 12 - Wednesday: Genovesa (Darwin Bay and El Barranco)Our morning 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 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 cliff-side and can let the spectacular views soak in, while the Boobies and iguanas keep you company. The afternoon takes us to El Barranco or The Cliff, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, whose steep, rocky path will lead you up 25 meters (82 ft) of 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, Galapagos storm petrels and Galapagos Doves.
Day 13 - Thursday: Santiago (Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove - Egas Port)We will visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally-Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons and perform the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark, or a variety of other species of tropical fish. Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. They would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. It is an excellent opportunity to take in the steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach. See if you can spot 'Monk' or 'Elephant' Rock before your guide points them out! The afternoon visit is to a site called Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island. Here, you will enjoy a hike over a dry trail known for being a hang-out for curious Galapagos Hawks and Quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail will then lead you to the coastline where you will visit the gorgeous tide pools and grottos which are full of fauna. You will be able to observe the shy Galapagos fur sea lions. You will also get to snorkel at Egas Port beach.
Day 14 - Friday: North Seymour and Santa Cruz (Highlands)Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone. Our afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island. 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. In the afternoon we will visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you will walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises. 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 surreal experience.
Day 15 - Saturday: Mosquera Islet - DepartureMosquera Islet is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. It is a reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) and a great white sand beach. Its narrowest width reaches about 160 meters and has an estimated length of 600 meters. In most of the perimeter there is a base of lava rocks, as evidence of the lava uprising, except in the southwest side where the landing occurs. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions. After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra Island's airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland. Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador’s mainland.
End Itinerary B 8 and B 5
Price per person: US$ starting at 2,750 (4 Days)
(based on 2 people traveling)
- Accommodation aboard the Ocean Spray yacht
- Full board
- Excursions and activities with English-speaking naturalist guide
- Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks
- Champagne reception
- Complimentary fruit platter
- 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
Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.