GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 01 -THURSDAY:
Island Santa Cruz – Charles Darwin Station
Morning arrival on Baltra Island where you firstly will pay the National Park Entrance Fee before you will be met by your guide and be transferred to the dock to board the boat. Here you will start your cruise.
The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are based on Santa Cruz Island. The station encompasses an information centre, a museum, a library and a tortoise breeding station. Here you will have an opportunity to visit some of the best scientists of the Galápagos.
Park rangers and park managers among others, who make huge efforts to preserve this Unesco World Heritage Site, conduct the conservation of the islands. In the tortoise breeding and rearing centre you can encounter tortoises of different subspecies, which are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this Station is probably Lonesome George.
He is the only survivor of his specific turtle species. In the past all approaches to find a partner for him failed. But in July 2008 the scientists found a carved nest wit nine eggs from a female tortoise. Three of them could be saved and now accordingly to strict instructions they are incubated synthetically. -/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 02 - FRIDAY:
Island Isabela – Punta Moreno – Elizabeth Bay
This day will lead you to the largest island of the archipelago, Island Isabela. With a surface of 4588 sq.km the isle engages more than the half of the land area of whole Galápagos. At Punta Moreno, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons, you can flamingos, bahama ducks and other birds.
Then you will go to the mangrove area of Elizabeth Bay with little islands off-shore. Here you can see little dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other giants of the ocean such as whale-sharks and more. The mangrove woods are the home of different seabirds and herons. B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 03 - SATURDAY:
Island Isabela – Urbina Bay / Island Fernandina – Punta Espinoza
This day will lead you to the largest island of the archipelago, Island Isabela. With a surface of 4588 sq.km the isle engages more than the half of the land area of whole Galápagos. At your next approach you will visit the “Bahia Urbina”. As a result of a strong outbreak of the volcano Alcedo in the year 1954 suddenly large sections of the coast were pushed up approximately 4 m, so that you can observe coral reefs here ashore. Meanwhile the reefs are covered with trees of chamomile and muyuyo. Furthermore you can observe terrestrial iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch from really close. From January to June occasionally elephant turtles, which live in the higher mountains, are visiting the bay.
In the afternoon you will visit Fernandina Island which is not only the westernmost but also the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos. The last eruption of the volcano La Cumbre in 2005 created huge interesting fields of lava. Punta Espinoza, one of Fernandina’s visit points, is situated within a fascinating lava scenery with Lava-Cactuses and on the surface of the lava growing mangroves. Beside this unique scenery you will come in contact with numerous animals here.
The highlights are sea lions, penguins, the flightless cormorant (especially in spring and summer) and one of the biggest iguana colonies of Galápagos. Do not miss a snorkeling trip during which you have the possibility to explore the beautiful underwater world. B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 04 - SUNDAY:
Island Bartolome / Island South Plazas
Arriving at Bartolomé you will ascend a lookout point from where you can admire the spectacular panorama of the Sullivan Bay and the famous needle shaped rock, the so called Pinnacle Rock. The beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some fine snorkeling spots from which you can discover the marvelous underwater world with a good chance to encounter penguins or the softly gliding turtles.
In the afternoon you will explore South Plaza Island, the more southernly island of the both Plaza Island, located in the east of Island Santa Cruz. On this island so full of life you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. On the steep banks it is possible to see a great number of birds such as nesting tropic birds and fork-tailed seagulls.
But most of all, enjoying the beautiful view from atop the steep banks or strolling along the base of the cliff is an extremely pleasurable experience. The Opuntia cactus and red coral bushes grow here and the vegetation changes colour according to the seasons of the year. B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 05 - MONDAY:
Island San Cristobal – Interpretation Center – Lobos Island
Today you will anchor at the island of San Cristóbal. At the port of Baquerizo Moreno, which is the capital of the province Galápagos, you will visit the Interpretation Center. The center will give you a good impression of the history of the Galápagos Islands. In the afternoon you will visit Lobos Island, which is located in front of San Cristobal Island. It is a seasonal nesting location for the blue footed booby and frigate birds. You also should enjoy swimming and snorkelling with sea lions in this calm bay.B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 06 - TUESDAY:
Island Española Island – Suarez Point - Gardener Bay
Española is the southernmost and oldest island of the Galápagos archipelago. Because of its isolated position you can explore a lot of endemic wildlife. In the morning you will have an excursion to Point Suarez which is one of the most outstanding wildlife areas of the archipelago, with a long list of species found along its cliffs and sand or pebble beaches.
In addition to five species of nesting seabirds there are the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Several types of reptiles, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard, are unique to this island. When heavy swells are running, Point Suarez is also the site of a spectacular blowhole, with thundering spray shooting 30 yards into the air. The walkabout on a stony path is about 2km (duration about 3 hours).
Gardener Bay is on the eastern shore with turquoise shot coloured water and a magnificent beach. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will find lots of fish and sometimes turtles and sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of sea lions which like to swim with you. Birds, like the endemic Hood-Mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent. B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 07 - WEDNESDAY:
Island Floreana – Devils Crown - Post Office Bay - Cormorant Point
Floreana Island is perceived as one of the most exotic Island of the archipelago. In the morning you will reach Devils Crown (Corona del Diablo), a broken volcanic cone, which is one of the most beautiful places to go snorkeling on Galápagos Island.
You can dive or swim between riff sharks, star fishes, marine turtles, sea lions and many tropical ornamental fishes. Afterwards you will visit the famous Post Office Bay which keeps the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to post their mail in.
Nowadays you can leave a letter and hope that it will make its destination via another tourist. At Cormorant Point you land on a green olivine sand beach. Following a 100 m long path you will soon reach a lagoon with flamingoes, white-checked pintail ducks and other shorebirds. B/L/D
GALAPAGOS CRUISES DAY 08 - THURSDAY:
Island Santa Cruz – Highlands – return flight
Today you anchor at the harbour of Puerto Ayora on Island Santa Cruz. Beside its rank as homestay for sea lions and pelicans, the marina is a popular starting point for round-the-world-yachtsman. The island itself has come to be both touristic and scientific center of the archipeleago.
Here you will visit the highlands of Santa Cruz. The lush landscape there is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On your way you will cross the different zones of vegetation, from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the woods of scalesia in the highlands. Before returning to Puerto Ayora you will visit one of the famed lava tunnels, a fun and geologically informative visit. B