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Cruises

Galapagos Legend (D South; Thu to Mon)

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands

5 days

Summary

This journey includes visits to San Cristobal, Española, Floreana and Santa Cruz Galapagos Islands.

About the vessel:
This magnificent vessel, with a capacity for 100 guests, has the charm of The Enchanted Islands; it is still small enough for a more intimate experience with friends and family. With her three different decks, the Galapagos Legend offers a great variety of comfortable and spacious social areas without losing its sense of intimacy. Its fantastic open decks allow you to admire the islands’ flora and fauna, enjoy a BBQ at night, or take some sun at the pool and bar areas. Standard Plus cabins are exterior cabins with porthole windows, located on the Sea Deck.

Highlights

  • See the following iconic species: Nazca and Blue Footed Boobies, Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Albatross, Sea Lion, Galapagos Fridate, Sea Turtle, Marine Iguana, American Flamingo, Galapagos Pelican, Darwin Finch, Galapagos Hawk and Mockingbird.
  • Appreciate firsthand the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Learn about the legacy of Charles Darwin and his adventures in this part of the world.
  • Visit the lava fields and volcanoes that helped the formation of these islands.
  • Be marvelled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter.
  • Visit the Interpretation Centre, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos.
  • Wet suits & kayak rental available and scuba diving available on selected days of the itinerary.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in seaview cabins with air-conditioning & private facilities
  • Two daily excursions to the islands, multilingual speaking naturalist guides
  • Open decks to observe flora and fauna, briefings, lectures and activities on board
  • All meals during the cruise days

ITINERARY

Day 1 San Cristobal Isl./Galapagos Islands

Your Galapagos Cruise include: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals, Island sightseeing, Naturalist guides and lecture services in English, Snorkelling gear, shared transfers in the islands and from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.

Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
There are two types of landings throughout your Galapagos tour:
Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.

On arrival in San Cristobal you will be picked up at the airport by our naturalist guides and taken on a ten minute bus drive to the pier to board the M/V Galapagos Legend.

PM: Interpretation Center & Tijeretas Hill (San Cristobal)
Dry landing in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, capital of the Galapagos Islands. Passengers visit the Interpretation Centre, an excellent place to learn about Natural History in the Galapagos. The Museum of Natural History displays information on the volcanic origins of the islands, their remoteness from the continent, ocean currents, climate, the arrival of the different species and their colonisation, among other points of interest. The human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and colonisation of the islands.

Day 2 Española Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Gardner Bay
Wet landing on a beautiful white coral sand beach guarded by a colony of sea lions. There are no trails, so you will stay along the shore where you can spot Galapagos hawks, American oystercatchers, Gala pagos ground doves, Hood mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and three species of Darwin’s finches: a subspecies (Geospiza fuliginosa) of the Large Cactus Finch, which is similar to the large ground finch, the small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa) and the warbler finch (Certhidea Olivacea), another endemic subspecies. Swimming and snorkelling offer a great variety of Galapagos marine wildlife: king angelfish, Creole fish, damsel fish, parrot fish, manta rays, and white-tipped reef sharks.

PM: Suarez Point (Española)
Dry landing. An island of geological interest, where you can explore volcanic formations and a riveting wildlife: large sea lion colonies and seabirds including the Española mockingbird, Nazca Boobies and the spectacular red-billed tropic bird. You will also encounter marine iguanas, lava lizards, and the colourful sally light-footed crabs. A somewhat lengthy hike will bring you among nazca and blue-footed boobies, right up to nesting grounds that sometimes overlap the trail. Other birding favourites include galapagos dove, galapagos hawk, swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Admire the island’s dramatic backdrop, featuring the famous Soplador, a seaward blowhole that shoots water up to 23mts in the air.

Day 3 Floreana Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Post Office (Floreana)
Wet landing. Located on the north side of Floreana, the bay was named because in 1793 Captain James Colnett installed a wooden barrel which served as an informal post office for sailors passing through, who would take letters with them back to their destinations. Today, visitors continue the tradition by placing un-stamped postcards inside the barrel, hoping that some other traveller, going to the letter destination, will take it back for free. The chances are that the letter posted can take a long time to arrive to its destination. However, there have been cases where it has arrived before the sender.
You may also encounter Darwin’s finches, yellow warbler and lava lizards. Great snorkelling opportunities with Green Pacific Sea Turtles. The island is also known for its endemic vegetation: Scalesia villosa, Lecocarpus Pinnatifidus, and the Galapagos Milkwort. Snorkelers can practice on the main beach among playful sea lions.

PM – Cormorant Point / Devil’s Crown / Champion (Floreana)
Wet landing, on an olivine green sanded beach. Hike from the black mangrove beds to a brackish lagoon, which usually holds one of the largest flamingo populations in the Galapagos. This island features some endemic plants such as Scalesia villosa, white and black mangrove, and holy stick. The trail continues to a beautiful white sandy beach, one of the most important nesting sites of Green Pacific Sea Turtles. It is important to avoid walking in the water due to the Sting Rays that may be hiding in the sand, which can be dangerous if accidentally stepped on. From the beach, one can spot sea turtles, blue-footed boobies plunging into the water, and small reef sharks floating along the shoreline in the search for food. This coral-sand beach marks the end of your trail, and you can head head back to the olivine beach you landed on, to swim or snorkel amongst sea turtles, reef fish, sea lions and, on a good day, white-tipped reef sharks. A small colony of penguins resides on Floreana and can sometimes be observed as well.

Day 4 Santa Cruz Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands Tortoise Reserve (Santa Cruz Island)
Dry landing. Visit the Station where the Galapagos giant tortoise breeding program takes place as part of the efforts to preserve the fragile Galapagos environment and where the famous Lonesome George (the last surviving specimen of his species) lived for decades. Admire a prickly-pear cactus forest and variety Darwin’s finches and other land birds. The Darwin Station also works providing environmental education to the communities, schools, and tourists visiting the Galapagos Islands. You will also have some free time to visit the town and shop for souvenirs.
Great opportunity to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Lava tunnel formations are the result of the many eruptions that have occurred throughout history. In the Scalesia forest, Vermilion Flycatcher, Short-eared Owls, and several finch species can be spotted.

PM: Ballena Bay / Eden Islet (Santa Cruz)
Wet landing. Ballena (Whale) Bay is a beautiful green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill on the west coast of Santa Cruz Island. The beach, contains plenty of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. The content is magnesium, iron, and silica. A small population of tortoises from Pinzón Island lived at the site but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants. Opportunity to see marine iguanas* and sea birds, followed by snorkelling.

Day 5 Santa Cruz Isl.

AM: Carrion Point (Santa Cruz Island)
This rocky cliff offers the great opportunity to explore more the various marine biodiversity of the islands. Snorkel among a variety of colourful fish, stingrays, and if lucky, there could be the chance to see the magnificent white tipped shark.

After the visit you will be transferred to Baltra airport for return flight to Guayaquil or Quito.

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