During the 8 day Grand Majestic Galapagos Cruise route A itinerary you will visit San Cristobal, North Seymour, Bartholomew, Santiago, Fernandina, Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands.
About the vessel:
This first-class, motorised yacht is 35 meters long and is especially designed to sail through these islands. Its common areas and suites have large picture windows to assure you grand vistas of the seascapes as you cruise from destination to destination. Throughout the expedition, you will dine on fine cuisine. At the end of a day of hiking and snorkelling, you can relax chat with your shipmates about your explorations in one of the spacious social areas. Up on the sun deck, you will have the opportunity to relax with a drink from the bar or soak in the Jacuzzi. As the yacht cruises to the next day’s destination, you’ll rest peacefully in one of the nine double cabins equipped with air conditioning and private bathroom with hot water.
Very early this morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Galapagos.
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.
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.
Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
On arrival, you will be met by the 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.
PM La Galapaguera
Breeding Center Jacinto Gordillo – “La Galapaguera”, in Cerro Colorado, 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 warblers, finches and mockingbirds. Giant tortoises can be observed on the trails. They live there wild but in a protected area to ensure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators like pigs and goats.
AM: North Seymour
North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterised by its arid vegetation zone. In North Seymour you may see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island. Land & marine iguanas, rays, reef sharks, fish and garden eels.
PM: Black Turtle Cove
Visit Black Turtle Cove in the northern part of Santa Cruz. This inlet is surrounded by mangroves and is only accessible by dinghy. The shallow cove is a haven for young marine life. Black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, baby hammerhead shark, sea turtles, and a variety of rays are often spotted here.
AM: Pinnacle Rock (Bartolomew)
You will head to Bartholomew Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. 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 snorkelling where you may see reef sharks, rays, and great colourful fish and even see and swim with Galapagos penguins.
PM: Egas Port
Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. This is also a great snorkelling site.
Possibility to see: Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, marine iguanas, finches; snorkelling: reef sharks, turtles, rays, nice underwater formations.
AM: Tagus Cove
In the morning, you will visit Tagus Cove on Isabela Island which is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views.
Possibility to see: Penguins, flightless cormorants, Darwin Volcano & Lake
PM: Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkelling.
Possibility to see: Land iguanas (the biggest in the Galapagos), hawks, coral reef, giant tortoises; snorkelling: turtles, rays, tropical fish
AM: Espinoza Point
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, you will land at Espinoza Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you will reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.
PM: Vicente Roca Point
Comprised of two separate coves, Vicente Roca Point is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, rays, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sun fish) while you snorkel.
Possibility to see: blue-footed boobies, terns and Nazca boobies
AM: Espumilla Beach
In Espumilla Beach marine iguanas lounge and the Sally Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons performing the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkelling is highly recommended as you could come face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark and a variety of other species of tropical fish.
PM: Sullivan Bay
You will visit Sullivan Bay located on the southeast part of Santiago. This place is interesting for its geology because the area is covered by lava flows. This place has elevations in the form of small volcanoes formed by the lava flows.
AM: Bachas Beach
Bachas Beach is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz and is a beach for swimming. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach.
PM: Breeding Centre
You will visit “Fausto Llerena” Giant Tortoises Creeding Center in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are bred in captivity; this is home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long adults. Subspecies of the giant tortoises interact with one another, and many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years-old and strong enough to survive on their own.
AM: Kicker Rock
This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Although there are no landing areas, kayaking and snorkelling allow visitors to spot a variety of marine life.
Possibility to see: sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, spectacular rock formations; sea birds: blue- footed boobies, Nazca boobies & frigate birds.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to the San Cristobal airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.