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Cruises

Petrel (6B; Wed to Mon)

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands

6 days

Summary

Itinerary includes Santa Cruz, South Plaza, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Española and Floreana Galapagos Islands

About the vessel:
This beautiful boat offers a deluxe way to visit these magical islands. Named after a sea bird common to Galapagos, the Petrel is like its namesake: elegant, swift, and silent at sea. A motorized catamaran, the Petrel is designed for comfort and stability and is outfitted with 8 spacious cabins, a comfortable lounge, and Jacuzzi. Explore the remarkable Galapagos with the selected guides who are knowledgeable about biology and ecology in addition to having excellent language skills and client reviews. The use of snorkelling gear and wetsuits is included.

Highlights

  • Appreciate firsthand the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Enjoy great opportunities for snorkelling. In this part of the Galapagos, you will be able to see Red-lipped Batfish, Seahorses, Frogfish, Nudibranchs, Octopus, and the Mola-Mola or Sunfish.
  • Visit the lava fields and volcanoes that helped the formation of these islands.
  • Walk amidst large nesting colonies of Blue-footed Boobies, magnificent and great Frigatebirds, and Swallow-tailed gulls.
  • Visit the north side of Santa Cruz; behind the beach lies two small Flamingo ponds were Iguanas sunbathe and you will be able to observe coastal birds, Darwin Finches, Mockingbirds, and Gulls.

Inclusions

  • Accommodation in selected cabin
  • All meals throughout the cruise and soft drinks and juices
  • All shore excursions with English speaking Naturalist guide
  • Use of snorkeling gear, wetsuits and kayaks

ITINERARY

Day 1 Santa Cruz Isl./Galapagos Islands

Your Galapagos Cruise include: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals with soft drinks and juices, Island sightseeing, Naturalist guides and lecture services in English, wet suit and snorkelling gear and transfers in the islands.

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, you will be picked up at Baltra airport by your naturalist guides and taken to the pier to board the Petrel where you will have lunch.

PM: Twin Craters
You’ll visit the highlands. A place 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 long. Local guides are will provide information and flashlights. Walking through the lava tubes is a unique and surreal experience.

Day 2 Santa Fe Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: South Plaza
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 colourful yellow and red land iguanas. The most characteristic plant is the Sesuvium. During the rainy season its colour is a greenish to yellowish tone and in the dry season (end of June through January) a bright red.

PM: Santa Fe
Santa Fe is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island’s north-east 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.

Day 3 San Cristobal Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Lobos Island
Lobos Island is named after the sea lions that rest and play on its rocky shores. It is also home to blue-footed boobies, great frigate-birds, brown pelicans, lava gulls, common noddies, yellow warblers and small and medium ground finches. There is good snorkelling in the clear waters of the channel and this is one of the best sites at which to swim with sea lions underwater.

PM:Interpretation Centre & La Galapaguera:
The Interpretation Center has been open to the public since 1998 and offers extensive information about the history of Galapagos, all ecosystems, geology, and flora and fauna. Giant tortoises are also bred here by the centre and roam about in a semi-natural habitat created by the centers employees. Within the centre are meeting rooms, interpretational panels, auditoriums, exhibits, and much more.
La Galapaguera is a visitor site in the south-east part of San Cristobal Island that can 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.

Day 4 Española Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Gardner Bay
Visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful Sea Lions. Three different types of Finches can be seen. The Española Mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where Green Sea Turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.

PM:Suarez Point:
This is a phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Española Island’s endemic species. The trail will pass by the only Waved Albatross breeding site. If you are lucky you might see a young albatross take off for its first flight for up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are Marine Iguanas that stay brightly coloured year round, Galapagos Doves, Nazca Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed gulls, Red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin Finches.

Day 5 Floreana Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Cormorant Point & Devil’s Crown
Cormorant Point hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts, White-cheeked Pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The “Green Beach” named so due to its green colour, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the “Four Sand Beach” composed of white coral.
One of the best snorkelling sites in the Galapagos is Devil’s Crown, this volcanic crater has been eroded by the waves leaving the northern and southern sides poking out of the water. The coral reef in the middle is perfect for attracting marine life. Snorkelers enjoy the variety of marine life and exciting currents that rush through the crown, creating an exhilarating experience.

PM: Post Office Bay
In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home.

Day 6 Santa Cruz Isl.

AM: Charles Darwin Research Station
The station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines, and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the long time running Giant Tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the Giant Tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults. Then you will be transferred to Baltra Airport for your ongoing flight.

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