Itinerary West Galapagos Cruise Tour


Day 1: Embarkation at Puerto Ayora, and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island

Once you arrive at the airport, you will be met by the team and escorted on a cross island van and ferry transfer of approximately 1.5 hours to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Receive a warm welcome aboard Aqua Mare, the Galapagos Islands’ first 50m luxury superyacht with our 16-strong crew where you will be treated with the utmost attention courtesy of our 1:1 crew to guest ratio. At your leisure, pick out your snorkeling kit complete with mask, fins, snorkel, and an optional shorty wetsuit for your personal use during the week. You will also receive as a welcome gift a special waterproof bag to place your belongings during wet landings and an Aqua Expeditions water bottle.

This afternoon you will visit Darwin Station and National Park headquarters, located at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. The scientific team and expedition leaders will guide you through the grounds to observe these giant reptiles and learn about the conservation program of tortoises and land iguanas. You will have some leisure time to explore the main town of Puerto Ayora after the visit. While strolling along the main waterfront you can stop by the many boutiques and jewelry shops before heading back to the ship for an evening of lecture and inspiration for the next day, then to indulge in your first taste of fresh seafood dining in the Galapagos Islands.

Day 2: Punta Cormorant, Bahía Post Office, and Mirador de la Baronesa, Floreana Island
 
For your second morning in the Galapagos Islands, you will be anchored in the southern part of the Archipelago at Floreana Island. After breakfast, the morning wet landing excursion will take you to a big brackish water lagoon to observe greater flamingos, ducks, blacknecked stilts and other shore birds at Punta Cormorant. You will be able to observe where sea turtles nest at night, and spot stingrays and sharks swimming very close to the shore. Later you will return to the boat to prepare for kayaking or take a short tender ride to Devil’s Crown for snorkeling.

Enjoy a splendid lunch consisting of fresh Ecuadorian recipes with an Andean twist before heading back out to Floreana to pay tribute to an old island tradition at Bahía Post Office. The visit will follow another quick tour of what once was a fishing enterprise in the 1920s before continuing onboard to visit Mirador de la Baronesa. 
Day 3: Punta Moreno and Bahía Urbina, Isabela Island
After a night of sailing, the morning sees the beautiful superyacht anchored on the western side of Isabela Island. As the biggest and youngest island in the Archipelago, Isabela was formed by five relatively young volcanoes and is characterized by giant tortoises and marine iguanas. For the morning excursion, a hike at Punta Moreno takes you to the mangroves and gas-rich basaltic lava rocks resulting from a large basaltic lava flow which came from the Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela hundreds of years ago. There are mangrove lagoons along the shore and small saltwater lagoons inland, where you will observe ducks, shore birds, stilts, blue-winged teals, flamingos, and gallinules. After the visit you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling near the shore or return to the yacht to rest and enjoy the majestic landscapes Isabela has to offer. In the afternoon, the boat will sail north to Bahía Urbina, a 6km point, once underwater and uplifted in 1954 up to 3m above sea level. Here you can see tortoises, land iguanas and the biggest marine iguanas roaming free in the Archipelago. You end the day with an unforgettable view of Isabela’s five volcanoes.
Day 4: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island, and Caleta Tagus, Isabela Island
Start the morning in Punta Espinoza, part of a huge lava flow formed from one of the many eruptions of the La Cumbre volcano, known to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, lizards and snakes, you will spend the morning on shore with the option to snorkel before returning to the yacht for a sumptuous lunch and lecture on the geology of the Galapagos Islands from one of our expert scientist guides.

As Aqua Mare crosses the Bolivar Channel back towards Isabela Island, prepare to channel your inner pirate for the afternoon excursion visiting Caleta Tagus, once a favorite anchorage spot for pirates and whalers. Here you will hike to see Darwin Lake, a saltwater lake trapped inside a tuff cone. If you would rather not hike, you can take your pick from our eight double kayaks, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, or a ride on the elegant black tenders to explore the cove and its surroundings. 
Day 5: Puerto Egas, Playa Espumilla, and Caleta Bucanero, Santiago Island
For those who missed the equatorial crossing the night before, ask the crew for your very own equator crossing certificate - although this is usually reserved for the young explorers. This morning sees us disembark on the black sand beaches of Puerto Egas, northwest of Santiago Island. Once the location of a salt mine (1967), today you can take a two and a half-hour hike to find the abandoned mine turned into a shallow saltwater lake. For those who prefer to stay by the beach, you will be able to walk the intertidal zone to the fur seal grottos or snorkel to watch sea turtles, sea lions and white-tipped sharks.

You will head back to the yacht for lunch, then continue your adventure to Playa Espumilla, where a wet landing will set us upon a golden sandy beach, a well-known breeding ground for sea turtles. You will also visit Caleta Bucanero, a 17th century pirate rest stop where pirates used to stock up on fresh tortoise meat and fresh water. The day will end with a choice of snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding before winding down back onboard with Happy Hour over a glass of our special Aqua Bloody Mary.
Day 6: Rábida Island and Caleta Tortuga Negra, Santa Cruz Island
Awake to the sounds of nature and a fresh breakfast before departing by tender to Rábida Island, also known as the red island. The color is the result of oxidation of very old porous lava. You will be able to hike, take out one of our eight double kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, or snorkel, as well as observe hundreds of sea lions who have made their home on the beach.

After a delicious lunch, you can listen to an afternoon lecture on the evolution of Darwin’s finches presented by the expert guides in the panoramic lounge. The Aqua Mare will sail towards the north of Santa Cruz Island, to Caleta Tortuga Negra, a mangrove estuary that is home to sea turtles. This is a tender ride excursion as there is no landing site, but you will be able to spot green sea turtles, as well as three different types of sharks: the black tip, the Galapagos, and the famous blue shark. End this glorious day discovering more of the signature Ecuadorian cuisine with an Andean twist.
Day 7: Seymour Norte Island and Mosquera Island
Your penultimate day in the Archipelago begins with refreshing breakfast before heading out to Seymour Norte Island, formed by uprisings of underwater volcanic lavas some 3.1 million years ago. The island is mostly known for its healthy population of land iguanas, bluefooted boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and great frigate birds. After a morning full of fun activities, you will head back to the yacht for a delicious lunch aboard Aqua Mare.

For the afternoon excursion, hop on to one of the tenders for a wet landing onto Mosquera Island. While the rock pile is one of the smallest in the Archipelago, it is home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, and if you’re lucky you may even spot migratory orcas. Around sunset you will return to the sleek comfort of Aqua Mare for your last evening aboard. 
Day 8: Daphne Island and Disembarkation at Baltra Island
The last day begins with a luxurious breakfast set against the morning sunrise before setting out for one final excursion by tender. You will enjoy the views of the fragile visitor site of Daphne Island, a scientific use zone for scientists studying Darwin’s finches. You will observe Nazca boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, and blue-footed boobies nesting at Daphne Major terraces, which is also the site of a 40-year study on the evolution in Darwin’s finches, demonstrating evolution occurring over short periods of time.

You will return to the ship for a refreshing juice and to pack up the last of your belongings as we set sail to Baltra Island, bidding farewell to the crew and beautiful home for the past week. You will be escorted to the airport for your flight back to the mainland and onward journey home with all the wonderful memories we hope you will cherish forever.

Included

  • All meals while onboard
  • Non - alcoholic beverages, house wines and beer
  • Laundry
  • Group transfers to/from yacht on recommended flights
  • All excursions , Galapagos Park entrance fee and INGALA transit card
  • Use of snorkelling equipment, wet suits, kayaks and stand - up paddleboards
  • Internet

Not Included

  • All air tickets
  • Visas
  • Private transfers
  • Premium wines
  • Boutique purchases
  • Guide and crew gratuities

Highlights

  • Visit Fausto Llerena Breeding Center.
  • Observe greater flamingos, ducks, blacknecked stilts and other shore birds
  • Observe large colonies of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, lizards and snakes