Galapagos Island Tours: Explorer Cruise 3 nights
Galapagos Islands Tours: Explorer Cruise 3 Nights
The M/V Galápagos Explorer II is designed to provide comfort and scientific information to 100 passengers visiting the Galápagos National Park. It's operation is emphasized with interesting itineraries for 3, 4 and 7 nights that offer the best of this pristine paradise. Expert naturalist guides will offer an environmentally friendly and educational cruise focused in the Natural History of the Galápagos.
The expedition includes daily outings to explore the wonders of the islands on nature hikes, boat rides, glass/bottom boat, trips as well as swimming, snorkelling activities and more.
Itinerary / Map
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- Wednesday Morning: Arrival in San Cristobal Airport
- Wednesday Afternoon: Ochoa Beach, San Cristobal Island
- Thursday Morning: Punta Suarez, Española Island
- Thursday Afternoon: Charles Darwin Station & Puerto Ayora, Sta.Cruz Island
- Friday Morning: El Barranco, Genovesa Island
- Friday Afternoon: Bahia Darwin, Genovesa Island
- Saturday Morning: Bachas Beach, Santa Cruz Island
- Departure from Baltra
Important: The alternatives offered in the itinerary are not for passengers selection. The Guide will provide information about the final program directly to the passengers, all the alternatives offered are subject to the Galapagos National Park authorization.
This morning we fly from Quito or Guayaquil into San Cristobal Island’s Airport, five minutes from the centre of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the administrative and political capital of Galapagos, a maritime province of Ecuador. A short bus ride will bring us to the main pier at the picturesque town, to board the Zodiac dinghies which will transfer us to the Explorer, anchored at the pretty bay. An Introduction briefing and conference will be followed by our first lunch on board. The afternoon will take us to the first encounter with the celebrated Galapagos fauna and flora as we visit Playa Ochoa, on San Cristobal Island, a golden-color sandy beach, surrounded by mangroves. Strolling along the beach we may get first sightings of marine iguanas as well as the endemic San Cristobal mockingbirds and lava lizards. Some herons might be observed and there will be a chance to swim and or snorkel from the beach. Sunset will find us making our way back to the ship, with the magnificent background of the imposing Kicker Rock anchored further off-shore. A briefing about the following day’s activities will be followed by the Welcome Cocktail party and dinner on board.
This morning features a visit to one of the Archipelago’s highlights: Punta Suàrez on Hood or Española Island. A wet landing on a small sandy beach will lead us to a narrow rocky trail to be amazed by large colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies; Nazca boobies, sea lions and an endemic sub-species of marine iguana, unique to this island. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves and yellow warblers will capture our attention on land. At the end of the loop trail, we will find the main attraction of this island: the nesting area of the majestic Galapagos Waved Albatrosses, the largest seabird of the Pacific Ocean, which only nests on this particular island of the Galapagos group, between May and December, every year. Their courtship dance is a natural wonder of synchronicity and grace. A natural blowhole in the lava rocks by the sea provides an additional element to admire. As we navigate towards the center of the Archipelago, lunch is served on board and in the afternoon we will visit Santa Cruz Island, featuring the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will meet the famous giant tortoises, amongst a forest of tall Opuntia cacti trees, teeming with Darwin’s finches. Later, a stroll through the colorful town of Puerto Ayora, bustling with commerce, its small fishing port and dozens of Souvenir shops, cafès and restaurants, will give us a feeling of human life out on this remote Archipelago. The evening will include the daily briefing or talk by the naturalist guides and dinner on board.
We will spend all of this day visiting two different locations at one of the most remote and isolated of the islands, at the north eastern extreme of the Archipelago: Tower or Genovesa Island. The morning will take us to El Barranco (“The Cliff”), also known as Prince Philip Steps, where, after a short but steep climb, aided by wooden railing, we will explore the south eastern tip of the island, to meet scores of red-footed boobies nesting on the “palo santo” trees; Nazca boobies, frigate birds and three species of Darwin’s finches. Further along the flat trail, we will encounter a huge lava field, the nesting home for thousands of storm petrels. After the hike, there will be opportunities to swim and or snorkel, from the dinghies, along the rocky cliffs, to admire colorful parrot fishes and other marine life or time for relaxing at a sandy beach. After lunch on board, we will disembark for our afternoon visit to the northern tip of Darwin’s Bay, in the center of Tower Island. A wet landing at a coral-pebbled white beach will bring us in contact with some Galapagos sea lions and a nesting colony of the beautiful swallow-tailed gulls, unique to these Islands. A short and easy flat trail over sandy terrain will show us one of the largest sea bird concentrations of the Archipelago (and of the Pacific), with thousands of red-footed boobies, sharing quarters with Great Frigate birds, the males with their brightly scarlet red inflated pouches on the breeding season, adding color to the already fabulous sight. Small and particularly dark black marine iguanas and some shore birds will complement the view as we explore the shoreline. Alternatives for a longer nature hike over more irregular lava terrain are offered or else, a new opportunity to enjoy the aquatic activities. Back on board, the evening will feature a Departure briefing for those leaving the next day and dinner on board.
A short visit will be made this morning to Las Bachas Beach on the northern end of Santa Cruz Island, to observe a small lagoon with occasional flamingoes and shore birds. Then we return to the ship to prepare for the short bus transfer which will bring us to Baltra Island’s Airport, for the return flight to mainland Ecuador.
View Galapagos Island Tours: Explorer Cruise 3 nights in a larger map
The M/V Galápagos Explorer II is designed to provide comfort and scientific information to 100 passengers visiting the Galápagos National Park. It's operation is emphasized with interesting itineraries that offer the best of this pristine paradise. Expert naturalist guides will offer an environmentally friendly and educational cruise focused in the Natural History of the Galápagos.
Built in La Spezzia, Italy, the Galapagos Explorer II has a length of 88.16 meters (290 feet) and weighs 4077 tons of Gross Register. With a crew of seventy, the Ship offers an unmatched combination of adventure and discovery, together with the vessel’s great comfort and elegance, bringing together all the amenities of a large luxury cruise ship with the casual and friendly atmosphere of a top class Expedition vessel to explore the unique Galapagos Islands.
The Explorer is the only all-suites vessel operating in the Galapagos and in addition to its extremely comfortable guest accommodations, the vessel offers an elegant Restaurant with open seating; Lounge and Conference Room; a well stocked Library; Reception and Boutique; Karaoke Bar; as well as a Swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Observation Deck, Karaoke Bar and Infirmary. The ship is fully air conditioned and has satellite communications, the latest navigation and security technology and an internal TV system. Ample space and maximum comfort describe the Galapagos Explorer II in a summary.
The carefully selected and friendly staff is eager to provide the guests with a memorable experience and will share with you their knowledge, hospitality and the culture of Ecuador. The superb Suites, all of them with a sea view; the imaginative itineraries and the diversity of on shore and on board activities, along with a great level of service and a delicious cuisine will certainly delight the most demanding travelers.
- Name: M/V (Motor Vessel) Galapagos Explorer II:
- Location: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Considered one of the most fantastic Natural Areas in the World, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, the Galapagos Archipelago is renowned for its scientific value, unique and unafraid animal species, spectacular sights and equally extraordinary Marine Reserve. The Islands are one of the top nature tourism destinations in South America and the world.
- Expedition Categories: Nature and wildlife; Adventure; Multi-generational trips
- Vessel Category: Deluxe
- Vessel size and type: Expedition Vessel, 100 guests’ capacity
Our suites average 250sqft and offer:
- Private bath with marble vanity (personal hair dryer) and refrigerator.
- TV set available every time you come back from your visits to the islands
- Two twin beds or one queen bed and small sitting area
- Telephone for national or international calls
Facilities on board: 50 suites, Boutique, Library, Karaoke Bar, Conference Room, Restaurant, Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Tea Station, Medical Assistance, Satellite communication.
We have an internal tv system that allows you to have 3 channels.
Entertainment movies. Documentaries on the islands or natural history in general and the daily program.