Galapagos Island Tours: Explorer Cruise 4 nights
Galapagos Islands Tours: Explorer Cruise 4 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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- Saturday Morning: Arrival by air to Baltra Airport
- Saturday Afternoon: Cerro Dragon, Santa Cruz Island
- Sunday Morning: Bartholomew Island
- Sunday Afternoon: Puerto Egas, Santiago Island
- Monday Morning: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island
- Monday Afternoon: Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island
- Tuesday Morning: Seymour Norte
- Tuesday Afternoon: El Chato (Highlands),lava tunnels and Wild Giant Tortoises, Santa Cruz Island
- Wednesday Morning: Lobería or Islas Lobos or Tijeretas or El Junco and Interpretation Center, San Cristobal Island
- Departure from San Cristobal
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.
A morning flight from Quito or Guayaquil brings us to Baltra Island, where the Archipelago’s main airport is located. A short bus ride will bring us down to the pier where we board the ship’s Zodiac Dinghies which will transfer us to the Galapagos Explorer, anchored at the bay. After getting settled in our accommodations, an Introduction briefing will be provided by the Expedition Staff. Then we will have our first lunch on board. In the afternoon we visit Cerro Dragon (“Dragon Hill”), on the northwest coast of Santa Curz Island. The name of the site is because of the dragon-looking land iguanas which inhabit the area. A hike over flat and rocky terrain will allow us amazing sights of these colorful reptiles, which were almost extinct some decades ago, but have been spared from the hazard of introduced feral animals, particularly dogs. The walk will also take us through a “palo santo” trees and Opuntia cacti forest, where we will start seeing and learning about the famous Darwin’s finches. Small tidal lagoons behind the beach provide views of occasional flamingoes and some wader birds. A refreshing swim from the white sandy beach or an introductory snorkeling session may be offered too. The evening will include the Welcome on board Cocktail; a Guide’s briefing about the next day’s activities and then dinner.
This morning is spent at the most photographed island in the Archipelago, because of its unique geological formations: Bartolome Island. A steep uphill hike, aided by a wooden staircase built by the National Park to prevent erosion of the fragile terrain, will display before our eyes a live textbook of geology: lava tubes and tunnels; spatter and cinder cones; ash fields with pioneer colonizing plants like the tiquilia and the Brachycerious cacti. At the summit, the view is stunning: the small island looks like a true “moonscape” with its many craters and down below, two golden beaches, separated by a narrow stretch of mangroves. At one end is the bizarre and majestic Pinnacle Rock, the perfect postcard picture of the islands. Back to the landing point we board our dinghies for a boat ride along the coast where we may see a small colony of the endemic Galapagos penguins and other sea birds. The beach will be the venue for a morning of swimming and or snorkeling, offering great opportunities to enjoy the fantastic marine life of the islands. After lunch on board, we disembark on the west coast of James Island, at Puerto Egas, where we land at a grayish volcanic beach, to start a scenic walk along the rocky shoreline, admiring colonies of marine iguanas, the colorful “sally-lightfoot” crabs, sea lions, pelicans and several shore birds around the tidal lagoons. At the end of the trail, a maze of solid lava grottos is the home for this location’s highlight: a colony of the rare and less common fur sea lions. Back at the beach, new opportunities to enjoy a variety of aquatic activities is possible. Back on board, the evening will include the naturalists briefing, followed by dinner.
Today we explore the westernmost part of the Archipelago. A morning visit to Punta Espinoza, on Fernandina Island shows us the youngest and most pristine of the islands. An impressive scenario where hundreds of marine iguanas, blend in with the dark lava rocks, providing a prehistoric sight, with the awesome backdrop of intriguing lava fields and the huge volcano that covers most of the island. Scores of small sandy coves are the home for playful sea lions, while the rocky shoreline is the venue to find two of the most remarkable Galapagos flightless birds: the Penguins and the Flightless Cormorants. Tall mangroves are home to some yellow warblers and sometimes of the imposing Galapagos hawks. Aquatic activities, according to the season and climatic conditions, are offered for the guests to enjoy the marvels of the Galapagos waters. While we navigate at midday, there are good chances of sighting dolphins and or whales as we sail across the deep waters of the Bolivar Channel, separating Fernandina from the west of Isabela Island. After lunch on board, we will spend the afternoon at Punta Vicente Roca, on the northwestern tip of the largest of all the islands: Isabella Island. A dinghy ride will take us along reddish cliffs, filled with perched blue-footed boobies, brown noddy terns and large marine iguanas. If the weather and wave action allow, we may venture inside a lava cove looking for more surprises like frolicking sea lions and numerous brown noddy terns. Later, new alternatives for swimming or snorkeling, form the dinghies, may be offered. The sunsets with Fernandina as the background are particularly beautiful and famous. The evening will feature the daily guides’ talk and dinner.
This morning is dedicated to explore North Seymour Island, teeming with bird life and other fascinating Galapagos fauna and flora. Landing on lava rocks will provide us with close views of the pretty and endemic swallow-tailed gulls. Then, a flat yet rocky trail over lava boulders will bring us inland to watch, in season, large colonies of nesting blue-footed boobies along with frigate birds. Here we may also watch some species of Darwin’s finches and mockingbirds. Later, along a sandy trail, following the coastline, to watch surfing sea lions and slow moving dark marine iguanas. Optional activities for the rest of the morning may include some water activities like swimming, snorkeling or a glass bottom boat ride. Lunch is served on board before our last afternoon’s outing. This time, a bus takes us from the turquoise waters of the Itabaca Channel into the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where we will admire the famous Los Gemelos Twin Craters and the lush vegetation of the second largest of the islands. Here, in season, we will look for giant tortoises in the wild and admire the fascinating forests of the unique Scalessia trees. In the evening, the Departure briefing will explain activities and procedures for the next day and will be followed by a farewell dinner.
This morning finds us at San Cristobal Island and we can opt between several alternatives (subject to weather, time and availability conditions) either to visit the National Park’s Interpretation Center; El Junco Lake up in the island’s hills; Cerro Tijeretas or a boat ride along Isla Lobos, (sea lions island), mainly to observe its large sea lion colonies. In the later part of the morning, a short stroll through the picturesque city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the Islands’ capital will be the prelude to the five minute bus ride to the local Airport for our return flight to continental Ecuador.
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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.