Wednesday Baltra Island We arrive by plane at Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the M/V Santa Cruz where we receive our welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
North Seymour Island
This is a great introductory site to the islands and their wildlife, full of bird colonies of blue footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas.
Thursday Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) After breakfast, we explore the coast by panga, while our naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area, nesting place for a Galápagos highlight: flightless cormorants. Depending on weather conditions, we can snorkel along the cliffs of this area rich in marine life, seasonally-visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola) Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island) The afternoon is dedicated to exploring the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina, which, having no introduced mammals, boasts a very unique environment with a very high density of marine iguanas, who share their space with sea lions, Sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorants.
Friday Tagus Cove (Isabela Island) After breakfast, we land at this cove on the northwest of Isabela. It provided a favourite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. An uphill hike takes guests to the rim of a crater, Darwin lake, filled with salt water and to a dramatic viewpoint. After our walk, we take a panga ride to spot local wildlife, with the possibility of swimming or snorkelling.
Urbina Bay (Isabela Island) After lunch we disembark at Urbina Bay, the fascinating result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here we can admire corals, shells and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. First we enjoy a snorkel from the beach, with the chance of swimming with flightless cormorants and penguins. This are is also home to a large and very colourful Galápagos land iguanas, and occasionally to giant tortoises. We return back on board for our expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.
Saturday Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island) In the morning, we disembark (dry landing) for our visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following our visit, we board our transport to enjoy lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
Santa CruzIsland We have several options available for the afternoon, which can be discussed in advance with your Expedition Leader. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, we return to Puerto Ayora and embark on the Santa Cruz.
Sunday Post Office Bay and Baroness Cove (Floreana Island) A short walk leads us to the historic barrel where postcards are traditionally left for guests from other vessels to hand-deliver to their destinations. Near Post Office Bay, we explore the north shore of Floreana along narrow channels teeming with life. After a wet landing and a short walk, we reach Baroness Cove where all will be revealed about the fascinating “murder mystery” on Floreana. Swimming and snorkelling off the beach is a good option. We then head back on board for lunch.
Champion Islet and Cormorant Point (Floreana Island) Following lunch and a siesta, we take to the pangas and glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkelling spots in the archipelago. From there, it´s on to Cormorant Point, beginning with a wet landing on the olivine-crystal beach for an easy walk that includes a brackish water lagoon where bird species such as greater flamingos, pintail ducks, common stilts, herons, sandpipers, and others gather. We continue our walk over to a white-sand beach, where sea turtles emerge from the sea at night to nest (from December to May).
Monday Baltra Island We disembark at Baltra Island in order to transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
The itineraries and programme are subject to change without prior notice, due mainly to adjustments in the policies and regulations of the Galápagos National Park, weather conditions, seasonal changes and safety reasons.
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
Metropolitan Touring is one of South America’s most known and respected travel companies, providing unrivalled service to our guests for nearly 60 years. Along with our operations in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, we also own and operate the finest ships for Galapagos Island cruises - the M/V Santa Cruz, Yacht Isabella II and Yacht La Pinta - as well as the Finch Bay Eco Hotel. Come explore with us!
We take immense pride in our Galapagos cruise explorations, during which our guests experience the ever-changing ecological paradise of the islands. Our Galapagos cruises provide opportunities to walk, swim, snorkel, photograph and observe the archipelago’s amazing wildlife in the company of expert naturalist guides. Our Galapagos cruises are characterized by the highest standards of comfort, cuisine and service on board, combining these elements to provide solo-travelers, families and small groups with an unforgettable exploration of ‘the enchanted isles.’
So, pack your bags and come explore with us for a Galapagos cruise of a lifetime!