Day 1 – Yacht La Pinta Northern
At Baltra’s Seymour Airport (GPS), after the Galapagos National Park control, your hand luggage will be checked by authorities to ensure there are no prohibited products such as seeds, etc. The authorities will also register your arrival and ask you for the Sworn Statement of Goods form you filled out on the plane. Next, you will proceed to collect your checked luggage. Please note that if your hand luggage was taken by the airline staff (either in Quito or Guayaquil, because it was too big) this is the time to retrieve it using the claim stub provided by the airlines.
You then hand your checked luggage to our ship’s staff who will take care of its transfer to your vessel. Please note that this is the last time you will be in contact with your baggage until you board. Make sure you carry the following with you for the day in a small daypack: Comfortable, closed-toe shoes, long socks, and the essentials described previously. Also, bring a small amount of money for souvenirs, extras, and other items not included in your programme. Please follow our staff’s instructions regarding transportation and feel free to ask them for any additional information.
You will not board the ship immediately upon reaching Baltra. Following our arrival at Baltra Airport, we transfer to the Itabaca Channel. The transfer bus is a basic official airport shuttle which you may need to share with other passengers. Sometimes, this means we must wait a while for the next available bus. The ride generally lasts no more than 10 minutes.
At the channel, we take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. The ferry ride lasts approximately 15 minutes and is shared with other passengers. Sometimes, if the ferry is full, we may experience a slight delay as we wait for the ferry to be available.
We are picked up on the Santa Cruz side by a chartered bus which takes us up to the highlands, where we have the chance to explore this beautiful natural habitat and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Non-alcoholic drinks are included in the lunch. Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. We recommend using the restrooms at the restaurant. You can leave your backpack in the transfer vehicle.
Before continuing our journey down to Puerto Ayora on the south side of Santa Cruz Island, according to your itinerary, after lunch you will have the opportunity to see giant tortoises up close. For this, we recommend you wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and make sure you carry long socks with you in case your visit requires the use of boots, which we will provide if the visit is in the highlands.
Once in Puerto Ayora, you will have the opportunity to purchase last-minute items, but we remind you that the on-board boutique carries a broad range of reasonably-priced products, many of which support socially responsible Ecuadorian suppliers. These products include: all necessary expedition apparel and equipment, jewellery, Fair Trade artisanal souvenirs, and essentials such as sunscreen, repellent, and toiletries. Our vessels also have a doctor on board who has a limited supply of common medications.
In Puerto Ayora, we are picked up in inflatable landing craft (our staff may refer to them as pangas) and embark on your vessel. Before you board, you will be instructed in the correct use of life jackets and the hands-free policy, both of which are key parts of our Safety Management Certification Program (ISM) designed to ensure your wellbeing throughout your stay with us.
Once aboard the ship, check in with the Hotel Manager. This is the time to hand in the cruise voucher. Please make sure you keep all papers given to you by the local Galapagos authorities. You will need them later when departing Galapagos. Your luggage awaits you in your cabin and our crew will give you orientation and safety talks. All activities on board are announced through the P.A. system.