Travel the Galapagos as Darwin did, voyaging from island to island, on our new Galapagos Islands Luxury Adventure Cruise. On board the Petrel, a luxury catamaran, you explore the archipelago with all the freedom, thrill, and adventure that only sailing can provide. Our catamaran cruise is designed around the adventurous spirit of the Galapagos.
The Petrel takes you to some of the Galapagos’ most iconic sights such as Kicker Rock and Devil’s Crown as well as secluded inlets difficult to reach from larger vessels or land-locked tours. With the catamaran’s kayaks, wet suits, and snorkeling gear easily available, you can navigate your own adventures. During the day, our professional Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide enhances your excursions, making sure they are not only enjoyable but informative. During the evening, stretch out on the deck’s lounge chairs to soak up the setting sun, enjoy exceptional meals with better views, and relax in the simple luxury of your accommodations. On the catamaran adventure cruise, our crew does the work so that you don’t have to.
Tour the Galapagos Islands as they were meant to be experienced—from the sea that embraces them and makes them what they are today. Our Galapagos Islands Luxury Adventure Cruise allows you to experience the simple beauty of a secluded world from the best seat in the house.
If you’re going to go Galapagos, don’t just take a vacation; go on an expedition.
Travel to Ecuador - Quito or Guayaquil
Both Quito and Guayaquil support major airlines from many cities worldwide. To get out to the islands, our guest have always found Guayaquil to more convenient and cost affective. However, if you plan to extend your stay in Ecuador and want to visit Quito and the popular Otavalo Market, flying into Quito may be a better option for you.
Arrival to Baltra and Snorkel North Seymour Island
You arrive at the Baltra airport to be greeted by our guides, who assist you and transport you to the awaiting yacht, Petrel. Tour the yacht and settle into your cabin before a brief welcome meeting and lunch before the afternoon’s activities.
The Petrel sets sail to take us to North Seymour Island, a small, uplifted island just north of Baltra. We hike through a Palo Santo forest dotted with the nests of blue-footed boobies and see the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds found throughout the archipelago. Ever since scientists relocated Baltra’s declining population of land iguanas to its neighboring island, North Seymour has played host to a huge—and growing—population.
Spend the afternoon watching marine and land iguanas leave tracks across the white coral sand beaches and Galápagos sea lions lounging on the warm black lava rocks. If we get too warm ourselves, we take a dip and discover the wealth of marine life beneath the surface. Marine life such as manta rays, garden eels, reef sharks, and a wide array of fish live under the cresting, silver and blue waves.
The setting sun takes us back to the yacht, where we enjoy an apéritif and dinner before turning in.
Snorkeling Vincente Roca Point and Hiking Espinosa Point
This morning takes us to Isla Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos Islands made up of six volcanoes. Once our yacht anchors off the coast, we take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point. Today, two wide, turquoise coves lie carved from the remains of an ancient volcano. Blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants amble along the shoreline along with occasional sea lions and Galapagos penguins.
While Vicente Roca Point’s terrestrial wildlife and rising cliffs are worthwhile sites, it’s the abundant marine life that make the area one of the archipelago’s best snorkel spots. We put on our own snorkel gear to float alongside Green sea turtles, rays, puffer fish, and the spectacular yet slightly freakish mola-mola (otherwise known as sunfish) that inhabit the protected waters.
Our afternoon takes us from Isla Isabela to Isla Fernandina via the Bolivar Channel. While Isabela may have six volcanoes, Fernandina’s sole volcano, La Cumbre, is so busy that it makes Fernandina the most volcanically active island of the archipelago.
We land on Espinosa Point, where the black volcanic rock appears to still be flowing as it shifts and wriggles. It’s not molten lava, however, but masses of marine iguanas that coat the rocks. We spend some time walking amongst the colonies of iguanas before reaching one of the island’s most compelling sights: a Flightless cormorant nesting site where Galapagos hawks also like to roost. We hike around the cliffs in hopes of seeing Flightless cormorants feeding their chicks before returning to the shores, where we finish off the day by snorkeling through some of the archipelago’s most pristine waters.
As the afternoon draws to a close, we return to the awaiting yacht to relax after our nautical adventures. Enjoy a fresh dinner and the serenity only sailing can provide before returning to your cabins for the evening.
Hiking and Snorkeling Tagus Cove and Urbina Bay
Our morning takes us back to the Bolivar Channel as we sail to Tagus Cove, which lies hidden on Isabela’s northwestern shores. Tagus Cove has been visited by a sundry of travelers, some more elite than others; pirates, whalers, buccaneers, and even Charles Darwin have graced the shores of Tagus Cove. We witness the legacies of some of history’s most intrepid explorers as we view their names and the names of their vessels carved into volcanic rock before continuing on a hike to Darwin Lake.
The short yet steep hike up a tuff cone leads us to Darwin Lake, which lies within. The shallow, saline lake tends to be surrounded by a variety of land birds such as yellow warblers, Galapagos hawks, ground and tree finches, and large-billed flycatchers. While these birds soar above the tuff cone, land iguanas or giant tortoises can sometimes be seen roaming the rocky incline. Once we view the view from the heights and explore the lake, we return to the shore. Cool off with some kayaking or snorkeling for a different view of the rising cliffs before we continue on to Urbina Bay.
Urbina Bay lies at the foot of the Darwin and Alcedo volcanoes on Isabela Island’s western coast. The recently-uplifted bay stands as a fragile mausoleum with the remains of the sea floor and its marine life left to dry on the exposed surface. We hike along two trails that wind throughout the bay and its bared, deteriorating coral reefs while looking out for giant tortoises, land iguanas, and flightless cormorants. There’s also time to explore thriving, underwater coral reefs. Slip on some snorkeling gear and get a closer look at the Galapagos’ incredible marine ecosystem in the afternoon sun.
After our day of bays and cays we return to the yacht, where you can lounge on the sundeck while enjoying a cocktail before dinner.
Panga Ride and Snorkeling Elizabeth Bay and Moreno Point
We continue our sail around Isla Isabela today as we head south toward Elizabeth Bay. Watch out for sea lions surfing the wake and brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies diving for dorados during the cruise.
Our yacht drops anchor off Elizabeth Bay and we take to the pangas to reach the sheltered site. Nestled between the Alcedo and Sierra Negra volcanoes, Elizabeth Bay consists of a series of islets and high, richly-colored red and black mangroves. Sea turtles lounge by the shores of an interior lagoon and calmly paddle the placid waters. Galápagos penguins and blue-footed boobies enjoy hopping from rock to rock, and occasional sharks and whales can be seen navigating the islets. Your panga ride allows you to have an intimate experience with the best of the Galápagos wildlife.
Our afternoon takes us farther along Isabela’s western coast to Moreno Point, where mangroves lead way to stretches of sharp, black lava rocks strewn with lagoons and tide pools. It’s a great day to be a birder, as flamingos, gallinules, great blue herons, Madeiran storm petrels, and mockingbirds enjoy this dry and diverse ecosystem.
Our activities will be as varied as the landscape this afternoon: panga rides take us along the rugged shoreline to catch sight of more land birds; snorkeling brings us face to face with flighty fish, moseying sea turtles, and toe-curling sharks; and hiking takes us through the jagged fields of lava flows to witness the astounding power of nature in even the most barren of ecosystems.
We play all day before we return to our awaiting yacht. Relax and re-energize with another delicious meal in the quiet peace of the wild world surrounding you before turning in.
Hiking Sierra Negra Volcano and Puerto Villamil
Today gets off to a volcanic start as we explore the heights of the Sierra Negra and Chico Volcanoes—two of the oldest volcanoes on Isabela. Hike around the ridge of the expansive basaltic caldera of the Sierra Negra—the second largest in the world—to witness the impressive forces of the earth. Vegetation spills over the rim and spreads to the caldera’s floor, providing a sharp dichotomy for the senses.
Our next stop is Volcan Chico, whose moonscape provides an incredibly different experience with its fumaroles, lava tubes, and petrified lava. Piles of black and rust-red rocks, perforated and warped, blanket the terrain. Volcan Chico emits a truly alien ambience. We spend most of the morning hiking and walking through the rugged countryside.
The afternoon takes us out of the arid and barren and into the humid and dewy as we venture into Isabela’s Wetlands near Puerto Villamil. It’s almost a different world with its mangroves, lagoons, and swamps. We wind our way through the Wetlands and look out for the Whimbrels, Common Stilts, White-cheeked pintail ducks, and gallinules that enjoy the wetter climate.
After our walk, we make our way to the nearby Wall of Tears, a bittersweet and historical landmark. The large, lava stone wall stands at about 3 meters wide, 25 meters high, and 100 meters long—an abiding testament to Isabela Island’s penal system and its previous prisoners who were forced to build the wall as part of their penance. Thousands surrendered their lives to the wall’s construction, and the Wall of Tears gained its name after locals claimed to hear the prisoners’ cries emerging from the sorrowful feature. We hike beside the wall and appreciate the roles that humans have played in molding the Galapagos Islands’s history.
Our final full day in the Galapagos comes to a conclusion as we find our way back to the Petrel. Indulge yourself with panoramic views and luxurious food on your final evening onboard!
Hiking Santa Cruz Highlands, Charles Darwin Research Center, and Return Flight
We wake early for breakfast onboard before we head toward our final Galapagos Island: Santa Cruz. Unlike the other islands we visited on our tour, Santa Cruz has grown into a populated and developed tourism hub. We don’t spend too much time investigating the island’s urban centers, however, as we head toward the Highlands where giant tortoises still roam the forested hills. The highlight of the morning is our stop by the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS).
The CDRS conducts many of the different scientific studies that play a pivotal role in the Galapagos’ never-ceasing conservation and environmental education efforts. We explore the facilities and learn about their research projects before finding our way to the giant tortoise restoration program. We walk along with giant tortoises within the CDRS’s protected grounds, seeing these large and long-lived creatures in their natural habitat. We also view their breeding facilities where you can witness giant tortoises in all their stages of maturation, from eggs, to hatchlings, to adults. There’s no better way to end your Galapagos stay than by spending time with some of the islands’ most distinctive creatures who remain vulnerable to extinction.
Once we have finished our Santa Cruz adventures we take you to the Baltra Airport to meet your scheduled flight back to mainland Ecuador. You may have time to catch a flight out to an extension or back home this day from mainland Ecuador. But most will choose to stay at a hotel in Quito or Guayaquil. We are happy to assist you in this hotel booking. If so, your hotel transfer will await your arrival at the airport.
Don't stop here! We have amazing Ecuador mainland extensions. Or, while you are so close, think about visiting Machu Picchu! Here are some ideas:
4 or more days
Note: The above itinerary is subject to change due to water currents and weather conditions. These factors could influence the schedule, planned activities, and wildlife sightings described.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jan 01, 2017 to Dec 31, 2018 |
Inquire for Specific Departure Dates
|Dec 21, 2018 to Nov 26, 2018 |
Christmas Departure Itinerary A
Prices above are for Staterooms.
*Suites rates are $5670
Christmas Break 2018
December 21, 2018 - December 26, 2018. We chartered this date specifically for our guests. It's the most popular time of the year and prices are typically inflated. For this reason, we've chartered the entire boat so you don't pay the inflated prices! Book in advance.
Itinerary A Dates
6 Day Trips depart every Friday throughout the year.
Itinerary B Dates (As described above)
6 Day Trips depart every Wednesday throughout the year
- All shore excursions
- All meals throughout the cruise
- Soft drinks and juices
- Champagne reception
- Complimentary fruit platter
- Galapagos National Park certified guide
- Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits
Rates do not Include:
- Roundtrip airfare to Galapagos.*
- Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee, $100.*
- Galapagos Transit Control Card, $20.*
- Tips to crew
- Alcoholic beverages
- Plastic bottled sodas
The Petrel has a single cabin on the main deck which is available to single travelers with no supplement in the regular season. If this is already reserved, or single travelers wish a larger Stateroom there is a 50% single supplement charged.
During peak season - Christmas, Easter, Spring Break and New Years this cabin is not available and the single supplement is 100% of the standard rate.
*prices subject to change.
Images & Videos
The newest ship in Galapagos, the Petrel offers a deluxe way to visit these magical islands. Named after a sea bird common to Galapagos, the Petrel is like its namesake: elegant, swift and silent at sea. A motorized catamaran, the Petrel is designed for comfort and stability and is outfitted with spacious cabins, a comfortable lounge, and Jacuzzi.
- Year of construction: September 2015
- Type: Power Motor
- Catamaran Length: 115 ft (35 m)
- Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
- Draft: 5.4 ft (1,65 m)
- Tonnage: 208 tons
- Capacity: 16 passengers
- Main engines: 2 x Yanmar Diesel Engines 400HP@1950rpm
- Power generators: 2 x John Deere Genset 70kw@1800rpm
- Cruising speed: 10 knots
- Water maker: 2000 Gallons / day
- Exterior: GFRP (fiber reinforced polymer)
- Main Deck: 2 Suites 463ft² / 43m²
- 2 Double Staterooms 323 ft² / 30 m²
- Upper Deck: 4 Double Staterooms 323 ft² / 30 m²
- 1 Single Stateroom 151 ft² / 14 m²
- Sun Deck: Jacuzzi (Please check with your Guide and Quality Control Manager for our Jaccuzi schedules.)
- Kayaks, Snorkeling Gear, Wet Suits available
- Bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide
- Cruise Manager
- 8 Additional Crew Members (First Mate, Second Mate, Chef, Sous Chef, Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Barman, Housekeeper)
Safety & Navigation
- All equipment meets or exceeds the international SOLAS standard: 2x 20-man life raft Navtex 2 GPS Depth Sounder 2 naval radars Fire detection and prevention systems etc.
All Suites can be either King or Twin Beds.
All Cabins can be either King or Twin Beds
FAQ & More
The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon)are a Province of Ecuador located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast and are located directly on the equator.
We've created a detailed, month-to-month page to explain the weather and for you to decide when would be best for you to visit the Galapagos Islands:
Galapagos Islands Weather
We book your round-trip flights from Ecuador mainland to the Galapagos Islands.
We do not book your flights to get to Ecuador but we do have a great air travel specialist we can refer you to.
However, be sure to bring cash bills in good condition because bills with markings or tears won’t be accepted. There are also ATM machines in the larger towns. It’s a good idea to alert your bank that you’ll be traveling to Ecuador so they don’t stop the transactions.
There are no special requirements or vaccines to go to Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands.
There is an opportunity for snorkeling almost every day on this trip and the underwater life is a true highlight of visiting the Galapagos. Our trip offers more opportunities than most, and on some days we stop at two or three locations to snorkel.
If you’ve never been snorkeling we highly recommend you practice before the trip. It's not necessary but you will enjoy the experience much more!
No. On this Galapagos Islands Luxury Adventure Cruise, all of the equipment is on board!