Galapagos Islands Luxury Cruise | Galapagos Unbound

Galapagos Islands Luxury Cruise

Travel the Galapagos as Darwin did, voyaging from island to island, on our new Galapagos Islands luxury 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 cruise allows you to experience the simple beauty of a secluded world from the best seat in the house.

*Special Christmas Departure on December 21 - 26, 2018 (6 Day A Itinerary)

 

Itineraries

4 Day Cruise Overview

Offering a fascinating introduction to the Galapagos for those short on time, this 4-day itinerary encompasses the first four days of the Petrel's more extensive 8-day Eastern Galapagos Islands Cruise. Get up close to giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Station, go snorkeling in the marine-rich waters of Devil’s Crown and spot blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies at Suarez Point. 

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - Embark San Cristobal to Interpretation Center and La Galapaguera

Fly into the San Cristobal Airport where you will be met by the Petrel crew and transferred to the boat. After a short briefing and time to settle in, meet your fellow passengers over lunch before embarking on your first excursion.

In the afternoon we will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center whose interactive exhibits offer a fascinating insight into the history and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Then travel on to La Galapaguera to learn about the giant tortoise breeding program that has been established by the National Park. 

 

Day 2 - Gardner Bay or Osborn Islet & Suarez Point (Española)

Begin the day at beautiful Gardner Bay on the eastern side of Española Island where sea lions bask on its white sandy beach and the turquoise waters offer exceptional snorkeling to discover the Galapagos’ unique marine life. 

In the afternoon we’ll head to Suarez Point, which is one of the most outstanding wildlife spotting destinations in the archipelago. Spot blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies, together with large waved albatrosses that can be seen launching themselves off the ocean-facing cliff. 

 

Day 3 - Cormorant Point or Devil's Crown & Post Office Bay (Floreana)

Spend the morning at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island where a short trail leads to a salt-water lagoon where flamingoes, common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can all be seen.  Just offshore lies the volcanic crater of Devil’s Crown, which boasts a myriad of marine life and is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.

In the afternoon we’ll head to historic Post Office Bay where a barrel was left during the 18th century as an unofficial mail box for sailors. The tradition continues to this day, so don’t forget to bring your postcards!

 

Day 4 - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)

Begin the day with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, which provides scientific assistance to ensure the conservation and preservation of the islands. Giant tortoises ranging in age from new hatchlings to fully grown adults can all be seen, with most being released back into the wild when they are strong enough to survive.

Then it’s time to say goodbye to your crew as you head to the Baltra Island Airport for your flight back to the mainland.

 

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.

5 Day Cruise Overview 

Experience some of the Galapagos’ most iconic destinations on this 5-day cruise to the islands of Bartolome, North Seymour, Santa Cruz, Santiago and Genovesa. Soak up the sweeping vistas of Pinnacle Rock from the summit of Bartolome Island, go trekking through the lush highlands of Santa Cruz to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat and spot Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls at beautiful Darwin Bay. 

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - Baltra to Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Fly to Baltra Island where you will be met by the Petrel crew and transferred to the boat. After a short briefing and time to settle in, meet your fellow passengers over lunch before embarking on your first excursion.

After lunch, we’ll head into the Santa Cruz Highlands to explore its lush forests where mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings and Darwin’s finches can all be spotted. Also, keep an eye out for giant tortoises that can often be seen here in their natural habitat. 

 

Day 2 - Sullivan Bay (Santiago) & Pinnacle Rock (Bartolome)

After breakfast on board, we’ll begin the day at Sullivan Bay, which features a vibrantly-patterned lava flow that includes rope-like pahoehoe and lava bubbles known as “hornitos”.

In the afternoon we will visit iconic Pinnacle Rock and hike to the summit of Bartolome Island to take in what is one of the most famous views in the Galapagos Islands. The beach here is also ideal for an afternoon dip, with occasional sightings of Galapagos penguins. 

 

Day 3 - Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip's Steps (Genovesa)

Begin the day at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island where a 750-meter-long trail leads from its coral beach through mangrove forests that are teeming with birdlife. Keep an eye out for Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls that can all be spotted here. 

In the afternoon we’ll tackle the steep climb up Prince Phillip's Steps, which leads to a lively seabird colony. Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows and Galapagos doves can all be spotted amidst the unique palo santo vegetation. 

 

Day 4 - Puerto Egas, Espumilla Beach or Buccaneer Cove (Santiago)

Begin the day at Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, which was the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960s. Its black-sand beach is frequented by Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards and a short trail leads to tidal pools and grottos teeming with wildlife.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Espumilla Beach to watch as herons hunt for crabs and go snorkeling to spot moray eels, octopi and sharks, then continue on to Buccaneer Cove, a former pirate haven where sea lions and sea turtles can be seen. 

 

Day 5 - Carrion Point (Santa Cruz)

Begin your final day onboard at the sheltered lagoon of Carrion Point whose beautiful turquoise waters are home to a variety of fish, rays and white-tipped reef shark. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your crew as you head to the Baltra Island Airport for your flight back to the mainland. 

 

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.

Special Christmas Departure on December 21 - 26, 2018

6 Day A Cruise Overview

Encounter the dramatic volcanic landscapes and fascinating wildlife of the Galapagos Islands on this 6-day itinerary to North Seymour, Fernandina and Santa Cruz islands. Photograph endemic marine iguanas and a myriad of birdlife of Fernandina, snorkel with sea turtles at beautiful Vicente Roca Point and get up close to giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - Embark Baltra to North Seymour

Fly to Baltra Island where you will be met by the Petrel crew and transferred to the boat. After a short briefing and time to settle in, meet your fellow passengers over lunch before embarking on your first excursion. 

In the afternoon we’ll explore the rocky coast of North Seymour Island, which was formed by a series of submarine lava flows that were later uplifted by tectonic activity. Sail past colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds or venture below the water’s surface on your first Galapagos snorkeling excursion.

 

Day 2 - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela) & Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Begin the day at Vicente Roca Point on the northern end of Isabela Island, which is one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands in the Galapagos. The two turquoise coves at Vicente Roca Point were formed by an ancient volcano, with its bay protected from ocean swells and boasting a spectacular marine life. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, seahorses and Mola Mola while snorkeling here, together with blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins. 

As you enjoy lunch on board, we’ll sail across the Bolivar Channel (hopefully spotting dolphins and whales en route) and land at Espinosa Point. This narrow stretch of land is home to hundreds of marine iguanas basking on the black lava rocks, together with a group of playful sea lions and a flightless cormorant nesting site. 

 

Day 3 - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay (Isabela)

After breakfast onboard the Petrel, we’ll explore Tagus Cove where pirate graffiti dating back to 1836 adorns the cliffs. Your naturalist guide will lead you on a short hike through the spectacular lava formations of Isabela to spot penguins, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas and sea lions. 

In the afternoon, we’ll land at Urbina Bay where stingrays and sea turtles can often be seen swimming near the water’s surface. Follow the short trail that leads to a coral reef while keeping an eye out for flightless cormorants, pelicans and marine iguanas along the shoreline, as well as soaking up the breathtaking views of Volcano Alcedo. 

 

Day 4 - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point (Isabela)

We’ll begin the day at beautiful Elizabeth Bay for a panga ride along its red mangrove-lined shores. See hawks soaring overhead and watch as brown pelicans dive for fish, together with Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies that can often be seen on the rocks. 

After lunch on board, we’ll sail towards Moreno Point and make a dry landing near its crystal tidal pools that were created in craters left by ancient lava flows. Spot penguins and blue herons along the rocky shores, together with pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules in the brackish lagoon waters.

 

Day 5 - Sierra Negra Volcano and Wetlands

Begin the day with an invigorating hike up the lush slopes of the Sierra Negra Volcano, which boasts the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos Islands. There are magnificent views of the lowlands from the summit and numerous different finch species can be spotted. 

In the afternoon we’ll explore the wetlands of Isabela, which consist of lagoons, swamps and mangroves situated just outside of Puerto Villamil. Spot common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails and gallinules on a short walk, then get up close to Galapagos tortoises at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center. 

 

Day 6 - Charles Darwin Station & Los Gemelos (Santa Cruz)

Begin the day at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island where tortoises ranging in age from new hatchlings to fully grown adults can be seen up close. Learn about the conservation measures being taken to ensure their survival and the scientific assistance provided by the research station to ensure the preservation of the Galapagos Islands.

It’s then time to say goodbye to your crew and head to the Baltra Island Airport for your flight back to the mainland. 

 

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.

 

6 Day B Cruise Overview

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - 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.

 

Day 2 - 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.

 

Day 3 - 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.

 

Day 4 - 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.

 

Day 5 - 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!

 

Day 6 - 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.

 

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.

8 Day A Cruise Overview

Explore the wildlife-rich western and central regions of the Galapagos on this 8-day itinerary to North Seymour, Isabela, Fernandina, Santa Cruz, South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands. Experience the abundant bird life of Isabela, see hundreds of marine iguanas basking in the sun at Espinosa Point and spot giant tortoises in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz. 

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - Embark Baltra to North Seymour

Fly to Baltra Island where you will be met by the Petrel crew and transferred to the boat. After a short briefing and time to settle in, meet your fellow passengers over lunch before embarking on your first excursion. 

In the afternoon we’ll explore the rocky coast of North Seymour Island, which was formed by a series of submarine lava flows that were later uplifted by tectonic activity. Sail past colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds or venture below the water’s surface on your first Galapagos snorkeling excursion.

 

Day 2 - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela) & Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Begin the day at Vicente Roca Point on the northern end of Isabela Island, which is one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands in the Galapagos. The two turquoise coves at Vicente Roca Point were formed by an ancient volcano, with its bay protected from ocean swells and boasting a spectacular marine life. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, seahorses and Mola Mola while snorkeling here, together with blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins. 

As you enjoy lunch on board, we’ll sail across the Bolivar Channel (hopefully spotting dolphins and whales en route) and land at Espinosa Point. This narrow stretch of land is home to hundreds of marine iguanas basking on the black lava rocks, together with a group of playful sea lions and a flightless cormorant nesting site. 

 

Day 3 - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay (Isabela)

After breakfast onboard the Petrel, we’ll explore Tagus Cove where pirate graffiti dating back to 1836 adorns the cliffs. Your naturalist guide will lead you on a short hike through the spectacular lava formations of Isabela to spot penguins, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas and sea lions. 

In the afternoon, we’ll land at Urbina Bay where stingrays and sea turtles can often be seen swimming near the water’s surface. Follow the short trail that leads to a coral reef while keeping an eye out for flightless cormorants, pelicans and marine iguanas along the shoreline, as well as soaking up the breathtaking views of Volcano Alcedo. 

 

Day 4 - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point (Isabela)

We’ll begin the day at beautiful Elizabeth Bay for a panga ride along its red mangrove-lined shores. See hawks soaring overhead and watch as brown pelicans dive for fish, together with Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies that can often be seen on the rocks. 

After lunch on board, we’ll sail towards Moreno Point and make a dry landing near its crystal tidal pools that were created in craters left by ancient lava flows. Spot penguins and blue herons along the rocky shores, together with pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules in the brackish lagoon waters. 

 

Day 5 - Sierra Negra Volcano and Wetlands

Begin the day with an invigorating hike up the lush slopes of the Sierra Negra Volcano, which boasts the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos Islands. There are magnificent views of the lowlands from the summit and numerous different finch species can be spotted. 

In the afternoon we’ll explore the wetlands of Isabela, which consist of lagoons, swamps and mangroves situated just outside of Puerto Villamil. Spot common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails and gallinules on a short walk, then get up close to Galapagos tortoises at the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center. 

 

Day 6 - Charles Darwin Station & Los Gemelos (Santa Cruz)

Begin the day at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island where tortoises ranging in age from new hatchlings to fully grown adults can be seen up close. Learn about the conservation measures being taken to ensure their survival and the scientific assistance provided by the research station to ensure the preservation of the Galapagos Islands.

In the afternoon we’ll explore the twin volcanic depressions of Los Gemelos, which are situated at the highest point of Santa Cruz.

 

Day 7 - South Plaza & Santa Fe

This morning begins with a short hike on South Plaza Island, which is home to one of the largest populations of land iguanas in the Galapagos. Its steep cliffs are covered with Opuntia cacti and its interior swathed in sesuvium while the rocky shores provide a habitat for a large colony of sea lions. 

In the afternoon we’ll visit Santa Fe Island, a volcanically uplifted island that hosts a forest of opuntia cacti and palo santo. We’ll anchor at a picturesque bay and follow a trail that leads to its scenic cliff-top viewpoint or alternatively embark on a short walk to a small beach. 

 

Day 8 - Isla Lobos (San Cristobal)

Our final day begins with a short visit to Isla Lobos, a small island that is named after the boisterous sea lions that play on its rocky shores. It’s then time to say goodbye to your crew as you are transferred to the San Cristobal Airport for your flight back to the mainland.

 

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.

8 Day B Cruise Overview

Explore the northern, central and eastern regions of the Galapagos archipelago on this 8-day cruise from San Cristobal. Get up close to giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz, discover the magnificent marine life of Devil’s Crown and take in the breathtaking views across the volcanic landscapes of Bartolome Island. 

 

Day 0 - 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.

 

Day 1 - Embark San Cristobal to Interpretation Center and La Galapaguera

Fly into the San Cristobal Airport where you will be met by the Petrel crew and transferred to the boat. After a short briefing and time to settle in, meet your fellow passengers over lunch before embarking on your first excursion.

In the afternoon we will visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center whose interactive exhibits offer a fascinating insight into the history and biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands. Then travel on to La Galapaguera to learn about the giant tortoise breeding program that has been established by the National Park. 

 

Day 2 - Gardner Bay or Osborn Islet & Suarez Point (Española)

Begin the day at beautiful Gardner Bay on the eastern side of Española Island where sea lions bask on its white sandy beach and the turquoise waters offer exceptional snorkeling to discover the Galapagos’ unique marine life. 

In the afternoon we’ll head to Suarez Point, which is one of the most outstanding wildlife spotting destinations in the archipelago. Spot blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies, together with large waved albatrosses that can be seen launching themselves off the ocean-facing cliff. 

 

Day 3 - Cormorant Point or Devil's Crown & Post Office Bay (Floreana)

Spend the morning at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island where a short trail leads to a salt-water lagoon where flamingoes, common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can all be seen.  Just offshore lies the volcanic crater of Devil’s Crown, which boasts a myriad of marine life and is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos.

In the afternoon we’ll head to historic Post Office Bay where a barrel was left during the 18th century as an unofficial mail box for sailors. The tradition continues to this day, so don’t forget to bring your postcards!

 

Day 4 - Charles Darwin Station & Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Begin the day with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, which provides scientific assistance to ensure the conservation and preservation of the islands. Giant tortoises ranging in age from new hatchlings to fully grown adults can all be seen, with most being released back into the wild when they are strong enough to survive. 

After lunch, we’ll head into the Santa Cruz Highlands to explore its lush forests where mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings and Darwin’s finches can all be seen. Also, keep an eye out for giant tortoises that can be seen here in their natural habitat. 

 

Day 5 - Sullivan Bay (Santiago) & Pinnacle Rock (Bartolome)

After breakfast on board, we’ll begin the day at Sullivan Bay, which features a vibrantly-patterned lava flow that includes rope-like pahoehoe and lava bubbles known as “hornitos”.

In the afternoon we will visit iconic Pinnacle Rock and hike to the summit of Bartolome Island to take in what is one of the most famous views in the Galapagos Islands. The beach here is also ideal for an afternoon dip, with occasional sightings of Galapagos penguins. 

 

Day 6 - Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip's Steps (Genovesa)

Begin the day at Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island where a 750-meter-long trail leads from its coral beach through mangrove forests that are teeming with birdlife. Keep an eye out for Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls that can all be spotted here. 

In the afternoon we’ll tackle the steep climb up Prince Phillip's Steps, which leads to a lively seabird colony. Red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows and Galapagos doves can all be spotted amidst the unique palo santo vegetation. 

 

Day 7 - Puerto Egas, Espumilla Beach or Buccaneer Cove (Santiago)

Begin the day at Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, which was the site of a small salt mining industry in the 1960s. Its black-sand beach is frequented by Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards and a short trail leads to tidal pools and grottos teeming with wildlife.

In the afternoon we’ll visit Espumilla Beach to watch as herons hunt for crabs and go snorkeling to spot moray eels, octopi and sharks, then continue on to Buccaneer Cove, a former pirate haven where sea lions and sea turtles can be seen. 

 

Day 8 - Carrion Point (Santa Cruz)

Begin your final day onboard at the sheltered lagoon of Carrion Point whose beautiful turquoise waters are home to a variety of fish, rays and white-tipped reef shark. Then it’s time to say goodbye to your crew as you head to the Baltra Island Airport for your flight back to the mainland.

 

Galapagos Cruise Extensions

We have amazing Ecuador mainland extensions! Or, while you are so close, think about visiting Machu Picchu! You'll save when packaging everything with us.

Here are some ideas:

2-3 Day Extensions

A few days in the Amazon Rainforest
Visit the Ecuadorian Andes & Cotopaxi
Stay at traditional Ecuadorian haciendas

4+ Day Extensions

Explore Machu Picchu in Peru
La Selva Jungle Lodge Experience (Galapagos cruise guest favorite)
Active Ecuador Multisport Mainland Tour

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Apr 23, 2018 to Apr 27, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 11, 2018 to May 16, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 21, 2018 to May 25, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jun 22, 2018 to Jun 29, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jun 18, 2018 to Jun 22, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jun 29, 2018 to Jul 02, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 02, 2018 to Jul 06, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 20, 2018 to Jul 20, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 27, 2018 to Jul 30, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 30, 2018 to Aug 03, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 08, 2018 to Aug 13, 2018
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 17, 2018 to Aug 24, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 24, 2018 to Aug 27, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 27, 2018 to Aug 31, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 31, 2018 to Sep 05, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Sep 14, 2018 to Sep 21, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Sep 21, 2018 to Sep 23, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Sep 24, 2018 to Sep 28, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Sep 28, 2018 to Oct 03, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 03, 2018 to Oct 08, 2018
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 08, 2018 to Oct 12, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 12, 2018 to Oct 19, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 19, 2018 to Oct 22, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 22, 2018 to Oct 26, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 26, 2018 to Sep 30, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Oct 31, 2018 to Nov 05, 2018
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Nov 05, 2018 to Oct 09, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Nov 16, 2018 to Nov 19, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Nov 23, 2018 to Oct 28, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Nov 28, 2018 to Dec 03, 2018
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Dec 07, 2018 to Dec 14, 2018
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Dec 14, 2018 to Dec 17, 2018
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Dec 17, 2018 to Dec 21, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Dec 21, 2018 to Dec 26, 2018
6 Day A Cruise
$5,520£0€0$0$0$5,520£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 04, 2019 to Jan 11, 2019
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 11, 2019 to Jan 14, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 14, 2019 to Jan 18, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 18, 2019 to Jan 23, 2019
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 23, 2019 to Jan 28, 2019
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 28, 2019 to Feb 01, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 01, 2019 to Feb 08, 2019
8 Day A cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 08, 2019 to Feb 11, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 11, 2019 to Feb 15, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 15, 2019 to Feb 20, 2019
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 20, 2019 to Feb 25, 2019
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 25, 2019 to Mar 01, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 01, 2019 to Mar 08, 2019
8 Day A cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 08, 2019 to Mar 11, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 11, 2019 to Mar 15, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 15, 2019 to Mar 20, 2019
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 20, 2019 to Mar 25, 2019
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 25, 2019 to Mar 29, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Mar 29, 2019 to Apr 05, 2019
8 Day A cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 05, 2019 to Apr 08, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 08, 2019 to Apr 11, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 12, 2019 to Apr 17, 2019
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 17, 2019 to Apr 22, 2019
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 22, 2019 to Apr 26, 2018
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Apr 26, 2019 to May 03, 2019
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 03, 2019 to May 06, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 06, 2019 to May 10, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,275£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 10, 2019 to May 15, 2019
6 Day A Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 15, 2019 to May 20, 2019
6 Day B Cruise
$5,245£0€0$0$0$5,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 20, 2019 to May 24, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 24, 2019 to May 31, 2019
8 Day A Cruise
$6,880£0€0$0$0$6,880£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
May 31, 2019 to Jun 03, 2019
4 Day Cruise
$3,245£0€0$0$0$3,245£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jun 03, 2019 to Jun 07, 2019
5 Day Cruise
$4,375£0€0$0$0$4,375£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Prices above are for Staterooms.  Suites may also be available for some departures.

High Season Supplement: (Includes Spring Break, Easter, Christmas and New Year)

4 Day - $150

5 Day - $220

6 Day - $275

8 Day - $400

Included:

  • 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
  • Kayaks

Not Included:

  • Roundtrip airfare to Galapagos Islands
  • 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

Luxury Catamaran Galapagos
Couple enjoying Galapagos luxury cruise
Galapagos Island wildlife
Flora viewed during Galapagos cruise
Wildlife viewed during Galapagos cruise
Galapagos cruises on catamarans
Nazca boobie Galapagos cruise
Snorkeling during Galapagos cruise
galapagos catamaran cruise
adventure cruise Galapagos
Galapagos luxury cruise tours

Ship Details

The Petrel 

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.

Ship Specifications

  • 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)

Accommodations 

  • 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 

Crew

  • Captain
  • 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. 

 

Staterooms

Petrel Suite

All Suites can be either King or Twin Beds.

Petrel Cabin

All Cabins can be either King or Twin Beds

Ship Photos

Petrel Suite Balcony
galapagos catamaran
accommodations on petrel galapagos
Petrel cabin

Deck Plans

FAQ & More

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

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.  Learn more about the Galapagos Islands in our Galapagos Travel Guide. 

What's the weather like? Best time to go?

If you're planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands, be sure to check out our Galapagos Weather Overview.  We've included a seasonal snapshot as well as a month by month break down of both weather and wildlife trends to help you pick the very best time to visit the Islands. For those who are more visual, we have a great Galapagos weather and wildlife info-graphic

What flights can you book for me?

For most of our tours we book the necessary round-trip flights from Ecuador mainland to the Galapagos Islands. Please refer to your reservation materials for specific details regarding flights.  

We do not book any International flights to Ecuador; however we do have a great air travel specalist that we would be happy to refer you to.  Please ask your Adventure Consultant for details. 

Does Ecuador really use the US Dollar?

Yes! 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.

Please check out our Galapagos and Ecuador currency resource for additional details. 

What vaccines do I take?

There are no special requirements or vaccines to go to Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands. Please visit the CDC Website for further details.

How much snorkeling? Do I need experience?

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!

Do I rent or bring snorkel equipment or wet suit?

No. On this Galapagos Islands Luxury Adventure Cruise, all of the equipment is on board!

What Documentation Do I Need?

Ecuadorian Immigration regulations state that, every foreign passenger entering the country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months beginning from the day of your departure from Ecuador. If you have questions or concerns please contact the nearest Ecuadorian embassy for the latest visa requirements.

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Galapagos Guarantee
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Child: 
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Min. Age:
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