The Galapagos Islands are meant to be explored by sea—to be experienced from shore to shore and every wonder in between. The Isabela II yacht offers one of the most intimate Galapagos Island adventures around, from the small group expeditions ashore to the convivial crew who has worked together for years. With just 20 guest cabins, the yacht’s personal atmosphere matches your close-up experience of the Galapagos Islands.
The Isabela II Galapagos Cruise takes you to the most extraordinary Galapagos sites on and off the beaten bath. Set off to explore the Galapagos Island’s stunning coastlines that range from soft white sand beaches to otherwordly red volcanic rock. Hike along volcanic rims threaded with fumaroles or twin volcanic craters carpeted in lush foliage. Discover some of the world’s most beautiful, bizarre and bizarrely friendly wildlife as you snorkel alongside sea lions or wonder at the centenarian giant Galapagos tortoises. Discover the islands’ marine life as you take out the Isabela II’s pangas, glass-bottom boat, kayaks or snorkel gear. With the onboard naturalist guide enriching your experience, your Galapagos adventure will be intimate, educative and life-changing.
Images & Videos
5 Day A Cruise Overview:
Explore the wildlife-rich central islands of the Galapagos during this 5-day itinerary on board the Isabela II. Spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and swallowtail gulls on North Seymour, witness endemic land iguanas on Santa Fe, then discover the archipelago’s underwater landscapes while snorkeling off Las Bachas Beach.
Day 1 - Baltra to Charles Darwin Station
Fly into Baltra Island where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to take a small ferry to the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. From here you’ll board a bus to explore the lush highlands of Santa Cruz before returning to Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. Learn about the conservation work being done to protect the islands’ giant tortoise population as you get up close to various sub-species at all stage of development, then explore the shops and cafes along the main street of Puerto Ayora.
Day 2 - Santa Fe Island & South Plaza Island
Begin the day with a visit to one of Santa Fe Island’s most beautiful beaches, which is home to a sea lion harem and a great place for observing Galapagos hawks. Spot endemic land iguanas on a short walk, then opt to go snorkeling, swimming or kayaking around the coastline.
As you enjoy lunch onboard, we’ll cruise through the turquoise waters of a channel that separates the North and South Plaza Islands, with a carpet of scarlet sesuvium juxtaposed against the black lava shores. Photograph the playful sea lions along the water’s edge, then wander through the luminescent prickly-pear cactus forest that’s populated by yellow-gray land iguanas.
Day 3 - North Seymour Island & Las Bachas
Begin the day with an enjoyable walk along the coast and interior of North Seymour Island to observe its colonies of blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigatebirds and swallowtail gulls. Spot Galapagos sea lions and marine iguanas basking along the shores, then go snorkeling or jump aboard our glass-bottom boat to explore the underwater world.
In the afternoon, we’ll continue to Las Bachas Beach, which is named after the US Navy barges that were abandoned here at the end of World War II. Today it’s an important nesting site for the east Pacific green sea turtle and home to several brackish lagoons where stilts and flamingoes can be seen feeding. After a short walk inland, return to the white sands to go swimming or snorkeling before returning to the vessel for dinner.
Day 4 - Bartolome Island & Sullivan Bay
Begin the day with a visit to Bartolome Island and embark on an invigorating hike up its wooden staircase to the summit where you can soak up the magnificent views across the archipelago. Then return to the coast for a dinghy ride around the colossal Pinnacle Rock, an iconic Galapagos landmark.
After lunch on board, we’ll land on the white coral beach at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago Island. Follow your naturalist guide on a trail that leads over its lava field while learning about the volcanic origins of the Galapagos Islands or opt to go swimming in the idyllic waters.
Day 5 - Disembark Baltra
After breakfast on board, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
5 Day B Cruise Overview:
Discover the natural beauty and fascinating human history of the Galapagos Islands on this 5-day itinerary from Baltra to San Cristobal. Get up close to giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station, snorkel alongside sea lions at beautiful Gardner Bay and walk across the spectacular volcanic landscapes of Punta Suarez.
Day 1 - Baltra & Charles Darwin Station
Fly into Baltra Island where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to take a small ferry to the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island. From here you’ll board a bus to explore the lush highlands of Santa Cruz for lunch before returning to Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Learn about the conservation work being done to protect the islands’ giant tortoise population as you get up close to various sub-species at all stage of development and wander through the bird-filled prickly-pear cactus forest. You’ll have time to explore the shops and cafes along the main street of Puerto Ayora before boarding the Isabela II for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
Day 2 - Post Office Bay & Cormorant Point
Begin the day with a visit to Post Office Bay where a barrel was placed in the late 18th century to act as a makeshift postbox for whalers. The tradition has continued for more than two centuries, with visitors still invited to leave their postcards for loved ones to be hand delivered. There will then be time to go snorkeling off the beach before returning to the vessel for lunch.
In the afternoon, we’ll continue to the olivine crystal beach at Cormorant Point for an easy walk to its brackish lagoon where flamingos, pintail ducks and common stilts can be spotted. Continue to the other side of the island where sea turtles come to nest, then explore nearby Champion Islet while snorkeling or on a glass-bottom boat trip.
Day 3 - Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay
After breakfast on board, we’ll land at Punta Suarez on Española Island for a guided walk across its lava landscapes to visit a unique colony of seabirds. Observe Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tail gulls, as well as seasonal waved albatross, then visit the archipelago's famous “blow hole”.
In the afternoon we’ll cruise to the beautiful white coral beach at Gardner Bay for a short walk to observe its sea lion colony. Keep a lookout for mockingbirds and finches, then go snorkeling amidst a myriad of marine life or jump aboard the glass-bottom boat to explore the coastal waters.
Day 4 - Punta Pitt & Cerro Brujo
Begin the day at the eroded tuff cone of Punta Pitt, which is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. Follow the trail that ascends from the beach to soak up the magnificent views, with this being the only place in the Galapagos where three species of boobies can be found, together with two frigatebird species. Witness the colony of bachelor sea lions, then spend time swimming at the beach or snorkeling around the nearby islets.
After lunch on board, we’ll take a dinghy ride along the tuff-stone-layered shores of San Cristobal to land at Cerro Brujo’s white coralline beach. There’s rewarding birdwatching here, with blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, herons and frigatebirds all spotted.
Day 5 - Disembark San Cristobal
After breakfast on board, you will be transferred to the San Cristobal Island airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
7 Day Cruise Overview:
Explore the wildlife-filled northern islands of the Galapagos during this action-packed 7-day itinerary on board the Isabela II. Spot Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and frigatebirds while hiking at Prince Phillip’s Steps, snorkel with Galapagos penguins at Urbina Bay and photograph marine iguanas, sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs on Fernandina Island.
Day 1 - Puerto Moreno & Cerro Colorado
Fly into Puerto Baquerizo Moreno´s airport where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the Isabela II. Settle into your cabin before an introductory briefing and lunch on board, then embark on your first excursion to the Galapaguera Cerro Colorado.
Spend time visiting the breeding center of the highly-endangered giant tortoise and wander through the adjacent deciduous forest where endemic lava lizards and dozens of bird species can be spotted. In the late afternoon, return to the Isabela II for a welcome cocktail and your first dinner on board.
Day 2 - Prince Philip’s Steps & Darwin Bay
We’ll navigate overnight to the fascinating bird island of Genovesa, beginning the day with a panga ride beneath the dramatic cliffs. Climb the steep Prince Philip’s Steps to a flat plateau where you can observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels or opt to continue exploring the coast by panga, kayak or glass-bottom boat.
After lunch on board, we’ll make a wet landing at Darwin Bay for an easy stroll to spot lava gulls, swallow-tailed gulls, finches and mockingbirds. Take in the sweeping views before returning to the beach to swim and snorkel in the protected natural harbor.
Day 3 - Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas
Begin the day with a coastal exploration along the dramatic cliffs of Buccaneer Cove, which is home to large numbers of marine birds and sea lions. Photograph the spectacular natural formations of “Elephant Rock” and “The Bishop”, then go snorkeling or enjoy a ride in our glass-bottom boat.
In the afternoon we’ll head to Puerto Egas and embark on a spectacular walk through lava flows and tuff-stone layers to spot Santiago’s birdlife. See marine iguanas grazing on the algae beds at low tide and observe a playful colony of fur sea lions before snorkeling or swimming off the beach.
Day 4 - Punta Espinoza & Tagus Cove
After breakfast on board, enjoy an excursion to explore the youngest island in the archipelago, Fernandina, beginning with a landing at Punta Espinoza. It’s renowned for its barren landscape and high density of marine iguanas, as well as being home to Galapagos hawks, penguins and flightless cormorants.
As you enjoy lunch on board, we’ll sail across the Bolivar Channel towards Isabela Island and anchor in the secluded Tagus Cove. It was once a popular anchorage for pirates and whalers, with their graffiti still visible on the cave walls. An uphill hike takes us to the salt-filled Darwin Crater where you can take in the sweeping views, then return to the coast to go snorkeling or kayaking.
Day 5 - Urbina Bay & Punta Vicente Roca
Begin the day with a wet landing at Urbina Bay where corals, shells and other calcareous organisms are exposed above the water . Follow your naturalist guide on a hike to spot colorful Galapagos land iguanas and flightless cormorants, with the option to go snorkeling alongside Galapagos penguins.
In the afternoon we’ll explore the coast of Punta Vicente Roca by dinghy and (if conditions are favorable) go snorkeling beneath the cliffs in the company of green sea turtles.
Day 6 - Rábida Island & Cerro Dragón
After breakfast on board, we’ll land on Rabida Island’s red sand beach to observe its large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds and several species of Darwin’s finches. It’s also a great place to go snorkeling to discover the Galapagos marine life or opt to stay dry while exploring the coast by kayak or glass-bottom boat.
In the afternoon, we’ll head towards Santa Cruz and embark on a hike up Cerro Dragon for beautiful views across the archipelago's western islands. The walk will take us past a brackish lagoon where various waders can be seen while offering sightings of the island’s healthy land iguana population.
Day 7 - Baltra Island
After breakfast on board, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
Dates & Rates
2019 Pricing - 5 Day
Owner’s Cabin - $ 3776
Classic Cabin - $ 3608
Classic Family Cabin - $ 3608
Standard Cabin - $3400
Owner’s Cabin - $ 5550
Classic Cabin - $ 5304
Classic Family Cabin - $ 5304
Standard Cabin - $ 4998
- All meals
- Island sightseeing
- Naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish only
- Snorkelling gear
- Internet / Wi-Fi *
- Luggage handling
- Medical care on board (not including the cost of medication)
- Transfers in the islands
- Shared transfers from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Sheraton, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Wyndham, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galapagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers, we must have guests’ hotel contact information.
- Wet suits available for rent, NET rate US$ 30 + VAT per guest for 7-day expeditions
- Air transportation to / from Galapagos and airport taxes (subject to change without previous notice)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (US$ 100 subject to change without previous notice)**
- Migration Control Card (US$ 20 subject to change without previous notice)**
- Fuel surcharge
- Alcoholic **and non alcoholic beverages
- Gifts and additional items
- Travel insurance
Gross Tonnage: 1,025 tons.
Type of Vessel: Expedition Yacht
Capacity: 40 guests / 20 cabins
Length: 55.94 m (183 ft)
Beam: 11.58 m (38 ft)
Speed: 10 knots
Electricity: 110 – 220 V / 60 Hz
Engines: 2 CUMMINS, KTA-38-M1, 1000 HP
Navigation Equipment: Radar ARPA, Radar, Satellite Compass, Magnetic Compass, Automatic Pilot, Echosonar, 2 GPS, AIS
Fire Detector: Installed throughout the ship
Life Jackets: In each cabin
Lifeboats: 2 semi-enclosed units / capacity for 27 persons each
Life Rafts: Two 25-man, one 20-man
Owner: ETICA / Metropolitan Touring
Decks: 3 (Boat deck, Cabin deck, Main deck)
Naturalist Guides: 3 (includes Expedition Leader)
Passenger/Crew Ratio: 3:2
Medical Officer: Permanently on board
Safety Certificates: SOLAS 74, ISM, ISPS, MARPOL
Classic Family Cabin
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. Learn more about the Galapagos Islands in our Galapagos Travel Guide.
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.
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.
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.
There are no special requirements or vaccines to go to Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands. Please visit the CDC Website for further details.
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!
Yes. On this trip, all of the equipment is on board!
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.
The local currency in The Galapagos Islands and throughout Ecuador is the US dollar. In the Islands, most major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners) are accepted at hotels and restaurants. In the local stores and cafes sometimes cash is the only way to pay. Try to carry smaller denomination notes, typically nothing bigger than a $20.
The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 hours and do not change their clocks for Daylight Savings (because they are on the equator). This means that in the summer months they are the same time as Mountain Daylight Time but in the winter months they are the same time as Central Standard Time.
In Galapagos, leaving a gratuity for the guide and crew separately is the custom. Tipping is NOT a requirement and should be given at the guest's sole discretion based on the level of service received and each guests beliefs. If a guest wishes to leave a tip, please use the the envelopes marked "CREW" and "GUIDE" that will be left in the accommodations on your last day. Please put the envelopes in the gratuity box that will be left in the dining area on the day of your departure. All the money in the "CREW" envelope will be shared equally among the crew members. Based on past experience we suggest: If service was excellent, the average tip has been $22 per person per day for the entire ship's crew and $10 per person per day for the guide. Please understand that this is just a suggestion: tipping/gratuities are a very personal matter and it entirely depends on the value of the service you received.