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Day 8 Day Sail A
8 Day Sailing A Overview
Experience the unique wildlife of the Galapagos Islands both above and below the water’s on this exciting 7-night cruise from Baltra. Get up close to all three species of boobies and frigatebirds on North Seymour Island, see giant tortoises in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz and go snorkeling off the shores of beautiful Urbina Bay.
Day 1 - Baltra & North Seymour
Fly to Baltra Island Airport where you will be met by our local representative and transferred to the Nemo II. After a short briefing and delicious lunch on board, embark on your first excursion to North Seymour Island where both species of frigatebirds can be spotted, together with blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. Marine iguanas and sea lions can often be seen basking in the sun on the rocky shores, together with land iguanas that were introduced from Baltra Island as part of a scientific experiment during the 1930s.
Day 2 - Santa Cruz Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station
After breakfast on board, we’ll travel into the lush highlands of Santa Cruz to see giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat as they migrate between the fertile highlands and the arid coastline. Keep an eye out for vermillion flycatchers and short-eared owls as you explore the scalesia and miconia forests, which stand in stark contrast to the coastal environments seen throughout the archipelago.
In the afternoon, we’ll return to the coast and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center where different sub-species of tortoise from across the archipelago can be seen. It was here that Lonesome George lived out his final years and it’s a fascinating place to learn about the conservation work being done to ensure the survival of giant Galapagos tortoises.
Day 3 - Punta Moreno & Urbina Bay
We’ll begin the day with an excursion to the largest island in the Galapagos - Isabela - where we’ll land at Punta Moreno. Admire the spectacular pahoehoe lava flow and giant shield volcanoes that tower above Isabela, some of which are still active, then follow your naturalist guide on a short walk to a lagoon where flamingoes can be seen wading in the shallows.
After lunch on board, we’ll disembark on the black sand beach of Urbina Bay, which is renowned as a popular nesting site for green sea turtles. Enjoy a short walk inland to see land iguanas and occasional giant tortoises that can sometimes be seen migrating to and from the highlands or opt to go snorkeling off the beach that’s lined with coral heads.
Day 4 - Tagus Cove & Punta Espinoza
Begin the day with a visit to Tagus Cove where graffiti left by 18th and 19th-century pirates is still visible on the cliff faces. Your naturalist guide will lead you on a hike through dramatic landscapes to the salt-water filled crater lagoon of Darwin Lake, which is renowned for its exceptional vistas across Isabela Island.
As you enjoy lunch on board, we’ll cross the marine species-rich waters of the Bolivar Channel to explore one of the most pristine destinations in the Galapagos - Fernandina Island. After making a dry landing at Punta Espinoza, embark on a short stroll along the shoreline to spot flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins, as well as marine iguanas and sally lightfoot crabs.
Day 5 - Puerto Egas and Buccaneer’s Cove
After breakfast on board, we’ll head to Santiago Island’s Puerto Egas, which was named after the salt mining industry that was established here in the 1920s. While the salt could be extracted quite easily, the transportation costs made the operation unviable. Today its salt-lake crater is home to white-cheeked pintails and flamingos while a variety of shorebirds can be seen fossicking along the shores.
In the afternoon we will continue to Buccaneer's Cove, which is home to two unusual rock formations - “The Monk” and “The Elephant” - as well as sea lions and fur seals that can be seen basking in the sun. Spot brown noddies, boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and pelicans while exploring the coast by panga, then make a wet landing at Espumilla Beach where your naturalist guide will lead you on a walk through palo santo forest where yellow warblers, Galapagos flycatchers and Darwin’s finches reside.
Day 6 - Rabida Island and Sullivan Bay
Begin the day with a wet landing on Rabida Island’s red sand beach and follow your naturalist guide on a short walk to a salt water lagoon where pink flamingoes are often spotted, together with Bahama pintail ducks and common stilts. See brown pelicans nesting in the salt bushes that fringe the beach, along with Galapagos mockingbirds and numerous species of Darwin’s finches.
After lunch on board, we’ll embark on an excursion to Sullivan Bay in the southeast of Santiago Island, which features a dramatic, geologically young flow. Follow your naturalist guide to explore the pahoehoe lava flows, tuff cones and miniature spatter cones and learn about the pioneering plant species that have established themselves in this challenging environment.
Day 7 - El Barranco and Darwin Bay
After breakfast on board, we’ll make a dry landing at the base of El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps) and climb to the top of the cliffs where an extensive lava field is located. Your naturalist guide will help you spot red-billed tropicbirds, boobies and Galapagos storm petrels, together with frigatebirds and marine iguanas. Soak up the sweeping views, then continue on the trail that leads through a palo santo forest where Galapagos storm-petrels can often be seen in the skies above. There will also be the option to enjoy a panga ride along the base of the cliffs where Galapagos fur seals can be seen basking on the rocks.
In the afternoon, we’ll explore the red mangrove-lined shores of Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island, which is considered one of the archipelago’s best birdwatching destinations. Spot Nazca and red-footed boobies, yellow-crowned herons, frigatebirds, sharp-beaked finches and large cactus finches, as well as Galapagos doves and yellow warblers. Keep a particular eye out for red-footed boobies that have white feathers, an unusual contrast to their normal brown plumage.
Day 8 - Daphne Minor Islet & Departure
Begin your final day in the Galapagos Islands with a visit to Daphne Minor, a completely barren volcanic islet that’s located to the north of Santa Cruz. It’s a hub for scientific research, particularly in the study of Darwin’s finches, as well as being home to blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galapagos martins, red-billed tropicbirds and short-eared owls.
It’s then time to head to the Baltra Airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
Day 8 Day Sail B
8 Day Sailing B Overview
Experience the endemic wildlife and fascinating island landscapes of the southern Galapagos on this 7-night cruise from Baltra. See the unique breeding ritual of waved albatross at Punta Suarez, learn about the human history of the archipelago at Post Office Bay and venture below the water’s surface snorkeling in the wildlife-rich waters surrounding Santa Fe.
The 8 Day Sail B can also be booked as a 4 or 5 day itinerary. The 5 Day comprises the first 5 days of the itinerary below with guests heading to the airport after the Highlands Excursion. The 4 Day starts with guests arriving Day 5 of the itinerary below through Day 8
Day 1 - Baltra & Las Bachas
Fly to Baltra Island Airport where you will be met by one of our local representatives and transferred to the Nemo. After a short briefing and delicious lunch on board, embark on your first excursion to Bachas Beach at the northern end of Santa Cruz Island. It is named after the barges that were abandoned here by the US army at the end of World War II and is full of charismatic species such as flamingos, sally lightfoot crabs and nesting sea turtles.
Day 2 - Plazas Sur & Santa Fe
After breakfast on board, we’ll head to Plaza Sur, which is home to one of the Galapagos’ oldest docks and one of its largest sea lion colonies. Wander along the shores that are lined with green prickly-pear cactus and deep red sesuvium while keeping an eye out for brown pelicans, red-billed tropic birds, swallow-tailed gulls and frigatebirds, together with Nazca and blue-footed boobies.
In the afternoon we’ll cruise towards Santa Fe Island in search of its endemic land iguanas. In addition to these unique species that are larger and yellower than their counterparts on other Galapagos islands, Santa Fe is home to lava lizards, Galapagos hawks and an outstanding marine life that can be explored while snorkeling in its small bay.
Day 3 - Cerro Brujo, Kicker Rock & Lobos Island
Begin the day with a visit to Cerro Brujo (Witch Hill) on the north coast of San Cristobal Island, including a panga ride from the coral sand beach. It’s renowned for its sightings of shorebirds, as well as views of Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), an iconic Galapagos formation that resembles a sleeping lion and is renowned for its exceptional marine life.
In the afternoon we’ll continue to Lobos Island, which is named after the large number of sea lions that inhabit the island. It’s also home to blue-footed boobies and common frigatebirds that nest around the saltbushes while the surrounding waters are a popular spot for snorkeling and diving.
Day 4 - Punta Suarez & Gardner Bay
We’ll begin the day with a visit to Punta Suarez on the western tip of Española Island to get up close to blue-footed and Nazca boobies. If you’re visiting between April and December, you might also be lucky enough to witness the fascinating breeding rituals of waved albatross. Follow your naturalist guide on a short walk to see the island’s famous “blow hole” while keeping an eye out for marine iguanas and Galapagos sea lions that can often be seen basking in the sunshine.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the idyllic white sands of Gardner Bay where you’ll be greeted by a colony of boisterous sea lions and curious Española mockingbirds. Look for marine iguanas and sally lightfoot crabs scuttling along the rocks, then come face-to-face with garden eels, pufferfish and red-lipped batfish, as well as king angelfish and colorful parrot fish, while snorkeling in the waters surrounding Gardner Islet.
Day 5 - Santa Cruz Highlands & Charles Darwin Research Station
After breakfast on board, we’ll travel into the lush highlands of Santa Cruz to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat as they migrate between the fertile highlands and the arid coastline. Spend time exploring the scalesia and miconia forests while keeping an eye out for vermillion flycatchers and short-eared owls.
In the afternoon we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center where Lonesome George lived out his final years. See a range of different sub-species from across the archipelago, with the tortoises ranging in age from new hatchlings to fully grown adults. It’s also a fascinating place to learn about the conservation work being conducted throughout the archipelago.
Day 6 - Punta Cormorant, Islet Champion & Post Office Bay
Begin the day with a visit to Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island and follow your naturalist guide on a short trail that leads to a flamingo-filled lagoon and a picture-perfect white sandy beach. We’ll then head to Champion Islet, a small rocky island that’s home to the critically endangered Floreana mockingbird, and enjoy a panga ride to explore its wildlife-rich shores and underwater wonders.
After lunch on board, discover the human history of the islands in Post Office Bay where a barrel was placed by whalers in the late 18th century to act as a makeshift post box. Leave your postcards for family and friends in the hope that they will (eventually) find their way to their destination through the help of other travelers.
Day 7 - Sombrero Chino & Bartolome Island
After breakfast on board, we’ll explore the small islet of Sombrero Chino that nestles off the southeast coast of Santiago Island and is named after its resemblance to a Chinese hat. Follow your naturalist guide along a short trail that to explore its impressive lava fields before watching sea lions play on the islet’s white sands.
In the afternoon we’ll make a dry landing on Bartolome Island and embark on a hike to its summit. Soak up the sweeping views across the island’s spectacular lava formations, stretching all the way to Pinnacle Rock and the neighboring island of Santiago.
Day 8 - Black Turtle Cove & Departure
Begin your final day in the Galapagos Islands with a visit to Black Turtle Cove on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Explore its mangrove-lined lagoon by panga while keeping an eye out for green sea turtles and golden rays in the waters below, together with pelicans and herons roosting in the trees above.
It’s then time to head to the Baltra Airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.
Dates & Rates
8 Day Itinerary
Standard Cabins - $4100
Superior Cabins - $4200
5 Day Itinerary
Standard Cabins - $2200
Superior Cabins - $2300
4 Day Itinerary
Standard Cabins - $1600
Superior Cabins - $1700
Single Supplement - 60%
Child Under 12 Discount - 20%
Christmas, New Year and Easter have a High Season Supplement of 10%
- Accommodation in double cabin
- Programmed visits to the islands with a certified guide
- All meals throughout the cruise
- Unlimited water, tea and coffee
- Air ticket
- Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park
- Transit control card
- Bottled and alcoholic beverages
- LOA: 21.88 Meters
- Beam (Width): 10/39 Meters
- Draft: 1.5 Meters
- Speed: 10 Knots
- Type of Vessel: Motor Sail Catamaran
- GRT (Weight): N/A
Cabin Descriptions and Services:
- 4 Cabins with ocean view with upper bed and lower bed
- 2 Cabins with double beds
- Air conditioning
- All cabins feature private bathrooms wiht hot water
- Social Areas - Solar deck, outside dining room, bar
- Dietary restrictions served on board - Vegetarian (Please request in advance)
- Food serving style - Buffet
- Guiding Languages - English (German, French, Italian with Supplement)
- Drinks - water, coffee and tea
- Visitor activities - snorkeling equipment included, panga ride, kayaking
FAQ & More
Where are the Galapagos Islands?
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.
When is the best time to visit? What is the weather like?
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.
Can you book my flights?
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?
es! 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 vaccinations do I need?
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 is available on this trip?
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!
Is snorkeling gear included?
Check with your Adventure Consultant - if not available it can be rented in advance.
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.
Money - Debit and Credit Cards
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.
Does the Nemo II really travel under sail?
On your trip the Nemo will travel under sail for some of the time but distances require that she also uses the motor.
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