Galapagos holiday cruise options
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Includes accommodation in double/twin cabin; meals; wet suits & snorkel gear onboard; excursions; qualified naturalist guides; transport to and from Galapagos.
Description of Galapagos holiday cruise options
Start your holiday with a day in the company of a local in Quito for an excellent introduction to the country as a whole before flying out to the Galapagos to join your cruise.
We prefer smaller-sized boats (16-20 passengers), with an emphasis on first rate naturalist guides, great itineraries, and sustainably run operations. All of our vessels allow you to enjoy walking, swimming, and snorkelling to get close to the varied wildlife: sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and much more.
Stay on for some land-based exploration, setting your own pace as you explore on foot, by bike, kayak and with a snorkel to get close to the unique fauna and flora. Get a more in-depth experience of the islands, combining spectacular scenery and wildlife encounters with a greater understanding of the human inhabitants of the Galapagos.
Note: the Galapagos are a genuine year-round destination, so this itinerary can run any day of the year, and can also be adjusted to your needs.
Tailor made, and can be arranged as part of a longer tailor made holiday, often including Ecuador's mainland, Peru or elsewhere in South America. Contact us to discuss your ideas and get a personalised proposal.
cruise + land based exploration – responsible tourism – tailor-made - comfortable accommodation – spectacular scenery – fearless wildlife – carefully paced – cultural interaction – off the beaten track - kayak and snorkel - bike and paddle board
|Day 1:||Fly to Quito today, where you are met for your private transfer to your comfortable hotel in the city's colonial centre. Settle in and relax after your journey.|
|Day 2:||Your guide returns this morning to help you explore Quito, its history, culture and food on a tour flexible to your interests, before an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps head up in the cable car to enjoy the views over Quito and the surprising birdlife.|
|Day 3:||You are taken back to the airport this morning for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Walk among wild giant tortoises in the highlands before boarding your comfortable boat.|
|Day 4:||Cruise through red mangrove trees by zodiac and hit the water for your first snorkel. You're likely to see all manner of marine life as well as sea lions, tortoises and innumerable birds. Visit the penguins on the youngest stretch of land in the archipelago and explore the coastline by boat.|
|Day 5:||Spot iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild, snorkel with rays, sea turtles and sharks, then walk a trail through lava formations to a salt-water crater lake, via some wonderful views of the surrounding volcanoes. Finish the day with a visit to the pirate caves, to see graffiti dating back to the 1800's.|
|Day 6:||Walk among marine iguanas sunning themselves on the lava, then cruise the dramatic coastline in zodiacs spotting incredible wildlife both above and below the water. When the waters are calm you should spot seahorses, sea turtles, stingrays, puffer fish and sunfish.|
|Day 7:||Land on golden-coloured sands where green sea turtles nest, then walk a forest trail through huge Palo Santo trees spotting yellow warblers, Darwin’s finches and Galápagos flycatchers. Visit the playful fur seals on the black sand beach of Puerto Egas later and perhaps swim with white-tipped sharks, sea turtles and sea lions.|
|Day 8:||Snorkel with sea lions off a red sandy beach and follow a trail through giant cacti to cliffs full of blue footed boobies. Explore the fragile lava tunnels of Sombrero Chino before dropping back into the water among penguins, pelicans, marine iguanas, flamingos and sea lions.|
|Day 9:||Walk to the summit of Bartolomé for incredible views, then stroll the lava coastline to see Galapagos fur seal basking in the sun. It's back to the beach later for some swimming, or snorkelling through rock formations full of a variety of colourful fish.|
|Day 10:||Spot flamingos and sea turtles from the beach, then sail to North Seymour, home to large colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Watch the sea lions and marine iguanas surf the waves from a shore littered with birds' nests.|
|Day 11:||Land on the remote island of Genovesa, formed by the remains of a submerged volcanic crater, for the most abundant birdlife - including the largest tropical seabird colony on the planet. Climb Prince Philip’s Steps to a plateau, passing red-footed boobies and short-eared owls, then snorkel along the base of the cliffs later to cool off.|
|Day 12:||This morning is spent among one of the largest sea lion colonies on the islands, spotting remarkable birdlife while iguanas laze under Opuntia cactus trees. Later walk along the rugged Santa Santa Fé, where you can spot iguanas, lava lizards and the Galapagos Hawk.|
|Day 13:||After a visit to the tortoise breeding station, wave goodbye to the other passengers and crew as you head to your beachside hotel to relax, or head out for more independent exploration.|
|Day 14:||Sail out to Kicker Rock, an incredible formation with some of the best snorkelling in the islands, then spend this afternoon being as active - or inactive - as you like.|
|Day 15:||Your last day in the Galapagos is free for you to explore as you wish, with optional excursions available or time to swim, wander and enjoy your surroundings.|
|Day 16:||A relaxed morning on the beach before you set off back to the mainland, either to extend your adventure or connect to your flight home.|
3 Reviews of Galapagos holiday cruise options
Reviewed on 07 Mar 2019 by Janet RookExcellent once in a lifetime experience. Read full review
Reviewed on 24 Jan 2013 by Sy SchwartzReally there are no words to express how wonderful my holiday was. You have to experience it yourself to appreciate it...the most exciting part was seeing the animals on the Galapagos & swimming with the sea turtles. Read full review
Reviewed on 29 Jun 2012 by Elaine EdmondsonThe most memorable part was swimming with sealions and turtles in the Galapagos. Read full review
PlanetThe boats we work with in the Galapagos are carefully chosen for their sustainable credentials. In all cases we pay for you to become a benefactor of the Galapagos Conservation Trust for a full year. The GCT issues guidelines as to the sorts of tourist visits that have least impact on the sites - those guidelines include that small boats, owned and operated locally, are the best bet for the preservation of the Galapagos.
Most of our boats are SmartVoyager certified. Boats are only able to gain this accreditation by meeting a set of strict conservation standards for protecting the environment & wildlife. In general, the boat owners and most of the crew on our boats come from the islands, which makes the enterprise sustainable.
Specific Vessel Credentials:
Ecoventura (the owners of Eric, Flamingo and Letty) were the first to gain the SmartVoyager environmental certification – and have kept it ever since. They have set up a scholarship scheme on the islands to educate the children of fishermen, giving them the chance to move out of the fishing industry which challenges the marine balance in the Galapagos Islands. Eric boat - On top of that Eric has been converted, as of late 2008, to operate largely from its own solar panels and a couple of small wind turbines. It is the first hybrid boat in the Galapagos.
Ecoventura are also working in collaboration with fishermen to help set up micro-businesses, again with a view to moving them away from depleting fish stocks.
Mary Anne and Beagle - the owners of these boats, the Angermeyers, are truly passionate about the Galapagos Islands. Born and raised in Galapagos, and acquiring his skills firsthand from his father Fritz – a boat builder – Fiddi Angermeyer is a genuine pioneer of the Island’s tourist industry. Their boat operations are all SmartVoyager certified.
The Angermeyers also work with the Galapagos Foundation to recycle garbage in the Islands as well as taking to the continent what cannot be recycled. In addition they promote the coastal cleaning among the fishermen, as well as the manufacture of handicrafts using recycled materials.
The Cachalote, the first class boat we use for our charters, is also SmartVoyager certified. Boats are only able to gain this accreditation by meeting a set of strict conservation standards for protecting the environment & wildlife. The extensive list of criteria include:
- Reducing, where possible, negative environmental impacts. This includes ensuring that all machines used on the boat (motors, generators, desalinators, air conditioning, hot water tanks) function at the optimum threshold for energy consumption and that no paints containing lead or TBT are used on the boat.
- Lowering the risk of introduction and dispersal of exotic species by ensuring all cargo is transported in authorized containers.
Visitors can play a vital role in the conservation of the Galapagos Islands, and you will be actively encouraged to follow guidelines on your holiday aimed at preserving this fragile ecosystem.
PeopleThe owner of our favourite superior first class boats have set up a scholarship scheme on the islands to educate the children of fishermen, giving them the chance to move out of the fishing industry which challenges the marine balance in the Galapagos Islands. They are also working in collaboration with fishermen to help set up micro-businesses, again with a view to moving them away from depleting fish stocks.
Conservation standards for protecting the well being of workers and local communities include the following:
- Helping to promote education into responsible behaviour by contributing to training courses for guides and technicians.
- Ensuring just working conditions for all employees by meeting or exceeding national minimum wage, providing medical services, insurance and a working environment free from discrimination.
- Using, where possible, food grown on local farms which adhere to responsible farming practices.
- Supporting local communities by encouraging visitors to engage in social, economic and cultural activities.
Social responsibility projects are key to the Angermeyer operation. Currently they are working with an organic farmers’ association on the islands, a bakers’ cooperative, two different artisan projects and a micro-business support scheme. 25% of profit was donated to the Galapagos local government for capital projects in 2008.