Ecuador Group Travel Package – Galapagos Islands Cruise (7N)

Ecuador Group Travel Package – Galapagos Islands Cruise (7N)

Ecuador Group Travel Package – Galapagos Islands Cruise (7N)

Travel to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and experience its natural wonders with this 7 Night Cruise Group Vacation Package and Tour that includes Cruise aboard the M/V Galapagos Explorer II ship – visiting the the islands and their unique fauna – transportation and much more.

The M/V Galapagos Explorer II is designed to provide comfort and scientific information to 100 passengers visiting the Galapagos National Park. Its offers interesting itineraries that showcase the best of this pristine paradise. Expert naturalist guides staff an environmentally friendly and educational cruise focused on the Natural History of the Galapagos. The reason that you travel to Galapagos is to experience the islands and their unique Fauna. Therefore, The M/V Galapagos Explorer II has designed your programs in such a way that they allow you to perceive Galapagos from many different perspectives: guided hikes, relaxing beach walks, snorkeling and swimming. The islands are visited twice a day and always involve a leisurely hike in a small group led by your own naturalist guide, allowing you to experience close encounters with nature.

Day by Day Vacation Package Itinerary

This is a Sample Vacation Package that we have created for customers in the past.

Contact us for a Custom Package created just for you.

Day 1 – Galapagos Islands
Fly to the Galapagos to begin the cruise, arriving on San Cristobal, easternmost of the Galapagos Islands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province and the location of the extraordinary Interpretation Center for Galapagos National Park. You will board ship and settle into your cabin. Your seagoing home is the M/V Galapagos Explorer II, a 293-foot, first-class ocean-going cruise ship that carries 100 passengers. Comfortable cabins feature air-conditioning, private bathrooms and a small sitting area. Experienced naturalists lead shore expeditions to seek out wildlife and help you to learn about the fascinating natural history of these volcanic islands. When you are not exploring, you and your children can enjoy the ship’s pool, solarium and reading room without experiencing the motion of a smaller vessel. Your first day in Galapagos you will visit one location near San Cristobal Island. At Ochoa Beach you can take a short trail to a good swimming beach. It is an excellent spot to view Pelicans and other Galapagos sea birds. Free time to walk on the beach. Beautiful beach for swimming, sea anemones, beach vegetation, sea birds, seashore birds lagoon birds, mangrove trees.

Day 2 – San Cristobal Island
Morning: Punta Suarez, Española Island This morning you will visit Española, southernmost island of the archipelago. Because it is so isolated, the island has a large population of indigenous wildlife. You will explore Punta Suarez, one of the most spectacular spots in the Galapagos, where you will look for sea lions surfing the breaking waves and groups of iguanas basking in the sun. Further inland, Masked and Blue-footed Boobies nest beside the trails. You can hike a trail towards the cliffs to the Blowhole, a fissure in the lava cliffs where seawater jets high in the air. Afternoon: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora Town, Charles Darwin Station The second largest of the Archipelago and colonized since the 1920’s, Puerto Ayora, the populated part of the island, is the most important harbor of the Archipelago. The headquarters of the Galapagos national Park and the Charles Darwin Station are located on Santa Cruz. Visit Darwin Station to learn about the research conducted on the island. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a Galapagos tortoise breeding and rearing center, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. Afterwards, you can stroll through Puerto Ayora, largest town on the islands.

Day 3 – Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
Friday you will visit Genovesa Island, one of the smaller Galapagos, and the only northern island in the chain open to visitors. Morning: Prince Phillip’s Steps Your first stop is at the southern tip of Genovesa Island at the birding paradise of Prince Phillip’s Steps. This is the breeding ground for the tree-loving Red-Footed Booby and the ground-nesting Masked Booby. This is also home to four species of finch: the Large Ground Finch, Sharp-beaked Ground Finch, Large Cactus Finch and Warbler Finch. Natural history enthusiasts will recall that Charles Darwin’s observation of varied adaptations of finch beaks helped inspired his theories on natural selection. Genovesa is also home to the indigenous Galapagos Mockingbird and the Galapagos Dove. If you have time, we will snorkel at El Barranco on the west side of Darwin Bay. Afternoon: Darwin Bay In the afternoon, you will visit the horseshoe-shaped Darwin’s Bay, created by the curve of a collapsed volcanic crater. We will make a wet landing on the beach, wading ashore from our panga. Here you can observe Frigatebirds, and Red-Footed and Masked Boobies. Just behind the beach, you explore tide pools frequented by Wandering Tattlers, Whimbrels, Lava Gulls and Fiddler Crabs. Lava and Black-Crowned Night Herons are seen at times. You may also see Yellow Warblers on the beach and Swallow-Tailed Gulls swooping around the cliffs.

Day 4 – Espanola Island
Morning: Bachas Beach White sand beach where you can see some nesting site for sea turtles, a small lagoon, whimbrels, heron, pelican, Sally Lightfoot crab and other species. Afternoon: Dragon Hill A bay located at the northwest site of the Santa Cruz Island, known as Cerro Dragon since long time ago by the whaling men because of the important colonies of land iguanas that lived in this area. During almost all the year, you can see flamingos in marshland lakes as some migratory birds. You will also have the opportunity to see Darwin Finches, hood mockingbird, lava lizards. This area has arid vegetation where you can find some oppuntia cactus, palo santo (bursera) and some other endemic plants. This place has a wonderful landscape as you can see the Rabida Island at the west and Santa Cruz Island at the East. In the beach zone you can see some endemic coast plants and also some marine iguanas, sea lions, American oystercatchers, pelicans and a small blue-footed bobbies colony. The visit has a wet landing and a 2 km flat trail (2 hours hiking), we suggest comfortable walking shoes, walking sticks (if it is necessary) and binoculars for bird watching at the marshland lakes. Today some passengers disembark and others will join us for the remainder of our cruise.

Day 5 – Santa Cruz Island
Morning: Bartolome Island The first destination is Bartolome, an island of varied volcanic formations with a 350-foot summit and a fabulous 360º view. Depending upon the weather, you may be able to spot five other islands, one of the most spectacular views of the archipelago. You will make a wet landing in a cove to see a small colony of Galapagos penguins—the only penguins north of the equator. Sea lions are also found here. Behind the beach can be found red and white mangroves, salt bush, morning glory and prickly pear cactuses. Afternoon: Puerto Egas, James (Santiago) Island This afternoon you will visit Puerto Egas on James (Santiago) Island. The landing is on a black beach with eroded rock formations in the background. The trail crosses the dry interior, where the remains of a salt-mining enterprise can still be seen and then continues along the coast. Intertidal pools are home to a variety of invertebrate organisms. Land iguanas are scattered around feeding on exposed algae while Oyster Catchers try to capture Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The trail then leads to the Fur Seal Grottos, one of the only places in the islands where Fur Seals can be seen. Puerto Egas is a good spot for taking pictures.

Day 6 – Genovesa Island
Morning: Fernandina Island On the youngest and westernmost island in Galapagos, you will land at Punta Espinoza, a narrow stretch of land where some of the most unusual Galapagos species can be seen. While the panga driver skillfully eludes the reef to reach the landing site near a small mangrove forest, look for penguins diving off the rocks into the water. Sally Lightfoot Crabs disperse on the lava near the shore and herons, sandpipers and wimbrels explore the mangrove roots. Marine iguanas congregate in larger groups here than on any other island. They are everywhere: basking in the sand, swimming near the shore, grazing on the exposed seaweed in the lava and blocking the way at the landing dock. This is one of the few places where there is the opportunity, if the water is clear, of watching them feed underwater while snorkeling. Following a trail inland, two different types of lava flows can be seen and compared. At the tip of one of the small peninsulas, Flightless Cormorants are found. Without predators on the island, these serpent-necked birds adapted for swimming and not for flight, another example of evolution at work in “nature’s laboratory”. Afternoon: Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island Largest of the Galapagos Islands, Isabela is composed of six shield volcanoes merged into a single land mass. Wolf Volcano on Isabela is also the highest point in the archipelago. The Galapagos Explorer II is one of only a few faster, better-equipped boats able to make the long journey from the central islands to the visitor sites on the western side of Isabela. The trip is more than worthwhile, however, for the unique species that occur only in this part of the archipelago, and because the landscape, with massive volcanoes silhouetted against the sky, offers a striking contrast to the lower-lying islands of the east. Located on the north-western tip of Isabela island, the visit of Pta Vicente Roca is completely by dingy. The dingys are launched on a coastal dingy-ride that skirts 400-500-feet cliff sides. Blue-footed boobies, masked boobies & pelicans can be seen here. Also, very many sea-turtles feed along this shoreline. Reaching a rocky pile of large basalt, there are colonies of fur-seals & marine iguanas in groups, basking in the sun. Sea lions are also present. Continuing along the sheer cliffs, the dingy now, approach a secluded cove where, at it’s end, dark and yellow rock are superposed. Now we are close to the large cave that allows for snorkeling or sight seeing. Snorkeling at the cave produces a great variety of marine life, specially marine invertebrates. One starts at the intersection between the dark and yellow rock and swims all the way around the small point into the cave, all the way into the cave and then out of the cave until the next point. The water is often murky and very cold as it is called the Galapagos Ice-box. Therefore, one must snorkel very close to the rock in order to see anything but it may produce some of the most exiting snorkeling in Galapagos. Manta rays, sea turtles, sea-lions, sting-rays, many fish, even dolphins and sunfish have been seen and snorkeled with in this bay. Along the cave there are Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, masked boobies, brown noddy, blue footed boobies and breathtaking scenery unparalleled.

Day 7 – Bartolome Island
Morning: North Seymour A small flat island. Rocks then a long sandy stretch where sea lions and marine iguanas hang out next to a surf wave. The interior has a Palo Santo small Opuntia cactus forest with Bluefooted boobies and magnificent Frigate bird colonies. An hour and a half visit. Dry landing. Afternoon: Highlands & Lava Tunnels You and your family will board a bus for a 45-minute ride through changing vegetation zones to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Here, about 40 giant tortoises live in the wild. By approaching quietly, you can find and observe a turtle on your own. You also hike to tunnels made by cooling lava.

Day 8 – Guayaquil
Afternoon: Return flight to Quito or Guayaquil.

M/V Galapagos Explorer II Ship

Built in 1990, with an overall length of 89.35 m and reaching 17 knots, the Galapagos Explorer II is the newest and most elegant of the vessels cruising the Galapagos’ waters. The M/V Galapagos Explorer II is designed to provide comfort and scientific information to 100 passengers visiting the Galapagos National Park. Its operation is emphasized with interesting itineraries that offer the best of this pristine paradise. Expert naturalist guides will offer an environmentally friendly and educational cruise focused in the Natural History of the Galapagos.

The M/N GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II was part of the International Cruise Line “Renaissance” and operates in the Galapagos Islands since February 1998. It is not only a vessel adapted to the eco-tourism operations that provides environmental education and interpretation on the Galapagos, it also has all the installations and necessary services to guarantee guided experiences on the islands.

Facilities on board: 50 suites, Boutique, Library, Piano Bar, Conference Room, Restaurant, Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Spa Service, Tea Station, Medical Assistance, Satellite communication.

Conference room In addition to the daily briefings, conferences on natural history and culture given by our guides are also offered in the conference room. Besides as a courtesy to our passengers, we can celebrate your birthday, wedding anniversary or any other special occasion here. Area: 139m2. Capacity: 100 persons

Restaurant Dining aboard Galapagos Explorer II is open seating and informal, yet elegant. A daily fare of international and Ecuadorian cuisine, as well as special diets, is served in the one-seating, no-smoking restaurant. Lunch is served buffet on deck. Area: 185m2. Capacity: 102 persons.

Piano Lounge A calm place where you can enjoy environmental music and drink a soft beverage before or after the dinner. Area: 58m2. Capacity: 40 persons

Solarium Relax taking sun while you watch magical landscapes around Galapagos Islands. Area: 146m2

Coffee / Tea Station Coffee, tea and snack service are available on the deck Marco Polo for passengers arriving from the afternoon visit. Area: 30m2

Whale Watching It can always be worthwhile to keep an alert watch for whales while traveling between and around the various islands. However, a place with high possibilities of whale sightings is the northwest coast of Isabela, where we sail every Monday. Please inform your guide if you want to try this activity at 06h00. Don’t forget to request a wake up call the night before! Area: 30m2

Jacuzzi and Pool Located on the Erickson Deck, the swimming pool is filled with refreshing sea water and the Jacuzzi with warm fresh water. The use of the swimming pool is restricted, for security reasons, while the ship is cruising. The Jacuzzi, accommodates four people, and operates between 10h00 and 22h00. We strongly recommend not leaving the children unattended. Area: 168m2.

Equipment VHS, data projector, slides projector, computer, folding screen TV, audio equipment and microphone, white board, DVD and CD player.