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This 5 day cruise of Eastern Galapagos offers a great introduction to the amazing world of the Galapagos Islands with stops at 7 different sites and the chance to see some of the amazing wildlife that inhabit the islands. Being a shorter cruise it offers a great value way to see the islands while leaving room to see other areas of Ecuador and South America in the same holiday.
The itinerary takes in the islands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz as well as the more remote islands of Espanola and Santa Fe, giving a great mix of sites across the 5 days. Each cruise is accompanied by an expert team of guides who will keep you informed all about what you are seeing and offer a great insight into the islands unique eco-system.
After your arrival by plane in to San Cristóbal Island you will be transferred to the ship, anchored at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the provincial capital of the Galápagos Islands. Once on board you will be showed to your cabin before attending a welcome talk to outline the next 5 days of adventure that await! After completing the mandatory boat drill it will be time for lunch.
In the afternoon, it will be time for your first landing on the eastern tip of the island at Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, which offers spectacular views of the shoreline. This is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together. You may choose to walk the trail or enjoy a panga ride along the coast.
After breakfast, you will arrive at Santa Fe Island and take the dinghy over to this idyllic sandy-white beach populated by many sea lions. The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during a morning walk amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Snorkelling and swimming from the panga rounds off a rewarding experience, or if guests prefer, the glass bottom boat is available for non-snorkelers.
Following lunch the ship will arrive at South Plaza Island where you will find turquoise waters contrasting brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Venture further along the coastline you will finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide, playing with the thermals.
In the morning, the ship will make a stop for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station’s giant tortoise Breeding Centre. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Following the visit a short bus journey will take you to lunch in the cooler highlands of Santa Cruz Island, a completely different ecosystem.
In the afternoon there are several options available in the highlands including hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay. At the end of the afternoon’s activities, you will return to Puerto Ayora and embark the ship.
This morning you will arrive at Punta Suarez where an exciting walk awaits at this site, where you can enjoy its unique sea bird colonies, including waved albatrosses (April- January), Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls as well as a view of the Galápagos famous “blow-hole”. Also, look out for red-green-black marine iguanas.
In the afternoon, the picture-postcard white coral beach of Gardner Bay provides a beautiful setting for observing sea lions, mockingbirds, finches as we relax. We can expect great snorkelling in this area.
After breakfast on your last day you will disembark at Baltra Island and transfer to the airport to take the flight back to the mainland.
Conceived for operations in remote areas, the state-of-the-art Santa Cruz 2 is an ideal expedition vessel for exploring the Galápagos Islands. At just over 70 metres long, the generous, five-deck ship holds 50 cabins for 90 guests and features an expert expedition crew, a fleet of modern zodiac boats for exploration and ample sized social areas to enjoy once back on board.
From outdoor and indoor dining areas, the fitness room and Jacuzzis to the elegant bar and lounge, not to forget the well-stocked library, the ship is designed to please with sophisticated simplicity. The ship also enjoys a great ratio of crew and guides to passengers which ensures great service on board too.
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