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Our North & Central Galapgos cruise features a superb selection of sites and wildlife across a 1 week cruise aboard the luxurious Silver Galapagos. Combining a fantastic expedition, expert wildlife guides and first class amenities for when you return to the ship.
On this cruise you will visit the island of Genovesa which is known as one of the most unusual islands in the Galápagos as it features a collapsed volcano. As a result the island is now a birder’s paradise with a huge variety of species to observe. The island of Española is the one of the most southerly islands and richest in terms of wildlife; it is the only nesting place in the world for the Waved Albatross.
This itinerary is served by the exclusive Silver Galapagos, a luxury expedition ship for just 100 passengers. Every cruise includes complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by our highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos. You are sure to enjoy a once in a lifetime Galapagos Cruise.
After flying from the mainland to the Galapagos Islands you will embark your ship and home for the next 8 days. After settling in and completing the welcome formalities, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and enjoy the first of many memorable meals on board.
Genovesa Island is dubbed “Bird Island”, a name it lives up to in a spectacular way. Huge colonies of seabirds create a birdwatcher’s paradise. Take a walk on the sandy beach of Darwin Bay, home to one of the world’s largest Red-footed Booby nesting colonies. Yellow-crowned Night Herons feed near tidal lagoons, while hundreds of Swallow-tailed Gulls nest in the cliffs.
In the afternoon you will have a chance to enjoy the first snorkelling excursion and experience the diverse, underwater wonderland that surrounds the island. If you are feeling even more adventurous you may decide to kayak around Darwin Bay — which is actually a flooded volcano —and admire the island’s craggy landscape.
North Seymour is a small island close to Baltra and filled with a spectacular profusion of wildlife — above and below the sea. Two species of frigatebirds nest here, Galápagos sea lions snooze in the sand, Blue-footed Boobies perform their courtship dance and iguanas patrol the beach. After a walk through this spectacular landscape, you may decide to see more by going snorkelling where you may spot the impressive whitetip reef shark.
After lunch you will come ashore on the east coast of Santiago Island, where you will witness the marks Nature has left on the islands through its geological forces. Here there are lava flows that are not much older than a hundred years. The very high temperature of the molten material has an appearance almost like frail rope and the technical term for it is pahoehoe (a Hawaiian name that supposedly suggests the swirls left behind by a paddle (hoe) in the water).
After seeing this spectacle you can head to the beach to cool off in the sunshine. Here you may spot rays and turtles in the shallows.
Rabida is a small picturesque island with red rock cliffs and maroon sand. Here you will see Darwin’s finches, lava lizards and Galápagos Mockingbirds. Take a walk along the cliffs where the red rocks, green palo santo trees and the blue turquoise sea create landscapes of stunning contrast, while an underwater world teeming with colourful tropical species and vibrant submarine landscapes is equally amazing.
In the afternoon we sail to Eden Islet for snorkelling, kayaking and Zodiac rides. Eden is a small, eroded tuff cone and an excellent example of the unique geology of the Galápagos. It is home to Great Blue Herons, sea lions, and Blue-footed Boobies; while the small tidal areas can be a resting place for reef sharks, eagle rays and green turtles, they make an excellent spot for kayaking as well.
The most emblematic animal in the archipelago is the Galápagos giant tortoise. We’ll see these ancient reptiles and their young, and learn more about current conservation efforts at Galapaguera Cerro Colorado. Breeding and rearing endemic animals in captivity is part of a much broader conservation programme aimed at restoring and protecting the Galapagos Islands’ natural biodiversity.
San Cristóbal is one of the oldest islands in Galápagos and the well-eroded landscape of Punta Pitt creates a dramatic landscape. We may see three species of boobies here: Red-footed, Blue-footed and Nazca, as well as both the Great and Magnificent Frigatebird. After a wet landing on an olivine beach where sea lions doze, you can choose to climb up a ravine to view one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago.
Don’t miss a chance to swim with sea lions from the gorgeous beach at Gardner Bay. Relax on the white sands of this idyllic beach as the water laps gently in front of you. You may even spy some iguanas on the shore. Further out you can snorkel with large schools of colourful tropical fish and an occasional manta ray, while a whitetip reef shark naps on the bottom.
In the afternoon we will visit Punta Suárez at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds. Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies can easily be seen.
Puerto Ayora Town Visit, Santa Cruz, and Plazas Sur
We will cruise overnight to Santa Cruz, an island in the central part of the archipelago with the largest human population. The headquarters of the Galápagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located in the small town of Puerto Ayora. The Station is the operative branch of the Charles Darwin Foundation, an organisation established in 1959 to provide conservation counsel to the Ecuadorian government. Its flagship program is the restoration of Galápagos giant tortoises.
At the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, we will get to see tortoises of both morphotypes: dome-shaped and saddle-backed, as well as young giant tortoises up to 5 years old that are waiting to be returned to their home island. Towards the end of the morning, there will be time to do some sightseeing and shopping in town.
After lunch a visit to South Plaza which is a neat little island located close to the eastern coast of Santa Cruz. Its main attraction is a colony of Galápagos land iguanas, but you will also find giant prickly pear cactus and a large nesting colony of Swallow-tailed Gulls.
Today your cruise will come to an end and following breakfast your will disembark Silver Galapagos for your return flight from Baltra Airport.
The Silver Galapagos enjoys luxurious 5* comfort and an elegant sophistication throughout. Fine dining awaits in the ship's signature restaurant where chefs always include a choice of local Ecuadorean specialities to enrich your culinary journey. Specialities include Galapagos Lobster à la Galapaguera and filet mignon with truffles. After dinner you can relax in the Piano Bar with an expertly created cocktail or perhaps take in sunset views over the Galapagos in the hot tub.
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