Our West & Central Galapgos cruise features a superb selection of sites and wildlife across a 1 week cruise aboard the luxurious Silver Galapagos. This cruise combines a fantastic expedition, expert wildlife guides and first class amenities for when you return to the ship.
The Western Islands are home to the only active volcanoes in the archipelago and are known for their spectacular volcanic landscapes and give the area a distinctive look and feel. It is also well known for its penguin spotting as over 95% of the Galapágos Penguins live in these islands. It’s also the only area to see the endemic Flightless Cormorant.
This itinerary is served by the luxurious Silver Galapagos, an expedition ship for just 100 passengers. Every cruise includes complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkelling, 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
Just off the coast of Santiago, Bartolomé boasts some of the most magnificent landscapes in the islands including the famous Pinnacle Rock, a towering obelisk at the edge of the ocean. Go snorkelling or take a walk along the beach to look for the playful Galápagos Penguins.
Beautiful Espumilla Beach is an important nesting site for the East Pacific green sea turtle. You can walk through the arid vegetation zone of the interior and see the largest palo santo trees in the Galápagos, the perfect habitat for several species of Darwin’s finches.
At times of year when conditions aren’t ideal at Espumilla, you’ll enjoy a visit to Buccaneer’s Cove which offers a wealth of water-based activities, including snorkelling with a kaleidoscopic array of tropical fish, whitetip reef sharks, fur seals and even eagle rays.
Five (originally six) majestic shield volcanoes up to half-a-million years old pierce the arid landscape of Isabela, the largest and youngest island in the Galápagos. Half of this volcano collapsed about 100,000 years ago meaning that visitors now get a spectacular cutaway view of the caldera. Aboard a Zodiac, you will look for an array of seabirds including Flightless Cormorants and penguins.
This afternoon you will visit one of the largest colonies of marine iguanas in the Galápagos. You will find them sunning themselves on the black lava shores of Punta Espinoza at the north-eastern corner of Fernandina. One of the most pristine islands in the world, Fernandina hosts an impressive array of wildlife including sea lions, colourful Sally Lightfoot crabs and the rare endemic Flightless Cormorant.
A short cruise across the Bolivar Strait brings you to Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. Here you may choose to hike between palo santos and yellow cordias, passing the briny Darwin’s Crater lake along the way. Alternatively why not go snorkelling to look for penguins, cormorants and the shy Brown Noddy along the sheltered cliffs. You may also explore the area on a kayak.
The tallest red mangrove trees in the Galápagos are found in Elizabeth Bay, an idyllic mangrove lagoon and a fascinating place to observe marine life. We will take a Zodiac through the mangroves where sea turtles swim close to the surface, and pelicans and herons stalk for fish or crab. Sea lions and penguins are also prevalent in this marine sanctuary.
Floreana has been luring visitors since the 18th century when whalers hunted the island for tortoises and pirates sought shelter in its caves. Sailors established a rustic mailing system here: a barrel nailed to a pole where they would drop letters hoping they would be delivered by other mariners sailing home. You can continue the tradition before taking a walk along the lovely beach, or go snorkelling in an underwater world as colourful as Floreana’s history.
On the northern coast, a sea lion rockery has developed. Here pups are particularly curious when visitors arrive - they love to go in the water and investigate Zodiacs as they pass by. As you travel along the coast, you may find eagle rays, marine turtles, Brown Pelicans and resting Cattle Egrets.
The most emblematic animal in the archipelago is the Galápagos giant tortoise. We will 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.
This afternoon you can swim, snorkel or kayak with sea lions and marine iguanas right from Cerro Brujo, a breathtaking white coral beach. It’s a haven for bird-watching, too.
The second largest island in the archipelago is home to both the largest human settlement and the second largest wild tortoise population. We will visit Los Gemelos, two pit craters (similar to sink holes) in the midst of a forest of tall scalesia trees that look like giant daisies and are endemic to the Galápagos. Here there’s a good chance to spot land birds, especially one of the rare and endemic Galápagos Martins.
After lunch you will visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center gives you the opportunity to see both the domed tortoise and the iconic saddleback tortoise after which the islands were named.
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 ships 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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