DAY BY DAY
DAY 1: SATURDAY
Saturday AM:Arrival to Baltra Airport and transfer to M/C Ocean Spray
Welcome to the incredible Galapagos Islands and your luxury catamaran, the M/C Ocean Spray! Upon arrival onboard the vessel, your guide and crew members will greet you and take you to your accommodations. After freshening up, a short briefing will be given on health, safety and emergency protocols, and you will be given a description of normal routines and different areas aboard the M/C Ocean Spray.
Saturday PM: Chinese Hat
Named after its distinctive shape, this visitor site will give you your first opportunity at an intimate encounter with Galapagos wildlife. You will also be able to see well-preserved, fragile volcanic rock that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before in other volcanic locations. This islet is home to many different Galapagos bird species, including the playful Galapagos penguins and the elusive Galapagos Hawks.
DAY 2: SUNDAY
Sunday AM: Isabela Island – Vicente Roca Point
Vicente Roca Point hosts incredible rock formations that are home to many different bird species. As the visitor site is found on the western side of Isabela, the cool azure waters of the nutrient-laden Cromwell Current are the scene of fascinating feeding frenzies of both bird species and underwater mammals.
Sunday PM: Fernandina Island – Espinosa Point
Fernandina Island is unique in that it is the youngest island in the archipelago and also one of the most pristine – in fact, it has never been invaded by foreign species. As the westernmost island in the Galapagos, it is also more volcanically active than its siblings. Espinosa Point is the only visitor point on Fernandina, but there is lots to see here, including Galapagos Hawks, marine iguanas and the endemic flightless cormorant. Enjoy the sweeping views of the otherworldly landscape while hiking, and revel in the sheer abundance of marine life under the waves while snorkeling along the beach.
DAY 3: MONDAY
Monday AM: Isabela Island – Tagus Cove
Tagus Cove is one of the Galapagos’ most intriguing visitor sites due to its human history. As one of the preferred pit stops of pirates, sailors and whalers for hundreds of years, guests love reading the interesting names and places etched into the cove’s walls. The hike here will give you panoramic views of the cove and its surroundings, and it will take you past a mangrove forest where the last 35 pairs of Mangrove finches live. You can snorkel off of the cove’s beach – there’s a good chance you’ll see a marine iguana diving for food!
Monday PM: Isabela Island – Urbina Bay
Urbina Bay, lying on the ocean floor for millions of years, is a volcanic uplift that is now home to land and marine iguanas, boisterous sea lions, and the fascinating flightless cormorant. The bay is a great place to relax on the beach or snorkel in its waters, and there are a couple of hiking trails around Urbina Bay that will give you a better view of different species of shorebirds living near the water.
Tuesday AM: Isabela Island – Elizabeth Bay
Guests cannot disembark at Elizabeth Bay due to the area’s fragile ecosystem. However, the bay’s startlingly clear waters allow visitors to see a wide variety and abundance of marine life from the Zodiacs, including Galapagos sharks and enormous sea turtles.
Tuesday: PM: Isabela Island – Moreno Point
The otherworldly rocky shoreline of Moreno Point is home to dozens of different bird species, making this a particularly special visitor point for birdwatchers. You can hike into some saltwater lagoons just off of the beach, which are home to more unique bird species. The jet-black lava flows with the deep blue waters, the bright green vegetation surrounding the lagoons, and the towering Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes off in the distance make Moreno Point a particularly stunning, picturesque visitor point.
Wednesday AM: Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station
The Charles Darwin Research Station is a fascinating place to visit for anyone stepping foot on the islands, given its long history of conservation in the archipelago and its extensive collection of Galapagos plant specimens and other interesting things – like a full whale skeleton! It also acts as an active breeding center for Galapagos Giant Tortoises, and continues to be a biological research station to this day, managing multiple projects throughout the archipelago.
Wednesday PM:Santa Cruz Island – Highlands
The highlands on Santa Cruz Island can reach up to 1,500 meters above sea level, which produces entirely different climate zones. The area is filled with rolling hills, verdant growth, wildlife, and volcanos. Galapagos Giant Tortoises can be found here in their native environment, and guests can see finches, mockingbirds, and several other bird species. The highlands also have incredible panoramic views of the surrounding oceans, and guests can sometimes see whales breaching or rays jumping above the waves.
Thursday AM: South Plaza Island
South Plaza Island is home to one of the archipelago’s smallest visitor sites, but it is also home to a large number of plant and wildlife species. It especially has a lot of Sesuvium plants, such as the prickly pear cactus tree, which is a critical food source for the land iguana. Having recently eradicated the local (imported) mice population, the land iguana population has grown steadily. The jet-black lava set against the crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounding South Plaza Island make it a favorite for photography lovers.
Transfer to Baltra Airport
On the last day of your cruise, the only visit you have is to South Plaza Island. Afterwards, you´ll board the M/C Ocean Spray to gather your belongings and freshen up for your transfer to the airport.