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Cormorant Catamaran - 7 Nights Itinerary A

For the generous, comfortable accommodations of a larger ship, while preserving the relaxed exclusivity of a smaller vessel, consider the 16-passenger Cormorant catamaran for sailing the waters of the Galapagos Islands. Her eight cabins all have private bathrooms even private balconies – perfect for watching whales, dolphins and seabirds. This 8-day/7-night Galapagos Islands cruise through the archipelago’s central and southern Islands offers you a treasure-trove of natural highlights. Whether it’s a close encounter with unique wildlife such as the famous giant Galapagos tortoises, land and marine iguanas, flamingos, penguins, blue-footed boobies or the famous Darwin’s finches, you will come away having learned much more about the natural world. Sailing on board the 16-passenger first-class Cormorant catamaran, you will be able to explore the very best on land and sea, as experienced guides and knowledgeable naturalists keep you informed every step of the way on this enthralling Galapagos Islands vacation.

Testimonials

“I found Surtrek online as it proved to be an excellent, efficient company. Our 4 days in the Galapagos were expertly planned and we were never left without a guide - we were even walked to dinner each night and assisted with ordering!”Marian Lowenfish

Cormorant Catamaran: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Bartolome, San Cristobal (Pitt Point & Kicker Rock), Española & Charles Darwin Station.

Cormorant Catamaran: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Arrival at Airport – Transfer to the M/C Cormorant // Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach
Day 2: Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock // Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Day 3: South Plaza Island // Santa Fe Island
Day 4: San Cristobal Island: Cerro Brujo – Punta Pitt
Day 5: San Cristobal Island: Lobos Island – Kicker Rock
Day 6: Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay
Day 7: Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Champion Islet – Baroness' Lookout Point – Post Office Bay
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Cormorant Catamaran: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island: Arrival at Airport – Transfer to the M/C Cormorant // Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach

AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, in the heart of Galapagos archipelago and the main point of entrance to this natural paradise. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entrance fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.  A member of the ship's crew will welcome you and accompany you to your yacht: the M/C Cormorant.

PM: This afternoon we will arrive on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once the property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. That is why the beach is called “Bachas” because the word “barges” in English was hard to pronounce for the local people. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock // Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay

AM: Upon arriving on Bartolome Island, you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by various volcanic formations — lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — as we hike to the island’s summit for striking views of the surrounding islands,  Sullivan Bay and the towering Pinnacle Rock. As the beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some of the finest snorkeling in the islands, you can discover a marvelous underwater world there and have a good chance of finding sea turtles gliding gently alongside you. On the rocks beneath Pinnacle Rock, it’s quite possible to spot some of the quick-as-an-arrow Galapagos penguins. At around 25 centimeters tall, this is second smallest species of penguin in the world.  Likewise, you’re likely to see harmless Whitetip reef sharks sunning in these waters. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences; the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.

PM: In the afternoon we will land on the fourth largest island in the Galapagos: Santiago Island, also known as “James Island” or “San Salvador Island.” The old rusted machines and run-down buildings of former salt mine workers are still apparent on the island, though the last attempts to populate Santiago Island were given up on forty years ago. Sullivan Bay is located on the eastern coast of Santiago Island. Its lava field, covered with lava cactuses, has a variety of interesting patterns of important geologic interest. You will be able to observe the contrasting lava landscapes from an older eruption and a newer one formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.  After exploring these lava flows, you can swim or snorkel with playful sea lions. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
South Plaza Island // Santa Fe Island

AM: Today we will explore South Plaza Island, located east of Santa Cruz Island. After a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet, you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks you can see numbers of birds like nesting Tropicbirds and Fork-tailed seagulls, but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year.

PM: This afternoon, we will visit Santa Fe Island, a tiny rocky island covered in small Palo Santo trees and six-meter-high opuntia cactuses. The island is inhabited mainly by large yellow land iguanas, Galapagos buzzards, Blue-footed boobies, and pelicans. While snorkeling in the wonderful blue-green bay in which the ship anchors, you can observe the many inhabitants of this underwater world, including countless tropical fish, rays, sea turtles and playful sea lions.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
San Cristobal Island: Cerro Brujo – Punta Pitt

AM: This morning we will make a wet landing on San Cristobal Island to visit Cerro Brujo, a fascinating lava hill located on the northeastern coast of San Cristobal Island with exceptional views of Kicker Rock, the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast. On the rocks, you can observe Blue-footed boobies, seagulls, Black-necked Stilts, Ruddy Turnstones, Whimbrels, other sandpiper species, White-cheeked pintails and some pelicans. The protected bay is also popular among young sea turtles and rays, which makes swimming and snorkeling particularly exciting here.

PM: In the afternoon we will visit Punta Pitt, on the eastern side of San Cristobal Island. After a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain along a 1.4 km-long path and several magnificent lookout points, you will make your way through colonies of Frigatebirds and Fork-tailed seagulls. What’s more, this is probably the only site in the world where you can see all three species of boobies – Masked, Red- and Blue-footed ones. In addition to its great range of seabirds, Punta Pitt is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
San Cristobal Island: Lobos Island – Kicker Rock

AM: In the morning we will visit one of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island: the La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado Tortoise Breeding Center. Here, you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction.  LAter this morning, we will visit Lobos Island, located across from San Cristobal Island. This is a seasonal nesting location for Blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. You also can enjoy swimming and snorkeling with sea lions in the island’s calm bay.

PM: In the afternoon we will follow the route that Charles Darwin once took and sail around the massive tuff-rock called “Kicker Rock,” which is a nesting site for hosts of seabirds. Here, you will be able to find Blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds.  This is a great site for scuba diving, and hammerhead sharks can be seen in the area. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay

AM: Española is the southernmost, oldest and one of the most bio-diverse islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Its English name is “Hood Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood.  Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches. After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Suárez Point, one of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, boasting a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, there are the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds, while other birding favorites include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long. (Excursion duration: about 3 hours)

PM: The small Gardner Island, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay, is lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders.  While snorkeling, you are likely to encounter the smallest of the Galapagos garden eels, snake eels, as well as Black-spotted morays, Galapagos puffer fish, Scorpionfish, Trumpetfish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see many sea lions lying lazily on the beach.  On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves that make for an interesting excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King angelfish, large Pufferfish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Friday
Floreana Island: Cormorant Point – Champion Islet – Baroness' Lookout Point – Post Office Bay

AM: Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered to be one of the most exotic in the Galapagos archipelago.  Countless legends are part of the history of this island, as pirates and buccaneers were drawn to here in search of for food and water. Later the island was colonized by Norwegians, Brits, Germans and others who were in search of ways to make money from what they hoped to discover here. The name Floreana is in honor of Juan Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president.  This morning’s excursion is first to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon, which is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers, and plovers.  With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water here, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks now and then. The next spot is Champion Islet. Though the island itself is off limits to visitors, the waters around this small land mass are great places to snorkel with sea lions and to see colorful tropical fish.  Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as the boats approach the shore, and the cool currents here make Champion an excellent site for spotting schools of stingrays. Next, we will visit the lookout point where “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner, one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands would spend several hours daily observing whales and dolphins.

PM: Later we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. You can leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist.…so don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles. Snorkelers can swim on the main beach among playful sea lions. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: This morning we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which reproduces captive giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. This means that approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not, and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time.

Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy the last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.   

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Breakfast

Cormorant Catamaran: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomStateroomSuite
8 DaysUS$ 6,880US$ 7,475
Included in the price:
  • accommodations onboard the Cormorant in double accommodations
  • land excursions
  • all meals during the cruise
  • soft drinks and juices
  • Welcome courtesy and reception
  • services of a certified Galapagos National Park guide
  • use of snorkeling gear
  • wetsuits and kayaks.
Not included in the price:
  • flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($ 100 USD per adult)
  • Transit Control Card for the Galapagos ($20)
  • tips and gratuities
  • bottled soft drinks in plastic containers.
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