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Mary Anne Sailing Vessel - 7 Nights Itinerary A

This 8-day Galapagos cruise adventure will undoubtedly leave you spellbound. Following this “Eastern Islands” itinerary, you will sail on board the 16-passenger Mary Anne motor yacht, disembarking on islands such as Santa Cruz, Rabida and Española to explore, hike, swim, snorkel, and view the extraordinary natural wonders and rich wildlife. On the beaches, you will see the abundance of unique species not found anywhere else, and from the water you will be able to swim among and observe a wealth of marine life, which will undoubtedly make this Galapagos vacation unforgettable.

Testimonials

“I want to thank you for arranging a perfect tour for me. I know you did not have control over who the other people would be, but it all, on all fronts, was perfect. The itinerary was sensational and the boat fabulous.”Risa Steinberg

Mary Anne Sailing Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Genovesa, Bartolome (Pinaccle Rock), South Plazas (land iguanas) Española & Charles Darwin Station.

Mary Anne Sailing Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport – Board Yacht // Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove
Day 2: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – El Barranco 
Day 3: Bartolome Island // Chinese Hat Island
Day 4: Rabida Island // Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 6: South Plazas Island // Santa Fe Island
Day 7: Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay – Gardner Island – Osborn Island
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island: Twin Craters // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Mary Anne Sailing Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Baltra Island: Airport – Board Yacht // Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove

AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, in the heart of the 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 entry 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 S/S Mary Anne.

PM: This afternoon we will visit Santa Cruz Island, the second largest of the Galapagos Islands and located in the center of the archipelago. Located there is Black Turtle Cove, a nesting site for sea turtles, who peak their heads above the surface of the water while fish and other forms of marine life circle below.  With luck, the calm water will allow you to see different types of sharks (like the Whitetip reef shark) and schools of golden-colored Mustard rays. There are a number of mangrove forests here as well.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – El Barranco 

AM: Our destination for today is Genovesa Island, considered to be one of the wildest and most pristine islands in Galapagos National Park. Known as “Bird Island,” Genovesa is the only place where you can see Red-footed boobies. After a wet landing in Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads through the nesting sites of booby and frigatebird colonies. On the beach, you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of different species of boobies.

PM: This afternoon we are off to the El Barranco cliffs. Located on Genovesa Island, along the southern part of Darwin Bay, a one mile (1.5 km) trail stretches out over volcanic rock that leads to this cliff (this hike takes about two hours to cover). The second half of the trail is very delicate, so please stay on the path. It can get very hot so make sure to bring water. Because of the natural erosion, this is the ideal place for the nesting of Storm petrels. Two other species of petrels that can be seen here are the Galapagos petrel and the Wooden petrel. Red-footed boobies and Nazca boobies can be seen here as well as fur seals and several species of seabirds.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Bartolome Island // Chinese Hat Island

AM: Upon arriving on Bartolome Island, you will discover a fascinating moonscape formed by various volcanic formations — including 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 here 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, these are members of the 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, as the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.

PM: We will make a wet landing on Chinese Hat Island, located southeast of Santiago Island. Its name describes the shape of the island, which you will be able to discern from a distance.  This island’s landscapes are dominated by volcanic formations and fragile lava tubes.  Because of this, it’s very important to stay on the paths. You will encounter a small colony of sea lions and then proceed to hike through this dark, unyielding island of solid rock.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Rabida Island // Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill

AM: In the afternoon we will take a trip to the dark-rust-colored beach of the small, volcanic Rabida Island. A short path leads to a small lagoon that is popular among flamingos. This beach is one of the most beautiful snorkeling places in the Galapagos Islands and it has a great abundance of tropical fish and sea lions. Rabida Island is also the only site where Batfish live.

PM: In the afternoon we will explore the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island to visit Dragon Hill, which is an excellent spot for observing lava lizards, Darwin finches and wading birds. On the way to Dragon Hill, we will rest at a small lagoon that’s a popular feeding place for colorful birds and flamingos.    

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
Santa Cruz Island: Highlands – Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center

AM: We will start the day by visiting the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses, to the scalesia woods in the Highlands.  There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.  

PM: However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. 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 will 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
South Plazas Island // Santa Fe Island

AM: Today we will explore South Plaza Island, located just 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 Tropic birds 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: After lunch 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 7 - Friday
Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Bay – Gardner Island – Osborn Island

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. On Española, we will go on an excursion to Suárez Point. One of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, this site boasts a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds are found here, as are other birding favorites that 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, Suárez 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, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours.

PM: On Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in the afternoon. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish, as well as the occasional sea turtle and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent. Small Gardner Islet, 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, Scorpion fish, Trumpet fish, cornetfish and Red-lipped batfish. You will be able to see plenty sea lions lying lazily on the beach.  On the north end of the island are twisting tunnels, and to the south are caves, which all make for a remarkable excursion. The area has an abundance of fish including schools of snappers, Creole fish, King Angelfish, large Puffer fish, and a variety of sea urchins and sea stars. We will also take a tour around Osborn Islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeon fish, Sea urchins and starfish.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
Santa Cruz Island: Twin Craters // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: This morning we will drive to the Santa Cruz Highlands and see the twin “Los Gemelos” craters, which will be explained by your naturalist guide. These craters are surrounded by scalesia forest, where also live Ruby tyrants and small and large Tree finches. Afterwards, 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 your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.

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Breakfast

Mary Anne Sailing Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Days
Darwin PackageNormal Package
Cultura ManorPatio Andaluz o Casona de la RondaOro Verde (Guayaquil)Double
8US$ 5,088US$ 5,002US$ 4,988US$ 4,500
Included in the price:

Normal Package

  • Accommodation in a double cabin with private facilities
  • all transfers in the Galapagos Islands (including transfers from the airport to the yacht and back)
  • services of a bilingual (English/Spanish-speaking) certified naturalist guide on daily excursions and during nightly briefings
  • all meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
  • Kayaks
  • free purified drinking water

Darwin Package

  • Two night at Hotel with breakfast (Hotel nights can be taken before or after the cruise.)
  • entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • migration card ($20.00 per person)
  • Accommodation in a double cabin with private facilities
  • all transfers in the Galapagos Islands (including transfers from the airport to the yacht and back)
  • services of a bilingual (English/Spanish-speaking) certified naturalist guide on daily excursions and during nightly briefings
  • all meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
  • Kayaks
  • free purified drinking water
Not included in the price:

Normal Package

  • Flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • migration card ($20.00 per person)
  • alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • single cabin supplement
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items and expenses
  • travel/medical insurance. (Christmas and New Year's Holidays – an additional surcharge applies)

Darwin Package

  • Flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • single cabin supplement
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items and expenses
  • travel/medical insurance. (Christmas and New Year's Holidays – an additional surcharge applies)
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