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Evolution Vessel - 7 Nights Itinerary A

Though built with the elegant style of a 1920s vessel, this charming luxury-class expedition ship was constructed in 2003 and possesses all the modern comforts for deluxe cruising through the Galapagos Islands. The Evolution Motor Vessel is large enough to provide spacious staterooms, yet small and navigable enough for its guests to be able to experience nature “up close and personal.” Accommodating only 32 guests in 16 elegantly designed suites and staterooms, the Evolution motor vessel offers excellent service. On this 8-day/7-night “Footsteps Back in Time” Galapagos luxury cruise of the archipelago’s western and central islands, you will discover a unique living museum that is a showcase of evolution. On board the 32-passenger luxury Evolution Motor Vessel, you will experience this isolated haven of biodiversity that remains nature’s greatest science laboratory, home to a dazzling array of birds, reptiles, fish and mammals that you won’t find anywhere else.

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“Everything about Surtrek was amazing. The hotels, the food, the tours. Everything exceeded our expectations. I cannot recommend Surtrek highly enough!”Serena Tyra

Evolution Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, San Cristobal (Kicker Rock), Floreana, North Seymour, Genovesa Islands & Charles Darwin Station

Evolution Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: San Cristobal Island: Ochoa Beach – Kicker Rock
Day 2: South Plaza Island // Santa Cruz Island: Punta Carrion // Mosquera Island
Day 3: Chinese Hat Island // Santiago Island: James Bay
Day 4: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – Prince Phillip’s Steps
Day 5: North Seymour Island // Santa Fe Island
Day 6: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point
Day 7: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station – The Highlands
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map
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Evolution Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
San Cristobal Island: Ochoa Beach – Kicker Rock

AM: In the morning you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristóbal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of your ship's crew will then welcome you and accompany you to your vessel: the Evolution.

Once on the ship, you will have lunch and a quick briefing en route to our first visitor site: Ochoa Beach, a beautiful white coral sand beach next to a turquoise bay, and home to a small colony of sea lions. 

PM: We will end our day at Kicker Rock, a spectacular rock formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. After this visit you have time for a shower as we get ready for our welcome cocktail and our first formal briefing before dinner.   

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
South Plaza Island // Santa Cruz Island: Punta Carrion // Mosquera Island

AM: In the morning 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: Next we will visit Carrion Point, which is close to the eastern mouth of Itabaca Channel, between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. You will see some almost ever-present creatures such as sea lions, Creole fish and Blue-striped sea slugs. You will also have a good chance of seeing mobula rays cruising by – sometimes in small schools. Whitetip reef sharks are also commonly sighted here. And, if you are lucky, you might see some Galapagos sharks and hammerheads – especially if you’re a scuba diver. Then we will anchor off Mosquera Island, which is located near Itabaca Channel and in between the Baltra and Seymour islands. The island consists of a long narrow stretch of white sand, rocks, and small lagoons with large populations of sea lions (in fact, this is one of the best places to take photos of these aquatic mammals). After a wet landing, a stroll down the beach will also permit views of Brown pelicans and Blue-footed boobies.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Monday
Chinese Hat Island // Santiago Island: James Bay

AM: This morning 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.

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. On Santiago Island, we will visit James Bay, where we will land on a black beach with intriguing eroded rock formations. A trail leads to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes, which are home to sea lions, fur seals, marine iguanas and tropical fish. 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – Prince Phillip’s Steps

AM: Your destination for today is Genovesa Island, considered one of the wildest and most pristine islands within Galapagos National Park. After a wet landing in Darwin Bay, you will walk along a short path which leads through the nesting sites of booby and frigate bird colonies. On the beach you can observe the interesting spectacle of how frigate birds try to rob the prey of the different booby species.

PM: In the afternoon we will go ashore at a crater wall where Prince Phillip’s Steps are located.  These stairs were carved in the stone wall and lead up to a wide plateau, where you will find nesting places of Great frigate birds, Red-billed tropic birds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls, and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, you will cross a little scalesia forest where you can observe the short-eared owl.  With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship carried out by the various species of boobies (Red- and Blue-footed boobies as well as Masked boobies). It is truly is a show.  The same path will lead you back to your boat.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
North Seymour Island // Santa Fe Island

AM: After a dry landing onto North Seymour Island, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas.

PM: In the 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 6 - Thursday
Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point

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. 

On Floreana Island, we will stop at Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. After a wet landing, you can walk just off the beach to 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.

 PM: In the afternoon we will visit 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 that 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 there, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Friday
Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station – The Highlands

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 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.

PM: Afternoon visit to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances to see these creatures roaming free in the wild.   

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
Santa Cruz Island: Black Turtle Cove // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the Evolution and her crew, we will pay a visit to Black Turtle Cove. This is a beautiful mangrove estuary where we will quietly drift in our panga to see Spotted eagle rays, diamond shaped Mustard rays, Whitetip reef sharks, Pacific green sea turtles and a great variety of shore birds.

Afterwards, we will take a bus to Itabaca Channel, which we will cross to reach the airport on Baltra Island for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy your last view of the “enchanting islands,” a unique paradise with its fascinating natural worlds.

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Breakfast

Evolution Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
Price per person
SeasonDeluxe Staterooms: D1-D4Master Suite: A1Premium Stateroom: C4Premium Staterooms: C1-C3 & C5-C9Suites: A2 & A3
Regular SeasonUS$5,950US$7,650US$5,950US$6,350US$7,250
Included in the price:
  • All transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • an 8-day cruise on board the EVOLUTION in double accommodations with access to all facilities
  • bilingual (English-Spanish) naturalist guide
  • and free purified drinking water.
  • Use of snorkeling equipment & wetsuits
Not included in the price:
  • Flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Quito–Galapagos–Quito flights cost approx. $569 per person)
  • entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 per person)
  • immigration control card ($20 per person)
  • beverages, tips, personal items, travel insurance.
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