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Grand Majestic Mega Yacht 7-Night Itinerary A

This 8-day luxury Galapagos cruise on board the Grand Majestic yacht will take you through this cluster of legendary islands some 600 miles off the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. Made famous by Charles Darwin for having inspired his theories of evolution, you too will have the chance to walk over stunning volcanic formations and hike through rich forests teeming with indigenous birdlife. During your Galapagos Island cruise on board the 16-passenger luxury Grand Majestic Motor Vessel, you will sail to the principal northeastern, central and southeastern islands of the archipelago, where you can walk alongside iguanas in the morning, swim with curious sea lions in the afternoon, and watch Blue-footed boobies fly overhead as you enjoy your alfresco dinner in the evening – experiences that will never be forgotten.

Reviews

“We loved the Galapagos Islands. Both of our hotels on Santa Cruz and Isabella islands were excellent. Our tour guides were knowledgeable and directed us to the most interesting sights and wildlife. Thanks Surtrek for organizing an excellent trip.”Catherine Anne Woodruff

Highlights

El Junco Lagoon, Post Office Bay, Suarez Point, Gardner Bay, Twin Craters, El Barranco, Darwin Bay, Rabida Island, Chinese Hat Island, Cerro Brujo

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: San Cristobal Island: Airport – Transfer to the M/Y Majestic – El Junco Lagoon
Day 2: Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point – Devil's Crown
Day 3: Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Islet – Osborn Islet – Gardner Bay
Day 4: Santa Cruz Island: Twin Craters – Charles Darwin Research Center
Day 5: Genovesa Island: El Barranco – Darwin Bay
Day 6: Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island
Day 7: San Cristobal Island: Cerro Brujo – Lobos Island
Day 8: San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center – Airport
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday
San Cristobal Island: Airport – Transfer to the M/Y Majestic – El Junco Lagoon

In the morning you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay your entrance fee to the national park, a member of the Surtrek team will welcome you and accompany you to your ship.

 

In the afternoon we will visit the highlands of San Cristobal Island. First, we will climb up wooden stairs to the freshwater “El Junco” lagoon. During the approximately one-hour walk around this crater lagoon, you will be introduced to the typical plant life of the island, where ferns prevail. You will also notice Frigatebirds, Bahama ducks, and moorhens around the lagoon’s bank.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Tuesday
Floreana Island: Post Office Bay – Cormorant Point – Devil's Crown

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. 

 

To start the day, we will visit 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.

 

The following excursion is 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 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.

 

Later, you will be able to take advantage of the great snorkeling opportunities at “Devil’s Crown” (Corona del Diablo), a broken volcanic cone that is one of the most beautiful places for snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands. The underwater world here includes reef sharks, starfish, sea turtles, sea lions and a host of tropical fish species.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Wednesday
Española Island: Suarez Point – Gardner Islet – Osborn Islet – Gardner Bay

Española Island 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 Suarez 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, 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, though the duration of this excursion is about 3 hours.

 

Small Gardner Islet, situated across from Espanola Island’s Gardner Bay, is lined with vertical cliffs that drop to sandy ledges and large boulders.  We will go snorkeling here, where 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 ride 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.

 

Located 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Thursday
Santa Cruz Island: Twin Craters – Charles Darwin Research Center

Sailing to central Santa Cruz Island, this morning, we will go 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.

 

Also while on Santa Cruz Island, 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- 200 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 5 - Friday
Genovesa Island: El Barranco – Darwin Bay

Our destination for today is Genovesa Island, considered one of the wildest and most pristine islands in Galapagos National Park. Known as “Bird Island,” Genovesa is one of the few places in the islands where you can see Red-footed boobies.

 

This morning, 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.

 

After a wet landing in Genovesa Island’s Darwin Bay, we will walk along a short path that leads to 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Saturday
Rabida Island // Chinese Hat Island

In the morning, 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.

 

This afternoon, 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 7 - Sunday
San Cristobal Island: Cerro Brujo – Lobos Island

This morning we will make a wet landing on San Cristobal Island to visit Cerro Brujo (“Wizard Hill”), a fascinating lava hill located on the northeastern coast of San Cristobal Island. Here you will find exceptional views of Kicker Rock, as well as the southern part of San Cristobal and the adjacent coast. On this site’s 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 here particularly exciting.

 

Afterwards,  we will visit Lobos Island, located across from San Cristobal Island. This is a seasonal nesting spot for Blue-footed boobies and Frigatebirds. You also can enjoy swimming and snorkeling with sea lions in the island’s calm bay.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Monday
San Cristobal Island: Interpretation Center – Airport

At the port of Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of Ecuador’s Galapagos Province, we will visit San Cristobal Island’s Interpretation Center, an excellent place to learn about natural and settlement history of the archipelago. Here you will discover displays that provide information about the volcanic origins of the islands, the ocean’s currents, the archipelago’s climate, and facts concerning the arrival of different species. The islands’ human history is also showcased, chronologically narrating the most significant events related to the discovery and settlements of the Galapagos.

 

From the dock on San Cristobal Island, we will take a short bus ride to the airport for your flight back to the mainland. Enjoy the last view of the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with fascinating natural highlights.

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Breakfast

Prices

2020 - Price per person
RoomMaster SuiteStateroom
8 DaysUS$ 7,945 PPUS$ 5,945 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Grand Majestic motor yacht
  • Accommodations on board the yacht
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • Services of an English/Spanish-speaking naturalist guide
  • Use of snorkeling equipment/wetsuit
  • Use of underwater camera
Not included in the price:
  • Flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Quito–Galapagos–Quito)
  • Entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 per person)
  • Galapagos Immigration Control Card ($20 per person)
  • Alcoholic and bottled drinks
  • Tips & gratuities for captain and crew
  • Personal expenses
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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