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Petrel Catamaran 4-Night Itinerary

A 16-passenger motorized catamaran, the Petrel is designed for comfort and stability and is outfitted with spacious cabins with private balconies, a comfortable lounge and ample relaxation areas. The huge sundeck features the Jacuzzi, the perfect spot for dolphin- and whale-watching, or for simply unwinding and soaking up the sun between island excursions. In the evenings there is no better place for star gazing. On this 5-day/4-night luxury Galapagos cruise, you will encounter strange and wonderful bird and animal species perfectly adapted to the unique conditions of these islands. See giant tortoises rubbing shoulders with dragon-like marine iguanas, swim with playful penguins, and walk right up to curious finches and frigatebirds that have no reason to fear you. The 16-passenger Petrel luxury catamaran will carry you on your Galapagos Island cruise to northern Genovesa Island and central islands of the archipelago – a bucket-list adventure you will never forget.

Reviews

“The Galapagos experience was absolutely amazing. Not just the abundant sea life and incredible spots, but also your professionalism and passion for your work turned my trip into an unforgettable holiday.”Jan Bartos

Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Santiago, Bartolome (Pinnacle Rock) and Gernovesa Island.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: airport // Santa Cruz Island: The Highlands
Day 2: Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay // Bartolome Island: Pinnacle Rock
Day 3: Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – Prince Phillip’s Steps
Day 4: Santiago Island: Puerto Egas – Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island: Carrion Point // Baltra Island: Airport
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday
Baltra Island: airport // Santa Cruz Island: The Highlands

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 your ship's crew will then welcome you and accompany you to your yacht: the Petrel.

PM: We will then visit 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 to 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.    

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

AM: In the morning 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.  We will then head to Sullivan Bay, 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, as 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.

PM: 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.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Wednesday
Genovesa Island: Darwin Bay – Prince Phillip’s Steps

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: 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 frigatebirds, Red-billed tropic birds, Bahama ducks, Lava seagulls and Fork-tailed seagulls. During this easy stroll, we will cut through a small scalesia forest where you might observe short-eared owls.  With a little bit of luck, you will also be able to observe the unique courtship rituals carried out by the various booby species (Red- and Blue-footed as well as Masked boobies). It truly is a show.       

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Thursday
Santiago Island: Puerto Egas – Espumilla Beach – Buccaneer Cove

AM: This afternoon we will make a wet landing on Santiago’s Puerto Egas beach. Its black volcanic sand was visited by Darwin in 1835 and still maintaining an abundance of marine iguanas. After a short walk of about 2 km along the coast, we will reach the rugged lava coastline of James Bay. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago’s shores is home to a variety of resident and migrant birds, including the bizarre Yellow-crowned night heron and an astounding array of marine wildlife – including lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally Lightfoot Crabs. Colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water pools formed by volcanic rocks are another highlight. 

PM: In the afternoon we will visit Santiago Island’s Espumilla Beach, where marine iguanas relax and sea turtles nest. While snorkeling, you might come upon octopuses, morays and many types of tropical fish. There is also a Palo Santo forest close to this beach. From there we will go to Buccaneer Cove, which in the 18th and 19th centuries was a shelter for pirates, whalers, and sailors. The bay is surrounded by high tuff cliffs where many seabirds nest. In the cliffs, you can try to find two rock formations that look like a monkey and an elephant.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Friday
Santa Cruz Island: Carrion Point // Baltra Island: Airport

AM: To start the morning, 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. 

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

Prices

2019 - Price per person
RoomStateroomsSuite
5 DaysUS$ 4,595 PPUS$ 4,950 PP
2019 - Price per person
RoomStateroomsSuite
5 DaysUS$ 4,820 PPUS$ 5,200 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations on board the Petrel in double accommodations
  • Guided 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)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
  • Tips and gratuities for the crew and captain
  • Bottled soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
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