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Petrel Catamaran 7-Night Itinerary A

Designed for comfort and stability, the 16-passenger Petrel luxury catamaran 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. This 8-day/7-night Galapagos Islands tour will allow you to snorkel with sea lions, bask in the sun alongside dragon-like iguanas, or simply wonder at the natural beauty that surrounds you. Sailing on board the Petrel, you will follow this “Fernandina and the Central Islands Itinerary” to one of the world's last Edens – a place where animals have no fear of humans and continue to live just like they have for millennia. It’s a Galapagos Islands luxury cruise vacation that you’ll 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

N. Seymour Island, Isabela Island, Fernandina Island, Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza, Santa Fe Island, San Cristobal Island.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Baltra Island: Airport // North Seymour Island
Day 2: Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point
Day 3: Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay
Day 4: Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point
Day 5: Isabela Island: Sierra Negra Volcano – Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center
Day 6: Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station – The Twins
Day 7: South Plaza Island / Santa Fe Island
Day 8: San Cristobal Island: Lobos Island – Transfer to the Airport
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Friday
Baltra Island: Airport // North Seymour Island

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: After lunch, we will make a dry landing on 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.  

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Saturday
Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca // Fernandina Island: Espinosa Point

AM: Located at the “mouth” of the head of the seahorse that forms the northern part of Isabela Island is Vicente Roca Point, an interesting rock formation. Here, the remnants of an ancient volcano form two turquoise coves, with a bay that’s well-protected from the ocean swells. With a bit of luck, you can see Galapagos penguins, while Masked- and Blue-footed boobies, as well as pelicans, sit perched along the point and its sheer cliffs, while flightless cormorants inhabit the shoreline. The upwelling of currents of cool water in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life, which makes Vicente Roca Point a great area for deep-water snorkeling.

PM: Fernandina Island is not only the westernmost island but also the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos. Huge fields of lava were created here by the La Cumbre Volcano’s 2005 eruption, which was followed on April 11, 2009, when the volcano flared up again, forming a cloud of ash and steam as hot lava flowed down the slopes of the volcano into the ocean. Nonetheless, an abundance of wildlife calls this island home, including the famous Flightless cormorants, penguins, pelicans, marine iguanas and sea lions. You can also find mangroves on Fernandina Island, in addition to a great diversity of wildlife – such as orcas and whale sharks (which can sometimes be seen while snorkeling and when they surface).  This afternoon we will make a dry landing on Espinoza Point, one of Fernandina Island’s visitor points. It is filled with fascinating scenery, such as cactuses growing on the surface of lava. One gets a sense of how life fought to begin when seeing these plants emerging from crevices in this barren landscape. Within this unique scenery, you will encounter numerous animals – the highlights being sea lions, Galapagos penguins, Flightless cormorants (especially in the spring and summer), and one of the largest iguana colonies in the Galapagos Islands.  In fact, on this small strip of land that constitutes Espinoza Point, you can find literally thousands of marine iguanas, which gather in large groups.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3 - Sunday
Isabela Island: Tagus Cove – Urbina Bay

AM: After a dry landing, we will visit Isabela Island’s notorious Tagus Cove, which was historically used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers.  Still exiting here is some graffiti that is believed to have been left by 19th-century pirates …a curious reminder of an intriguing past. Perched on the ledges of the cliffs around this deep blue bay, you can observe a large number of Blue-footed boobies, as well as marine iguanas, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, swallow-tailed gulls and tiny Galapagos penguins (members of the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator). A steep trail also passes through an area of dry vegetation and volcanic landscapes with scalesia woods and cactuses.

PM: After lunch, we will make a wet landing in Urbina Bay.  Coral reefs are visible here as a result of an especially violent eruption of the Alcedo Volcano in 1954, when large sections of Isabela Island’s coast were suddenly raised about four meters. These reefs are now covered with poison apple and muyuyo trees. You can also observe land iguanas and the rare Mangrove finch up close here. From January to June, land turtles occasionally visit the bay, descending from their higher mountain living environments. After a short walk inland, we will have some time for snorkeling, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions, and countless tropical fish.   

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Monday
Isabela Island: Elizabeth Bay – Moreno Point

AM: Today we will head to the mangrove area of Elizabeth Bay, on Isabela Island, and visit the small islands offshore. You are likely to see dwarf penguins as well as schools of manta rays, turtles and other giants of the ocean – possibly even surfacing whale sharks. The mangrove woods are also home to various species of seabirds and herons.

PM: In the afternoon we will explore Moreno Point, a young volcanic landscape with numerous fresh-water pools and lagoons. You will be able to see flamingos, Bahama ducks and other birds here.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Tuesday
Isabela Island: Sierra Negra Volcano – Wetlands – Tortoise Breeding Center

AM: Today we will drive to the highlands of Isabela Island and start hiking up to the edge of the Sierra Negra Volcano’s crater. The volcano — reaching a height of around 1,500 meters and having an outer diameter of approximately nine kilometers (over 5 miles) — is the second largest caldera in the world. We will hike along the cone to a resting place in the northeast.  From the Sierra Negra Volcano, you will be able to see the Chico Volcano, which is about 90 minutes away on foot and known for its moon-like volcanic lava landscape.

PM: After lunch, we will visit Los Humedales, the wetlands of Isabela Island. With some luck, you will be able to see pink flamingos in the lagoons. We will also enter lava tunnels, which are quite popular among the marine iguanas here.

Afterwards, we will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and Palo Santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects.Today we will visit Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, which is home to about 330 of these creatures. As the center is located only about a mile (1.5 km) from Puerto Villamil, you can either walk or drive to it. There, you can find a number of tortoise species that have been reproduced in captivity, with a few of them being in danger of extinction. In addition to tortoises, there are also beautiful gardens in which you can stroll around. These hold native plants such as manzanillo, mesquite, prickly pears and Palo Santos. Since there are wasps in the area, make sure you don’t wear bright-colored clothes, as these attract those insects.

 

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Wednesday
Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Station – The Twins

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- 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.

PM: In the afternoon we will go to the Santa Cruz Highlands and see "The Twins” (twin 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Thursday
South Plaza Island / Santa Fe Island

AM: This 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: 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 8 - Friday
San Cristobal Island: Lobos Island – Transfer to the Airport

AM: In the morning 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. 

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

2019 - Price per person
RoomStateroomsSuite
8 DaysUS$ 7,225 PPUS$ 7,850 PP
2019 - Price per person
RoomStateroomsSuite
8 DaysUS$ 7,550 PPUS$ 8,245 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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