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Silver Galapagos Vessel - 7 Nights Itinerary B

On this 8 day/7 night Galapagos cruise through the archipelago’s North Central islands, you will visit Genovesa Island, one of the most unusual land masses in the Galapagos on the North Central Route. Following this visit on “Bird Island,” home to over 30 bird species, we will set sail for Española Island, the most southerly island and one of the richest in terms of wildlife. Indeed, Española is the only nesting place in the world for the magnificent Waved Albatross. Other highlights of this once in a lifetime expedition include climbing “Prince Philip’s Steps” to witness a thriving seabird colony, observing sea lion families and the famed giant tortoises, and marveling at the fearless behavior of wildlife. On daily land excursions you will have a chance to hike up the sides of an extinct volcano and across lava flows, photograph colorful marine iguanas, and cruise by Zodiac along scenic coastlines, in addition to the opportunity of swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions in crystal-clear waters. All and all, an experience that must not be missed.

Testimonials

“My husband, daughter and I want to thank you again for making our trip to the Galapagos extremely awesome!”Herlena and Richard Orellana

Silver Galapagos Vessel: Highlights

Galapagos Islands, Bartolome Island, Isabela Island (Tagus Cove), Fernandina Floreana & Charles Darwin Station.

Silver Galapagos Vessel: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival (Baltra Island)
Day 2: Darwin Bay – El Barranco – Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)
Day 3: North Seymour Island -- Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Day 4: Rabida Island – Eden Island
Day 5: La Galapaguera – Pitt Point (San Cristobal Island)
Day 6: Gardner Bay and Suarez Point (Española Island)
Day 7: Charles Darwin Research Center – Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) / South Plazas Island
Day 8: Departure (Baltra Island)
Galapagos Map
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Silver Galapagos Vessel: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Saturday
Arrival (Baltra Island)

AM/PM: 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 Surtrek team will then welcome you and accompany you to your ship, the Silver Galapagos motor vessel.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2 - Sunday
Darwin Bay – El Barranco – Prince Philip Steps (Genovesa Island)

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. Later in the afternoon, we will visit 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 3 - Monday
North Seymour Island -- Sullivan Bay (Santiago 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 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 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4 - Tuesday
Rabida Island – Eden Island

AM: This 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.

PM: From there, we will head out to a small islet that, while not having any visitor points, allows for a scenic and exciting zodiac ride around it.  Eden Islet is a place where Galapagos fishermen used to go, as there are many marine species found here. Nesting on these rocks are different marine birds, like Frigatebirds, pelicans, seagulls, and petrels. Other marine species — like spotted eagle rays and marbled rays — add to making this islet an interesting excursion.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5 - Wednesday
La Galapaguera – Pitt Point (San Cristobal Island)

AM: One of the main attractions of San Cristobal Island is the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will see enormous Galapagos tortoises, as well as iguanas. As the natural population of tortoises from San Cristobal Island is seriously threatened by animals introduced onto the island by humans – mainly wild goats, cats, and rats – the center is attempting to increase the number of tortoises as well as eradicate threatening species. Close to the center is an easy trail that covers a distance of 900 meters; along this trail, you will see different species of native and endemic plants of the Galapagos, like cat’s claw, manzanillo, romerillo, and acacia. Be careful not to touch or eat the manzanillo fruits as these are toxic. San Cristobal Island is also one of the few islands where you can see the plant calandrinia galapagosa, which is in danger of extinction. 

PM: In the afternoon, we will visit Punta Pitt, on the eastern side of San Cristobal Island. After a high-intensity hike on rocky terrain along a 1.4 km-long path and several magnificent lookout points, we will make our way through colonies of Frigatebirds and Fork-tailed seagulls. What’s more, this is probably the only site in the world where you can see all three species of boobies – Masked, Red- and Blue-footed ones. In addition to its great range of seabirds, Punta Pitt is also excellent for dinghy rides and snorkeling.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6 - Thursday
Gardner Bay and Suarez Point (Española Island)

AM: 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.

PM: After lunch, 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, 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7 - Friday
Charles Darwin Research Center – Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) / South Plazas Island

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. Later, we will visit the charming port town of Puerto Ayora, which – with more than 20,000 inhabitants – is the most populous human settlement in the Galapagos Islands. It also has the best-developed infrastructure in the archipelago – with schools, hotels, restaurants, stores, and clubs – and is the best place to communicate with the outside world via a number of Internet cafés and telephone offices. Most travelers used to just pass through here on their way to see “Lonesome George,” the 150-year old tortoise who lived at Charles Darwin Research Center; but those who linger here for a moment longer will discover that Puerto Ayora has more to offer. The town has sports shops for diving equipment, mountain biking, and birdwatching, as well as day tours that include its nearby white-sand beaches.

PM: Next, 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 Tropicbirds 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.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8 - Saturday
Departure (Baltra Island)

AM: 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

Silver Galapagos Vessel: Prices

2018 - Price per person
RoomDeluxe VerandaExplorer SuiteSilver SuiteTerrace SuiteVeranda Suite
8 DaysUS$ 11,430US$ 9,150US$ 14,050US$ 10,950US$ 11,150
Included in the price:
  • A cruise on board the Silver Galapagos
  • accommodations in a double cabin with private facilities
  • all meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • all transfers in the Galapagos Islands
  • services of an English/Spanish-speaking naturalist guide on daily excursions and during briefings
  • use of snorkeling equipment
  • free purified drinking water.
Not included in the price:
  • Flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 USD per adult)
  • transit control card ($20 USD per person)
  • bottled soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • single cabin supplements
  • tips and gratuities
  • personal items
  • travel/medical insurance.
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