This journey includes visits to Santa Cruz, Santiago, Rabida, Isabela & Fernandina Galapagos Islands
About the vessel:
This magnificent vessel, with a capacity for 100 guests, has the charm of The Enchanted Islands; it is still small enough for a more intimate experience with friends and family. With her three different decks, the Galapagos Legend offers a great variety of comfortable and spacious social areas without losing its sense of intimacy. Its fantastic open decks allow you to admire the islands’ flora and fauna, enjoy a BBQ at night, or take some sun at the pool and bar areas. Standard Plus cabins are exterior cabins with porthole windows, located on the Sea Deck.
Your Galapagos Cruise includes: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals, Island sightseeing, naturalist guides and lecture services in English, snorkelling gear and shared transfers in the islands.
Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
There are two types of landings throughout your Galapagos tour:
Dry landing: guests step from the dinghy onto rocks or a dock.
Wet landing: as the dinghy edges onto a sandy beach, guests step into knee-deep water and wade ashore.
Morning arrival to Baltra Island by plane and immediate transfer to the dock to board your cruise. Welcome introductory briefing and lunch.
PM: Mosquera Islet- This tiny, low lying islet, covered in coral sand, is set between North and South Seymour Islands. It is home to a group of sea lions that come to laze on the soft white sand. It is a good spot to observe shorebirds as well as herons, lava gulls and boobies. Snorkelling or diving here one can often see sharks, rays and barracudas.
AM: Egas Port- The black volcanic sand sets this landing apart from most. It is best known for the dramatic shoreline where we meet a host of species that chose to live between land and sea. Particular among these are the endemic Galapagos fur seals which maintain a small colony at the end of our walk. Other species of note include American oystercatchers, sea lions, waders, herons, lava lizards and even Galapagos hawks. An optional visit takes us to an abandoned salt mine famous in its day for supplying salt to mainland Ecuador.
PM: Rabida Island- Lying at the heart of the archipelago this dramatic island, with its distinctive red-sand beach, is home to sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, endemic Galapagos doves and vermillion flycatchers. A walk takes us through a forest of palo santo and cacti to a beautiful overview of the bay. Snorkelling here can be excellent, often with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions and the ubiquitous turtles.
AM: Urbina Bay- At the far end of a long, level hike we arrive at a strange phenomenon where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed after a dramatic geological uplift in 1954. Located at the western base of Alcedo Volcano we hope to run into a few very impressive land iguanas as well as some of the endemic Galapagos giant tortoises.
PM: Tagus Cove- A well-known hideout and deep water anchorage in the days of pirates, Tagus Cove was also one of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle in 1835. A beautiful hike leads us past an overview of Darwin Lake and on to a stunning volcanic landscape revealing Isabela island’s dramatic northern volcanoes. Once back at sea level the perfect activity is to snorkel along a submerged wall with turtles, lots of fish, penguins and potentially flightless cormorants. You might even be tempted by a panga ride or kayak!
AM: Punta Espinosa- The youngest island of Galapagos and one of the most pristine in the world. Fernandina is simply the ëmarine iguana capital of the worldí. This desolate volcanic backdrop is home to a huge concentration of these enigmatic reptiles. Incongruously, sharing the same shoreline, we can find the diminutive Galapagos penguins. Here we also have the exciting opportunity to snorkel with marine iguanas feeding underwater, penguins, turtles and the bizarre, endemic, flightless cormorants.
PM: Punta Vicente Roca- This is a spectacular visitor site, surrounded by immense cliffs of the eroded volcano. Studded with resting sea birds such as brown noddies and Nazca boobies, we will enjoy them in close proximity from our dinghies. Snorkeling here is superb, with certain species of fish only found in the west of the archipelago. We also have a very real chance of swimming with penguins and potentially a plethora of green turtles.
AM: Highlands Tortoise Reserve- Dry landing. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kind of birds, such as: tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises’ shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a birdwatchers’ haven, since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here. After the visit, passengers will be transferred to the airport for their return flight to Quito.