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Cruises

Grand Majestic (Route A)

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands

8 days

Summary

During the 8 day Grand Majestic Galapagos Cruise route A itinerary you will visit San Cristobal, Floreana, Española, Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Rabida islands. You will have two expeditions per day and the main iconic species are located in these islands.

About the vessel: This first-class 16-passenger, motorised yacht is 35 meters long and is especially designed to sail through these islands. Its common areas and suites have large picture windows to assure you grand vistas of the seascapes as you cruise from destination to destination. Throughout the expedition, you will dine on fine cuisine. At the end of a day of hiking and snorkelling, you can relax chat with your shipmates about your explorations in one of the spacious social areas. Up on the sun deck, you will have the opportunity to relax with a drink from the bar or soak in the Jacuzzi. As the yacht cruises to the next day’s destination, you’ll rest peacefully in one of the nine double cabins equipped with air conditioning and private bathroom with hot water.

Highlights

  • Appreciate firsthand the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Admire the incredible life under the sea, while snorkelling with rays, turtles and sharks.
  • Get to see the famous Galapagos giants. You will be able to see the largest living species of tortoise.
  • Enjoy and relax at the beautiful beaches that Galapagos offer. Magnificent long white sandy beaches.
  • Visit the lava fields and volcanoes that helped the formation of these islands.

Inclusions

  • All meals and excursions
  • Use of snorkeling equipment/Wetsuit
  • Use of underwater camera
  • Hotel night in Quito or Guayaquil (the day before the cruise) and transfer to the airport

ITINERARY

Day 1 San Cristobal Isl./Galapagos Islands

Very early this morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Galapagos.

Your Galapagos Cruise include: Accommodation in selected cabin, all meals, Island sightseeing, Naturalist guides and lecture services in English, Snorkelling gear, shared transfers in the islands and from main hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.

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.
Please remember that the exact route and program may vary according to weather and ocean conditions and the wildlife we encounter.

On arrival, you will be met by the Majestic staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.

PM: El Junco Lagoon
Your first visit takes you to El Junco Lagoon. Located in the highlands 19 kilometers from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, El Junco is located in the caldera of an extinct volcano. Rainwater feeds the lagoon. There are many farms and ranches in this area of San Cristobal Island, and sometime cows can be found near the lagoon.

Day 2 Floreana Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Post Office Bay
In the morning, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel used as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don’t forget your postcards, and don’t be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!

PM: Cormorant Point
Your afternoon visit is to Cormorant Point. Here you will enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. You will also have a chance to snorkel around Devil’s Crown which is the rocky remains of an offshore volcano sticking out of the water. This is a great location to see a wide range of marine creatures.

Day 3 Española Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Suarez Point
This area is great for spotting blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies. A beautiful site on the ocean front, the large waved albatrosses use the cliff as a launching pad. The famous attraction is the magnificent blowhole, spurting water high into the air. This site presents wonderful photograph opportunities.

PM: Gardner Bay
Your afternoon excursion takes you to the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white-sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. You may also see curious mockingbirds on the beach. Its rocky shores make this site a great place for diving and snorkelling.

Day 4 Santa Cruz Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Los Gemelos (Twin Craters)
In the morning, you will visit the Twin Craters located opposite to each other on both sides of the road leading from Puerto Ayora to Baltra. The name is only figurative; not real craters, these formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. The view is breathtaking.

PM: Breeding Center
The Charles Darwin Research Station is home to turtles ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Subspecies of turtles interact with one another and many of the older turtles are accustomed to humans stretching out their heads for a photo opportunity. The babies are kept until they are about four years old and strong enough to survive on their own.

Day 5 Genovesa Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: El Barranco
Also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, El Barranco’s steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to palo santo vegetation as well as red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

PM: Darwin Bay
This white sand coral beach heads a half mile trail (0.75km) that winds through mangroves filled with land birds. Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls can be spotted here. Further down the path are tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.

Day 6 Rabida Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Rabida Island (Jervis)
Is one of the most colourful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago and a great snorkelling site. Its famous maroon sandy beach and stunning lookouts provide wonderful landscapes. The island is a birdwatcher’s delight. Some of the rarest species are in abundance, such as nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galapagos hawks and brown pelicans.

PM: Chinese Hat Islet
This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tunnels and lava flows. Some of the lava flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon.

Day 7 San Cristobal Isl./Galapagos Islands

AM: Witch Hill
Located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkelling.

PM: Lobos Island
The name of this island means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkelling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Day 8 San Cristobal Isl.

The Interpretation Centre was opened in 1998 as a phase of the project “Interpretation and Environment Education Project.” Visitors enjoy expositions on natural history, human history, and conservation. The conservation efforts represent the movement to protect the wildlife and natural environment through means of population and tourist control. The Interpretation Centre has an outdoor stadium, audio-visual equipment, and meeting rooms.

Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

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