21 February 2017
The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their unique wildlife and spectacular geology. This cruise gets you up close to the giant tortoises which so fascinated Charles Darwin, as well as marine iguanas, sea lions, colourful fish and an enormous range of bird species, including albatross, flamingos and penguins. You'll travel on the Cormorant luxury catamaran, where you'll have a comfortable, spacious stateroom with its own private balcony where you can relax and enjoy the awe-inspiring views.
Your adventure beings as you arrive in Baltra airport, where you'll be met and taken across the Itabaca Channel to visit the island of Santa Cruz. Here you'll have the chance to observe the unique ecosystem of the island's highlands, a humid cloud forest which is home to giant tortoises and a wide variety of birds. You'll also visit the town of Puerto Ayora before boarding the Cormorant and having a chance to settle in. On Santa Cruz you will see a unique ecosystem, the highlands, which consists of a humid cloud forest where giant tortoises dwell and birds find sanctuary. This ecosystem contrasts with the dry coastal areas of the islands and the beautiful white sandy beaches, characteristics of the volcanic Islands A delicious box lunch will be served and afterwards we will visit the town of Puerto Ayora before embarking. Once on the Cormorant Yacht you will have time to settle in and make yourself at home
Today you'll explore Isabela Island, starting at the Tintoreras Islet, home to white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. Next you'll visit The Sierra Negra Volcano, the Galapagos' largest basaltic caldera, to admire the impressive views, before continuing to the fascinating Tortoise Breeding Station. Finally you'll explore Isabela Island's Wetlands, an area of lagoons, swamps and mangroves that's home to bird species including common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails and gallinules.
Your exploration of Isabela continues today, beginning with a visit to Moreno Point, where you'll come ashore onto rock that was once flowing lava, dotted with tide pools, where you may see flamingos, white-cheeked pintails and common gallinules. This afternoon you'll visit Elizabeth Bay, where you'll take a dinghy ride to spot sea turtles and rays skimming the surface of the water.
This morning you'll head for Mangle Point, a small inlet on the coast of Fernandina Island that's perfect for snorkelling and home to sea lions, penguins and flightless cormorants. This afternoon, you'll land on Isabela Island at Urbina Bay, home to fascinating geological formations as well as wildlife including flightless cormorants, pelicans and marine iguanas.
This morning you'll return to Fernandina Island. Access to Fernandina is tightly controlled as no foreign species have ever invaded this island, making it one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. Here you'll walk past colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions to reach a nesting site for flightless cormorants. You may also see the Galapagos hawk here. This afternoon you'll visit Vicente Roca Point, on Isabela Island, a large bay made up of two separate coves, where you'll be able to see seahorses, sea turtles and sunfish.
Today's first stop is at Egas Port, on Santiago Island. Here you'll see the tide pools that are home to lava lizards, and may also see fur seals and a range of marine birds. This is a great place for snorkelling, to admire the distinctive underwater formations, as well as the marine iguanas, reef sharks, turtles and rays. Next, you'll head to Buccaneer Cove, once a safe haven for pirates but now home to sea turtles, who dig nests for their eggs near the mangrove trees. Finally, you'll visit Espumilla Beach, where you'll enjoy a guided walk through the mangrove forest to an inland lake, where you can see flamingos, pintail ducks and stilts.
The morning you'll visit El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, where a steep, rocky path leads you up 25 metres to a cliff-face with stunning views. From here you'll hike through the lush vegetation to spot a dazzling variety of birds including red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galápagos swallows and Galápagos doves. This afternoon you're headed for Darwin Bay, a white-sand coral beach offering excellent snorkelling, as well as a hiking trail that winds through the mangroves, giving you spectacular bird-watching opportunities.
The final destination on your cruise is North Seymour Island, home to sea lions, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds, and a final chance to snorkel amid the rays, reef shark and eels. Afterwards, you'll be transferred to Baltra airport in time for your onward flight.
Suite fr £4146pp
Stateroom fr £4275pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated