17 January 2017
Most famous as the place where Charles Darwin developed his theory of natural selection, the Galapagos Islands, the world’s first World Heritage Site, are renowned for their uniquely rich wildlife. This four-day cruise, onboard luxury catamaran Petrel, will introduce you to marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos, sea lions, penguins and a huge variety of colourful fish, all in their natural environment. Along the way, you'll have the benefit of knowledgeable guides, and will travel in style, with a spacious, comfortable cabin and excellent onboard facilities, including a Jacuzzi and your own private balcony from which to enjoy the stunning scenery.
Your trip begins as you arrive in Baltra airport and transfer to Petrel, your luxury catamaran, where you'll have a short briefing about the boat and Baltra Island. This afternoon you'll visit San Cristobal, where your first stop is at the Interpretation Center, to learn more about the history and biodiversity of the Galápagos, before continuing to La Galapaguera, to learn about the giant tortoise breeding program established by the National Park.
Today you'll explore three of Española Island's most stunning locations. Your first stop is at Gardner Bay, a beautiful beach which is home to a large colony of sea lions, then on to Osborn Islet, a white-sand beach where you can swim and snorkel. Finally you'll visit Suárez Point, one of the most outstanding wildlife areas of the archipelago, and a great place to spot blue-footed boobies, albatrosses and Nazca boobies.
Your first stop today is at Floreana Island's Cormorant Point, home to a lagoon which attracts flamingos, stilts and white-cheeked pintails, as well as a remarkable green beach, the sand coloured by olivine crystals. Next you'll head to Devil's Crown, a volcanic crater with a coral reef in the centre which is one of the best snorkelling sites in the archipelago, teeming with tropical fish. Finally, you'll continue to the sandy beach at Post Office Bay, named for the wooden barrel where travellers have been leaving letters to home since the 18th century, in the hope that another traveller headed that way will deliver them.
You'll spend this morning on Santa Cruz, at the Charles Darwin Research Station, were you'll have the chance to meet tortoises ranging in size from tiny new hatchlings to four-foot giants. Afterwards you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Stateroom fr £2158pp
Suite fr £2328pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated