25 September 2016
Any trip around the Galapagos Islands is always memorable, but when you travel on board the luxurious yacht the Sea Star Journey it is really something special. The vessel combines a contemporary design, privacy and comfort all within the marvelous setting of the Galapagos Islands. The Grand Odyssey takes only 16 passengers and features eight spacious suites and one Odyssey Suite with panoramic windows to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the islands. Local and international dishes are served in the cozy atmosphere of the dining room and there is a large solarium, two Jacuzzis, comfortable sun loungers and a mini-spa that offers therapies and massages. Social areas include a saloon, mini-library and video library as well as a play zone for children during family departures. Snorkeling equipment and kayaks are also free to use.
On arrival at San Cristobal Island airport you will be met by one of our guides and driven to the harbour where the Grand Odyssey will be waiting. In the afternoon, visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoises Protection and Growing Centre in the south east of the island. This centre was built to improve the status of the population of the famous island tortoises and includes a large corral, a visitors centre, breeding centre and an interpretative trail. Along this trail you can see different species of native and endemic plants as well birds such as the San Cristobal Mockingbird, Yellow Warblers, lots of finches and the Galapagos flycatcher.
Located on the north-eastern coast of Hood, Gardner Bay provides an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and the opportunity to watch sea lions. Here you can also observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters. In the afternoon stop at Espanola Island, Punta Suarez. This rocky land spot sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea offering spectacular views of soaring birds and the blow hole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet into the air according to the intensity of the surf.
Today you visit probably the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos on one of the largest islands. Floreana is situated between two tuff lava cones that give the area a special atmosphere. Enjoy the bird watching and stops at the two distinct beaches, the Green Beach and the coral Flour Sand Beach. In the afternoon visit Post Office Bay which is where a wooden barrel was placed in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. It has been used since by mariners and tourists as a post office. Then continue to the north of the island and climb up to enjoy a beautiful vista at the Baroness Lookout. From here you can see the coastline from the Enderby islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas and the wide forest of Palo Santo.
Located in the southeastern part of the Galapagos, Santa Fe, thought to be the oldest island in the archipielago, is the home of a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, snake, and mockingbird, rice rats and one of the two species of land iguanas. Leave your yacht and along a trail many salt bushes can be seen as well as giant prickly pear and cactus. Here you can snorkel with playful seals and tropical fish. Later stop at Plazas at the east of Santa Cruz Island to see the unique land iguanas. The big population of iguanas here is due to the presence of tunas, their favourite food. Swallow Tailed Gulls nesting in the rugged cliffs can be seen along with other sea birds.
Seymour is flat and strewn with boulders and has good nesting sites for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliffs. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, seals can be seen bodysurfing on to the beach. Watch your step, as the boobies don't worry much about where they nest, and you might step on one. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps. There's a circular path that takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash a silvery-blue. Then stop at the two small beaches to the west of Turtle Cove where you can see flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels.
Your wonderful Galapagos cruise comes to an end today, but there are more adventures before you fly out. First visit Mosquera Islet between Baltra and North Seymour. This is a small islet with a reef of rocks and coral and a great white sand beach, which is home to a big population of seals. You can also see several species of shorebirds and can snorkel and swim here. Along the rocks here are Red Lava crabs and Sally light-foot crabs. Later you are taken to the airport on Baltra Island to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home. This cruise makes a great add on to any longer trip to South America and can be combined with a tour of Ecuador or Peru
Galapagos Suite fr £3023pp
Sea Star Suite fr £3614pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated