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CRUISING THE GALAPAGOS ABOARD ISABELLA II

Code:FGPS04
Tour:CRUISING THE GALAPAGOS ABOARD ISABELLA II
Duration:5 Days
Live Help
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With a capacity of only 40 guests, Yacht ISABELA II offers a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying an unforgettable Galapagos expedition, where guests fully experience their sense of discovery and bonding with nature. ISABELA II Galapagos Island Cruise offers all aspects of the Galapagos: an intimate contact with wildlife, active volcanoes, a vast Marine Reserve, adventure, comfort and safety.

Our classic Yacht ISABELA II offers the most in-depth week itinerary (Tuesday to Tuesday) allowing guests to enjoy all that Galapagos is famous for: from ancient giant tortoises to penguins, from sleek flamingos to bold sharks, from bizarre flightless cormorants to rugged marine iguanas and from whales and dolphins to dramatic island volcanoes and breathtaking scenery, plus the exploration of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (the second largest in the world) on kayaks, the glass bottom boat, swimming or snorkeling.

The expertise of three English-speaking Naturalist Guides matches their contagious enthusiasm, whether discussing geology or bird watching, snorkeling or stargazing, evolution or marine actitivies. Guests of ISABELA II have the opportunity to explore the Ecuador Galapagos islands in small groups with fellow enthusiasts who share their same passion for nature, curiosity and spirit of observation.


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
DAY 1: MONDAY
Arrival at Baltra Airport and transfer to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. A 30-minute bus ride to the impressive site known as Los Gemelos (The Twins). These are a series of geological sink holes. Be impressed by the Scalesia forest, consisting of endemic daisies that took the niche of trees, growing to spectacular sizes, and now home to several species of endemic birds, such as the rare woodpecker finch, one of the world´s few tool-using species. We visit the nearby Tortoise reserve, where most of the year we see the giant tortoises in the wild. Lunch at a local restaurant, and then continue to Puerto Ayora.
Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like "Lonesome George" within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. Expedition plan for Tuesday, Captain's welcome cocktail and dinner.

DAY 2: TUESDAY

After breakfast, a wet landing on a sandy white beach with many sea lion harems. Bulls vie for the right to be "Beach Master", while smaller males masquerading as females make stealthy mating moves. Galápagos hawks are often easily observed, perched atop salt bushes. The giant prickly pear cactus found here live up to their name with tree-sized trunks! The endemic land iguana, unique to this island, may be spotted during the afternoon walk. Snorkelling, kayaking and/or swimming from the beach rounds off the rewarding experience. Lunch on board.
Disembark (dry landing) in the channel between North and South Plaza Islands, where the island tilts toward the water, the approach makes for a lavishly colourful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange 'Sally Lightfoot' crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath these, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline one finds sea lion colonies, while frigates, swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide playing with the thermals that form along the cliffs of this small but amazing island. Wednesday's expedition plan and dinner.

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
The morning starts with a dry landing for a view of the coast and the interior of North Seymour Island, one of the few uplifted islands in the Galápagos Archipelago. The trail leads guests to explore colonies of blue footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, and swallowtail gulls. The sandy shore teems with Galápagos sea lions and marine iguanas. Vegetation is made up of cacti, palo santo (torchwood) trees and salt bushes. Advanced snorkelling near the cliffs is possible after the walk. Lunch on board.
After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach, a name that morphed to "bachas". Today it is an important nesting area for the east Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos. Swimming and/or snorkelling from the beach. Thursday's expedition plan and dinner

DAY 4: THURSDAY
Disembark at Bartolomé Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. A great way to start the day! This is a steep climb up a wooden staircase with handrails and several resting and observation stops; the view from the top is worth the effort. Following the walk, a dinghy ride around colossal Pinnacle Rock, is rewarding, followed by time to enjoy the beach (wet landing) and some snorkelling, with possible Galápagos penguin sightings. Guests can also ride on the glass-bottom boat for great views of the underwater world. Lunch on board.
After lunch, board the panga for the short trip to the landing site at Sullivan Bay on the east coast of Santiago. Wet landing on a white coral sand beach and begin the walk over lava that flowed less than 100 years ago. This is the perfect place to see and feel the volcanic origin of Galápagos and learn first-hand the initial steps of pioneering plants and animals over recently produced volcanic ground. Memorable scenes of the film Master and Commander where shot at these two locations.
Farewell cocktail and departure briefing before dinner.

DAY 5: FRIDAY
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to the mainland.

Not Included:
Air transportation to/from Galapagos
Galapagos National Park admission fee (US $100 subject to change without notice)
Transit Control Card for Galapagos (US$ 10 per person)
Wet suits
Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverage, gratuities, gifts and additional items

Note:
The itineraries and programme are subject to change without prior notice, due mainly to adjustments in the policies and regulations of the Galápagos National Park, weather conditions, seasonal changes and safety reasons.
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


For more information about this tour, or for information about other tour options available, please CONTACT US.
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