Experience the Galapagos Islands on this voyage through the famed waters of Galapagos amid spectacular landscapes and distinct endemic wildlife that so intrigued Charles Darwin!
During your intimate Galapagos Islands cruise, you’ll find yourself just inches away from giant tortoises, comical blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas and many other animals, and you’ll gain an appreciation for how remarkable life on Earth can be. From the spouting whales crossing the Bolivar Channel to the waved albatrosses nesting along the cliffs of Espanola, you'll experience the undeniable wonder of Darwin's Enchanted Isles.
- Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights
- Guest Capacity: 32 Guests
- Trip Type: Sea
- Travel Style: Nature & wildlife, family travel, small ship cruises, solo travel
- Destinations: Central & South America, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
- Snorkel, kayak, hike & even enjoy an intimate picnic in the highlands with giant tortoises
- Spend seven nights aboard the Evolution, featuring the most public space & largest cabins of any yacht in her class
- Visit a family-run coffee & sugar cane farm
- Enjoy the archipelago's best guest-to-guide ratio on small-group departures of just 26-32 guests
- Learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station
Skip the Crowds on a Galapagos Islands Cruise
The Galapagos Islands are a treasure meant to be experienced with a small group of true nature enthusiasts – not 100 “tourists. The small group size of just 32 aboard the Evolution ensures you enjoy ample time and attention as you explore. Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort and world-class service to discover the Galapagos. Each day during this Galapagos Islands tour, you “come home” to a comfortable, intimate expedition ship. The Evolution is the perfect haven for relaxing between daily hiking and snorkeling excursions, or for joining fellow travelers for a briefing by our knowledgeable naturalists.
This Galapagos Islands tour offers more than a typical "tourist" overview – you'll be exposed to the greatest variety of wildlife. This Galapagos Islands cruise passes dormant volcanoes; lets you snorkel with sea lions; and even includes watching the giant tortoises graze. These are the moments of wonder you expect on this small-ship cruise.
The Highest Rated Galapagos Islands Travel Guides
The highly qualified naturalist Galapagos Islands travel guides on this cruise are authorities on the wildlife, history, geography and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. You’ll learn from an expedition leader and local naturalist who are passionate about the islands and licensed at the highest level — Level 3 — by Galapagos National Park.
Darwin's Enchanted Isles Cruise Itinerary
- DAY 1 Arrive Guayaquil - Fly independently to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verde. (Meals Aloft)
- DAY 2 Guayaquil / Baltra / Daphne Major -Fly to Galapagos and board the Evolution. After a safety briefing, enjoy a circumnavigation of Daphne Major, a paradise for sea birds such as magnificent frigatebird. (B,L,D)
- DAY 3 - Isabela Island / Fernandina Island- Zodiacs take you on a dramatic ride into the heart of a sunken volcano at Punta Vicente Roca. Take to the water, where you will swim and snorkel among sea turtles, penguins and possibly even sea horses. Explore the lava fields of Punta Espinosa, located on Fernandina, the youngest and most volcanically active island in the Galapagos. Here you will spot flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Whale watch from the Evolution’s open-air decks as you cross the Bolivar Channel. (B,L,D)
- DAY 4 - Isabela Island-Hike along the uplifted section of sea floor in Urvina Bay at the base of the Alcedo Volcano. The naturalists point out the tortoises, colorful land iguanas and other wildlife that feed on the vegetation. Board the Zodiacs for an excursion to Tagus Cove, where we look for penguins, flightless cormorants, pelicans along the cliffs before a chance to snorkel and swim. (B,L,D)
- DAY 5 - Bartolomé / Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay- Visit Bartolomé Island, hiking to the top of a dormant volcano for a dramatic panorama, including famed Pinnacle Rock. The island is dotted with craters, cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones and broken lava tunnels which run down from the summit. The Zodiac drivers will take “non-hikers” for a ride around the cliffs, observing a stunning volcanic landscape and Galapagos penguins. Swim and snorkel with sea lions and maybe even speedy penguins. This afternoon, hike across the panoehoe lava of Sullivan Bay, seeing some of the hearty flora colonizing the landscapes. Stroll along the coralline beach spotting black and white oystercatchers. (B,L,D)
- DAY 6 - Santa Cruz Island: Bachas Beach / Rabida Island - Walk along the white sands of Bachas Beach looking for Sally Lightfoot crabs, black necked stilts and whimbrels. Snorkel in the calm waters where sea turtles nest. Our afternoon is spent along the distinct red-sand beaches and cliffs of Rabida Island. While exploring this uninhabited island at the archipelago’s geologic center, watch for up to nine species of Darwin’s finches, doves, yellow warblers and mockingbirds. A small saltwater lagoon is home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and black-necked stilts. Snorkelers may take to the water with sea lions, sea turtles and reef fish such as damsels and pufferfish. During a guided kayaking excursion, watch for brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies while savoring views of the island’s sloping volcanic peak. (B,L,D)
- DAY 7 - Santa Cruz Island-Begin your day in the forested highlands, with ample opportunity to see and photograph giant tortoises in the wild. Stop at a family run farm before learning about the work being done to study and preserve wildlife at Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center at the Darwin Research Center. (B,L,D)
- DAY 8-Española Island-As the southernmost island in the archipelago, Española’s relative isolation has resulted in not only an abundance of unusual wildlife, but species and subspecies that are endemic to the island, such as Española (Hood) mockingbird, Española (Hood) racer snake, Española (Hood) lava lizard, waved albatross and brightly colored marine iguanas. Enjoy a Zodiac ride before wading ashore to Punta Suarez through a sea lion colony. Walk along the cliffs looking for waved albatrosses, Galapagos hawks, Hood mockingbirds and the red-colored race of marine iguana en route to Española’s blowhole, where waves spout 90 feet into the air. After a relaxing lunch, swim, snorkel and kayak in the waters off Gardner Bay, or simply bring along your book or a camera and relax on the white sands. (B,L,D)
- DAY 9 -San Cristóbal Island / Guayaquil - End your Galapagos Islands cruise by returning to San Cristóbal to visit the Interpretation Center, opened by the park in 1998. Fly to Guayaquil, with time to relax at the Hotel Oro Verde. (B,L Aloft)
- DAY 10 - Depart Guayaquil-Board independent flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)