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Galapagos and Ecuador
In Ecuador you can find an active volcano, lush Amazon rain forest or traditional Indian culture, but it is also well known for the islands of Galapagos, which are considered as one of the best wildlife safaris on the planet. Unique fauna and flora and absolutely fearless animals allow you to experience local wildlife from few centimetres! You can choose a 4, 5 or 8 day cruise around Galapagos and a boat which matches your standards. With personal experience and a wide offer of tours we are ready to meet any of your expectations.
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Luxury catamaran Journey I – 8 days


Cost: from $ 4.445 AUD
Flights: no flights included (return local flights $ 450 AUD)
Duration: 8 days
Departure: all year long (Tuesdays and Fridays)
Location: Galapagos Islands

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Tour Description

The luxury catamaran, Journey I, will take you for a brilliant navigable tour to the Galapagos Islands. The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Journey I is for 16 passengers and provides the highest standards of luxury and comfort (incl. whirlpool). All cabins feature private facilities, locker and closet, air conditioned. The boat visits the most remote and less visited excursion sites in the Galapagos Islands, you will practically have the Islands to yourselves during your cruise! It also carries snorkelling equipment, wetsuits, sea kayaks, etc. The Galapagos Islands travel experience is top of the list for every traveler!

Itinerary

Day 1 – Plazas Island
Welcome to the Galapagos Islands. After landing you will board a luxury catamaran which will become your home for the next 8 days. You set out first of all to two small islets that were formed a short distance from the East Coast of Santa Cruz, Plaza Island. Despite its small size, some of the most interesting and outstanding species of the archipelago occur here. The principal attractions of Plazas are the land iguanas, sea lions and swallow–tailed gulls. It is possible to observe land iguanas relaxing in the shade of cactus plants and swallow-tailed gulls nesting on the rugged southern cliffs. And that’s not all as the protected rocky seashore is a prime habitat for a large colony of noisy sea lions. Also we will be able to see yellow – tailed mullets, Audubon’s shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds, and brown pelicans gliding past the cliffs.

Day 2 – San Cristobal Island, Lobos Island
The second day you stop at San Cristobal Island. The interpretation centre gives a very good introduction to the Galapagos Islands; its marine and land life fauna and flora. The second highlight of the day, a trip to Tijeretas Hill takes approximately 20-40 minutes. Once there, visitors are treated to a spectacular view of the white beaches on one side and the roofs of Puerto Baquerizo on the other. The hill is named after the Frigate birds who frequent the area. Here you will be able to see both the Magnificent Frigate birds and Great Frigate birds in the same colony so this is the perfect place to compare and learn to distinguish them. The afternoon programme is at Lobos Island. This small islet, located only an hour by boat from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is separated from the main Island by a narrow stretch of calm water. Upon its rocky shores blue-footed boobies nest and sea lions rest. The atmosphere is one of tranquillity and primitive beauty and reveals a very typical Galapagos environment.

Day 3 – Española Island
The third day is devoted to Española Island. Gardner Bay is an excellent beach for relaxing, swimming and observing sea lions. Here we will also have the opportunity to observe sharks in the crystal-clear ocean waters. Rocky land-point Punta Suarez sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of sea birds in the Galápagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea allowing the visitor spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow hole, a lava tube where water can spout up to 75 feet into the air depending on the intensity of the surf.

Day 4 – Floreana Island
Cormorant Point offers one of the largest and best flamingo lagoons in the Galapagos. It is situated between two tuff cones, giving the area its special atmosphere. This is a unique zone due to the huge amount of endemic plant life. It is also very interesting to observe the two distinct beaches: the “green sand beach (due to a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand) and the “Flour sand beach” made up of coral. At the Post Office Bay you may drop a letter or postcard in a wooden barrel, historically placed there in the 18th century by the crew of a whaling ship. Ever since this time the barrel has been used by mariners and tourists as a sort of postal service. Whalers and Galapagos residents used to leave their mail inside it, waiting for the captain of any boat headed to where the mail was addressed to deliver it… Why not try it out to see if it still works? You can often snorkel with turtles here or visit the lava tube inland.

Day 5 – Santa Cruz
Although the majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate the natural wonders the islands have to offer, many also find it interesting to learn more about the protection and conservation programs. This can be found in the Charles Darwin Research Centre. Some of the principal attractions of the National Park Information Centre are; the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall, the Breeding and Rearing Centre for young tortoises, Lonesome George (the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island) and other adult Galapagos tortoises in captivity. Afterwards you set out for a hike. The trail to the highlands leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. With clear weather (unpredictable) this area offers beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round.

Den 6 – Santiago Island
Today you will admire the unbelievable beauty of the Santiago Island. Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) - is a tiny island just off the south-eastern tip of Santiago Island and is less than a quarter of 1 sq km in size. It is a recently-formed volcanic cone and its descriptive name accounts for the fact that it appears to take the shape of a downward-facing Chinese hat. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline, Galapagos penguins and eagle rays are often seen. The island is home to a large sea lion colony and plenty of marine iguanas who cover the volcanic landscape. There are some excellent snorkelling opportunities in the cove. Afterwards, the excursion to Puerto Egas with its black sand beaches leads to one of the most rewarding visits of the Galapagos. A walk along the rugged shoreline, especially at low tide, will allow us to observe many marine species as iguanas bask on the rocks and sea lions laze in the tide pools. At the end of the trail there is a series of grottoes or sea caves where fur seals and night herons are regularly found resting on the shady ledges. For many, this is the only opportunity to see the Galapagos fur seal, once thought to be on the verge of extinction.

Day 7 – Santiago Island, Bartolome Island
The morning will be spent at the Sullivan Bay. This visitor site provides a unique opportunity to view lava flow that is approximately 100 years old. The lava flow solidified in a mostly ropey-like appearance; it is rare to the rest of the world but is common to the volcanoes of Hawaii and Galapagos. Only a few plants have managed to take root in this harsh environment. The low-lying Mollugo is commonly the first plant to emerge from a bare lava field. Together with the Lava Cactus (Brachycereus) found here, these plants are evidence of life returning to Sullivan Bay. In the afternoon you continue to the Bartolome Island. It offers the possibility to climb to the summit, from where visitors can observe a variety of volcanic formations including lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones, lava flows and lava tubes. The moon like landscape provides one of the most scenic panoramas in the archipelago. And you also have the chance to relax on a beautiful beach, which offers great snorkelling opportunities. Multi –coloured fish and occasionally penguins and sea turtles have been here. A short walk across to Bartolome´s second beach and swimming is strictly prohibited. Here visitors can see White-tipped Reef Sharks at a safe distance swimming along the shoreline.

Day 8 – Santa Cruz
Last trip takes you to the Bachas Beach, known for the sand which is made of decomposed coral. As a result the sand here is very white and soft, making it a favourite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small water lagoon, where occasionally it is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The cruise comes to an end, you will be heading to the airport in the afternoon to continue with your travels.

Catamaran Specifications:

Category: Luxury Class

Type: Motor Catamaran

Year: 2006

Capacity: 16 Passengers

Length: 90,50 ft/ 27.6 m

Beam: 36,08 ft/ 11 m

Speed: 10 knots

Crew: 8 + 1 naturalist bilingual guide

Accommodation: 16 passengers in 6 twin bed cabins on main deck and 2 suites on the upper deck.

Package Inclusions

7 Nights accommodation on the boat Journey I (in twin cabins); 8 Day long Galapagos cruise; Full board on the boat (B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner) except for alcoholic drinks; All services, transfers and excursions detailed in the programme; Local English speaking guide; Snorkelling; Taxes.

Price per person (2 people in double/twin room)

Package Exclusions

Airfare; Tips; Insurance; Personal expenses; Galapagos National Park Entrance fee 100 USD; Optional Excursions.

Supplements

Single supplement – contact us for details

Upgrade to Deluxe Suite - $ 610 AUD

Local flights Quito - Galapagos - Quito - from $ 450 AUD

Note

This cruise is also available in 5 day version.

The price is subject to availability.


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