Petrel Galapagos catamaran with dark blue hull & 2 white upper decks with wooden exterior cabin doors sits in calm water.
Man in dark blue shirt & gray pants kneels in bright green grass to photograph a giant tortoise on a Petrel Galapagos Cruise.
Magnificent frigatebird with black body sits in a nest of woven sticks & puffs out its red pouch, on a Petrel Galapagos Cruise.
Juvenile red-footed booby bird with light blue beak & tan feathers sits in a mangrove tree, seen on Petrel Galapagos Cruises.
Landscape of dark volcanic rock, white-sand beach & shrub forest beside dark blue water with a marine iguana, seen in Galapagos.
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South America Galapagos Islands Cruise

Petrel Galapagos Cruises

Petrel Galapagos Cruises are aboard the 16-guest luxury catamaran Petrel. Like her namesake, the Petrel is elegant, swift and silent at sea. Her spacious cabins feature private balconies, her lounge is comfortable and welcoming, and her Jacuzzi and ample deck space offer relaxation between active days. Petrel itineraries are designed with intention, enhancing action-packed days with unique combinations of visitor sites.

Contact our Galapagos small ship cruise experts for the inside scoop on which route is best for you. AdventureSmith Explorations’ award-winning crew has personal experience sailing in the Galapagos Islands and can recommend the best options to suit your travel interests and timeline.

With kayaks, snorkeling, daily off-boat hikes and shore excursions, each Petrel Galapagos Cruise affords close access to the Galapagos Islands’ famed endemic wildlife. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and myriad colorful fish. Hike to iconic landmarks like Darwin Bay, the Wall of Tears, Sierra Negra Volcano and more. Explore volcanic flows and geological features that tell grand histories of wildlife, explorers, pirates and discovery.

Petrel operates two main 8-day Galapagos cruise itineraries, which can be combined into an all-encompassing 15-day cruise, as well as shorter 6-, 5- and 4-day routes. You may also opt for a variation of these main Petrel itineraries, customizing your trip to be 10, 11, 12 or 13 days.

The luxury 16-guest Petrel catamaran offers a perfect home base for her itineraries, with balconies in every cabin, a Jacuzzi, top bilingual naturalist guides, snorkeling opportunities, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks on board. Daily activities include hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and riding in dinghies, which combine to create an unforgettable Galapagos experience.

Highlights of the 8-Day Eastern Galapagos Islands itinerary include visiting areas where giant tortoises are often seen on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands, enjoying the white-sand beaches of Espanola and Floreana Islands, snorkeling at Devil’s Crown and hiking to the most famous view in the Galapagos Islands: Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island. Explore Genovesa Island, home to over 200,000 red-footed boobies and many bird species, and hike to Darwin Bay and Prince Phillip’s Steps.

On the 8-Day Western Galapagos Islands itinerary, explore the youngest and most volcanically active island, Isabela. Set foot on Fernandina Island, a pristine ecosystem that no foreign species have ever invaded. Discover unique flora like sesuvium plants and prickly pear cactus on South Plaza and opuntia cactus on Santa Fe Island. Visit the Charles Darwin Center and a giant tortoise breeding center in the Santa Cruz Highlands, and cheer on land iguanas, sea lions and blue-footed boobies on North Seymour.

Shave off two days by opting for the 6-Day Western Galapagos Islands itinerary. This route also include exploring the volcanically active, sea-horse-shaped Isabela Island, where the cooler currents allow for more chances to view penguins. Then setting foot on Fernandina, the youngest, westernmost island in the archipelago teeming with the fascinating endemic marine iguanas.

On the 6-Day Southern Galapagos Islands itinerary, visit the Charles Darwin Station as well as one of the archipelago’s giant tortoise breeding centers on San Cristobal aimed at the conservation of these endemic giants. Visit the magnificent beaches of Espanola and Floreana, and what many call the best snorkeling site in the Galapagos: Devil’s Crown.

Each of the itineraries above includes a visit to a giant tortoise breeding center, as well as the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Galapagos cruises and private Galapagos yacht charters.  



Itinerary

8-Day East Itinerary

The 8-day Eastern Petrel Galapagos cruise visits the northern, central and eastern regions of the archipelago, including San Cristobal, Baltra, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Bartolome and Genovesa.

A map of the Galapagos Petrel itinerary B cruise around the central and eastern Galapagos Islands with blue lines showing the path of the cruise.
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Day 1
FRI - Embark San Cristobal to David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival to the San Cristobal Airport by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

San Cristobal is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest east. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly.

In the afternoon, visit the David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise, and why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures. Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in semi-natural conditions, a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserving the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
SAT - Gardner Bay, Osborn Islet & Suarez Point (Espanola)

Española Island is the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest. It is estimated to be about four million years old. Because it is so far away from the other islands it has the most endemic species. It is a wonderful opportunity for some great photography of endemic bird species that are found only on Espanola and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion.

At Gardner Bay, visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos.  The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can be seen. The Espanola mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.

In the afternoon, visit Suarez Point, phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Espanola Island’s endemic species. The trail will pass by the only waved albatross breeding site. If you are lucky, you might see a young albatross, take off for its first flight for up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds and Darwin finches.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
SUN - Cormorant Point or Devil's Crown & Post Office Bay or Baroness Lookout (Floreana)

Floreana Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700s. Later, it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated. In the 1930s various disappearances occurred and is thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in Galapagos, and another couple who lived of the land from their garden. The small population of today lives off the land with homegrown farms and gets their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands.

Here visit Devil’s Crown or Cormorant Point. Devil’s Crown is a visitor site that boasts the best snorkeling opportunities. Below the surface are amazing volcanic structures that have submerged over time. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs.  Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and sea lions are also common visitors. It is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed. At Cormorant Point, two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, which gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals, and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach for its powdery white sand made from fine pulverized coral.

In the afternoon, stop by Post Office Bay, the first official post office created by passing whalers in the 1700s. To this day visitors continue the tradition leaving addressed messages on postcards in the barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up postcards left behind by previous visitors to send or hand-deliver when they return home. It is a fun exchangeable activity many visitors enjoy.  Alternatively, on the northern part of the island, visit Baroness Lookout Point for a beautiful landscape and historic view. It was named after the supposed Austrian baroness that was the subject of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
MON - Charles Darwin Research Station & Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Today, visit Santa Cruz Island, one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity, but that does not mean there is no evidence.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running giant tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults.

Later in the day, head towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz to see rich wildlife, hills, ferns, volcanoes and lava tubes. Exploring the lava tubes is a surreal and unique experience. Here you can see all the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The variety of birds makes this a bird watchers delight. Also be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands, since this area is home of finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally,  walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
TUE - Sullivan Bay (Santiago) & Pinnacle Rock (Bartolome)

Santiago Island is the second Island visited by Charles Darwin, and was originally named after England’s King James the second. The island was a good source of salt, water and food for whalers and buccaneers passing. There was a salt mine inland that was used to salt fish and tortoise meat.  Land iguanas used to populate the island but are now extinct. From Darwin’s own notes he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the most visited islands.

Sullivan Bay is a satellite island of Santiago. This is one of the best places to see the Galapagos fur seal. There is not much wildlife to see here, but the old lava formations are quite a sight to see with tuff cones, pyroclastic cones and other volcanic landscapes.

Bartholomew (Bartolome) is another satellite island that derives from Santiago Island. It is home of the famous Pinnacle Rock and is named after James Sullivan, a friend of Charles Darwin who was also aboard the HMS Beagle. Of all the islands, this is the most photographed and is also featured in the 2003 movie “Master and Commander.”

Pinnacle Rock is a volcano cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
WED - Darwin Bay & Prince Phillip's Steps (Genovesa)

Genovesa is a horse-shoe shaped island that was formed by the eruption of a shield volcano with large slopes formed by gradual lava flows. It is known as “Bird Island” due to the wide variety of birds that can be seen. The only reptile on the entire island is the marine iguana, and it is one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large mass.

Darwin Bay is the result of the shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after years of erosion. It is one of the places in the Galapagos where red-footed boobies can be guaranteed to be seen. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Better known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view. There is also a palo santo forest that is home to nesting red-footed boobies and other birds.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
THU - Egas Port & Espumilla Beach or Buccaneer Cove (Santiago)

Egas Port is also known as James Bay. It is home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards, Galapagos fur seals along the grottos and tide pools and is a great snorkeling site.

Buccaneer Cove is better known for excellent snorkeling opportunities and was once known as a refuge for British buccaneers or pirates. The underwater formations are amazing and many different species of fish gather here. Alternatively, visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons and perform the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark or a variety of other species of tropical fish.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
FRI - Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz) & Disembark Baltra

After breakfast, enjoy the visit to Black Turtle Cove, which is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. It is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Three mangrove species crowd the area from the shore out into the lagoon, which reaches almost a mile inland.

As you drift through quiet waters in the zodiac, you are likely to see spotted eagle rays and diamond shaped mustard rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks slip beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Waterfowl, including pelicans, herons and egret, all feed in the cove. This is a peaceful place that will make you feel calm.

After the boat ride, transfer to ground transportation to the Baltra Airport. Safe travels home!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers airport/yacht/airport in Galapagos; airport reception & assistance; double-occupancy accommodation; guided expeditions according to the itinerary; top bilingual National Park guide (English/Spanish); cruise service officer; activity daily briefing; all meals & snacks; soft drinks & juices; captain’s welcome & farewell cocktail; use of sea kayaks & paddleboards; use of expedition gear (wetsuit, mask & snorkel, fins, water container, binoculars, action camera); use of onboard gear (yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, stargazing laser pointer).

Exclusions

Roundtrip airfare to/from mainland Ecuador and Galapagos; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per person); TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20 per person); gratuities; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses; insurance of any kind; Micro SD Card 4k for onboard action camera; fuel surcharge for 2022 & 2023 of $300 per person (6-8 day), $170 per person (5 day), $130 per person (4 day).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 10% of total trip cost
120 to 61 days – 20% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on Day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive to Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Ecuador trip concludes.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

There are numerous opportunities to hike, kayak, swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) are provided. Wetsuits are available, either free of charge or to rent for a fee, and are recommended from June to December.

Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (inflatable skiffs). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are “wet,” requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability, excluding Christmas & New Year’s departures. A 100% supplement applies for a second single suite/stateroom within the same booking. Contact AdventureSmith for info and availability.

Families & Children

Children under 12 years old at the time of embarkation receive 25% off the double occupancy rate when traveling with two adults. Child discount does not apply during holidays (Christmas & New Year’s Eve). A single cabin for additional travelers who are a part of odd-numbered groups and families may be available without a supplement; inquire for details and availability.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

8-Day West Itinerary

The 8-day Western Petrel Galapagos cruise visits the western and central regions of the archipelago, including Baltra, North Seymour, Isabela, Fernandina, Santa Cruz, South Plaza, Santa Fe, Isla Lobos and San Cristobal.

A map of the Galapagos Petrel itinerary A cruise around the Western Galapagos Islands with blue lines showing the path of the catamaran.
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Day 1
FRI - Embark Baltra to North Seymour

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht and shown to your cabin, where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

The first visit is the islet of North Seymour, named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour.  Formed by uplifted submarine lava, the island is home to a huge colony of about 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies and common noddies. You’ll also find one of the largest colonies of frigate birds in the Galapagos—a magnificent bird that is easily recognizable by its red pouch that swells during mating season, and one of Galapagos’ most iconic birds. Possible activities include snorkeling, a dinghy ride and hiking, with a dry landing.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
SAT - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela) & Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Isabela Island is the largest of all the Galapagos Islands, about 75 miles long, and is peculiarly shaped like a seahorse. It is one of the few islands that are populated, with about 2,200 people living on the southern part of the island.  The island was formed by 6 different shield volcanoes from north to south that erupted continuously, eventually joining together to form on entire land mass.  Of all the islands in the archipelago, Isabela is the most active with the latest eruption coming from Wolf Volcano in January of 2022. There are lots of unique wildlife on Isabela such as the pink iguana, and more wild tortoises than any other island with a different type of species near each of the 6 volcanoes.

On Vicente Roca Point the geological formations are simply outstanding and it is a great place to view various bird species such as blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels and brown noddy terns. Activities here are all done on the water by either dinghy or panga, or snorkeling.  On this western part of the island, the Cromwell Current provides cold water and many nutrients. Due to this it is possible to see various feeding frenzies of an assortment of animals such as whales, dolphins, sea lions and marine birds diving. At times it may also be likely to see fur seals.

In the afternoon, go ashore at Fernandina, the youngest island of the archipelago. No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island, and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. It is one of the most active islands and is the westernmost island in the archipelago. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean. The Cromwell Current also flows here making the cold and nutrient-rich water an ideal habitat for the Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants that nest here.

Espinosa Point area on Fernandina also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk. Land iguanas are found on the inner parts of the island near the volcanoes caldera and marine iguanas will nest on the coast during certain times of the year. There is only one visitor site on Fernandina, which may involve a hike or snorkeling opportunity, making the rest of the island unspoiled in a most natural state.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
SUN - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay (Isabela)

Spend the morning at Tagus Cove. This cove is located on the upper west part of the island and was named after and English war ship that used to pass the islands in the 1800s. This was a famous spot for many pirates and sailors who have even left their names and the names of their ships inscribed on volcanic rock. Look for signs of various volcanic activities such as large volcanic rocks or small little balls of petrified rain. Follow your guide to hike the path that leads to Darwin Lake with a tuff cone.

A bit more south of Tagus Cove is Urbina Bay. Urbina Bay is an interesting site due to the uplifts of the island caused by volcanic and tectonic activity. When it rose, so did the corals and reefs that were under the surface. You can still see them although they are beginning to deteriorate due to air exposure. There are chances of seeing giant tortoises, land iguanas and more flightless cormorants near the coast.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
MON - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point (Isabela)

Start the day with dinghy rides visiting Elizabeth Bay, down in the southern part of Isabela Island. There are a series of islets, a lagoon and mangroves surrounding it. The mangroves provide a great place to observe many birds, and at the lagoon it is possible to see sea turtles resting and feeding. The bay is also considered to be the largest nesting area for the Galapagos penguin (the only species of penguin that lives north of the equatorial line).

On the southwestern point of Isabela Island is Moreno Point. With striking black geological features, it is home to endemic species known only to the barren lava flows found here. Various activities are possible such as a hike, a panga ride to better see various sea birds, geological features and snorkeling to view the vibrant underwater life.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
TUE - Sierra Negra Volcano, Wetlands & Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center (Isabela)

Today’s adventure reaches Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the oldest of Isabela Island’s volcanos. A hike will show different types of vegetation and geological zones and possibly inside the caldera where petrified lava is present.

In the afternoon, visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where two species of giant tortoise are bred to increase the population of these incredible animals, playing an essential role in protecting the future of the Galapagos. As you walk around the center you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens that boast of a wide variety of native plants.

Just outside Puerto Villamil you can also take a walk around the Isabela wetlands, comprised of lagoons, swamps and mangroves, which have become a paradise for migratory birds such as stilts and flamingos.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
WED - Charles Darwin Station, Twin Craters & Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Today, visit Santa Cruz Island, one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity, but that does not mean there is no evidence.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running giant tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults.

Later in the day, head towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz to visit the Twin Craters or Gemelos, meaning twins in Spanish, are two caved in magma chambers of a previous volcano. After years of erosion and extinction, the once-full chambers caved in leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest.

Then, be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands, since this area is home of finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally,  walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
THU - South Plaza & Santa Fe Islands

South Plaza is one of the smallest islands with a visitor site, but is home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants like the prickly pear cactus tree that is an important source of food for the land iguana. Just a few years ago, mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow healthily once more. Enjoy an easy hike here with a wet landing.

Santa Fe Island is home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and is the only place to find Opuntia cactus. Giant tortoises were once native to this island, but after the many years of pirates and buccaneers visiting the island and taking the tortoises aboard as food, they became extinct. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach and Galapagos hawks can also sometimes be seen.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
FRI - Lobos Island & Disembark San Cristobal

San Cristobal Island is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest east. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is the capital of Galapagos and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador.  Conservation challenges the island faces include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly.

Lobos Island is an islet about an hour away from San Cristobal. Blue-footed boobies will nest here seasonally. In recent years frigate birds have begun to nest here. Sea lions are abundant, as well as marine iguanas. It is a very calm and tranquil site with beautiful views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.

After visiting Lobos Island, disembark and you’ll be transferred to your scheduled departure from San Cristobal Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers airport/yacht/airport in Galapagos; airport reception & assistance; double-occupancy accommodation; guided expeditions according to the itinerary; top bilingual National Park guide (English/Spanish); cruise service officer; activity daily briefing; all meals & snacks; soft drinks & juices; captain’s welcome & farewell cocktail; use of sea kayaks & paddleboards; use of expedition gear (wetsuit, mask & snorkel, fins, water container, binoculars, action camera); use of onboard gear (yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, stargazing laser pointer).

Exclusions

Roundtrip airfare to/from mainland Ecuador and Galapagos; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per person); TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20 per person); gratuities; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses; insurance of any kind; Micro SD Card 4k for onboard action camera; fuel surcharge for 2022 & 2023 of $300 per person (6-8 day), $170 per person (5 day), $130 per person (4 day).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 10% of total trip cost
120 to 61 days – 20% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on Day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive to Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Ecuador trip concludes.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

There are numerous opportunities to hike, kayak, swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) are provided. Wetsuits are available, either free of charge or to rent for a fee, and are recommended from June to December.

Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (inflatable skiffs). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are “wet,” requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability, excluding Christmas & New Year’s departures. A 100% supplement applies for a second single suite/stateroom within the same booking. Contact AdventureSmith for info and availability.

Families & Children

Children under 12 years old at the time of embarkation receive 25% off the double occupancy rate when traveling with two adults. Child discount does not apply during holidays (Christmas & New Year’s Eve). A single cabin for additional travelers who are a part of odd-numbered groups and families may be available without a supplement; inquire for details and availability.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

6-Day South Itinerary

The 6-day Southern Petrel Galapagos cruise visits the southern and central regions of the archipelago, including Baltra, Santa Cruz, South Plaza, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Espanola and Floreana.

A map of the Galapagos Petrel itinerary F cruise around the southern Galapagos Islands with blue lines showing the path of the catamaran.
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Day 1
WED - Embark Baltra to Twin Craters & Highlands (Santa Cruz)

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

In the afternoon, head towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz to visit the Twin Craters or Gemelos, meaning twins in Spanish, are two caved in magma chambers of a previous volcano. After years of erosion and extinction, the once-full chambers caved in leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest.

Then, be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands, since this area is home of finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally, walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
THU - South Plaza & Santa Fe

South Plaza is one of the smallest islands with a visitor site, but is home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants like the prickly pear cactus tree that is an important source of food for the land iguana. Just a few years ago, mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow healthily once more. Enjoy an easy hike here with a wet landing.

Santa Fe Island is home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and is the only place to find Opuntia cactus. Giant tortoises were once native to this island, but after the many years of pirates and buccaneers visiting the island and taking the tortoises aboard as food, they became extinct. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach and Galapagos hawks can also sometimes be seen.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
FRI - Lobos Island & David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center (San Cristobal)

San Cristobal Island is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest east. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, is the capital of Galapagos and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly.

Lobos Island is an islet about an hour away from San Cristobal. Blue-footed boobies will nest here seasonally. In recent years frigate birds have begun to nest here. Sea lions are abundant, as well as marine iguanas. It is a very calm and tranquil site with beautiful views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.

In the afternoon, visit the David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to learn about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise, and why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures. Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in semi-natural conditions, a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserving the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
SAT - Gardner Bay & Suarez Point (Espanola)

Española Island is the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest. It is estimated to be about four million years old. Because it is so far away from the other islands it has the most endemic species. It is a wonderful opportunity for some great photography of endemic bird species that are found only on Espanola and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion.
At Gardner Bay, visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can be seen. The Espanola mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.
In the afternoon, visit Suarez Point, phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Espanola Island’s endemic species. The trail will pass by the only waved albatross breeding site. If you are lucky, you might see a young albatross, take off for its first flight for up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds and Darwin finches.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
SUN - Cormorant Point or Devil's Crown & Post Office Bay or Baroness Lookout (Floreana)

Floreana Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700s. Later, it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated. In the 1930s various disappearances occurred and is thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in Galapagos, and another couple who lived of the land from their garden. The small population of today lives off the land with homegrown farms and gets their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands.

Here visit Devil’s Crown or Cormorant Point. Devil’s Crown is a visitor site that boasts the best snorkeling opportunities. Below the surface are amazing volcanic structures that have submerged over time. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and sea lions are also common visitors. It is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed. At Cormorant Point, two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, which gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals, and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach for its powdery white sand made from fine pulverized coral.

In the afternoon, stop by Post Office Bay, the first official post office created by passing whalers in the 1700s. To this day visitors continue the tradition leaving addressed messages on postcards in the barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up postcards left behind by previous visitors to send or hand-deliver when they return home. It is a fun exchangeable activity many visitors enjoy. Alternatively, on the northern part of the island, visit Baroness Lookout Point for a beautiful landscape and historic view. It was named after the supposed Austrian baroness that was the subject of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
MON - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz) to Baltra Airport

Today, visit Santa Cruz Island, one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity, but that does not mean there is no evidence.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running giant tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults.

After this visit, take an overland transfer to the Baltra Airport for flights back to mainland Ecuador.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers airport/yacht/airport in Galapagos; airport reception & assistance; double-occupancy accommodation; guided expeditions according to the itinerary; top bilingual National Park guide (English/Spanish); cruise service officer; activity daily briefing; all meals & snacks; soft drinks & juices; captain’s welcome & farewell cocktail; use of sea kayaks & paddleboards; use of expedition gear (wetsuit, mask & snorkel, fins, water container, binoculars, action camera); use of onboard gear (yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, stargazing laser pointer).

Exclusions

Roundtrip airfare to/from mainland Ecuador and Galapagos; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per person); TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20 per person); gratuities; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses; insurance of any kind; Micro SD Card 4k for onboard action camera; fuel surcharge for 2022 & 2023 of $300 per person (6-8 day), $170 per person (5 day), $130 per person (4 day).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 10% of total trip cost
120 to 61 days – 20% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on Day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive to Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Ecuador trip concludes.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

There are numerous opportunities to hike, kayak, swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) are provided. Wetsuits are available, either free of charge or to rent for a fee, and are recommended from June to December.

Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (inflatable skiffs). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are “wet,” requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability, excluding Christmas & New Year’s departures. A 100% supplement applies for a second single suite/stateroom within the same booking. Contact AdventureSmith for info and availability.

Families & Children

Children under 12 years old at the time of embarkation receive 25% off the double occupancy rate when traveling with two adults. Child discount does not apply during holidays (Christmas & New Year’s Eve). A single cabin for additional travelers who are a part of odd-numbered groups and families may be available without a supplement; inquire for details and availability.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

6-Day West Itinerary

The 6-day Western Petrel Galapagos cruise visits the central and western regions of the archipelago, including Baltra, Isabela, North Seymour, Fernandina and Santa Cruz.

A map showing in a blue line the path of the Galapagos Petrel itinerary E short Western Galapagos Islands cruise taking only 6 days.
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Day 1
FRI - Embark Baltra to North Seymour

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht and shown to your cabin, where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

The first visit is the islet of North Seymour, named after English nobleman Lord Hugh Seymour.  Formed by uplifted submarine lava, the island is home to a huge colony of about 2,500 land iguanas and large populations of sea lions, blue-footed boobies and common noddies. You’ll also find one of the largest colonies of frigate birds in the Galapagos—a magnificent bird that is easily recognizable by its red pouch that swells during mating season, and one of Galapagos’ most iconic birds. Possible activities include snorkeling, a dinghy ride and hiking, with a dry landing.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
SAT - Vicente Roca Point (Isabela) & Espinosa Point (Fernandina)

Isabela Island is the largest of all the Galapagos Islands, about 75 miles long, and is peculiarly shaped like a seahorse. It is one of the few islands that are populated, with about 2,200 people living on the southern part of the island.  The island was formed by 6 different shield volcanoes from north to south that erupted continuously, eventually joining together to form on entire land mass.  Of all the islands in the archipelago, Isabela is the most active with the latest eruption coming from Wolf Volcano in January of 2022. There are lots of unique wildlife on Isabela such as the pink iguana, and more wild tortoises than any other island with a different type of species near each of the 6 volcanoes.

On Vicente Roca Point the geological formations are simply outstanding and it is a great place to view various bird species such as blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, gulls, storm petrels and brown noddy terns. Activities here are all done on the water by either dinghy or panga, or snorkeling.  On this western part of the island, the Cromwell Current provides cold water and many nutrients. Due to this it is possible to see various feeding frenzies of an assortment of animals such as whales, dolphins, sea lions and marine birds diving. At times it may also be likely to see fur seals.

In the afternoon, go ashore at Fernandina, the youngest island of the archipelago. No foreign species have ever invaded Fernandina Island, and therefore it is one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems. It is one of the most active islands and is the westernmost island in the archipelago. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landscape with lava fields reaching the ocean. The Cromwell Current also flows here making the cold and nutrient-rich water an ideal habitat for the Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants that nest here.

Espinosa Point area on Fernandina also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk. Land iguanas are found on the inner parts of the island near the volcanoes caldera and marine iguanas will nest on the coast during certain times of the year. There is only one visitor site on Fernandina, which may involve a hike or snorkeling opportunity, making the rest of the island unspoiled in a most natural state.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
SUN - Tagus Cove & Urbina Bay (Isabela)

Spend the morning at Tagus Cove. This cove is located on the upper west part of the island and was named after and English war ship that used to pass the islands in the 1800s. This was a famous spot for many pirates and sailors who have even left their names and the names of their ships inscribed on volcanic rock. Look for signs of various volcanic activities such as large volcanic rocks or small little balls of petrified rain. Follow your guide to hike the path that leads to Darwin Lake with a tuff cone.

A bit more south of Tagus Cove is Urbina Bay. Urbina Bay is an interesting site due to the uplifts of the island caused by volcanic and tectonic activity. When it rose, so did the corals and reefs that were under the surface. You can still see them although they are beginning to deteriorate due to air exposure. There are chances of seeing giant tortoises, land iguanas and more flightless cormorants near the coast.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
MON - Elizabeth Bay & Moreno Point (Isabela)

Start the day with dinghy rides visiting Elizabeth Bay, down in the southern part of Isabela Island. There are a series of islets, a lagoon and mangroves surrounding it. The mangroves provide a great place to observe many birds, and at the lagoon it is possible to see sea turtles resting and feeding. The bay is also considered to be the largest nesting area for the Galapagos penguin (the only species of penguin that lives north of the equatorial line).

On the southwestern point of Isabela Island is Moreno Point. With striking black geological features, it is home to endemic species known only to the barren lava flows found here. Various activities are possible such as a hike, a panga ride to better see various sea birds, geological features and snorkeling to view the vibrant underwater life.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 5
TUE - Sierra Negra Volcano, Wetlands & Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center (Isabela)

Today’s adventure reaches Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the oldest of Isabela Island’s volcanos. A hike will show different types of vegetation and geological zones and possibly inside the caldera where petrified lava is present.

In the afternoon, visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where two species of giant tortoise are bred to increase the population of these incredible animals, playing an essential role in protecting the future of the Galapagos. As you walk around the center you will also be able to enjoy the beautiful gardens that boast of a wide variety of native plants.

Just outside Puerto Villamil you can also take a walk around the Isabela wetlands, comprised of lagoons, swamps and mangroves, which have become a paradise for migratory birds such as stilts and flamingos.

Accommodations

Petrel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 6
WED - Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz) & Transfer to Baltra Airport

Today, visit Santa Cruz Island, one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity, but that does not mean there is no evidence.

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, which conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running giant tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings and adults.

Then take an overland transfer to Baltra Island Airport for the flight back to mainland Quito or Guayaquil. Safe travels!

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfers airport/yacht/airport in Galapagos; airport reception & assistance; double-occupancy accommodation; guided expeditions according to the itinerary; top bilingual National Park guide (English/Spanish); cruise service officer; activity daily briefing; all meals & snacks; soft drinks & juices; captain’s welcome & farewell cocktail; use of sea kayaks & paddleboards; use of expedition gear (wetsuit, mask & snorkel, fins, water container, binoculars, action camera); use of onboard gear (yoga mats, kettlebells, dumbbells, stargazing laser pointer).

Exclusions

Roundtrip airfare to/from mainland Ecuador and Galapagos; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per person); TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20 per person); gratuities; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses; insurance of any kind; Micro SD Card 4k for onboard action camera; fuel surcharge for 2022 & 2023 of $300 per person (6-8 day), $170 per person (5 day), $130 per person (4 day).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply; inquire for details. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 10% of total trip cost
120 to 61 days – 20% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on Day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive to Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page. Note: Your passport must be valid 6 months after your Ecuador trip concludes.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

There are numerous opportunities to hike, kayak, swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) are provided. Wetsuits are available, either free of charge or to rent for a fee, and are recommended from June to December.

Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (inflatable skiffs). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are “wet,” requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability, excluding Christmas & New Year’s departures. A 100% supplement applies for a second single suite/stateroom within the same booking. Contact AdventureSmith for info and availability.

Families & Children

Children under 12 years old at the time of embarkation receive 25% off the double occupancy rate when traveling with two adults. Child discount does not apply during holidays (Christmas & New Year’s Eve). A single cabin for additional travelers who are a part of odd-numbered groups and families may be available without a supplement; inquire for details and availability.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Galapagos Cruise Rates & Dates

In addition to the rates and dates listed below, a longer Galapagos Petrel itinerary is available by combining the ship’s shorter itineraries. Variations are available in 10-, 11-, 12-, 13- and 15-day options. There is also one 5-day and one 4-day route that offer shorter variations of Petrel’s 8-day East itinerary. Contact AdventureSmith for details.

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Dec 09 - Dec 16, 2022
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2022
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2022
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $8745USD
Per Person
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Dec 30 - Jan 06, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $8745USD
Per Person
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Jan 06 - Jan 13, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jan 27 - Feb 03, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Feb 03 - Feb 10, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Feb 24 - Mar 03, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Mar 03 - Mar 10, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Mar 31 - Apr 07, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Apr 07 - Apr 14, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Apr 28 - May 05, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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May 05 - May 12, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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May 12 - May 19, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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May 19 - May 26, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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May 26 - Jun 02, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jun 02 - Jun 09, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jun 09 - Jun 16, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jun 30 - Jul 07, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jul 07 - Jul 14, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Jul 28 - Aug 02, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Aug 02 - Aug 07, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green southern galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Aug 25 - Aug 30, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Aug 30 - Sep 04, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green southern galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Sep 08 - Sep 15, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Sep 22 - Sep 27, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Sep 27 - Oct 02, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green southern galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Oct 06 - Oct 13, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
Read More
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Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
Read More
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Oct 20 - Oct 25, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
Read More
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Oct 25 - Oct 30, 2023
Petrel • 6 days
green southern galapagos islands directional icon
From $5949USD
Per Person
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Nov 03 - Nov 10, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Nov 10 - Nov 17, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
Read More
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Nov 17 - Nov 24, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Nov 24 - Dec 01, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Dec 01 - Dec 08, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
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Dec 08 - Dec 15, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $7950USD
Per Person
Read More
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Dec 15 - Dec 22, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $8745USD
Per Person
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Dec 22 - Dec 29, 2023
Petrel • 8 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon
From $8745USD
Per Person
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Dec 29 - Jan 05, 2024
Petrel • 8 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon
From $8745USD
Per Person
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green western galapagos islands directional icon West Galapagos Islands
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon East Galapagos Islands
green southern galapagos islands directional icon South Galapagos Islands
Accommodation

Learn About the Galapagos Ship on Your Itinerary

Catamaran
Petrel

The luxury 16-guest Petrel catamaran offers a first-class way to cruise the magical Galapagos Islands. Elegant and swift, she offers comfort and stability, as well as spacious cabins, each with a private balcony, a comfortable lounge and a Jacuzzi.

Testimonials

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"Very Friendly, Knowledgeable & Amazing"

The Petrel was an excellent boat and the crew and our naturalist (Morris Garcia) were very friendly, knowledgeable and amazing. Absolutely we hope to use AdventureSmith for future trips.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Read More Rectangle Copy 10 Created with Sketch.
"Wildlife On Land & Marine"

In Galapagos, the reason for going is wildlife on land and marine. Both were as expected.

Overall
4 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
2 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Read More Rectangle Copy 10 Created with Sketch.
Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Galapagos Cruise

Add to Wishlist
5 Day Land Tour
Quito & Guayaquil Galapagos Travel Package

Most Galapagos cruises require travelers to find pre- and post-cruise Guayaquil or Quito hotels. This travel package offers an easy, cost-effective way to get to the Galapagos with a comprehensive land package.

From $485USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
5 - 6 Day Land Tour
Machu Picchu Explorer

Travel to Peru's most spectacular archaeological monument in South America: the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu. This 5- or 6-day Machu Picchu Explorer adventure includes Cusco, the Urubamba Valley and upscale accommodations.

From $1895USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
4 - 5 Day Land Tour
Ecuador Amazon Adventure - Napo Wildlife Center

Spend 4, 5 or 8 days at the Napo Wildlife Center, a luxury eco-hotel and ecotourism project that includes the conservation of approximately over 82 square miles of Ecuador's most pristine Amazon rainforest within Yasunì National Park.

From $1425USD
Year Round
More to Explore

Trips You Might Also Like

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4 - 8 Day Cruise
Elite Galapagos Cruises

Board the upscale and spacious 16-guest Elite mega catamaran to cruise the Galapagos in style. Enjoy panoramic views and active days with a well-versed guide during your Elite Galapagos cruise of 4-15 days.

From $4250USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
6 - 8 Day Cruise
Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruises

Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruises offer tailor-made itineraries aboard the 16-guest mega-catamaran Ocean Spray. Visit remote islands with top bilingual naturalist guides while enjoying luxury accommodations.

From $5790USD
Year Round
Add to Wishlist
5 - 8 Day Cruise
Endemic Galapagos Cruises

Galapagos cruises aboard the 16-guest catamaran Endemic are an unforgettable experience. Visit remote islands with top bilingual naturalist guides while enjoying a ship purpose-built for cruising with stability, speed, panoramic views and supreme comfort.

From $5390USD
Year Round
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Petrel Galapagos Cruises

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