"Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin...with a bit more luxury and a lot less tortoise-eating!"
Experience the majesty of the Galapagos Islands – just as Charles Darwin did centuries ago. Your vessel, named after the ship sailed upon by the great naturalist, is fortunately fitted with all the essentials to make your cruise one to remember! At your service will be your captain accompanied by a full crew of five others including an onboard cook and specialist nature guide – important for keeping you clued up with all the wild creatures you’ll encounter. The boat itself, with its all-around wide deck and comfortable seating, will allow you to marvel at the scenery as you voyage from island to island.
Each stopover on the tour is unique and intriguing as the sights you will encounter vary from forests of luscious mangroves to awe-inspiring lava fields. A trip to the Galapagos often feels like a journey back in time as its plethora of rock formations and lava flows depict new worlds rising from the oceans and give an insight into the origin of these geologically adolescent islands. With a multitude of wildlife on show as well as quirky plant life and expansive marine ecosystems, your tour with The Beagle is not only an educational experience but an unforgettable one.
(Please note that the itinerary below is a sample itinerary - click 'Ask a Question' for more info)
One of the biggest issues facing the tourism industry in the Galapagos islands is the issue of foreign ownership of yachts. This can mean that the money generated from Galapagos cruises leaks out of destination communities, and therefore does not bring many benefits to local economies. In contrast, Galapagos Experience place great emphasis on supporting local people; all of their yachts are locally owned and operated, and all of the food served on-board is locally sourced. This provides a vital source of both employment and investment, as the money from the tours stays within the islands themselves.
In recognition of its commitment to both social and environmental sustainability, The Beagle has been awarded the Smart Voyager certificate. This is an initiative implemented in South America, targeting tourism and aiming to minimise its negative impacts on ecosystems and the environment. The Beagle is testament to the positive impact that the ecotourism industry can have on local communities in the Galapagos islands - without damaging precious ecosystems.
Arrival: Your Galapagos tour begins by being transported from Baltra Airport to *The Beagle* itself where you can meet your accommodating crew, get comfortable and settle into your cabins. During the afternoon, a visit to the Darwin Research Station at Puerto Ayora is in order; this is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the history, wildlife and scientific significance of the archipelago.
Floreana: Second day on the tour and a trip to your second island will see you explore the quaint village of Puerto Velasco Ibarra. It may be the smallest settlement on all of the islands, but its colourful history involving pirates, whalers, convicts and colonists will excite you. Your afternoon activity includes exploring the highlands of the island via an open-sided bus known as a Chiva as well as visits to a tortoise corral and trail over a beach with olive green sand!
Hood: Continue towards one of the most exciting and attractive islands in the Galapagos, where a day of adventure awaits. At Punta Suarez, there is a chance of seeing remarkable wildlife such as albatross, sea lions and marine iguanas – so cameras at the ready! In the afternoon, your travels will take you to the eastern end of the island towards Gardner Bay, a prime spot for swimming from the beach and admiring the local sea lions.
San Cristobal: The rocky hills and cliffs of Punta Pitt will be the setting for this morning’s activities as you climb to the top of a plateau to soak in the views and attempt to spot nesting seabirds and iguanas. Following your trek, *The Beagle* heads for Kicker Rock, an impressive geological formation that depicts a sleeping lion (hence the local name ‘León Dormido’). Towards the afternoon, the next stop is Isla Lobos and its colony of sea lions which you will not only watch but also have the chance to swim with.
Santa Fe to Plazas: Another natural beauty is in store for you as you visit the immaculate cove of Santa Fe. Its clear turquoise waters coupled with a plethora of flora and fauna (including land iguanas, sea turtles and giant opuntia cactus) makes for a special day. At South Plaza, your afternoon will be consumed by a spot of birdwatching as you will gaze out over its sheer cliffs from an observatory, looking out for species like Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls.
North Seymour to Bartolome: For further encounters with magnificent marine birds, North Seymour does not disappoint. This low, flat island is ideal for nesting and thus attracts many birds including as blue-footed boobies, great frigate birds and noddy terns. A morning on North Seymour is followed by up an afternoon on Bartolome, home to a small rookery of Galapagos penguins. You can swim around the famous Pinnacle Rock as well as trek to the highest point on the island to view the vegetation that grows in amongst the lava and ash.
Chinese Hat to Cerro Dragon: Your tour may soon be coming to an end but there is still time to explore some fantastic smaller islands. One such island is named Chinese Hat due to its unique shape and boasts white beaches that host a sea lion colony. As you return to the island of Santa Cruz, *The Beagle* will stop on the northwest coast in order for you to explore Cerra Dragon (Dragon Hill) and its forests interspersed with patches of opuntia cactus. The trail also takes you past lagoons where you may be fortunate enough to find feeding flamingos!
Black Turtle Cove: It sounds more eerie than it really is, don’t worry. Instead, its home to mangrove inlets that can be explored by dinghy, with potential wildlife sightings including reef sharks, rays and sea turtles. After a rip-roaring journey across the Galapagos Islands, it is time to return to the airport in order to commence your onward travel plans.
- Rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator directly about this tour's departure dates, availability and costs
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Accommodation in double cabins
- Bilingual (English-speaking) naturalist guide
- Snorkelling equipment
- Visits on the islands
- Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park
- Migration card
- Drinks, tips and personal expenses
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator directly and for approximate costs for these exclusions