Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, and discover one of the most unspoiled corners of our planet… this time in a little more luxury. Climb aboard either the Eric or Letty, identical twin expedition yachts designed purposely for exploring the Galapagos archipelago that helped inspire the scientifically groundbreaking ‘Origin of Species’. You’ll cruise the high seas in style - your spacious yacht interior offers comfy private teak cabins, a communal dining room, and a lounge area with sofas and a library. You could almost forget you’re on a boat, if not for the stunning panoramic sea views just outside the window! Enjoy the sun and sea breeze on the deck, where you can watch giant frigate birds surfing the air currents, or if you’re lucky, a superpod of dolphins sailing alongside you!
Choose from one of two itineraries to tour the various islands that make up the archipelago; both options set off from San Cristobel, converging on Santiago and Santa Cruz, home to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station). Frolic with curious sea lions and Galapagos penguins during numerous snorkelling, kayaking, and panga ride opportunities, laze about on pristine white beaches with marine iguanas, and let time stand still as you observe goliath giant tortoises – creatures that will transport you back to the Jurassic period!
The Galapagos archipelago is an incredibly fragile ecosystem, at threat from illegal fishing and unsustainable tourism. Ecoventura has made progress in sustainable tourism and conservation, ensuring that their yachts meet the guidelines for eco-friendly tourism by limiting carbon emissions and introducing fuel-saving measures. Levels of water pollution in and around the Galapagos are also a concern; whilst some ships dispose of untreated grey water into the sea, Ecoventura ensures that they treat all grey and black water in order to dispose of waste without contributing to water pollution.
The Ecoventura family is dedicated to sustainable tourism; with a crew passionate about the Galapagos this company provides the public with the chance to see and visit these awe-inspiring islands without having a negative impact on delicate ecosystems. Ecoventura supports various local charities and conservation initiatives, and ensures that local communities are involved by helping to raise environmental awareness and even providing educational scholarships. Ecoventura has been dedicated to making their Galapagos tours eco-friendly since 1999; with half a million dollars invested in updating their yachts, Ecoventura really are the leaders of sustainable tourism in the Galapagos. It is no surprise that this is an award-winning experience in sustainable tourism as well as a true voyage of discovery.
Arrive in the Galapagos islands after flying in to San Cristobel. Board your vessel, and receive a welcome brief followed by a scrumptious buffet lunch on board. In the afternoon, travel by bus to “Frigatebird Hill” to see nesting colonies of frigate birds, lava lizards, medium ground finches and Chatham mockingbirds. You’ll then follow a walking trail to Punta Carola to enjoy panoramic views, before returning to your yacht for the Captain’s welcome cocktail party!
Spend the morning at Cerro Brujo, a wondrous white coral beach with beautiful views. Stroll along the beach amongst the sea lions, or take a dip in the ocean with them instead – you’ll have kayaks and paddleboards available to you if you wish to make use of them! Next, it’s ‘all aboard’ the panga for a scenic ride through a cave called ‘The Cathedral’. Return to the yacht for lunch, then prepare for your visit to birdwatcher’s paradise… Go ashore at Punta Pitt, a tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds including all three types of boobies, both frigate bird species, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, shearwaters, and brown pelicans. At Pitt Rock you also have the chance to snorkel with sea lions and beautiful reef fish. Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.
Disembark at Punta Suarez on Espanola Island, home to the greatest number of endemic species found in the Galapagos. From April to December the waved albatross (found only on Espanola) performs its wild mating ritual, an exceedingly rare sight! Watch blue footed boobies vying for female attention, and Nazca boobies caring for their offspring. Swallow tailed gulls, the only nocturnal gulls in the world can also be found here, taking shelter under the cliffs. Follow your guide along the winding trail to the impressive ocean blow-hole, then return to the yacht for lunch on board. Next you’ll disembark at Gardner Bay, where seemingly endless colonies of sea lions litter the beach. Go kayaking or paddle-boarding, or simply sit back and relax as you keep a look out for the Galapagos hawk, Darwin’s finches, and Espanola mockingbirds. Top off the day with some snorkelling near Tortuga Rock.
Next stop: Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Here you’ll find an olive sand beach alive with lava herons, yellow-crowned night herons, blue-footed boobies, and penguins. Follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, where you can relish in the unexpected sight of greater flamingos. This trail leads to a beach where sea turtles lay their eggs; expect to see signs of this here, as well as stingrays swimming in the shallow waters. After the walk, go snorkelling at Champion Islet, a shallow sunken crater colonised by colourful fish, white-tipped sharks, turtles, spotted eagle rays, and sea stars. Enjoy lunch atop the sundeck, and later visit Post Office Bay. Here, visitors are invited to leave a postcard and pick up any letters addressed to their home town! Later in the afternoon, take a panga ride near Baroness Point to look for sea turtles and rays. Finally, return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.
Today you disembark at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. This is the social heart of the Galapagos with a population of 24,000. A bus ride to the highlands will give you an insight into the local way of life as you make passage through all seven vegetation zones found in the Galapagos. The tortoise reserve that protects giant tortoises in their natural habitat will make you feel as though you’ve hopped into a time machine and are walking with dinosaurs! Take a trip through “the tunnels”, the largest lava tubes in the Galapagos, before lunch. In the afternoon, see miniature tortoises and hatchlings at Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena, before visiting an exhibit honoring ‘Lonesome George’. Feel free to return to the yacht for dinner or choose to remain ashore. Shuttles from the yacht to shore are offered throughout the evening
This morning you get to visit Las Bachas, on the northern side of Santa Cruz. Explore the long stretch of soft white sand and interior lagoons filled with greater flamingos, with the opportunity to snorkel on the beach. Take a panga ride to Black Turtle Cove to see pairs of mating sea turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and golden cow-nosed rays. After lunch aboard the yacht, you’ll disembark at Bartolome, a young island inhospitable to most plants and animals. You’ll feel as though you’re on the moon as you climb up the signature wooden staircase to the summit of the volcano, through lava bombs, spatter, and cinder cones. The panoramic view from the top encompasses the entire island, and gives one of the most famous views in the Galapagos archipelago. Snorkel in the crystal waters below, with tropical fish, white-tipped reef sharks, and Galapagos penguins. After a panga ride along the rocky shoreline, return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.
Today you’ll dock up at South Plaza, a curious small geological uplift with tall cliffs home to nesting sea birds. The trail cuts through Opuntia and Sesuvium, and land iguanas are seen here feeding on cactus leaves. Other unique features of this island include a colony of bachelor sea lions, with dominant bulls in various stages of recovery from battles over prime beach territory. After lunch on board, snorkel in deeper water between North and South Seymour, going ashore at North Seymour to observe a wonderful host of birds. Here you can see the breathtaking spectacle of the largest colony of Magnificent frigate birds in the Galapagos. Return to your yacht for the Captain’s farewell party and dinner, followed by a slide show presentation from your guides.
After breakfast, travel by bus to the Interpretation Centre to gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the islands. This is an experience that wraps up your journey in a thought-provoking way. Afterwards, spend some time at port before heading to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.
- Rate shown is a 'from' price per person (based on triple occupancy on the 'Iguana Deck')
- A single supplement will apply
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator about this cruise's accommodation options, availability, departure dates and costs
- Three meals served daily
- After-excursion snacks
- Non-alcoholic beverages
- Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties
- House wine and local beer served during dinner
- Guided excursions and daily briefings with English-speaking expert naturalists
- Low guide-to-passenger ratio (max.10 guests per guide)
- Complimentary mask, fins and snorkels, 3mm custom full wet suits
- Use of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards
- Transfers in the Islands between the airport and dock
- International Airfare
- Airfare to Galapagos
- Galapagos entrance fee (park tax)
- Transit control card
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuities to guides and crew
- Purchases on board
- Travel insurance
- Anything else not mentioned in inclusions - if in doubt, click 'Ask a Question' to chat to the operator directly!