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Galapagos Islands Cruise

The archipelago of the Galapagos Islands, born from volcanoes, offers abundance of wildlife and a rare wilderness that was isolated from the mainland for millions of years. Cruise the pristine islands and walk among colonies of animals and birds unfazed by humans. Observe the giant tortoises. Snorkel amid shimmering fish, sea turtles, and penguins and explore the crystal waters by kayaking or swimming.

The Expedition Team offers a rich introduction for your Galapagos experience. No background in science is expected.

Deck Plan of the Coral I

Smiling Tortoise

Smiling Tortoise

© Mark Zukowski
Galapagos Island view
A Davey
Frigate bird
Sophie Robson

Your Tour Includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare: LAX/SFO/JFK /Quito with LAN
  • Roundtrip airfare: Quito/Guayaquil
  • Roundtrip transfers from Salinas/San Jose
  • Meet/Greet and transfer to your hotels
  • 2 nights Quito with breakfasts daily
  • 1-night Guayaquil
  • Half-day sightseeing city tour of Quito
  • 5-days/4-nights Galapagos Islands cruise aboard the 36 passenger Coral I
  • Meals: Breakfast daily: Quito and Guayaquil
    Breakfast, lunch, & dinner daily on the vessel
  • In-depth exploration of fauna and flora of the Galapagos
  • Excursions all included on Galapagos
  • All hotel taxes and service charges
Rabida Island

Rabida Island

Steven Montgomery

Itinerary:
Sunday/Monday, September 6/7, 2015 • USA – Quito, Ecuador
Depart USA for Quito, Equador, which is on the USD. Meet and assist with transfer to your hotel for one night.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 • Quito, Equador
After breakfast enjoy Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travelers will get to visit a place called "Midad del Mundo" and the equator Monument situated at 0 degrees and also the Solar Museum.   
Gullfoss Falls

Coral I

Vince Smith
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 • Baltra – Eden Isle (Santa Cruz)
A flight from Quito to the Galapagos begins the Darwin adventure. Arrival in Baltra and transfer to the Coral I. The naturalists on board will orient you to the cornucopia of nature you are about to see.
This afternoon sail to Eden Islet and Whale Bay on Santa Cruz Island. Here is a green sand cove at the base of Dragon Hill. The beach contains a large amount of olivine crystals of volcanic origin. The crystals were formed when the magma was still underground. A small population of tortoises from Pinszon Island lived at the site, but were probably taken by whalers or previous inhabitants. Opportunity to see marine iguanas and sea birds followed by snorkeling.
Iguana
putneymark
Thursday, September 10, 2015 • Espinosa Point (Fernandina) – Tagus Cove (Isabela)
The largest, most primitive-looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs; a wonderful opportunity to encounter Flightless Cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the “king” of predators on the islands, the Galapagos Hawk. Pa-hoe-hoe and AA lava formations cover the terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, but the Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds line the shores.

Tagus Cove (Isabela) Dry landing on Galapagos’ largest Island where we will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin’s salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of the lava fields and volcanic formations.

A dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife, where you will admire a variety of seabirds, such as Blue-footed Booby, brown Noddy, terns, Flightless Cormorant and depending on the season, a large number of Galapagos Penguins which are only 35 cm. tall. The only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2000 individuals, most of which live on this western portion of Isabela; others are scattered further south on the island. We will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water.   
Galapagos Penguin

Galapagos Penguin

Charles Pence
Friday, September 11, 2015 • Elizabeth Bay (Isabela) – Urbina Bay (Isabela)
This morning the Coral I is in Elizabeth Bay is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. We will take another Dinghy ride along the coast surrounded by mangrove forest for an opportunity to admire Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos penguins, and a nesting area for sea turtles.

Urbina Bay (Isabela) After lunch we move to Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast, between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954, causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out, leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. This area is also a great place for snorkeling.   
Saturday, September 12, 2015 • Santiago: Buccaneer Cove – Espumilla Beach(Santiago)
Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent site. A pleasant walk will take us to a magnificent viewpoint of the bay where we will see Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and White-checked Pintail. There’s also a lagoon where Flamingoes can be seen.

Sullivan Bay (Santiago) A wet landing at Espumilla Beach, popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. Here is an important geologic features of lava flows formed during the last quarter of the 19th century.   
Sunday, September 13, 2015 • Santa Cruz Highlands – Guayaquil, Equador
A dry land day where we will reach the Santa Cruz highlands and visit a private farm, Primicias (El Chato), where giant tortoises are found in their natural habitat. The road to the reserve is one of the best places to observe land birds. Tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers and Cattle Egrets inhabit the area. After touring we head for the airport for the flight to Guayaquil. Arrive Guayaquil and transfer to the Hotel Oro Verdes for the night with an afternoon city tour.   
Monday, September 14, 2015 • Homeward
Return to the USA  
Galapagos Beach
David Adam Kess