GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS CRUISE--
an ADVENTURE in UNSPOILED NATURE
A Galápagos yacht cruise... You and a companion... and just a few
others... Just imagine...
Imagine snorkeling in a clear blue sea with playful sea lions, giant marine
turtles and neon rainbows of fish of all shapes and sizes....
Imagine walking across a portion of the earth so new that the boiling
flowing forms of the basalt lava are so fresh the rock appears to still be
Imagine stepping around hundreds of seabirds and prehistoric-looking marine
iguanas too unafraid of humans to move out of your way...
Imagine following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and experiencing first
hand some of the wonders of nature that inspired his famous theory....
These experiences and much more need not be imagined... They are yours to live
in an eight-day Galápagos cruise aboard a yacht with a small group of
adventurous and equally fascinated fellow travelers.
Rutahsa Adventures can book a wide variety of eight day/seven night
cruises of the Galápagos archipelago at favorable (i.e., discounted)
prices. We use Enchanted Expleditions' yachts Cachalote I,
Beluga, and Angelito. We also book The Beagle, Sea
Cloud, Diamante, Sagitta, and Samba yachts offered by
Cruise costs and airfare costs from the mainland vary according to
seasonal demand. The "low season" includes two periods, approximately, the
months of May-June and Sept.-Oct. For example, during the 2005 "low season",
published cruise prices on the Cachalote I and Beluga are $1619
and $2259 ($2179 for cabins 6 & 7) per person. However, Rutahsa Adventures can
book cruises on these fine yachts for you at 10% off these published prices.
During the 2005 "high season" (the rest of the year), cruises on the
Cachalote I and Beluga are priced at $1799 and $2510 ($2420 for
cabins 6 & 7) per person. Again, Rutahsa Adventures can book these cruises for
you at a 10% savings.
Air fares from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos fluctuate with similar "low"
and "high" seasons, though not in precise coordination with the cruise prices!
So, the best thing to do is enquire for a price quote for the dates you wish to
Complete cruise packages typically include: an 8 day/7 night cruise on a
yacht, round trip air fare from the Ecuadoran mainland to the Galápagos
Islands, all meals while on the cruise, the services of a bilingual national
park naturalist-guide, two nights lodging in Quito or Guayaquil, and
transportation between the Quito or Guayaquil airport and your hotel. Package
costs vary, depending on yacht chosen, season and port of entry into Ecuador
(Quito or Guayaquil). Not included in the package prices: air fare
US-Ecuador-US, meals in Quito or Guayaquil, bar service on the cruise, Ecuador
exit tax ($25), and Galápagos National Park entry ($100), or
tips for the guide and yacht crew.
For travelers with limited time five day/four night cruises are
available. We strongly feel that a week-long cruise is the minimum time
necessary to fully appreciate the wonders of the Galápagos, but if you
just don't have that much time, let us know and we'll get you prices on 5-day
Sample Galápagos Islands cruise
itinerary: Here's a sample Galapagos cruise itinerary (actual
itinerary for the Cachalote I in 2003):
Day 1, Weds.: Fly Quito to Baltra Island, Galápagos Islands;
board the Cachalote I; visit North Seymour Island for an introduction to
Galápagos birds, sea lions and other wildlife, guided by an authorized
Galápagos National Park guide/naturalist. Boobies, frigate birds,
lava gulls, finches, an occasional whimbrel, and other birds can be seen here.
Day 2, Thurs.: Visit Santa Cruz Island, a major shield volcano and home
to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The Cachalote I anchors at
Puerto Ayora and you go ashore to visit the Darwin Research Station, seeing the
captive tortoise and iguana breeding programs. There's also an opportunity to
do a little souvenir shopping before boarding a bus to go up into the
highlands to experience an entirely different climatic zone with dense tropical
vegetation and birds not found in the shore zone. You may also see the great
lumbering Galápagos tortoises in the highlands.
Day 3, Fri.: Today you experience one of the birding highlights of the
trip: the famous seabird rookeries of Punta Suárez on Española
Island, where blue-footed boobies are too numerous to count, masked boobies
abound, and the waved albatrosses come home to rear their young.
Galápagos hawks, red-billed tropic birds, frigate birds, swallowtail
gulls, the bold Hood mockingbirds, sea lions, and, if you're really lucky, a
Galápagos snake, can be seen here.
The afternoon stop is at Gardner Bay, another opportunity for some great
snorkeling with sea lions and sometimes huge sea turtles.
Day 4, Sat.: During the night the Cachalote I has sailed from
Española to the Island of Floreana where your morning visit is to Punta
Cormorant. Here you'll see a green sand beach (containing the volcanic mineral
olivine), the flamingo lagoon, and the beautiful white sand and clear waters of
Sting-Ray Beach. Typically, this stop also includes fabulous snorkeling at the
"Devils Crown", a ring of volcanic rock spires jutting from the sea.
Today's second stop is historic Post Office Bay, where you can mail a card from
the famous barrel, originally set up by whalers more than a century ago.
Day 5, Sun.: Today the Cachalote I cruises up the west side of
the largest of the Galápagos Islands, Isabela, with stops at Punta
Moreno and Urbina Bay. At Punta Moreno you'll walk across a fascinating lava
landscape, punctuated here and there with lagoons where flamingos and other
exotic creatures find refuge. At Urbina Bay you'll walk amid giant coral heads,
uplifted above the sea by an earthquake; Galápagos tortoises can be
seen here too.
Day 6, Mon.: Continuing north along the west coast of Isabela the
Cachalote I crosses the channel westward to Fernandina Island to stop at
Punta Espinoza, where you are likely to find thousands of black marine iguanas
sprawled along the rocky shores, and here you can also see the strange-looking
Back across the channel to Isabela, the second visitors' site today is Tagus
Cove, once a shelter for pirate vessels. A panga ride along the coast here will
reveal historic graffiti, and give you a chance to see Galápagos
penguins and flightless cormorants.
Day 7, Tues.: This morning you visit Puerto Egas on Santiago Island.
Here the remnants of a few buildings testify to a one-time salt mining
operation, but these days the beach is taken over by lounging sea lions. Here
too, in tidal coves, can be seen fur seals. Puerto Egas is especially
picturesque due to the contrasting colors and erosional forms of the black lava
and the lighter brown ashy sediments.
In the afternoon the Cachalote I anchors near spectacular Pinnacle Rock,
and you take an easy climb to the peak of Bartolomé Island for one of
the most dramatic scenic vistas in the islands; next,
snorkeling around the Pinnacle Rock.
Day 8, Weds.: The final visitors' site for the cruise is Turtle Cove,
which comes by its name legitimately. Mustard rays are sometimes seen here in
abundance, too. After a morning visit here, the Cachalote I puts into
harbor on Baltra Island, and you are taken by bus back to the Galápagos
airport to catch your flight back to the mainland.
After overnighting in Quito (or Guayaquil), you can board your return flight to
the U.S., or, if you like, stay on for an Andean/Amazonian Ecuador tour which
Rutahsa Adventures can also arrange for you.
To select the yacht you wish to sail on visit the websites of Enchanted
Expeditions and Andando Tours. Then to make a booking return to Rutahsa
Adventures and let us know, we'll book the cruise you want and you pocket the
To view Enchanted Expeditions yachts and their itineraries, click here:
To view Andando Tours yachts and their itineraries, click here: Andando Tours.
For bookings and for additional information about the yachts, itineraries,
costs, reading suggestions, etc., contact:
Dr. Ric Finch
299 Allen Hollow Road
Cookeville, TN 38501
"Here's lookin' at you, kid!"
MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW!
Photos on this webpage by Janie and Ric Finch, @copyrighted.