The 16-passenger Cormorant catamaran offers the generous, comfortable accommodations of a larger ship while preserving the relaxed exclusivity of a smaller vessel. Her 8 cabins all have private bathrooms, individual climate controls, storage space and even private balconies – perfect for watching the spectacular scenery your Galapagos Islands cruise or viewing whales, dolphins and sea birds. During this 4-day/3-night Galapagos Islands cruise, you will be able to explore, hike, snorkel, and view extraordinary rich wildlife – such as lava lizards, Blue-footed boobies, sea lions and giant tortoises. On board the 16-passenger first-class Cormorant catamaran, you will disembark daily on different islands towards the south of the archipelago to discover some of the many species found here that exist nowhere else. At the same time, the volcanic landscapes, gorgeous lagoons and birdlife-rich forests that you discover on this Galapagos Islands tour will add to making you never want to leave.
“Everything was wonderful but the highlight by far was the 5 days trekking in the Angamarca region with Marcial. The scenery and culture was astonishing, and Marcial was the perfect guide”
AM: In the morning you will fly from either Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to the Galapagos Islands. At the airport on San Cristobal Island, after you will pay the entrance fee to the national park, a member of the ship's crew will welcome you and accompany you to your yacht: the M/C Cormorant.
PM: In the afternoon we will follow the route that Charles Darwin once took and sail around the massive tuff-rock called Kicker Rock, which is a nesting site for hosts of sea birds. Here, you will be able to find Blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds. This is a great site for scuba diving, and hammerhead sharks can be seen in the area.
AM: Española is the southernmost, oldest and one of the most bio-diverse islands of the Galapagos archipelago. Its English name is “Hood Island,” in honor of the British admiral Samuel Hood. Because of its isolated position, there is much endemic wildlife to be explored here – in addition to great snorkeling from Española’s remarkably beautiful beaches. After breakfast, we will go on an excursion to Suarez Point, one of the archipelago’s most outstanding wildlife areas, boasting a long list of species along its cliffs and its sand and pebble beaches. In addition to five species of nesting seabirds, there are the curious and bold Española Island mockingbirds, while other birding favorites include Galapagos doves, Galapagos hawks, Swallow-tailed gulls and the world’s largest colony of Waved albatross, an unequivocal highlight during mating season (May-December). Several types of reptiles are unique to this island, including the marine iguana and the oversized lava lizard. In fact, this is also the only site where you will be able to see “red” sea iguanas. In addition, when heavy swells are running, Suarez Point is the site of a spectacular blowhole whose thundering spray shoots 30 yards up into the air. The trek here is on a stony path about a mile long. (Excursion duration: about 3 hours)
PM: On Española Island’s eastern shore, Gardner Bay is noted for its turquoise-colored waters and its magnificent beach, which we will visit in the afternoon. Around the bay’s small nearby islets, snorkelers will find an abundance of fish and sometimes turtles and benign sharks. The bay is also frequented by a transient colony of Galapagos sea lions who love to swim with people. Birds, like the endemic Española mockingbird and different species of Darwin finches, are omnipresent. We will also take a tour around Osborn islet, located close to Española Island. It is made of volcanic rock and is a popular fishing site among local small-scale fishers. On this Galapagos islet, you will have a chance to go snorkeling and see schools of tropical fish, Manta rays, Green turtles, Surgeon fish, Sea urchins and starfish.
AM: Today we will visit Floreana Island, considered to be one of the most exotic in the Galapagos archipelago. Countless legends are part of the history of this island, as pirates and buccaneers were drawn to here in search of for food and water. Later the island was colonized by Norwegians, Brits, Germans and others who were in search of ways to make money from what they hoped to discover here. The name Floreana is in honor of Juan Jose Flores, Ecuador’s first president. This morning’s excursion is first to the Cormorant Point visitor site. After a wet landing on the beach, we will go down a 100-meter-long path to a mangrove lagoon, which is home to Galapagos ducks, black herons, oystercatchers and plovers. With a little bit of luck, you might also see flamingos. Another path leads to a small beach that is an important nesting site for sea turtles. In the shallow water here, one can often find stingrays and Whitetip reef sharks now and then. The next spot is Champion Islet. Though the island itself is off limits to visitors, the waters around this small land mass are great places to snorkel with sea lions and to see colorful tropical fish. Occasionally, dolphins are sighted as the boats approach the shore, and the cool currents here make Champion an excellent site for spotting schools of stingrays. Next we will visit the lookout point where “Baroness” Eloisa de Wagner, one of the first human inhabitants in the Galapagos Islands would spent several hours daily observing whales and dolphins.
PM: Later we will visit Post Office Bay, where the legendary post barrel that whalers historically used to put their mail in is still kept. You can leave a letter here in hopes that it will make to its destination via another tourist.…so don’t forget to bring postcards along. Snorkelers can take a dip on the main beach among the playful sea lions and green sea turtles. Snorkelers can swim on the main beach among playful sea lions.
AM: This morning we will head for one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which reproduces captive giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. This means that approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them. Remember that looking at the animals is allowed, but touching is not; and it’s absolutely forbidden to jump over the walls or open the pen doors at any time.
PM: Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy the last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.
“We loved every moment of our trip and could not have done it without Ligia and Surtrek. I highly recommend them!”