Have questions? We're here.
sally lightfoot crab

Northern Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Celebrity Xploration
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Galapagos trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
Experience more than just the highlights of the Galapagos' northern islands on this 8-day adventure! Travel from beautiful Mosquera, to wildlife-rich Genovesa, snorkel around the famous Pinnacle Rock, and explore a multitude of destinations in between. Snorkel, kayak, and become acquainted with the archipelago's endemic wildlife species during your 8-day cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra | Embark | Mosquera
Day 2 : Santiago | Bartolome
Day 3 : Isabela
Day 4 : Fernandina
Day 5 : Santiago
Day 6 : Santa Cruz Island
Day 7 : Genovesa
Day 8 : North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

Highlights

  • Look for dolphins and orcas roaming the waters around Mosquera
  • Climb Prince Phillip's Steps in Genovesa
  • Observe penguins and a sea turtle nesting site
  • Enjoy the view of Tagus Cove and Darwin Lake

Ship

Celebrity Xploration

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Bartolome
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Darwin Bay
  • El Barranco
  • Espinosa Point
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Fernandina
  • Genovesa
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • Mosquera
  • North Seymour
  • Puerto Egas
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Sullivan Bay
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay
  • Vicente Roca Point

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

sally lightfoot crab Encounter tropical wildlife while you sail on the Aranui Beautiful Galapagos landscape Pinnacle rock in Bartolome Photographers on Mosquera

Day 1 Baltra | Embark | Mosquera

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive at the airport in Baltra where you are transferred to the boat. Check in and receive a general introductory briefing and safety drill. After lunch embark on your first excursion to Mosquera Island. This small inlet is home to an abundance of sea lions and a variety of shorebirds. There have been reports of dolphins and orcas roaming these waters around Mosquera so keep your eyes peeled.

Day 2 Santiago | Bartolome

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sullivan Bay is known for its spectacular volcanic formations, relatively young pahoehoe lava flows, and unique geological scenery. Due to Sullivan’s relatively recent volcanic activity, few plants have been able to take root here. Keep an eye out for the low-lying pioneer plant known locally as “mollugo” as well as the lava cactus.

Bartolome is a small island that has two visitor sites. At the first site you can snorkel around Pinnacle Rock. Penguins can usually be spotted here. Then it’s back on board for a quick change of clothes followed by a short dinghy ride to a dry landing. From here climb to the highest point 
on the island. On the way up, encounter different volcanic formations including spatter and tuff cones, lava flows, and lava tubes. From the summit, enjoy a wonderful view of Sullivan Bay. If the hike isn't for you, enjoy a panga ride around the island. Enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the island including sea lions, pioneer plants, reef sharks, rays and colorful reef fish.

Day 3 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Isabela Island was formed by five volcanoes and is the largest of the archipelago. It's also the youngest of the islands. Urbina Bay is located in Western Isabela, at the foot of Alcedo Volcano. Have the opportunity to observe sea turtle nesting sites as well as penguins and flightless cormorants. It is also one of the best places to see Darwin’s finches as well as large land iguanas. Be on the lookout for Galapagos tortoises which like to feed within the site’s dense vegetation.

Tagus Cove was used as an anchoring place for pirates, buccaneers, and whalers. The high ridges are painted with the names of hundreds of ships (a practice now forbidden) that came to the island. Take a hike on a trail that goes through an area of vegetation and the volcanic landscape of Darwin Volcano. Once the top has been reached, enjoy an incredible view of the whole cove and Darwin Lake.

The brisk “power-hike” is followed by kayaking or a panga ride, where you have the opportunity to see a large number of blue-footed boobies perched on the ledges of the cliffs, as well as marine iguanas, penguins, brown pelicans, brown noddy terns, and swallow-tailed gulls. Enjoy the opportunity to encounter dolphins and whales while exploring the channel between Fernandina and Isabela Island.

Day 4 Fernandina

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fernandina Island is one of the most pristine and dynamic ecosystems in the entire world. La Cumbre Volcano last erupted in April 2009. The lava fields from this eruption stretch towards the ocean from its base and dominate the landscape. Punta Espinoza is a narrow piece of land where some of the most unique Galapagos species can be seen. Amongst these are the flightless cormorant, Galapagos snakes, marine iguanas, penguins, and the Galapagos hawk.

Punta Vicente Roca is a wonderful snorkeling site where you can usually see turtles and various types of fish. Instead of snorkeling, you can also enjoy a panga ride. This allows for an opportunity to study some of the Galapagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. In this area you can see Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and penguins.

Day 5 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Puerto Egas (James Bay) is located on the northwest side of Santiago Island. Here there are black beaches with eroded rock formations. Take a hike past the remains of a salt mining enterprise and then continue along the coast. Tidal pools are home to an abundance of invertebrate organisms, including sea urchins, octopus, and starfish. Also get a change to see marine iguanas, finches, oystercatchers, and possibly the Galapagos hawk. The trail then leads to the fur sea lion grottos, one of the only places in the islands where these unique animals can be seen. Enjoy a nice swim with playful sea lions. View the abundant variety of beautiful fish and maybe see some turtles, rays, and reef sharks.

The visitor's site on Espumilla Beach is on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. The main attractions here are a palo santo forest, beach, and the landscape. The Palo Santo forest at Espumilla has some of the tallest of this species of tree in the entire archipelago. Also look out for the Galapagos hawk as well as Darwin’s finches. The beach here is also an important site for nesting marine turtles.

Day 6 Santa Cruz Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station gain insight into the great efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers, and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Encounter tortoises of different subspecies. Here these tortoises are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. After the visit, drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you have the opportunity to visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.

Day 7 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Genovesa is the northernmost island that is allowed to be visited by naturalist (non-diving) cruises. This is extremely remote island and is the home to millions of birds belonging to many different species. Amongst the many species there includes the red-footed booby as well as frigates, swallow-tailed gulls, and endemic owls.
El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, is a steep path with stairs carved into the rock which leads to a plateau. There is a palo santo forest here that is home to an abundance of bird life. Have the chance to see Nazca boobies, Galapagos doves, mockingbirds, and petrels. With some luck, you may even spot a short-eared lava owl.

Darwin Bay’s beautiful white sand is only the beginning of a incredible excursion. A trail from the beach takes you into lush mangroves where red-footed boobies nest. Many other animals make their home here including sea lions, swallow-tail gulls, frigates, and more. Enjoy fabulous snorkeling here as sharks, colorful reef fish, rays and sea turtles are common.

Day 8 North Seymour | Disembark | Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
North Seymour may very well be the perfect way to say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands. This island is covered in arid vegetation but still is home to many unique creatures such as frigates, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, and more.

Enjoy breakfast aboard before disembarking for the airport on Baltra Island and returning to the mainland.

Celebrity Xploration

Deals

Receive $100 in Credit
Galapagos Savings - Book now and receive $100 in on-board bar-credit.
Click for departure dates
Save 15%
Galapagos Savings - Teenagers between the ages 12 and 16 save 15% when sharing a cabin with an adult.
Click for departure dates
Per person starting at
$5,750
Cruise the Galapagos on the Celebrity Xploration
Select a Date
Upper Deck
Four larger upper deck cabins without balconies. Twin or matrimonial beds and private baths.
Cruise the Galapagos on the Celebrity Xploration
Select a Date
Main Deck Balcony
Four main deck cabins with balconies. Twin or matrimonial beds and private baths.

Single Supplement

This yacht requires single travelers to pay a supplement for private accommodations unless a roommate can be found.

Child Discount

25% discount for children aged under 12 at time of Galapagos cruise. Discount does not apply to holiday departures.

Children under 12 receive a discount of $135 off adult flight rates, and discounted Galapagos Entrance Fee of $50

Included

  • Accommodations on board Celebrity Xploration based on double occupancy
  • Meals while in the Galapagos
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • Shore Excursions
  • Swimming and Snorkeling
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • Wetsuit
  • Sea Kayaking

Excluded

  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • Fuel Surcharge
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $595
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $540

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Mary Curry
Mary C

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

Popular Add-ons

Galapagos Travel Links

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News