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Sea lion coming in from a swim

Western Islands

8 Day Sample Cruise aboard Cormorant
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Embark on an 8 day journey aboard the Cormorant around the Western Islands of the Galapagos archipelgo. Each island boasts new and exciting wildlife and landscapes carved from volcanic activity. Your journey includes snorkeling alongside sea turtles, viewing large colonies of sea lions and nesting shore birds, and short hikes to panoramic views. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Island
Day 2 : Isabela
Day 3 : Isabela
Day 4 : Fernandina - Isabela
Day 5 : Fernandina - Isabela
Day 6 : Santiago
Day 7 : Genovesa
Day 8 : North Seymour - Baltra

Highlights

  • Explore underground lava tubes more than half a mile long
  • Snorkel alongside schools of colorful fish and sea lions
  • View a colony of iguanas, a group of sea lions, & a cormorant nesting site
  • Visit the Tortoise Breeding Station & learn about local conservation

Ship

Cormorant

Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Buccaneer Cove
  • El Chato Tortoise Reserve
  • Elizabeth Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Fernandina
  • Genovesa
  • Isabela
  • Las Tintoreras
  • Mangle Point
  • North Seymour
  • Puerto Ayora
  • Puerto Egas
  • Punta Moreno
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santiago
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Sea lion coming in from a swim Kids loving Santa Cruz Island A Red-footed Booby sitting in a bush. Lava tubes on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Snorkeling in the Galapagos.

Day 1 Baltra - Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at the airport and transfer to Santa Cruz to visit the highlands before boarding. Please note: Dress appropriately for a hike. Long sleeved shirts, long pants, appropriate hiking shoes, and sun protection is recommended for this visit.

At the Santa Cruz Highlands, walk along the path and observe the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, white-cheeked pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species. Explore the underground lava tubes, which are more than one kilometer (half a mile) long, with your local guides.

After the visit, have a box lunch before transfering to the main deck to embark onboard the M/C Cormorant and start the cruise.

Day 2 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Journey to Tintoreras Islet, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves, is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.

Visit the Sierra Negra Volcano, boasting the largest basaltic caldera in Galapagos at 9 x 10km. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to 7 species of finch and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

Next arrive at the Tortoise Breeding Station (Puerto Villamil), created to protect animals in their first years of life from the threats of foreign species such as pigs and donkeys. Giant tortoise eggs are collected and brought to the center where they are hatched and kept for five years before being released to their natural environment.

Conclude the day by visiting the Wetlands of Isabela Island, located just outside of Puerto Villamil. They consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails, and gallinules. The Wetlands can be visited on foot via a path that winds through the swamps.

Day 3 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Moreno Point is located near Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. The plethora of birds seen during a dinghy ride along the striking rocky shores or a hike along path through lava rock leading to tide pools and mangroves create a birdwatcher’s delight. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted.

Sail for Elizabeth Bay, located on the east coast of Isabela Island. The bay contains many islets, which can be visited by dinghy. Penguins and blue-footed boobies can be spotted on the rocky islets. With an abundance of marine life and clear water, the area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.

Day 4 Fernandina - Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A visit to Mangle Point allows visitors to witness the amazing views and wildlife on the coast of Fernandina Island. This is a small inlet on Fernandina’s coast where you can snorkel to your heart's delight and watch playful sea lions, curious penguins, and also catch a glimpse of where flightless cormorants reside.

Later in the day, travel to Urbina Bay 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.

Day 5 Fernandina - Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands, land at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island's highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

Arrive at Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago and also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola-mola (sunfish).

Day 6 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Also known as James Bay, visit Egas Port, home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to a coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.

Explore Buccaneer Cove, a safe haven where pirates in the 1600 and 1700’s would stake out on the Northwestern side of Santiago Island. Sea turtles now take the pirate's place and dig their nests for their eggs near the mangrove trees. It is a great location for snorkeling and many marine birds and sea lions can be found here.

Visit Espumilla Beach, a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. The crabs attract the hunting herons, performing the dance of predator and prey. With an abundance of marine life including octopi, moray eel, and shark, snorkeling is highly recommended.

Day 7 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Head to El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps. Hike up the steep rocky face to the top of a cliff where you can see red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves.

Set sail for Darwin Bay and land on its white-sand coral beach. Take a half-mile trail through the mangroves and view Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. Tidal pools are teeming with young sea lions and reef fish, and the occasional hammerhead shark can be found among the rocks. At the end is a spectacular view off a cliff.

Day 8 North Seymour - Baltra

  • 1 Breakfast
Sail for North Seymour Island to view Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies, and magnificent frigatebirds. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Transfer to the airport and connect back to the mainland.

Cormorant

Per person starting at
$6,550
Cruise in the Galapagos on the Cormorant ship
Cabins
$6,550
Roomy staterooms located on both the upper deck and main deck. All feature private balconies and en-suite bath facilities.
Cormorant's Suite.
Suites
$7,120
Spacious suites located on the main deck include a sitting area, private balcony and en-suite bath facilities.

Deals

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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 under 12 years at time of Galapagos cruise traveling with two adults. Child discounts are not available March 19-26 and Dec 17-Jan 3.

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

Included

  • Accommodations on board Cormorant 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
  • $100 Galapagos Park Fee
  • $80 Galapagos Transit Card and Airport Assistance
  • $45 International Departure Tax
  • Diving may be available upon request, please inquire for information
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

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

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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