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A Marine Iguana peeks over a rock.

Epic Galapagos Photo Expedition

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Endeavour
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Join a team of top National Geographic photographers in one of the planet’s most photogenic places for an in-depth, up-close exploration over 17 days. Whether you’re a published pro or a rookie looking to build a portfolio, learn new shooting skills in the field and editing and gear tips during on board sessions. The 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour sails with a team of top experts who offer shooting tips in the field, coaching aboard ship, plus special photo assignments guaranteed to add skills and photos to your portfolio. Each day you have the option to view photograph endemic wildlife, walk, hike, kayak, Zodiac cruise, and join a different naturalist as you choose.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Guayaquil, Ecuador
Day 2 : Galápagos Islands | Embark Endeavour
Day 3 : North Seymour Island | Rabida Island
Day 4 : Fernandina Island
Day 5 : Isabela Island
Day 6 : Santiago
Day 7 : Santa Cruz
Days 8-9 : San Cristobal
Day 10 : Española
Day 11 : Floreana
Day 12 : Santa Cruz
Day 13 : Dragon Hill and Guy Fawkes | El Eden and Daphne Major
Day 14 : Bartolome | Sombrero Chino
Day 15 : Genovesa
Day 16 : Galápagos | Disembark | Guayaquil
Day 17 : Return Home


  • Explore the Galápagos archipelago and undersea with hikes & Zodiac cruises
  • Land on every major island in the Galápagos & explore all the major sites
  • Shoot with and learn from a team of six top photographers
  • Go on daily photo assignments to help build your personal portfolio
  • Use a special, mid-voyage photo edited seminar with expert image critiques



Places Visited


Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A Marine Iguana peeks over a rock. Sea lion on North Seymour Snorkeling girl Jen, Marine Iguana Wander around the contrasting landscape that goes from volcanic rock to white sandy beaches.

Day 1 Guayaquil, Ecuador

Arrive Guayaquil by late evening. It’s a short drive to the Hotel Hilton Colon, where you spend the night.

Day 2 Galápagos Islands | Embark Endeavour

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After the 1½ hour flight to the Galápagos, immediately board the ship. This afternoon begin to explore with a landing at the beautiful Las Bachas beaches, lined with endemic coastal plants and protected saltwater lagoons. 

Day 3 North Seymour Island | Rabida Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North Seymour Island is an uplifted piece of seafloor, home to land iguanas, sea lion colonies, blue-footed booby and frigate bird nesting colonies. Spend the morning observing and photographing the rich wildlife of this islet as you hike the rocky trail. This afternoon is the first of many great snorkeling opportunities. You can also opt to kayak along the picturesque volcanic coast. Later land on the bright red sand of a charming beach and take a hike into the island to search for hawks and other land birds to photograph. 

Day 4 Fernandina Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fernandina Island is the youngest and most pristine island in the Galápagos. The stark black lava flows are home to some of the largest marine iguana colonies in the archipelago, and the peculiar-looking flightless cormorants nest along the coast. Bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs, fun to photograph, scamper among the black rocks, and sea lions play along the coast against the dramatic backdrop of volcanoes. Later today, sail across the channel to Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island. Snorkel in a sea turtle feeding area and then take Zodiac rides along the coast to look for Galápagos fur seals and penguins. Late afternoon, gather on the outer decks to get a look inside the huge collapsed caldera of an Ecuador volcano while crossing the equator at sunset.

Day 5 Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1954, over half a square mile of marine reef off the coast of Urbina Bay was uplifted almost instantaneously by as much as 15 feet, and evidence of this event abounds in the area. Land on a turtle nesting beach of black sand, and take a couple of hike options to look for the wildlife of the area, including a large land iguana nesting colony and occasional giant tortoise sightings. In the afternoon the ship repositions to the historical Tagus Cove, a sheltered bay that has been a popular anchorage for centuries of visitors, including Charles Darwin on the HMS Beagle. Activities you can choose here include a scenic hike that looks over a volcanic crater with a lake inside, Zodiac rides and kayaking outings to look for penguins, flightless cormorants, and shorebirds, and even some deep water snorkeling. 

Day 6 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hike up into a coastal forest behind one of the largest turtle nesting beaches in the Galápagos. Explore the spectacular Buccaneer Cove by Zodiac and kayak, and enjoy snorkeling among the dense schools of reef fish that find refuge in the indented shoreline. Afternoon hikes at Puerto Egas lead you through a fascinating geological landscape of mixed ash and lava flows, tidal pools and grottoes. Inhabiting the area you can find both Galápagos sea lions and fur seals, marine iguanas, land and shore birds, and brilliant Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Day 7 Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Santa Cruz is home to the largest human settlement in the Galápagos, in the vibrant coastal town of Puerto Ayora, and is the heart of the conservation and scientific work that goes on in the islands. Both the Charles Darwin Research Station and Galápagos National Park Service headquarters are located here, and among the most successful of their jointly-run programs is a 40-year-old captive breeding program for endangered species of Galápagos giant tortoises, several of which have been brought back from the brink of extinction. Learn about the science and conservation work undertaken in the islands, and meet some of the key players in the local conservation world. After the visit walk through town to the main town dock to take Zodiacs back to the ship, with a stop at the scenic fish market on the way. This afternoon, the photo team hosts a Photo Seminar on the Endeavour, at anchor in Academy Bay. This is followed by a late-afternoon photographic outing in town. For any non-photographers a shuttle service is offered to and from town all afternoon, along with a variety of different hiking, swimming, and kayaking options. 

Day 8-9 San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This important island is the easternmost island and the political capital of the province. Spend a total of two days visiting this special area. The first morning visit Punta Pitt with its fascinating geology, also the only site where all three booby species that occur in the Galápagos nest together. Take hikes up to the plateau for wonderful views, and take Zodiac cruises along the base of the cliffs to look for red-footed, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and possibly even snorkel and kayak among young sea lions. Later the ship repositions to one of the most impressive rocky outcrops in the archipelago, the famed Leon Dormido or “Kicker Rock”. This rock is famous for its marine life, and you can take a deep water snorkeling option among graceful sharks, sea turtles and other larger marine species. Late afternoon head to the deck for sunset cocktails as you sail around this formation.   

The second morning depart the ship to explore the highlands of San Cristobal, a very different experience to the arid lowlands you have seen until now. This island is famous for its freshwater, and it was here that Darwin’s Beagle returned to stock up on freshwater for the rest of its voyage home. Drive up to the only important freshwater body in Galápagos—a 34000m² lake at 687 meters above sea level that is formed in an old volcanic crater. On the way down visit a semi-captive tortoise population, including the endemic Chatham tortoise, and spend time among the large sea lion colony that inhabits the picturesque waterfront of the town. In the afternoon visit Cerro Brujo (Wizard Hill), where you can take Zodiac rides and kayak along the spectacular cliffs before landing on the pretty beach for swimming and nature walks. 

Day 10 Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The oldest and southeastern-most of the Galápagos Islands, Española is home to Darwin’s finches, Galápagos hawks, and large blue-footed and Nazca booby colonies, as well as several species endemic to this island, such as the waved albatrosses, hood mockingbirds, and hood lava lizards. Walk among colorful red and black marine iguanas and sea lions. The morning is spent at the spectacular Gardner Bay, home to a pristine white sand beach inhabited by extensive sea lion colonies. Activities here include exploring the beach, deep-water snorkeling, and kayaking. The afternoon is spent hiking among the sea bird colonies at Punta Suarez. 

Day 11 Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During an early morning hike at Punta Cormorant observe flamingos and shore birds, a turtle nesting beach, and fascinating vegetation. Later, while at Champion Islet, spend time looking for the endangered Charles mockingbird from your Zodiac, then don your gear to snorkel among sea lions in clear waters. During the afternoon, explore the historical Post Office Bay by Zodiac and kayak, then land on one of the same beaches Charles Darwin set foot on, and check the barrel originally set up by 18th century whalers for mail. 

Day 12 Santa Cruz

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave the ship early and head into the lush highlands where giant tortoises forage. Explore some very different ecosystems to those encountered in the lowlands and spend time observing and photographing these relics of another age. After lunch in the highlands, drive to visit a charming sugar cane mill located in the highlands called El Trapiche, then continue to the coast to spend the rest of the afternoon at the picturesque El Garrapatero beach. 

Day 13 Dragon Hill and Guy Fawkes | El Eden and Daphne Major

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today hike through giant cactus and incense tree forests to reach Dragon Hill, the habitat of the colorful Santa Cruz land iguanas that have been brought back from the brink of extinction. Later you have the opportunity to snorkel along the steep, invertebrate-coated walls of the islets of Guy Fawkes. Learn about the ground-breaking research of scientists Peter and Rosemary Grant into natural selection among the finches of Daphne Major as the ship circumnavigates the famous islet. 

Day 14 Bartolome | Sombrero Chino

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit Bartolomé, an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves, and golden sand converge. You have the opportunity for an early morning hike to the summit of the cone, with stunning views of the famous Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding volcanic landscape. Later in the morning, enjoy some wonderful snorkeling from the beach, where you might encounter sea lions, small reef sharks, and even Galápagos penguins. In the afternoon continue to explore some of the small islets just off the coast of Santiago Island, this time a small volcano called “Sombrero Chino”, due to its resemblance to a Chinese hat. The stark lava flows form tubes and caves that are an important nesting area for Galápagos penguins, and the waters bathing the shore are rich in fish life. 

Day 15 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Endeavour sails into the caldera of Genovesa, known as “bird island”, where you can enjoy hikes among nesting colonies of swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds, and red-footed and Nazca boobies, all while keeping a look out for hunting short-eared owls. Ride Zodiacs and kayak along the base of the caldera wall, and snorkel among large schools of parrot fish and other tropical species. 

Day 16 Galápagos | Disembark | Guayaquil

Disembark and fly to Guayaquil. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure at the Hotel Hilton Colon. 

Day 17 Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Depart Guayaquil this morning.


Guayaquil - Hotels

Per person starting at
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 1
Main Deck Main Deck #202, 204, 221, 224 - Cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and two portholes.
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 1 Single
Main Deck # 219, 222; A Dec #309-312, 314-316, 318 - Sole Occupancy cabins have at least one lower single bed, a writing desk and a porthole.
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 2
Upper Deck #122, 125: Main Deck #201, 203, 206, 208, 210-212, 214-218, 220 - Cabins have two lower single beds and a writing desk. Upper Deck cabins have large windows and Main Deck cabins have two portholes.
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 2 Single
Upper Deck #124, 126, 127; Main Deck #205 - Sole Occupancy cabins have one lower single bed and at least one porthole.
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 3
Main Deck #209; A Deck #300, 350, 351 - Spacious cabins accommodating two or three, with two lower beds, sitting chair, writing desk, and two portholes.
Endeavour's Twin Cabin Category 1-4.
Select a Date
Cat 4
Upper Deck #102, 104-112, 114-116, 118, 120, 121, 123 - Conveniently located cabins feature two lower single beds and a writing desk.
Endeavour's Suite.
Select a Date
Cat 5
Upper Deck #117, 129. Finest accommodations on board, with separate sleeping and sitting areas, large view windows and a convertible sofa to accommodate a third person.


-Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender for the Category 1 and 2 cabins. Even if a cabinmate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
-50% off standard double rate for third traveler in Category 3 cabins
-Kids under age 18 save $500 per person
- FUEL SURCHARGE of $10/day

Cost Includes:
  • Accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Excursions
  • Services of Expedition Leader, Naturalist staff, expert guides, and a ship’s doctor
  • Use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wet suits
  • Port charges and service taxes
Not Included:
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc
  • Discretionary tips to ship’s crew

Child Discount

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


  • Accommodations on board Endeavour 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


  • Airfare (see Galapagos Flights)
  • Quito/Guayaquil Hotel and Transfers
  • $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
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Kevin M

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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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