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Galapagos penguin by the water

Island Circumnavigation

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Galapagos Horizon
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Embark on an 8-day cruise aboard the Galapagos Horizon around the stunning Galapagos Islands. 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 shorebirds, and short hikes to panoramic views. Visiting Baltra, Isabela, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, South Plaza, Floreana and more!
Hiking through cacti in the GalapagosSnorkeling with friendsA male frigatebird rests in the trees of the GalapagosA pair of friendly sea lionsGalapagos penguin by the water
Highlights
  • Discover the impresive natural beauty of Sullivan Bay
  • Keep an eye out for the magnificent mola-mola sunfish!
  • Hike, swim and snorkel across the Galapagos Islands
  • Visit South Plaza home to one of the largest sea lion colonies
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Baltra Airport | Sullivan Bay, Santiago Island

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands aboard the Galapagos Horizon. The guide and crew greet you and show you to your accommodations upon your arrival. Afterwards, the guide and cruise manager hold a short briefing on all safety and emergency protocols, different areas of the vessel and the normal routine of the itinerary.
 
Southeast of Santiago Island, Sullivan Bay shows off an interesting lava field with a geologically young flow from 1897. Because the rocks are black and formed of lava, it can get quite hot. Appropriate footwear is required for this visit in order to protect your feet.
 
Activities: Hiking, swimming, and snorkeling.
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs.
What to Bring: Sturdy hiking shoes and walking sticks to aid on the uneven terrain.

Day 2: Vicente Roca Point, Isabela Island | Espinosa Point, Fernandina Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Isabela Island is the largest of all the Galapagos islands. It is most famously known as the island shaped as a seahorse. While in the panga, keep an eye out for the magnificent mola-mola sunfish!
 
Activities: Snorkeling and panga ride
Difficulty:  Easy/Moderate
Landing: No Landing
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, blue-footed boobies, various shorebirds, mola-mola sunfish, sea turtles, Galapagos penguins, Nazca boobies, sally lightfoot crabs.
What to Bring: Dry bag for a camera or any electronics brought onto the panga. 

Between the Bolivar Channel dividing Isabela and Fernandina Islands lies Espinosa Point. The highlight of this visit is the nesting colony of the Flightless Cormorant, which over time lost its ability to fly due to evolutions distinct changes, helping it swim better and faster. Also seen at this site is the incredible remnants of solid magma, but watch your step for the many marine iguanas known to crowd the area.
 
Activities: Hike
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry but may be slippery at low tide
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, sally lightfoot crabs, flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins, fur seals and marine iguanas.
What to Bring: Walking sticks and sturdy footwear.

Day 3: Tagus Cove | Urbina Bay, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If you like historic remnants, then you can enjoy finding what was left behind by pirates and sailors in the 1800s. This site was one of their preferred pit stops while traveling the seas. The hike here will provide incredible views of the cove and on the other side the mangrove forest where the last 35 pairs of Mangrove finches thrive.
 
Activities: Hike, snorkeling and panga ride
Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs, mangrove finches.
What to Bring: Walking sticks and sturdy footwear for the hike, a camera is a must!
 
Millions of years ago, Urbina Bay was once laying on the ocean floor. Volcanic uplifts caused it to rise and now it is occupied by sea lions, land iguanas and flightless cormorants.  It is a great place to enjoy some free time on the beach or the guide may suggest a hike.
 
Activities: Hike, snorkeling and panga ride
Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, various shorebirds, flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, sea turtles, land iguanas, Galapagos Hawk, sally lightfoot crabs, Galapagos tortoise.
 

Day 4: Elizabeth Bay | Moreno Point, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the eastern coast of Isabela Island is Elizabeth Bay with many islets. These parts are visited by panga and on the rocky shores, Galapagos penguins can be seen. There is a large abundance of marine life that can be seen in the clear waters.  It is great for snorkeling.
 
Activities: Panga ride
Difficulty:  Easy
Landing: No Landing
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, frigate birds, sea turtles, various shorebirds, flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, pelicans, sally lightfoot crabs, tropical fish and marine life such as Galapagos sharks.

The beautiful rocky shores of Moreno Point offers a plethora of birds to be seen.  It is truly a birders delight. The main attraction is the coast lagoons where white tipped sharks can be seen and the panoramic views of Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes cannot be missed.
 
Activities: Hike, snorkeling and panga ride
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: Sea lions, great blue herons, various shorebirds, flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs, sea turtles, land iguanas, Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos tortoise.

Day 5: Charles Darwin Station | Santa Cruz Island - Highlands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Charles Darwin Research Station is one of the Galapagos Island’s most important sites for visitors. It is a research facility that has an extensive collection of Galapagos plant life specimens carefully preserved and also acts as a biological research station and active breeding center operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation.
 
Activities: Visit the research station
Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Galapagos tortoises in captivation and various stages of tortoises.

The highlands are located in the northern part of Santa Cruz and can reach elevations up to 1500 meters. This area is rich with hills, ferns, volcanoes and, wildlife.  A great contrast to the molten lava harden beaches and rocky areas of other islands already seen.  It is home to giant tortoises, mockingbirds, finches and many other species.
 
Activities: Hike
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Galapagos tortoises, finches, mockingbirds, lava lizards, pintail ducks, other shorebirds.

Day 6: Post Office Bay | Devil’s Crown | Cormorant Point, Floreana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home.


Highlights: Post office barrel, nice sandy beach
Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles/1 km) & snorkeling
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy

Just off of Floreana Island is a fantastic snorkeling site known as Devil’s Crown. Various tropical fish species can be seen, even Galapagos sharks or white-tipped sharks. Sea lions can be seen hunting for fish or playing through schools of hundreds of fish in circles, it is really quite the site to see. Cormorant Point on Floreana Island is a great place to see one of the places where flamingos live in saltwater lagoons. Walking along the trail after the lagoon leads to a hidden beach great for walking in the soft sand. Watch your feet if walking in the water, stingrays love to hang out here as well.
 
Activities: Snorkeling and hiking
Difficulty: Snorkeling - Moderate to difficult / Hike - easy
Landing: Wet
Possible Wildlife: frigatebirds, sea lions, sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, white-tipped sharks, tropical fish, various shorebirds and seabirds, marine life.
What to Bring: If you have an underwater camera, this is definitely one of the best places to bring it while snorkeling.

This site hosts a large flamingo lagoon where other birds such as common stilts and white-cheeked pintails can also be seen. The beaches on this island are distinct: The “Green Beach” is named so due to its green color, which comes from a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand, and the “Four Sand Beach” is composed of white coral.

Highlights: Flamingos, green-colored beach
Activities: Dinghy ride & hike (1.2 miles /2 km)
Type of Landing: Wet landing
Difficulty: Easy

Day 7: Santa Fe Island | Lobos Island, San Cristobal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Santa Fe is home to the endemic Santa Fe iguana. The island was created by a volcanic uplift that now hosts a forest of Opuntia and Palo Santo trees. It is a picturesque island with two different trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint and the other leading to a small beach.
 
Activities: Hike
Difficulty:  Moderate
Landing: Dry
Possible Wildlife: Santa Fe land iguanas, frigatebirds, sally lightfoot crabs, sea lions, finches, various shorebirds.
What to Bring: Sturdy footwear for hiking and walking sticks. 

The name of this island means "Sea Lion Island." This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open, well, fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities and the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

Highlights: Snorkeling with sea lions, frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies
Activities: Short hike (less than 0.6 miles/1 km), dinghy ride and / or snorkeling.
Type of Landing: Dry landing
Difficulty: Easy / moderate

Day 8: Tortoise Breeding Center, San Cristobal Island

  • 1 Breakfast
Visit David Rodriguez Breeding Center a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Admire the hatchling turtles from their birth until they are 120 days old when the grown turtles are taken to their natural habit. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warblers, finches and mockingbirds, and giant tortoises can be observed along the trail.
 
Activities: Short hike (0,6 mi / 1Km)
Difficulty: Easy
Landing: Dry
 
Transfer to Airport
 

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Per person starting at
$7,550
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312 ft2 / 29 m2. Located on the main and upper decks, two twin beds convertible into one matrimonial bed. All cabins with private balconies, private bathrooms hot water and air-conditioning.

Child Discount

20% discount for children under age 12 at time of Galapagos cruise. Child discounts are conditional and may not apply on certain departures. Please contact us for more information.

Children under 12 may receive discounts on Galapagos flight fares and entrance fees. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Galapagos Park Entrance Fee: $100 per adult, $50 per child under 12

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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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