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Sea lion on a pristine beach

Central Islands Cruise

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard M/C Elite
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This incredible 8-day cruise takes you across the archipelago, to the most emblematic locations. The Charles Darwin Research Station provides an opportunity to find out about the vital work that is being carried out to preserve the archipelago’s ecosystems. Discover El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, is a rocky stairway that leads you past a colony of Nazca and red-footed boobies lead up to a plateau of dried lava. Continuing through the thin Palo Santo forest and looking out over the plain, visitors are often treated to sites of storm petrels launching out over the ocean. Explore Kicker Rock, an iconic feature of the Galapagos that has been formed over time by the erosion of the cone of an extinct volcano.
Punta Suarez, Espanola Cruising in the Galapagos - Bachas Beach on Santa CruzOur first landing at Espanola- Punta SuarezKicker Rock, or Leon DormidoSea lion on a pristine beach
Highlights
  • Visit the historic David Rodriguez Breeding Center
  • Walk past nesting sites of large colonies of blue-footed boobies at Suarez Point
  • Experience the pristine white sandy beach of Gardner Bay
  • Take a panga ride to Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San Cristobal Airport | Embark | David Rodriguez Breeding Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive at San Cristobal airport where you will be transferred to the vessel.

A visit to the David Rodriguez Breeding Center provides information about the origin and evolution of the giant tortoise and explains why the center is so vital in safeguarding the future of these incredible creatures. Walking through the trails of the reserve, you can see baby tortoises being reared in seminatural conditions - a brilliant demonstration of the commitment the local people have to preserve the wildlife that makes the Galapagos so special.
Activities and Excursions: Walking
Difficulty: Soft

Day 2: Suarez Point | Gardner Bay, Gardner and Osborn Islets

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Suarez Point is packed with wildlife and is best explored by following the circular walking trail. This memorable walk will take you past nesting sites of large colonies of nazca and bluefooted boobies and mockingbirds. Unique to Española island are also the beautiful waved albatross, that can be seen majestically launching themselves out across the ocean from the cliffs and the red and green marine iguanas. A geological highlight are several blow holes, capable of shooting water 25m into the air, that make for a spectacular photo.
Activities and Excursions: Walking
Difficulty: Moderate

The pristine white sandy beach of Gardner Bay dotted with sea lions provides a perfect spot to relax and kayaking or paddle boarding is a fantastic way to observe a large number of waved albatross that use this beach as a breeding site. A short zodiac ride will take you to the Gardner and Osborn Islets, which are superb locations for snorkeling with young sea lions and a variety of colorful tropical fish and corals.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride, Kayak/Paddle Boarding
Difficulty: Moderate

Day 3: Cormorant Point | Devil’s Crown | Post Office Bay | The Baroness' Lookout

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cormorant Point features two contrasting beaches: one with olive-green sand due to the high content of olivine crystals, and another with pure white sand (commonly known as ‘Flour Beach’) derived from pulverized coral. The saltwater pond is a must-see as it is frequented by one of the archipelago’s largest populations of Galapagos flamingos as well as other shorebirds such as stilts, white-cheeked pintails, and large-billed flycatchers. Afterward, guests will take a zodiac ride to Devil´s Crown, an underwater volcanic crater that is almost completely submerged – in fact, just a small portion of the rock formation can be seen from above, and it looks like a crown. Snorkelers will discover a vast underwater world full of coral reefs and a myriad of marine species. Birds are also part of this visitor point due to their location in open waters.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride
Difficulty: Moderate

Post Office Bay is a man-made site that offers an insight into a remarkable mailing tradition developed by British whalers in the 18th century that visitors can still take part in today. The beach here provides for good snorkeling and kayaking and it is also possible to descend into and walk through a lava tube. Next, take a zodiac ride to the Baroness’ Lookout, a volcanic rock formation named after an Australian baroness, who visited the island in the 1930s and is believed to have mysteriously disappeared. A short trail leads to a brilliant vantage point with panoramic views of the surrounding mangroves and coastline.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride, Kayak/Paddle Boarding
Difficulty: Easy

Day 4: Mosquera Islet | Bachas Beach

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Mosquera islet is a small, flat, sandy islet located between Baltra and North Seymour islands. With no fixed trail, you are free to explore the beautiful surroundings on foot, where you will encounter a large population of sea lions, shorebirds, and the striking Sally Lightfoot crabs that cling to the dark rocks. The numerous coral reefs also make it a fantastic site for snorkeling and catching sight of a range of marine life including sharks, turtles, and rays.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling
Difficulty: Moderate

Bachas Beach is a beautiful white-sand beach on which the remnants of a rusted barge, thought to have been abandoned by the Americans during WWI, can be seen. It is a popular nesting site for turtles, so if you go for a snorkel, you might find yourself sharing the water with these wonderful creatures. The beach is also full of vibrant Sally Lightfoot and hermit crabs, and elegant pink flamingos that frequent the saltwater pond located just behind the beach. Activities and Excursions: Walk, Snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy

Day 5: Prince Philip's Steps | Darwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
El Barranco, also known as Prince Philip’s Steps, is a rocky stairway that will lead you past a colony of Nazca and red-footed boobies leads up to a plateau of dried lava. Continuing through the thin Palo Santo forest and looking out over the plain, visitors are often treated to sites of storm petrels launching out over the ocean. A zodiac ride or kayaking/paddle boarding along the edge of the cliffs provides a good chance to see the elusive Galapagos fur seals nestled on the rocks, and snorkeling is a great activity if you fancy a dip with a variety of shark species.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride, Kayak/Paddle Boarding
Difficulty: Moderate

Darwin Bay has a small sand and coral beach that provides the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding in calm, sheltered waters in the company of hammerhead sharks, rays, and a plethora of colorful reef fish. Onshore, a short trail leads along a tidal lagoon and mangroves, home to a variety of land bird species, including Nazca and red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. The trail culminates at a viewpoint that offers a stunning view overlooking the cliffs and the bay below.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride, Kayak/Paddle Boarding
Difficulty: Moderate

Day 6: Espumilla Beach | Buccaneer Cove | Egas Port

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Espumilla Beach, located on the northern coast of Santiago island, is an exquisite white sand beach, whose name refers to the meringue-like trails of foam left by the lapping of the waves. Sally Lightfoot crabs are in abundance here and as a result, it is common to see predatory birds such as hawks, herons, and pelicans. This idyllic location is perfect for snorkeling or kayaking/paddle boarding amongst a raft of marine life, including species of octopus, eels and sharks.

Buccaneer Cove has an interesting history as it is where sailors, buccaneers, and whalers frequently anchored their vessels in search of food and water. In more recent times it has become an important nesting site for turtles and is also popular with sea lions. A zodiac ride along the eroded shoreline provides views of intriguing rock formations that provide excellent ledges for boobies, pelicans, and gulls.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride, Kayak/Paddle Boarding
Difficulty: Moderate

Egas Port was once the site of a salt mine, but now this impressive black sand beach is an excellent location for snorkeling and observing shorebirds, Sally Lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. A stroll along the wide trails inland leads you past tidal pools and rocky volcanic formations known as grottoes where it is possible to spot fur seals enjoying a spot of shade.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling
Difficulty: Easy

Day 7: Black Turtle Cove | Highlands and Charles Darwin Research Station

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The first visit of the day is to Black Turtle Cove, which is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. It is a living illustration of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat. Three mangrove species crowd the area from the shore out into a shallow lake that reaches almost a mile inland. As you drift through quiet waters in the zodiac, you are likely to see spotted eagle rays and diamond-shaped mustard rays, which swim in a diamond formation. White-tipped reef sharks slip beneath the boat and Pacific green sea turtles come to the surface for air and to mate. Waterfowl, including pelicans, herons, and egrets, all feed in the cove. It’s a peaceful place where visitors often have up-close encounters with Galapagos wildlife, often making it a highlight of the trip!
Activities and Excursions: Zodiac ride
Difficulty: Easy

On the highlands of Santa Cruz, you’ll have the opportunity to see the famous giant tortoises in the wild. So renowned are these endemic animals that they gave the archipelago its name. Birdwatching is also one of the activities do to in the Santa Cruz highlands since this area is home to finches and other Galapagos birds. After the visit to the highlands, continue to the famous Charles Darwin Research Station which provides guests with a unique opportunity to find out about the vital work that is being carried out to preserve the archipelago’s ecosystems. The Research Center is also home to a significant breeding program for Galapagos tortoises, whose numbers have been in decline since the 1970s. These captivating reptiles are very accustomed to humans, so be sure to bring your camera for some close-ups.
Activities and Excursions: Walking
Difficulty: Easy

Day 8: Lobos Island | Disembark | San Cristobal Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
Accessed by Zodiac, Lobos Island gets its name from the herds of sea lions that have made their home here. Snorkeling in the calm clear water provides a unique opportunity to see these inquisitive and playful animals up close and it is also common to be accompanied by green turtles and rays as well. Inland, there is a trail where you can expect to encounter nesting sites for blue-footed boobies and frigates.
Activities and Excursions: Walking, Snorkeling, Zodiac ride
Difficulty: Moderate

Disembark and depart from San Cristobal airport.

Ship/Hotel

M/C Elite

M/C Elite
M/C Elite Passenger lounge
M/C Elite Dining area

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$9,490
M/C Elite Golden Suite
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Golden Suite
Approximately 35 m2 the Golden Suites are spacious and comfortable. Each suite features an ocean view, sliding glass doors to an outdoor balcony, and rainforest-style showers in a private bathroom.

Child Discount

25% Discount applies when traveling with two adults. Children must be under 12 years old by the time they 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, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snorkeling equipment, wetsuits, kayaks, and paddleboards are all included in the cruise cost and are available for your use onboard.
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide 
  • Adventure Life Pre-departure Services and In-Country Assistance (Quito Representative)
  • Shore Excursions, Swimming and Snorkeling 
  • Transfers and Baggage Handling in the Galapagos
  • Soft drinks and juices
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: $200 per adult, $100 per child under 12 (fees of $100 per adult and $50 per child valid on arrivals through Aug 1, 2024). Payable upon arrival to the Galapagos, only in cash dollars. Subject to increase by Galapagos Park Service.
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

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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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