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Iconic wildlife of the Galapagos sunning themselves

San Cristobal to San Cristobal

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Silver Origin
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Join the 8-day cruise aboard Silver Origin for your great Galapagos adventure. If ever the world had a universal bucket-list destination, the Galapagos is it. Mysterious, otherworldly, strange and uninhabited, the archipelago has been pulling travelers to its shores for years. And now it’s your turn. Travel on one of life’s most coveted journeys to the islands that literally changed the way we think. A once in a lifetime voyage that is so amazing, you’ll want to do it again and again.
Galapagos PenguinsSnorkeling the tropical waters of the Galapagos islands.Blue-footed boobies perched on volcanic rocksFamily-friendly hiking in the GalapagosWildlife in the GalapagosIconic wildlife of the Galapagos sunning themselves
Highlights
  • Swim in the most beautiful white sand beaches of the Galapagos
  • Visit the impressive lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago
  • Experience the turquoise color water and white sandy beach in Española
  • Discover extraordinary wildlife in Galapagos such as marine iguanas, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: San Cristobal | Embark

Like so many of the islands in the Galapagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 8,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galapagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.

Day 2: Prince Philips Step's | Darwin Bay, Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Genovesa is one of the northernmost islands of the archipelago. Genovesa’s southern side of the shield volcano’s crater collapsed and a protected bay known as Darwin Bay was formed. The island is often referred to as the “Bird Island” as the numbers and species of land and seabirds on Genovesa are quite extraordinary. There are two visitor sites, and Prince Philip’s Steps give access to the flat plateau above the bay. Named after Prince Philip who visited the Galapagos on two occasions, the “steps” are mostly natural. The steep cliffs are home to Red-billed Tropicbirds, while Magnificent Frigatebirds, Nazca and Red-footed Boobies prefer the top. The plateau above Prince Philip’s Steps has a palo santo forest and an extensive lava field. This is an area where one of the Galapagos’ top predators, the Short-eared Owl, is hunting storm petrels. The Short-eared Owls are extremely well camouflaged and are not always easy to spot in between the rocks.


At Genovesa Island the ship tucks into Darwin Bay, an ancient volcanic crater now flooded by the sea. Zodiacs land on a picturesque sandy beach where Galapagos sea lions often rest on the fine, white sand. Explorations along the shore may reveal marine iguanas looking like prehistoric dinosaurs in miniature. By heading inland a short distance visitors could encounter seabirds of all shapes and sizes nesting in the vegetation. Scores of immature Red-footed Boobies perch on branches within an arm’s reach of the path. In addition, watch for Great Frigatebirds and Yellow-crowned Night Herons along the walk. There is also fantastic snorkeling in the waters of Darwin Bay with the opportunity to see large schools of reef fish and brightly colored sea stars.

Day 3: North Seymour | Sullivan Bay (Santiago)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The landing at North Seymour Island is onto black lava rock. After a short climb, visitors arrive on the island’s flat plateau where a number of sea lions nurse pups and frigatebirds nest. The island is dry, and so the predominant tree is the prickly pear cactus favored by the Galapagos land iguanas that live here in number. The undulating terrain is littered with red-brown volcanic boulders and large male Magnificent Frigatebirds can be seen inflating their vivid red gular sacs in hopes of impressing females flying overhead. At certain times of the year, pairs of Blue-footed Boobies dance here in a ritualized mating dance that reinforces their pair bond and shows off their vivid blue feet. The snorkeling here is well-known for schools of colorful creole wrasses and parrotfish.

The lava fields of Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island will inevitably remind visitors of the surface of the moon. As brilliant red Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttle along the black volcanic shores, learn about the formation of the islands through geological forces from your guides. The lava flows here are just over one hundred years old and date back to 1897. The lava took on a rope-like appearance and geologists have adopted a Hawaiian word, pahoehoe, as the technical name for this kind of volcanic rock.

Day 4: Punta Mangle, Fernandina | Punta Moreno, Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Among the impressive new lava fields of Fernandina Island hides a cove surrounded by mangroves. A rewarding place for bird-watching as the bay is the point where the land meets the sea, joining the two environments, with sea birds, shorebirds and land birds all in the same place. The different species of mangroves: Red, White and Black, have formed a root system that serves as a nursery for many species of fish, including juveniles sharks and green sea turtles. Snorkeling is as rewarding with some unique sightings as Marine Iguanas feeding on algae, or flightless cormorants diving for their prey.

The impressive Pahoehoe lava field lies between two active volcanoes, Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul, on the south coast of Isabela Island. The rich waters of Cromwell Current wash the shores, and as a result, you can see the largest marine iguanas of the archipelago basking on the rocks, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins diving for food. During the walk you will experience, as an oasis in a desert of lava, some coastal lagoons in the middle of the field, here you can find shorebirds such as White-cheeked Pintail Ducks, Black-necked Stilts and even sometimes Flamingos.

Day 5: Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora | Isla Santa Fé

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the center’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station, there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

This island is home to a reptile that exists nowhere else in the world: The Santa Fe Land Iguana. A beach covered by sea lions is the beginning of our adventure where sea lions’ pups welcome the visitors with their naive curiosity. Then a rocky terrain will guide us to explore the island and the view from the cliff becomes a reward by itself. View some of the tallest and widest prickly pear cactus of the islands. Also, know for beautiful snorkeling and kayaking.

Day 6: Gardner Bay, Española | Punta Suarez, Española

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the northern coast of Española, the turquoise colour water and white sandy beach stand out from far away. This beach is made out of pulverised shells and corals offers a sandy patch of up to 1 kilometre in length. Española is considered one of the oldest in the Galapagos and has thus developed species that are endemic. Along the coast of Gardner, a subspecies of colourful Marine iguanas are living among Hood Mockingbirds. The apex predators Galapagos Hawks commonly visit the coastline and a couple of times a Giant tortoise has been seen here.

Punta Suárez lies at the western point of Española, the oldest island in the Galápagos. Sheer cliffs provide superb thermals for seabirds and you may spot Swallow-tailed Gulls, Nazca Boobies and Blue-footed Boobies on the breeze. The largest seabird to nest in the Galapagos Islands is the Waved Albatross. These ocean wanderers can be seen seasonally here from April through December, when pairs reunite on Española, going through an elaborate pair-bonding display. Mockingbirds, doves, and occasional Galápagos Hawks can also be seen on the point, along with sea lions and colourful marine iguanas.

Day 7: Cerro Brujo, San Cristóbal

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An impressive tuff cone has been carved by erosion into an outstanding natural sculpture, being a resting place for marine birds such as blue-footed bobbies and brown pelicans. One of the most beautiful white-sand beaches of the Galapagos (swim or snorkel). View sea lions, sally light-footed crabs, blue-footed bobbies. Behind the dunes, you find a coastal lagoon, which was visited in the past by the locals to extract salt, today it is home to some shorebirds such as stilts and plovers.

Day 8: San Cristóbal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Origin for your return flight from San Cristobal Airport.

Ship/Hotel

Silver Origin

Massage Area
Hair & Nails Spa
Explorer's Lounge

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$9,990
Classic Veranda
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Classic Veranda Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Private veranda with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and comfortable sitting area.
Superior Veranda
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Superior Veranda Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Private veranda with Horizon Balcony and comfortable sitting area.
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Deluxe Veranda Suite
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Medallion Suite
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Medallion Suite
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Silver Suite
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Silver Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large veranda with patio furniture, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, comfortable sitting area and ocean-view whirlpool bath.
Royal Suite
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Royal Suite
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Grand Suite
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Grand Suite
Twin beds or king-sized bed. Large veranda with patio furniture, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, comfortable sitting area and ocean-view whirlpool bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite
Twin beds or king-sized bed. Large veranda with patio furniture, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, comfortable sitting area and ocean-view whirlpool bath.

Notes

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity, and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • Personalised service – the best crew-to-guest ratio in cruising
  • Butler service in every suite and stateroom – all guests are pampered equally
  • Open-seating dining options – dine when and with whomever you please
  • Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship – including champagne, select wines and spirits
  • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  • Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  • Gratuities always included in your fare
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
Not included in your cruise fare:
  • Additional Airfare 
  • Optional hotel accommodation
  • Fuel surcharges
  • Optional shore excursions 
  • Meals ashore
  • Accommodation while ashore
  • Security surcharges 
  • Any item or service of a personal nature such as casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques, childcare services aboard ship, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures.
  • Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare.

Child Discount

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
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time

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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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