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Galapagos seaside

West Galapagos

Santa Cruz - Baltra - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Aqua Mare
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Sailing from Puerto Ayora, this 8-day voyage takes you across some of the archipelago’s most volcanically active islands for extraordinary explorations amid shield volcanoes and basalt lava flows. Swim with sea lions against the stunning backdrop of a volcanic red sand beach at Rábida Island, witness the legendary mating dance of blue-footed boobies at Seymour Norte, and marvel at white-tipped reef sharks and sea turtles in the shallow waters of Caleta Tortuga Negra.
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Highlights
  • Enjoy the majestic landscapes of Isabela Island.
  • Explore the cove and surroundings at Darwin Lake.
  • Visit Playa Espumilla, a well-known breeding ground for sea turtles
  • Discover Rábida Island, also known as the red island.
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Puerto Ayora | Fausto Llerena Breeding Centre, Santa Cruz Island

Once you arrive at the airport, you will be met by our team and escorted on a cross island van and ferry transfer of approximately 1.5 hours to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Receive a warm welcome aboard Aqua Mare, the Galapagos Islands’ first 50m luxury superyacht with our 16-strong crew where you will be treated with the utmost attention courtesy of our 1:1 crew to guest ratio. A delicious Nikkei-inspired feast crafted by consultant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will be served for lunch. At your leisure, pick out your snorkeling kit complete with mask, fins, snorkel, and an optional shorty wetsuit for your personal use during the week. You will also receive as a welcome gift a special waterproof bag to place your belongings during wet landings and an Aqua Expeditions water bottle.

This afternoon you will visit Darwin Station and National Park headquarters, located at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center. Our scientific team and expedition leaders will guide you through the grounds to observe these giant reptiles and learn about the conservation program of tortoises and land iguanas. You will have some leisure time to explore the main town of Puerto Ayora after the visit. We recommend strolling along the main waterfront where you can stop by the many boutiques and jewelry shops before heading back to the ship for an evening of lecture and inspiration for the next day, then to indulge in your first taste of fresh seafood dining in the Galapagos.

Day 2: Punta Cormorant | Bahía Post Office | Mirador De La Baronesa, Floreana Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For your second morning in the Galapagos, we will be anchored in the southern part of the Archipelago at Floreana Island. After breakfast, the morning wet landing excursion will take you to a big brackish water lagoon to observe Greater Flamingos, ducks, black-necked stilts and other shore birds at Punta Cormorant. You will be able to observe where sea turtles nest at night, and spot stingrays and sharks swimming very close to the shore. Later you will return to the boat to prepare for kayaking or take a short tender ride to Devil’s Crown for snorkeling.

Enjoy a splendid lunch consisting of fresh Ecuadorian recipes with an Andean twist before heading back out to Floreana to pay tribute to an old island tradition at Bahia Post Office. The visit will follow another quick tour of what once was a fishing enterprise in the 1920s before continuing onboard the tenders to visit Mirador de la Baronesa. Another delicious feast showcasing Japanese technique combined with Peruvian seasoning using only the freshest local fish and seafood awaits when you return onboard Aqua Mare. Stay out on the upper deck with a cocktail if you would like to admire the northern and southern hemispheres’ starlit skies tonight.

Day 3: Punta Moreno | Bahía Urbina, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a night of sailing, the morning sees our beautiful superyacht anchored on the western side of Isabela Island. As the biggest and youngest in the Archipelago, Isabela was formed by five relatively young volcanoes and is characterized by giant tortoises and marine iguanas. For the morning excursion, a hike at Punta Moreno takes us to the mangroves and gas-rich basaltic lava rocks resulting from a large basaltic lava flow which came from the Cerro Azul volcano on Isabela hundreds of years ago. There are mangrove lagoons along the shore and small saltwater lagoons inland, where you will observe ducks, shore birds, stilts, blue-winged teals, flamingos, and gallinules. After the visit you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling near the shore or return to the yacht to rest and enjoy the majestic landscapes Isabela has to offer. In the afternoon, the boat will sail north to Bahía Urbina, a 6km point, once underwater and uplifted in 1954 up to 3m above sea level. Here you can see tortoises, land iguanas and the biggest marine iguanas roaming free in the Archipelago. We end the day with an unforgettable view of Isabela’s five volcanoes as we dine on refreshing seafood salads, baked fish, potato llapinggachos, tuna crudo, barbequed plantains, and shrimp ceviche beneath the stars.

Day 4: Punta Espinoza, Fernandina Island | Caleta Tagus, Isabela Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the morning early with a workout on our upper deck at our next anchorage point of Punta Espinoza, part of a huge lava flow formed from one of the many eruptions of La Cumbre volcano, known to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, Galapagos hawks, lizards and snakes, you will spend the morning onshore with the option to snorkel before returning to the yacht for a sumptuous lunch and lecture on the geology of the Galapagos from one of our expert scientist guides.

As Aqua Mare crosses the Bolivar Channel back towards Isabela Island, prepare to channel your inner pirate for the afternoon excursion visiting Caleta Tagus, once a favorite anchorage spot for pirates and whalers. Here we will hike to see Darwin Lake, a saltwater lake trapped inside a tuff cone. If you would rather not hike, you can take your pick from our eight double kayaks, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, or a ride on our elegant black tenders to explore the cove and its surroundings. Return to the yacht for evening sundowners and head to the bridge after dinner for a chat with our captain as we cross the equatorial line twice while rounding the top of Isabela Island sailing to our next anchorage point.

Day 5: Puerta Egas, Playa Espumilla | Caleta Bucanero, Santiago Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For those who missed the equatorial crossing the night before, ask our crew for your very own equator crossing certificate - although this is usually reserved for our young explorers, even the young at heart will proudly be able to take this home! This morning sees us disembark on the black sand beaches of Puerto Egas, northwest of Santiago Island. Once the location of a salt mine (1967), today you can take a two and a half-hour hike to find the abandoned mine turned into a shallow saltwater lake. For those who prefer to stay by the beach, you will be able to walk the intertidal zone to the fur seal grottos or snorkel to watch sea turtles, sea lions and white-tipped sharks.

We head back to the yacht for lunch encompassing flavors of the South American Pacific coast and Peruvian Nikkei style crafted by Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Then our tenders will continue their adventure to Playa Espumilla, where a wet landing will set us upon a golden sandy beach, a well-known breeding ground for sea turtles. You will also visit Caleta Bucanero, a 17th century pirate rest stop where pirates used to stock up on fresh tortoise meat and fresh water. The day will end with a choice of snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding before winding down back onboard with Happy Hour over a glass of our special Aqua Bloody Mary as the crew prepares for departure to our next adventure.

Day 6: Rábida Island | Caleta Tortuga Negra, Santa Cruz Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake to the sounds of nature and a fresh breakfast before departing by tender to Rábida Island, also known as the red island. The color is the result of oxidation of very old porous lava. You will be able to hike, take out one of our eight double kayaks, stand-up paddle board, or snorkel, as well as observe hundreds of sea lions who have made their home on the beach.

After a delicious lunch, you can listen to an afternoon lecture on the evolution of Darwin’s finches presented by our expert guides in the panoramic lounge. The Aqua Mare will sail towards the north of Santa Cruz Island, to Caleta Tortuga Negra, a mangrove estuary that is home to sea turtles. This is a tender ride excursion as there is no landing site, but you will be able to spot green sea turtles, as well as three different types of sharks: the black tip, the Galapagos, and the famous blue shark. End this glorious day by discovering more of our signature Ecuadorian cuisine with an Andean twist courtesy of Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino - we recommend the Galapagueña lobster lettuce wraps with Acevichado dressing.

Day 7: North Seymour Island | Mosquera Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your penultimate day in the Archipelago begins with refreshing breakfast before heading out to North Seymour Island, formed by uprisings of underwater volcanic lavas some 3.1 million years ago. The island is mostly known for its healthy population of land iguanas, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and Great frigate birds. After a morning full of fun activities, you will head back to the yacht for a delicious lunch aboard Aqua Mare.

For the afternoon excursion, hop on to one of our tenders for a wet landing onto Mosquera Island. While the rock pile is one of the smallest in the Archipelago, it is home to one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos, and if you’re lucky you may even spot migratory orcas. Around sunset you will return to the sleek comfort of Aqua Mare for your last evening aboard. Swap notes on everything you’ve experienced during this most incredible adventure with your friends onboard and toast farewell with something special from our curated wine list.

Day 8: Daphne Island | Baltra Island

  • 1 Breakfast
The last day begins with a luxurious breakfast set against the morning sunrise before setting out for one final excursion by tender. You will enjoy the views of the fragile visitor site of Daphne Island, a scientific use zone for scientists studying Darwin's finches. You will observe Nazca boobies, red-billed tropic birds, and blue-footed boobies nesting at Daphne Major terraces, which is also the site of a 40-year study on the evolution in Darwin’s finches, demonstrating evolution occurring over short periods of time.

We return to the ship for a refreshing juice and to pack up the last of your belongings as we set sail to Baltra Island, bidding farewell to our crew and beautiful home for the past week. You will be escorted to the airport for your flight back to the mainland and onward journey home with all the wonderful memories we hope you will cherish forever.

Ship/Hotel

Aqua Mare

Aqua Mare Dining Area
Aqua Mare Jacuzzi
Aqua Mare Sun Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$9,450
Aqua Mare Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite
Located on the main deck, a grand suite like this rarely becomes available unless you charter an entire superyacht. For the exceptional few booking the Owner’s Suite on Aqua Mare, this is one way to assure a trip of a lifetime. At 80 square meters, this luxurious cabin leaves every hotel suite behind. The Owner’s Suite boasts a California king-size bed and multiple closets that will make your home closet envious with its grand beam-to-beam size. Eight large windows plus two more in the bathroom complete that extra over-the-top luxury. A separate study can be conveniently closed off for private dining or to accommodate two more guests in lower and upper beds (the upper one being a comfortable pullman). The bathroom features a large double shower, separate toilet, and vanity with sofa for added comfort. Additional features include a large hydraulic 40" TV hidden from view, two armchairs, and veneer craftsmanship of the highest standards. It has a separate fresh intake valve and is a suite is made for an A-list guest who expects only the best of the best.
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Category II
This 26 square meter cabin is located on the Main Deck and is among the first suites to be booked. A comfortable king-sized bed faces a large window, allowing you to enjoy spectacular views from your bed. Two custom built-in armchairs provide space to catch up on reading or plan for your next excursions. The en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower and plenty of counter space and storage capacity. A separate closet area provides some privacy for the early riser in the couple. An automatic built-in popup TV entertains you in case you want to catch up on your latest Netflix episodes that can be air-played onto the large 40-inch screen. Raw silk wall panels ensure a high level of luxury.
Aqua Mare Category III cabins
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Category III
Located on the lower deck via an elegant circular staircase, this cabin is very quiet. It has a good amount of light streaming in through two oval portholes. Fitted with a queen-sized bed, incredible veneer panels, and suede ceiling panels, this suite is luxurious. Tucked in the corner is a stylish leather desk complete with a comfortable bamboo armchair. Like all suites, it also boasts a flat-screen TV seamlessly built into one of the walls, complete with an Apple TV for air playing your pre-downloaded TV shows or streaming your music to the in-room sound system. The bathroom spans the entire width of the cabin and is illuminated via its porthole. Double sinks and plenty of storage space provide room enough for two. A large walk-in shower and armchair in the bathroom are also a clear indication of the spaciousness of this superyacht.
Aqua Mare Category IV cabin
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Category IV
For those wanting a twin cabin that is located on the lower deck, this is the perfect fit. If you're traveling with family, there is also the option to transform it into a triple cabin. Two large lower twin beds and one beautifully tucked-in Pullman accommodate three adults comfortably. Two portholes and one in the bathroom provide natural light throughout the cabin. A cozy leather-clad desk adds comfort with its elegant bamboo chair. The same craftsmanship is present in all our cabins and this suite shows off the versatility of the Italian CRN yard. The spacious bathroom is fitted with top-of-the-line finishing including Italian marble and veneers.
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Category V
Located on the Bridge Deck, this suite complete with a queen-sized bed is located on the highest level of the yacht. The cozy and complete small bathroom suits all needs. Ample closet space is sufficient to unpack fully for your seven nights onboard. It even comes with a leather-clad writing desk and a comfortable bamboo writing chair. A great room with plenty of natural light and a wonderful private view from the large panoramic window.

Notes

Inclusions:
  • All meals while on board
  • Premium selected wines and beer, non-alcoholic drinks
  • Excursions with knowledgeable local guides
  • Group transfers between vessel and airport
  • Laundry
  • Internet connection
  • All excursions, Galapagos Park entrance fee and INGALA transit card
  • Use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards
Exclusions:
  • All air tickets, visas, private transfers
  • spirits and premium wines
  • boutique purchases
  • guide and crew gratuities

Map

When to Go

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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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