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lounging in the harbor - Santa Cruz

Following Darwin's Footsteps

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Grace
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Embark on an 8-day journey that will immerse you in the wonders of the world, making this a truly memorable vacation. There will be many close encounters with the exotic and curious creatures that call these islands their home. They love to interact with people and make the daily excursions an exceptional experience. Enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking in the pristine crystalline waters of this incredible area. Indulge your senses and bask in the beauty that surrounds while on vacation in the incredible Galapagos.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Baltra - Santa Cruz Island
Day 2 : Santa Fe - South Plaza Island
Day 3 : Genovesa
Day 4 : Fernandina - Isabela
Day 5 : Isabela
Day 6 : Santiago
Day 7 : Santa Cruz Island - Charles Darwin Center
Day 8 : San Cristobal


  • Relax on an olivine crystal beach and watch sea lions bask in the sun
  • Go on a hike to spot one of the largest species of land iguanas
  • Visit Tagus Cove and see the names of ships carved into the ridge
  • Enjoy exploratory snorkeling in the beautiful waters of Santa Cruz Island



Places Visited

  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos
  • South America
  • Baltra
  • Charles Darwin Center
  • Darwin Bay
  • Espinosa Point
  • Espumilla Beach
  • Fernandina
  • Genovesa
  • Highlands
  • Isabela
  • James Bay
  • Prince Philip's Steps
  • San Cristobal
  • San Cristobal Airport
  • San Cristobal Interpretation Center
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Fe
  • Santiago
  • South Plaza Island
  • Tagus Cove
  • Urbina Bay
  • Vicente Roca Point
  • Whale Bay


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

lounging in the harbor - Santa Cruz Beach time at Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal Sea Turtle, Fernandina Kayaking the warm waters of the Galapagos with the sun bathing iguanas

Day 1 Baltra - Santa Cruz Island

Arrive at the Baltra airport where a guide will be waiting to escort you to a bus that will take you to the waterfront. Once aboard the ship, you will check in and receive a short informative introduction before continuing on the first excursion. Bahia Ballena, or Whaler's Bay, was once a staging area for the tall ships that visited the Santa Cruz. There are still remnants of the settlers that used to live here. There is a beautiful olivine crystal beach at this location where sea lions prefer to bask in the sun. Take a hike inland for the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including frigatebirds. Have the opportunity to do some exploratory snorkeling in the beautiful waters.

Day 2 Santa Fe - South Plaza Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Santa Fe offers an incredible turquoise lagoon that is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming the perfect anchorage. It is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago. Enjoy interactions with the friendly sea lions that hang out on the beach here. An ascending trail that leads toward the cliffs allows for an opportunity to spot one of the largest species of land iguanas endemic to Santa Fe. Santa Fe offers some advance kayaking opportunities for those who are in the mood.

South Plazas Island likes just off the coast of Santa Cruz and is one of the smallest but richest islands in the archipelago. It is rich with lush and diverse flora including green prickly-pear cacti and red sesuvium. There is a very healthy population of sea lions making their home here as well as unique birdlife such as Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls.

Day 3 Genovesa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a walk up the beach of Darwin Bay and witness the bustling activity of the great frigate birds. Farther along the trail there are a series of pools set in the rocky outcrop and marine iguanas, lava lizards, and Galapagos doves rest close to the trail. Across the bay at Prince Phillip's Steps, there is some amazing snorkeling to be had at this location with a variety of marine life. The stairway is a 25-meter stretch that opens out onto the plateau surrounding Darwin Bay. Have a chance to observe the red-footed boobies, the masked-booby, and, with luck, even get a glimpse at the short-eared owls.

Day 4 Fernandina - Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fernandina is the youngest and westernmost island of the Galapagos and is the home of Punta Espinosa at the northeast corner of the island. There are a number of unique species on this island including penguins, red and turquoise-blue zayapas crabs, blue and lava herons, marine iguanas, sea lions, etc. Down the shore from one of the most active volcanoes in the world, La Cumbre, is the location of one of the world's only species of flightless cormorants. The snorkeling here offers some amazing sites as well.

Urbina Bay is the next stop that is home to the giant land iguanas who have vivid yellow skin making them very colorful. There are also giant tortoises on the coastal plain during the wet season before migrating to the highlands.

Day 5 Isabela

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tagus Cove, named after a british warship, was used for an anchorage by pirates and whalers. You can still see the names of the ships carved into the ridge, a practice that is now prohibited. Take a panga ride to view where blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, pelicans, and noddy terns make their nests. Take a walk up a wooden stairway to Darwin Lake which is a round, saltwater crater.

At the northern part of Isabela lies Punta Vicente Roca. An ancient volcano formed two turquoise coves with a perfectly calm bay inside. This calmness makes it an ideal spot for diving. Snorkeling here offers the opportunity to see sea lions, turtles, spotted eagle rays, and manta rays.

Punta Albemarle is the location of an abandoned radar station from WWII that can still be seen. It is also a prime nesting location for the flightless cormorant, and the largest marine iguanas also make their homes here.

Day 6 Santiago

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Charles Darwin spent several days exploring and collecting specimens from this island. Pirates and whalers also favored the cove here, Buccaneer Cove, because it offers fresh water and they used to kill the giant tortoises for food. Espumilla Beach is an excellent location for bird watching. Take a walk through the mangroves to a brackish lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos and white cheeked pintails wade in the water.

James Bay offers some unique sites for this tour. There is a black beach with amazing eroded rock formations and there is a trail that goes along the rim of an extinct volcanic crater. A path leading south takes visitors to a series of crystal-clear grottos formed of broken lava tubes which is home to sea lions and tropical fish. This is an excellent place for watching fur lions as they rest on the rocks by the grottos.

Day 7 Santa Cruz Island - Charles Darwin Center

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Puerto Ayora is the seaside economic center for fishing and tourism in the Galapagos. This is also the location for the Charles Darwin Research Station. Enjoy an education visit here and have the opportunity to see giant tortoises at the Breeding Center. Here they are working to restore the population of the giant tortoise by helping them to survive in their natural habitat. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will have a chance to track down these friendly creatures for a close encounter. There will also be a chance to visit the amazing lava tubes. These are underground tunnels that can be reached by a wooden stairway.

Day 8 San Cristobal

  • 1 Breakfast
Kicker Rock is a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters out of the ocean. Explore the visitor center off Wreck Bay and have a chance to stroll through the quaint port town. From here a guide will accompany you to the airport to return to the mainland.


Per person starting at
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Premium Stateroom: C5
1 premium full beam stateroom on the Carolina Deck, with a twin bed and a queen bed, private bathroom, individual AC control, safe box, and plenty of storage space.
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Twin Cabin: C3
1 deluxe twin/queen stateroom on the Carolina Deck. It features a private bathroom, individual AC controls, safe box, and plenty of storage.
Grace Cabin
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Double Cabin: C1 & C2
2 premium staterooms on the Carolina Deck, both with 1 queen bed(82.3in x 66.5in), private bathrooms, individual AC controls, safe boxes, and plenty of storage space.
Twin Cabin, Grace
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Twin Suite: A2 & A3
2 suites on the Albert Deck, both with 2 twin beds that can convert to 1 bed, private bathrooms, individual AC controls, safe boxes, and plenty of storage space.
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Master Suite: A1 & A4
Ocean view Suite; located on the Albert Deck these cabins feature a Queen Bed (82.3in x 66.5in), private bath.
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Grace Kelly Suite
The new Grace Kelly Suite features contemporary decor by award-winning designer Adriana Hoyos. It features 1 king size bed, private bathroom, individual AC control, safe box, and plenty of storage space.


Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

Child Discount

15% discount for children 15 years and under at time of Galapagos cruise. Max. 3 children per family

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


  • Accommodations on board Grace 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
  • Gratuities and drinks aboard the ship
  • Travel Insurance

Galapagos Flights

  • Quito - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $530 - $675
  • Guayaquil - Galapagos Roundtrip
    • $475 - $620

Optional Hospitality Packages

Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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