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Kayak on a beach in the galapagos

Central & Genovesa Islands

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Petrel
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Explore the Central and Genovesa Islands of the Galapagos archipelago on the Petrel. On this 8-day cruise, explore sea-side trails, spot unique wildlife and bird life, admire volcanic formations, and snorkel with sea lions while on your Galapagos tour.
Snorkeling at Pinnacle RockA Nice Nap, EspanolaDevil's Crown GalapagosFloreana beachKayak on a beach in the galapagos
Highlights
  • Explore the Interpretation Center to learn about history and conservation
  • Visit the breeding site of nearly all the world's waved albatrosses
  • Walk through mangroves filled with land birds
  • Snorkel with a variety of fish, rays and harmless white-tip sharks
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 Island | Embark | David Rodriguez Giant Tortoise Breeding Center

Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.

This is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest East. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy, and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces to include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly. 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.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding, learn more about their origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

Day 2: Gardner Bay, Osborn Islet and Gardner Islet | Suarez Point, Espanola

Here lies the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest. It is estimated to be about four million years old. Because it is so far away from the other islands it has the most endemic species. It is a wonderful opportunity for some great photography of endemic bird species that are found only in Espanola and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion. Gardner Bay/Osborn Islet/Gardner Islet: Visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can be seen. The Espanola Mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.
Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, Kayak, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Espanola Mockingbird, the longest beach in the Galapagos, three species of Darwin’s finches, a large colony of sea lions, and occasional green sea turtles. Snorkel – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

This is a phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Espanola Island’s endemic species. The trail will pass by the only Waved Albatross breeding site. If you are lucky, you might see a young albatross, take off for its first flight after up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year-round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Only Waved albatross breeding site, blow hole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, sea lions

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

This Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700s. Later it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated. Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930s various disappearances occurred and are thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in the Galapagos and another couple of a doctor and a female companion who lived off the land from their garden. The small population of today lives off the land with homegrown farms and gets their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands. Transportation is limited and is only available every two weeks.
Devil’s Crown is a visitor site that boasts the best snorkeling opportunities. Below the surface are amazing volcanic structures that have submerged over time. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, and sea lions are also common visitors. It is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

OR Another fun and interesting visitor site is Cormorant Point. Two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, which gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches looks green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach a powdery white, made from finely pulverized coral.
Possible Activities: Snorkel, dinghy ride, and hike
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Devil’s Crown - a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellow tail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions, and more. Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed flycatchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

A completely human-influential site, Post Office Bay is the first official post office created by passing whalers in the 1700s. To this day visitors continue the tradition as many leaves addressed messages on postcards in the barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up postcards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home. It is a fun exchangeable activity many visitors enjoy.

OR On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic view. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness that was the subject of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up postcards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, amazing landscapes. Snorkel – Sea turtles, corals, rays, colorful assortment of fish species.

Day 4: Charles Darwin Research Station | Highlands, Santa Cruz

Today Santa Cruz is one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity but that does not mean there is no evidence. Santa Cruz means holy cross, but its English name comes from the British vessel – Indefatigable.
The Charles Darwin Research Station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines, and in popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime-running Giant Tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings, and adults.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Also, see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

The Highlands of Santa Cruz is a very interesting site due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, volcanoes, and lava tubes present. Exploring the lava tubes is a surreal and unique experience. Here you can see all the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The variety of birds makes this a bird watcher's delight.
Be prepared to admire the famous giant tortoises in the wild. It is impressive to see these endemic animals that give the name to the archipelago, Galapagos. Birdwatching is also one of the activities in the highlands since this area is home to finches and other Galapagos birds. Finally, walk into lava caves to see the enormous lava flows that formed the islands before continuing back to the M/C Petrel.
Possible Activities: Hike
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry
Highlights: All Galapagos life zones, vermilion flycatcher, Darwin finch, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails, paint-billed crakes, short-eared owls, wild Giant Tortoises.

Day 5: Sullivan Bay, Santiago | Pinnacle Rock, Bartholomew

Santiago Island is the second Island visited by Charles Darwin and was originally named after England’s King James the second. The island was a good source of salt, water, and food for whalers and buccaneers passing. There was a salt mine inland that was used to salt fish and tortoise meat. Land iguanas used to populate the island but are now extinct. From Darwin’s own notes, he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the most visited islands.
Sullivan Bay is a satellite island of Santiago. This is one of the best places to see the Galapagos fur seal. There is not much wildlife to see here, but the old lava formations are quite a site to see with tuff cones, pyroclastic cones, and other volcanic landscapes.
Possible Activities: Hike, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: DryLanding
Highlights: Various volcanic landscapes and formations.

Bartholomew is another satellite island that derives from Santiago Island. It is home to the famous Pinnacle Rock and is named after James Sullivan, a friend of Charles Darwin who was also aboard the HMS Beagle. Of all the islands, this is the most photographed and is also featured in the 2003 movie “Master and Commander”.
Pinnacle rock is a volcano cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.
Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, and dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Galapagos penguins, Pinnacle rock, swimming, and awesome photography opportunities. Snorkel – Sea lions, rays, sea turtles, sharks, much different fish.

Day 6: Darwin Bay | El Barranco (Prince Phillip’s Steps), Genovesa

Genovesa is a horse-shoe-shaped island that was formed by the eruption of a shield volcano with large slopes formed by gradual lava flows. It is known as “Bird Island” due to the wide variety of birds that can be seen. The only reptile on the entire island is the marine iguana and it is one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large mass.
Darwin Bay is the result of the shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after years of erosion. It is one of the places in the Galapagos where red-footed boobies can be guaranteed to be seen. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing Highlights: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves. Snorkeling – various sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, and occasional rays.

Better known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view. There is also a Palo Santo Forest that is home to nesting red-footed boobies and other birds.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Moderate
Type of Landing: Dry Landing
Highlights: Spectacular view, red-footed boobies, wedge-romped storm petrels, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, Palo Santo Forest. Snorkel – fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions.

Day 7: Puerto Egas | Espumilla Beach | Buccaneer Cove, Santiago

Egas port is also known as James Bay. It is home to quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards, and Galapagos fur seals along the grottos and tide pools and is a great snorkeling site.
Possible Activities: Hike and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Fur seals, sea lions, tidal pools and grottos, Galapagos hawk, saltwater lagoon with flamingoes. Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks, and amazing underwater geological formations.

Buccaneer Cove: This cove is better known for excellent snorkeling opportunities and was once known as a refuge for British buccaneers or pirates. The underwater formations are amazing and many different species of fish gather here.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Historical pirate/buccaneer shelter site. Snorkeling – sea turtles, rays, sharks, and amazing underwater geological formations.

OR visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally-Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons and perform the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark, or a variety of other species of tropical fish.
Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, dinghy ride, and snorkel
Difficulty: Easy
Type of Landing: Wet Landing
Highlights: Snorkeling, sea birds, historical sites, and rock formations.

Day 8: Black Turtle Cove | Disembark | Baltra Airport

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, enjoy the visit 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 the lagoon, which 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. This is a peaceful place that will make you feel calm.
Possible Activities: Dinghy ride
Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
Type of Landing: No Landing
Highlights: Various species of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

Your cruise has officially come to an end. Hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! You will now transfer to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

Ship/Hotel

Petrel

Petrel
Al fresco area
Living area

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Stateroom cabin
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Stateroom
30 m2 / 323 ft2, Air Conditioner / Private Balcony, Convertible Twin or King Accommodation.
Suite cabin
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Suite
43 m2 / 463 ft2, Air Conditioner / Private Balcony, King or Triple Accommodation

Notes

Motor Catamaran PETREL
  • Capacity for 16 guests.
  • Cruise Concierge onboard.
  • 11 Crew Members.
  • 4, 5, 6, & 8 Day Journeys.
  • Expedition equipment.
  • Activities equipment.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
Rates are subject to change regardless of circumstances. (Airfare, Control Visitor card, Galapagos Entrance Fee)
Keep in mind that for individual bookings, children must be at least 7 years old to participate in the tour
Please provide your wetsuite size in advance prior to trip

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.
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Internal Flights: Mainland Ecuador - Galapagos - Mainland Ecuador: $475-675

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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