This packed 6 days Galapagos Wildlife & Marine Life Yacht Safari will be led by a local expert guide trained by the Charles Darwin Research Station; and Aqua-Firma Director, Ralph Pannell, who has been involved with habitat conservation, wildlife research, diving, photography and expeditions to Ecuador and the Galapagos for more than twenty years.
On this yacht safari, you will experience close encounters with a wide range of the Galapagos' unique Wildlife and Marine, as well as experience habitats and dramatic landscapes ranging from parched lava fields, to verdant mangroves forest and rich coastal habitats. The islands we plan to visit will be:
Of above water wildlife, we anticipate encountering Sealions during their pupping season; critically endangered seasonal visitors in the form of Waved Albatrosses, whose eggs will be hatching in August; courting Galapagos Hawks; Blue Footed Boobies; Brown Boobies; Magnificent Frigate Birds whose males will be seen inflating their bright red gulas; several of Darwin's Finches; Marine Iguanas; Land Iguanas and more.
This yacht safari will also include some of the best snorkelling areas that can only be accessed by boat; all aboard a very comfortable classic motor yacht with ample space in cabins, spacious social areas, large al fresco decks, jacuzzi and en suite facilities. There will be a maximum of 15 passengers onboard.
This Yacht Safari has been timed such that it can be combined with our land-based Wildlife & Marine Life of the Galapagos Journey which will be led jointly by Ralph Pannell, Dr Simon Pierce (marine biologist, photographer and shark researcher) and local expert guides. It can also be combined with our Amazon Special and Choco-Andes Special journeys led by Ralph Pannell, to areas he worked for the charity Rainforest Concern.
Please click on the Itinerary tab above for further details.
6 Day Propoposed Itinerary
PM: Your journey begins on San Cristobal Island with an easy walk to see the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre on Colorado Hill.
You will board the yacht today and receive an initial briefing about the voyage. Starting this evening will be the first of several talks about the Wildlife, Marine Life and Conservation of the Galapagos Islands given by Ralph Pannell, Director of Aqua-Firma Worldwide.
Overnight we will set sail for the most south easterly point in the Galapagos: Española Island.
We will spend all day at Española Island. In the morning we will explore Punta Suarez - a rocky peninsula that supports some of the most varied and impressive colonies of birds. The coastline is fantastic for photography, with high cliffs and a blow hole where water spouts up to 20m of more into the air; birds soaring above.
In the afternoon we will transfer to the much calmer waters of Gardner Bay, where we can observe sealions and sharks in the clear seas. This is a great place to snorkel.
During the night our yacht will move to Floreana Island.
We will spend all day at Floreana Island, first of all calling in at Punta Cormorant. Here we find a large lagoon set between two tuff cones, where we can often see flamingos. Shorebirds who share the lagoon include Pintail ducks, Large-billed Flycatchers and stilts. There is a high degree of plant endemism here and two highly contrasting beaches: one which is pure white formed of pulverised sand; the other coloured green by olivine crystals.
In the afternoon we will move to Baroness Lookout which provides impressive panoramic views of Palo Santo 'forest' and coastal mangrove.
We will be at Santa Fé by the morning where we will skirt the coast, take opportunities to snorkel and walk on land through luxuriant vegetation growing on top of cooled pitch-black lava rock.
In the afternoon we will move to Urbina Bay on South Plaza Island for a combination of coastal cruising, snorkelling and walking amongst abundant land iguanas and marine iguanas. We can sometimes find a hybrid of the two! Red-billed tropicbirds and swallow-tail gulls are amongst the many cliff nesting species; and there are approximately 1,000 sealions inhabiting this small island.
North Seymour is a great location for birdlife which we can view when walking a looped trail across this relatively flat island. Blue-footed boobies are one of the prime species to see here, as well as sealions and marine iguanas along the coast. Unusually, marine iguanas on this island have adapted to eat land vegetation.
In the afternoon we will proceed Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. Whilst we won't see them nesting, this white sandy beach is a major nesting site for marine turtles. A lagoon behind the beach is sometimes a great place to see flamingos, whimbrels, black-necked stilts and pintail ducks.
Day 6: Mosquera Island, then depart for Ecuador
This morning we will visit Mosquera Island - an island made beautiful by a large white sand beach occupied by a big population of sealions. The shoreline leads to reefs which provide some excellent snorkelling and rocky sections inhabited by Red Lava Crabs and Sally Light-foot Crabs.
PM: Transfer to Baltra Island for your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.
9 days Quito - Quito 18th - 26th August 2019
Yacht Safari only 20th - 25th August 2019
6 days Yacht Safari £2,990 / US$3,950 per person sharing
For full 9 days add £990 / $1,290 pp sharing
9 days version includes 3 nights in Quito (or Guayaquil), return flights between Ecuador & the Galapagos plus all transfers
If you are willing to share a cabin onboard then there is no single supplement for the liveaboard.
For a cabin to yourself add 85% to the liveaboard price.
Single supp for full 9 days = £298 / US$390 to cover single hotel room occupancy & transfers
Cabin space onboard
Shore excursions and zodiac activities
All meals onboard
Coffee, tea and water
An English-speaking naturalist guide will be onboard, trained by the Charles Darwin Station and licensed by the National Park
All guiding by local expert guide & international host
A year's membership of the Galapagos Conservation Trust
Hotels before or after the voyage*
Galapagos National Park entrance fee - $100** per person to be paid in cash at the airport in Galápagos
INGALA Galapagos Immigration fee (US$20**)
*we can arrange these if you wish
**correct at time of writing