Galápagos Islands | Expedition aboard M/C Tip Top II or V (East)

Galápagos Islands | Expedition aboard M/C Tip Top II or V (East)

About this program

Endemic flora and fauna, geological activity, volcanic terrain, and unique marine environments make the Galápagos Islands a living classroom. Stunning formations like saw-toothed Kicker Rock, sandy beaches, teeming lagoons, and volcanic craters play host to unique wildlife such as the Blue-footed Booby, white-tipped sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtles, yellow cow-nosed rays, and more. Examine topics of biodiversity, natural selection, ecological specialization, and conservation. Students will also learn about the islands’ sparse but dramatic human history, a tale of buccaneers and hardy settlers.
PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. weather) or at the discretion of the captain, guide, or the Galápagos National Park.

Highlights

  • Learn about important conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station. 
  • Come face-to-face with iconic wildlife including Blue-footed Boobies, flamingos, sea lions, and Waved Albatross.
  • Walk through the incredible cactus forest on Santa Fe Island and observe colonies of land iguanas.
  • Snorkel around Champion Islet, one of the most beautiful snorkeling sites in the islands.
  • Sail around Kicker Rock, a massive tuff rock that juts almost 500 feet above the ocean surface and which serves as a nesting place for many sea birds.
9 Travelers

$5,795

Land Cost

Group size

Book 8 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

16 Travelers

$5,655

Land Cost

Group size

Book 14 travelers and 2 group
leaders travel for free

16 Travelers

$5,255

Land Cost

Group size

Book 15 travelers and 1 group
leader travels for free

Quito

Day 1

Upon arrival in Quito you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Arrival into Quito should be on a Wednesday for the Friday cruise departure.

Overnight at Hotel Cruz Loma

Quito

Day 2

After breakfast this morning you’ll take a city tour of Quito including a visit to the Middle of the World Monument. Enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food at a local restaurant for lunch. Please note you may substitute the city tour and visit to the monument with a full day excursion to Otavalo market, Cotopaxi National Park, Antisana Reserve, or Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve for an additional cost.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Hotel Cruz Loma

Galápagos

Day 3

Fly from mainland Ecuador to Baltra. After boarding M/C Tip Top II or V, attend your first orientation and have a light snack. Disembark at Playa Las Bachas and visit a flamingo lagoon. Attend an evening orientation about the origin and evolution of the Galápagos Islands, followed by dinner. Each day there will be a briefing about the next day's activities, and time for optional swimming, snorkeling and/or kayaking.
*Cruise itineraries are subject to change without prior notice for various factors including, but not limited to: safety, weather, mechanical breakdown, unforeseen emergencies, and the discretion of the Captain, Guide, and the Galapagos National Park.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 4

Today go for a panga boat ride and then land on Genovesa Island at Prince Philip's Steps (El Barranco), a steep, naturally formed path that leads up to a cliff face. Walk and observe the interesting lives of the birds here, such as the Red-footed Booby, Galápagos Short-eared Owl, Galápagos Doves, and storm petrels. Return to the boat for lunch. Later in the afternoon, visit Darwin Bay, home to frigatebirds, herons, mockingbirds, boobies, shore birds, turtles, marine iguanas, and more. After dinner, attend an evening orientation to learn about conservation efforts to protect the islands.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 5

After breakfast, go ashore at South Plaza Island where a walk through a cactus forest allows you to observe land iguanas and many species of tropical birds. Return to the yacht for lunch and sail to Santa Fé Island to check out a different colony of land iguanas native to the island.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 6

After breakfast, disembark to take the bus to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a visit to the native forests in El Chato Reserve, then go to a farm to search for giant tortoises in the wild. After lunch on the farm return to Puerto Ayora to visit the Interpretation Center Fausto Llerena Breeding Center inside the Charles Darwin Research Station. Return to the yacht for dinner and nightly orientation.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 7

After breakfast, disembark on Floreana Island and walk to Baroness Viewpoint, named for the Baroness Eloise von Wagner. Enjoy the beautiful landscape and see the ruins of her house, then continue to Post Office Bay. In the 18th century, whalers placed a wooden barrel at this site to use as an informal post office, and today, visitors continue the tradition by leaving their own postcards in the barrel. Return to the yacht for lunch. In the afternoon, visit Cormorant Point for a short walk to the Flamingo Lagoon of this island. Continue the walk to a beach called "La Picona" to see marine turtles and their spawning grounds. Afterwards visit Champion Island for a snorkeling excursion.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 8

After breakfast, visit Punta Suárez on Española Island to walk along lava beds and observe unique colonies of marine birds. From April to December, this is one of the best places in the world to see the Waved Albatross, which nests primarily on this island. In the afternoon, visit Gardner Bay for a walk on the beach and observe a colony of sea lions, which inhabit the beach in great quantity during the breeding season. Then take a panga ride around Osborn Islet and the islets of Gardner.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Galápagos

Day 9

After breakfast, visit Cerro Brujo to walk on a white sand beach and observe sea lions, Brown Pelicans, marine iguanas, and Blue-footed Boobies. Later, sail around Kicker Rock (León Dormido), a massive tuff rock that juts almost 500 feet above the ocean surface and which serves as a nesting place for many sea birds. After lunch, disembark at Baquerizo Moreno Port on San Cristóbal Island and drive to the Jacinto Gordillo Tortoise Breeding Center, where you'll learn about the tortoise reproductive process and the programs to maintain the species. Drive back to the port to visit the Interpretation Center, which features exhibits on conservation and on the geological and human history of the islands.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tip Top II or V

Quito

Day 10

After breakfast, take one last panga ride around Black Turtle Cove, a series of coves and islets surrounded by mangroves, where you can observe white-tipped reef sharks, marine turtles, spotted eagle rays, and yellow cow-nosed rays. Return to the boat and disembark on the pier to take the bus directly to the airport in Baltra for your flight to Quito. A snack will be served on the flight. This afternoon is at leisure. A farewell dinner will be served at the hotel.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Rincon de Puembo

Quito

Day 11

Today you will transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Breakfast- included