Ocean Spray, Galapagos
The Ocean Spray is a 113 foot/34 metre catamaran with superb amenities and staff. As well as both indoor and outdoor eating options there is also a lounge, library, Jacuzzi, an outdoor and indoor bar and plenty of deck space to take in the amazing equatorial sunsets. As well as snorkel equipment there are sea kayaks for guests.
The cabins, which can accommodate 16 passengers very comfortably in 8 spacious double and twin cabins – 4 main deck double cabins (32 sq m), 4 upper deck double cabins (23 sq m) & 1 upper deck single cabin (18 sq m), all with private balcony.
Each cabin comes with climate controlled air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and large windows. They are also contain some of the largest cabins on any small boat in the Galapagos, some of which interconnect, which is great for families.
The staff are all superb and nothing is too much for them, whilst the food is all typically Ecuadorian, allowing you to submerse yourself into this unique world
DAY 1 (SATURDAY)
MORNING FLIGHT FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL TO BALTRA (GALAPAGOS)
Assistance at the airport by our representative for your Galapagos flight.
You will arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Ocean Spray staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.
The afternoon visit, Rabida Island (or Jervis), is one of the most colorful and volcanically varied islands in the archipelago as well as a great snorkeling site. We will start on Rabida's famous maroon sandy beach and after an easy hike will arrive to a stunning lookout to enjoy the amazing landscapes in the way, we might find some land birds, such as Darwin's finches, Galapagos Hawks and Brown Pelicans.
DAY 2 (SUNDAY)
ISABELA & FERNANDINA ISLANDS
Isabela Island: The largest in the archipelago, this seahorse-shaped island is also one of the youngest and most volcanically active. The morning visit is to Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating
Fernandina Island: No foreign species have ever invaded this island and therefore it is one of the world's most pristine island ecosystems. Fernandina is the youngest island in Galapagos. Access to this site is extremely restricted by the Galapagos National Park and you will be one of those very lucky visitors. The volcano “La Cumbre” dominates the landspace with lava fields reaching the ocean.
Crossing the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina Islands we will land at Espinosa Point, and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island's highlight: the Flightless Cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the
DAY 3 (MONDAY)
ISABELA ISLAND –TAGUS COVE & URBINA BAY
The morning visit, including Tagus Cove's 'cliff-side gallery,' provides a clear view of pirate graffiti dating back to 1836. The contrast between vandalism and the pristine environment is thought provoking. Up the (1.25 mi / 2 km) hike through lava formations, we will see stunning views of the surrounding slopes and volcanoes, making our way to Darwin Lake. This salt-water crater-lake may have been filled with a tidal wave brought on by a volcanic eruption.
In the afternoon, we will land at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay; which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, along with Flightless Cormorants, pelicans, and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breath taking view of the Alcedo Volcano, with the possibility to see land iguanas and giant tortoises in the wild.
DAY 4 (TUESDAY)
ISABELA ISLAND – ELIZABETH BAY & MORENO POINT
The morning visit will take us to Elizabeth Bay, a secluded space lacking any landing sites. We will take a traditional 'panga' ride, passing the red mangroves and amongst the wildlife of the lively bay. Elizabeth is known for its marine life; you will probably see sea turtles and rays skimming the surface of the water. You may also see the Brown Pelicans diving for fish, penguins, Blue-footed Boobies & possibly spot humpback whales.
In the afternoon we will visit Moreno Point, located south west of Elizabeth Bay. Here, a dry landing onto what was once flowing lava is possible. The lava has left craters in its wake, which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world, as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, White-Cheeked Pintails, and Common Gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools you may see white tip reef sharks and some sea turtles.
DAY 5 (WEDNESDAY)
SANTA CRUZ – CHARLES DARWIN & HIGHLANDS
In the morning we start at the Charles Darwin Station- Breeding Center "Fausto Llerena" home to tortoises ranging from 3-inches (new hatchlings) to 4-feet long. Here you will observe the various sub-species of tortoises interacting with each other, and possibly with you. Many of the older tortoises are accustomed to humans. The babies are only kept until they are about four years old, or large enough to survive in the wild. These conservation efforts continue to be extremely successful.
In the afternoon we will visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you will walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises in naturals conditions.
DAY 6 (THURSDAY)
NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND & SANTA FE
In the morning we will head to North Seymour Island. Here you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue footed-boobies and magnificent frigate birds.
Our afternoon visit is to Santa Fe Island. Santa Fe (Barrington) is home to the small picturesque bay and anchorage on the island northeast coast. The bay has two visitor trails, one leading to a scenic viewpoint atop a cliff and the other spanning from a small beach to a tall prickly pear cactus forest.
DAY 7 (FRIDAY)
Española Island is the southernmost island of the Galapagos and is the breeding site of nearly all of the Waved Albatrosses in the entire world. Española is densely populated with mockingbirds, Bluefooted and Nazca Boobies, Darwin finches, Galapagos Doves, hawks, española marine iguanas, and loads of sea lions. In the morning, we will start at Suarez Point on a trail where you will have the chance to see Bluefooted Boobie, albatrosses (From April to December) and Nazca Boobies. We will also visit a beautiful site on the ocean front where there is a cliff that the large albatrosses use as a launching pad! You'll have the chance to see the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air. The landscape is great for photography.
In the afternoon, we will visit the spectacular Gardner Bay. After landing, you can walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim with sea lion pups. It is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of Waved Albatrosses.
DAY 8 (SATURDAY)
SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND:
INTERPRETATION CENTER – GALAPAGUERA – LOBOS ISLAND – KICKER ROCK
In the morning we will visit the Galapaguera OR the Interpretation center on San Cristobal Island. The Interpretation Center, located in San Cristobal Island. The center was donated by the Spanish government and inaugurated by the Prince of Spain in 1998.
This center focuses on the interaction between humans and the process of the “of natural history laboratory”, demonstrating that a harmonious relation between human beings and nature is possible. Cerro Colorado (Galapaguera) is a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warbler, finches and mockingbirds can be observed and on the trails, giant tortoises. They live there wild but in a protected area to assure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators, like pigs and goats. Once the tortoise perceives danger, it goes into its defensive stance, retreating into its hard shell.
After this final visit, you will be transferred to San Cristobal’s airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.
Manor Cottage, Papermill Lane, South Moreton, Oxfordshire, OX11 9AH