Yacht Isabela II
The classic Yacht Isabela II offers the most in-depth week itinerary allowing you to enjoy all that Galapagos is famous for: from ancient giant tortoises to penguins, from sleek flamingos to bold sharks, from bizarre flightless cormorants to rugged marine iguanas and from whales and dolphins to dramatic island volcanoes and breathtaking scenery, plus the exploration of the Galapagos Marine Reserve (the second largest in the world) on kayaks, the glass bottom boat, swimming or snorkelling.
They have two cabin types onboard, classic and standard. The classic cabin is nearly 13 square metres whilst the standard is just over 12 square metres. Both have en-suite facilities and large windows looking out to sea. Both cabins come with either twin or double beds
Its three public decks offer the amenities of a larger vessel, including bar-salon, dining room and sun deck. The library contains a large selection of books on Galapagos and Ecuador, as well as excellent nature and conservation videos, making this reference library the most complete one of all Galapagos vessels. From dining room to stateroom, there is a superior quality at all levels of service.
Morning arrival to Baltra Island by plane and immediatly transfer to the dock to board the Isabela II. Welcome introductory briefing, and lunch.
North Seymour Island
Afternoon disembarkation (dry landing) for a walk along the coast and the interior of the island, observing bird colonies of blue footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow tailed gulls and also sea lions and marine iguanas. A shorter walk is also available. Welcome Cocktail offered by the Captain. Naturalist’s briefing on the next day’s activities and dinner.
Gardner Bay (Hood Island)
After breakfast, disembark (wet landing) at a white coral beach where you can take a short walk and watch the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great snorkeling in this area (snorkeling equipment is available for guests at no extra cost), or ride the glass-bottom boat.
Punta Suárez (Hood Island)
Afternoon dry landing for an exciting walk on lava terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the Waved Albatrosses (May – December) and the famous blowhole. A shorter walk is also available. Naturalist’s briefing and dinner.
Point Cormorant (Floreana Island)
After breakfast, disembark at Point Cormorant (wet landing) for an easy walk to see the flamingos that inhabit a brackish-water lagoon, and other birds like ducks, stilts, sandpipers, etc. Return to the beach and possibility to swim; there is great snorkeling at this site or kayak from the beach. Lunch on board.
Champion Islet, Post Office Bay (Floreana Island)
Possibility to snorkel from the pangas around Champion Islet or a ride on the glass-bottom boat. Return on board and navigate to Post Office Bay. Wet landing at the historic barrel that served as a post office, to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers.
Santa Cruz Island
After breakfast, disembark (dry landing) to visit the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, an Scalesia forest and the twin pit craters geology formation, Los Gemelos. From December to mid-April a visit to see the giant tortoises in the wild may be included, if weather conditions are good. Lunch at the Finch Bay Eco Hotel.
Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest and many land birds. Then a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on the Isabela II. Naturalist’s briefing and dinner.
Darwin Bay (Tower Island)
Morning wet landing for an easy stroll observing thousands of bird life, mainly frigate birds, red footed and masked boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. If you wish you can continue walking over sharp lava and uneven terrain, or just go back to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. Those most adventurous can snorkel along the cliffs or ride sea kayaks. Lunch on board.
Prince Philip’s Steps(Tower Island)
The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) and then a leveled walk for about a mile to the other side of this small island observing large colonies of masked boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Naturalist’s briefing and dinner. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs (depending on the weather conditions). Conference of the Naturalist Guide before dinner.
Early risers will enjoy cruising right in front of famous Ecuador Volcano, which rises off the water line with one of its halves completely collapsed, and now resting underwater, while crossing the Equator line.
Tagus Cove (Isabela Island)
On the northwest of Isabela, secluded Tagus Cove was in past centuries a favorite anchor for pirates and whalers. Old graffiti is still found on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant Palo Santo trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf out and spring back to life in the wet season.
An uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. Possibility to swim, snorket or ride kayaks. There is no beach in the area, so these activities ae done from the pangas. Lunch on board.
Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island)
The afternoon brings us to the youngest island, Fernandina. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness with lots of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina has a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, sally-light foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Naturalist’s briefing and dinner.
Puerto Egas (James Island)
Wet landing for a mid-length walk. Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and there is a colony of fur-sea lions. Opportunity for snorkeling and swimming from the beach after the walk, or a ride on the glass-bottom boat. Lunch on board.
Disembark at Bartolome Island (dry landing) for a hike to the summit. This is a steep climb aided by a wooden staircase; the view from the top is worth the effort. There will be time for a panga ride around Pinnacle Rock to observe penguins before or after the walk. Farewell cocktail and departure briefing.
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to the continent
Manor Cottage, Papermill Lane, South Moreton, Oxfordshire, OX11 9AH