This 6-day Galapagos cruise on the luxury EcoGalaxy catamaran combines visits to pristine beaches with historical sites and research facilities for a comprehensive overview of the central and southern Galapagos Islands.
Your journey begins with a warm welcome to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, where you'll meet and greet your expert naturalist guide and fellow passengers before boarding the EcoGalaxy, your home for the next six days.
Your first stop on this five-star catamaran takes you to Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, where you'll learn the origin of its name and discover the role it played in World War II.
Then spend Day 2 of your Galapagos adventure exploring rugged Santiago and Bartolome Islands. With your guide, trek across the extensive lava fields of Sullivan Bay and experience the hardened lava flow and ropy lava beneath your feet. Contemplate the island's striking volcanic features and discover that despite the island's barren landscape, you'll spot Pacific green turtles sunbathe on the small white sand beach.
Sail onward to the tiny 1.2 sq. km Bartolome Island across from Sullivan Bay and conquer its viewpoint for a sweeping panorama of lava fields, volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, and the islands of Santiago, Isabela, and Rabida. Observe the endangered Galapagos penguins and snorkel among wildlife at the base of Pinnacle Rock before leaving Bartolome Island.
Then return to Santa Cruz for a more in-depth encounter and tour the Highlands where you'll see the Twin Craters and observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat. Pay a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora, the premiere breeding site of the Galapagos Islands. Here, you'll learn how this facility is working to maintain biodiversity in the region and witness tortoises live in captivity at the Breeding and Rearing Center.
Sail onward to Cormorant Point on Floreana Island, where its shimmering olive green beach will awe you, and you'll embark on a guided walk to observe sea lions, frigatebirds, and pelicans in their natural habitat. Then snorkel at Devil's Crown, a favorite in the Galapagos archipelago for its excellent visibility and diverse range of wildlife.
Discover the historical site of Post Office Bay on the northern shores of Floreana, and mail home a postcard from the old school barrel. Climb Baroness Lookout for a striking panorama of the archipelago and learn about the self-proclaimed Empress of the Galapagos, Baroness Eloisa von Wagner Bosquet, by visiting the ruins of her home.
Explore the four million-year-old Española Island, and spend your day strolling its pristine white sand beach, observing napping sea lions in the warm sunshine and snorkeling with these playful creatures. Española Island's Punta Suarez is an unmissable site for bird lovers, as the island boasts a varied collection of seabirds. Among colonies of Nazca and blue-footed boobies, the endangered waved albatrosses also reside here, and visitors have the opportunity to watch them engage in synchronized courtship dances between May and November.
Your six-day Central and Southern Galapagos Islands cruise ends with a visit to the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal Island, where you'll recount the natural and human history of the Galapagos with your guide. Then be transported to San Cristobal Airport for your onward journey.
A five-star vessel built with the eco-savvy in mind, the EcoGalaxy practices environmental sustainability by operating on low fuel consumption and utilizing biodegradable cleaning materials and energy-efficient LED lights. Recently constructed in 2014, the catamaran's modern cabins accommodate a maximum of 16 guests, and its sundeck with shaded areas and open social lounges invite you to relax after embarking on exciting snorkeling, hiking and wildlife viewing excursions.