See Mother Nature frozen in time, in a place unlike any other on Earth. Join us on an unforgettable trip to the Galápagos Islands, a place so unique it changed the way we think about our world.
Day 1 Depart the USA
Depart the USA on a flight to Quito, Ecuador. Enjoy a free evening to experience this amazing city on our own.
Day 2 Quito, Colonial Capital City of Ecuador
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of Quito. The first city to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, Quito boasts a historic center and centuries-old landmarks dating back 500 years. Visit “Mitad del Mundo” and the Equator Monument, which stands at 0 degrees and feel what it’s like to be standing in the middle of the world. During the included city tour, see a bull fighting ring and gilded Spanish colonial church. This evening, enjoy the city on our own. Meals: B, L
Day 3 MY Coral I
After breakfast, board the flight to Baltra. Upon arrival, embark the MY Coral I for our four-night cruise. Set sail for Santa Cruz Island and get our first taste of this Galápagos Island at Ballena Bay where you’ll be on the lookout for marine iguanas, lovely pelicans and herons. Snorkel in sparkling blue-green waters and observe a glorious underwater world of tropical marine life. Meals: B, L, D
Day 4 Vicente Roca Point and Espinosa Point/Isabela and Fernandina Island
This morning, visit Vicente Roca Point. This is a marine-only visitor site with great opportunities for deep-water snorkeling. In this part of the Galápagos, the upwelling of cold water currents offer an abundant food supply for the marine species. We see plenty of red-lipped batfish, sea horses, frogfish, nudibranchs and octopi in these waters. There are whale watching opportunities while navigating from Vicente Roca Point to Espinosa Point.
In the afternoon, visit Espinosa Point on Fernandina Island, one of the most well-preserved of the Galápagos Islands. Discover one of the world’s most pristine island ecosystems as we hike through a thick canopy of mangroves at Espinosa Point. Observe hundreds of prehistoric marine iguanas sunbathing on black lava rocks. All around are Galápagos penguins, pelicans, sea lions and fur seals, ready to pose for pictures. Watch out for colorful sally lightfoot crabs scurrying across the path. Quiet now as you encounter flightless cormorants on their nesting site, the only place in the world to find this species. These birds once flew, but over time, adapted to their environment and lost their ability to fly. Be on the lookout for the major predator on the island, the Galápagos hawk. Meals: B, L, D
Day 5 Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove/Isabela Island
We start our day with a wet landing on the volcanic black beach at Urbina Bay. Search for shells and other organisms. In 1954, a volcano uplifted the coral reef, leaving marine skeletons that tell of its ancient past. Look for Darwin’s finches, land iguanas and the Galápagos cotton flower in bloom. Outstanding snorkeling awaits you in the crystal clear waters, showcasing fascinating marine life. Amazing views of the Alcedo Volcano, which spewed an unusual combination of rhyolite and basalt lava, stands as a powerful backdrop and reminder of nature’s power.
This afternoon, we visit Tagus Cove and learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that created the largest island. Admire the red and white mangroves and Flightless Cormorants and Galápagos Penguins. Great blue herons, pelicans and brown noddies come to roost, looking for food. Watch as the sea turtles lay their eggs and nest. Meals: B, L, D
Day 6 Salt Mines and Sullivan Bay/Santiago Island
Today we visit the fourth largest island in the Galápagos, Santiago Island. It provides spectacular views of powerful volcanic activity. Walk along the red sand beach of Buccaneer Cove, named for the pirates who once stashed their loot here.
At Espumilla Beach, watch natural wonders come to life — marine sea turtles nesting on the beach and the dance between prey and predator. In the air, hunting herons swoop down on sally lightfoot crabs as testament to Darwin’s theory. More than a hundred years ago, a volcanic eruption created the dramatic landscape in Sullivan Bay. Leaving its geological footprint, the steep cliffs, black lava and tuff cones showcase the impact of volcanic activity in this barren terrain. Meals: B, L, D
Day 7 El Chato/Santa Cruz
Arrive at Santa Cruz with a dry landing. At a private farm, observe immense sea turtles in their natural habitat as they slowly meander through the forest. Sounds of Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers and Galápagos rails fill the air. As our journey comes to an end, we’ll be filled with wonder at the sights and sounds of this original paradise. This afternoon, fly to Guayaquil and enjoy a city tour with a local guide. The evening is free for independent exploration. Meal: B
Day 8 Guayaquil / USA
Bid a fond farewell to Ecuador and its Galápagos Islands and re- turn home filled with so many fond memories of the life enriching experiences of our small ship adventure. Meal: B