2022 & 2023
SMALL SHIP CRUISE
Ocean Spray – Galapagos Cruise 7N A
This lonely archipelago of 18 islands and more than 100 tiny islets, located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Due to its proximity to the equator, volcanic activity, and the influence of three ocean currents (Humboldt, Panama, and Cromwell), the region developed distinctive land and marine ecosystems over four million years.
The steady migration of the Nazca tectonic plate over many ages resulted in generations of volcanic eruptions that formed the Galapagos Islands. These days, every island has a unique landscape, ranging from mountainous regions dotted with shield volcanoes and lava fields to dry areas populated by endemic cacti to stunning white-sand beaches and turquoise oceans. The world’s richest marine biosphere reserve is the group of islands known as the Galapagos.
The extraordinary abundance of indigenous plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world is what truly distinguishes the Galapagos. The Galapagos Islands are home to about 80% of terrestrial birds and mammals, over 90% of reptiles, more than 30% of plants, and roughly 20% of marine species.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Dynamic Landscapes
- Guided Hiking Adventures
- Intimate Wildlife Encounters
- Tender rides
- Marine adventures
- Snorkeling & Diving
- Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
Itinerary in Brief
BALTRA AIRPORT – CHINESE HAT
Arrive at Baltra airport and transfer to the vessel.
Following a brief introduction to health, safety, and emergency procedures, you will go to Chinese Hat island. This visiting destination, named after its unusual shape, will provide you with your first chance for an intimate experience with Galapagos species. Additionally, you’ll be able to observe brittle, well-preserved volcanic rock, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in other volcanic areas. Many Galapagos bird species, notably the entertaining Galapagos penguins and the elusive Galapagos Hawks, call this islet home.
ISABELA ISLAND / VICENTE ROCA – FERNANDINA ISLAND / ESPINOSA POINT
We will head towards the Vicente Roca viewpoint after breakfast. Amazing granite formations at Vicente Roca Point provide as a haven for several bird species. The calm, turquoise waters of the nutrient-rich Cromwell Current, where the tourist site is located on Isabela’s western coast, provide the setting for remarkable feeding frenzys of both bird species and underwater creatures.
We’ll go to Fernandina Island in the afternoon. In addition to being the youngest island in the archipelago, Fernandina Island is also one of the most pure because no alien species have ever invaded there. In addition to being more volcanically active than its brothers, it is the westernmost island in the Galapagos. The single visitor center on Fernandina is Espinosa Point, which offers a wealth of sights, including the rare flightless cormorant, marine iguanas, and Galapagos Hawks. While hiking, savor the expansive vistas of the surreal scenery.
ISABELA ISLAND / TAGUS COVE – ISABELA ISLAND / URBINA BAY
You will visit Tagus Cove in the morning after breakfast. Due to its human history, Tagus Cove is among the most fascinating tourist destinations in the Galapagos. Visitors enjoy reading the intriguing names and locations inscribed on the cove’s walls, which were a favorite resting area for pirates, sailors, and whalers for hundreds of years. Aside from providing you with sweeping views of the cove and its surrounds, this trip also passes through a mangrove forest that is home to the last 35 pairs of Mangrove finches. The beach of the cove offers snorkeling opportunities; if you’re lucky, you might observe a marine iguana diving for food.
You will travel to Urbina Bay after lunch. Urbina Bay, a volcanic uplift that has been protruding from the ocean floor for millions of years, hosts land and marine iguanas, raucous sea lions, and the curious flightless cormorant. There are a few hiking trails near Urbina Bay that will allow you to get a better glimpse of the various shorebird species that live nearby the water. The bay is a perfect area to unwind on the beach or go snorkeling in its waters.
ISABELA ISLAND / ELIZABETH BAY – ISABELA ISLAND / MORENO POINT
After breakfast, you will visit Elizabeth’s Bay. Visitors can view a huge diversity and abundance of marine life from the Zodiacs in the bay’s shockingly blue waters, including Galapagos sharks and giant sea turtles.
After lunch, you will visit Moreno Point. Moreno Point is a fascinating destination for birdwatchers due to the scores of different bird species that call the unearthly rocky shoreline of the point home. More unusual bird species can be seen in some saltwater lagoons that are accessible by a short stroll from the shore. Moreno Point is a very beautiful and gorgeous visitor location due to the jet-black lava flows with the deep blue waters, the bright green vegetation around the lagoons, and the looming Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcanoes in the distance
SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION – SANTA CRUZ ISLAND / HIGHLANDS
Given its long history of conservation in the archipelago and its enormous collection of Galapagos plant specimens and other exciting items, like a whole whale skeleton, the Charles Darwin Research Station is a fascinating destination for anybody setting foot on the islands. Galapagos Giant Tortoise breeding is also actively conducted here, and it is still used as a biological research facility today, overseeing numerous projects throughout the archipelago.
On Santa Cruz Island, the highlands can rise up to 1,500 meters above sea level, creating completely distinct climate zones. Volcanoes, wildlife, lush vegetation, and rolling hills are all present in the region. Visitors can view finches, mockingbirds, and a variety of other bird species here, where they can see Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. Guests can occasionally observe whales breaching or rays jumping over the waves from the highlands’ breathtaking panoramic views of the nearby oceans.
SOUTH PLAZA ISLAND – SANTA FE ISLAND
One of the lesser tourist attractions in the archipelago, South Plaza Island is home to various plant and animal species. The land iguana’s primary source of food, the prickly pear cactus tree, and other Sesuvium species are particularly prevalent there. The iguanas were established on land, eradicating the local mice population. South Plaza Island is a favorite among photographers due to its surrounding landscape of jet-black lava set against turquoise waters.
There is only one small island on the earth where the endangered pink land iguanas can be found. The famed Santa Fe Iguana lives on Santa Fe Island, originally formed by volcanic uplift. Palo Santo and Opuntia trees now grow there in woodland. On Santa Fe Island, there are two trails: one descends to a little beach, while the other leads to a vantage point with views of the island and the surrounding water. Giant Tortoises, who were native to this island and had their population at one time, were completely exterminated by centuries of overhunting.
ESPAÑOLA ISLAND / SUAREZ POINT – GARDNER BAY / OSBORN ISLET
Española Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the archipelago since it is home to various amazing species and geological characteristics. In the Galapagos, Suarez Point is the only place where Waved Albatrosses breed, and if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a young albatross making its first flight out to sea, where it will stay for up to five years! Visitors to Espaola Island frequently spot sea lions, marine iguanas, and sharks swimming in the area’s waters because they are nutrient-rich. In addition to the Waved Albatross, many other bird species call Espaola home, including Galapagos Doves, red-billed tropic birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca, blue-footed boobies, and more.
Sea lions that live in Gardner Bay’s vicinity frolic loudly in the area’s crystal-clear turquoise waters. The endemic Espaola mockingbird, renowned for being exceptionally friendly with visitors, is also present here, along with various finch species. Visitors must not feed or handle any wildlife, even the more amiable species.
SAN CRISTOBAL / INTERPRETATION CENTER – FLIGHT BACK HOME
Since it opened to the public more than 20 years ago, the Interpretation Center has provided visitors with information on the development of the Giant Tortoise breeding program as well as the history of the Galapagos archipelago. The province and the Ecuadorian navy seat are based on San Cristobal, the easternmost of the group of islands, which Charles Darwin visited for the first time. In the vicinity of the center, giant tortoises raised in captivity roam a semi-natural habitat.
Afterward, get transferred to the airport to catch your flight back home.
Ocean Spray – Luxury Galapagos Cruise
It offers a spacious, pleasant briefing area where committed; outstanding Naturalist Guides deliver informative lectures and discussions.
All suites on The Ocean Spray will offer beautiful private balconies with sweeping ocean views, convertible beds, and space to relax and take in the islands while navigating. Premium biodegradable amenities, plush bed linens, and natural lighting will be available in every stateroom.
The top deck lounge or the interior dining area will serve as the outside setting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Visitors can take advantage of the sky deck, which offers a whirlpool and cozy daybeds. The Ocean Spray is a great place from which to view wildlife. The vessel is equipped with a library accessible for reading about the Galapagos and Ecuador, and the passenger briefing lounge and social rooms are very roomy.
All tours are led by renowned naturalist guides, providing unique opportunities to observe the peculiar Galapagos fauna while on the go.
Your activities will include two daily excursions. Every guided tour comprises various activities, including walking, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, dinghy rides, animal viewing, and many more pleasant surprises.
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