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Cruising Galapagos 8 Days (M/V Legend)

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,134

Experience the diversity of the Galapagos Islands as you spend 8 days sailing aboard the luxurious Legend. Take the time to get close to wildlife as you hike and snorkel around the islands.


Nowhere embodies the spirit of eco-travel like the Galapagos Islands. They have inspired nature lovers all the way back to Charles Darwin, and today draw visitors from all parts of the globe. As the world’s second largest marine reserve after the Great Barrier Reef, the Islands are perhaps best experienced on a guided cruise. See Blue-footed Boobies, sea lions, and the famed Galapagos Tortoise. Then relax after each day’s discoveries aboard your first class vessel. The Legend sleeps 100 passengers with a commitment to luxury and privacy. Multilingual naturalist guides are onboard, along with a concierge and 24-hour medical service.

At the base of Dragon Hill, Ballena Bay gets your visit off to a picturesque start, its beach highlighted by green olivine crystal sands. Marine iguanas and sea birds also dot the landscape. Land on a volcanic sand beach visited by Darwin in 1835. You’ll find a wide variety of bird and sea life here, including endemic fur seals, who keep cool in the volcanic rock pools. Pass lava lizards and Blue-footed Boobies as you hike to the summit of the island. You may even have the chance to swim with Galapagos Penguins, sea turtles and Whitetip Reef Sharks.

Make another dry landing at North Seymour. Many of the Islands’ biggest stars can be found here, including Blue-footed Boobies and sea lions. Spend a day at Bachas Beach. A prime nesting spot for sea turtles, the beach is also the final resting place of numerous US Navy barges operated here during World War 2. In fact, the name ‘Bachas’ is derived from how the locals pronounce ‘barges’.

Santiago and Rabida Islands are the epicenter of the Galapagos and home to its most diverse volcanic ecology. A number of birds nest here as well, including Darwin’s finches and Brown Pelicans from July to September.

Isabela is the largest of the Islands. Tour the coral reef that emerged following volcanic activity in 1954. Learn more about the eruptions that formed the archipelago, before following the trail to Darwin’s Salt-water Crater Lake, to see the effects of this history first hand. This is another haven for the Islands’ birds, including the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin whose range extends into the northern hemisphere.

Large marine iguanas and sea lions can be found at Espinosa Point. You’ll also see flightless cormorants and the king of local predators, the Galapagos Hawk. Go deep water snorkeling at Bolivar Channel, admiring the coastal birds as you explore in a dinghy. Your final day is devoted to the giant tortoises of Santa Cruz.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,134

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Mainland to the Galapagos, Santa Cruz

This morning, take a flight departing from mainland Ecuador heading to Baltra (2.5 hours). Upon arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and take a 10 minute bus ride to the pier to board the Galapagos Legend.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy of a dinghy ride on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, Black Turtle Cove, accessible only by sea. Four species of mangrove crowd and form an internal lagoon, turtles visit the calm waters, peaking their heads above the surface while fish, rays circle below. White-tipped reef sharks can be seen beneath the boat, plus sea birds, including pelicans, herons and egrets. This cove has been declared as a "turtle sanctuary".

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: None
Duration: 1 hour dinghy ride

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

M/V Legend

More Info

Location View map
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    M/V Legend



    This legendary, 100-passenger, first-class vessel offers all the amenities of a large cruise liner without sacrificing the intimacy you'd expect on a small sailing craft, and consequently allows you to have it all.

    This legendary, 100-passenger, first-class vessel offers all the amenities of a large cruise liner without sacrificing the intimacy you'd expect on a small sailing craft, and consequently allows you to have it all.

    Facilities

    • Auditorium
    • Boutique(s)
    • Embarkation Area
    • Fitness Centre
    • Jacuzzi
    • Medical Facilities
    • Panoramic Views
    • Pool
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 2

Genovesa - El Barranco and Darwin Bay

This morning visit El Barranco, Prince Philip's Steps. Be marveled at the variety of sea life that uses the crevices of the lava cliffs for shelter. Red-billed Tropicbirds fly overhead, switching between their nests and the bay, and a small colony of fur seals may be found near the landing site. You will be dropped off at a steep stairway that begins on rocks at the foot of a path that leads through a seabird colony full of Nazca and Red-footed Boobies. At the plateau, the trail continues inland allowing you to see more nesting booby colonies in the thin Palo Santo forest. Near the end of the trail, over a rocky lava plain, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels can be observed flying in all directions. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a Short-eared Owl.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Type of terrain: Rocky - Lava
Duration: 45 minute walk

During the afternoon you will disembark onto a small sand and coral beach. A short trail heads west along a tidal lagoon and then up a rocky hill that leads to a point overlooking the cliffs and Darwin Bay. Along the trail near the tidal lagoon, visitors will see pairs of Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Yellow-crowned and Lava Herons. The trail continues through Palo Santo trees, Opuntia cacti, and Saltbushes inhabited by Great Frigate birds and Red-footed Boobies. This is one of the few places in the islands where visitors are guaranteed to see Red-footed Boobies. It is estimated that more than 200.000 Red-footed Boobies live in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Type of terrain: Sand and Lava
Duration: 2.5 hours walk

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz) and Santa Fe

This morning, make a dry landing. Walk by a brackish lagoon where feeding flamingoes can be occasionally found. The trail leads across typical dry zone vegetation up to Dragon Hill, an important nesting ground for endemic land iguanas, offering lovely views of the anchorage and neighbouring islands. The forest is home to mockingbirds, Darwin's finches, Yellow Warblers and Galapagos Doves.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 2 hours walk

In the afternoon, make a wet landing at Santa Fe. This island shows white sand beaches surrounded by sea lion colonies. Through the island path, an endemic cactus forest is passed, home of the Santa Fe land iguanas (the largest in the islands). This island is the habitat for a number of species, including the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snakes, rice rats (one of the few endemic Galapagos rodents), a variety of finches and one of the four mockingbird species of the archipelago.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 1.5 hour walk / 1 hour deep water snorkeling

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Mosquera Islet and Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)

Early this morning you will have a wet landing at Mosquera Islet, located between North Seymour and Baltra Island. This flat, sandy island has a large colony of sea lions. It is also an excellent site to observe shorebirds such as herons and lava gulls. There is no trail on the islet, the visitor can enjoy the open area. Most of the islet is covered with sand and barren lava rock. Very little sesuvium portulacastrum plants grow on the sand.

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1.5 hour walk and snorkel

This afternoon, you will have a wet landing on the north side of Santa Cruz. Behind the beach lies two flamingo ponds with iguanas, coastal birds, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and gulls, as well as interesting native and endemic vegetation. This beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average 70 eggs each, but then will spend 3 to 5 years without breeding.

At this site, you will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago, once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. The name "Bachas" was how the locals pronounced "barges".

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1 hour walk, 1 hour snorkel/beach time

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Egas Port (Santiago) and Rabida

This morning, make a wet landing. Egas Port is a black volcanic sand beach, visited by Darwin in 1835. The first section of the trail is formed of volcanic ash (eroded tuff) and the other half is an uneven terrain of volcanic basaltic rock. The unique, truly striking layered terrain of Santiago shore is home to a variety of animals including the bizarre yellow-crowned night heron and marine wildlife including lobster, starfish and marine iguanas grazing on algae beds alongside Sally light-foot crabs. It is easy to see colonies of endemic fur seals swimming in cool water volcanic rock pools.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Flat and Semi-rocky
Duration: 1.5 hour walk/ 1 hour snorkel

In the afternoon, make another wet landing. Dark-red sand covers these unique beaches. Rabida is considered the epicenter of the Galapagos Islands due to the diversity of its volcanic geology. Nesting Brown Pelicans are found from July through September and nine species of the famous Darwin's finches can be seen. You will also take a dinghy ride along cliffs to observe nesting seabirds, and snorkel off the coast, where marine life is particularly active.

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Sandy
Duration: 1.5 hour walk, 1 hour snorkel, 1 hour dinghy ride

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Isabela - Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

Today, make a wet landing on a volcanic 'black' beach. Depending on the season, you may find giant tortoises, land iguanas and the unusual flightless cormorant. After a short walk inland, snorkeling time is alloted, giving you yet another chance to swim with sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. Urbina Bay features a wide variety of plant life that changes depending on season. You can observe the beautiful colours of plants that attract different insects, birds and reptiles. The tour will explore the uplifted coral reef that resulted from 1954 volcanic activity, with a spectacular view of Alcedo Volcano.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Flat
Duration: 1.5 hour walk and 1 hour snorkel

In the afternoon, make a dry landing on Galapagos' largest island where you will learn about the eruption of the five volcanoes that form it. The trail leads to Darwin's salt-water crater Lake and excellent views of lava fields and volcanic formations. Later, return along the same path for a dinghy ride along a shoreline full of marine wildlife where you will admire a variety of seabirds such as Blue-Footed Boobies, Brown Noddies, terns, flightless cormorant and depending on the season, Galapagos Penguins. Galapagos Penguins, which only reach 35cm in height, are the only penguin species in the world to extend its range into the northern hemisphere along the equator. They are monogamous and lay their eggs in small cracks of lava on the lower parts of the island near the shoreline as not to be reached by the ocean waves. The population of penguins on the islands is about 2 000 individuals most of which live on this western portion of Isabela with others scattered further south on the island. You will have an opportunity to snorkel in deep water. Graffiti believed to be have been left by 19th century pirates is a curious reminder of an intriguing past.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Steep
Duration: 2 hour walk, 40 min dinghy ride and 1 hour of deep water snorkeling

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Fernandina to Isabela - Espinosa Point and Vicente Roca Point

Today make a dry landing at Espinosa Point, the only stop on Fernandina, from where you can see the island of Isabela across the Bolivar Channel, an area that boasts some of the highest diversity of endemic sea fauna in the Galapagos. The largest, most primitive looking race of marine iguanas are found mingling with sea lions and Sally Lightfoot Crabs. This is a wonderful opportunity to encounter flightless cormorants at their nesting sites, Galapagos Penguins and the Galapagos Hawk, the King of predators on the Islands.

'Pa-hoe-hoe' and 'AA' lava formations cover the majority of the terrain. Vegetation is scarce inland, but you will encounter Brachycereus cacti and extensive mangrove beds lining the shores.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Type of terrain: Rocky
Duration: 1.5 hour walk and 1 hour snorkel

In the afternoon, you will have the chance to enjoy great deep water snorkeling at Bolivar Channel, one of the richest marine havens on Earth. Take a dinghy ride along the coast to observe a great diversity of sea and coastal birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies, noddies, brown pelicans, penguins and flightless cormorants. The upwelling of coldwater currents in this part of the Galapagos gives rise to an abundance of marine life.

Duration: 1 hour snorkel and 1 hour dinghy ride

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Santa Cruz and Return to Mainland

This morning, make a dry landing at Santa Cruz. A 45 minute bus ride will take you to the Santa Cruz highlands, located to the northwest of Puerto Ayora where you will find a natural reserve with giant tortoises. In the mountains of Galapagos is possible to admire different kinds of birds, such as tree and ground finches, vermillion flycatchers, paint-billed crakes, yellow warblers, and cattle egrets (usually standing on the tortoises' shell). The journey to the reserve offers great opportunities to see the contrasts that the island offers in reference to the variety of ecosystems. The road goes from the coast through the agricultural zone and straight up to the dense humid forests. Often, Galapagos Giant Tortoises are also seen on the way, wandering through pastures in the paddocks. This spot is a bird watchers' haven since almost every land bird present on the island lives or migrates here.

Difficulty level: Easy
Type of terrain: Flat and Muddy (depending on season)
Duration: 45 minutes drive and 1.5 hour walk

Following the morning touring, you will be transferred to Baltra Airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador where your tour will conclude.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES: 

Itins B & CD - Mondays
Itins BC & D - Thursdays

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 7 night cruise aboard the M/V Legend
  • All Transport
  • All tours as indicated
  • Local Guides
  • All entrances as indicated
  • Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Galapagos Domestic Air
  • Galapagos Park National Park Tax
  • Migration Control Card

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes unless otherwise specified
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

OTHER INFORMATION:

NOTE: The domestic flights Quito - Galapagos - Quito (approx. $550 USD), Galapagos Park entrance fee of $100 USD and visitors ticket of $20 USD are included in the trip price. (Subject to change).

Itineraries: Due to government regulations designed to control and protect the impact of tourism, each vessel, based on length of cruise has its own distinct itinerary.  The itineraries are designed to allow visitors to visit all regions of the islands and we suggest you request the advice of Goway's Latin specialists as to which itinerary would suit you best.

TB KLEINTOQUI0118CR: L AB1
10 Dec 2018
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