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Cruising the Galapagos: M/C Origin

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 9,052

Choose from two 8-day itineraries and uncover the natural secrets of the Galapagos Islands. 13 crew members cater to just 20 passengers, ensuring a personalised and informative experience as you learn about the unique land, sea, and bird life of this living evolutionary marvel.


These 8-day itineraries each offer a superb overview of the Galapagos Islands, with informative guiding, snorkelling, kayaking, and all meals and excursions included. Flights from mainland Ecuador are also included.

The northern route begins at Centro de Crianza Jacinto Gordillo, where you’ll learn about its giant tortoise breeding program. A welcome dinner concludes the day, before going on to Genovesa Island, one of the top bird watching spots in the Galapagos. When you’re done coming face to beak with the local boobies, learn how to make real Ecuadorian ceviche. The afternoon takes you to Darwin Bay for more birdwatching and great swimming – perhaps with sea lions if you’re fortunate. In La Bachas, stroll in view of bright flamingos before snorkelling with sea turtles and tropical fish, while iguanas await you on Dragon Hill. The caves of Punta Vicente Roca are teeming with life, including sea turtles and penguins. As you sail the Bolivar Channel, keep a look out for dolphins and gigantic sun fish. Urbina Bay is another highlight, where the Galapagos’ wildlife thrives amid some of its most spectacular volcanic scenery.

Stop in at Fernandina, the youngest of the Galapagos Islands, where sea lions laze on the beaches, watched over by the islands’ largest colony of marine iguanas. Going ashore at Tagus Cove, you’ll also learn about the human history of the Galapagos, one filled with tales of pirates and whalers. Visit the red sand beach of Rabida, and weave through the mangrove forests of Black Turtle Cove. Stop by Charles Darwin Research Station to see giant tortoise hatchlings and perhaps try some locally produced ice cream or coffee in Puerto Ayora. Your final day takes you to nesting colonies of frigate birds, lava lizards, finches, and mockingbirds, before your flight back to the mainland.

Opt for the southbound route, and you can expect an equally impressive and varied array of wildlife and island sights. Start at El Junco Lake, where you might even see sea lions lounging on moored boats. Sail to Wizard Hill the following day, spotting pelicans, blue-footed boobies and many other birds, along with the geological formation nicknamed Darwin’s Pants. Go ashore at Punta Pitt for top notch birdwatching, and snorkel with sea lions at Pitt Rock. Going on to Espanola Island, where there’s a good chance you’ll see albatross engaged in their complex mating dance, the world’s only nocturnal gull, or both. At Gardner Bay, see the sea lions enjoying white sand beaches before enjoying some time to kayak or snorkel. Walk the green-tinged beach of Floreana Island, finally reaching Devil’s Crown or Champion Islet, both excellent snorkelling spots teeming with marine life. You’ll also visit Post Office Bay, where an 18th century barrel still serves as the (albeit sporadic) postal service today!

Halfway through your journey, take in the lava tunnels at El Mirador and Los Gemelos, and visit a private ranch where 500-pound tortoises roam free. Stop by the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about the work being done to preserve these incredible creatures. Opt for either a hike to a breathtaking view over Bartolome Island, or a Zodiac ride around its coastline before going on to the Chinese Hat, a small island named for its shape. On North Seymour Island, see the colourful displays put on by frigate birds, before enjoying one final opportunity to snorkel with the Galapagos marine life. Your final day in the Galapagos is devoted to San Cristobal’s Interpretation Centre, where you can put your discoveries into perspective and learn about the islands’ human history before your flight back to mainland Ecuador.


 

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 9,052

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - Centro de Crianza Jacinto Gordillo

When you land at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island, our guides will be there to greet you and escort you to your yacht by bus and Zodiac. Once you've boarded, you'll have a welcome briefing and a short safety drill. Begin your vacation with a delicious buffet lunch before traveling to Cerro Colorado to visit Centro de Crianza Jacinto Gordillo (La Galapaguera). Here, you'll learn about the breeding program for giant tortoises that the national park has established to ensure that these animals continue to thrive despite the endangered status of some species. At the visitor center, you'll have a chance to learn about the evolution of tortoises and the threats they face, from invasive species to habitat loss. Along the trail, your first exposure to Galapagos wildlife may include the San Cristobal mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island. Back on the yacht, after a briefing, the captain and crew will welcome you with a cocktail reception. An elegant multi-course dinner, prepared by our accomplished chefs and accompanied by wine, will be served, and you'll set sail for Genovesa Island.the week. But for tonight, enjoy meeting your fellow passengers as our kitchen staff treats you to a multi-course dinner complete with complimentary wine.

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Duration7 Nights
Accommodation

M/C Origin

More Info

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    M/C Origin


    The MV Origin takes luxury cruising in the Galapagos Islands to the next level. Sleek, stylish and modern spaces make you feel like you are on board a private luxury yacht. Every element of the yacht has been designed for comfort, safety and sustainability - ...

    The MV Origin takes luxury cruising in the Galapagos Islands to the next level. Sleek, stylish and modern spaces make you feel like you are on board a private luxury yacht. Every element of the yacht has been designed for comfort, safety and sustainability - from inviting accommodations with panoramic windows to world-class cuisine. The Origin blends the best of tasteful design and decor, luxury amenities, and environmental sustainability. Origin offers an unforgettable cruising experience matched only by the incomparable nature of the islands we visit.

    The experienced 13-member Ecuadorian crew includes a high-level Captain, a full time concierge, and two naturalist guides (one for every ten guests) and the lowest guide to guest ratio in Galapagos. Outstanding naturalists delight in sharing their knowledge and passion - with just 20 guests, there is nothing to get in the way of your personal experience of one of the most memorable places on Earth!

    Facilities

    • Fitness Centre
    • Indoor bar
    • Jacuzzi
    • Lounge
    • Sundeck

    More Details

Day 2

Prince Philip's Steps - Darwin Bay

In the morning, you'll land at Prince Philip's Steps, Genovesa (Tower) Island is one of the most spectacular places in Galapagos for bird watching because of its diversity of species. Throughout the day, you'll want to have your camera ready. Your guides will point out red-footed boobies nesting in Palo Santo trees, Nazca boobies nesting near the trail, and storm petrels gathering in large numbers in an open lava field. With luck, you may even get to see the elusive short-eared owl. After a BBQ lunch on the yacht's sun deck and a demonstration on how to make Ecuadorian Ceviche, you'll have the option to explore the cliffs up close, either by kayak or stand-up paddle board, or on a deep-water snorkeling excursion from the Zodiac. Look for the red-billed tropic bird hiding in the crevices of the rock.

Later in the afternoon, you'll land at Darwin Bay, a gorgeous coral sand beach. Here, you'll see both swallow-tailed gulls and lava gulls gathered near the tide pools. A forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves provide shelter for Great frigate birds. Males looking to attract a mate inflate a red pouch on their chests. Round out the afternoon by relaxing on the beach, or choose to swim with friendly, playful sea lions in these warmer northern waters. When you return to the yacht, you'll have a short briefing followed by a delicious dinner. If the night is clear, take a stroll on the deck and enjoy the sky full of bright stars. Your guides can point out constellations and help you identify the species of birds flying alongside the yacht.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Las Bachas or Black Turtle Cove - Cerro Dragon

This morning you'll visit Las Bachas, Spanish for barges, on the northern side of Santa Cruz. Dozens of bright pink flamingos feed on the interior lagoons, and a long white sand beach is a beautiful site for a stroll. Your guides will point out endemic plant species and share some fascinating Galapagos history. Before returning to the yacht for lunch, you'll have time to snorkel from the beach. Bring your underwater camera to take photos of colorful tropical fish and sea stars, along with sea turtles and maybe even sharks along the ocean floor. Your guide will offer an enrichment lecture that is informative and entertaining, the topic is on marine currents, climate and geology of the Islands.

In the afternoon, when you step ashore on Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill), you'll have a magnificent panoramic view of the bay and island landscape. You may see flamingos in the brackish lagoon, along with a variety of plants, including Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Muyuyo trees (Cordia letea). As you walk the trail, look for Darwin's finches, Galapagos flycatchers, yellow warblers, and Audubon shear waters. The guides will also pause to point out birds such as stilts, pintail ducks and sandpipers. Scan the path for yellow Land iguanas, strikingly different from their marine cousins, resting in the sun. These iguanas, which are endemic to the Galapagos, were once part of the Station's breeding program.

After walking the trail, you'll return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Punta Vicente Roca or Elizabeth Bay - Urbina Bay

Begin your morning with a Zodiac ride at Punta Vicente Roca. Your skilled driver will navigate you through the wave-sculpted caves and bring you up close to the turf walls covered in colorful Sally light-foot crabs. Don't miss the opportunity to snorkel here, with penguins diving playfully in the water or grooming themselves on rock formations. Look for sea turtles poking their heads above water before swimming gracefully beneath the surface. After lunch, take a seat on the sun deck to enjoy the scenery as we sail through the Bolivar Chanel. In addition to the dramatic scenery, you might get to see whales riding the bow wave or dolphins jumping in graceful arcs. You may even spot the Mola-Mola, an odd-looking giant sun fish with triangular fins on the top and bottom and a short, stubbly tail fin.

In the afternoon, you'll disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island and see some surprising evidence of volcanic activity. Four files of coastal seabed were exposed due to a dramatic uplift during an eruption in 1954, and some of the remaining coral skeletons still stand several feet high. A diverse collection of animal species await on the island as well, including Galapagos land iguanas, marine iguanas, Darwin's finches, brown pelicans, flightless cormorants, and the occasional giant Galapagos tortoise. When you're finished exploring, you'll return to the vessel for your nightly briefing and dinner. After dessert, step outside and observe the pale glow of the Milky Way. As we cross the Equator, you may get a visit from King Neptune himself! Guests of all ages will enjoy this fun filled evening and maritime ritual, our crew dress as pirates and guest participation is optional

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Punta Espinosa, Fernandina - Tagus Cove, Isabela

This morning you're in for another geological wonder. Stop at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest and most pristine Island in Galapagos, formed by active volcanoes that stretch around the coast. With no introduced animals on this island, you can observe the ecosystem at its most pristine. Sea lion harems lie on the beach, with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory and keeping a lookout for sharks that threaten the colony's pups. Hundreds of marine iguanas, forming the largest colony in Galapagos, warm themselves along the rugged shoreline, blending in with the dark rocks. Out on the point, your guide will show you the nests of flightless cormorants, which stay close to shore since they lost their ability to fly. You'll have an opportunity to snorkel here, in the company of the large sea turtles that frequent the area. Return to the yacht for a BBQ lunch served on the sundeck where you'll have a prime view for whale watching.

Your guide will offer an enrichment lecture about Charles Darwin and his Theory of evolution as well as social/environmental projects that benefit the Galapagos. After lunch, you'll get to see some of the human history of the Galapagos when you go ashore on Tagus Cove. This was a favorite stopping point for pirates and whalers for centuries, and sections of the rocky cliffs are covered in graffiti from as far back as the 1800s. Hike at a faster pace to a saltwater lagoon and scenic overview, and take in the ocean, lava fields, and volcanic formations. You may choose to explore the shoreline of the secluded cove by kayak or paddle board. There are many animals to see, including Galapagos penguins, boobies, pelicans and other seabirds. Tonight, as we sail toward the geographic center of the archipelago, we'll cross the equator for the third and final time.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Rabida Island - Black Turtle Cove

This morning, you'll disembark on the dark red beach of Rabida (Jervis-2). This small island is considered the geographic center of the Galapagos because its volcanic rocks are the most diversified in the archipelago. A short trail will lead you to a saltwater lagoon filled with greater flamingos. Along the way, look for marine iguanas, mockingbirds and yellow warblers. You may also see Darwin's finches. Over a dozen species of finches live on the islands and observing them contributed to Charles Darwin's ideas that formed the basis for his theory of evolution. If you choose to snorkel this morning, you may be able to see a colony of sea lions or rays. Several species of rays live on the Galapagos, but golden rays and spotted eagle rays are the most common.

As you sail after lunch, take a seat on deck to view the dramatic landscape and dolphins that are often spotted here. Guests on the Origin have a Zodiac excursion at Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) through a series of peaceful coves and inlets surrounded by mangroves whose large roots rise out of the water. View pairs of mating sea turtles (Sept to Feb), white-tipped reef sharks and golden cow-nosed rays. We return to the vessel for the Captain's Farewell cocktail with the crew, and dinner as well as a special presentation by your guides.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Highlands of Santa Cruz - Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena and Charles Darwin Research Station

When you wake up this morning, your yacht will be one of dozens of boats anchored in the lively harbor of Academy Bay. You'll disembark at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, the social heart of the Galapagos, with a population of 24,000 residents. This morning, we visit the breeding center Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena and Charles Darwin Research Station where we learn about ongoing conservation efforts from exhibits set up along the wooden trail. You'll see hatchlings and miniature tortoises that will be repatriated by the National Park when grown. The newest exhibit honors Lonesome George, the last surviving tortoise from Pinta Island that tragically died of natural causes. With his species now extinct, Lonesome George has become a worldwide icon, emphasizing the importance of efforts to preserve and protect endangered wildlife. A more hopeful story is Diego, a saddleback tortoise whose species was reduced to 14 individuals before he was transported from the San Diego Zoo and who has since fathered hundreds of descendants.

Afterwards, you'll learn about the history of the settlers of this Island on a guided tour through the back streets of Puerto Ayora. Stroll through town to shop for handmade souvenirs, Ecuadorian chocolate ice cream or coffee grown in Galapagos.

Return to the yacht for lunch and later board a bus for a short ride to a lava tunnel, a hollow formation created when lava on the earth's surface cools and hardens while molten lava continues to flow in the middle. Your next stop will be Los Gemelos (The Twins), a pair of large, deep craters with vibrant plant life at higher elevation. Next stop is at a privately-owned hacienda, where giant tortoises roam freely - some weighing over 500 pounds - in their natural habitat, feeding or resting in shallow pools.

Return to the yacht for dinner or, if you wish, remain ashore on your own at a local restaurant. Your guides or concierge will be glad to provide a recommendation. Zodiac shuttles from the yachts to the main dock will be offered throughout the evening for your convenience.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Cerro Tijeretas, San Cristobal

Your last morning in the Galapagos we disembark after breakfast and travel by bus to Cerro Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill-2), where you'll find nesting colonies of both species of frigate birds; Great and Magnificent, lava lizards, medium ground finches and San Cristobal mockingbird. Follow the trail to Punta Carola for a spectacular view. Before your flight back to the mainland, you'll have time for any last-minute photos or shopping. A short bus ride will get you to the airport with plenty of time for check in.

Ecoventura reserves the right at its sole option and discretion and that of the Captain of the vessel without liability for damages or refund of any kind to deviate from the vessel's advertised or regularly scheduled itinerary. Itineraries are subject to change at any time for any reason including mechanical failure and without prior notice. Ecoventura will not be held responsible for any refunds whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Northern Route:
2019: May 5, 19; Jun 2, 16, 30; Jul 14, 28; Aug 11, 25; Sep 8, 22; Oct 6, 20; Nov 3, 17; Dec 1, 15, 29

Southern Route: 
2019: May 12, 26; Jun 9, 23; Jul 7, 21; Aug 4, 18; Sep 1, 15, 29; Oct 13, 27; Nov 10, 24; Dec 8, 22

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Flights to and from the Galapagos from mainland Ecuador
  • All site excursions 
  • All meals and stateroom accommodation during cruise 
  • Galapagos National Park bilingual Guide 
  • Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits 
  • Kayaks  
  • Use of all amenities on board
  • Park Fee
  • Visitors Ticket

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • 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.

TB ANDEANTQUI0219CR: MCO B NWR
15 Dec 2019
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