East Galapagos Expedition Cruise

East Galapagos Expedition Cruise

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Reward yourself with the adventure of a lifetime in the islands born of fire, the Galapagos archipelago. Witness one of history’s greatest scientific discoveries by experiencing the extraordinary power of nature to adapt to its environment: evolution. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, this remote Archipelago of 18 islands and more than 100 small islets lies around 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Its proximity to the equator, volcanic activity, and influence from three ocean currents (Humboldt, Panama, and Cromwell) created a distinctive set of environmental conditions that allowed for a unique land and marine ecosystems to develop over the course of four million years. The Galapagos Islands were created as a result of centuries of volcanic eruptions caused by the gradual movement of the Nazca tectonic plate. Today, each island offers a different landscape, from mountainous terrains scattered with shield volcanoes and lava fields, arid zones covered with endemic cacti, to beautiful white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. The Galapagos Islands’ marine reserve is one of the largest and most biologically diverse in the world. What sets the Galapagos truly apart is its remarkable levels of endemic wildlife and plant life, more than anywhere else in the world. Nearly 80 percent of land birds and mammals, over 90 percent of reptiles, more than 30 percent of plants and around 20 percent of marine life are native to the Galapagos Islands.

Trip Name
East Galapagos Expedition Cruise
Vessel Type: Superyacht Length: 163.1 feet / 49.73 meters Passenger Capacity: 16 Year Built / Refurbished: 1998 / 2021 The Galapagos Islands’ first true superyacht experience As the first true superyacht in the Galapagos Islands, the 50m Aqua Mare takes an iconic once-in-a-lifetime adventure to the next level. With her expansive size and world-class pedigree, she boasts 30 percent more indoor volume than most yachts her size, making her the perfect respite after active days exploring the remote wildlife and dynamic nature of the Archipelago. Aboard the Italian CRN Yacht-built Aqua Mare, guests will find seven large Zuretti-designed suites, including an 80 sqm Owner’s Suite, extravagant indoor and outdoor social spaces, elegant finishing, and immaculate attention to detail, making it the first of its kind in the region, and the ultimate retreat while exploring the dramatic volcanic landscapes of the Galapagos Archipelago. Exclusivity is combined with the most personalized service enabled by two naturalist guides for 16 guests, on top of the islands’ most exclusive one-to-one crew to guest ratio. A tale of elegance and legacy A truly stunning example of signature Italian luxury mega yacht builders CRN Yachts, Aqua Mare is a vessel of distinction in every way. Designed and built in 1998, the 50m superyacht incorporates original custom interiors by famous yacht designer François Zuretti, and timeless exterior styling by the Italy-based Studio Scanu. Originally consisting of five elegant staterooms, the 2021 refurbishment led by Aqua Expeditions Director Birgit Galli Zugaro sees Aqua Mare add two spacious cabins to the already luxurious mix. A personalized interior makeover that complements the rich history of its destination, Aqua Mare reveals the personalized Aqua Expeditions touch and is ready to be enjoyed in all her sophisticated and contemporary glory. Sophistication and safety Having attained the highest international classifications (ISM, Lloyd’s Register) in safety, the vessel is additionally equipped with Koop Nautic Sea Rocq Underway stabilizers that allow for comfort at rest or while sailing at a maximum speed of 17 knots, faster than anyone in the Archipelago. Aqua Mare’s range outperforms any other yacht in the region, with a cruising range of 4,800 nm, allowing for explorers on board to experience the entirety of the wild and magnificent Archipelago at its most varied and intimate. Accommodations and Cabins Passengers are accommodated in seven sea-facing Design Suites across three decks. Upper Deck: 1 Cat V Design Suite measuring 16 square meters / 172 square feet Main Deck: 1 Cat I Owner’s Suite measuring 80 square meters / 861 square feet, 1 Cat II Design Suite measuring 26 square meters / 280 square feet Lower Deck: 2 Cat III Design Suites measuring 28 square meters / 301 square feet 2 Cat IV Design Suites measuring 22 square meters / 237 square feet On-board Living and Social Areas Sun Deck with Panoramic Dining, Outdoor Seating, Lounge Sofa, Outdoor Barbecue area, Outdoor 6-person Jacuzzi, and Outdoor Workout Zone Upper Deck with Bridge, Main Panoramic Lounge, Library, Lobby Bar, and Outdoor Deck Main Deck with Indoor Dining Room, Pop-Up Boutique, and Outdoor Dining and Lounge Area Lower Deck with Swim Platform, and Indoor Panoramic Beach Club / Movie Room


Day 1 - Day 1 ECUADOR Embarkation At Baltra Island And Bahia Borrero
Once you arrive at Baltra airport, you will be met by our team and escorted on a short cross island transfer to the jetty. Receive a warm welcome aboard Aqua Mare, the Galapagos Islands’ first 50m luxury superyacht where you will be treated with the utmost attention courtesy of our 1:1 crew to guest ratio. After a delicious lunch, pick out your snorkeling kit complete with mask, fins, snorkel, and an optional wetsuit for your personal use during the week. You will also receive a special waterproof bag and an Aqua Expeditions water bottle as a welcome gift. The afternoon will see you head out for your first excursion to the beautiful white beach of Bahia Borrero on the northern part of Santa Cruz. You might be able to spot Darwin’s finches, Cactus finches, and Small Ground finches nestled in the coastal vegetation. For those who prefer to snorkel, you will encounter sea turtles at the beach — one of their primary nesting sites. Afterwards, head back to the yacht and indulge in a sumptuous Nikkei-inspired dinner curated by Aqua Expeditions’ world-renowned consultant chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Share stories of your excursion with other guests, marking the perfect start to your Galapagos Islands adventure. * Recommended flights: EQUAIR
Day 2 - Day 2 ECUADOR El Barranco And Bahía Darwin, Genovesa Island
This morning, you’ll wake up on the other side of the equator and head over to Bahia Darwin’s coralline beach for hiking and snorkeling. Following a sumptuous lunch, explore Genovesa Island with a tender ride along the volcanic rocks of El Barranco. You’ll be able to view fur seals resting inside rock crevices. A 1.5 km hike inland will then take us to the lava fields to view red-footed boobies as well as great frigatebirds and Galapagos storm petrels. Make it a family affair after dinner at the lower deck Beach Club by enjoying a private movie screening. We recommend watching the Planet Earth documentary on the Galapagos Islands, the swashbuckling box office Master and Commander, or simply enjoy the starlit skies from the sun deck.
Day 3 - Day 3 ECUADOR Bahía Sullivan, Santiago Island And Sombrero Chino Island
Start the morning early with a workout or a guided meditation on our sun deck followed by a refreshing breakfast. Our first excursion of the day will take us to Santiago Island with a dry landing at Bahía Sullivan to discover recent Pahoehoe lava flows. After a sumptuous lunch and lecture from one of our expert naturalist guides onboard Aqua Mare, we leave for Sombrero Chino Island, so named after the small crater that forms the islet. In the surrounding crystal-clear waters, you might have the opportunity to observe sea lions and penguins from above. There will be time for snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking. After working up an appetite, return to the yacht for evening sundowners and a signature dining experience serving macambo rice and fish maito. * Morning rendezvous diving option available
Day 4 - Day 4 ECUADOR Bartolomé Island And Cerro Dragón, Santa Cruz Island
With an early morning anchor at Bartolomé Island, you will embark upon a mild climb up to the summit of a spatter cone for a spectacular view of the island’s iconic Pinnacle Rock. Cool down afterwards with a snorkel where you may encounter sea turtles and Galapagos penguins, before heading back to the yacht for lunch as we sail towards Santa Cruz Island. Our afternoon excursion takes us to Cerro Dragón or Dragon Hill, so named because in 1975 it was one of the only places in the Santa Cruz Island where scientists could still find a healthy population of land iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus). Back onboard, swap tales of your magnificent excursion while enjoying the best of the region’s flavors through seafood specialties like pan seared scallops and grilled squid. * Morning rendezvous diving option available
Day 5 - Day 5 ECUADOR Zanillo Giant Tortoise Reserve And Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Island
This morning you will explore a Giant Tortoise Reserve to see these wild Galapagos Islands creatures up close in their natural habitat. The area is also a great place to observe Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, flycatchers, cattle egrets, and if lucky Galapagos Rails. After a delicious lunch, you will visit Darwin Station and National Park headquarters to observe tortoises in captivity at the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, as well as the different age hatchlings categorized by islands. There will be free time to enjoy the town of Puerto Ayora before returning to the ship. Refreshing superfruit juices await at our Beach Club, which is located at water level at the aft of the ship or enjoy the scenic sunset views from the upper deck. For divers, there is the option of a full day of diving instead of joining the day excursions. * Morning rendezvous diving option available
Day 6 - Day 6 ECUADOR Punta Suárez, Bahía Gardner, And Islote Osborn, Española Island
Rise and shine to a guided meditation on our upper deck before disembarking in Punta Suárez for this morning’s excursion. This visitor site is one of the most interesting landing sites in Galapagos Islands, due to the high percentage of unique endemism in its fauna such as Española mockingbirds, lava lizards, marine iguanas, and the unique waved albatross. In the afternoon, we will take a tender ride to the beautiful array of islets where you will be able to snorkel alongside playful sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, rays and many different species of reef fishes. The last visit of the day will be Bahía Gardner, an outstanding coralline sand beach that boasts one of the biggest colonies of sea lions in the Galapagos. Back at the yacht, head over to our bar to socialize over Happy Hour with a glass of our special Aqua Bloody Mary as the crew prepares for departure to our next anchorage.
Day 7 - Day 7 ECUADOR Sante Fé Island And Plaza Sur Island
After a night of sailing, you will visit Santa Fé Island for your penultimate day. It is one of the oldest in the Galapagos Islands (around 3.6 million years old), with the island being characterized to some degree by its vegetation of palo santo trees, a pear cactus that is called Opuntia echios barringtonensis, and many other native bushes. Here we will spot land iguanas, lava lizards, mockingbirds, and Darwin’s finches. After the visit, we will be able to take advantage of the last full day in the Galapagos Islands by snorkeling, kayaking, or stand- up paddle boarding. As you enjoy lunch onboard, the boat will sail to Plaza Sur Island, located off the eastern shore of Santa Cruz. In the afternoon you disembark at Plaza Sur Island, a small, but diverse little islet. Head out on a two-hour hiking excursion led by your guide to discover the island’s unique landforms. Swap notes on everything you’ve seen today at your final recap briefing once back aboard and toast farewell under the amazing starlit skies of the Archipelago to your new found friends over a glass of wine. * Morning rendezvous diving option available
Day 8 - Day 8 ECUADOR Los Gemelos, Santa Cruz Island And Disembarkation
You begin your last day with a luxurious breakfast before bidding farewell to the Aqua Mare crew. Your last visit before leaving paradise is a final short excursion to drive up the highlands of Santa Cruz Island to the twin craters of Los Gemelos enroute to the airport. It is a remarkable location surrounded by lush vegetation. Memories of this last adventure will accompany you as you are escorted to Baltra Island for the departing flight back to the mainland and onward journey home. * Recommended flights: EQUAIR
Day 9 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Every day, guests will also embark on snorkeling excursions in the surrounding waters to see the region’s marine life. The waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands are home to a variety of sea creatures including species of sharks, rays, reef fish, and occasionally, even whales!
    • Over on land, Aqua Mare guests will embark on guided hiking adventures to some of the islands’ hotspots for spotting wildlife. There’ll be opportunities to spot land and marine iguanas — striking creatures which look like they were descendants of the mythical dragons. There’ll also be visits to see the remarkable Giant Tortoises which make for one of the highlights of an expedition to the Galapagos Islands.
    • Finally, we’ll look to the skies for even more exciting sightings. The archipelago is inhabited by unique species of birds such as flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, and Darwin’s finches — named after the biologist, who used his experiences on the islands as the foundation for his theory of evolution.