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Central & Genovesa Islands 8 days B (Ocean Spray)

Central & Genovesa Islands 8 days B (Ocean Spray)

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Description

The Galapagos Islands were discovered by accident by the Bishop of Panama in 1535. For the next 300 years the main visitors were either whalers or English pirates hiding out in between plundering Spanish galleons laden with silver and gold.

The islands gained international recognition when Charles Darwin published his famous theory on “natural selection” following his visit to the islands in 1835 aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin marvelled at the extraordinary animals on the islands. Fueled by the nutrient rich ocean currents and isolated from humans, the islands have developed unique, abundant wildlife that has no natural fear of Man. The islands’ importance was confirmed when the islands were declared the world’s first World Heritage Site in 1978 and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1984.

The Galapagos National Park protects 97% of the islands. Thanks to conservation efforts the Galapagos Islands are much as they were millions of years ago and visitors can see up close some of the planet’s most wonderful creatures and landscapes. It truly is like no place on earth. Imagine yourself walking amongst prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, albatross nesting colonies, lumbering giant tortoises, baby sea turtles hatching or flamingos. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and a myriad of spectacularly colourful fish. We guarantee you an experience like no other you have ever known.

Additional Charges Apply – Easter, Christmas and New Year

Trip Name
Central & Genovesa Islands 8 days B (Ocean Spray)
Days
8
Overview
Vessel Type: Power Motor Catamaran Length: 34 metres Passenger Capacity: 16  Built / refurbished: 2011 The Mega-Catamaran Ocean Spray offers the best performance and comfort in Galapagos Cruising. The elegant design includes a huge sundeck, Jacuzzi and spacious cabins each with private balcony. Her speed, comfort, top guides and itinerary will make Ocean Spray perfect for your Galapagos Cruise Adventure. Kayaks are also available for use. Accommodation: Main Deck: 4 double cabins (334 ft² / 32 mt²) Upper Deck: 4 double cabins (248 ft² / 23 mt²), 1 single cabin (194 ft² / 18 mt²). All with private balcony. Crew: Captain, Bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide, Quality Control Manager, 8 other crew (First Mate, Chef, Sous Chef, Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Sailor, Barman, Housekeeper). KEY FEATURES - Ample social areas & jacuzzi, Private Balconies, Top Galapagos Guides, Cruise Manager

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 - FROM QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL TO BALTRA (GALAPAGOS) & LOBOS ISLAND/KICKER ROCK
Assistance will be provided for you when you arrive to the airport by one of our representatives after you have landed.You will arrive at San Cristobal Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim you will be met by Ocean Spray staff and transferred to the yacht. You will be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before lunch and a welcome briefing.In the afternoon we will visit Lobos Island. The name of this island means "Sea Lion Island". This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome you to their home with open fins! This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see Blue-Footed and Nazca Boobies.A dinghy ride and snorkeling around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) can be also be done in the afternoon. Known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance, this site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. There are remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean. This Galapagos?Islands?natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Day 2 - Day 2 - SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND: PITT POINT & WITCH HILL
We will visit Pitt Point in the morning. Pitt Point holds its own as the northeastern most site on San Cristobal. After an easy hike, you will be rewarded with a unique treat. Herein lays the only nesting site which hosts all species of Gal?pagos Boobies. Photographers will be thrilled with this intimate natural experience. The attractive volcanic tuff formations will have geologists and laymen alike imagining the forces of nature that possessed the Earth to create this land.In the afternoon we'll visit Witch Hill (Cerro Brujo) where you will explore one of the nicest beaches in the Gal?pagos. You'll be tantalized by the texture and sight of the powdered, soft white sand. With a colony of sea lions and Blue-footed Boobies, this scenic place is bustling with life. Just beyond the beach is a lagoon, thriving with Egrets and Great Blue Herons. The turquoise water and abundant marine life will invite you to snorkel their midst.
Day 3 - Day 3 - FLOREANA: POST OFFICE BAY & CORMORANT POINT/DEVIL'S CROWN
We will visit two sites on Floreana Island. In the morning, we will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on a beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don't forget your postcards, and don't be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you get home!In the afternoon, we will head to Cormorant Point. Here you can enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingoes. You'll also be amazed by the green colored beach, caused by a high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand. You will also get to swim in the crystal clear waters of Devil's Crown. This extinct volcano peaks out of the waters just off of Floreana's coast and offers a magnificent snorkeling experience.
Day 4 - Day 4 - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: BLACK TURTLE COVE & BARTHOLOMEW ISLAND: PINNACLE ROCK
Black Turtle Cove is located on the north side of Santa Cruz Island and is only accessible by boat and with a guide. This shallow inlet is surrounded by mangroves and provides natural protection for a variety of marine life, attracting the vulnerable juveniles of many species. Below the surface of the water, you can see both black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, golden cow-nose rays, spotted eagle rays, and an occasional hammerhead shark. Pelicans and Boobies hunt here, diving gracefully into the water.Our afternoon visit includes Bartholomew Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. We will take a trail of stairs to the summit of the volcano (about 30 or 40 minutes) where you will enjoy one of the best views of the islands! You will also visit a small, beautiful beach, surrounded by the only vegetation found on this barren island. The beach is perfect for snorkeling where you may even see the Galapagos penguins.
Day 5 - Day 5 - GENOVESA ISLAND: DARWIN BAY & EL BARRANCO
Our morning visit will take us to the beach at Darwin Bay. This white-sand coral beach heads a (1/2 mi / 3/4 km) trail that winds through mangroves that are filled with land birds. You may see Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, and Swallow-tailed Gulls. Further down the path, you may see sea lions playing in tidal pools. You will arrive cliff-side and can let the spectacular views soak in, while the Boobies and iguanas keep you company.The afternoon takes us to El Barranco or The Cliff, also known as Prince Phillip's Steps, whose steep, rocky path will lead you up 25 meters (82 ft) of cliff-face. After marveling at the view you will have the opportunity to take a (0.9 mi / 2 km) trek through Palo Santo vegetation. Here you will be dazzled by all the birds: Red-footed Boobies, Short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos storm petrels and Galapagos Doves.
Day 6 - Day 6 - SANTIAGO ISLAND: ESPUMILLA BEACH/BUCCANEER COVE & EGAS PORT
We will visit Espumilla Beach where marine iguanas lounge and the Sally-Lightfoot crabs attract the hunting herons and perform the dance of predator and prey right before your eyes. Snorkeling is highly recommended as you could find yourself face to face with an octopus, moray eel, shark, or a variety of other species of tropical fish.Buccaneer Cove is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. They would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. It is an excellent opportunity to take in the steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach. See if you can spot 'Monk' or 'Elephant' Rock before your guide points them out!The afternoon visit is to a site called Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island. Here, you will enjoy a hike over a dry trail known for being a hang-out for curious Galapagos Hawks and Quick-footed Galapagos Lava Lizards. The trail will then lead you to the coastline where you will visit the gorgeous tide pools and grottos which are full of fauna. You will be able to observe the shy Galapagos fur sea lions. You will also get to snorkel at Egas Port beach.
Day 7 - Day 7 - NORTH SEYMOUR & SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: HIGHLANDS
Galapagos Sea Lions, Blue-footed Boobies and Magnificent Frigatebirds are abundant on North Seymour Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lavas containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.In the afternoon we will visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you will walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises and also the Tortoise Breeding Center which you'll be able to visit. At the breeding center you will be able to see the tortoises in captivity and possibly interact with them as well! Here they have tortoises from 4 inches to 4 feet long! When the young turtles are old enough they are released into the wild.
Day 8 - Day 8 - MOSQUERA ISLET - DEPARTURE
Mosquera Islet is located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour. It is a reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) and a great white sand beach. Its narrowest width reaches about 160 meters and has an estimated length of 600 meters. In most of the perimeter there is a base of lava rocks, as evidence of the lava uprising, except in the southwest side where the landing occurs.This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions. You can also observe several species of shorebirds. There have been occasional reports at this site of Orcas (Orcinus orca) feeding on sea lions.After this final visit, you will be transferred to Baltra Island's airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.Please keep in mind that on departure days, your morning visit will be early and short since we need to be prepared before heading back toward the airport for your returning flight to Ecuador's mainland.
Day 9 - Please Note:
These Galapagos cruise itineraries are subject to change without previous notice due to weather conditions and National Park regulations. Itineraries of 8 or more days may be scheduled to stop at ports for various cruise logistic reasons and/or for embarking/disembarking passengers.

Trip Dates

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Inclusions

    • Pitt Point: spot all three types of Booby Birds: the Nazca, Blue-footed and Red-footed Boobies. A steep trail goes up a cliff and through a ravine leading visitors to an area with an abundance of birds. This site is also great for snorkeling and scuba diving
    • Cerro Brujo: located on the northern coast, this eroded hill and its surroundings present one of the most picturesque beaches in the Galapagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of Booby Birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy swimming and snorkeling
    • Devil's Crown: it is one of the best snorkeling sites in the Galapagos, this volcanic crater has been eroded by the waves leaving the northern and southern sides poking out of the water. The coral reef in the middle is perfect for attracting marine life. Snorkelers enjoy the variety of marine life and exciting currents that rush through the crown, creating an exhilarating experience
    • Prince Phillip's Steps: it's steep, rocky paths leads up to a high cliff-face. A marvelous view can be appreciated from here. This site is also home to Palo Santo vegetation as well as Red-footed Boobies, Short-eared Lava Owls, Galapagos Swallows, and Galapagos Doves
    • Santa Cruz Highlands: walk along a path, observing the hills, ferns, volcanoes, and rich wildlife. This area is home to giant tortoises, forest, mockingbirds, Bahama ducklings, White-cheeked Pintail ducklings, Darwin finches, and many other species

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