A Galapagos Islands cruise is often at the top of every nature enthusiast’s travel plans. Enjoy close encounters with marine iguanas, hundreds of seabirds including the waved albatross, flightless cormorants and the magnificent frigate bird, visit "Lonesome George", the most emblematic of Galapagos giant turtles. Imagine feeling the cool Galapagos waters as you swim with penguins at the Equator and see playful sea lions through your snorkelling mask, manta rays and numerous species of colourful fish. As portrayed by famous marine explorer Jacques Cousteau - Galapagos is a living laboratory. Animals do not fear humans making it a natural paradise and haven for naturalists escaping a busy and noisy outside world. Board your boat for the nature travel experience of a lifetime.
Why Book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies. Can't get enough of the Galapagos Islands? Check out our 8 day itinerary.
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population. Additionally, wildlife conservation is one of our key values!
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2021 - 2022 Departure Dates & Costs
Weekly departures year round (5 day expeditions)
Each boat has different day by day itineraries departing from either Baltra island or San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos archipelago. Due to the variation each week, and by each boat we provide a sample itinerary below. We will provide the options that best suit your time frame and cruise length at the time of request.
Deluxe & Luxury
MV Millenium or Anahi Catamarans
Superior Tourist Class
MV Eden or MV Galaxy or Monserrate
M/V Samba or MV Penguino
Ask for details on Galapagos cruise special available for select departure
Airfare from Ecuador mainland to Galapagos $ 565 USD per person round trip
$120 Galapagos Park Fee and Registration card
Pre and post cruise programs in mainland Ecuador and Peru are available on an individual basis
Itinerary sample (changes with boat choice and week)
Day 1: Quito / Baltra, Plaza, Galapagos (B,L,D)
On arrival in Baltra, you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the M/C Anahi or similar for 4 nights. Onboard you will have the comfort of a stable, spacious, luxurious and fast catamaran built for Galapagos travel. Afternoon visit to Plaza. The Plazas are a pair of islets situated just off the east coast of Santa Cruz. South Plaza is another example of a geological uplift. In this case, the southern portion of this narrow islet (only a couple hundred yards wide) has considerably more uplift to it, forming cliffs with spectacular views. South Plaza is one of the smallest islands to be visited. A large colony of sea lions, numbering about 1,000 bulls, cows and pups, occupies the smooth rocks here. The small cactus forest is populated by land iguanas, which can be seen sunning themselves or feeding on Opuntia pads and fruits. Along the cliff edge nesting swallow-tailed gulls are the predominant seabirds, along with tropicbirds and shearwaters.
Day 2: San Cristobal, Galapagos (B,L,D)
San Cristobal is geologically one of the oldest islands, reflected by its eroded volcanic peaks in the north and densely vegetated slopes in the south. The town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of Galapagos Province. This island is host to frigatebirds, sea lions, giant turtles, blue and red footed boobies, tropical birds, marine iguanas, dolphins, swallow-tailed gulls. Its vegetation includes Calandrina Galapagos, Lecocarpus Darwinii, and trees such as Lignum Vitae, Matazarna. Visit the Interpretation Center with its new buildings, lush gardens and sweeping ocean views are a strong contrast to the 1960's style buildings at the Charles Darwin Center. Visitors to the Interpretation Center can learn about both the geological and human history of the islands, conservation issues, and natural history. The older Museum of Natural History attempts to preserve the natural history of the islands. Afternoon visit to La Loberia. Travelers frequently note the unusual color of the plants as they near the beach. La Loberia is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. There are frequently dozens of sea lions visible at any time. Here you will enjoy the sea lions, marine iguanas, bird watching, and perhaps Galapagos giant tortoises. You have to always stay on the path and try not to disturb the wildlife. We may pass the scattered tuff-rock called Leon Dormido, which stands out of the deep-blue ocean like the rock of Gibraltar. Look out for masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, and frigate birds along the cliffs.
Day 3: Espanola (B,L,D)
Espanola is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and being so isolated, a high percentage of its fauna is endemic. Gardner Bay is on the eastern shore and has a magnificent beach. This beach is frequented by a transient colony of sea lions, and is a major nesting site for marine turtles. Around the small islets nearby, snorkelers will find lots of fish and sometimes turtles and sharks. On a trail leading to the western tip of the island you pass the only nesting sites in the Galapagos of the waved albatross, huge birds with a 6-foot wingspan. These huge birds nest here from April to December and represent the majority of the world’s population of this species. Punta Suarez is one of the most outstanding wildlife areas of the archipelago. Several types of reptiles, including the brilliantly coloured marine iguana and the over sized lava lizard, are unique to this island. When heavy swells are running, Punta Suarez is also the site of a spectacular blowhole, with thundering spray shooting 30 yards into the air.
Day 4: Floreana (B,L,D)
Located in the south the island of Floreana has abundant plant and animal life. Visit Punta Cormorant at the Northern end of the island with its unusual olive coloured beach with sea lions. Flamingos nest by a brackish lagoon that also provides feeding grounds for pintails, common stilts and other waders. Devils crown, the remains of a small crater and submerged volcano, offers some of the best snorkeling in Galapagos. Coral, colourful fish, sea lions and some reef sharks are found in the clear waters off Devil’s crown. Floreana is one of the inhabited Galapagos Islands with an intriguing history of early settlement.
Day 5: Santa Cruz, Darwin Research Station / Quito (B)
Santa Cruz is the second largest island in the Galapagos. The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic center of the archipelago, with the largest population of the four inhabited islands (approx 10,000). Santa Cruz is also the only island where six different zones of vegetation can be seen: Coastal, Arid, Transition, Scalesia, Miconia, and Pampa Zones. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Galapagos National Park offices are based here. We will have an opportunity to visit some of the best scientists of their kind. Scientists, park rangers and park managers among others, who make huge efforts to preserve this Unesco World Heritage Site, conduct the conservation of the islands. The station is also a tortoise breeding and rearing centre, where tortoises of different subspecies are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. The most popular inhabitant of this island will probably be Lonesome George. He is the only survivor of the specific turtle species. We will then transfer to the airport for flight back to Quito.
What our clients say...
“The trip was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I relive it for a few moments every day.” Lionel Jackson Click here to read his travelogue
“We are on the moon - actually over the moon - here in the Galapagos. Learning how to dance with our flippers on like blue-footed boobies do. Thank you for your great ecotour!” J. Hetheringon - post card from Galapagos