The Beluga Galapagos James itinerary consists of a 4-day/3-night cruise touring Santa Cruz, Santiago (James), and Genovesa (Tower) Islands. While exploring these wonderful islands you can expect to discover fascinating flora including Scalesia forest, mangroves, orchids and the unique lava cactus. Also expect to get up close and personal with the land and marine iguana, friendly sea lions, blue-footed boobies, golden mustard rays, Galapagos penguins and if you are lucky you may spot one of the rare short-eared owls. The Beluga James itinerary begins and ends in Baltra.
The James itinerary can be combined with the Hood itinerary to make a longer 8-day/7-night cruise. This combination can also be combined with the Fernandina itinerary for an all encompassing 15-day/14-night cruise. The James details are listed below, or click the following links to view the other Beluga itinerary options.
Galapagos Hood 5 days/4 nights
Galapagos Tower 8 days/7 nights
Galapagos Fernandina 8 days/7 nights
Beluga Galapagos Cruise Main Page
Day 1 - TUE - Baltra to the Santa Cruz Highlands
Upon arrival at the Baltra airport, meet your expedition staff and transfer to the Beluga. After briefing and lunch, begin your first island visit with a tour the Santa Cruz Highlands. Tracking tortoises is not the only exciting activity to be found in the highlands. There are also plenty of lava tubes, sinkholes and craters to explore. Next take a ten minute walk from Puerto Ayora's town center, to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here, learn about natural history of the Galapagos, issues concerning the islands, and see the tortoise breeding and rearing project at work.Accommodations: BelugaIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - WED - Sombrero Chino & Sullivan Bay, James
Today's adventure begins at Sombrero Chino, a tiny island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. Its name (Chinese Hat) describes the island's shape. Make a wet landing on a beautiful crescent-shaped white sand beach, home to sea lions and sally lightfoot crabs. While the path does not lead up the striking red rust sides of the Sombrero to the caldera, it does venture high enough on the island to offer some spectacular views of the waves crashing below. Snorkeling in the waters near Sombrero Chino can create a stir; white-tipped sharks frequent the area, as do the playful Galapagos Penguins and sea lions.
After lunch explore Sullivan Bay. Here, the lava is known a Panoehoe (Hawaiian for Rope). This thin-skinned lava's molten material cools down after an eruption causing the surface materials to buckle creating a rope like appearance. Enjoy a hike about the lava fields that takes approximately an hour to an hour and a half. After exploring the lava flow, there is swimming and snorkeling with playful sea lions off two small coralline beaches.Accommodations: BelugaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - THR - Darwin Bay & Prince Phillips steps, Tower
This morning we cruise to Darwin Bay. Make a wet landing on the white coral beach in the middle of the bay. Once ashore the number of birds seems overwhelming. Follow a trail around the coast through the Salt Bush and Mangrove nesting area of the Great Frigatebirds and Red-Footed Boobies. Climb gradually to the edge of the cliff seeing Red-Foots nesting in the Mangrove trees below. Reaching the end the trail at the cliff's edge offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.
This afternoon will be spent at the south tip of Genovesa Island (a haven for birds). Hike to Prince Phillip's Steps which consists of the remaining edges of a large crater that is now almost completely submerged, which is accessible through a gap from the foot of the volcano. The island attracts large numbers of ocean birds that come to nest and reproduce, including: great frigate birds, blue footed boobies, gulls and petrels.Accommodations: BelugaIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - FRI - Turtle Cove return to Baltra
Spend the morning at Black Turtle Cove, a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz which is a nursery for many sharks and rays. It is also a great location to observe mating sea turtles, after all the site takes its name for the black sea turtles that mate in these calm waters. The water is nearly mirror-calm, and you often use paddles instead of the loud panga engines to move around the area. After an exciting morning at the cove, transfer to the Baltra airport for returning flights to the Mainland. This concludes your Beluga James Galapagos Cruise.Accommodations:
breakfastGALAPAGOS CRUISE INCLUSIVE PACKAGE:
For your convenience we offer an Inclusive Package with three nights hotel accommodations in Quito, all airport/hotel transfers, Galapagos flights, Galapagos National Park entrance fees and taxes, Galapagos migration card and your Galapagos cruise. View details of our Galapagos Cruise Inclusive Package
Travelers not interested in our inclusive package must purchase Galapagos flights in conjunction with their Galapagos cruise.
GALAPAGOS CRUISE CUSTOM PACKAGE:
If you are booking a cruise-only program our experts can assist with hotels, transfers, flights and tours. Call AdventureSmith Explorations about customizing your tour or the possibilities of combining this trip with our Mainland Ecuador
and Peru: Machu Picchu
extensions. We are Galapagos cruise and Ecuador travel experts and our staff can help you customize the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour package.
Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.
Double accommodation in cabins, all meals, excursions and guides.
International airfare; Airfare from mainland Ecuador; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US $100 per adult, $50 for children under 12 years old. This can be paid directly by passengers [cash only] or it is included in our INCLUSIVE PACKAGE TOURS); Galapagos National Institute Migration Control Card (US $10 per person); departure tax ($40.80); gratuities for guides, crew, drivers or local staff; bottled beverages on board; other personal expenses, medical services or insurance of any kind. Snorkel gear and wetsuits are available for rent. For 2013 Christmas and New Years weeks, a $130 holiday surcharge applies per person.
There is a 50% surcharge for single occupancy. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, a Roommate Share Program will guarantee double occupancy rates for boat cabins even if we are unable to match you with a roommate.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old receive a 40% discount when traveling with 1 adult. One child per adult at discounted rate. Not applicable over Christmas and New Years departures. There is no minimum age for children.
Arrival & Departure:
Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 7:00am-9:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm-5:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador 2 days prior to their Galapagos cruise.
Payment & Cancellation:
A cruise deposit of $700 per person is required at the time of booking. For land packages a deposit of $300 per person is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 61 days - 10% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
We highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
There are numerous opportunities to swim and snorkel. The underwater experience is an integral part of any Galapagos cruise. We encourage all travelers to try snorkeling. Snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel, fins, floating vest and net bag) and wet suits are available to rent for a fee. Wet suits are recommended from June to December.
Daily excursions from the boat to the islands will be made in pangas (dinghies). Trip members will hike from the landing point to specific areas for wildlife observation. Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours round-trip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Some landings are dry but many are "wet," requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist.
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life.
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