The 8-day M/V Galapagos Explorer II Western Galapagos Cruise features a wide variety of islands spanning much of the archipelago. Arrive in Baltra and board the Galapagos Explorer II before visiting Santiago Island and the tiny island of Bartolome. Head west to the famed volcanic Western Islands of Fernandina and Isabela, and continue all the way around the Western Islands to experience the human history of the Galapagos at Floreana Island's Post Office Bay. This comprehensive Galapagos tour then heads farther east to San Cristobal Island, where you'll visit Galapaguera, Cerro Colorado and Wizard Hill, before concluding the cruise at the Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island and disembarking on Baltra.
2013 - 8 Day/7 Night Cruise Only
Deluxe Balcony Suite
Majestic Balcony Elite
Renaissance Balc. Elite
Jan 8-14, May 1-June 15, Nov 24-Dec 15
(see Trip Notes for details)
$593 adult, $431 child for 7 day/6 night
$674 adult, $492 child for 8 day/7 night
$1495 per person includes 3 nights hotel, transfers, city tour, internal flights, park fees and taxes. View details
Jun 01 - Jun 08, 2013
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2013
Jun 29 - Jul 06, 2013
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2013
Jul 27 - Aug 03, 2013
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2013
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2013
Oct 05 - Oct 12, 2013
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2013
Nov 02 - Nov 09, 2013
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2013
Nov 30 - Dec 07, 2013
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2013
Dec 28 - Jan 04, 2013
Punta Vicente Roca
Post Office Bay
Santa Cruz Island
The small ship Galapagos Explorer II operates three itineraries: one 8-day/6-night, one 5-day/4-night and one 4-day/5-night, with no repeated landing sites. The Western Islands Itinerary details are listed below. Click the following links to view the other itinerary options. Contact AdventureSmith about combining cruises aboard the Explorer II for the most comprehensive visit to the Galapagos Islands.
Galapagos Eastern Islands 4 day/3 night
Galapagos Northern Islands 5 day/4 night
Explorer II Main Page
Day 1 - SAT - Baltra Island to Sullivan Bay
Arrive on Baltra Island and board Galapagos Explorer II. Enjoy a delicious lunch and briefing before heading to Sullivan Bay. Spend the afternoon at Sullivan Bay, a site of great geological interest that's ideal for snorkeling. The area is covered by Pahoehoe lava flows (solidified lava in corrugated or accordion form). Here observe marine and terrestrial birds, a colony of Galapagos fur seals and black marine iguanas adapted very well to this environment.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - SUN - Bartolome Island & Espumilla Beach
Spend the morning on Bartolome Island, which is separated from Santiago Island by a very narrow channel. Home to Pinnacle Rock, one of the most known landscapes of the Galapagos Islands, Bartolome has an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, green, black and bright soils, bright volcanic formations and recent volcanic cones. The unique landscape offers scenery that could be compared with photographs taken on the moon. In the northeast you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea, snorkeling and penguin viewing, while on the southeast beach you can frequently see sharks, rays, turtles, etc. If you're in good physical condition, take the 360-step stairway up to the top of the island, or opt to stay on the beach for snorkeling.
After lunch, head to Santiago Island's Espumilla Beach for lounging and hiking excursions. Located on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay, Espumilla Beach features a holy stick forest and wonderful beach that is an important site for nesting marine turtles. During the last El Niño one of the two lagoons in this site underwent a process of sedimentation, causing an important colony of flamingos to disappear. This beautiful beach is a great place for swimming and snorkeling.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - MON - Punta Vicente Roca & Punta Espinoza
Begin the day at Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island, the largest island of the archipelago and with more active volcanoes. In this privileged place find a Galapagos fur seal colony, an endemic species to the islands. Here swim with sea turtles and see a variety of fish. Take a tour to enjoy a majestic landscape made of volcanic lava intrusions and a sheer cliff, accompanied by Galapagos penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, masked boobies, blue footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, frigate birds and flightless cormorants.
Next, head to Punta Espinoza located on Fernandina Island, the third largest island and one of the youngest in the archipelago. The main attraction is the largest colony of marine iguanas, as well as Galapagos penguins, Galapagos snake, Galapagos hawk, lava lizards and Galapagos fur seals. Also find here the volcano La Cumbre, which last erupted in 2009.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - TUE - Tagus Cove & Elizabeth Bay
Spend this morning at Tagus Cove, located west of Darwin volcano on Isabela Island. Learn about the eruption of five volcanoes that formed this island. Enjoy a view of the saltwater lagoon, which is located within a tuff cone, lava fields of Darwin volcano and cave inscriptions where you'll find names of pirates and whaling vessels dating from the 1800s. This afternoon will be spent at Elizabeth Bay, formed by the union of volcanoes Sierra Negra and Alcedo in the narrowest part of Isabela Island. There is a small cove within the bay with protected and calm water and surrounded by high and colorful mangrove trees that contrast with the lava, creating an appropriate place for sea turtles. Landing is not allowed at this point; however, a trip around the bay in zodiac is possible where you can see the turtle’s pond. On the small islands of the bay it is possible to see penguins, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, masked boobies and gulls, rays, sharks, pelicans, boobies, many fish, sea lions, flightless cormorants and penguins, among other wildlife. From June to September you can see some whales.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - WED - Post Office Bay & Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown
This morning continue the tradition at Post Office Bay by placing unstamped postcards inside the barrel which reach their destinations for free. Here you'll also see species such as yellow warbler, singer finch, Galapagos sea lion and brown pelican.
After lunch, have the opportunity to choose between walking to the pond to see one of the largest colony of flamingos in the Galapagos Islands or go snorkeling. In this island with volcanic craters there are reefs such as Devil's Crown or Champion, one of the best places for swimming or snorkeling. The site Punta Cormorant is on the north coast of Floreana. The trail distance is an approximate 720 meters and passes through a pond, gazebo, fine sand beach of different colors and sea turtle nesting area.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - THR - Galapaguera Cerro Colorado & Wizard Hill
Galapaguera Cerro Colorado is located in the South East of San Cristobal Island in the vicinity of Cerro Colorado, one of the few places where you can see Calandrinia galapagosa, an endemic plant to San Cristobal in danger of extinction. The access is by land. The site was built in 2002 to increase the population of the giant tortoise population also endemic to San Cristobal, one of the 11 populations of Galapagos land tortoises (Geochelone Chathamensi). It includes 120,000 square meters of dry forest in the area of Cerro Verde. Because the fertility of captivity breeders, this program yielded its first results in 2005-2006 after the arrival of 11 new members. These tortoises have their corrals at the entrance of the Galapaguera. There is also a small interpretation center where visitors learn about these reptiles and the conservation and breeding programs. Along the trail you can observe different birds such as mocking birds, yellow warblers and small ground finch, tree finch and flycatchers.
This evening will be spent at Wizard Hill, or Cerro Brujo, a collapsed volcano with a white-sand beach just north of Kicker Rock. The beach is visited by many birds, sea lions and marine iguanas. In the lagoon located at Cerro Brujo, the people from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno mined salt for preserving cod, beef and turtle meat. It is now a place for watching coastal and aquatic birds. Cerro Brujo offers excellent view of the Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), the southern highlands of San Cristobal and the coast contiguous to Cerro Brujo.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - FRI - The Twins, Puerto Ayora & Darwin Station
Twins Craters are the only place on the island where the Scalesia forest grows. Spend the morning hiking through the Santa Cruz scalesia forest looking for vermillion flycatcher, woodpecker finch and the Tyrant flycatcher. Visit the Twins, two large volcanic craters for some excellent geological lessons. In the afternoon, explore the town of Puerto Ayora and visit the Charles Darwin Station for a complete look at the history and conservation of the Galapagos Islands, as well as to see tortoises from the different islands in semi-natural pens for protection.Accommodations: Explorer IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8 - SAT - Disembark Baltra Island
Enjoy a final breakfast on board before heading to the Baltra Airport for flights back to the mainland.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.
Accommodations, all meals, island sightseeing and guided visits to the islands. 2013 Mandatory Surcharge for Add-Ons Includes: Cruise's fuel surcharge, Galapagos National Park fee, Transit Control Card, tips for guides and crew, selected wines, spirits, cocktails, beers, coffees, tea, as well as bottled water, juices and soft drinks are complimentary in all bars and lounges (not included: premium champagne, wine and spirit selection, whiskies, cognacs, brandies and beers of selected brands, and caviar).
Elite Program in Renaissance Balcony & Majestic Balcony Suites Includes: Butler service (24-hour assistance), bottle of champagne in suite upon arrival, assistance for unpacking your luggage (upon request), luxurious bathrobes, linens and towels, room service (available all day up to 22:00), soft beverages from the mini bar, afternoon canapés served at your suite, exotic amenities for the bathroom, fresh fruit and local handmade chocolates in suite, selections of a variety of pillows, environmentally friendly beach bag, cloth drying and shoe shine service through the cruise, personalized stationery at your suite, exclusive cruise documents and online check-in process. Each suite is equipped with a 32" flat TV, blue Ray disc player with a special selection of movies, new elegant linens and special towel selection, Bose Sound Dock Series II digital music system.
Transfers from the Hotel to the Airport to take the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Roundtrip airfare from Guayaquil or Quito to the Galapagos Islands and ticketing fee. Government taxes. Consumption from the frigobar located in the suites are payable by the guest and at the rate indicated on the menu. (Elite program include soft beverages from minibar).
The supplement for single occupancy is 80% over the double rate. There is no single share program aboard the Galapagos Explorer II. Single and triple occupancy rates in Renaissance, Majestic, De Luxe or Classic Suites are available upon request. A discount of 20% is applied to the third person in a triple cabin.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old at the time of sailing receive 50% off when accompanied by an adult. Minimum child age is 7 years old. Holiday cruises children under the age of 12 pay 75% of the rate accompanied by an adult in the same cabin. One discount applies per cabin. Dedicated Galapagos Family Cruises are available, call for details.
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:
90 days or more - no penalty
89 to 60 days - $200 per passenger service charge
59 to 26 days - 50% of the total cruise rate
25 to 0 days - 100% of the cruise rate
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 is included for the duration of the cruise. Shortie wet suits are also available for rent and are recommended from June to December.
This trip will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health and leads an active life. 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.