The Isabela II's Northern Galapagos Itinerary focuses on the Islands of San Cristobal, Genovesa, Santiago, Fernandina, Isabela, Rabida and Santa Cruz Island. Embark in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island and visit Cerro Colorado, a breeding center for highly endangered giant tortoises. On Genovesa Island visit Prince Phillip's Steps to observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, frigate birds and storm petrels. Explore the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove and learn the human history including whalers, pirates and researchers. Puerto Egas is one of the most impressive coastal walks in Galapagos. View land and sea birds, marine iguanas and fur seals. Because there are no introduced mammals Fernandina Island has the highest density of marine iguanas, sea lions, sally light foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Tagus Cove on Isabela Island was a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers that today is teeming with wildlife. Visit the marine site of Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island where you explore by small craft to observe sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, Galapagos penguins, blue footed and Nazca boobies.Rabida Island features a spectacular red sand beach teeming with wildlife and Cerro Dragon visits a lagoon frequented by birds and iguanas.
2013 - 7 Day/6 Night Cruise Only
Master Suite Queen
Standard Cabin Double
Standard Cabin Single
Tuesday to Monday
High Season Surcharge: Add $130 per adult, $100 per child; Mar 25-29, Mar 26-Apr 1, Mar 29-Apr 2, Dec 23-27, Dec 24-30, Dec 30-Jan 3
Price per person based on double
Fuel Surcharges May Apply
$1495 per person includes 3 nights hotel, transfers, city tour, internal flights, park fees and taxes. View details
Prince Philip’s Steps
Punta Vicente Roca
Most Galapagos cruise travelers will require pre- and post-cruise accommodations in Ecuador, round trip flights, National Park entrance fees & transit cards etc. Choose our Galapagos Cruise Package or work with our experts on a custom Galapagos tour. See trip notes for more details.
The Isabela II Northern Islands Cruise can be combined with the Central or Southern Island Cruises to create trips of 11 or 15 days in length. View the Northern Islands Cruise details below or click on the links to view details of other Isabela II Galapagos Cruises.
Central Galapagos Islands 5 days/ 4 nights
Southern Galapagos Islands 5 days/4 nights
Isabela II Main Page
Day 1 - TUE - Puerto Moreno & Cerro Colorado
Landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno´s airport. Transfer to the dock and Isabela II. Check in, introductory briefing and lunch on board. After lunch, dry landing at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and a 40-minute bus ride to the south shore of the island, passing the historical highlands of San Cristóbal island. At Cerro Colorado, visit the breeding centre of the highly endangered giant tortoises in the midst of a fantastic deciduous forest, home to dozens of bird species and the endemic San Cristóbal lava lizard. Back on board late afternoon for a welcome cocktail, briefing and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - WED - Prince Philip’s Steps & Darwin Bay
Overnight navigation northbound to the incredible bird island, Genovesa, crossing the equator on the way. The morning starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs and then disembark (dry landing) on rocks for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. Once at the top of the stairs, the land is flat, allowing for a stimulating walk of about a mile to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, red footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Those not wishing to disembark can enjoy a longer panga ride along the cliffs. Snorkeling is possible, paddling kayaks, or riding the glass bottom boat. Lunch on board.
In the afternoon, a wet landing at Darwin Bay for an easy stroll observing several species of birds, mainly frigate birds, red footed boobies, Nazca boobies, lava gulls, swallow-tailed gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. Optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beautiful natural harbor. Expedition plan for Thursday and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - THR - Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas
After breakfast, enjoy a coastal exploration along the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. Learn about the history of Santiago Island, its relevance for the whalers, pirates and early researchers, including Darwin’s epic voyage in 1835, and the conservation projects aimed at eradicating feral species (a fence stretched along the rocky outcrop is visible to save native plants from the once existing enormous goat population). Today the island is free of feral goats, and the cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy fantastic natural formations such as the “Elephant Rock”, “The Bishop” and an impressive natural cave. This is a great site for snorkeling too! Lunch on board.
Puerto Egas was only briefly inhabited in the 20th century in an attempt to commercialize salt from a deposit inside a tuff cone. Today, Puerto Egas is one of the most impressive coastal walks in Galápagos (wet landing). Most of the landscape is tuff-stone layers and lava flows. This is a great opportunity to see land and marine birds. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon the algae beds and there is also a colony of fur-sea lions which can be observed up-close. Opportunity for snorkeling and swimming from the beach after the walk. Expedition plan for Friday and dinner. Afternoon visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens, including tortoise celebrities like “Lonesome George” within an impressive giant prickly-pear cactus forest home to many land birds. These are the headquarters of scientific investigation, conservation and the National Park administration. Late afternoon stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora before embarking on Yacht Isabela II. Expedition plan for Tuesday, Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - FRI - Punta Espinoza & Tagus Cove
During the night the yacht sails over to the north shore of Isabela Island, crossing the equator twice in the process. The morning brings us to the youngest island of the archipelago, Fernandina. Disembark (dry landing) for a one-mile walk. Punta Espinoza has an amazing combination of barrenness with lots of wildlife. Having no introduced mammals, Fernandina has a very unique environment with the highest density of marine iguanas, sharing their space with sea lions, sally light-foot crabs, hawks, penguins and the flightless cormorant. Snorkeling is a refreshing reward near the lava shores of Fernandina. Lunch on board.
Across the narrow Bolívar Channel, on the northwest of Isabela, lies secluded Tagus Cove. The deep cove provided a favorite anchorage for pirates and whalers over the centuries. Old graffiti is still found carved on its walls. The vegetation in the area includes the fragrant palo santo (torchwood) trees. These white-barked trees are leafless and look dead most of the year. They leaf and spring back to life in the wet season. An optional uphill hike takes guests to the back of Darwin Crater, filled with salt water. The view at the end of the trail is worth the climb. Darwin is one of Isabela’s six volcanoes, a remarkable contrast to the lower islands to the east of the archipelago. All guests will enjoy a panga ride along the volcanic cliffs of Tagus Cove, teeming with life (boobies, flightless cormorants, penguins, martins, terns, iguanas and sea lions) Possibilities to swim, snorkel or ride kayaks. There is no beach in the area, so pangas are employed. Expedition plan for Saturday and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - SAT - Urbina Bay & Punta Vicente Roca
After breakfast (wet landing) disembark at Urbina Bay, located at the foot of volcanoes alcedo and Darwin, western Isabela Islands, the result of an uplifting of the ocean in 1954. Here you can find corals, shells, and many other calcareous organisms exposed above water. This area is also home to large and very colorful Galápagos land iguanas, giant tortoises (occasionally); a good spot to observe Darwin’s finches. Along the shoreline, after the hike, guests may encounter flightless cormorants and see penguins while snorkeling in this beautiful cove. Lunch on board.
Depending on the conditions of the ocean, it will be possible to schedule a snorkelling outing along the cliffs of partly-sunken Ecuador Volcano, on the northern tip of Isabela Island. Since there is no landing site at this location, the coastal exploration is by dinghy, while the naturalist guide explains the dramatic geology of the area with remains of lava flows and tuff stone layers. This is the nesting place for flightless cormorants, the only existing marine birds in the world other than penguins that have changed their condition of flying birds to diving birds. Wildlife here also includes sea lions, Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos penguins, blue-footed and Nazca boobies and noddy terns. This area boasts an impressively-rich marine life, and is seasonally visited by green sea turtles and oceanic sun fish (Mola mola). If conditions are good, snorkeling can be done at the cliffs of a tuff cone. Expedition plan for Sunday and dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - SUN - Rábida Island & Cerro Dragón
Disembark at Rábida Island (wet landing) on a red-coloured beach, due to the unusually high content of iron in the volcanic material. A gratifying stroll along the beach of this small island (1.9 sq. mi.) allows the observation of a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. Very close to the beach, hidden behind a strip of green saltbush, is a salt pond where at times greater flamingos migrate. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach, both for beginners as well as for experienced snorkelers, due to the unique combination of underwater species and submarine landscapes. Non snorkelers will enjoy the glass bottom boat, a panga ride along the coast or paddle out on a sea kayak. During navigation to our next island, dolphins and/or whales are often spotted. Lunch on board.
The north shore of Santa Cruz hosts Cerro Dragon (Dragon Hill). Dry landing and a walk that includes a brackish water lagoon frequented by lagoon birds, including stilts, pintail ducks, sandpipers, sanderlings, and more. Further inland, the trail offers a beautiful view of the bay and the western islands of the archipelago. This area is a natural nesting site for land iguanas, constantly monitored and assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. The arid-zone vegetation can be a rewarding location for bird watching, where Darwin’s finches, Galápagos mockingbirds, the endemic Galápagos flycatcher, and yellow warblers are regular sightings. Snorkeling or swimming is possible out of the beach near the landing site. Farewell cocktail and departure briefing before dinner.Accommodations: Isabela IIIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - MON - Baltra Island
After breakfast, departure to the port and airport to take the flight back to the mainland for departures back home.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.
Extend Your Trip:
Combine two consecutive Isabela II itineraries and receive a 10% discount on the lowest priced itinerary. Receive a 50% discount on the lower priced itinerary when combining all Isabela II routes for a 15-day itinerary. Applies only to full-rate bookings; not applicable for promotional rates. Call AdventureSmith for more information about extending your cruise, or combining this cruise with a land 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, naturalist guides and lecture services in English/Spanish (guiding in other languages upon request for groups larger than 10 guests: German, French, Italian), snorkel gear, taxes and transfers in the islands. Transfer from main hotels in Quito (Casa Gangotena, Hilton Colon, Swissôtel, Marriott, Dann Carlton) and in Guayaquil (Hilton Colon, Oro Verde, Hampton Inn, Sheraton) to airport for flights to/from Galápagos are included in these rates. To coordinate these transfers we must have guest's hotel contact.
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; alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages; internet/WiFi; other personal expenses; medical services or insurance of any kind. Wet suits available for rent $15 + VAT per guest for 5-day expeditions and $30 + VAT per guest for 7-day expeditions.
The Isabela II offers two single cabins on specific dates only, please ask our Galapagos cruise experts for details. There are no 'Share Accommodations' or roommate match available. Double cabins are available for single occupancy with a 50% surcharge of the price, or 100% for high season. There are no triple cabins for three adults aboard the Isabella II. For travelers seeking triple cabins we suggest the Galapagos Legend.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 years old at the time of sailing receive 25% off when sharing the cabin with 2 adults (applies only to one child per adult, paying full fare). Minimum child age is 6 years old. 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. When a trip cancellation is received between 60 and 0 days from departure, the full trip price will be charged.
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.