The Seaman Journey Western Galapagos Islands Cruise is an 8-day journey that visits 8 islands and islets of the Galapagos Islands. From the tiny outposts of Chinese Hat and Rabida to Isabela Island, the largest in the archipelago, this itinerary covers a wide range of Galapagos diversity.
|Upper Deck Suite ||
|Standard Ocean View||$3920|
Rates are per person based on double
Advanced reservation recommended:
Cruises sell out 6-12 months in advance.
$1495 per person includes 3 nights hotel, transfers, city tour, internal flights, park fees and taxes. View details
Friday - Friday
The Seaman Journey Western Galapagos Islands Cruise can be combined with the Eastern Islands itinerary to create a 15-day voyage. Or combine it with 4- or 5-day options to create an 11- or 12-day itinerary. The Western Islands day-by-day itinerary details are listed below, or click the following links to view more Galapagos Seaman Journey options.
Seaman Journey Eastern Islands 8 Day/7 Night
Seaman Journey Northern Islands 4 Day/3 Night
Seaman Journey Southern Islands 5 Day/4 Night
Seaman Journey Main Page
Day 1 - FRI - Baltra to Twin Craters & Highlands (Santa Cruz)
Start your trip with a flight from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands. The flight from Quito to the Galapagos is approximately 2 ½ hours on a Boeing 727. Upon arrival at Baltra travelers pass through an airport inspection point to insure that no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands and to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless prepaid), and $10 for the INGALA card, which is an identity card that you need. Guides will meet you, collect your luggage and escort you on the short bus ride to the harbor. Motorized rafts, called pangas will transport you to the Seaman Journey where you'll be welcomed onboard. After departure and lunch, the first island visit is made.
The Gemelos are a pair of craters approximately 30 meters deep located on either side of the road to Baltra (island where the airport lies). The holes could be created because of a volcanic explosion or because of magma chambers inside earth. A good place to see the Galapagos hawk and barn owl is on this island. The surrounding forest is full of birds such as the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler. The highlands and settlement area of Santa Cruz are worth seeing for the contrast of the vegetation with the arid coastal zones.
Journeying across Santa Cruz into the highlands visitors are delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling across Santa Cruz the road departs from Puerto Ayora climbing through the agricultural lands and into the mist-covered forests. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present in the archipelago. As you travel through these zones birders are enchanted. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finch almost every bird present in the islands can be found here. Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities for viewing wild Galapagos tortoises. 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. Theses eerie formations offer a fascinating hike into the belly of the island to view its volcanic makeup.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
lunch and dinner
Day 2 - SAT - Reef Shark Canal & Wall of Tears (Isabela)
A delightful place reached by a nice zodiac ride, “Tintoreras” are small islands in front of Puerto Villamil coast. There is heron lava on the lookout on mangrove branch, and Galapagos penguins and sea lions often pop out on shore. White-tipped reef sharks are fairly common in the archipelago. Their name in Spanish is Tintorera, thus the name of this site as they are always found here resting in the shallow waters.
In the afternoon, visit the Wall of Tears historic site in Isabela Island. Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela was a penal colony, where prisoners build a wall with huge blocks of lava as punishment. The wall is 100 meters long and 7 meters high. Due to the arduous labor and harsh conditions in which the prisoners lived, this site is known as the wall of tears. A set of stairs provides a bird’s eye view of the wall and the surrounding landscape. You can still see the cement foundations of the USA base dating back to World War II.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3 - SUN - Punta Moreno & Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)
Punta Moreno is located on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of corrugated or an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, its main attraction are several species of birds which can be found around this lakes and mangroves.
Elizabeth Bay iis a marine visitor site; the excursion is carried out in a zodiac and so there is no landing point. Your zodiac ride starts with a visit to the Marielas islets where there is the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. The excursion continues into the cove that is surrounded by red mangroves where you can admire their red roots and green leafs. Here observe sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions. Frequently visitors have been able to see Galapagos hawks soaring overhead while schools of pompano and dorado fish swim below.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - MON - Espinoza Point (Fernandina) & Tagus Cove (Isabela)
Espinoza Point is a place famous for its large colonies of marine iguanas and as the habitat of unique species like the flightless cormorant, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos hawk and Galapagos snake. Located on Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine of the Galapagos Islands, this site is very volcanic, with numerous lava types seen during the hikes here.
In the afternoon visit Tagus Cove, a favorite spot for pirates and whalers to inscribe the names of their boats on the island cliffs and rocks. At the start of the walk, going up and passing the staircase, find a small cave with inscriptions dating to Darwin's visit in the 1800s. Hike up to view Darwin Lake.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5 - TUE - Espumilla Beach & Puerto Egas (Santiago)
Espumilla Beach is located in northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence the El Niño phenomenon, one of the two lagoons in this site, underwent a process of sedimentation, thus causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. The main attractions are the palo santo forest and the marvelous beach, an important site for nesting marine turtles.
Puerto Egas's black beach is located at the west side of the island and is the main attraction of the island. Their volcanic tuff deposits have favored the formation of this special black-sand beach. This site is called Puerto Egas, because there was an attempt of company of Hector Egas, to start the exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt in the continent was very cheap, and did not justify its exploitation in Galapagos. The project was abandoned and they left their infrastructure.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6 - WED - Rabida & Chinese Hat
Rábida Island is unique because the red color of the rocks and sand. The volcanic material in this island is very porous and external factors as rain, salt water and sea breeze have acted as an oxidizing agent. A short walk along a trail lead you to a coastal lagoon behind the beach which permits you to observe the land birds such as finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mocking birds. At the lagoon there is a colony of flamingos.
Chinese Hat is a small islet (1 sq km) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side. On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, this is why coral heads are found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. The landscape is covered by sea lions colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7 - THR - Sullivan Bay (Santiago) & Bartolome Island
Santiago, also called James, or San Salvador Island, is located in the west central part of the Galapagos archipelago. It is the fourth largest island in the archipelago (following Isabela, Fernandina and Santa Cruz). Along with some of the large western volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina, Santiago is also volcanically active, with many young flows and cones to be seen, particularly along the south, west and east coasts. These may even be seen from the summit of Darwin Volcano and from space. A number of historic eruptions have been reported over the last 2 centuries. Santiago actually consists of two coalesced volcanoes: a typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.
Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has an altitude of 114 meters, from where you can observe one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Galapagos Islands such as: volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea. There is very little vegetation on this island, but there are two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist and at the base of the pinnacle, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.Accommodations: Seaman JourneyIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 8 - FRI - Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)
These two small beaches are found to the West of Turtle Cove. Their sand is made of decomposed coral, which makes it white and soft, making it a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally is possible to observe flamingos and other coastal birds, such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels. The other beach is longer, but it has two old barges that were abandoned during the Second World War, when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategically point to protect the Panama Channel. After the morning excursion you will be taken to the Baltra airport for your flight 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.
Galapagos cruise including all meals and activities while aboard, all transfers in Galapagos, water, coffee, tea, an experienced Galapagos Islands naturalist guide, snorkeling gear.
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 soft drink beverages; wet suit rental; other personal expenses; medical services or insurance of any kind.
Cabins aboard the Seaman Journey can be booked as a single for a 75% supplement.
Families & Children:
Children under 12 receive a discount (1 child per 2 adults). Contact us for more information.
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. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. 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 121 days - $200
120 to 61 days - 20% 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) are available for the duration of the cruise. Sea kayaks are also available aboard Seaman Journey. Shortie wet suits are 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.