penguins on a rocky outlook over the ocean while a panga takes passengers from sea star journey luxury cruise ship in the background to the Galapagos islands
An iguana with orange and brown skin climbs up a rock in the sun at the Galapagos islands
guests from the sea star journey luxury cruise ship go on a snorkeling excursion in a bay near the Galapagos islands
frigate birds fly in symmetry across a blue sky with white clouds at the Galapagos islands
a passenger from the sea star journey luxury cruise takes a photo of an iguana resting among rocks at the Galapagos islands
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South America Galapagos Islands Cruise

Sea Star Journey Galapagos Cruises

Combining privacy and comfort, the Sea Star Journey is among the most spacious luxury yachts to cruise the Galapagos Islands. Travelers will not find another 16-passenger yacht in the Galapagos Islands that offers more space, convenience or service. She carries 16 passengers in 7 sizable Galapagos Suites and 1 Sea Star Suite, all of which are equipped with panoramic windows to enjoy the wonderful landscapes of the islands, and Main Deck cabins feature private balconies. The Sea Star Journey is perfect for active travelers seeking to cruise the Galapagos in style. 

The Sea Star Journey operates three Galapagos cruise itineraries (one 5-day cruise and two 6-day cruises), which can be combined in various ways to create longer 10-, 11- or 15-day cruises. Book a trip on the Sea Star Journey for the trip of a lifetime!

After full days of active exploration via sea kayaks, snorkeling and a glass-bottom Zodiac, guests will enjoy returning to the comfort and luxury of the Sea Star Journey with its large solarium with shaded and uncovered areas, two Jacuzzis and comfortable sun loungers, or hanging out in the social areas which include a saloon, mini library and video library. The onboard chef creates exquisite local and international dishes, served both indoors and al fresco, with a private dining option available. For these reasons and more, Sea Star Journey is among our favorite Galapagos luxury cruises.

The Sea Star Journey Northern Islands cruise is an exciting 5-day/4-night small ship cruise with stops at the islands of Baltra, Santa Cruz, Chinese Hat, Genovesa, Bartolomé and Santiago. Catch sights of flamingos and pintail ducks on Santa Cruz Island. Enjoy a panga ride or kayak paddle through Black Turtle Cove, to see white- and blacktip reef sharks and hammerhead sharks. Watch for Galapagos penguins while learning about lava tubes and flows at Chinese Hat. The Sea Star Journey Northern Islands cruise can be combined with the Central or Eastern Islands cruise to create a 10-day/9-night itinerary, or combine all three itineraries for a comprehensive 15-day/14-night cruise.

The Sea Star Journey Central Islands cruise is an exciting 6-day/5-night small ship cruise that starts in Baltra, visits Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina and Santiago islands and ends in San Cristobal. Highlights include a visit to the Charles Darwin Station, a panga ride through the White Tipped Reef Shark Canal, hiking to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, exploring the complex coastal lagoons of Punta Moreno, viewing the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands, bird-watching at Punta Espinoza and touring Tagus Cove to seek out more Galapagos penguins and even more wildlife. End the tour at Lobos Island where sea lions and shorebirds rest, before the 6-day tour ends at San Cristobal Island. The Sea Star Journey Central Islands Cruise can be combined with the Northern or Eastern Islands Cruise to create a 10-day/9-night or itinerary or both for a comprehensive 15-day/14-night cruise. 

The Sea Star Journey Eastern Islands Cruise is a 6-day/5-night itinerary that explores San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Fe, Islas Plazas, North Seymour, Santa Cruz and Mosquera Islet. Be shaded on a hike amongst tree-height cacti at Puerto Chino. Take in endemic species including the lava lizard and Chatham leaf-toed gecko at the Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center. Observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters off Espanola Island. Experience the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island. Learn Galapagos history at Post Office Bay. View albatross, seabirds and a spectacular blow hole at Punta Suarez. Snorkel with sea lions on Santa Fe Island and view nesting birds at North Seymour Island. The Sea Star Journey Eastern Islands Cruise can be combined with the Central or Northern Islands Cruise to create either a 10-day/9-night itinerary, a 11-day/10-night itinerary or both for a comprehensive 15-day/14-night cruise.

No matter the itinerary, at only 16 guests, the Sea Star Journey is sure to foster long-lasting memories and relationships, which is why this ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private Galapagos yacht charters.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Galapagos cruises.



Itinerary

6-Day Central Itinerary

The Sea Star Journey Central Islands cruise is an exciting 6-day/5-night small ship cruise that starts in Baltra, visits Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina and Santiago islands and ends in San Cristobal. Highlights include a visit to the Charles Darwin Station, a panga ride through the White Tipped Reef Shark Canal, hiking to the rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, exploring the complex coastal lagoons of Punta Moreno, viewing the largest penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands, bird-watching at Punta Espinoza and touring Tagus Cove to seek out more Galapagos penguins and even more wildlife.

Galapagos cruise route map showing visits to Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Santiago and San Cristobal islands.
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Day 1
THU - Embark Baltra to Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz)

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, pass through an airport inspection point to ensure no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). Be met by a guide who will help collect luggage and escort guests to a bus for a short ride to the the Itabaca Channel and transfer to Puerto Ayora for embarkation.

After departure and lunch, the first island excursion is to the Charles Darwin Station for an educational background on the islands. Although the great majority of Galapagos visitors come here to observe and appreciate natural wonders, they also find it interesting to learn how the protection and conservation of the islands are carried out. One of the main attractions is the National Park information center, the Van Staelen Exhibition Hall and the Breeding and Rearing Center for young tortoises.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
FRI - Whitetip Reef Shark Canal & Sierra Negra Volcano (Isabela)

Begin today with a nice panga ride through the Whitetip Reef Shark Canal. Explore the Tintoreras – small islands in front of the Puerto Villamil coast. Heron look out from mangrove branches amongst the lava while Galapagos penguins and sea lions pop up on shore. Whitetip reef sharks, or in Spanish “Tintoreras,” are fairly common in the archipelago and can be found resting in the shallow waters.

After lunch, land in Puerto Villamil, which has the second smallest population in Galapagos with approximately 3000 inhabitants. Head up to the highlands from Puerto Villamil to Sierra Negra slope and hike on uneven terrain to the Sierra Negra volcano rim. From this viewpoint, enjoy fantastic sights to the 6- by 5-mile-wide crater, which is the second widest crater in the world, and the rest of the volcanoes and Perry Isthmus, a roughly 7.5-mile-wide lava field. Another option is to hike to Chico Volcano to watch the striking lava formations, examples of the geological occurrences that have created the Galapagos Islands.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
SAT - Punta Moreno & Elizabeth Bay (Isabela)

Begin the day with a hike along Punta Moreno on the north coast of Isabela Island between the volcano Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul volcano. The trail runs along a lava flow of Pahohoe (solidified lava in the form of an accordion) into a complex of coastal lagoons, where several species of birds can be seen around the lakes and mangroves.

In the afternoon, explore Elizabeth Bay, a marine visitor site carried out in pangas with no landing point. Panga rides start with a visit to the Marielas Islets to view the largest and most important penguin colony in the Galapagos Islands. Continue into a cove surrounded by red mangroves with spectacular red roots and green leafs, where sea turtles, flightless cormorants, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, brown pelicans and sea lions can be seen. Keep an eye out for Galapagos hawks soaring overhead and schools of pompano and dorado fish swimming below.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
SUN - Punta Espinoza & Tagus Cove (Fernandina)

Today visit Punta Espinoza, the only visitor site on Fernandina Island, which is the third largest island in the archipelago. Across Tagus Cove witness some of the most unique species in the Galapagos Islands as well as marine iguanas whose groupings here are larger than anywhere else on the islands. They bask in the sand, swim near the shore and sometimes block the way to the visitor’s landing dock. Take in sights of the unique flightless cormorant, whose wings, tail and feet have become adapted for swimming. They have adjusted their way of survival by improving their skills of finding food in the ocean.

Later, take a tour in Tagus Cove along the cliffs in a Panga to see Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants and other seabirds. From the landing dock take a 30-minute hike to the top of the cliff where you can see Darwin Lake, an uplifted ultra saline lake that is saltier than the sea. Several volcanoes can be seen from this viewpoint. Be sure to look for graffiti on the surrounding cliffs, that was written by pirates, whalers and buccaneers from past centuries.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
MON - Espumilla Beach & Puerto Egas (Santiago)

This morning, visit Espumilla Beach on the northern coast of Santiago Island in James Bay. During the last presence of the El Niño phenomenon, one of the two lagoons in this site underwent a process of sedimentation, causing the disappearance of a representative colony of flamingos. Explore the Palo Santo forest, marvelous landscape and beach that is an important nesting site for marine turtles. In the afternoon visit Puerto Egas, a black beach located at the west side of Santiago Island that gets its special color from volcanic tuff deposits. Puerto Egas is named after Hector Egas, who tried to start an exploitation of salt, which failed because the price of salt on the continent was cheap and did not justify exporting it from the Galapagos. They abandoned the project but left the infrastructure.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
TUE - Isla Lobos & Disembark San Cristobal

Spend the morning on Isla Lobos after taking an approximately one-hour panga ride from Port Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of San Cristobal Island. Enjoy a trail that leads across a dry vegetation zone, substrate of volcanic rocks and sandy areas. Observe a small population of blue-footed boobies and frigate birds nesting here. At the beach look for a large colony of sea lions and shorebirds. After the visit to Isla Lobos, disembark the ship and transfer to the airport in San Cristobal to fly back to Quito or Guayaquil.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers in Galapagos; matrimonial/twin cabin accommodation with private facilities; all meals, water, coffee and tea; all excursions as mentioned in itinerary (itinerary subject to change) with an English-speaking naturalist guide; snorkel and kayak equipment.

Exclusions

Return flight to Galapagos, Galapagos National Park entrance fee (currently US $100 per person), TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20), wetsuit rental, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, personal expenses, extras and tips.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 15% of total trip cost
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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

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 provided. Wetsuits are available to rent for a fee and 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.

Room Configuration

Cabins may be booked for single occupancy at a 100% single supplement. Triple occupancy may be available in cabins 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Families & Children

Children under 12 receive a 20% discount off the cruise rate (1 child per 2 adults), except during holiday season departures when children will be charged as adults. Families traveling with children under 12 can be accommodated in cabins on the Upper and Main Decks. These cabins have a sofa that can be converted into a comfortable bed. Interconnected Upper Deck cabins are ideal for families. Minimum child age is 6 years old.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

6-Day East Itinerary

The Sea Star Journey Eastern Islands Cruise is a 6-day/5-night itinerary that explores San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Fe, Islas Plazas, North Seymour, Santa Cruz and Mosquera Islet. Be shaded on a hike amongst tree-height cacti at Puerto Chino. Take in endemic species including the lava lizard and Chatham leaf-toed gecko at the Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center. Observe sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters off Espanola Island. Experience the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos at Cormorant Point on Floreana Island. Learn Galapagos history at Post Office Bay. View albatross, seabirds and a spectacular blow hole at Punta Suarez. Snorkel with sea lions on Santa Fe Island and view nesting birds at North Seymour Island.

Galapagos cruise route map showing visits to San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz and Baltra islands.
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Day 1
TUE - Embark San Cristobal to Puerto Chino & Jacinto Gordillo (San Cristobal)

Upon arrival at San Cristobal Airport, pass through an airport inspection point to ensure no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). Be met by a guide, who will help collect luggage and escort guests to a bus for a short ride to the harbor for embarking the Sea Star Journey.

In the afternoon, visit Puerto Chino, a beautiful beach offering swimming and snorkeling on the southeast side of San Cristobal. This landing site is rife with huge cactus that tower over the trail like trees. After a hike along this trail, take in the beach wildlife of sea lions and their puppies playing and swimming. Enjoy the deep blue waters with the waves and tide, keeping an eye open for marine tortoises and their nests. After a swim or snorkel, visit the Jacinto Gordillo Breeding Center; known as the “Galapaguera,” this is a good place to observe Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat. Also look for San Cristobal Island’s endemic species, including the mockingbird Neosomimus melanotis, the lava lizard and the Chatham leaf-toed gecko.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Day 2
WED - Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez (Española)

Begin today in Gardner Bay, relaxing on a beach that’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and observing sea lions. Be sure to spot some sharks in the crystal clear ocean waters. In the afternoon, make a wet landing on Punta Suarez. This rocky land sustains one of the most impressive and varied colonies of seabirds in the Galapagos. Along its southern shore, high cliffs rise up from the sea, affording spectacular views of soaring birds and of the blow hole where water spouts up to 50-75 feet depending on the intensity of the surf.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
THU - Cormorant Point & Post Office Bay (Floreana)

This morning explore Cormorant Point and possibly the best flamingo lagoon in the Galapagos; it is also one of the largest in the islands. Two tuff lava cones provide a particularly special atmosphere, and various species of shorebirds including common stilts, white-cheeked pintail ducks and other migratory birds can be seen. Two distinct beaches make this visit intriguing: the Green Beach, with its high percentage of olivine crystals in the sand and the Flour Sand Beach made up of coral.

After lunch, visit historic Post Office Bay, where a wooden barrel was placed in the 18th century by crew members of a whaling ship. For centuries mariners and tourists have been depositing letters and postcards to this barrel and taking them on to deliver them to their destinations by hand. This site was also the landing area for some of the first colonists. Later, continue to the north of the island to spend time kayaking in Baroness Bay, a beautiful bay where one can bask in the surrounding coastal and volcanic scenery. It is said that Baroness Eloisa von Wagner loved this place and spent several hours watching the horizon from her home above the bay. The Sea Star sundeck affords amazing views of the landscape, from Enderby Islet to Post Office Bay, as well as Cerro Pajas, the pool of flamingos and the wide forest of Palo Santo.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
FRI - Santa Fe & Islas Plazas

Today experience Santa Fe, an island in the southeastern part of the Galapagos formed by an uplift instead of volcanic origin, which is why it is mostly flat. It is believed to be the oldest island in the archipelago and is home to a number of endemic species like the Galapagos hawk, Galapagos snake, Galapagos mockingbird, rice rats and one of two species of land iguanas. After disembarkation in the beautiful and clear waters, experience one of the many sea lion colonies. Salt bushes and giant prickly pear cactus line the trail. The possibility to snorkel with playful sea lions and tropical fish is spectacular.

This afternoon enjoy two islands known as Islas Plazas east of Santa Cruz Island. Despite their small size, these islands are home to some of the most interesting and outstanding species in the Galapagos. The Plazas land iguanas are smaller than their relatives found on other islands. Throughout the islands are several hybrid iguanas, a result of crossing a male marine iguana and a female land iguana. They are unique and recognizable at first glance by their black-gray color, with a land iguana’s crest but face and tail of the marine iguana. Look for swallow-tailed gulls nesting along the cliffs with other seabirds such as Audubon shearwaters, red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and brown pelicans.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
SAT - North Seymour & Bachas Beach (Santa Cruz)

Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders. There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds. Blue-footed boobies seasonally perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges. Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and go surfing. Step carefully, as the boobies don’t worry about where they nest. The trees are dotted with male frigate birds trying to attract the attention of the ladies by inflating their bright red skin flaps. They sometimes fly in the air to call more attention to themselves. A circular path takes you through the island to a beautiful, rocky shore where the waves crash a silvery-blue rush.

In the afternoon visit Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island, where sand is made of decomposed coral, making it white and soft and a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Behind one of the beaches, there is a small brackish water lagoon, where occasionally flamingos and other coastal birds such as black-necked stilts and whimbrels can be seen. Visit a longer beach where two old barges were abandoned during the Second World War when the USA used Baltra Island as a strategic point to protect the Panama Channel.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
SUN - Mosquera Islet & Disembark Baltra

Spend this morning at Mosquera Islet located between Baltra and North Seymour Islands. This small islet was formed by a geological uplift; its narrowest width reaches approximately 525 feet; and it has one of the largest populations of sea lions. Several species of shorebirds can be observed and dolphins and orcas can also sometimes be spotted. After, disembark the ship at Baltra and transfer to the Baltra airport to fly back to Quito or Guayaquil.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers in Galapagos; matrimonial/twin cabin accommodation with private facilities; all meals, water, coffee and tea; all excursions as mentioned in itinerary (itinerary subject to change) with an English-speaking naturalist guide; snorkel and kayak equipment.

Exclusions

Return flight to Galapagos, Galapagos National Park entrance fee (currently US $100 per person), TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20), wetsuit rental, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, personal expenses, extras and tips.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 15% of total trip cost
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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

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 provided. Wetsuits are available to rent for a fee and 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.

Room Configuration

Cabins may be booked for single occupancy at a 100% single supplement. Triple occupancy may be available in cabins 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Families & Children

Children under 12 receive a 20% discount off the cruise rate (1 child per 2 adults), except during holiday season departures when children will be charged as adults. Families traveling with children under 12 can be accommodated in cabins on the Upper and Main Decks. These cabins have a sofa that can be converted into a comfortable bed. Interconnected Upper Deck cabins are ideal for families. Minimum child age is 6 years old.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

5-Day North Itinerary

The Sea Star Journey Northern Islands cruise is an exciting 5-day/4-night small ship cruise with stops at the islands of Baltra, Santa Cruz, Chinese Hat, Genovesa, Bartolomé and Santiago. Catch sights of flamingos and pintail ducks on Santa Cruz Island. Enjoy a panga ride or kayak paddle through Black Turtle Cove, to see white- and blacktip reef sharks and hammerhead sharks. Watch for Galapagos penguins while learning about lava tubes and flows at Chinese Hat.

Galapagos cruise route map showing visits to Baltra, Santa Cruz, Chinese Hat, Genovesa, Bartolomé and Santiago islands.
Read More
Day 1
SUN - Embark Baltra to Dragon Hill (Santa Cruz)

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport, pass through an airport inspection point to ensure no foreign plants or animals are introduced to the islands, as well as to pay the park entrance fee of $100 (unless it has been prepaid). Be met by a guide, who will help collect luggage and escort guests to a bus for a short ride to the harbor for embarking the Sea Star Journey.

After departure and lunch, visit Dragon Hill, a site that has been open to visitors since 1993. Located on northwestern Santa Cruz Island, Dragon Hill consists of a trail that leads to a hyper-saline lagoon behind the beach frequented by flamingos, pintail ducks and other species of birds. This site has been repopulated with land iguanas from Seymour, Isabela and Santa Cruz islands. Enjoy a short walk to the hill that offers a beautiful view of the bay.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 2
MON - Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz) & Chinese Hat

Enjoy Black Turtle Cove, located on the northern side of Santa Cruz island, for its red mangrove lagoon that’s very calm and quiet and an ideal nursery for many sharks and rays. Its crystal waters permit visitors to observe white- and black-tip reef sharks and hammerhead sharks, schools of golden rays as well as spotted eagle rays. There are no landing sites so the visit is done by panga or kayak. Sea turtles are frequently seen here, sometimes while mating in the mangrove-lined waters. Pelicans and herons are also often seen in this area.

After lunch, head to Chinese Hat, a small islet (roughly one half mile) located just off the southeastern tip of Santiago Island. A recent volcanic cone, it has a shape resembling a Chinese hat when seen from the north side. On the west side are lava formations formed under the sea that have risen up, creating coral heads found on the lava. This is an excellent visit for interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows. Experience sea lion colonies, marine iguanas and Galapagos penguins as well.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
TUE - Darwin Bay & El Barranco (Genovesa)

When the crater of Genovesa Island collapsed below sea level, Darwin Bay was formed. Make a wet landing on a beautiful white coral sandy beach and enjoy a birdwatcher’s favorite island. Red-footed boobies; masked boobies; wandering tattlers; lava gulls; whimbrels; yellow-crowned, black-crowned and lava herons; and yellow warblers can be seen in the area. Continue along the trail before climbing gradually to the edge of a cliff where red-foots nest in the mangrove trees below. Keep eyes open to spot sharp-beaked finches, large cactus and ground finches, Galapagos doves and swallow-tailed gulls. The trail ends at a cliff edge that offers an incredible view of the island and the many birds living there.

This afternoon’s excursion is to El Barranco, or Prince Philip’s Steps, located in the southern part of Darwin Bay. Climb to a plateau that stretches around Darwin Bay on its eastern side, where a large population of masked boobies and red-footed boobies can be found in and around the trees. Storm petrels and short-eared owls have found Genovesa lava flows to be an ideal place for nesting.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
WED - Bartolome & Sullivan Bay (Santiago)

Bartolomé Island has an altitude of 374 feet, enabling beautiful views of 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, yet it has two breathtaking beaches where marine turtles exist, as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

After lunch, visit Santiago Island (also called James or San Salvador Island) 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 volcanically active and has had a number of historic eruptions reported over the last two centuries. It has many young flows and cones, particularly along the south, west and east coasts, which are visible from the summit of Darwin Volcano and even from outer space. Santiago consists of two coalesced volcanoesa typical shield volcano on the northwest end and a low, linear fissure volcano on the southeast end.

Accommodations

Sea Star Journey

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
THU - Santa Cruz Highlands (Santa Cruz) & Disembark Baltra

Start the day with a hike to the Santa Cruz Highlands on a trail that leaves from Bellavista and passes through the agricultural zone, near the National Park boundary, the Miconia Zone, and then goes to the Fern and Sedge zone. On a clear day, this area affords beautiful scenes of rolling hills and extinct volcanic cones covered with grass and lush greenery all year round. After the Highlands hike, disembark the ship and transfer to the Baltra airport to fly back to Quito or Guayaquil.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers in Galapagos; matrimonial/twin cabin accommodation with private facilities; all meals, water, coffee and tea; all excursions as mentioned in itinerary (itinerary subject to change) with an English-speaking naturalist guide; snorkel and kayak equipment.

Exclusions

Return flight to Galapagos, Galapagos National Park entrance fee (currently US $100 per person), TCT-Galapagos Transit Control Card (US $20), wetsuit rental, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, personal expenses, extras and tips.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 15% of total trip cost
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 Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

Most flights to the Galapagos will depart Quito or Guayaquil between 6:00am and 11:00am on day 1 and return between 2:00pm and 6:00pm on the final day. We highly recommend travelers arrive Ecuador two days prior to their Galapagos cruise. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Flights from mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to the Galapagos are not included in the cruise price, but are arranged for you by AdventureSmith Explorations through your ship. Your Adventure Specialist will book these flights for you on the scheduled Galapagos flight for your particular departure. Airfares vary by departure; your Adventure Specialist will detail these for you in their proposal and on your invoice. On flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islandsbaggage weight limits are currently 50 pounds for checked items, and 17 pounds for carry-on plus a small personal item. Subject to change.

Activities

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 provided. Wetsuits are available to rent for a fee and 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.

Room Configuration

Cabins may be booked for single occupancy at a 100% single supplement. Triple occupancy may be available in cabins 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Families & Children

Children under 12 receive a 20% discount off the cruise rate (1 child per 2 adults), except during holiday season departures when children will be charged as adults. Families traveling with children under 12 can be accommodated in cabins on the Upper and Main Decks. These cabins have a sofa that can be converted into a comfortable bed. Interconnected Upper Deck cabins are ideal for families. Minimum child age is 6 years old.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. Due to the active nature of volcanoes in the Western Galapagos, alternate excursions may be offered. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Galapagos Cruise Rates & Dates

Longer Sea Star Journey itineraries are available by combining the ship’s shorter itineraries. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for pricing on 10-, 11- and 15-day Sea Star Journey Galapagos cruises.

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Oct 22 - Oct 27, 2020
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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From $4259USD
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Oct 27 - Nov 01, 2020
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Nov 01 - Nov 05, 2020
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Nov 05 - Nov 10, 2020
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Nov 10 - Nov 15, 2020
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Nov 15 - Nov 19, 2020
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Nov 19 - Nov 24, 2020
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Nov 20 - Dec 03, 2020
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Nov 24 - Nov 29, 2020
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Dec 03 - Dec 08, 2020
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Dec 08 - Dec 13, 2020
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Dec 13 - Dec 17, 2020
Sea Star Journey • 5 days
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From $3399USD
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Dec 17 - Dec 22, 2020
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Dec 22 - Dec 27, 2020
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Dec 27 - Dec 31, 2020
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Jan 05 - Jan 10, 2021
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Jan 10 - Jan 14, 2021
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From $3569USD
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Jan 14 - Jan 19, 2021
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Jan 19 - Jan 24, 2021
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Jan 24 - Jan 28, 2021
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Jan 28 - Feb 02, 2021
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Feb 02 - Feb 07, 2021
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Feb 07 - Feb 11, 2021
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Feb 11 - Feb 16, 2021
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Feb 16 - Feb 21, 2021
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Feb 21 - Feb 25, 2021
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Feb 25 - Mar 02, 2021
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Mar 02 - Mar 07, 2021
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Mar 07 - Mar 11, 2021
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Mar 11 - Mar 16, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Mar 16 - Mar 21, 2021
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Mar 21 - Mar 25, 2021
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Mar 25 - Mar 30, 2021
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Mar 30 - Apr 04, 2021
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Apr 04 - Apr 08, 2021
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Apr 08 - Apr 13, 2021
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Apr 13 - Apr 18, 2021
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Apr 18 - Apr 22, 2021
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Apr 22 - Apr 27, 2021
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Apr 27 - May 02, 2021
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May 02 - May 06, 2021
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May 06 - May 11, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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May 11 - May 16, 2021
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May 16 - May 20, 2021
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May 20 - May 25, 2021
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May 25 - May 30, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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May 30 - Jun 03, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 5 days
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Jun 03 - Jun 08, 2021
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Jun 08 - Jun 13, 2021
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Jun 13 - Jun 17, 2021
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Jun 17 - Jun 22, 2021
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Jun 22 - Jun 27, 2021
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Jun 27 - Jul 01, 2021
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Jul 01 - Jul 06, 2021
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Jul 06 - Jul 11, 2021
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Jul 11 - Jul 15, 2021
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Jul 15 - Jul 20, 2021
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Jul 20 - Jul 25, 2021
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Jul 25 - Jul 29, 2021
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Jul 29 - Aug 03, 2021
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Aug 03 - Aug 08, 2021
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Aug 08 - Aug 12, 2021
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Aug 12 - Aug 17, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Aug 17 - Aug 22, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Aug 22 - Aug 26, 2021
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Aug 26 - Aug 31, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Aug 31 - Sep 05, 2021
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Sep 05 - Sep 09, 2021
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Sep 09 - Sep 14, 2021
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Sep 14 - Sep 19, 2021
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Sep 19 - Sep 23, 2021
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Sep 23 - Sep 28, 2021
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Sep 28 - Oct 03, 2021
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Oct 03 - Oct 07, 2021
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Oct 07 - Oct 12, 2021
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Oct 12 - Oct 17, 2021
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Oct 17 - Oct 21, 2021
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Oct 21 - Oct 26, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Oct 26 - Oct 31, 2021
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Oct 31 - Nov 04, 2021
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Nov 04 - Nov 09, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Nov 09 - Nov 14, 2021
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Nov 14 - Nov 18, 2021
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Nov 18 - Nov 23, 2021
Sea Star Journey • 6 days
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Nov 23 - Nov 28, 2021
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Nov 28 - Dec 02, 2021
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Dec 02 - Dec 07, 2021
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Dec 07 - Dec 12, 2021
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Dec 12 - Dec 16, 2021
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Dec 16 - Dec 21, 2021
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Dec 21 - Dec 26, 2021
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Dec 26 - Dec 30, 2021
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Dec 30 - Jan 04, 2022
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Accommodation

Learn About the Galapagos Ship on Your Itinerary

Yacht
Sea Star Journey

Combining luxury, privacy and comfort in the marvelous setting of the Galapagos Islands, the 16-guest Sea Star Journey (formerly the Grand Odyssey) has been completely renovated and features one of the largest sun decks in the islands.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires November 30th, 2020
Flexible Cancellation On 2020 Sea Star Journey &Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruises

Book or re-book 2020 Galapagos cruises with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Justin Massoni • July 5th, 2018
Expert Review: Sea Star Journey Galapagos Cruise & the Amazon's Napo Wildlife Center

Why combine a Galapagos cruise with a trip to the Amazon? Our Director of Operations shares why these two destinations are such a great match in his review of the 16-guest Sea Star Journey and Napo Wildlife Center.

Testimonials

Hear It from Travelers Who Have Explored with Us

"Once In A Lifetime Experience"

Everything went like clockwork. The crew was great and our experiences on outings and on the boat were terrific.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
4.5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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"We Loved the Snorkeling"

It was the sharks and sea lions that we most enjoyed.

Overall
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Accommodations
5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
Meals
4.5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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"The Naturalist Was Excellent"

We were glad to be on a small ship as it made the excursions better.

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5 /5 Star Created with Sketch.
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100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Galapagos Cruise

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4 - 5 Day Land Tour
Ecuador Amazon Adventure - Napo Wildlife Center

Spend 4, 5 or 8 days at the Napo Wildlife Center, a luxury eco-hotel and ecotourism project that includes the conservation of approximately over 82 square miles of Ecuador's most pristine Amazon rainforest within Yasunì National Park.

From $1332USD
Year Round
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5 Day Land Tour
Quito & Guayaquil Galapagos Travel Package

Most Galapagos cruises require travelers to find pre- and post-cruise Guayaquil or Quito hotels. This travel package offers an easy, cost-effective way to get to the Galapagos with a comprehensive land package.

From $385USD
Year Round
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5 - 6 Day Land Tour
Machu Picchu Explorer

Travel to Peru's most spectacular archaeological monument in South America: the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu. This 5- or 6-day Machu Picchu Explorer adventure includes Cusco, the Urubamba Valley and upscale accommodations.

From $1575USD
Year Round
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Trips You Might Also Like

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4 - 8 Day Cruise
Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruises

A well-rounded itinerary and just 16 passengers set Galapagos Seaman Journey cruises apart. This catamaran cruises both the Eastern and Western Galapagos Islands and features sun beds and outside dining, which have garnered it attention as one of the best sun decks in the Islands.

Special Offer
From $2159USD
Year Round
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4 - 8 Day Cruise
Cormorant Galapagos Cruises

Cormorant Galapagos Cruises aboard the 16-guest Cormorant bring the best in Galapagos catamaran design, offering private balconies in each stateroom. Onboard kayaks and snorkel gear enable up-close island exploration.

Special Offer
From $3545USD
Year Round
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5 - 7 Day Land Tour
Galapagos Island Hopper

Explore the Galapagos Islands on our lodge-based adventure on three separate islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal. This 5- or 7-day itinerary is perfect for those looking for a unique way to explore the islands ashore visiting sites often missed on cruises.

From $2875USD
Year Round
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Sea Star Journey Galapagos Cruises

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