Galapagos: Eric, Flamingo I, Letty Family Cruise 2008

Travel Idea:

Galapagos: Eric, Flamingo I, Letty Family Cruise 2008

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Destination for this trip:

Ecuador; Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador; San Cristobal, Ecuador

Length of trip:

8 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2000 to $ 4000

Best travel dates to go:

March, April, June, July, August, November

Detailed Description of this trip:

The M/Y Eric, Flamingo I, and Letty are three identical superior first-class 20-passenger motor-yachts, custom-designed for Galapagos excursions. Built in 1991 and refurbished every year, each yacht features ten outside facing double cabins. They are located on three separate decks with polished teak wood interiors, windows or portholes, fully air conditioned throughout, private bath facilities with fresh hot and cold water, private shower, hair dryers, toiletries, roomy closet and drawers, overhead storage, separate climate controls, ionizer (iguana and booby deck only), intercom system, life vests, bottled water and fresh towels. Public areas include a dining room, well-stocked bar and conference area, TV, DVD player, board games, library of books and DVDs. Picture windows surround the upper two decks and offer a spectacular panoramic view of the ocean and landscape. Enjoy sea breezes, sunshine, or stars on lounge chairs and recliners located on the sun deck and observation points. These itineraries offer special activities for kids. They will visit the bridge of the ship to learn about astronomy and navigational charts and also tie nautical knots with the ship's Captain. There will be special parties with movies and popcorn, games with prizes, drawing contests, ice cream sundae socials and a King Neptune costume party. Briefings and meals will be prepared depending on the ages and number of children on board. Dates Available : March 30 - April 6 April 6 - 13 June 8 - 15 June 15 - 22 June 22 - 29 June 29 - July 6 July 6 - 13 July 13 - 20 July 27 - August 3 August 3 - 10 August 10 - 17 August 17 - 24 November 23 - 30

Trip Properties:

Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

    Baltra / San Cristobal (Playa Ochoa - Leon Dormido).

    Upon arrival to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Island you will be greeted by the crew and escorted from the airport to your anchored yacht.

    River or Barge Cruise

    After the welcome briefing and safety drill, we set sail for Playa Ochoa. Shortly thereafter, we will have a chance to test our snorkeling equipment and at the same time swim with a small colony of sea lions.

    Behind the beach there is a tidal lagoon where exotic birds can be spotted (including the rare Chatham mockingbird). At sunset we cruise around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), a vertical tuff cone formation that abruptly juts up almost 500 feet out of the ocean. On the cliffs we find blue-footed boobies, masked boobies and magnificent frigate birds.

  • Day 2 - Ecuador

    Genovesa (Darwin Bay / Prince Phillip's Steps).
    River or Barge Cruise

    The entire next day is spent on TOWER Island (Genovesa). It is considered to be one of the most spectacular places to observe a variety of bird species. In the morning we have a dry landing at Prince Philip’s Steps. Nearby, Red-footed boobies nest in the Palo Santo trees, while the Nazca (formerly masked) boobies nest near the trail. In an open lava field we find a large number of storm petrels. If you are lucky, you will see the elusive short-eared owl.

    After lunch sea kayaks are available to paddle along the shoreline. Look for the beautiful red-billed tropic bird, usually seen in crevices. An opportunity to snorkel is offered along the inner rim of the volcanic crater. Darwin Bay is the next destination, a coral sand beach where swallow-tail and lava gulls gather near the tide pools. Then we enter a forest of Optuntia cactus and mangroves where colonies of great frigate birds nest. The males inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead. The trail leads through a rich inter tidal zone where we find a wide diversity of animal life. Swimming from the beach with sea lions is also an option.

  • Day 3 - Ecuador

    Santa Cruz (Las Bachas) / North Seymour.
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning we visit Las Bachas, which is the Spanish translation for “barges”. There is a long stretch of a soft white-sand beach and interior lagoons where we find the Greater Flamingo. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach. Remnants of the U.S. presence from World War II – a floating pier - is found here.

    This afternoon we disembark for North Seymour, a small geological uplift near Baltra. After a dry landing, we follow a trail that leads us to swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies and the endemic land iguanas. Next, we visit the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds found in the Galapagos. As we stroll along the beach, sea lions can be seen body surfing the northern swells.

  • Day 4 - Ecuador

    Isabela (Tagus Cove) / Fernandina (Punta Espinoza).
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning we visit Tagus Cove, located on the western Island of ISABELA. Formed from a convergence of six separate volcanoes, it is the largest Island in the Galapagos . On our walk we discover a salt-water lagoon, a scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. Graffiti dating back to the 1800's is written on the rocky cliffs. We explore the Cove in pangas or sea kayaks to find Galapagos penguins, boobies, pelicans and other seabirds. After lunch we cross the Bolivar Canal and look for whales and dolphins riding the bow wave.

    We disembark at Punta Espinoza, FERNANDINA, the youngest and most pristine Island found in Galapagos. Here we visit the largest colony of marine iguanas as they bask in the sun along the rugged shoreline. Sea lion harems can be observed with resident bulls carefully guarding their territory. Flightless Cormorants build their nest on the point and Galapagos Hawks fly overhead. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch around the coast. A snorkel provides the opportunity to see abundant sea turtles.

  • Day 5 - Ecuador

    Santiago (Puerto Egas) / Bartolome.
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning we stroll along the shore at Puerto Egas, SANTIAGO (James) looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great blue herons, lava herons, American oystercatchers and yellow-crowned night herons. Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter fur sea lions once on the verge of extinction. Before returning to the yacht, there is a snorkeling opportunity with loads of tropical fish.

    On Bartolomé, it seems like we are walking on the moon. This young Island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. After a dry landing, climb 30 minutes up stairs leading to the summit of a once active volcano. Along the way, we pause to marvel at lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones. From the top of the wooden stairs, we can gaze out across the island for a panoramic view of the island and "Pinnacle Rock", an eroded tuff cone. Down below, crystal clear water is an invitation to snorkel with schools of tropical fish and Galapagos Penguins. On the other side of the Island, encounter sea turtles and white-tipped sharks.

  • Day 6 - Ecuador

    Santa Cruz (Highlands / Darwin Station).
    River or Barge Cruise

    Friday is feeding day at the tortoise corals in the Charles Darwin Research Station. We visit all three tortoise corals and the breeding center with new hatchlings and miniature tortoises not yet ready to be repatriated. Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. We also visit the Van Straelen Hall where there are exhibits and a short video presentation. Visitors can now see the pen of Lonesome George, the last surviving member of the Pinta Island subspecies.

    After lunch on board, we travel by bus to the highlands of SANTA CRUZ Island. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos. From June to January, we can find giant tortoises on a private farm in the highlands. We visit Los Gemelos, Spanish for “The Twins”, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. We stop at "the tunnels", the largest lava tubes found in Galapagos. Stroll through the town of Puerto Ayora, (population: 15,000) the largest town in the Galapagos. Buy souvenirs, mail postcards or kick back at an internet cafe in the social heart of the Islands.

  • Day 7 - Ecuador

    Espanola (Punta Suarez / Gardner Bay).
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning we step onto Gardner Bay, ESPANOLA (HOOD). Then walk along a seemingly endless stretches of sandy beach where you’ll find large colonies of sea lions. There is no trail to follow, so this is a chance to explore and you may find a Galapagos Hawk, Darwin’s Finches or Hood Mockingbird. Swim with sea lions from the beach. Near Gardner Islet and Tortuga Rock, there’s an excellent snorkeling site with a colorful diversity of sea life and caves covered with invertebrates.

    This afternoon we disembark at Punta Suarez, ESPANOLA, where we witness the highest rate of endemic species in the Galapagos. Sea lions noisily greet us as we land on their beach and curious Hood mockingbirds peck at our shoelaces. From April to November, the waved albatross, found only on Espanola, perform their wild mating ritual. Colonies of blue-footed boobies engage in “sky-pointing” to show off for potential mates. Nazca (formerly masked) boobies busily care for their young. Stunning swallow-tailed gulls are the only nocturnal gulls in the world. Red-billed tropicbirds take shelter under the cliffs. We also find Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks. Observe unique specie of marine iguana identified with traces of red and green colorings. Colorful sally light-foot crabs crawl along the shoreline near to the famous "blow hole". This is the scene most people envision when they decide to visit Galapagos and is a glorious finale to your Galapagos cruise.

  • Day 8 - San Cristobal

    San Cristobal (Interpretation Center) / Depart Quito/Guayaquil.
    River or Barge Cruise

    This morning we drop anchor in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, SAN CRISTOBAL. We visit the Interpretation Center opened in 1999. Here we gain a more complete understanding of the natural and human history of the Islands.

    Afterwards, we head straight to the airport for our flight back to the mainland.

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