Galapagos: Grace | 8 days Beyond Darwins Footsteps

From Baltra Island to Baltra Island
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
  • Luxury
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Tour Description

Enjoy your Galapagos Islands vacation in style aboard Grace, the luxurious and intimate yacht that was gifted to Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco for their wedding. This small ship comfortably caters for 18 guests on an 8 day Galapagos cruise that takes in all the natural wonders of these captivating islands.

Begin your journey on Santa Cruz, including a visit to Charles Darwin Research Station to see the Giant Tortoises, a highlight for most when they visit Galapagos. On Floreana Island to spot flamingos, and snorkel the amazing Devils Crown, one of the best places to snorkel in the Galapagos. Observe marine iguanas, Nazca and blued footed boobies, plus the famous waved albatross on Espanola Island, then laze with sea lions on the sandy shores of Gardner Bay. At Isla Lobos you will have the opportunity to snorkel with inquisitive sea lions and marvel at impressive Kicker Rock that juts dramatically from the ocean. Close encounters with the local fauna continue in the following days of your Galapagos cruise as you explore on foot, by dinghy, kayak or from the Grace itself.

Continuing on your luxury Galapagos cruise you will be spellbound by the contrasting landscapes -  lava tubes, the red beach and cliffs of Rabida Island and explore it's sea caves, and hike to the summit of the extinct volcano on Bartolome Island to take in spectacular views. Snorkelling gear and kayaks are available to use throughout your cruise and Zodiac excursions with our expert guide will captivate you with tales of this incredible land. 

Viva's Best Bits...

Explore in style on what was once Princess Grace Kellys honeymoon yacht

"'Eight days in the Galapagos is a great length of time, just right for plenty of wildlife encounters and time to relax with a swim from the beach, or on the sun deck with a cocktail" Tara, Team Viva

Great wildlife opportunities from the Giant Tortoises at Charles Darwin, to the sea lions frolicking at Gardner Bay

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Baltra: Santa Cruz Island, Charles Darwin Research Centre

Today we fly to Baltra Island in the Galapagos in the morning. Flight time is just under two hours from the mainland. Upon arrival we take a bus to Los Gemelos, crossing the Itabaca channel and taking a 15-20 minute bus ride. After our visit, we are off to the Highlands of Santa Cruz, where the dry coastal vegetation transitions to lush wet fields and forests overgrown with moss and lichens. Our destination is the Tortoise Reserve, where we will have chances to see these animals in the wild and walk through lava tubes.

PM

In the afternoon, we will board the M/Y Grace and later, visit the town of Puerto Ayora, which is the economic center of the Islands. We will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit the Giant Tortoise and Land Iguana Breeding and Rearing Program. Here we used to find Lonesome George (now deceased), the last of his particular race of tortoise.

After this visit you have time for a shower as we get ready for our welcome cocktail and our first formal briefing before dinner. (lunch, dinner)


Day 2
Floreana Island: Cormorant Point and Devils Crown

AM

Floreana Island: After breakfast we travel in an open-air bus into the highlands of Floreana, while your Naturalist Guide begins filling you in on the history of this, the first settled island in the Galapagos. You will walk to the Asilo de la Paz (Peace Asylum) where one of the islands’ few springs is located. This artesian spring attracted pirates, whalers and later settlers to Floreana as it was one of the very few year round sources of fresh water in the Galapagos. The Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate's Cave) is quite literally where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone and is also where one of the original settlers, Margaret Wittmer, gave birth to a son, Rolf, who is still living. We will visit a tortoise reserve where you can watch many of the giant tortoises up close and personal.

PM

Afternoon visit to Punta Cormorant which offers two highly contrasting beaches; a green-olivine beach and an iron-red beach. Between the two beaches is a salt lagoon frequented by flamingoes, pintails, stilts and other wading birds. Late afternoon snorkeling at Devil's Crown, which is home to a myriad of marine species including a variety of corals, pencil sea urchin, wrasses, angelfish and amberjacks - making for some of the best snorkeling in the Galapagos. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3
Espanola: Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay

AM

Hood is the southernmost island of the archipelago, and is one of the most popular due to the breathtaking variation and number of fauna that inhabit the island. In the morning we visit Punta Suarez where you will witness the largest variety of marine iguanas in the Galapagos, masked boobies and blue footed boobies nesting along the cliff’s edge, as well as the famous waved albatross.

PM

In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, a magnificent long white sandy beach, where colonies of sea lions laze in the sun, sea turtles swim offshore, and inquisitive mockingbirds boldly investigate new arrivals. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4
San Cristobal: Punta Pitt, Isla Lobos & Kicker Rock

itinerary from puerto ayora
FRIDAY (DAY 4)
san cristobal island: punta pitt, isla lobos & kicker rock
AM

Punta Pitt is on San Cristobal Island and offers impressive views after climbing up a steep narrow path onto a plateau surrounded by reddish hills. Depending on the time of year, there may be nesting marine iguanas, red footed boobies and other marine birds down on the cliffs.

PM

Lobos, lives up to its name of -Sea Lion Island- with its noisy population of frolicking and barking beasts. It lies just a short navigation north, up the west coast of San Cristobal, separated by a channel that forms an inviting lagoon. This is where you'll have your first chance to share the water with a playful colony of the "wolves of the sea". From lobos we will circumnavigate Kicker Rock, a spectacular formation that rises 152 meters (500 feet) out of the Pacific. It takes the form of a sleeping lion, but from another angle you can see that the rock is split, forming a colossal tablet and, piercing the sea, a great chisel ready for etching. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5
Santa Fe and the South Plaza Islands

AM

Morning visit to Santa Fe Island, home to one of the most beautiful and sheltered bays of the archipelago, and to some of the best snorkeling - with its crystal clear waters. Certainly one of the best locations to see sea turtles, swim with sea lions and get a glimpse of the Galapagos White-tipped Shark. After a wet landing you will walk up to a nearby cliff to see the land iguanas through an area of Opuntia Cactus.

PM

Afternoon visit to South Plaza, one of the smallest yet most colorful islands in the Galapagos. Yellow land iguanas wander through bright red carpet weed, waiting from prickly pears to drop from green cactus. Orange sally lightfoot crabs dot the blackened lava above the landing site, all surrounded by turquoise waters. We'll see swallow tailed gulls nesting along the up-tilted end of the tiny island, while red-billed tropicbirds, frigate birds and shearwaters fly in dancing displays. You''ll also have the chance to see blue footed boobies along the cliff's edge. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6
Bartolome Island.: North Seymour & Pinnacle Rock

AM

In the morning we visit North Seymour Island which is teaming with wildlife! Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline are home to swallow-tailed gulls. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, where a trail will take us to see sea lions, marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, pelicans, magnificent frigate birds and land iguanas.

PM

Afternoon visit to Bartolome Island, famous for Pinnacle Rock, where we will see Galapagos Penguins and sea lions. We will also hike a trail to Bartolome's summit where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7
Santiago island: Chinese hat & Santa Cruz island: Dragon hill

AM

Morning visit to Chinese Hat Islet, a fairly recent volcanic cone; it has the shape of a down-facing Chinese hat. On the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. There is a small sea lion cove on the north shore, where boats anchor and land at the visitor site. Late morning snorkeling with sea lions and penguins and swimming opportunities in the cove.

PM

In the afternoon, we visit Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon). Located on the far western extreme of the island--makes and easy dry landing on a cement jetty. The path leads to a white sandy beach and then a rocky and dusty trail. Here the visitor will be rewarded by the presence of wading birds in another hyper-saline lagoon, and once inland, a nesting group of land iguanas. Less than a mile apart, a breathtaking dinghy ride will give the visitor an opportunity to see turtles and typically large numbers of sea birds as well as sharks in a mangrove environment. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 8
Santa Cruz Black Turtle Cove Depart Baltra

AM

Today our Galapagos cruise comes to an end, but before we bid farewell to the yacht and her crew we pay a visit to Black Turtle Cove, a beautiful mangrove estuary where we quietly drift in our panga to see spotted eagle rays, diamond shaped mustard rays, white-tipped reef sharks, pacific green sea turtles and a large variety of shore birds. Next we head to Baltra Island airport for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (breakfast)

Next we return to the airport where we began our journey in the Galapagos for the flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland. (breakfast)

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 7 nights onboard the Grace in a premium stateroom
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks during the cruise
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers while in the Galapagos
  • Included Copy 20 All guided services throughout the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Use of snorkeling gear (mask, snorkel & fins) and wetsuits
  • Included Copy 20 Sea kayaks
  • Included Copy 7 Return flights Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos Islands
  • Included Copy 7 Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee USD$100 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
Transportation
Grace | Galapagos Cruise Ship

18 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Enjoy timeless elegance and luxury onboard throughout your journey
  • Included Explore the coastlines by dinghy or by kayak
  • Included Snorkeling at some great sites like Devils Crown
  • Included Visit the Giant Tortoise Breading centre on Santa Cruz
  • Included Walk over lava fields and hike Bartolome for an amazing view
  • Included Bird watching; Majestic waved Albatross, Frigate birds, Nazca and blue footed boobies...
  • Included Photography opportunities: giant cacti, sunbathing iguanas, Kicker Rock...
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

8 days

Price from

$7,800 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs select Tuesdays