Galapagos sailing: Mary Anne | 8 days East

From Santa Cruz Island to Santa Cruz Island
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

What more memorable and unique way to explore the Galapagos than on the 216ft barquentine, Mary Anne Galapagos. This 8-day cruise will guide you around the eastern islands of the Galapagos National Park, taking in the captivating landscapes and unique wildlife. Galapagos is one of the last places where human impact is barely felt, and the creatures inhabiting it could care less about the strange visitors walking among them. The Mary Anne Galapagos conjures up the excitement of old-world sailing and navigation with all the modern comforts of a small ship cruise. Snorkeling gear and kayaks are at guests' disposal. Our crew will make sure that all your needs are catered for and our experienced national park guides will educate you about the incredible natural world of the Galapagos Islands.

Known as a bird watcher's paradise; on your Galapagos Islands vacation, you can expect to see vast colonies of many species of bird such as frigate birds, flamingos, Red and Blue Footed Boobies and the rare Galapagos Hawks. Snorkeling and swimming is world-class in the Galapagos Islands and the pristine waters host rays, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and a dazzling array of colourful fish. Your Galapagos cruise includes a visit to Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Centre where you can learn about the conservation of these ancient creatures. So come, help the crew hoist the sails, and follow the wind, onbaord the only schooner in the Galapagos, the Mary Anne.

Viva's Best Bits...

"Unique experience - Enjoy sailing with the wind on the only Schooner in the Galapagos, help hoist the sails!" Pia, Team Viva

Navigating at full sail, you will not be troubled by the sound of engines, tempting dolphins and whales to swim alongside the ship.

Learn more about the Galapagos Tortoises, iguanas, Galapagos sea lions and more

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Baltra

Fly from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands

After arriving at Baltra airport, we will be greeted by our naturalist guide to then board the S/S Mary Anne and have lunch. After lunch, we will navigate a short distance to Black Turtle Cove, a large mangrove lagoon on the north coast of Santa Cruz Island. Pelicans and herons roost on the branches, while marine dwellers such as green sea turtles or golden rays may cruise right next to the panga as it makes its way through the mangroves.

Day 2
Darwin Bay and El Barranco

We travel to Genovesa Island and reach Darwin Bay (wet landing), a unique site with a beautiful beach, lined with red mangroves and soft‐haired prickly pear cacti where red‐footed boobies and great frigatebirds perch tamely.

At El Barranco (dry landing), we climb the edge of a cliff where frigatebirds, masked boobies, and red-footed boobies nest. The trail will take us to the inner part of the island, populated by holy stick trees and cacti. We will be seeking out the impressive red‐billed tropicbird amidst Galapagos storm petrels and the endemic short-ear owl.

Day 3
Bartolome Island and Chinese Hat

Dry landing at Bartolome to climb up the wooden steps and reach the summit of this spatter cone for a most breath‐taking panorama of the island’s well photographed Pinnacle Rock and views of neighboring Santiago and many other central islands in the distance. Afterward, we will visit the white sand beach used as a nest site by sea turtles. Bartolome is also a good place to spot the Galapagos penguin.

Less than a quarter of one square kilometer in size, this island gets its name from being shaped like a Chinese hat. The hat shape is best appreciated from the north side. Lava formations can be seen on the western side of the island, formed under the sea, and later raised upward, making it possible to observe coral heads on the lava. Be amazed by the landscapes covered by sea lions’ colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.

Day 4
Rabida Island and Cerro Dragon

Wet landing onto Rabida’s deep‐red beaches to explore the red island’s fascinating interior and a saltwater lagoon, where flamingos are usually present. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, and yellow warblers feed off the vegetation. Given the right time of the year, we may see brown pelicans nesting on salt bushes that fringe the beach.

We head across to Cerro Dragon on Santa Cruz’s northwest shore (dry landing) to visit a saltwater lagoon, home to Greater Flamingos, black‐necked stilts, and white‐cheeked pintails. Further inland we find a fantastic land iguana nesting site

Day 5
Santa Cruz Highlands and Darwin Research Station

We will spend this day visiting Santa Cruz Island´s most famous highlights. We will have a dry landing at the dock of Puerto Ayora to then board our transportation and head to the island’s highlands. This area, in contrast to the coastal region, has lush vegetation and forest due to the humidity in the higher regions.
We will visit one of the ranches of the area where it is possible to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. As these animals migrate from the coastal area to the highlands and back, the chosen ranch will depend on the presence of the tortoises since they roam free and change locations.
This is also a good place to see the ground finch of the Island, which populates these forests where is also possible to see the vermilion flycatcher or the yellow warbler.

We will return to the ship for lunch and to freshen up to then head back to Puerto Ayora for our second visit of the day, the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center. Here, we will see tortoises from different islands. The animals are found in large semi-natural pens for their protection, but also to ensure an easy view for the visitors. The pens are divided according to four different stages: eggs, neonates, juveniles (held here until they are mature enough to be "repatriated"), and adults. After this visit, we will have some time to browse the shops in the town of Puerto Ayora before boarding the ship, as this is the only opportunity we will have for souvenir shopping during the itinerary.

Day 6
South Plaza and Santa Fe

Dry landing on one of the oldest docks of the archipelago on colorful South Plaza, home to vibrant green prickly pears, deep red Sesuvium, and coppery‐orange land iguanas. Impressive seaward cliffs make the perfect perching spot for a variety of coastal birds. This is also a great place to observe the adult and pup sea lions swimming along the shores.

After a wet landing on Santa Fe, we will be encountered by a white beach where sea lions are usually resting. We will be looking for the endemic species of land iguana, larger and yellower than land iguanas on other islands. The largest prickly pear cacti in the Galapagos are also found here.

Day 7
Suarez Point, Gardner Bay Gardner Islet and Osborn Islet

In the morning we will head to Suarez Point, one of the most popular landing sites in Galapagos.
The highlights include sea lions near the landing-place, sometimes to be seen body‐surfing in the large breakers, large marine iguanas, with red‐colored males in the breeding season, oystercatchers, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves, swallow‐tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds, and three species endemic to Española: the waved albatross (present only from April to December), the Española mockingbird, and the Española lava lizard. The trail ends in “El Soplador” a blowhole that sprays water some 25 m (75 feet) into the air.

We will spend the afternoon in the fantastic Gardner Bay (wet landing) of Española Island; an outstanding beach with sea lions, marine iguanas, and the intrepid Española mockingbird. Close to Española, there is a good spot for snorkeling called Gardner Islet. While snorkeling, there is a good chance playful sea lions will join you. Get ready for more snorkeling at Osborn islet, a great place to observe great quantities of marine life

Day 8
Twin Craters Depart Baltra

This is our last day in the islands. After breakfast we will disembark in Puerto Ayora to take our transport to the Baltra airport, making a short stop to visit the Twin Craters. The Gemelos (twins) are in fact not craters, but magma domes that have collapsed, leaving two deep and wide holes located to the side of the road that leads to Puerto Ayora from the other side of the island.
After this visit, we will make our way to the Baltra airport for the flight to mainland Ecuador.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Double or single cabins
  • Included Copy 31 No single supplement - subject to availability
  • Included Copy 20 All meals on board , coffee, tea, water
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Programmed visits to the islands with a certified English-speaking naturalist guide
  • Included Copy 20 Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel and fins)
  • Included Copy 20 Kayak
  • 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 31 Wet suit rental
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
Mary Anne | Galapagos Cruise Ship

16 Passengers


  • Included Swimming and snorkelling with marine life like sea lions
  • Included Guided walks and hikes with a naturalist guide
  • Included Explore coastlines and coves by kayak or dinghy
  • Included Help sail the 3 masted Mary Anne
  • Included Learn about the Galapagos Giant Tortoise
  • Included Great photo opportunities: Santa Fe, Gardner Bay, South Plaza Island and more
  • Included Encounter birdlife including the Galapagos penguin!
Click here for dates & prices

8 days

Price from

$4,980 USD

Per person, twin share

Departs select Saturdays