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Reina Silvia Voyager: Central & Eastern Islands

10 Days FROM USD 6,599

Overview

This 10-day eastern and central islands Galapagos adventure is aboard the Reina Silvia Voyager, starting and ending in the fascinating Ecuadorian capital of Quito. This small ship, carrying up to 16 passengers, is a shining example of understated comfort, sailing into hard to reach areas for optimum wildlife viewing. After transferring from Quito to Santa Cruz, the Reina Silvia will transport you to the islands of Espanola, San Cristobal, Santa Fe, South Plaza, Genovesa, Santiago and Rabida. Expect to see vast white beaches; bird colonies; sea lions; iguanas; multiple boobie species; volcanic landscape; wild flamingos; and experience some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago.

Optional Activities : Kayaking, Snorkelling

Trip Code: ECGACERQ

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruise

Location: Galapagos Islands

Ship: Reina Silvia Voyager

Flights: Internal return flights from Quito are included in the cruise price. 

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Undertake this voyage on board the Reina Silvia Voyager , a new custom-built modern vessel designed to bring a 21st century cruising experience to the Galapagos.

  • Experience the unique wildlife offerings of the Galapagos including an abundance of colorful and distinctive marine life and bird species, iguanas, sea lions, crabs, turtles and tortoise. 

  • Undertake plenty of snorkelling experiences in some of the most pristine and turquoise waters in South America, if not the world. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive in Quito at any time. This day can be spent at your own leisure.

Quito sits at high altitude under the towering Pichincha volcano. It is a beautiful city, arguably one of the most beautiful in South America. The city stretches along the valley and is surrounded by the Andes. The Old Town of Quito is awash with history, with more than 30 churches to explore, and a number of fascinating museums. La Compania de Jesus is considered to be the most beautiful and ornate churches in the Americas. The city's oldest street, Calle La Ronda, is well worth exploring.

Quito

Transfer early to the airport for the flight to the Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival, meet the Naturalist Guide and cross to Santa Cruz islands to visit the highlands and the Charles Darwin Research Station before boarding the boat in the late afternoon from Puerto Ayora.

After arrival in Baltra, visit of the highlands of Santa Cruz Island for a special opportunity to view the islands’ most famous reptile: the giant tortoises in their wild habitat. What a privilege to see an endangered species roving in this lush environment! The vegetation of the area includes the Scalesia Forest (an endemic giant daisy tree) and birds such as the vermilion flycatcher will delight everyone with its scarlet feathers against an emerald green forest. Look for Darwin’s finches, particularly the famous Woodpecker Finch. We will then visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center and Charles Darwin Research Station to learn first hand of the conservation and research efforts in the islands. There, you’ll see several subspecies of adult tortoises, lots of hatchlings, and learn of the repatriation programs that are saving several subspecies of tortoises and iguanas from extinction.

Qutio & Puerto Ayora

Enjoy the day on Española Island, one of the oldest in the archipelago. Visit the white sandy beach of Gardner Bay and the bird colonies of Punta Suárez. Take guided walks to observe wildlife and have free time for swimming or snorkelling.

Spend part of the day visiting spectacular Gardner Bay. Walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony and nesting sea turtles (seasonal). Later, take some time exploring the Punta Suárez visitor site, on the north-western corner of the island. Here, birds are everywhere—underfoot, on the trail, overhead, diving into the sea, taking off from cliffs, sitting quietly, and if the timing is right, engaging in ritual mating dances or hatching eggs. As the panga driver guides us in through the surf to the landing, sea lions are often seen “hanging 10” on the waves. A great tangle of marine iguanas, stretched out in the sun on the beach, are usually present when we arrive.

Gardner Bay & Punta Suarez

Travel to the dramatic Kicker Rock in the morning to witness the steep vertical stone walls rising from the ocean and enjoy some of the best snorkelling in the Galápagos. Continue to Isla Lobos on San Cristóbal to observe sea lions before landing at Punta Pitt in the afternoon for a walk to observe wildlife, birds and spectacular scenery.

Start the day with an early navigation around the spectacular Kicker Rock. This striking rock formation is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Head to Lobos Island, the most easterly point in the archipelago is one of only a few visiting sites in Galapagos where red-footed boobies can be observed. All three boobies (blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca) are known to nest here, and at Islote Pitt which is a small islet near the anchorage. Blue-footed boobies can often be seen plunge-diving for fish while frigate birds soar overhead. The trail at Punta Pitt winds up through eroded volcanic tuff formations to a plateau for a spectacular view of the island, and Islote Pitt. Along the trail are endemic plants and wildlife unique to San Cristobal, such as the San Cristobal mockingbird and the San Cristobal lava lizard.

Isla Lobos & Punta Pitt

Visit Santa Fé island for a chance to mingle with the iguanas. Continue to South Plaza for some great bird watching opportunities and views from the oceanside cliffs.

Today, spend time visiting fascinating Santa Fé, home to a small population of very large land iguanas, and the largest of the Opuntia cacti. The lagoon is ideal for swimming and snorkeling; sea lions and colorful fish are in abundance here, as well as the occasional sea turtle. Later, visit South Plaza, a small, but very rewarding island to visit. Here you see an array of endemic land iguanas munching on Opuntia blossoms and leaves. On the upper edge, at the windward side, Swallow Tailed Gulls nest. Watch these beautiful birds maneuver in the tricky air currents as they set up to land on the cliff face. From the bluff you can see schools of Yellowtail Mullet, occasionally a shark, and lots of birds flying back and forth.

Santa Fe & South Plaza

Visit Darwin Bay and marvel at the sheer number of birds along the many trails. Head to El Barranco in the afternoon to see the many types of boobies, including red-footed boobies.

In the morning, visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay which winds through mangroves filled with land and marine birds. See Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, and further down the path, observe tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. In the afternoon, visit El Barranco (also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps), which is a steep, rocky path that leads up to a high cliff-face. If you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of red-footed boobies, short-eared owls, Nazca Boobies, storm petrels, Galapagos swallows, and Galapagos doves, as you enjoy this magnificent views.

Darwin Bay & El Barranco

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral-sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé for a guided walk to see the island's dramatic volcanic features and the iconic Pinnacle Rock.

The morning visit heads to Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island, located on the southeast part of the island. This place is interesting for its geology because the area has elevations in form of small volcanoes, formed by the lava flows. Later, head to Bartolomé Island, home of the famous Pinnacle Rock. This is an exceptional place to observe volcanic island geology and to snorkel. Among the many colorful species you will see Bi-color Parrotfish, Streamer Hogfish, and Flag Cabrilla. Sometimes you get a special treat—a penguin “snorkeling” right around you in hunt of fishy treats. The long climb up the wooden steps to the pinnacle of this cinder cone takes you through cinders and rough volcanic formations, a veritable moonscape. The lower slopes are graced with a light sprinkling of the delicate, silvery Taquilia, a ground hugging plant adapted to this harsh spot. On top you will enjoy the spectacular view of Bartolomé, Santiago, and several other nearby islands.

Santiago & Bartolome

Spend the morning exploring the red sand beaches and salt water lagoons of this tiny island. Look for wading flamingos and nesting pelicans before heading out to do some snorkelling. In the afternoon, discover the lava flows and lava tunnels on the small island of Chinese Hat. After, enjoy a refreshing dip in turquoise waters. Search for fish and sea turtles in the protected bay.

Rabida is a “small red island,” the colour of the volcanic cinders.The red beach is usually well populated with sea lions and pups. At times the low salt bushes are loaded with nesting California Brown Pelicans. Just behind the beach, in a brackish lagoon, see Bahamas White-cheeked Pintail Ducks, migratory shore and wading birds, and Greater Flamingos. Flamingos need the presence of a dozen or two other flamingos to stimulate their synchronous mating dance. If our timing is right, we will be able to observe this highly entertaining ritual as well as two species of boobies nest along the cliffs. Later, travel to Sombrero Chino, a tiny island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. Its name (Chinese Hat) describes the island’s shape. Though centrally located, it is one of the least visited sites in the area. Patches of pahoehoe lava, cracked lava and lava tubes can be found on the island. If you’re up for a walk, a path leads to some spectacular views of the waves crashing below. White-tipped sharks frequent the area, as do the playful Galapagos Penguins and sea lions.

Rabida & Chinese Hat

Disembark in the morning at Baltra Island where you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Quito. The rest of the day in Quito can be spent at your own leisure.

Baltra & Quito

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and depart Quito at any time, taking the incredible memories you have made so far and gather inspiration for future journeys to come!

Qutio
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not undertake an incredible journey to the world’s most remote wilderness? A 10-day Antarctica adventure will take you to the final frontier, take to the icy waters in a zodiac, be enthralled by ice-capped vistas and magnificent glaciers and introduce yourself to a host of Antarctic wildlife including penguins, seals and whales. Find out more.

  • Amend your itinerary to include the incredible wonders of Peru. This amazing 9-day itinerary will allow you to see the best of Peru. Visit incredible cities such as Lima and Cusco which are buzzing and vibrant with a unique blend of urban modernisation and rural lifestyles. You will also be able to visit and experience the incredible mystery of the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu and explore the legendary Sacred Valley. Find out more.

  • Amend your itinerary include the amazing wonders of untamed Patagonia. A 4-day itinerary at the amazing Las Torres Hotel, located right in the heart of the Las Torres Del Paine National Park is an incredible all-inclusive way to experience the indescribable beauty of Patagonia. Undertake hikes at the base of snow-capped peaks, discover pristine solitary lakes and valleys of far-reaching beauty as far as the eye can see. Find out more

Pricing per person & dates

Reina Silvia Voyager: Central & Eastern Islands from USD 6,599
   Selected Fridays

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Kayaking

Snorkelling

Snorkelling

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Reina Silvia Voyager
    All meals whilst on board including snacks
    Guiding and lectures by Galapagos Naturalist Guide
    English speaking expedition team
    Internal flights Quito to Puerto Ayora Day 2
    Internal flight Baltra to Quito Day 9

    Exclusions

    Return airfares from mainland Ecuador
    Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (US$100 per person subject to change) 
    Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$20 per person subject to change) 
    Visa Fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    Beverages (other than tea and coffee) 
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication 
    Gratuities for the crew
    Optional activities whilst on board

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Departure date, season and availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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