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Reina Silvia Voyager: Western & Central Islands

10 Days FROM USD 6,849

Overview

This 10-day western and central islands Galapagos adventure is aboard the Reina Silvia Voyager, starting and ending in Ecuador’s interesting capital, Quito. The Reina Silvia is a small and highly comfortable vessel accommodating up to 16 passengers so is an intimate way to explore the beautiful Galapagos archipelago. From Quito, transfer to Santa Cruz where the journey will begin. Over the coming days, the itinerary will sail you to the islands of Floreana, Isabela, Santiago and back to Santa Cruz. En route, you will be on the look out for sea turtles, flamingos, sea lions, rays, sharks and marine iguanas – just a few of the myriad creatures inhabiting the islands. Walk, snorkel and cruise your way around this wildlife wonderland.

Optional Activities : Snorkelling, Kayaking

Trip Code: ECGAWCRQ

Travel Style: Small Ship Cruise

Location: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Ship: Reina Silvia Voyager

Flights: Return flights from Quito are included as part of this itinerary.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Discover the incredible wildlife of the Galapagos, ranging from multicoloured birds, iguanas, turtles, sea lions, crabs, flamingoes and countless marine species.

  • A 10 day voyage is the perfect way to explore the very best offerings of the islands, allowing you to see an incredibly diverse array of wildlife offerings and natural landscapes.

  • Undertake incredible snorkelling opportunities in some of the clearest and most prisitne waters in all the world, with an abundance of marine life like no other destination. 

  • This itinerary is easily combined with a land based tour of South America, allowing you to see other amazing sights or engage in unique cultural interactions.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive at Quito at any time, the day will be spent at your leisure. Arrival transfers are included.

Sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level high in the Andean foothills lies Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The city, a short distance from the Equator and with an amazing backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is known for its stunning colonial architecture and art-work. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978.

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.

Quito & Puerto Ayora

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Snorkelling excursion at Champion Islet. In the afternoon visit Post Office Bay and a pirate cave in the highlands for great views of the island.

In the morning, you will head to Punta Cormorant. Here you will enjoy a hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. Afterwards, you will snorkel Champion Islet, named after the whaler Andrew Champion, located just offshore from Floreana Island in the southern part of the Archipelago, considered as one of the most beautiful places on Galapagos for snorkeling. After lunch, you will visit the famous Post Office Bay. You will land on the beach and head to a spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mailbox. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So do not forget your postcards, and do not be surprised if the postcard arrives to its destination before you even get home! In the afternoon, you will visit The Asilo de la Paz. This is a hill 450m high that is behind Straw Hill in the agricultural area of the island. The main attractions are of a historic type: one is the cave of pirates and the other is the freshwater spring. The two sites are located at the base of the hill.

Punta Cormorant & Post Office Bay

Morning landing at Punta Moreno on the southwest coast of Isabela to see lava formations, flamingos, and amazing views of the three most active volcanoes in the Galápagos Islands. In the afternoon visit Elizabeth Bay, which offers amazing bird and marine life viewing opportunities. Head out on the zodiacs and explore the shallows and mangroves to look for sea turtles and penguins.

In the morning you will visit Punta Moreno located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. A dry landing here is possible onto what was once flowing lava. The lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into these pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by your window. In the brackish pools of this area, if you’re lucky, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules. If you look carefully into the pools, you may see white-tip reef sharks and some sea turtles. In the afternoon, you will visit Elizabeth Bay, is located on the east coast of Isabela Island. Cruise on the zodiacs through the mangroves to see pelicans and an abundance of marine life in the clear water. The area is perfect for snorkeling and viewing schools of colorful fish, sea lions, and perhaps even sharks.

Punta Moreno & Elizabeth Bay

Enjoy a morning visit to Urbina Bay, located at the base of Alcedo Volcano. Keep an eye out for land iguanas. In the afternoon, land at Punta Espinoza on Fernandina, the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Witness the large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, and a variety of birdlife.

In the morning, you will land at Urbina Bay which presents some fascinating geological formations. In 1954, an uplift from the sea formed the bay which has been characterized by the resulting terrestrial coral reef ever since. Expect to see stingrays and sea turtles swimming near the surface of the water, as well as pelicans and marine iguanas. You will be dazzled by the breathtaking view of the Alcedo Volcano. In the afternoon, you will land at Punta Espinoza and after walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you’ll reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site (seasonal). This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.

Isabela & Fernandina

Stop for a visit at Tagus Cove and hike to a lookout to get a stunning view of the bay. Spot old graffiti on the cliffs from whalers and pirates who once visited the the cove. Continue to Punta Vicente Roca, one of the lesser-visited and best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos to spot the abundant marine life.

After breakfast, you will visit Tagus Cove which is located across from Fernandina Island, near the Bolivar Channel dividing the two islands. This spot has been frequented by ships since the 1800s, using the area as an anchorage site. Trails winding by Lake Darwin up to a ridge display wonderful views. The afternoon visit is at Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Keep an eye out for seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating Mola mola (or sunfish).

Tagus Cove & Punta Vicente Roca

Morning excursion to Buccaneer Cove to witness the towering cliff wall rock formations and nesting seabirds. Continue in the afternoon to Puerto Egas to see the salt crater as well as a dark sand beach and tidal pools. Opportunities for snorkelling to try and spot the abundant marine life like turtles, rays and sharks.

In the morning jump in the waters of Buccaneer Cove, an area which is a testament to the fact that Santiago Island was once a refuge for British buccaneers. These pirates would anchor in the protected bay to make repairs and stock up on tortoise meat among other things. The steep cliffs, where hundreds of seabirds perch in front of the dark red sand beach, are a magnificent sight. After lunch, you will go to Egas Port, also known as James Bay, on Santiago Island which is home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed Galapagos lava lizards. The trail leads to the coastline with gorgeous tide pools and grottos full of fauna. Here the Galapagos fur sea lions bathe in the sun. This is also a great snorkeling site.

Buccaneer Cove & Puerto Egas

Visit the beach on Las Bachas and relax or swim in the crystal waters. Continue to North Seymour for guided walks to observe birds and wildlife, including vast sea lion colonies. More snorkelling opportunities for the chance to see marine life.

The morning visit to Bachas Beach which is a swimming beach is located on the north shore of Santa Cruz. One of the few remnants of the U.S. World War II presence in the Galapagos, a floating pier, can be seen here. You may see flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts, and whimbrels. Sea turtles also nest on the beach at night (seasonal). In the afternoon, you will visit North Seymour. Here you will be able to see Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on the Island. The island was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone.

Santa Cruz & North Seymour

Disembark in the morning at Baltra where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Quito. The day at Quito will be spent at your own leisure.

Baltra Island & Quito

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing at Quito at your own leisure.

Quito
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • 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.

  • Explore the Chilean capital of Santiago, before heading to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most spectacular parks in South America. Head to El Calafate on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and from here visit the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Find out more

  • 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.

Pricing per person & dates

Reina Silvia Voyager: Western & Central Islands from USD 6,849
Departs Select Fridays

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Snorkelling

Snorkelling

Kayaking

Kayaking

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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