Galapagos Cruises

Itineraries 2019

Windrose Itinerary

DAY CRUISES FROM SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

Please note: These Galapagos cruise itineraries are subject to change without previous notice due to weather conditions and National Park regulations. Itineraries of 8 or more days may be scheduled to stop at ports for various cruise logistic reasons and/or for embarking/disembarking passengers. Please check with our Guide and Quality Control Manager for our Jaccuzi schedules.

North Seymour & Bachas Islands

North Seymour Island is regarded as a true highlight of any Galapagos travel itinerary. It’s easily reached from the north side of Santa Cruz Island and the Itabaca Channel, with a wealth of wildlife encounters in store.

This rocky island is home to one the most impressive colonies of different species of animals in the archipelago. While exploring, we encounter Great frigate birds which spend hours handing nesting materials to each other during courtship. We also find blue footed boobies cleaning the ground and transporting some twigs here and there, but never actually constructing a nest. The area where these birds lay their eggs is marked instead by a simple ring of white guano.

North Seymour Island is regarded as a true highlight of any Galapagos travel itinerary. It’s easily reached from the north side of Santa Cruz Island and the Itabaca Channel, with a wealth of wildlife encounters in store.

This rocky island is home to one the most impressive colonies of different species of animals in the archipelago. While exploring, we encounter Great frigate birds which spend hours handing nesting materials to each other during courtship. We also find blue footed boobies cleaning the ground and transporting some twigs here and there, but never actually constructing a nest. The area where these birds lay their eggs is marked instead by a simple ring of white guano.

Bartolomé & Chinese Hat

Bartolome is a small Galapagos Island located 18 miles northwest from the Itabaca Channel. It’s among the most famous of all the islands, due to its fascinating volcanic landscapes and the wildlife encounters it promises.

Arriving in Bartolome is to enter an other-wordly landscape, witness to the islands’ volcanic origins. The summit trail begins with a dry landing, though accompanying sea-lions can make the purpose-built dock more exciting. The trail winds its way uphill over volcanic ash and past craters. The only vegetation is the pioneer Tiquilia plant and the greenish Chamaesyce.

Bartolome is considered one of the best snorkeling sites in the central islands of the archipelago. Here, we swim at the foot of the famous Pinnacle Rock and around its base, observing many species of parrot fish, marine turtles, sea lions and, if we’re lucky, Galapagos penguins.

After a lunch on board, we motor to Chinese Hat Island. This is a very small volcano close to Santiago Island, surrounded by small spatter cones: a captivating landscape. Because of its distinctive shape, Sombrero Chino has fascinated all visitors to the islands. It’s one of the smallest Galapagos Islands but don’t be fooled: it has a unique visitor site with an unforgettable view! Galapagos Penguins and Galapagos hawks are active here. A wet landing on the main beach of the island gives us time to enjoy the sandy beach, where sea lions rest and a variety of wading birds feed on the shore line.

South Plaza & Santa Fe

We begin our day with a dry landing on South Plaza Island. This beautiful island is full of both land life and birds, including Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Frigate birds, Masked boobies, Blue-footed boobies, Pelicans and Red-billed Tropicbirds. It’s easy to wander past a gull’s nest and observe chicks flapping their wings trying to fly.

Created by lava that was uplifted from the sea bed, South Plaza has resident wildlife and diverse plant life that has progressively taken over the island since it was formed. Along its steep cliffs, we find an amazing variety of birds, while on the lower rocky beach, we can observe colonies of sea lions and marine animals.

After a delicious lunch on board we head to Santa Fe Island, also called Barrington Island after British Admiral Samuel Barrington. This small island is formed of uplifted, submarine basaltic lava, formed some 4 million years ago. Much of it is a faulted plateau covered with a forest of giant Opuntia cactae.

As you walk through the dense bushes on the short trail, watch out for the Croton bushes, an endemic plant with an indelible stain. The most spectacular plants are the giant prickly pear cactae, unique to Santa Fe (Opuntia echios barringtonensis). The Galapagos dove is common on the trail, as are painted locusts, often pursued by a snake or two. The park monument is often a vantage point to spy a Galapagos hawk. The highlight is the land iguana, a lighter-colored iguana that is endemic to Santa Fe. Santa Fe is also home to a large Sea Lion nursery.

Santa Fe & South Plaza

Santa Fe Island, also called Barrington Island after British Admiral Samuel Barrington, is formed by uplifted, submarine basaltic lava, created some 4 million years’ ago. Much of it is a faulted plateau covered with a forest of giant Opuntia cactae.

The most spectacular plants are the giant prickly pear cactae, unique to Santa Fe (Opuntia echios barringtonensis). The Galapagos dove is common on the trail, as are painted locusts, often pursued by a snake or two. The park monument is often a vantage point to spy a Galapagos hawk. The highlight is the land iguana, a lighter-colored iguana that is endemic to Santa Fe. Santa Fe is also home to a large Sea Lion nursery.

After a delicious lunch on board, we head to South Plaza Island. This beautiful island is full of both land life and birds, including Swallow-tailed Gulls, Lava Gulls, Frigate birds, Masked boobies, Blue-footed boobies, Pelicans and Red-billed Tropicbirds. It’s easy to wander past a gull’s nest and observe chicks flapping their wings trying to fly.

Created by lava that was uplifted from the sea bed, South Plaza has resident wildlife and diverse plant life that has progressively taken over the island since it was formed. Along its steep cliffs, we find an amazing variety of birds, while on the lower rocky beach, we can observe colonies of sea lions and marine animals.

Bartolome & Sullivan Bay

Bartolome is a small Galapagos Island located 18 miles northwest from the Itabaca Channel. It’s among the most famous of all the islands, due to its fascinating volcanic landscapes and the wildlife encounters it promises.

Arriving in Bartolome is to enter an other-wordly landscape, witness to the islands’ volcanic origins. The summit trail begins with a dry landing, though accompanying sea-lions can make the purpose-built dock more exciting. The trail winds its way uphill over volcanic ash and past craters. The only vegetation is the pioneer Tiquilia plant and the greenish Chamaesyce.

Bartolome is considered one of the best snorkeling sites in the central islands of the archipelago. Here, we swim at the foot of the famous Pinnacle Rock and around its base, observing many species of parrot fish, marine turtles, sea lions and, if we’re lucky, Galapagos penguins.

After a lunch on board, we motor to Sullivan Bay, located on the eastern coast of Santiago Island. Sullivan Bay is the most interesting lava field in the Galapagos. A short walk on lava is a unique chance to experience the volcanic origins of the islands. “Pahoe hoe” and “AA” lava are the predominant shape in this moon scape. After a land visit we have time to snorkel and enjoy the amazing white sand beach, where it’s easy to observe many different species of fishes, some turtles, sea lions and hopefully Galapagos Penguins.

Chinese Hat & Dragon Hill

Chinese Hat (Sombrero Chino) is a very small volcano close to Santiago Island, surrounded by small spatter cones: a captivating landscape. Because of its distinctive shape, Sombrero Chino has fascinated all visitors to the islands.

It’s one of the smallest Galapagos Islands but don’t be fooled: it has a unique visitor site with an unforgettable view! Galapagos Penguins and Galapagos hawks are active here. A wet landing on the main beach of the island gives us time to enjoy the sandy beach, where sea lions rest and a variety of wading birds feed on the shore line. The tranquil waters make great snorkeling experiences, where we can observe several tropical fish, sea stars and the chance to spot penguins under water.

After a wonderful lunch on board, we motor over to Dragon Hill, one of the few visitor sites directly related to a conservation program led by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. It was named after the land iguanas, considered the Galápagos’ “dragons”. The population of land iguanas in this area was brought back from near-extinction by the efforts of the Galápagos National Park. It took a lot of work for them to control the populations of feral mammals such as dogs, cats, goats and donkeys brought by early Galápagos settlers. Heading inland on the trail, we pass two small salt-water lagoons where it is sometimes possible to spot flamingos and other shore birds. The trail continues on and circles round the hill, providing a memorable Galapagos view.

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