Pinnacle Rock, Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands Cruise



9 Days

Prices Start from

£7,906 £6,391 (ex. flights)

Book with Steppes and save up to $2,000 per person on an eight-day cruise onboard a 5-star vessel handpicked by us. This offer also includes a complimentary night before the cruise with transfers to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos. Select departures through to August ensure there are options for last-minute or advanced travel plans, subject to availability.*

*This discount only applies to the cruise portion of your trip, speak to our experts for more information.

This holiday is onboard Natural Paradise, a small five-star yacht carrying a maximum of 16 passengers for low-impact and seamless shore landings, as well as an attentive and personal service whilst onboard. We also offer other small vessels, each operating with minimal environmental impact, offering the most fulfilling and sustainable way to experience the wildlife and idyllic scenery of the Galapagos Islands. Close encounters with wildlife are guaranteed, put into context by an expert guide who will explain animal behaviour. As part of our ‘Paying a Fair Price for Nature’ initiative, when you book a trip to the Galapagos with Steppes Travel, you will be signed up for membership to the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Ocean Spray Boat, View to boat from beach with sealion in foreground, Galapagos 1

Small Ship

A maximum of sixteen people on board means personalised service and a light footprint.

Walking on Volcan Chico, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands 2

Active itinerary

At least two guided excursions per day, exploring the islands by small boat (panga) or on foot.

Roberto Plaza, Guide, Galapagos Islands 3

Expert Guiding

Travel with local naturalist guides, learning about the biodiversity and history of the islands.

Snorkelling with Penguin, Galapagos Islands 4

Superb Snorkelling

Snorkel with playful penguins, curious sea lions and fast-paced white-tipped reef sharks.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Quito (Go Quito Hotel)

  • Day 2

    Quito - Baltra Island (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 3

    North Seymour & South Plaza Islands (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 4

    Rabida & Bartolome Islands (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 5

    Santiago & Santa Cruz Islands (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 6

    Santa Cruz Island (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 7

    Genovesa Island (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 8

    Santiago Island (Natural Paradise)

  • Day 9

    San Cristobal (Natural Paradise) - Quito

Day 1

Quito (Go Quito Hotel)

Arrive in Quito and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Quito - Baltra Island (Natural Paradise)

Transfer to the airport in the morning and fly to Baltra Airport on the Galapagos Islands. Here, enter the national park and transfer by dinghy to the Natural Paradise.

Day 3

North Seymour & South Plaza Islands (Natural Paradise)

Morning stop on North Seymour Island where sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigate birds can be found. In the afternoon, visit South Plaza Island. This small island features steep cliffs formed by rising lava and is home to of the largest sea lion colonies.

Day 4

Rabida & Bartolome Islands (Natural Paradise)

Located off Santiago Island, visit Rabida Island, a colourful and volcanically varied island with wonderful snorkelling and some of the archipelagos rarest bird species. Stop at Bartolome, home to Galapagos penguins and sea lions and hike the 600-metre trail to Bartolome’s summit for spectacular views of Santiago Island and Sullivan Bay.

Day 5

Santiago & Santa Cruz Islands (Natural Paradise)

In the morning, visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island. Walk across a recent lava flow that was only formed in the late 19th century. Later, explore Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island. One of the lengthier Galapagos walking trails will lead you along a beach and up a trail to the lagoon lookout where bright flamingos, pintail ducks and land iguanas can be spotted.

Day 6

Santa Cruz Island (Natural Paradise)

In the morning, travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz and visit Los Gemelos. These formations were created by the collapse of surface material in underground fissures and chambers. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant tortoise and land iguana breeding program.

Day 7

Genovesa Island (Natural Paradise)

In the morning, visit El Barranco on Genovesa Island, where a steep, rocky path leads up to a high cliff face. Red-footed and Nazca boobies, short-eared lava owls, Galapagos swallows and Galapagos doves can all be seen here. After lunch, visit the white-sand coral beach of Darwin Bay, where sea lions swim playfully in tidal pools.

Day 8

Santiago Island (Natural Paradise)

Explore Santiago Island – visit Espumilla Beach, a popular place for marine iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs. In the afternoon, stop at Puerto Egas, home to the curious Galapagos hawks and quick-footed lava lizards.  Have the chance to snorkel and see reef sharks, turtles, rays and sea lions.

Day 9

San Cristobal (Natural Paradise) - Quito

On your final morning, visit Bachas Beach, home to flamingos, Sally lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts and whimbrels. Afterwards, transfer to Baltra airport in time for your flight back to the mainland and onward travel.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Sally Light Foot Crab, Galapagos Islands
Sally Light Foot Crab, Galapagos Islands

Why Cruise?

A small ship cruise is the most sustainable, varied and fulfilling way to visit the Galapagos. Ships’ schedules are carefully organised to avoid overrunning key sites and we vet all the ships we offer to ensure that, like the Natural Paradise, the environmental impact of your cruise is carefully managed. With a maximum of 16 passengers on board, excursions are low-impact, and each client is carefully briefed on the codes of conduct required when visiting the islands. While ships like Natural Paradise offer a high level of comfort and service, the emphasis is on getting off the ship to visit various islands and to see first-hand the remarkable wildlife.

Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos Islands
Hammerhead sharks, Galapagos Islands

Donation to Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT)

The Ecuadorian authorities charge a national park fee of $100 for a two-week trip to the Galapagos. Tourism needs to pay a price that is commensurate with the demands it makes on infrastructure and natural resources; $100 doesn’t come close. Steppes Travel will continue to push the authorities for an increase in fees to be used to help combat the growing threats to the Galapagos Islands but in the interim, we will make a donation of $100 to GCT for every client that travels to the Galapagos islands. This will of course be in addition to the $100 Galapagos National Park fee included in the cost of your holiday and will give you an annual membership to GCT. Read our blog on the importance of paying a fair price for nature.

Snorkelling with sea lions
Snorkelling with sea lions
Rays, Genovesa Island, Galapagos Islands
Rays, Genovesa Island, Galapagos Islands

Snorkelling in the Galapagos

As the vessel anchors in far-flung waters off the coast of dramatic islands, disembark to snorkel in deep blue waters where silhouetted sharks can appear in the distance and elusive sun fish may even make an appearance. In shallower turquoise waters with white sandy floors that are teeming with marine life, perhaps free dive to marvel at the starfish or dart out of the way of a fever of golden rays. Take a kayak out before lunch as the vessel rests in anchor, watching as graceful green Pacific turtles glide by, or simply swim through calm waters next to darting penguins.

Blue footed bobbies, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos islands, Galapagos islands
Galapagos Sea Lions,  Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands
Espanola , Galapagos Islands
Waved Albatross, Galapagos Islands
Waved Albatross

Island Experiences

Choosing to sail the Galapagos Islands certainly does not mean being confined to the boat and waters – in fact, the opposite is true since the boat navigates through the night to different islands and coastlines. Take daily walks on remote islands, spending time to observe the fearless creatures that play and bask in the sunshine, pausing to discuss the fascinating evolving archipelago with your expert naturalist guides. Or simply sit in sandy solitude and observe the magnificence of the islands.

Natural Paradise Yacht, Galapagos
Natural Paradise Yacht, Galapagos

The Natural Paradise

A 34-metre-long motor yacht that can accommodate 16 passengers, Natural Paradise is made up of nine cabins that vary from standard cabins with porthole windows to suites with private balconies.

View our hand picked portfolio of boats for alternative accommodation options.

How does this holiday make a positive impact?

Steppes Travel donates $100 to Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) for every client it books to travel to the Galapagos. GCT works with scientists, authorities, NGOs, and local communities, to restore biodiversity to the islands and build resilience to the growing threat from the climate crisis. The Floreana Island Restoration Project epitomises their method of working, sponsoring a local ecologist to conduct a Phd on the endangered Floreana mockingbird alongside the implementation of measures to eradicate invasive species to create an environment in which the mockingbird, and other endemic species, can be reintroduced to the island.

In 2022, the Ecuadorian government announced the creation of the Hermandad Reserve giving safe passageway to whale sharks, sea turtles and other marine life moving between the Galapagos and Cocos Islands. This means that 19% of the Galapagos oceans are now protected. For every booking we make to the Galapagos, we make a $100 donation to the Galapagos Conservation Trust which has prioritised the objective of creating marine protected areas to cover at least 30% of the oceans around the Galapagos.

Steppes has donated £3,000 to support the Galapagos Conservation Trust’s project, Gills Club on San Cristobal. The club aims to engage local girls in shark science, as part of a wider Galapagos Ocean Outreach goal to empower young people to generate and deliver conservation and sustainability projects. Girls at Gills Club are given opportunities to see wildlife that they would otherwise not encounter and gain scientific skills, self-confidence and passion for protecting the wildlife of their Islands, led by their female mentors.

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Ecuador: Cloud Forest Experience

Journey three hours from Quito to the beautiful cloud forest hideaway, Mashpi Lodge. Spend two days hiking forest trails, exploring the canopies by sky bike and learning about the regions diverse ecosystem at the in house research centre. The birdlife is spectacular and as night falls the rainforest comes alive with the sights and sounds of its many smaller residents.

3 days. Price on request

Hummingbird, Ecuador

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

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