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Baby seals, Galapagos Islands

Cruise with Jo Ruxton & New Scientist

  • EXPERT-LED CRUISE
Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
23/05/21 01/06/2110 days £7,495 ex. flights £4,995Jo Ruxton15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Blue footed boobie, Galapagos 1

Galapagos Islands exploration

Explore eight varied islands including Isabela, Espanola and Fernandina

Jo Ruxton 2

Jo Ruxton

Accompanied by Jo Ruxton, co-founder of the Plastic Oceans Foundation

Waved albatross grooming on Espanola Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. 3

Galapagos Science centre

Exclusive behind the scenes access at the Galapagos Science centre

Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands 4

Luxury accommodation

Travel aboard the Natural Paradise a high-end motorboat

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Quito

  • Day 2

    Quito

  • Day 3

    Quito to Santa Cruz Island

  • Day 4

    Isabela Island and Fernandina Islands

  • Days 5-6

    Isabela Island

  • Day 7

    Chinese Hat and Mosquera Islets

  • Day 8

    Floreana Island

  • Day 9

    Espanola Island

  • Day 10

    San Cristobal to Guayaquil

  • Day 11

    Guayaquil

Day 1

Quito

Plaza de San Francisco, Old Town Quito, Ecuador

Arrive into Quito, a historical city sitting at 2,850 metres. Meet with Jo Ruxton and enjoy a welcome dinner in the city.

Day 2

Quito

Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

Explore Quito on a city tour visiting Independence Square, the President’s Palace and San Francisco Church. Finish the tour ends with a visit to Itchimbia Hill, from where the views of downtown Quito and the surrounding mountains are spectacular.

Day 3

Quito to Santa Cruz Island

Natural Paradise, Galapagos Islands

On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be met by a national park guide who will accompany you on the dock, to embark the Natural Paradise. Set sail towards Eden Islet.

Day 4

Isabela Island and Fernandina Islands

Blue footed booby at Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Snorkelling and panga rides are possible today. Search for blue-footed and Nazca boobies, terns and sea lions, Galapagos penguins and the strange yet fascinating mola mola (sun fish).

Days 5-6

Isabela Island

Volcan Chico, Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands

Spend the next two days exploring Isabela Island. The archipelago’s largest island, Isabela, was formed by the joining of five young volcanoes and offers unique flora and fauna not seen on the other islands.

Day 7

Chinese Hat and Mosquera Islets

Snorkelling with sea lions

Explore Chinese Hat islet. This small islet is located near the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Its name comes from the distinct shape of the islet’s summit. Afterwards, visit Mosquera Islet, offering one of the largest populations of sea lions and great snorkelling.

Day 8

Floreana Island

Punta Cormorant, Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands

There is the opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters of the Devil’s Crown, an extinct volcano that peaks out of the waters just off Floreana’s coast and offers a magnificent snorkelling experience.

Day 9

Espanola Island

Galapagos Sea Lions, Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands

After landing, walk across a lovely white sand beach amongst a busy sea lion colony or dive into the water to swim and snorkel with sea lion pups.

Day 10

San Cristobal to Guayaquil

Bay, Pacific Ocean, San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands

This morning disembark early and visit the Galapagos Science Centre, a state of the art research facility. Fly to Guayaquil.

Day 11

Guayaquil

Guayaquil waterfront, Ecuador

Free day to explore at your leisure.

Land iguana, Galapagos Islands
Land iguana, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Conservation Trust

Steppes is a Gold Corporate Member of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the only UK charity that is focussed solely on conservation in the archipelago. As such we continue to support ongoing conservation projects in the archipelago and recently donated to the development of a citizen’s science website on which the public can post information about single-use plastic pollution in the Galapagos. When you book a trip to the Galapagos Islands with Steppes Travel, you will also benefit from a complimentary, six-month membership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Expert-Led Cruise FAQs

Why travel to the Galapagos with Steppes Travel?

In Jo Ruxton, Steppes Travel is confident to have found a wonderful travelling companion for this Galapagos cruise. Over the past 18 years, Jo has been involved in numerous underwater filming projects around the world, from Antarctica to the pristine reefs of the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. More recently Jo co-founded the Plastic Oceans Foundation to draw attention to the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

In addition to Jo, there will be a resident Galapagos National Park guide on board, meaning a ratio of one expert per eight passengers, you can be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on all the wildlife seen.

Who are New Scientist Discovery Tours?

New Scientist is an English-language magazine that covers all aspects of science and technology. In 2019, they launched a range of new amazing science-inspired New Scientist Discovery Tours across the globe. With experts on board and in the company of fellow travellers who enjoy the discovery of science. Steppes are pleased to support this partnership and have some great tours with New Scientist to India, Madagascar, Hawaii, Galapagos, and Japan.

What happens on a typical day on a Galapagos cruise?

Wake up for breakfast at around 07:00 am. There may then be a morning land-based excursion. This may include a short hike, a research centre visit, or searching for local wildlife. Return to your boat for lunch. Afterwards, there will be some time at leisure before your water-based excursion. This could include a Panga (small boat) cruise, or a chance to see the marine life from the water with a snorkel trip. Return to the boat for pre-dinner drinks and a short briefing on the plan for the following day. After dinner, enjoy a talk by one of your expert Naturalists or specialist expert.

Is June a good time to visit the Galapagos?

Galapagos is a great destination to visit year-round. While it sits on the equator, the weather is not tropical, and temperatures sit in the early twenties most of the year. June is a lovely time of year to travel to the Galapagos islands, the days are generally warm, with temperatures averaging 23 °C. Days can be cloudy which can be a welcome break from the strong sun. Sea temperatures are also at their warmest at this time and visibility is good. In June, the Humboldt currents make marine life active so snorkelling can be fantastic.

What is the wildlife in the Galapagos like?

There are few places on earth that can rival the wildlife of Galapagos, with an abundance of colourful creatures seemingly unafraid of humans. Wildlife highlights include land and marine iguanas, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, frigate birds, sea lions and many finches.

What Wildlife can I expect to see in June in the Galapagos?

  • Red-footed boobies and masked boobies breeding and nesting
  • Marine iguanas and land iguanas mating
  • Magnificent frigate birds are nesting and display their red pouches
  • Tortoises laying eggs
  • Waved albatross are nesting on Espanola Island
  • Flightless cormorants, penguins and greater flamingos breeding and nesting

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Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.

Flexibility

To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Travel with Jo Ruxton throughout
  • Accommodation in Ecuador and aboard the Natural Paradise
  • Domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos
  • Group transfers throughout
  • English speaking National Park guide in the Galapagos
  • Six-month membership to the Galapagos Conservation Trust
  • Snorkelling equipment on the Natural Paradise boat
  • Full board meals and tea, coffee and water onboard
  • £25 to help fund the communities, conservation agencies and NGOs that we work with
  • £25 contribution to ‘Trees and Science’ in mitigation of your carbon emissions

What is excluded

  • International flights to and from Ecuador
  • Gratuities
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks onboard

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Patio Andaluz £££££

  • Ecuador
  • City

A truly charming boutique hotel that has been declared a Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO, Patio Andaluz is a former 17th century mansion house. The property is just minutes away from the hubbub of the city’s historic centre whilst being encapsulated in an old-world piece of architecture. Typical of the style of the city, its 32 spacious rooms and suites are arranged around two glass-ceiling internal courtyards, most rooms only have internal windows. The courtyard restaurant often features live music and is decorated with exotic flowers year-round, serving delicious Ecuadorean cuisine that is fused with Italian influences.

View Property

Natural Paradise £££££

  • Galapagos Islands

A high-end 111-foot-long yacht which 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. With a spacious dining area, a bar and large sundeck with loungers, jacuzzi and a covered alfresco dining area, the yacht balances luxurious surroundings with plenty of space to unwind and relax. Snorkelling equipment and sea kayaks are available to use during the trip.

View Boat

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Like-minded travellers

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

4.Peace of mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

3.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 601 784

Start dateEnd dateDays
Prices from
Single SupplementTour ExpertGroup SizeStatus
23/05/21 01/06/2110 days £7,495 ex. flights £4,995Jo Ruxton15 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 601 784

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