Tailor-Made Holiday

Galapagos Islands by boat

Cruise around the Galapagos Islands with an expert guide

10 days

from £4,285pp (excluding flights)

Cruise the beautiful Galapagos Islands and discover the fascinating wildlife they have to offer by boat, your floating hotel.

  • Wake to the Galapagos Islands through the cabin window and be ready to go on shore after breakfast
  • Sailing can give a real sense of adventure as you travel between the islands
  • Visit a large variety of islands and spot the differences in species on each island
  •  Lookout for whales, rays and dolphins on your way 

Quito

Begin your holiday on mainland Ecuador in the UNESCO World Hertiage City of Quito. Being the highest capital city in the world don’t expect to rush about and see everything in an afternoon, we recommend you take your time and wander around the cobbled streets of the old town exploring the colonial buildings.

Life onboard in the Galapagos Islands

Fly from Ecuador's mainland to the famous Galapagos Islands. Your chosen yacht will be your floating home for the week - a place to sleep, eat, relax and learn about the fascinating Galapagos Archipelago during evening lectures. In the day visit the different islands that offer an eclectic mix of landscapes, from the white sandy low lying island of Floreana to the stark, steep, volcanic black lava fields of Fernandina and Isabela - all brought to life by your specialist guide.

The real highlight of these islands is of course the fearless wildlife. Have you camera handy at all times and the memory card empty. You can leave your zoom lens at home though, as getting close to the endemic wildlife is not a problem.

Activities in the Galapagos Islands

Almost all of the boats we use have kayaks and organise snorkelling trips, both of which are a must as life is thriving under the sea. Swim alongside playful sea lions, watch graceful green Pacific turtles glide by and penguins zip past. It makes for a very special place to snorkel and we often say there is no need to dive as there is so much to see just below the surface.

Which boat to choose in the Galapagos ?

There are many boats that sail around the Galapagos Islands, all have set itineraries visiting a variety of Islands which are regulated by the National Park. Knowing which boat to travel on can be difficult. Using our years of experience and knowledge, we have hand-picked a selection of boats that we feel offer the best value for money and service, across a range of sizes from small intimate sailing boats, through to mid-range catamarans and up to large spacious boats.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4285 £ 950
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Full board meals on the boat
  • Accommodation in Quito on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Galapagos National Park fees
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Quito


With Pichincha Volcano one side, Machangara Gorge on the other and the equator passing directly through, few can rival Quito's setting. Few also can match the splendour of its old town, with its colonial churches, mansions and plazas.

Quito was named as the first World Cultural Heritage Site in the world by UNESCO in 1978. This historical city sits at 2,850 metres and has the largest and best preserved historic centre and colonial quarters in Latin America.


You will be staying at La Casona de la Ronda, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Fly Quito to Baltra


Santa Cruz Islands
This morning fly to Baltra in the Galapagos archipelago. After passing through Galapagos National Park inspection the national park guide will be waiting. Your guide will accompany the group to the first of two buses which will take you to Ranch Manzanillo in the Puerto Ayora highlands, where a picnic lunch will be served.

Please note that your luggage will be transported directly to the Seaman Journey yacht. Please ensure that you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and bring a waterproof jacket, sun-cream, your camera and insect repellent in a backpack.

After lunch at Ranch Manzanillo, embark on a tour of the highlands on Santa Cruz Island. where the goal is to spot giant tortoises. Look out for the bright red feathers of a vermillion flycatcher or one of Darwin's finch almost every bird present in the islands can be found here. Santa Cruz offers excellent opportunities to observe the wild Galapagos tortoises and there are also lava tubes, sinkholes and craters ready to be explored. Later, take a short walk to the harbour and board the Seaman Journey.

It was Charles Darwin's 1835 exploration of the Galapagos Islands, whilst serving as a naturalist on HMS Beagle, and his subsequent 1859 publication On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection that first brought the world's attention to these fascinating islands.

Today the Galapagos remain a living laboratory of evolution where birds and animals have no fear of man. Blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, land and marine iguanas and giant tortoises roam freely and for anyone with an interest in natural history, wildlife and ecology, a visit to these islands is an unforgettable experience.

Located some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the archipelago is now a National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are 13 islands (isles) in total and dozens of smaller islets and rocks - all the result of volcanic activity with exotic plant life, unique wildlife species and an extraordinary landscape fringed with blue sea.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 3

Fernandina and Isabela Island
Visit Mangle Point of the eastern coast of Fernandina, a great spot for snorkelling and panga trips through the mangroves. Sea lions, turtles, pelicans and rays are often seen here.
Sail on to Moreno Point, on the north west coast of Isabela Island. Step ashore and set foot on what was once molten lava; follow a trail along a pahoehoe lava flow. Admire the craters that the liquid rock left behind - now tidal pools, full of marine life.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 4

Isabela Island
This morning make a wet landing on a black volcanic beach at Urbina Bay (for a wet landing expect to wade from the boat to the land through water that reaches up to knee height). Wildlife-spotting opportunities depend on the season, but giant tortoises, land iguanas and flightless cormorants can all be seen here at various times during the year. After a short walk inland, have time to go snorkelling and swim alongside sea turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. After lunch stop at Tagus Cove on the west of Darwin Volcano. Historically the cove was used as an anchorage for pirates and whalers and their ship names can be seen carved into the cliffs. From here a wooden stairway rises to the trail entrance and continues around Darwin Lake, a perfectly round saltwater crater. Walk through a dry vegetation zone ending at a spectacular view point where Darwin and Wolf volcanoes can be seen.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 5

Fernandina & Isabela Islands
Visit Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island, a narrow strip of land on which you can spot some of the unique species of the Galapagos, including flightless cormorants and marine iguanas. Inland, the recently active La Cumbre volcano dominates the landscape, whilst vast lava fields stretch towards the ocean from its base. In the afternoon, land at Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela Island, an impressive and spectacular place with high cliffs, tuffstone, ash and lava formations. At the rim of the tuff cone edge there is a nesting colony of blue-footed boobies and brown noddies. Sea lions, dolphins, penguins and turtles can be found here and it is a magnificent place to partake in panga rides and snorkelling adventures.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 6

Santiago Island
Step ashore at Espumilla Beach - an important site for nesting marine turtles - and a great place to spot octopuses, moray eels and reef sharks. The palo santo forest at Espumilla features some of the tallest plants in the entire archipelago, whilst the area is also home to Galapagos hawks and Darwin's finches.
After lunch, make a wet landing on a volcanic black beach on the western side of Santiago Island. Set out along the Egas Port trail, a path lined with volcanic ash that leads to some of the best tidal pools in the region. Fur seals, lava lizards and Sally Lightfoot crabs can be seen here, as well as a number of birds. Snorkel amongst lobsters, starfish and marine iguanas.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 7

Rabida Island & Chinese Hat
Sail on towards Rábida, a small island featuring red volcanic rocks and a beautiful red sand beach. It is also home to a colony of sea lions and a pelican nesting site. After a wet landing, follow a rough trail to a salt water lagoon, where shore birds can be seen. Species include finches, doves, yellow warblers, and mockingbirds.

After lunch, land at Sombrero Chino, a small islet off the south-eastern coast of Santiago Island. Translating as 'Chinese Hat', the island's name perfectly describes its unique shape. The island features various interesting geological formations, whilst the waters nearby are home to a number of marine species, such as sally lightfoot crabs and sea lions.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 8

Bartolome Island
Step ashore at Sullivan Bay, known for its spectacular volcanic formations and relatively young pahoehoe lava flows. Look out for the few plants that survive here, including the low-lying pioneer plant, known locally as 'mollugo', as well as the lava cactus.

In the afternoon, visit Bartholomew Island, home to the famous Pinnacle Rock. Formed from an extinct volcano, the island features a variety of red, orange, black and green volcanic formations. Transfer ashore and set out along a trail of stairs that leads to the summit of the volcano; the top offers some of the best views of the islands.


You will be staying at Seaman Journey, Full board

Day 9

Santa Cruz & Baltra Islands
In the morning, head towards Bachas Beach on the north shore of Santa Cruz. This picturesque beach features a floating pier that is one of the few remnants of the presence of the United States in the Galapagos during World War II. As well as being one of the region's main nesting sites for sea turtles, the beach is a great place to observe flamingos, Sally Lightfoot crabs, hermit crabs, black-necked stilts and whimbrels. Afterwards, transfer to the airport.

Fly Baltra to Guayaquil

Fly Guayaquil to Madrid overnight

Day 10

Fly Madrid to London

Accommodation

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

La Casona de la Ronda

La Casona de la Ronda

Situated on one of Quito's most traditional streets, La Casona de la Ronda Hotel has been wonderfully restored maintained its original colour, stone walls and keeping the traditional character of the mansion alive....

View Accommodation

Seaman Journey

Seaman Journey

The Seaman Journey is a comfortable 28 metre motorised catamaran which is surprisingly spacious and provides excellent value for money....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Galapagos Islands

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

Read More

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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Expertise

  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides

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RESPONSIBLE STEPPES

  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

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