Wildlife Group Tour

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Sue Flood

Photographic cruise accompanied by Sue Flood

10 days

from $6,995pp
  • Explore the Galapagos Islands with Sue Flood, a photographer, author and wildlife filmmaker
  • Visit eight different islands from west to east, covering a diverse mix of wildlife
  • Travel in July, to witness Albatross chicks hatching on Espanola
  • Spend seven nights sailing on Natural Paradise, a yacht purpose built for cruising the Galapagos

Join our exclusive Galapagos cruise on the Natural Paradise motor yacht, travelling with wildlife and travel photographer, Sue Flood. Sue will accompany the group on all excursions during the cruise giving tips, advice and workshops aimed at improving photography skills.

Spend eight days on our private charter, the Natural Paradise, and visit islands such as San Cristobal, Espanola, Bartholomew and Santa Cruz. The Galapagos Islands with an abundance of wildlife, seemingly unafraid of humans, is a place few others can rival. There will be daily opportunities to explore and get close to the islands' unique wildlife, either on foot, by kayak, by panga (small boat) or when snorkelling in the warm seas. With a naturalist guide on board as well as Sue Flood, be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on all the wildlife seen. Wildlife highlights include blue-footed and Nazca booby, the endemic waved albatross, frigate birds, Galapagos penguins and sea lions.

Steppes Travel is a Gold Corporate member of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, which means anybody joining this Galapagos holiday will receive a year's membership to the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

To register your interest for our Galapagos cruise with Sue Flood in July 2020, please click here. Please note the above dates are not guaranteed,  exact dates will be confirmed within the next few months.

A TYPICAL DAY WITH SUE FLOOD IN THE GALAPAGOS

"As a wildlife photographer, filmmaker, and nature-lover, I am incredibly excited about this trip to the Galapagos, which will afford us some incredible photographic opportunities. Being based on board our yacht Natural Paradise will allow us to make the most of this archipelago as we cover many miles around the islands. As with any great wildlife photography trip, the wildlife will sometimes dictate our agenda. Early morning light and stunning sunsets can be great times for photography, but a great photo opportunity can occur at any time of day and I’ll be on hand to ensure we make the most of every wildlife encounter. Whether you have a simple point and shoot or a more sophisticated SLR, you'll pick up tips on how to improve your photography, whatever your level of expertise. Composition, framing, use of light, and simply “capturing the moment” - how do you turn the scene in front of you into a stunning photo? I’ll be giving lectures on photo tips throughout the voyage, but will be available for informal one-to-one advice and feedback throughout so that you come back from this wonderful trip with images that do your memories justice. The Galapagos is a once-in-a-lifetime journey that should be on every bucket list! Please join me on what is bound to be an unforgettable adventure"

WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS TOUR?

This is a unique opportunity to travel around the Galapagos archipelago with experienced wildlife photographer Sue Flood. The Galapagos Islands are a wildlife photographer's dream, combining the world's most fascinating animals living in the world's most beautiful archipelago. Time will be spent at each landing and at each point of interest to give photographers all the time they need to capture memorable images. Sue will be on hand throughout the trip, to offer one-to-one advice, tips on composition, use of light and framing.

DO I HAVE TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO JOIN THIS Galapagos cruise?

No, not at all as the Galapagos Islands are a special place for anyone to visit. The experienced naturalist guide will accompany each excursion and give evening lectures on the natural history and fascinating geology of the islands. Activities other than taking photographs include the chance to swim and snorkel, exploring the islands by kayak as well as taking panga rides and guided walks.

WHAT IS THE Galapagos BOAT LIKE?

The Natural Paradise is a spacious and stylish yacht, purpose-built to sail around the Galapagos islands. The boat can accommodate 16 people across nine cabins so there will be plenty of space on board. There are a lounge, both indoor and outdoor eating areas and a generous sundeck with loungers and a Jacuzzi.

IS July A GOOD TIME TO TRAVEL TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS?

Although the weather is cooling down in July, it is still a lovely time of year to travel to the Galapagos islands. The days cool down slightly with clear skies and temperatures averaging 22 C. 

WHAT WILDLIFE WILL I SEE in the Galapagos islands in July?

Whilst not guaranteed, you are likely to see a huge number of both land and sea birds and an eclectic mix of mammals and marine life. Some of the seabirds likely to been seen are magnificent frigate birds, Nazca and blue-footed boobies as well as the Galapagos penguin, the only penguin to nest in the Tropics. Land birds such as the endemic waved albatross, Galapagos hawk, the curious mockingbird and most of the 13 species of Darwin finches are likely to be seen during the cruise. Marine creatures may include rays, turtles, marine iguanas and playful sea lions that love to swim with snorkellers. 

what are the KEY WILDLIFE PHENOMENA ON THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, IN July

  • July is a major month for mating and breeding and the Humboldt current strengthens from the South seas making micronutrients more plentiful and marine life is more active.

  • Blue-footed boobies are nesting, allowing the opportunity to possibly see all four life stages: eggs, chicks, juveniles and adults.

  • Witness waved albatross chicks congregating in small nurseries while the parents go out to the sea for hunting


Departing on:
  • 5th July 2020

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights $Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
5th Jul 2020 14th Jul 2020 $ 9,443.25 call call Sue Flood Available

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Day at leisure in Quito


With Pichincha Volcano on one side and Machangara Gorge on the other with the equator passing directly through, few cities 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 a World Cultural Heritage Site 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 Patio Andaluz, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Half Day Quito City Tour
Half day morning city tour of the highlights of Quito. Walk through the historic area of Quito and learn about the Inca empire, the Spanish invasion and independence.

Visit Independence Square with beautiful colonial buildings, the Presidential Palace and cathedral. Go to San Francisco Square and see the convent, one of the oldest churches in Quito. Also see the ornate La Compania Jesuit church before heading up to Panecillo Hill with spectacular views over the historic district.


Welcome Meal
This evening a welcome meal for the group will be hosted at a local restaurant.


You will be staying at Patio Andaluz, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Fly Quito to Baltra


Embarkation and Santa Cruz Island
On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met by a national park guide who will accompany you on the short bus ride to the waterfront. At the dock, board a panga (dinghy) to make the short crossing to Natural Paradise. After settling into your cabin, there will be some time to relax before lunch and a welcome briefing.

Today, visit Santa Cruz Island, the second largest island in the Galapagos, its capital Puerto Ayora is the economic centre of the islands.

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 making a visit to these islands 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 Natural Paradise, full board

Day 4

Isabela Island and Fernandina Islands
In the morning, explore Vicente Roca Point. Comprised of two separate coves, this site is a large bay with spectacular sea life. Snorkelling and panga rides are possible this morning, look out for Galapagos penguins, seahorses, sea turtles, and the strange yet fascinating mola mola (sun fish). Other wildlife includes blue-footed and Nazca boobies, terns and sea lions

In the afternoon, sail across the Bolivar Channel that divides Isabela and Fernandina islands, land and at Espinosa Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 5

Isabela Island
In the morning, walk to Urbina Bay which is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over five metres. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. Wildlife that can be seen includes land iguanas, hawks, giant tortoises and turtles. This area is also a great place for snorkelling.

In the afternoon visit Moreno Point located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. The once flowing lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. In the brackish pools of this area, it is possible to see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules, white-tip reef sharks and sea turtles. Snorkelling and panga rides are possible here.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 6

Isabela Island
This morning, land on Isabela Island to explore the Sierra Negra volcano which is the largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos with a diameter of 6.2 miles. The site offers impressive views and the opportunity to observe up to seven species of finches and a rich display of vegetation. The north side of the caldera provides evidence of its most recent volcanic activity in 2005.

This afternoon, visit The Wall of Tears which is 25 metres high and an important piece of the island's history. Afterwards, head to the wetlands of Isabela island which are located just outside of Puerto Villamil. The wetlands consist of lagoons, swamps, and mangroves and are home to a variety of unique bird species such as common stilts, whimbrels, white-cheeked pintails and gallinules. The wetlands can be visited on foot via a path through the swamps

There will also be the chance to visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Centre were there are 330 juvenile and adult tortoises.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 7

Chinese Hat and Mosquera Islets
This morning visit 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. This small islet is a great location to view many geological formations such as lava tubes and lava flows. Some of the lava
flows were formed underwater and subsequently raised above sea level. The presence of coral heads on the lava flow indicates this phenomenon. This is also a great site for snorkelling with an abundance of marine species, marine iguanas and sea lions.
After lunch visit Mosquera Islet, located between the islands of Baltra and North Seymour in the central part of the archipelago. This reef of rocks and coral (the result of an uprising) is only 160 metres across at its narrowest width. This island has one of the largest populations of sea lions and is home to many shorebirds.There is great snorkelling here.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 8

Floreana Island
Today visit the famous Post Office Bay, the spot where 18th century whalers placed a wooden barrel that was used as an unofficial post box. The tradition continues today, with visitors leaving addressed postcards in the barrel and sorting through left mail to deliver at home.

In the afternoon head to Cormorant Point, hike to a salt-water lagoon which is home to flamingos. 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 of Floreana’s coast and offers a magnificent snorkelling experience. Look out for sharks, rays and lots of tropical fish.

Afterwards visit Champion Islet, a small island located close to Floreana Island in the southern part of the archipelago where sea lions and Nazca boobies can be seen. This is another great place for snorkelling.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 9

Espanola Island
In the morning visit Suarez Point. On the trail there will be the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies, red billed tropic birds, Galapagos Hawks and the curious Hood mockingbirds. Between April and December each year the island is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses. See the famous blowhole that spurts water into the air, a fantastic landscape for photography.

In the afternoon, explore the spectacular Gardner Bay. 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.


You will be staying at Natural Paradise, full board

Day 10

San Cristobal, disembarkation
In the morning if time allows visit Lobos Island (Sea Lion Island) This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, playful sea lions who will welcome you to their home. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see frigate birds, blue-footed and Nazca boobies.

After this final visit, you will be transferred to San Cristobal’s airport in time for your flight back to the mainland.

Fly San Cristobal Island to Quito

Fly Baltra to Guayaquil

Destination Experts

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"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."

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

Tour Expert

Sue Flood

Sue Flood
Your guide on the trip is Sue Flood, a photographer, author, wildlife filmmaker and conservationist. Sue was an Associate Producer on the award winning BBC series 'The Blue Planet', and also more recently worked on Planet Earth. Both The Blue Planet and Planet Earth featured several animal behaviours which were filmed for the first time, and Sue obtained unique images for the series. Her photographic highlights include diving with humpback whales in the South Pacific, face-to-face encounters with leopard seals in the Antarctic, filming polar bears in the Arctic, and photographing the wildlife of Zambia. But above all, Sue is great fun to be with - while your photographic prowess will improve under her tuition, you are also guaranteed a fun and rewarding time in her company.

Other tours by this lecturer:

Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 10 / Max 14

Tour Expert:

Sue Flood

Departure Date (S):

  • 5th July 2020

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