Petrel – Central & South Galapagos Islands

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Please Note: Our website packages are here to provide you with a guide on what we can offer. If this package does not suit your requirements we can easily cutomise your trip to suit your needs and preferences.

OVERVIEW:

The 6 Days Petrel South-Central Galapagos Islands Cruise visits seven Galapagos Islands in the southern and central regions of the archipelago, sailing round-trip from Baltra. Islands visited include Baltra, Santa Cruz, South Plaza, Santa Fe, San Cristobal, Espanola and Floreana.
This route is especially appealing for those interested in natural history and visiting the organizations for science/research, as it includes visits to the Interpretation Center and Charles Darwin Station as well as one of the archipelago's giant tortoise breeding centers (La Galapaguera on San Cristobal) aimed at the conservation of these endemic giants. Visit the Santa Cruz Highlands for a chance to see giant tortoise in the wild, the magnificent beaches of Espanola and Floreana, and what many call the best snorkeling site in the Galapagos: Devil's Crown.

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

Day 1: Baltra Island - Los Gemelos
Day 2: South Plaza Island - Santa Fe Island
Day 3: Isla Lobos - Interpretation Center - La Galapaguera
Day 4: Gardner Bay - Osborn Islet - Suarez Point
Day 5: Cormorant Point - Devil's Crown - Post Office Bay
Day 6: Charles Darwin Station - Baltra

NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

  • Baltra - Santa Cruz - Twin Crater

    AM: Arrival to Baltra
    Assistance will be provided upon your arrival by a Petrel representative after passing through immigration and baggage claim. When ready, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing and lunch.
    Upon arrival to the airport in Baltra, you will be greeted by our staff and taken across the Itabaca Channel to visit the Island of Santa Cruz before boarding. The visit includes a short hike. Dress appropriately in sturdy shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt due to the climate of this area. You will visit a site called Los Gemelos (The Twins Craters).

    PM: Santa Cruz - Twin Craters
    Santa Cruz Island: Today Santa Cruz is one of the most popular tourist sites. With a population of about 12,000 Galapagos natives, it has the longest paved road in the entire archipelago. One of the biggest conservation efforts is to eliminate all non-native plants and animals that are destroying native and endemic species on the island. There is no longer any volcanic activity but that does not mean there is no evidence. Santa Cruz means holy cross, but its English name comes from the British vessel – Indefatigable.

    Twin Craters: The Twin Craters or Gemelos, meaning twins in Spanish, are two caved in magma chambers of a previous volcano. After years of erosion and extinction, the once full chambers caved in leaving two similar craters that can be seen on a short hike that passes by a Scalesia forest.
    After the visit to the Twin Craters, you will be transferred to the yacht. You will then be shown to your cabin where you will have some time to settle in before the welcome briefing.

    Possible Activities: Hike

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry Landing

    Highlights: On the trail to the craters many different land birds can be seen in the Scalesia forest – finches, short-eared owls, vermilion flycatchers, and Galapagos doves.

  • South Plaza Island - Santa Fe Island

    AM: South Plaza Island
    South Plaza: South Plaza is one of the smallest islands with a visitor site, but is home to an incredible amount of diverse flora and fauna. It has a large population of Sesuvium plants like the prickly pear cactus tree that is an important source of food for the land iguana. Just a few years ago mice were finally eradicated from the island, helping the population of land iguanas grow healthily once more.

    Possible Activities: Walk

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet Landing

    Highlights: Cacti native only to South Plaza, land iguana, finches, sea lions, swallow tailed gulls, red-billed tropicbirds.

    PM: Santa Fe Island
    Santa Fe: Santa Fe Island is home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and is the only place to find Opuntia cactus. Giant tortoises were once native to this island but after the many years of pirates and buccaneers visiting the island and taking the tortoises aboard as food, they became extinct. The Island is also called Barrington Island, named after British Admiral Samuel Barrington. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach and Galapagos hawks can also sometimes be seen.

    Possible Activities: Short hike, Panga Ride, Kayaking

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet Landing

    Highlights: Galapagos hawk, Santa Fe land iguana, Opuntia Cactus, sea lions, lava lizards.

  • Isla Lobos - Interpretation Center - La Galapaguera

    AM: San Cristobal Island – Lobos Island
    San Cristobal Island: This is the fifth largest island in the Galapagos and lies farthest East. It is where Darwin first landed back in 1835 and where the first permanent settlements were founded. Today the main port Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province and houses many government offices, the Ecuadorian Navy, and an airport with daily flights to the mainland of Ecuador. Conservation challenges the island faces to include invasive plants like blackberry and guayaba and insects like the blackfly.

    Lobos Island: Lobos Island is an islet about an hour away from San Cristobal. Blue-footed boobies will nest here seasonally. In recent years frigate birds have begun to nest here. Sea lions are abundant, as well as marine iguanas. It is a very calm and tranquil site with beautiful views, including Kicker Rock off in the distance.

    Possible Activities: Short Walk, Panga Ride, Snorkel

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry Landing

    Highlights: Frigate birds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and nesting sites, views of Kicker Rock, marine iguanas.

    Snorkel – sea lions, sea turtles, rays.

    PM: Jacinto Gordillo Giant Tortoise Breeding Center / Interpretation Center
    Giant Tortoise Breeding Ctr. / Interpretation Ctr.: The Interpretation Center has been open to the public since 1998 and offers extensive information about the history of Galapagos, all ecosystems, geology, and flora and fauna. Giant tortoises are also bred here and roam about in a semi-natural habitat created by the center's employees. Inside the center, there are meeting rooms, interpretational panels, auditoriums, exhibits, and much more.

    Possible Activities: Walk

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry Landing

    Highlights: Giant tortoises up close and roaming freely, exhibits of various stages of tortoise breeding, learn more about the origin, evolution, natural habitat, and threats of introduced animals and plants.

  • Gardner Bay - Osborn Islet - Suarez Point

    AM: Española - Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet
    Espanola Island: Here lies the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest. It is estimated to be about four million years old. Because it is so far away from the other islands it has the most endemic species. It is a wonderful opportunity for some great photography of endemic bird species that are found only on Espanola and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion.

    Gardner Bay & Osborn Islet: Visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The white sandy beach is home to a large colony of friendly and playful sea lions. Three different types of finches can be seen. The Espanola Mockingbird is very friendly, but probably looking for food. At one point in time, tourists must have given it water or food, which taught them bad habits. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.

    Possible Activities: Walk, Snorkel; Panga Ride

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet Landing

    Highlights: Espanola Mockingbird, the longest beach in Galapagos, three species of Darwin's finches, a large colony of sea lions, occasional green sea turtles.

    Snorkel – coral fish, sea lions, and other marine life.

    PM: Suarez Point
    This is a phenomenal site where you will get to see many of Española Island's endemic species. The trail will pass by the only Waved Albatross breeding site. If you are lucky you might see a young albatross takeoff for its first flight for up to five years at sea. Older birds stay at sea for months at a time, only coming back to breed. They have the same mate for life and will meet each other each year, only here to reproduce. Other species that can be seen are marine iguanas that stay brightly colored year round, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, and Darwin finches.

    Possible Activities: Hike

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry landing

    Highlights & Animals: Only Waved albatross breeding site, blow hole on the point, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, three different species of finches, Galapagos doves, marine iguanas, sea lions.

  • Cormorant Point - Devil's Crown - Post Office Bay

    AM: Floreana Island - Cormorant Point & Devil's Crown
    Floreana Island: This Island is one of the most interesting when it comes to human history. The first Galapagos resident was an Irishman who lived on Floreana from 1807 to 1809. It is the site of the first post office within the islands created by whalers in the 1700's. Later it became the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians, but to this day is still very isolated. Surrounded by mystery, in the 1930's various disappearances occurred and is thought to be because of tension between a baroness and her three servants who arrived after an already settled husband and wife, who gave birth to the first to be born in Galapagos and another couple of a doctor and female companion who lived of the land from their garden. The small population of today lives off the land with homegrown farms and gets their water from rain-filled ponds during the rainy season. There is one hotel with the only phone in the port of Velasco Ibarra where most residents live, the rest live up in the highlands. Transportation is limited and is only available every two weeks.

    Cormorant Point: Another fun and interesting visitor site. Two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, which gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches look green because of olivine crystals and the other is appropriately called Flour Beach a powdery white, made from finely pulverized coral.

    Devil's Crown: Devil's Crown is a visitor site that boasts the best snorkeling opportunities. Below the surface is amazing volcanic structures that have submerged over time. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found here among the coral reefs. Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and sea lions are also common visitors. It is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

    Possible Activities: Snorkel, panga ride, hike

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet Landing

    Highlights & Animals: Devil’s Crown - a wide array of colorful fish species – king angel fish, balloon fish, yellowtail grunts, white-tipped sharks, hammerheads, eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions and more. Cormorant Point – flamingoes, green olivine-crystal beach, coral beach, pintail ducks, large-billed flycatchers, several finches, green turtle nesting area, and stilts.

    PM: Post Office Bay
    A completely human influential site, Post Office Bay is the first official post office created by passing whalers in the 1700's. To this day visitors continue the tradition as many leave addressed messages on postcards in the barrel to be sent by future visitors while picking up postcards left behind by previous visitors to send when they return home. It is a fun exchangeable activity many visitors enjoy.
    Baroness Lookout Point: On the northern part of the island, Baroness Lookout Point has a beautiful landscape and historic view. It was named after the supposed Austrian Baroness that was the subject of many mysterious disappearances and well-known stories of loathing by those on Floreana.

    Possible Activities: Walk, kayak, panga ride, snorkel

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet landing

    Highlights: Barrel Post Office – leave/pick up postcards, remnants of Norwegian settlement, beach, sea turtles, amazing landscapes.

    Snorkel – Sea turtles, corals, rays, colorful assortment of fish species.

  • Charles Darwin Station - Baltra

    AM: Santa Cruz island - Charles Darwin Station
    Charles Darwin Research Station: The station conducts many different research projects and provides assistance to other researchers and governmental institutions and agencies, especially the Galapagos National Park. Many of the results are later published online, in magazines, and popular scientific journals. The research station also plays a big part in educating the community and public schools in Galapagos. There is also the longtime running Giant Tortoise restoration program that includes various stages of the giant tortoise from eggs, hatchlings, and adults.

    Possible Activities: Walk

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry

    Highlights & Animals: See the latest advances in research at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Also, see Giant Tortoises and land iguanas.

    PM: Transfer to Baltra Airport
    Your cruise has officially come to an end. We hope you enjoyed your Galapagos Cruise! We will now transfer you to your scheduled departure from Baltra Airport to mainland Ecuador. Safe travels!

SPECIFICATION

  • Year of construction: 2015
  • Type: Power Motor Catamaran
  • Length: 115 ft (35 m)
  • Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
  • Draft: 5.4 ft (1,65 m)
  • Tonnage: 208 tons
  • Capacity: 16 passengers
  • Main engines: 2 x Yanmar Diesel Engines 400HP@1950rpm
  • Power generators: 2 x John Deere Genset 70kw@1800rpm
  • Cruising speed: 10 knots
  • Water maker: 2000 Gallons / day
  • Exterior: GFRP (fiber reinforced polymer)
  • Crew: Captain, Bilingual Galapagos National Park Naturalist Guide, Cruise Manager, 8 other crew (First Mate, Second Mate, Chef, Sous Chef, Engineer, Assistant Engineer, Barman, Housekeeper)
  • Safety & Navigation: All equipment meets or exceeds the international SOLAS standard: 2x 20-man life raft Navtex 2 GPS Depth Sounder 2 naval radars Fire detection and prevention systems etc.

CABINS DETAILS:

Suite Cabin

There are 2 Suites located on the Main Deck, each with a private balcony and fixed king-size beds. 463 square feet.

Stateroom Cabin

There are 2 Staterooms on the Main Deck, and 4 on the Upper Deck, each with a private balcony and twin beds that can be converted into a king-size bed. 323 square feet.

Single Stateroom Cabin

Cabin #9 on the Upper Deck is 151 square feet with a single twin bed.

Layout: 2 Decks / 9 Cabins
Main deck: Cabin 1,2 = Twin stateroom
Main deck: Suite A, B = Double suite stateroom
Upper deck: Cabin 3,4,5,6 = Convertible twin stateroom
Upper deck: Cabin 7 = Single stateroom
Beds layout: Single, twin & double staterooms
Rooming: Private cabins only
Sharing: Not available

DECKPLAN

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • All visitor site excursions
  • All meals and accommodatio during cruise
  • Regular soft drinks and juices
  • Champagne reception
  • Welcome courtesy
  • Galapagos National Park bilingual Guide
  • Use of snorkeling gear and wetsuits Kayaks

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • International and National (Ecuador-Galapagos-Ecuador) flights
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance, US $ 100 (To be paid upon arrival, in cash)
  • Transit Control Card, US $ 20 (To be paid upon departure from the mainland to Galapagos, in cash)
  • Galapagos Airport Transport, if the flight has not been booked together
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses, extras & gratuities
  • Travel insurance

NOTE: Long itineraries are the combination of short ones; please let us know if you would like to book a long cruise.

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