Petrel – East & Central Galapagos Islands

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OVERVIEW:

The 8 Day Petrel East and Central Galapagos Islands Cruise tours Galapagos Islands in the north, central and eastern regions of the archipelago, including San Cristobal, Espanola, Floreana, Santa Cruz, Santiago, Bartolome, Genovesa and Baltra.
Highlights of this route include visiting areas where giant tortoises are often seen on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands, the white-sand beaches of Espanola and Floreana Islands, snorkeling at Devil's Crown and hiking to the most famous view in the Galapagos Islands: Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island. Explore Genovesa Island, home to over 200,000 red-footed boobies and many bird species, and hike to Darwin Bay and Prince Phillip’s Steps.. 

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

Day 1: San Cristobal Interpretation Centre - La Galapaguera
Day 2: Gardner Bay - Osborn Islet - Suarez
Day 3: Cormorant Point - Devil's Crown - Post Office Bay
Day 4: Charles Darwin Station - Highlands
Day 5: Sullivan Bay - Pinnacle Rock
Day 6: Darwin Bay - Prince Phillips Steps
Day 7: Puerto Egas - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island - Departure

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

  • San Cristobal Interpretation Centre - La Galapaguera

    AM: Arrival to San Cristobal
    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.

    PM: San Cristobal - Interpretation Center / La Galapaguera
    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.

    Interpretation Ctr. / La Galapaguera: 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 centers' employees. Inside the center, there are meeting rooms, interpretational panels, auditoriums, exhibits, and much more.

    Possible Activities: Walking

    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 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 - Highlands

    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: Highlands
    The Highlands of Santa Cruz is a very interesting site due to the rich wildlife, hills, ferns, volcanoes and lava tubes present. Exploring the lava tubes is a surreal and unique experience. Here you can see all the different agricultural zones that are present in the Galapagos in one place. The variety of birds makes this a bird watchers delight.

    Possible Activities: Hike

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry

    Highlights & Animals: All Galapagos life zones, vermilion flycatcher, Darwin finch, yellow warblers, Galapagos rails, paint-billed crakes, short-eared owls, wild Giant Tortoises.

  • Sullivan Bay - Pinnacle Rock

    AM: Santiago Island - Sullivan Bay
    Santiago Island: The second Island visited by Charles Darwin was originally named after England's King James the second. The island was a good source of salt, water, and food for whalers and buccaneers passing. There was a salt mine inland that was used to salt fish and tortoise meat. Land iguanas used to populate the island but are now extinct. From Darwin's own notes he wrote that land iguanas were thriving quite well since there was no place to even pitch a tent. Santiago Island today is now one of the most visited islands.

    Sullivan Bay: Sullivan Bay is a satellite island of Santiago. This is one of the best places to see the Galapagos fur seal. There is not much wildlife to see here, but the old lava formations are quite a sight to see with tuff cones, pyroclastic cones, and other volcanic landscapes.

    Possible Activities: Hike and snorkel

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry Landing

    Highlights & Animals: Various volcanic landscapes and formations.

    PM: Bartholomew Island - Pinnacle Rock
    Bartholomew is another satellite island that derives from Santiago Island. It is a home of the famous Pinnacle Rock and is named after James Sullivan, a friend of Charles Darwin who was also aboard the HMS Beagle. Of all the islands, this is the most photographed and is also featured in the 2003 movie “Master and Commander”.

    Pinnacle Rock: Pinnacle rock is a volcanic cone formed by magma expelled by an underwater volcano. The sea cooled the hot lava and as it exploded from contact, the pieces formed together this huge rock of many, many layers of basalt. The huge rock also has a beach where a small population of green sea turtles will nest. Galapagos penguins gather here and swimming can offer beautiful sights of colorful schools of fish and curious sea lions.

    Possible Activities: Hike, snorkel, panga ride

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Wet

    Landing Highlights: Galapagos penguins, Pinnacle rock, swimming, awesome photography opportunities.

    Snorkel – Sea lions, rays, sea turtles, sharks, much different fish.

  • Darwin Bay - Prince Phillips Steps

    AM: Genovesa Island - Darwin Bay
    Genovesa Island: This horse-shoe shaped island was formed by the eruption of a shield volcano with large slopes formed by gradual lava flows. It is known as “Bird Island” due to the wide variety of birds that can be seen. The only reptile on the entire island is the marine iguana and it is one of the very few places red-footed boobies gather in one large mass.

    Darwin Bay: Darwin Bay is the result of the shield volcano where one of the sides of the caldera collapsed after years of erosion. It is one of the places in the Galapagos where red-footed boobies can be guaranteed to be seen. Over 200,000 red-footed boobies are estimated to be living in the trees and bushes of Genovesa.

    Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, panga ride, and snorkel

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: Wet Landing

    Highlights & Animals: Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, mangroves.

    Snorkeling – various sharks, colorful fish, sea turtles, sea lions, occasional rays.

    PM: El Barranco
    Better known as Prince Phillip's Steps, a steep and rocky path leads up to a cliff with a marvelous view. There is also a Palo Santa forest that is home to nesting red-footed boobies and other birds.

    Possible Activities: Hike, kayak, panga ride, and snorkel

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Type of Landing: Dry Landing

    Highlights & Animals: Spectacular view, red-footed boobies, wedge-rumped storm petrels, Galapagos doves, short-eared owls, Palo Santo forest.

    Snorkel – fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, and sea lions.

  • Puerto Egas - Espumilla Beach - Buccaneer Cove

    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: Short hike, Panga ride, Kayaking

    Difficulty: Easy

    Type of Landing: Dry 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.

  • Santa Cruz Island - Departure

    AM: Santa Cruz island - Carrion Point
    Carrion Point: There is no place to land here so either a panga ride or snorkeling will take place. It is a sheltered lagoon with beautiful turquoise water on the Northern coast of Santa Cruz at the entrance of the Itabaca Channel.

    Possible Activities: Panga ride and snorkel

    Difficulty: Easy / Moderate

    Type of Landing: No Landing

    Highlights & Animals: Various species of fish, white-tipped reef sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

    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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