Ocean Spray - Southern Galapagos Islands Cruise

   
 

Ocean Spray - Southern Galapagos Islands Cruise

BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS
www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

UPDATED

1 month ago

DURATION

6 Days/5 Nights

SEASON

July - March

RATES

USD 5,510.00 per person

EXPIRES

Dec 31, 2019
Ocean Spray - Southern Galapagos Islands Cruise
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DESCRIPTION

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The 6-day Ocean Spray Southern Galapagos Islands Cruise visits five Galapagos Islands, embarking in Baltra, stopping by Santa Fe, heading south to Espanola, San Cristobal and Floreana, then returning north for a final visit to Santa Cruz Island.

Highlights include visiting Santa Fe Island, the only place to find opuntia cactus; and spotting endemic species such as waved albatross, marine iguanas, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds and Darwin finches on the southernmost island of Espanola, estimated to be the oldest Galapagos Island. Play in the waves of Gardner Bay alongside sea lions then cruise to San Cristobal and visit Pitt Point, Witch Hill, Lobos Island and Kicker Rock. Send a letter home at Post Office Bay. Dip beneath the surface in Black Turtle Cove to snorkel with black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, golden cownose rays, spotted eagle rays and the occasional hammerhead shark.

The 16-guest Ocean Spray is your home base and features top bilingual naturalist guides, luxury accommodations, snorkeling opportunities, kayaks on board and the assurance that your carbon emissions will be offset by this eco-friendly operation. The southern islands visited are the older of the Galapagos islands, with more lush and vegetated landscapes and white-sand beaches.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Rates from $5510 per person.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Thu - Embark Baltra & Santa Fe
Baltra Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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Arrive at Baltra Island in the morning. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met by Ocean Spray staff and transferred to the yacht. Take some time to settle into your cabin before lunch and a welcome briefing. In the afternoon, visit Santa Fe Island, home to the unique Santa Fe land iguana and 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. Large numbers of sea lions can be found on the landing beach and Galapagos hawks can also sometimes be seen.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Ocean Spray

MEALS: lunch and dinner

Day 2: Fri - Suarez Point & Gardner Bay (Espanola)
Espanola Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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Today's visit to Espanola Island places you on the southernmost island in the Galapagos, as well as the oldest (at an estimated four million years old). Because it is so far away from the other islands, it has the most endemic species, which provides wonderful opportunities for photography of endemic bird species and awesome landscapes created by millions of years of erosion. On Suarez Point you may walk past the only waved albatross breeding site. If you are lucky you might see a young albatross take off 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 every 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.

This afternoon, visit one of the best beaches in the Galapagos at Gardner Bay. 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. The site is also where green sea turtles will come to nest their eggs between January and March.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Ocean Spray

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Sat - Interpretation Center, Lobos Island & Kicker Rock (San Cristobal)
San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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In the morning visit the Interpretation Center or Galapaguera on San Cristobal Island. The Interpretation Center was donated by the Spanish government and inaugurated by the Prince of Spain in 1998. This center focuses on the interaction between humans and the process of the "natural history laboratory," demonstrating that a harmonious relation between human beings and nature is possible. Cerro Colorado (Galapaguera) is a new visitor site in the northeast part of San Cristobal Island and can now be reached in roughly one hour by road from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. On the trees and shrubs surrounding the site, you may see land birds like warbler, finches and mockingbirds, and on the trails, giant tortoises. They live there wild but in a protected area to assure their survival by sealing them off from introduced predators, like pigs and goats.

In the afternoon, visit Lobos Island, an islet about an hour away from San Cristobal. Blue-footed boobies nest here seasonally, and in recent years frigatebirds have begun to nest here as well. Sea lions are abundant, as are marine iguanas. It is a very calm and tranquil site with beautiful views of Kicker Rock off in the distance. León Dormido in Spanish, Kicker Rock is a huge structure formed of two eroded volcanic cones that tower over the sea at about 104 meters in the middle of the open water. It is one of the most well-known landmarks in Galapagos with many popular sea birds surrounding the area. It is also perhaps one of the best sites in the Galapagos to see incredible underwater life. Here snorkeling is possible.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Ocean Spray

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Sun - Pitt Point & Witch Hill (San Cristobal)
San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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This morning, explore Pitt Point on San Cristobal on the easternmost side of the Galapagos Islands. It is also one of the only places that red-footed boobies, blue-footed boobies and Nazca's can be found all at the same place. The visitor site with formations of old volcanic rock is profoundly unique and the hike to the top of the site provides incredible views of the surrounding area. Later, visit Witch Hill and a popular beach with powdery white sand and turquiose waters that are a joy to swim and snorkel in. Spot tropical fish beneath the surface and occasional sea lions may stop by to swim with you or you'll find them snoozing on the shore. On a dinghy ride you can explore the many crevices in the eroding rocks, leaving you awestruck by the sheer power of erosion.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Ocean Spray

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Mon - Post Office Bay, Cormorant Point & Devil's Crown (Floreana)
Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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Today, land on a beach and head to Post Office Bay where 18th century whalers once placed a wooden barrel for use as an unofficial mail box. The custom continues to this day with Galapagos visitors. So, don't forget your postcards, and don't be surprised if the post card arrives to its destination before you even get home!

This afternoon, head to Comorant Point, where two beaches can be visited and flamingoes can be seen wading through brackish lagoons looking for shrimp, food that gives them their bright and vibrant colors. One of the beaches appears green because of olivine crystal. The other is appropriately called Flour Beach for its powdery white color, made from fine pulverized coral. Later you may snorkel near Devil's Crown, where amazing volcanic structures have been submerged under the water's surface. Hundreds of different colorful fish species can be found among the coral reefs. Sharks, rays, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and sea lions are also common visitors. This is an underwater spectacle that cannot be missed.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Ocean Spray

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: Tue - Black Turtle Cove (Santa Cruz) & Disembark Baltra
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
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This morning's point of interest is only accessible by boat with a guide: Black Turtle Cove on the north side of Santa Cruz Island is a shallow inlet surrounded by mangroves that provide natural protection for a variety of marine life and attracts the vulnerable juveniles of many species. Below the surface of the water, you can see both black-tip and white-tip reef sharks, sea turtles, golden cow-nose rays, spotted eagle rays and an occasional hammerhead shark. Watch pelicans and boobies hunt here, diving gracefully into the water.

After a morning dinghy ride here you'll be transferred to Baltra Island's airport in time to catch your flight back to the mainland.

ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a

MEALS: breakfast

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • All shore excursions; all meals throughout the cruise; soft drinks and juices; welcome courtesy and champagne reception; Galapagos National Park certified guide; use of snorkeling gear, wetsuits and kayaks.

NOTES

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Shorter and longer options are also available; contact AdventureSmith for more details and pricing.

Itinerary Notes: Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the captain's discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Activities: Snorkeling gear and wetsuits are available for use aboard Ocean Spray, as are kayaks for further exploring the Galapagos Islands up close, off ship. Daily excursions with naturalist guides include hikes to view points and on beaches.


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