Early Sign-up Discount

$500 off per person, first 6 sign-ups on all 2020 departures

*Special offers cannot be combined with other discounts

Exploring the Eastern Islands of the Galápagos

Trip Level

The trip is rated Level 1+. Trips that are rated 1 have optional walks and little elevation gain or loss. The + indicates that this trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of this level. Our Galápagos journey is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active and enjoys regular moderate walks and hikes, but please consider the following factors when choosing this trip:

Hikes
The daily hikes are not long (up to 3 miles) but often involve uneven ground, either on dry lava, which can be quite sharp, on rocky trails with uneven surfaces, or on sandy beaches.

Shore Excursions
Trips ashore are by Zodiac. Boarding the Zodiac involves walking down a gang-plank set of stairs and stepping onto the Zodiac while both the yacht and Zodiac are moving with the roll of the seas. A crew member on the Zodiac will reach for your hand to help steady you, but it can often feel tricky, depending on the amount of ocean swell. Passengers are required to wear life jackets when traveling in the Zodiacs.

Shore landings are either “dry” (you step out of the Zodiac on to large rocks or a wooden pier) or “wet” (stepping out of the Zodiac into a foot or so of surf and wading to shore). A dry landing is occasionally tricky, especially on days when the seas are active and the rocks you step onto may be slippery. For a wet landing, you may be stepping from the Zodiac into surf that may be up to your knees or higher, so it is important that you have the agility for this. Of course, our boat staff will be on hand to assist with landings.
 
Swimming/Snorkeling
Trip members should be able to swim and ideally have previous snorkeling experience. The itinerary includes snorkeling excursions on most days and snorkeling is a major attraction for any visit to the islands. Please consult our office (and your Trip Leader on the boat) with any concerns about swimming and snorkeling in the islands. Most snorkeling is in water between 10 to 40 feet deep, but if conditions allow, we may offer open-ocean snorkeling near an off-shore reef. These open-ocean snorkels are not suitable for first-time snorkelers or weak swimmers. Your Trip Leader accompanies the group on all snorkeling excursions and the Zodiac will attempt to stay close, should anyone wish to get out of the water. We do not, however, have staff members available to individually assist snorkelers. It is incumbent on each swimmer to keep track of his or her own whereabouts. Currents in Galápagos can be strong at some sites. You should only choose to swim and snorkel in places where you are completely comfortable. To snorkel, you slide off the side of the Zodiac into the water. Getting back in the Zodiac requires climbing up a small metal ladder attached to the side of the Zodiac. The boat man will help, but it is impossible for him to pull you out of the water—you must be prepared to do most of the work under your own power.

A variety of snorkeling equipment is available on board, but if you are a serious snorkeler, we highly recommend bringing your own snorkel, mask, and possibly fins to assure a proper fit. A proper fit of your mask is critical for allowing you good vision underwater. There is no scuba diving available on our Galápagos trips (our yachts are not set up for scuba diving but there are places in Puerto Ayora where diving is available if you would like to extend your trip). Depending on your personal tolerance for cold, you may not need a wetsuit, but most trip members prefer a wetsuit. Complimentary shorty wetsuits are available on board for your use. If you easily get cold, you may prefer to bring your own full-length wetsuit. Some people like to swim in lightweight leggings or in “skins” (lycra bodysuits sold at dive shops).

Life On Board
You should understand that this is not a “large-ship cruise,” but once you have adjusted to yacht living, you will find this to be one of the most pleasant journeys imaginable. The day usually starts with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, breads, eggs, fresh juice, and coffee or tea. This is often the time when your Trip Leader gives you a briefing on the day’s schedule so you can plan your clothing and equipment. On return to the boat, there may be a chance to snorkel or swim before a multi-course lunch is served. During lunch, the yacht often transits to a new area, and in the later afternoon, you’ll make a second landing, taking the Zodiac ashore for more exploration and hikes. Visitors must depart the islands by 6:00 pm. After a cocktail on deck and a relaxing dinner, a wrap-up talk will be given by the Trip Leader. Filtered water and fruit juices are complimentary on board, and a glass of beer, wine, or a soft drink is complimentary with each meal. Additional beer, liquor, and soft drinks are available for purchase (you can run a tab and settle up at the end of the cruise).

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Other Trips You Might be Interested in: