Situated 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands offer a unique
interaction with nature and their name is synonymous with the celebration of the diversity of species on Earth. During the 7 night itinerary and also during our shorter 5 night cruise option, the expedition vessel M.V Eclipse offers a truly memorable experience combining unique features such as al fresco dining with an unrivalled itinerary guided by enthusiastic naturalist guides. The M.V. Eclipse has 24 spacious
fully air-conditioned staterooms. Every cabin boasts either picture windows or large portholes, providing a view of the waters surrounding you. The M.V. Eclipse accommodates 48 passengers – just half the number usually found on a ship this size. It is unique in offering the generous cabins of a larger vessel, whilst preserving the atmosphere and exclusivity of a smaller yacht. Features include a library, a boutique, a lounge and an infirmary, with a doctor on board at all times. One of the most popular areas on board is the observation/sun deck, ideal for stargazing, whale watching, or simply lazing in the Jacuzzi. The 7 and 5 night itineraries are designed to showcase the very best of the islands including the most iconic sites. The majority of the trip is spent within the protected areas of the Galapagos National Park, allowing guests maximum interaction with the extraordinary flora and fauna. From albatross to tortoises, pelicans to iguanas, cormorants, sea lions, turtles, flamingos, sharks and whales, there is jaw-dropping wildlife in action at every turn.
North Seymour is a perfect introduction to the Galapagos Islands. Fauna abounds and you will soon find yourself surrounded by frigates and blue footed boobies. Keep an eye out for land iguanas and sea lions too!
8:00am Dry landing and excursion at South Plaza Island
3:00pm Wet landing and excursion at Santa Fe Island
4:30pm Swimming and snorkeling from the beach
South Plaza Island, although quite small, is actually home to a large Opuntia cacti forest, land iguanas and one of the largest sea lion colonies in the central region of the archipelago. An endemic plant, Sesuvium, inhabits this island and is a great climate indicator as its color is a greenish-yellowish during the rainy season and a bright red during the dry season. You will also be able to see Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, and other kinds of sea birds as well as different types of finches.
Santa Fe was formed by uplifting, rather than by a volcano. Some of the island’s endemic species include the Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Snake, rice rats, different types of finches, and the
Galapagos Mockingbird. The visit includes a hike on a trail past salt bushes where Galapagos hawks as well as the Santa Fe land iguanas tend to roam. Playful sea lions may accompany you during your snorkeling activities.
8:00am Wet landing and excursion at Punta Pitt, San Cristobal Island Snorkeling, kayaking and panga ride opportunities
3:00pm Cerro Brujo for excursion, kayaking, snorkeling & panga ride
Punta Pitt is located on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. You will hike up to a plateau where the view and landscape are so spectacular it is definitely worth the effort. Watch out for the Red Footed Boobies nesting in the cliffs. The power hike is followed by kayaking, snorkeling and panga rides opportunities.
Enjoy a fantastic landscape as well as wonderful swimming, snorkeling and panga ride experiences. Cerro Brujo’s gorgeous beach is also home to many sea lions and it’s also the first coast where Charles Darwin first stepped foot on in the Archipelago!
8:00am Dry landing and excursion on Floreana Island, visits to the Baroness’s outlook point and Post Office followed by snorkeling, kayaking or panga ride
3:00pm Snorkeling or panga ride at Champion Islet followed by an excursion to Punta Cormorant
Floreana is one of the Galapagos most famous, or shall we say, “infamous” of islands due to many strange stories regarding past settlers. There are many diverse sites to visit including Post Office Bay and the “Baroness’s Viewing Point”. Marine life also abounds in Floreana’s coastal regions making it a fantastic site for snorkeling. Flamingos also populate the island and may be seen during your visit. The Baroness’s Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in the special scenery that defines Floreana, and a great sport to learn about the mysteries of Floreana’s early settlers. In the 18th century whalers passing through the islands placed a wooden barrel on Floreana Island for use as an unofficial mail box. The tradition continues today as visitors leave addressed postcards in the barrel and sort through left mail to deliver at home. This is one of the archipelago’s most famous spots. Don’t forget to look in your logbook for your postcards! For the more adventurous guests, there is an option for a visit inside a lava tunnel. This tunnel has been kept untouched and completely natural, so please, watch your step!
A great site for bird-watching, Cormorant Point has a large lagoon where everything from Flamingos to Stilts and Pintail Ducks tend to roam. Don’t forget your binoculars! Prior to the excursions, you will also have an opportunity to participate in a magnificent snorkel at Champion Islet.
3:00pm Landing at Punta Moreno followed by panga ride
Elizabeth Bay is one of the furthest points of the Galapagos that we will visit on our cruise. We will enter a sheltered cove accessible by panga only – a wonderful mangrove ecosystem that is a refuge for sea turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies, penguins, herons and more.
Moreno Point is located just southwest of Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela Island. Observe and learn about different types of lava and pioneer plants while being surrounded by some of the most incredible scenery that Galapagos has to offer. In the tide pools green sea turtles or white-tip sharks can be spotted. Afterwards you will enjoy a panga ride along the striking rocky shores observing penguins, sea lions, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas.
8:00am Dry landing at Puerto Ayora to visit the Charles Darwin Station Afterward bus ride to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see wild giant tortoises
On your visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station you will gain insight into the huge efforts being made by scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see the famous Galapagos tortoises that are the islands’ namesake. After the visit we drive to the green highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will visit a tortoise reserve to search for giant tortoises in their natural surroundings.
8:00am Wet landing at Gardner Bay on Española Island for swimming and snorkelling from the beach or kayaking
10:00am Deep water snorkeling
3:00pm Dry landing at Punta Suarez, Española Island
7:45pm Farewell cocktail
Gardner Bay offers the chance to enjoy a wonderful white sandy beach. It is home to one of the most important colonies of sea lions, and it is also a nesting site for sea turtles. Throughout the morning there are opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.
Punta Suárez is one of the most popular and attractive sites in the Galapagos. Due to its isolation from other islands, it has a high proportion of endemic fauna. A few steps inland from the landing site, groups of Española marine iguanas bask in the sun. Further inland, Nazca and blue-footed boobies nest near the trail, Galapagos doves peck around unaware of visitors and finches go about their day to day business. The trail continues towards a blowhole, which is a fissure in the lava where water spurts high into the air like a geyser. The cracks in the cliffs are home to swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds. Further up the cliff in an area of low-lying trees you will find waved albatrosses nesting. The 15,000 to 17,000 pairs of albatrosses on Española represent almost the entire population of this species on the planet. They perform one of the most spectacular courtship rituals of the animal world.
10:00am Transfer from M.V. Eclipse to Baltra Airport
Mosquera Islet is a tiny islet, actually home to a huge population of sea lions and also home to many shorebirds. While at Mosquera, keep your eyes peeled as there are occasional reports of dolphins and orcas.