Galapagos Cruise: Jul 06—17, 2006

aboard The Parranda

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Departs: Quito
Tour Limit: 14
Download Itinerary: PDF (222.1 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

T

Tony Nunnery

Tony Nunnery grew up in Mississippi, then moved to Texas, and graduated from Stephen F. Aust...


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giant tortoise

Giant Tortoise— Photo: Michael O’Brien

Experience the thrill of a Galapagos Islands cruise aboard one of the most comfortable ships available; visit the most important islands and view the famous wildlife, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, albatrosses, penguins, and Darwin’s finches.

Straddling the equator some six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are as captivating a place as any on the planet. Alone in the Pacific, this cluster of volcanic islands exists as a timeless and largely pristine destination, a place of iconic significance steeped in the history of Darwin, and a setting for some of the world’s most sensational wildlife spectacles. From the moment you set foot on the islands and experience sea lion pups playing at your feet, cross paths with your first marine iguana, admire the fancy footwork of the Blue-footed Booby, or examine the clues to the islands’ fiery past, you will be under the irresistible spell of the place the early Spanish called Las Encantadas, the Enchanted Islands.

The best way (the only way) to experience the Galapagos is by ship. For this exciting departure, we have reserved space aboard the 40-passenger Isabela II, one of the loveliest ships in the Galapagos. Following an itinerary that promises visits to the most important islands—Española, Fernandina, Floreana, Genovesa, Isabela, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Santiago—we will be in position to see nearly all the birds and animals for which these islands are so revered.

Isabela II

Isabela II— Photo: Ramiro Salazar

Among the diversity of seabirds occurring here are the world’s northernmost penguin, the only equatorial albatross, the strange Flightless Cormorant, and Lava and Swallow-tailed gulls. The comical and absurdly tame Blue-footed Booby is one of the most abundant birds here, while Nazca and Red-footed boobies fish the deeper waters farther offshore. Elegant Red-billed Tropicbirds are a frequent sight, and cruising between the islands yields pelagic species like Galapagos Shearwater, Galapagos Petrel, Elliot’s Storm-Petrel, and Great Frigatebirds. Outstanding among the landbirds are the famous Darwin’s finches, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos Hawk, and the Galapagos mockingbirds among others.

In addition to observation of the islands’ special birdlife, any trip here should be thought of as a complete natural history experience. Working with expert local guides, we will visit the best landing sites, walk the best trails, and snorkel in some of the richest waters, coming face to face with Waved Albatrosses, Flightless Cormorants, Galapagos Penguins, Galapagos fur seals, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, lava lizards, and a marvelous array of colorful tropical fish. Inter-island cruises aboard the Isabela II, Zodiac excursions to picturesque tropical beaches, and walks across incredible lava fields will further enhance your experiences here.

The Isabela II is among the highest quality vessels available for a Galapagos cruise. Spacious outside cabins feature private bathrooms and air-conditioning; the yacht’s three decks offer plenty of public space including a bar, library, lounge, dining room, and sun deck.

All meals and accommodations aboard a handsome small cruise ship; mild sea conditions; walking on shore excursions easy to moderate; mild weather with cool mornings and warm to hot days.