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Galapagos Aboard the Islander (7 Day)

7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

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Day 1: Guayaquil, Ecuador
Arrive in Guayaquil, a vibrant coastal city with a lively waterfront malecon along the Rio Guayas. Spend the night at the Hotel del Parque, an elegantly restored 19th-century boutique inn surrounded by tropical gardens, before flying to the islands tomorrow.
Day 2: Guayaquil / Baltra, Galapagos / Embark Ship
Fly this morning to the Galapagos island of Baltra and transfer to the pier on arrival to board the National Geographic Islander. Once you're settled in, Islander sets sail straightaway for a week of adventure. Crossings between islands generally take place at night to maximize time for exploration during the day. Look forward to waking each morning to fresh vistas and daily discoveries.
Days 3–6: Cruising the Galapagos Islands
Each day, a new island awaits, with flexibility a hallmark of Lindblad's expedition style. Below is a sampler of the islands we may visit. In each location, enjoy personal encounters with the fascinating animals of the Galapagos, which are perfectly comfortable with humans and won’t run away in fear. Choose among multiple modes of exploration each day: Take a guided hike with the ship's naturalists. Swim with tropical fish, sea turtles and penguins on daily snorkeling excursions—sometimes twice a day—that showcase the rich marine life of the Galapagos. Paddle a single or tandem kayak for water-level investigation of the scenic coastline. Step onto a stand-up paddleboard for meditative exploration of quiet bays. Hop onto a Zodiac to cruise along rocky shores dotted with blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and bright orange Sally lightfoot crabs—an ideal excursion for photography, illuminated with a naturalist’s narration.
Your itinerary will include a selection of these islands:
North Seymour
Encounter plentiful sea lions, nesting frigatebirds, plus land and marine iguanas, and enjoy a striking views on a coastal walk.
Santa Cruz
Call at Puerto Ayora, the largest town and headquarters of both the Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station, which operate in partnership. At Darwin Station, learn about the efforts of scientists, guides, rangers and park managers to preserve the unique features of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Galapagos. At the tortoise-rearing facility, see tiny babies bred to help increase the depleted tortoise population, a central part of the station's conservation mission. To date, more than 5,000 tortoises have been returned to the wild in Galapagos through the program. Santa Cruz is also home to wild Galapagos tortoises, the islands' namesake, which dwell in the misty scalesia forests of the highlands.
Isabela, largest of the Galapagos islands, was created when six volcanoes flowed together. Today, its shape resembles a seahorse. In addition to kayaking and deep-water snorkeling, a small black sand beach offers excellent swimming, and varied choices for walks and hikes ashore reveal Isabela's intriguing features, including an iguana colony and a chance to cross the equator at Ecuador Volcano, the northernmost of Isabela’s six great shield volcanoes. Keep an eye out for whales and dolphins as we ply these waters rich in marine life, which were once the haunt of whalers and pirates.
The youngest and most active volcano in the Galapagos, Fernandina is one of the most pristine tropical islands left on Earth. Hike over relatively recent lava flows among hundreds of placid marine iguanas (the largest in the Galapagos), flightless cormorants, and bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs that speckle the black lava rocks. Galapagos hawks soar overhead while sea lions loll on the sun-baked lava.
San Cristobal
Search for red-footed boobies and the endemic mockingbird and lava lizard—found only on this easternmost island. Explore Baquerizo Moreno, where sea lions thrive in the middle of town.
Española is one of the most prolific wildlife sites in the Galapagos. Hike to Punta Suarez, the seasonal home of the world's only population of waved albatross. The island's endemic red-and-green marine iguanas are also found only here, Española is also home to Darwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves, Nazca boobies, and the famous blue-footed boobies. A huge colony of sea lions lazes on the beach at Gardner Bay, covering the long stretch of fine powdery white sand. Snorkeling in the bay is generally excellent, too.
One of the few Galapagos islands inhabited by humans, Floreana has a rich cultural history filled with intrigue, including tales of pirates who once hid out here. A post office established by British whalers in 1793 is still a means for travelers to leave mail in the barrel for personal delivery via visitors passing through. Snorkel among sea lions and schools of tropical fish in the clear waters off Champion Islet, where we may also find flamingos, pintail ducks and various shorebirds. Hike to a pristine white sand beach, a favorite nesting site for sea turtles.
Day 7: Baltra—Disembark / Guyaquil / Depart
Return to Baltra where we disembark the Islander. Board your return flight to Guayaquil and transfer to day rooms at the Hotel del Parque before departing flights this evening—or continue to Quito for an optional two-night extension. You may also choose to spend the night in Guayquil and fly home on Day 8 at no additional cost. Inquire with your Adventure Specialist for details.
All This Included
Like a floating safari camp, this deluxe expedition ship is your base for a thrilling "360-degree" in-depth encounter with the Galapagos and its prolific wildlife. Every day holds a full slate of exhilarating activities that get you wholly into nature and face to face with the menagerie of creatures that make these islands so captivating. Look for sea turtles, swimming penguins and schools of tropical fish as you explore the undersea realm on daily snorkeling adventures. Hiking, kayakingand Zodiac excursions offer additional perspectives on the archipelago's multitude of natural wonders. An underwater camera and video microscope reveal secrets of the world beneath the waves. At every turn, you're accompanied by the Islander's cast of resident experts, including an expedition leader, naturalist guides, an undersea specialist, a National Geographic-certified photography instructor and a wellness specialist.
  • Accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Excursions
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, naturalist staff, expert guides and a ship’s doctor
  • Use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wet suits
  • Port charges and service taxes, bar tab excluding some premium brands of alcohol
  • One hour of wireless internet per day
  • An Immersive Adventure: Discover the varied landscapes and habitats of the Galapagos on an in-depth voyage through the islands, featuring multiple modes of exploration on land and sea
  • Outstanding Amenities: Savor intimate access to secluded natural areas while enjoying amenities like a large lounge, elegant dining room and fully stocked bar
  • 50+ Years in the Galapagos: Benefit from Lindblad's 50-plus years of experience in the Galapagos, with local knowledge that ensures expert itinerary design featuring a diverse range of highlights
Cruising: Cabin onboard National Geographic Islander
  • Group Size: National Geographic Islander: Approximately 48 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Air transportation; personal items such as alcoholic beverages (except those noted above), laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; discretionary tips to ship’s crew; optional travel and/or medical evacuation insurance.
  • Since the areas we travel to are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we strongly recommend that all guests have, at minimum, medical evacuation insurance for this program. While this is not required, we make this strong suggestion in the interest of our guests' safety. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage.
  • Physical Requirements: Easy to Moderate. This Galapagos expedition cruise features a packed itinerary, with early mornings and long days filled with varied activities including island walks, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding. Trails are often rough and uneven, traversing sharp lava fields and loose rocks and gravel. It is sometimes necessary to walk over slippery rocks when making a Zodiac landing to come ashore. Guests must be able to walk a a minimum of two miles to participate in this trip, as well as walk up and down stairs and be able to get in and out of the motorized pangas (rigid inflatable rafts), which can be very unsteady in rough water. A few wet landings, where we disembark from the panga directly into shallow water and walk up onto the beach, are required. Snorkeling is a big component of this trip, with excursions offered nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. While no snorkeling experience is required, prior practice is recommended, and travelers should be comfortable swimming in moderate currents, near shore and in deep water. Our Expedition Leaders will also offer guidance for those in need of additional snorkeling instruction. Travelers are not required to participate in every activity.
  • Please note the first day of the itinerary is when you depart from your home and arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador. You can depart for home anytime on the last day of the trip from Guayaquil. 
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.