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Ishpingo Tours: Ecuador Travel and Tours
Ishpingo Tours: Ecuador Travel and Tours
Ishpingo Tours: Ecuador Travel and Tours

Millennium Catamaran

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About this Catamaran

Galapagos Cruise Itineraries:

  • 8-Day Cruise (A)
  • 6-Day Cruise (D)
  • 5-Day Cruise (E)

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The Millennium is truly one of the most beautiful yachts in the archipelago and meets the highest security standards. It comfortably accommodates 16 passengers in six large, modern double cabins with two full-size beds and two suites with matrimonial beds.

Each cabin is air conditioned with balcony, ocean view, bar, TV and private bathroom with hot water and shower. The entire vessel is fully air conditioned and features elegant social areas with stunning views, lounge, bar, large dining room, and sun deck.

Thanks to its design and quality of service, the Millennium is the perfect vessel on which to enjoy a 5 to 8-day Galapagos cruise in comfort and style.

Ishpingo Likes:
  • Elegant cabins and suites
  • Private balconies
  • Large sun deck
  • Variety of itineraries
  • Quality of service

Please contact us for last-minute promotions and discounts.

Featured Galapagos Cruises:

8-Day Cruise (A)
6-Day Cruise (D)
5-Day Cruise (E)
Deck Plan
Rates

    • DAY 1: WEDNESDAY (Baltra Island Airport, Santa Cruz Island – Dragon Hill)

      Baltra Airport

      Your Galapagos cruise begins on Baltra, a small island that is home to the archipelago’s main airport. Baltra was used as a U.S. military base in WWII and is now a base for Ecuador’s armed forces.

      Visitors may take comfort when arriving at the airport, seemingly out of place in so precious and fragile an environment, that it is the first ecological airport in the world designed to reduce impact through energy saving programs, rain water recovery systems and extensive recycling.

      There is no real chance to see the island as upon arrival you will normally be met by an English-speaking guide who will whisk you to the nearby port where the boat will be waiting to start your Galapagos cruise. Some cruises start from San Cristóbal and there a variety of options available for land based tours.

      Santa Cruz

      For many, Santa Cruz is simply a hopping off point on the way to other parts of the archipelago and a way to be connected to the modern world. A little time on the island reveals, however, that it is a destination in its own right with many interesting visitor sites and much to commend it. This island is a must by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.

      Giant-TortoiseOne of the most notable of these is the Charles Darwin Research Station, where much of the specialized conservation work and scientific research for the Galapagos are conducted. The best known of these is the captive breeding program for giant tortoises, but the station's broad brief also includes monitoring and control of invasive species, restoring populations of land iguanas and the distinctive opuntia cacti as well as publication education. The station's Van Straalen Hall Visitors Centre is part of that education programme and provides a useful introduction to the Galapagos and its physical and living environments and the issues that the archipelago faces.

      Though it houses the largest human population in the Galapagos, the small port town of Puerto Ayora is a tranquil spot in which to while away some time after enjoying time at sea on a Galapagos cruise. The large choice of hotels, bars and restaurants often comes as a surprise to visitors, as does the number of animals and birds that have made the town their home, going about their business seemingly oblivious to the human activity around them.

      The island is good for exploring the different types of vegetation that can be found in the archipelago: from the coastal arid zone populated by Palo Santo, mesquite trees, opuntia and candelabra cacti to the lush highlands where forests of scalesia are often shrouded in mist and rain. Here, trees drip atmospherically with water and beard moss while orchids, ferns and bromeliads proliferate. These varied environments give rise to the highest bird tally of any of the islands, with many rare and distinct species to be found. Birders and botanists alike will delight in the opportunities that Santa Cruz affords.


      Species List:
      • All Galapagos vegetation zones
      • Highest bird tally of any island in the archipelago at over 85 species many of which are rarities
      • Most easily accessible population of giant tortoises in the Galapagos
      • Wide array of marine life
    • DAY 2: THURSDAY (South Plaza Island, Santa Fé Island)

      South Plaza

      Puerto VillamilAlthough the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela is a relatively young 1 million years old. It was formed by the uplifted lava flows from six major shield volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cero Azul. All except Volcán Ecuador remain active, making Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The most recent eruptions were: Wolf in 1982, Cerro Azul in 1998 and Sierra Negra in 2005.

      There are a number of species endemic to Isabela including the world’s only surviving population of mangrove finch. The island's topography has allowed giant tortoises to evolve into distinct sub-species and, indeed, Volcán Alcedo is home to the largest population in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, the stately reptiles must compete for the limited foodstuffs available with a population of some 50,000 or more feral goats.

      The island's only town, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island and is the archipelago’s third largest human settlement. This sleepy little village of pastel coloured houses is situated on an attractive white sand beach. Although most Galapagos cruise boats do not stop here, it is a good starting point for land-based tours.


      IsabelaThe narrow Bolivar Channel that runs between Isabela and Fernandina Island is one of the best places to see whales such as Bryde’s whale and, reasonably frequently, Orcas or killer whales. Pods of bottle-nose dolphins can usually be relied on to put on a display for passing boats.

      The island offers many fascinating landing points. Tagus Cove was for 300 years an anchorage favoured by pirates and whalers and is now a superb spot for snorkelling. The interesting results of more volcanic activity can be found at Urbina Bay where in 1954, a strip of Isabela’s west coast rose some 16 feet leaving much marine life stranded half a mile inland when the new coastline was formed. The islets of nearby Elizabeth Bay are visited by panga as this is really the only way to explore the red, black and white mangroves, which are home to many species of birds, mammals and marine life.

      Species list:
      • Five endemic subspecies of giant tortoise
      • Highly endangered mangrove finch
      • Greater flamingo
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Galapagos flightless cormorants
      • Green sea turtles
      • Golden and spotted eagle rays
      • Bryde’s and killer whales

      Santa Fé

      Santa Fé OpuntiasThe age and isolation of Santa Fé has allowed a number of endemic animals to evolve including the Santa Fé rice rat, gecko and Barrington land iguana.

      Many of the Galapagos cruises anchor in the tranquil and idyllic turquoise waters of Barrington Bay, which is the island's only visitor site. The fine white sand beaches are home to many dozing sea lions, particularly juveniles that like nothing better than to frolic with the snorkelers exploring the bay’s varied and extensive marine life.

      There are some lovely trails up through the giant Optunia forest with many good wildlife viewing opportunities.

      Species list:
      • Galapagos sea lions – particularly playful juveniles
      • Endemic Santa Fé rice rat and land iguana
      • Galapagos hawks, doves and mockingbirds
      • Darwin’s finch
      • Cactus finch
      • Galapagos lava lizards
      • Green sea turtles
      • Spotted eagle rays
    • DAY 3: FRIDAY (San Cristóbal Island – Interpretation Center, Lobos Island)

      San Cristóbal is the most easterly island and the only island with a permanent freshwater lake, Laguna El Junco. The sleepy port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province while the island's population is the second largest in the archipelago. Geologically, San Cristóbal is also one of the oldest of the islands in the group.

      San-Cristobal-Simon-pupLess flattering to the island's reputation is the impact that human activity has had on San Cristóbal’s fragile environment over the centuries since it was first colonised. Introduced plants such as guava and blackberry have encroached on the once extensive scalesia forest, and the miconia zone is a fragment of its former glory. Domesticated animals such as goats, pigs, dogs and cats have also had a dramatic impact, leading to the significant decline and even extinction in a number of native species. A number of conservation and habitat rehabilitation programs are underway, and the Galapagos National Park Service Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a good source of information about these.

      The island rises to a height of around 900m above sea level, and it is in the misty damp of the highlands remaining miconia stands that the lake, El Junco, is to be found. Sitting in an almost perfectly round crater within a hard to distinguish volcanic caldera, the lagoon's area of 60,000 square metres is popular with many bird species including frigatebirds that turn up to have a quick rinse in the freshwater to wash the salt from their feathers. The surrounding highlands are also home to around 1,000 Chatham giant tortoises, with the best opportunities of seeing them being found at Galapaguera in the southeastern part of the island.

      At the north of the island, good opportunities for snorkelling are to be found at Cerro Brujo, a picturesque fine white sand beach that is quite possibly one of the best in the Galapagos. At Punta Pitt, a spectacular eroded volcanic cone further round the northeastern tip of the island, is the one and only opportunity to see all three of the Galapagos boobies species nesting side-by-side. This island is a great destination by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.


      Species list:
      • Galapagos pintails
      • Black-necked stilts
      • Pied-billed grebes
      • All three boobies breeding at Punta Pitt
      • Swallow-tailed gulls
      • Galapagos storm-petrels
      • Chatham giant tortoises
      • Galapagos sea lions
    • DAY 4: SATURDAY (San Cristóbal Island – Punta Pitt and Galapaguera)

      San Cristóbal is the most easterly island and the only island with a permanent freshwater lake, Laguna El Junco. The sleepy port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province while the island's population is the second largest in the archipelago. Geologically, San Cristóbal is also one of the oldest of the islands in the group.

      San-Cristobal-Simon-pupLess flattering to the island's reputation is the impact that human activity has had on San Cristóbal’s fragile environment over the centuries since it was first colonised. Introduced plants such as guava and blackberry have encroached on the once extensive scalesia forest, and the miconia zone is a fragment of its former glory. Domesticated animals such as goats, pigs, dogs and cats have also had a dramatic impact, leading to the significant decline and even extinction in a number of native species. A number of conservation and habitat rehabilitation programs are underway, and the Galapagos National Park Service Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a good source of information about these.

      The island rises to a height of around 900m above sea level, and it is in the misty damp of the highlands remaining miconia stands that the lake, El Junco, is to be found. Sitting in an almost perfectly round crater within a hard to distinguish volcanic caldera, the lagoon's area of 60,000 square metres is popular with many bird species including frigatebirds that turn up to have a quick rinse in the freshwater to wash the salt from their feathers. The surrounding highlands are also home to around 1,000 Chatham giant tortoises, with the best opportunities of seeing them being found at Galapaguera in the southeastern part of the island.

      At the north of the island, good opportunities for snorkelling are to be found at Cerro Brujo, a picturesque fine white sand beach that is quite possibly one of the best in the Galapagos. At Punta Pitt, a spectacular eroded volcanic cone further round the northeastern tip of the island, is the one and only opportunity to see all three of the Galapagos boobies species nesting side-by-side. This island is a great destination by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.


      Species list:
      • Galapagos pintails
      • Black-necked stilts
      • Pied-billed grebes
      • All three boobies breeding at Punta Pitt
      • Swallow-tailed gulls
      • Galapagos storm-petrels
      • Chatham giant tortoises
      • Galapagos sea lions
    • DAY 5: SUNDAY (San Cristóbal Island – Cerro Brujo, Kicker Rock)

      San Cristóbal is the most easterly island and the only island with a permanent freshwater lake, Laguna El Junco. The sleepy port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province while the island's population is the second largest in the archipelago. Geologically, San Cristóbal is also one of the oldest of the islands in the group.

      San-Cristobal-Simon-pupLess flattering to the island's reputation is the impact that human activity has had on San Cristóbal’s fragile environment over the centuries since it was first colonised. Introduced plants such as guava and blackberry have encroached on the once extensive scalesia forest, and the miconia zone is a fragment of its former glory. Domesticated animals such as goats, pigs, dogs and cats have also had a dramatic impact, leading to the significant decline and even extinction in a number of native species. A number of conservation and habitat rehabilitation programs are underway, and the Galapagos National Park Service Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a good source of information about these.

      The island rises to a height of around 900m above sea level, and it is in the misty damp of the highlands remaining miconia stands that the lake, El Junco, is to be found. Sitting in an almost perfectly round crater within a hard to distinguish volcanic caldera, the lagoon's area of 60,000 square metres is popular with many bird species including frigatebirds that turn up to have a quick rinse in the freshwater to wash the salt from their feathers. The surrounding highlands are also home to around 1,000 Chatham giant tortoises, with the best opportunities of seeing them being found at Galapaguera in the southeastern part of the island.

      At the north of the island, good opportunities for snorkelling are to be found at Cerro Brujo, a picturesque fine white sand beach that is quite possibly one of the best in the Galapagos. At Punta Pitt, a spectacular eroded volcanic cone further round the northeastern tip of the island, is the one and only opportunity to see all three of the Galapagos boobies species nesting side-by-side. This island is a great destination by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.


      Species list:
      • Galapagos pintails
      • Black-necked stilts
      • Pied-billed grebes
      • All three boobies breeding at Punta Pitt
      • Swallow-tailed gulls
      • Galapagos storm-petrels
      • Chatham giant tortoises
      • Galapagos sea lions
    • DAY 6: MONDAY (Española Island – Suarez Point, Gardner Bay)

      There is a history on Española of highly successful programmes to restore the population of the Hood giant tortoise rescued from the brink of extinction and the opuntia cactus on which the tortoises feed, but which were at one time lost to grazing goats.

      Española is special for a number of reasons, but it is a particularly important Galapagos cruise stop from March to December, as it plays host to nearly all of the world’s giant waved albatross population that come here to breed.

      galapagos islands sally lightfoot crabVisitors’ arrival at Punta Suárez is greeted by dozens of sea lions relaxing on the beach and the spectacularly coloured marine iguanas that bask in the sun to regain their optimum body temperature. Their reds, greens, pinks and turquoise, are perhaps only matched by the equally colourful scarlet and blue of the plentiful sally lightfoot crabs that scuttle about the rocks and pools. The trail continues amidst superb scenery to a dramatic blowhole that, depending on the tide, shoots spray some 25 metres up into the air.

      The second landing point on Española is Gardner Bay, which has one of the longest beaches in the Galapagos. The 2 kilometres of white coral sand meeting with turquoise coloured sea is an enticing place on which to relax and simply watch the local inhabitants pass by. Those drawn to the water will be rewarded by an opportunity to swim with the ever-playful juvenile sea lions.

      Species list:
      • World’s main breeding colony of waved albatross
      • Galapagos hawks, doves and warblers
      • Hood mockingbird
      • Nazca & blue-footed boobies
      • Rare large cactus finch
      • Galapagos sea lions
      • Sally lightfoot crabs
      • Uniquely coloured Hood marine iguanas
    • DAY 7: TUESDAY (Floreana Island – Cormorant Point, Post Office Bay)

      The curious group that settled on Floreana, including a nudist vegetarian with metal teeth and a self-styled baroness who named herself the Empress of Floreana, may have left an intriguing tale – their environmental impact, however, was something of a disaster. Introduced animals such as pigs, goats and donkeys, resulted in the loss of giant tortoises, land iguanas and ground finches while Galapagos hawks were hunted to extinction.

      post-officeIn 1793, at what became known as Post Office Bay, homesick British sailors placed a large wooden barrel in which they left letters in the hope that other passing seafarers would take them and deliver them once home. The system clearly worked as it remained in use for over a century. Visitors maintain the tradition today by leaving cards and letters for family and friends while also sifting, through the pile, to take a letter or two back home. Tradition also has it that the letter must be hand delivered.

      Aside from human social history, Floreana is a very popular Galapagos cruise stop and offers one of the best opportunities in the archipelago to see the striking greater flamingo. Just off Punta Cormorant lies the Devil’s Crown, a sunken volcanic cinder cone around which is to be found some of the best snorkelling in the islands.

      Species list:
      • Endemic medium tree-finch
      • Endemic Charles mockingbird
      • Greater flamingos
      • Dark-rumped petrel
      • Excellent snorkelling at Devils Crown with over 50 recorded fish species including large marbled rays, moray ells & white-tipped reef sharks
    • DAY 8: WEDNESDAY (Santa Cruz Island – Charles Darwin Research Station, Baltra Airport)

      Santa Cruz

      For many, Santa Cruz is simply a hopping off point on the way to other parts of the archipelago and a way to be connected to the modern world. A little time on the island reveals, however, that it is a destination in its own right with many interesting visitor sites and much to commend it. This island is a must by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.

      Giant-TortoiseOne of the most notable of these is the Charles Darwin Research Station, where much of the specialized conservation work and scientific research for the Galapagos are conducted. The best known of these is the captive breeding program for giant tortoises, but the station's broad brief also includes monitoring and control of invasive species, restoring populations of land iguanas and the distinctive opuntia cacti as well as publication education. The station's Van Straalen Hall Visitors Centre is part of that education programme and provides a useful introduction to the Galapagos and its physical and living environments and the issues that the archipelago faces.

      Though it houses the largest human population in the Galapagos, the small port town of Puerto Ayora is a tranquil spot in which to while away some time after enjoying time at sea on a Galapagos cruise. The large choice of hotels, bars and restaurants often comes as a surprise to visitors, as does the number of animals and birds that have made the town their home, going about their business seemingly oblivious to the human activity around them.

      The island is good for exploring the different types of vegetation that can be found in the archipelago: from the coastal arid zone populated by Palo Santo, mesquite trees, opuntia and candelabra cacti to the lush highlands where forests of scalesia are often shrouded in mist and rain. Here, trees drip atmospherically with water and beard moss while orchids, ferns and bromeliads proliferate. These varied environments give rise to the highest bird tally of any of the islands, with many rare and distinct species to be found. Birders and botanists alike will delight in the opportunities that Santa Cruz affords.


      Species List:
      • All Galapagos vegetation zones
      • Highest bird tally of any island in the archipelago at over 85 species many of which are rarities
      • Most easily accessible population of giant tortoises in the Galapagos
      • Wide array of marine life

      Baltra Airport

      Your tour ends on Baltra at the first ecological airport in the world designed to reduce impact through energy saving programs, rain water recovery systems and extensive recycling.

    • DAY 1: WEDNESDAY (Baltra Airport, Santa Cruz Island)

      Baltra Airport

      Your Galapagos cruise begins on Baltra, a small island that is home to the archipelago’s main airport. Baltra was used as a U.S. military base in WWII and is now a base for Ecuador’s armed forces.

      Visitors may take comfort when arriving at the airport, seemingly out of place in so precious and fragile an environment, that it is the first ecological airport in the world designed to reduce impact through energy saving programs, rain water recovery systems and extensive recycling.

      There is no real chance to see the island as upon arrival you will normally be met by an English-speaking guide who will whisk you to the nearby port where the boat will be waiting to start your Galapagos cruise. Some cruises start from San Cristóbal and there a variety of options available for land based tours.

      Santa Cruz

      For many, Santa Cruz is simply a hopping off point on the way to other parts of the archipelago and a way to be connected to the modern world. A little time on the island reveals, however, that it is a destination in its own right with many interesting visitor sites and much to commend it. This island is a must by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.

      Giant-TortoiseOne of the most notable of these is the Charles Darwin Research Station, where much of the specialized conservation work and scientific research for the Galapagos are conducted. The best known of these is the captive breeding program for giant tortoises, but the station's broad brief also includes monitoring and control of invasive species, restoring populations of land iguanas and the distinctive opuntia cacti as well as publication education. The station's Van Straalen Hall Visitors Centre is part of that education programme and provides a useful introduction to the Galapagos and its physical and living environments and the issues that the archipelago faces.

      Though it houses the largest human population in the Galapagos, the small port town of Puerto Ayora is a tranquil spot in which to while away some time after enjoying time at sea on a Galapagos cruise. The large choice of hotels, bars and restaurants often comes as a surprise to visitors, as does the number of animals and birds that have made the town their home, going about their business seemingly oblivious to the human activity around them.

      The island is good for exploring the different types of vegetation that can be found in the archipelago: from the coastal arid zone populated by Palo Santo, mesquite trees, opuntia and candelabra cacti to the lush highlands where forests of scalesia are often shrouded in mist and rain. Here, trees drip atmospherically with water and beard moss while orchids, ferns and bromeliads proliferate. These varied environments give rise to the highest bird tally of any of the islands, with many rare and distinct species to be found. Birders and botanists alike will delight in the opportunities that Santa Cruz affords.


      Species List:
      • All Galapagos vegetation zones
      • Highest bird tally of any island in the archipelago at over 85 species many of which are rarities
      • Most easily accessible population of giant tortoises in the Galapagos
      • Wide array of marine life
    • DAY 2: THURSDAY (Isabela Island – Sierra Negra Volcano, Las Tintoreras)

      Puerto VillamilAlthough the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela is a relatively young 1 million years old. It was formed by the uplifted lava flows from six major shield volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cero Azul. All except Volcán Ecuador remain active, making Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The most recent eruptions were: Wolf in 1982, Cerro Azul in 1998 and Sierra Negra in 2005.

      There are a number of species endemic to Isabela including the world’s only surviving population of mangrove finch. The island's topography has allowed giant tortoises to evolve into distinct sub-species and, indeed, Volcán Alcedo is home to the largest population in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, the stately reptiles must compete for the limited foodstuffs available with a population of some 50,000 or more feral goats.

      The island's only town, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island and is the archipelago’s third largest human settlement. This sleepy little village of pastel coloured houses is situated on an attractive white sand beach. Although most Galapagos cruise boats do not stop here, it is a good starting point for land-based tours.


      IsabelaThe narrow Bolivar Channel that runs between Isabela and Fernandina Island is one of the best places to see whales such as Bryde’s whale and, reasonably frequently, Orcas or killer whales. Pods of bottle-nose dolphins can usually be relied on to put on a display for passing boats.

      The island offers many fascinating landing points. Tagus Cove was for 300 years an anchorage favoured by pirates and whalers and is now a superb spot for snorkelling. The interesting results of more volcanic activity can be found at Urbina Bay where in 1954, a strip of Isabela’s west coast rose some 16 feet leaving much marine life stranded half a mile inland when the new coastline was formed. The islets of nearby Elizabeth Bay are visited by panga as this is really the only way to explore the red, black and white mangroves, which are home to many species of birds, mammals and marine life.

      Species list:
      • Five endemic subspecies of giant tortoise
      • Highly endangered mangrove finch
      • Greater flamingo
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Galapagos flightless cormorants
      • Green sea turtles
      • Golden and spotted eagle rays
      • Bryde’s and killer whales
    • DAY 3: FRIDAY (Isabela Island – Moreno Point, Fernandina Island – Mangle Point)

      Isabela

      Puerto VillamilAlthough the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela is a relatively young 1 million years old. It was formed by the uplifted lava flows from six major shield volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cero Azul. All except Volcán Ecuador remain active, making Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The most recent eruptions were: Wolf in 1982, Cerro Azul in 1998 and Sierra Negra in 2005.

      There are a number of species endemic to Isabela including the world’s only surviving population of mangrove finch. The island's topography has allowed giant tortoises to evolve into distinct sub-species and, indeed, Volcán Alcedo is home to the largest population in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, the stately reptiles must compete for the limited foodstuffs available with a population of some 50,000 or more feral goats.

      The island's only town, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island and is the archipelago’s third largest human settlement. This sleepy little village of pastel coloured houses is situated on an attractive white sand beach. Although most Galapagos cruise boats do not stop here, it is a good starting point for land-based tours.


      IsabelaThe narrow Bolivar Channel that runs between Isabela and Fernandina Island is one of the best places to see whales such as Bryde’s whale and, reasonably frequently, Orcas or killer whales. Pods of bottle-nose dolphins can usually be relied on to put on a display for passing boats.

      The island offers many fascinating landing points. Tagus Cove was for 300 years an anchorage favoured by pirates and whalers and is now a superb spot for snorkelling. The interesting results of more volcanic activity can be found at Urbina Bay where in 1954, a strip of Isabela’s west coast rose some 16 feet leaving much marine life stranded half a mile inland when the new coastline was formed. The islets of nearby Elizabeth Bay are visited by panga as this is really the only way to explore the red, black and white mangroves, which are home to many species of birds, mammals and marine life.

      Species list:
      • Five endemic subspecies of giant tortoise
      • Highly endangered mangrove finch
      • Greater flamingo
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Galapagos flightless cormorants
      • Green sea turtles
      • Golden and spotted eagle rays
      • Bryde’s and killer whales

      Fernandina

      In May 2005, a huge Volcán la Cumbre explosion sent a column of ash and water vapour some 23,000 feet into the air. The volcano has continued to erupt since April 2009.

      colorful-galapagos-marine-iguanaThe volcanic activity makes for a tough and unforgiving environment and so, in the main, wildlife tends to be confined to the coastal edges of the island. It has also meant that Fernandina is one of the most pristine environments in the Galapagos as, unlike other islands, no introduced species has ever been able to establish itself here.

      An intriguing stop on any Galapagos cruise, the landing at Punta Espinoza, formed by lava flows from the 2005 explosion, is made all the more dramatic by the almost prehistoric sight of the world's biggest colony of large marine iguanas basking on the jagged rocks as they warm up in the morning sun.

      Trails take you past various pioneer plants such as the Brachycerus or lava cactus and, whilst it might be barren, the intricate patterns found in the black lava are starkly beautiful.

      If the fine stands of white mangroves that have grown up around the tidal pools look vaguely familiar, it may be because the island has featured in numerous films, most famously perhaps Master & Commander.

      Species list:
      • Galapagos flightless cormorants
      • Galapagos hawks
      • Large billed flycatchers
      • Darwin’s finches
      • Galapagos penguins
      • World’s largest colony of marine iguanas
    • DAY 4: SATURDAY (Fernandina Island – Espinoza Point, Isabela Island – Tagus Cove)

      Fernandina

      San Cristóbal is the most easterly island and the only island with a permanent freshwater lake, Laguna El Junco. The sleepy port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province while the island's population is the second largest in the archipelago. Geologically, San Cristóbal is also one of the oldest of the islands in the group.

      San-Cristobal-Simon-pupLess flattering to the island's reputation is the impact that human activity has had on San Cristóbal’s fragile environment over the centuries since it was first colonised. Introduced plants such as guava and blackberry have encroached on the once extensive scalesia forest, and the miconia zone is a fragment of its former glory. Domesticated animals such as goats, pigs, dogs and cats have also had a dramatic impact, leading to the significant decline and even extinction in a number of native species. A number of conservation and habitat rehabilitation programs are underway, and the Galapagos National Park Service Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a good source of information about these.

      The island rises to a height of around 900m above sea level, and it is in the misty damp of the highlands remaining miconia stands that the lake, El Junco, is to be found. Sitting in an almost perfectly round crater within a hard to distinguish volcanic caldera, the lagoon's area of 60,000 square metres is popular with many bird species including frigatebirds that turn up to have a quick rinse in the freshwater to wash the salt from their feathers. The surrounding highlands are also home to around 1,000 Chatham giant tortoises, with the best opportunities of seeing them being found at Galapaguera in the southeastern part of the island.

      At the north of the island, good opportunities for snorkelling are to be found at Cerro Brujo, a picturesque fine white sand beach that is quite possibly one of the best in the Galapagos. At Punta Pitt, a spectacular eroded volcanic cone further round the northeastern tip of the island, is the one and only opportunity to see all three of the Galapagos boobies species nesting side-by-side. This island is a great destination by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.


      Species list:
      • Galapagos pintails
      • Black-necked stilts
      • Pied-billed grebes
      • All three boobies breeding at Punta Pitt
      • Swallow-tailed gulls
      • Galapagos storm-petrels
      • Chatham giant tortoises
      • Galapagos sea lions

      Isabela

      Puerto VillamilAlthough the largest island in the archipelago, Isabela is a relatively young 1 million years old. It was formed by the uplifted lava flows from six major shield volcanoes: Ecuador, Wolf, Darwin, Alcedo, Sierra Negra and Cero Azul. All except Volcán Ecuador remain active, making Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth. The most recent eruptions were: Wolf in 1982, Cerro Azul in 1998 and Sierra Negra in 2005.

      There are a number of species endemic to Isabela including the world’s only surviving population of mangrove finch. The island's topography has allowed giant tortoises to evolve into distinct sub-species and, indeed, Volcán Alcedo is home to the largest population in the Galapagos. Unfortunately, the stately reptiles must compete for the limited foodstuffs available with a population of some 50,000 or more feral goats.

      The island's only town, Puerto Villamil, is located at the southeastern tip of the island and is the archipelago’s third largest human settlement. This sleepy little village of pastel coloured houses is situated on an attractive white sand beach. Although most Galapagos cruise boats do not stop here, it is a good starting point for land-based tours.


      IsabelaThe narrow Bolivar Channel that runs between Isabela and Fernandina Island is one of the best places to see whales such as Bryde’s whale and, reasonably frequently, Orcas or killer whales. Pods of bottle-nose dolphins can usually be relied on to put on a display for passing boats.

      The island offers many fascinating landing points. Tagus Cove was for 300 years an anchorage favoured by pirates and whalers and is now a superb spot for snorkelling. The interesting results of more volcanic activity can be found at Urbina Bay where in 1954, a strip of Isabela’s west coast rose some 16 feet leaving much marine life stranded half a mile inland when the new coastline was formed. The islets of nearby Elizabeth Bay are visited by panga as this is really the only way to explore the red, black and white mangroves, which are home to many species of birds, mammals and marine life.

      Species list:
      • Five endemic subspecies of giant tortoise
      • Highly endangered mangrove finch
      • Greater flamingo
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Galapagos flightless cormorants
      • Green sea turtles
      • Golden and spotted eagle rays
      • Bryde’s and killer whales
    • DAY 5: SUNDAY (Santiago Island – Egas Point, Chinese Hat)

      The largely arid Isla San Salvador, more commonly known by its old Spanish name of Santiago, was once an important hideout for 17th and 18th century English buccaneers who would re-provision their ships with water, firewood and, regrettably to our modern eyes, tortoises which were taken on board for food.

      The island has suffered by the introduction of non-endemic species such as pigs, goats, donkeys and black rats and these now feral populations have had a serious impact on the natural, endemic flora and fauna. Eradication programs that began in the 1970’s have had some success – particularly with goats and pigs, but this was too late for land iguanas, which are no longer found on Santiago.

      The most popular visitor destinations whether by Galapagos cruise or by land are the old pirate bases of Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Eagas: interesting for its black sand beach and the picturesque lava tubes that Galapagos sea lions and fur seals squabble over in the search for the perfect basking spot.

      Bahía Sullivan sits on the edge of a large, rather desolate yet fascinating lava flow. Intricate patterns have formed in the pahoehoe lava, and the moulds of trees vaporised by the heat can be seen in the flow, some of which was formed as recently as 1900.

      Playa Espumilla, by contrast, is a stretch of golden sand that is frequented by nesting green sea turtles, waders and many Galapagos sea lions. Snorkelling is good in the clear water, particularly around the collapsed lava tubes at Puerto Egas, with a wide variety of tropical fish to be seen together with moray eels, shark and octopus.



      Species list:

      • Galapagos fur seals and sea lions
      • Large marine iguanas
      • American oystercatchers
      • Lava herons
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Darwin’s finches
      • Galapagos hawks
      • Galapagos lava lizards
      • Nesting green sea turtles
      • Sally lightfoot crabs
    • DAY 6: MONDAY (Santa Cruz Island, Baltra Airport)

      Santa Cruz

      For many, Santa Cruz is simply a hopping off point on the way to other parts of the archipelago and a way to be connected to the modern world. A little time on the island reveals, however, that it is a destination in its own right with many interesting visitor sites and much to commend it. This island is a must by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.

      Giant-TortoiseOne of the most notable of these is the Charles Darwin Research Station, where much of the specialized conservation work and scientific research for the Galapagos are conducted. The best known of these is the captive breeding program for giant tortoises, but the station's broad brief also includes monitoring and control of invasive species, restoring populations of land iguanas and the distinctive opuntia cacti as well as publication education. The station's Van Straalen Hall Visitors Centre is part of that education programme and provides a useful introduction to the Galapagos and its physical and living environments and the issues that the archipelago faces.

      Though it houses the largest human population in the Galapagos, the small port town of Puerto Ayora is a tranquil spot in which to while away some time after enjoying time at sea on a Galapagos cruise. The large choice of hotels, bars and restaurants often comes as a surprise to visitors, as does the number of animals and birds that have made the town their home, going about their business seemingly oblivious to the human activity around them.

      The island is good for exploring the different types of vegetation that can be found in the archipelago: from the coastal arid zone populated by Palo Santo, mesquite trees, opuntia and candelabra cacti to the lush highlands where forests of scalesia are often shrouded in mist and rain. Here, trees drip atmospherically with water and beard moss while orchids, ferns and bromeliads proliferate. These varied environments give rise to the highest bird tally of any of the islands, with many rare and distinct species to be found. Birders and botanists alike will delight in the opportunities that Santa Cruz affords.


      Species List:
      • All Galapagos vegetation zones
      • Highest bird tally of any island in the archipelago at over 85 species many of which are rarities
      • Most easily accessible population of giant tortoises in the Galapagos
      • Wide array of marine life

      Baltra Airport

      Your tour ends on Baltra at the first ecological airport in the world designed to reduce impact through energy saving programs, rain water recovery systems and extensive recycling.

    • DAY 1: MONDAY (Baltra Airport, North Seymour Island)

      Baltra Airport

      Your Galapagos cruise begins on Baltra, a small island that is home to the archipelago’s main airport. Baltra was used as a U.S. military base in WWII and is now a base for Ecuador’s armed forces.

      Visitors may take comfort when arriving at the airport, seemingly out of place in so precious and fragile an environment, that it is the first ecological airport in the world designed to reduce impact through energy saving programs, rain water recovery systems and extensive recycling.

      There is no real chance to see the island as upon arrival you will normally be met by an English-speaking guide who will whisk you to the nearby port where the boat will be waiting to start your Galapagos cruise. Some cruises start from San Cristóbal and there a variety of options available for land based tours.

      North Seymour

      North-Seymour-Sea-LionSeparated from Baltra by a short, narrow channel, North Seymour is an uplifted lava flow that has formed a plateau of only 1.9 square kilometres. Though small, the island offers a good introduction to the unique plants and animals that can be found on the archipelago. It is here on your Galapagos cruise that you might first witness the piratical behaviour of the frigate birds: dive-bombing and harassing other birds into dropping food or nest building materials before swooping and snatching up the booty in their own beaks.

      An interesting circular trail takes you through the low, bushy vegetation so suited to the island's desert-like climate. Endemic plants such as the dwarf Palo Santo and the strikingly shaped opuntias form the backdrop to the constant cycle of mating, nesting and chick rearing. Endearingly comic blue-footed boobies are never more than an arms length away.

      Species list:
      • Galapagos sea lions
      • Red-billed tropic birds
      • Nazca & blue-footed boobies
      • Lava gulls
      • Galapagos pinnipeds
      • Audubon’s shearwaters
      • Galapagos land iguanas
    • DAY 2: TUESDAY (Bartolomé Island, Santiago Island – Sullivan Bay)

      Bartolomé

      Bartolomé, a favourite stop on any Galapagos cruise passing through this part of the archipelago, is formed by two cinder cones joined by an idyllic, lush green isthmus fringed by storybook-like golden beaches. It is around here that most of the wildlife is to be found, the rest of the island being too harsh an environment for all but the most pioneering and hardy of species.

      The impressive panoramic vista of the surrounding bays and islands is probably one of the best in the Galapagos and makes the 114m climb to the summit of the island well worth the effort. Bartolome Pinacle RockThe top is reached via a wooden boardwalk designed to protect the fragile lava from the feet of enthusiastic visitors. The surreal, Mars-like landscape of lava tunnels and spatter cones is broken only by early colonisers such as matplants, lava cacti and the lava lizards that dart over the red-brown surface of the volcano.

      Back down at sea level, good visibility means that excellent snorkelling is to be found in the two bays while a gentle panga ride around the foot of the rocks often affords great opportunities to watch the endearing behaviour of the world’s only tropical penguin – the Galapagos penguin.

      Species list:
      • Galapagos penguin
      • Galapagos lava lizard
      • Galapagos sea lions
      • Nesting green sea turtles

      Santiago

      The largely arid Isla San Salvador, more commonly known by its old Spanish name of Santiago, was once an important hideout for 17th and 18th century English buccaneers who would re-provision their ships with water, firewood and, regrettably to our modern eyes, tortoises which were taken on board for food.

      The island has suffered by the introduction of non-endemic species such as pigs, goats, donkeys and black rats and these now feral populations have had a serious impact on the natural, endemic flora and fauna. Eradication programs that began in the 1970’s have had some success – particularly with goats and pigs, but this was too late for land iguanas, which are no longer found on Santiago.

      The most popular visitor destinations whether by Galapagos cruise or by land are the old pirate bases of Buccaneer Cove and Puerto Eagas: interesting for its black sand beach and the picturesque lava tubes that Galapagos sea lions and fur seals squabble over in the search for the perfect basking spot.

      Bahía Sullivan sits on the edge of a large, rather desolate yet fascinating lava flow. Intricate patterns have formed in the pahoehoe lava, and the moulds of trees vaporised by the heat can be seen in the flow, some of which was formed as recently as 1900.

      Playa Espumilla, by contrast, is a stretch of golden sand that is frequented by nesting green sea turtles, waders and many Galapagos sea lions. Snorkelling is good in the clear water, particularly around the collapsed lava tubes at Puerto Egas, with a wide variety of tropical fish to be seen together with moray eels, shark and octopus.



      Species list:

      • Galapagos fur seals and sea lions
      • Large marine iguanas
      • American oystercatchers
      • Lava herons
      • Galapagos penguins
      • Darwin’s finches
      • Galapagos hawks
      • Galapagos lava lizards
      • Nesting green sea turtles
      • Sally lightfoot crabs
    • DAY 3: WEDNESDAY (Santa Cruz Island – Bachas Beach, Dragon Hill)

      For many, Santa Cruz is simply a hopping off point on the way to other parts of the archipelago and a way to be connected to the modern world. A little time on the island reveals, however, that it is a destination in its own right with many interesting visitor sites and much to commend it. This island is a must by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.

      Giant-TortoiseOne of the most notable of these is the Charles Darwin Research Station, where much of the specialized conservation work and scientific research for the Galapagos are conducted. The best known of these is the captive breeding program for giant tortoises, but the station's broad brief also includes monitoring and control of invasive species, restoring populations of land iguanas and the distinctive opuntia cacti as well as publication education. The station's Van Straalen Hall Visitors Centre is part of that education programme and provides a useful introduction to the Galapagos and its physical and living environments and the issues that the archipelago faces.

      Though it houses the largest human population in the Galapagos, the small port town of Puerto Ayora is a tranquil spot in which to while away some time after enjoying time at sea on a Galapagos cruise. The large choice of hotels, bars and restaurants often comes as a surprise to visitors, as does the number of animals and birds that have made the town their home, going about their business seemingly oblivious to the human activity around them.

      The island is good for exploring the different types of vegetation that can be found in the archipelago: from the coastal arid zone populated by Palo Santo, mesquite trees, opuntia and candelabra cacti to the lush highlands where forests of scalesia are often shrouded in mist and rain. Here, trees drip atmospherically with water and beard moss while orchids, ferns and bromeliads proliferate. These varied environments give rise to the highest bird tally of any of the islands, with many rare and distinct species to be found. Birders and botanists alike will delight in the opportunities that Santa Cruz affords.


      Species List:
      • All Galapagos vegetation zones
      • Highest bird tally of any island in the archipelago at over 85 species many of which are rarities
      • Most easily accessible population of giant tortoises in the Galapagos
      • Wide array of marine life
    • DAY 4: THURSDAY (South Plaza Island, Santa Fé Island)

      South Plaza

      Many of the Galapagos cruises drop anchor in the narrow channel that runs between North and South Plaza, usually close enough to the cliffs of North Plaza to allow for views of the busy seabird activity there. South Plaza is reached by a short panga ride to the island's flat northern edge where sea lions take command of the landing jetty.Land Iguana A large population of land iguanas roam over the confined space feeding on the carpets of succulent sesuvium and the distinctive opuntias that are abundant on the island.

      The 25m-high cliffs that rise on the southern edge of the island offer an excellent vantage point from which to watch the great variety of seabirds that take full advantage of the abundant nesting sites afforded by the lava’s many crevices and ledges. Eye level aerobatic displays by piratical magnificent frigate birds, Audubon’s shearwaters and red-billed tropicbirds at times seem too close for comfort. This island is a special treat available on various Galapagos cruises.


      Species list:
      • Large colonies of both Galapagos land iguanas and Galapagos sea lions
      • Marine iguanas and land-marine iguana hybrids
      • Magnificent frigate birds
      • Red-billed tropicbirds
      • Nazca and blue-footed boobies
      • Swallow-tailed gulls

      Santa Fé

      Santa Fé OpuntiasThe age and isolation of Santa Fé has allowed a number of endemic animals to evolve including the Santa Fé rice rat, gecko and Barrington land iguana.

      Many of the Galapagos cruises anchor in the tranquil and idyllic turquoise waters of Barrington Bay, which is the island's only visitor site. The fine white sand beaches are home to many dozing sea lions, particularly juveniles that like nothing better than to frolic with the snorkelers exploring the bay’s varied and extensive marine life.

      There are some lovely trails up through the giant Optunia forest with many good wildlife viewing opportunities.

      Species list:
      • Galapagos sea lions – particularly playful juveniles
      • Endemic Santa Fé rice rat and land iguana
      • Galapagos hawks, doves and mockingbirds
      • Darwin’s finch
      • Cactus finch
      • Galapagos lava lizards
      • Green sea turtles
      • Spotted eagle rays
    • DAY 5: FRIDAY (San Cristóbal Island – Interpretation Center, San Cristóbal Airport)

      San Cristóbal

      San Cristóbal is the most easterly island and the only island with a permanent freshwater lake, Laguna El Junco. The sleepy port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province while the island's population is the second largest in the archipelago. Geologically, San Cristóbal is also one of the oldest of the islands in the group.

      San-Cristobal-Simon-pupLess flattering to the island's reputation is the impact that human activity has had on San Cristóbal’s fragile environment over the centuries since it was first colonised. Introduced plants such as guava and blackberry have encroached on the once extensive scalesia forest, and the miconia zone is a fragment of its former glory. Domesticated animals such as goats, pigs, dogs and cats have also had a dramatic impact, leading to the significant decline and even extinction in a number of native species. A number of conservation and habitat rehabilitation programs are underway, and the Galapagos National Park Service Interpretation Centre at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a good source of information about these.

      The island rises to a height of around 900m above sea level, and it is in the misty damp of the highlands remaining miconia stands that the lake, El Junco, is to be found. Sitting in an almost perfectly round crater within a hard to distinguish volcanic caldera, the lagoon's area of 60,000 square metres is popular with many bird species including frigatebirds that turn up to have a quick rinse in the freshwater to wash the salt from their feathers. The surrounding highlands are also home to around 1,000 Chatham giant tortoises, with the best opportunities of seeing them being found at Galapaguera in the southeastern part of the island.

      At the north of the island, good opportunities for snorkelling are to be found at Cerro Brujo, a picturesque fine white sand beach that is quite possibly one of the best in the Galapagos. At Punta Pitt, a spectacular eroded volcanic cone further round the northeastern tip of the island, is the one and only opportunity to see all three of the Galapagos boobies species nesting side-by-side. This island is a great destination by either Galapagos cruise or by land tour.


      Species list:
      • Galapagos pintails
      • Black-necked stilts
      • Pied-billed grebes
      • All three boobies breeding at Punta Pitt
      • Swallow-tailed gulls
      • Galapagos storm-petrels
      • Chatham giant tortoises
      • Galapagos sea lions

      San Cristóbal Airport

      The tour concludes on San Cristóbal Island. The aiport is located in the capital of the Galapagos province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

  • Millennium Deck Plan

    Deck-plan-Millennium_lo res

  • For up-to-the-minute rates & special promotions, please contact us.

    All rates will be quoted per person based on double occupancy.
    Single supplement: 50%
    Discount for children under 12 years of age: 33%

    Rates for this catamaran include:

    • Accommodation in double cabins or suites with private balcony, private bathroom, hot water and air conditioning
    • Naturalist, Galapagos National Park certified bilingual guide (English – Spanish)
    • Meals on board
    • Coffee, tea, water
    • Use of snorkelling gear

    Rates do not include:

    • Round trip airfare to/from Galapagos (we issue tickets)
    • Galapagos National Park entrance fee for non-residents: $100
    • INGALA transit control card: $20
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Bottled beverages
    • Use of wet suits (available for rent on board)
    • Tips
    • Personal expenses

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