What could be better than stepping around with dozens of sea birds, and those humble marine iguanas having prehistoric looks? Galapagos yacht cruise simply takes you to the world of imagination, the fantasy of following the Charles Darwin’s footprints and his renowned theory about the wonders of Mother Nature.
The experience of the cruise can’t be put into words and is beyond once imagination. To live in an 8-day Galapagos cruise is one hell of an adventure which no one will regret for sure.
Packages ‘Rutahsa Adventures’ Provides
There are a number of reasonable packages which Rutahsa Adventures is providing in order to book eight day/seven night cruise for Galapagos Islands. Rutahsa Adventures uses captivating long journey yachts Cachalote I, Beluga, and Angelito. Furthermore, they book, the beagle, Sea Cloud, Diamante Sagitta, and Samba yachts, which are provided by Andando Tours.
The cost of the cruise as well as that of the airfare from the initial main land differs according to the seasonal demands. The two months of May to June and from September to October comes under the ‘low season’. For instance, the low season of 2005, issued rates on the Cachalote I and Beluga were $1619 and $2259 respectively ($2179 for cabins 6 & 7) per person.
Similarly, in case of 2005 high season, (i.e. except the months of May, June, September and October) the Cachalote I and Beluga rates were $1799 and $2510 ($2420 for cabins 6 and 7) per person. Hence, Rutahsa Adventures are providing 10 percent discount for the booking of the cruise.
Air fares from the source, i.e. Ecuador to the destination Galapagos vary with low and high seasons. So, the finest thing would be to enquire for a price quote for the dates, specifically one wish to take a tour.
The Complete Cruise Packages
As mentioned before, the complete cruise packages generally consist of.
- Eight day/ seven night cruise on the yacht
- Provided with the airfare from the mainland to the destination, i.e. Galapagos Islands
- The complete meals
- Visit to the bilingual national park naturalist-guide, including the services
- Lodging for the whole two nights in Guayaquil or Quito
- Depending on the yacht selected for the trip, season, and port of entry into either Quito or Guayaquil.
Prices that are not considered and included in the package are:
- The bar services in the cruise
- US-Ecuador-US meals in Quito or Guayaquil
- Tax of $25 (Ecuador exit tax)
- Entry ticket for Galapagos National Park ($100)
- And tips provided for the guide and yacht squad.
Tourist with finite time
There are some short term travelers too, for them; there is a complete package of five days-four nights cruises. Although if one wants to get the full entertainment out of the cruise trip as well as to value the wonders of the Galapagos Island to the fullest, a week long cruise is highly recommended, but for limited time travelers, the five day packages are always welcomed.
Illustration of Galápagos Islands cruise journey
Presented below is the sample of the Galapagos Islands cruise journey for the complete eight days. (The real itinerary for the Cachalote I, 2003)
The fun filled journey starts from a flight from Quito to Baltra Island, i.e. Galapagos Islands; Cachalote and I were boarded. What could be greater on the first day than the introductory trip about Galapagos birds, sea lions and marine/wildlife supervised under the authorities of Galapagos National Park? The birds which are worth seeing in this park are Lava gulls, finches, boobies, frigate birds, whimbrel and other such as unique birds.
The second day is more of an adventurous one which starts with the stay at the Santa Cruz Island, which is one of the main shield volcanos. The next destination is the famous ‘Charles Darwin Research Station’, there one can enjoy watching the imprisoned tortoise and iguana breeding programs especially arranged for the cruise travelers. Furthermore, there is a nice opportunity to do a little memento shopping before getting the bus into the upper lands to experience the totally dissimilar climatic zone with thick tropical vegetation and birds that are not present in any other coast zone. The high islands as well consist of the beautifully unique Galapagos tortoises.
The third day is all filled with the birding highlights of the trip which includes the eminent seabird rookeries (a colony of breeding animals, mostly birds) of Punta Suarez on Espanola Island, and the wavy albatrosses come home to stern their little ones. Other places that are worth seeing here are Galapagos hawks, red-billed tropic birds, frigate birds, swallowtail gulls, sea lions, one can also get to see the Galapagos snakes, if lucky enough.
The tourists can spend a memorable afternoon at the Gardener Bay, which is another great opportunity for snorkeling with the marine life, specifically sea lions accompanying big sea turtles too.
By the passing night, the cruise takes the tourists from one beautiful island to another, and the morning waits at the visit to the exquisite Puanta Cormorant. This place is full of the beautiful green sand beach( which also has some volcanic mineral called olivine), the white sand which shines like a diamond, and crystal clear blue waters of Sting-Ray Beach. Snorkeling is yet again a plus point to it which can be done at the ‘Devils Crown’.
The next stop is at the remarkable Post Bay office, which serves the purpose of posting a card from the well-known barrel, which is actually set up by the whalers more than hundred years ago.
The cruise takes the route of the west side of the biggest of the Galapagos Islands, named Isabela, with short breaks at Punta Moreno and Urbina Bay. Punta Moreno will have some wonderful lava landscape; also there will be the huge coral heads, which are boosted upwards above the sea level by an earthquake with Galapagos tortoises.
The second last day of the wonder cruise trip passed away the channel westward and reaches the Fernandina Island to stop at the Punta Espinoza, where the prime attraction is the marine iguanas along the heave rock shores and the unique specie of bird ‘cormorants’, which are weird looking, flightless and simply beautiful.
To make the last day on the cruise worth remembering, the travelers pay a visit to Puerto Egas, Santiago Island. The left overs of some buildings give evidence to one-time salt mining operation, also here, in tidal bays, there can be seen fur seals. This place is extremely beautiful because of the colors that complement the other colors so well hence eroding black lava and beige Smokey sediments.
The last but not least, visitors’ place on the cruise is Turtle Cove, which comes by its name reasonably. Mustard rays are seldom seen here in profusion, too. After spending the morning in this beauty, the Cachalote and I went into harbor on Baltra Island, and the happy tourists are taken by bus back to the Galápagos airport to catch up with the flight to their mainland.
Rutahsa Adventures can also organize for the tourists, over night stay in Quito or Guayaquil, from where they can get their return flight to United States, or they may get a stay for Andean/Amazonian Tour if they like.
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